133 Doctor Who Quotes That Will Make You Rethink The Universe

133 Doctor Who Quotes That Will Make You Rethink The Universe

November 12, 2019 Updated August 1, 2021

doctor who quotes
BBC/Adrian Rogers/BBC/Adrian Rogers

Doctor Who is one of the longest-running TV shows in history, with a total of over 850 episodes over 37 seasons. It has been a cultural institution since its 1963 inception, introducing millions of viewers to science fiction in its finest form. The BBC show has also given viewers some of the finest, most heartfelt, and cleverest writing on television. The series has also given us David Tennant, Matt Smith, Bad Wolf, and the best love story this side of the galaxy. We won’t even name which one, because there were so many. So grab your Tardis mug, check the room for Weeping Angels, and browse our collection of some of Doctor Who’s best quotes spanning back to 1963.

  1. “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”
  2. “Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”
  3. “Rule 1: The Doctor lies.”
  4. “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
  5. “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
  6. “Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.”
  7. “You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.”
  8. “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.”
  9. “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: they don’t alter their views to fit the facts; they alter the facts to fit their views.”
  10. “Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in.”
  11. “Rest is for the weary, sleep is for the dead.”
  12. “Hermits United. We meet up every 10 years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun… for a hermit.”
  13. “There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
  14. “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”
  15. “Amy Pond, there’s something you’d better understand about me ‘cause it’s important, and one day your life may depend on it: I am definitely a madman with a box!”
  16. “Don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.”
  17. “I’ll be a story in your head. That’s OK. We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? ‘Cause it was, you know. It was the best. The daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. Did I ever tell you that I stole it? Well, I borrowed it. I was always going to take it back.”
  18. “One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.”
  19. “Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”
  20. “Good men don’t need rules.”

    doctor who quotes
    BBC
  21. “Never run when you’re scared.”
  22. “If we’re going to die, let’s die looking like a Peruvian folk band.”
  23. “He’s like fire and ice. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”
  24. “What’s the point in two hearts if you can’t be a bit forgiving now and then?”
  25. “There’s no point in being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.”
  26. “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all: grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
  27. “You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!”
  28. “Letting it get to you. You know what that’s called? Being alive. Best thing there is. Being alive right now is all that counts.”
  29. “Superior intelligence and senseless cruelty just do not go together.”
  30. “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”
  31. “Come on, Rory! It isn’t rocket science, it’s just quantum physics!”
  32. “If you step on a butterfly, you change the future of the human race.”
  33. “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and… bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.”
  34. “The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s a world, or a relationship… Everything has its time. And everything ends.”
  35. “Big flashy things have my name written all over them. Well… not yet. Give me time and a crayon.”
  36. “Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.”
  37. “In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”
  38. “We had chips. So anyway, planet gone. All rocks and dust, but the human race lives on, spread out across the stars. Soon as the Earth burns up, ooh, they get all nostalgic, big revival movement. They find this place. Same size as the Earth. Same air, same orbit. Lovely. The call goes out, the humans move in.”
  39. “But here she is, Rose Tyler! Hm, she’s not the best I’ve ever had. Bit too blonde. Not too steady on her pins. A lot of that (makes a movement with his hand to indicate she talks too much). And just last week she stared into the heart of the time vortex and aged 57 years. But she’ll do.”
  40. “Biting’s excellent. It’s like kissing — only there is a winner.”
  41. “This is who I am, right here, right now, all right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”
    doctor who quotes
    BBC

    Related: 100+ ‘Star Wars’ Quotes To Prove The Force Is Truly With You

  42. “Everything’s got to end sometime. Otherwise, nothing would ever get started.”
  43. “There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes!”
  44. “Never be certain of anything. It’s a sign of weakness.”
  45. “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do, anyway.”
  46. “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”
  47. “Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”
  48. “Nine hundred years of time and space, and I’ve never been slapped by someone’s mother.”
  49. “Letting it get to you. You know what that’s called? Being alive. Best thing there is. Being alive right now is all that counts.”
  50. “This is one corner of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”
  51. “There’s something that doesn’t make sense. Let’s go and poke it with a stick.”
  52. “Bow ties are cool.”
  53. “You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they’re dull as a brick. But then there’s other people, and you meet them and you think ‘not bad, they’re OK’, and then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality’s written all over it, and they just they turn into something so beautiful…”
  54. “I don’t know. I can’t tell the future I just work there.”
  55. “You know when grown-ups tell you everything’s going to be fine, but you really think they’re lying to make you feel better? Everything’s going to be fine.”
  56. “Never use force, you just embarrass yourself. Unless you’re cross, in which case always use force!”
  57. “You should always waste time when you don’t have any. Time is not the boss of you. Rule 408.”
  58. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you? There’s one thing you never put in a trap if you’re smart. If you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap. Me.”
  59. “Go to your room! Go to your room! I mean it. I’m very, very angry with you. I’m very, very cross! GO! TO! YOUR! ROOM! (The children lurch away and obey him) I’m really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words.”
  60. “You don’t want to take over the universe. You wouldn’t know what to do with it beyond shout at it.”
  61. “Never knowingly be serious. Rule 27.”
  62. “You think you know your own name? How stupid are you?”
  63. “So is this how it works, Doctor? You never interfere with the affairs of other peoples or planets, unless there are children crying?”
  64. “I traveled across the world. From the ruins of New York to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend, then that’s wrong, because my name isn’t important. There’s someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is The Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I’ve seen him, I know him… I love him… and I know what he can do.”
  65. “Though the man above might say hello, expect no love from the beast below.”
  66. “When I was your age — about, ooh, a thousand years ago — I loved a good bedtime story. The Three Little Sontarans. The Emperor Dalek’s New Clothes. Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday, eh? All the classics.”
  67. “I saw the Fall of Troy! World War Five! I was pushing boxes at the Boston Tea Party! Now I’m gonna die in a dungeon…. (disgustedly) in Cardiff!”
  68. “The only water in the forest is the River.”
  69. “Because every time you see them happy, you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”
    doctor who quotes
    BBC

    RELATED: 100+ ‘Seinfeld’ Quotes That Are More Than Just ‘Yada Yada Yada’

  70. “We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s OK, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
  71. “As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.”
  72. “I’d forgotten not all victories are about saving the universe.”
  73. “Don’t play games with me! You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand! I’m the Doctor, and you’re in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up.”
  74. “I have lived a long life, and I have seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained; no time, no space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe, I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!”
  75. “I am the bad wolf. I create myself. I take the words. I scatter them… in time and space. A message to lead myself here.”
  76. “Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.”
  77. “Why do humans never do as they’re told? Someone should replace you all with robots. No, on second thought, they shouldn’t, bad idea.”
  78. “I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.”
  79. “Well, we’ve moved through the funfair a bit — we’ve done the rollercoaster, now we’re on the ghost train.”
  80. “One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”
  81. “Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again!”
  82. “The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. And there it is: planet Earth at its height. Covered with megacities, five moons, population 96 billion. The hub of a galactic domain, stretching across a million planets, a million species. With mankind right in the middle.”
  83. “Oh, the pointing again. They’re screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?”
  84. “Rose wasn’t ‘ordinary’. What was I supposed to do? Wrap her in cotton wool? Tell her, ‘Here, I could give you the universe, but I’m not going to in case you get hurt? There’s all this stuff out there, all these planets, all these wonders, but I want you to stay at home and work in a shop?'”
  85. “I’ve remembered that my name is Smith. Almost definitely. Good old English name. Hopefully means ‘noble valiant warrior’ and not ‘he who hits kittens with a hammer.’ You’d be surprised the derivations of common surnames in the English countryside…”
  86. “I’m about to do something very clever and a tiny bit against the rules of the universe. It’s important that I’m properly dressed.”
  87. “The secret is not just to be stunning, which I find comes rather easily, to be honest. The tricky thing is getting exactly the right level of stun for the occasion.”
  88. We’re dealing with a psycho-temporal entity manifesting through a critical mass of its sentient shell… um. Magic sounds more fun.”
  89. “Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit — without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis.”
  90. “Everything ends, and it’s always sad, but everything begins again, too. And that’s always happy. Be happy.”
  91. “I’m going to tell you a story about a man who travels, and everywhere he goes, he makes everyone’s lives better. I’m not that man. That man doesn’t exist. I wish he did. I’d believe in him.”
  92. “Don’t worry, I’m shielding you. When we crashed here and it first attacked me, I was caught with my mental trousers down. Not anymore. Psychic force field’s intact. Belts and braces. Braces, by the way, are very cool.”
  93. “I’m not running away from things, I am running to them. Before they flare and fade forever.”
  94. “It is difficult to know what will be a waste of time until after the time has been wasted, by which time it is too late. So predicting what will be a waste of time is something of a waste of time. Unless it gives you pleasure, of course when it probably doesn’t count as a waste of time.”
  95. “Something pretty bad’s happening nearby in the space-time continuum. The TARDIS is a terrible rubbernecker — like a little old lady, she can’t resist slowing down for a gawp at a car crash in the next lane. Bless.”
  96. “I do think there’s always a way to put things right. If I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning, I wouldn’t eat breakfast; I wouldn’t leave the TARDIS ever. I would never have left home. There is always something we can do.”
  97. “Which brings me to you, Prince Boris. And I’m sorry, but here’s the thing… I think you’re one of the nicest Russian aristocrats I’ve ever met and not been forced into an arranged marriage with.”
  98. “How come “burbled” gets to be in the Oxford English Dictionary but “tulgy” doesn’t? Hm?”
  99. “We might as well get started. Help to pass the timey-wimey. Do you have to talk like children? What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown-up? Oh. The way you both look at me. I’m trying to think of a better word than ‘dread’?”
  100. “From the day they arrive on the planet, and blinking step into the sun, there’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to- wait that’s The Lion King.”
  101. Rose: “Who are you?”
    The Doctor: (turns around) “Do you know like we were saying? About the Earth revolving? (walks towards Rose) It’s like when you’re a kid. The first time they tell you that the world’s turning and you just can’t quite believe it ‘cos everything looks like it’s standing still. (looks at Rose) I can feel it. (takes Rose’s hand) The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… (drops Rose’s hand) That’s who I am.
  102. “People like us, we go on too long. We forget what matters. The last thing we need is each other. We need the mayflies. You see the mayflies, they know more than we do. They know how beautiful and precious life is because it’s fleeting.”
  103. “I looked into your eyes and I saw my worst fears. Weariness. Emptiness.”
  104. “You’ll find that it’s a very small universe when I’m angry with you.”
  105. “When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!” — River Song
  106. “My entire understanding of physical space has been transformed! Three-dimensional Euclidean geometry has been torn up, thrown in the air, and snogged to death! My grasp of the universal constants of physical reality has been changed forever!” — River Song
  107. “They’ve been there for millions of years, through storms and floods and wars and… time. Nobody really understands where the music comes from. It’s probably something to do with the precise positions, the distance between both towers. Even the locals aren’t sure. All anyone will ever tell you is that when wind stands fair and the night is perfect, when you least expect it, but always… when you need it the most… there is a song.” — The Doctor
  108. “My back’s playing up. It simply refuses to carry the weight of an entirely pointless stratum of society who contribute nothing of worth to the world and crush the hopes and dreams of working people.” — The Doctor
  109. River Song: “If either of you use my name again, I will remove your organs in alphabetical order. Any questions?”
    The Doctor: “Which alphabet?”
  110. “I think I’m going to need a bigger flowchart.” — The Doctor
  111. River Song: “Don’t use my name. Ever. How do you know me?”
    The Doctor: “Well, it’s a tiny bit complicated. People usually need a flowchart.”
  112. River Song: “Does sarcasm help?”
    The Doctor: “Wouldn’t it be a great universe if it did?”
  113. (To TARDIS) “You are a time-space machine. You’re a vehicle! I’ve never asked you to cheer me up with hologrammatic antlers!” — The Doctor
  114. River Song: “You don’t look much like your pictures.”
    The Doctor: “Well, that’s an ongoing problem for me.”
  115. The Doctor: “You were supposed to be dying.”
    Face of Boe: “There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.”
  116. Face of Boe: “We shall meet again, Doctor, for the third time, for the last time, and the truth shall be told. Until that day…”
    The Doctor: “That is enigmatic. That is… that is textbook enigmatic.”
  117. “Do you wanna come with me? ‘Cause if you do, then I should warn you you’re gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past; aliens from the future; the day the Earth died in a ball of flame… it won’t be safe, and it won’t be calm. But I’ll tell you what it will be — the trip of a lifetime.” — The Ninth Doctor
  118. “There are things waiting in the darkness. Creatures of metal, fire, and blood. But he’s out there, burning through time, facing a thousand dangers across the stars, and never giving up. He looks like a man, but he’s a legend and his name is the Doctor. He’ll come back to save us and, this time, I’m going to be ready. Then, just like that… we’ll be gone.” — Donna Noble
  119. “I’m the doctor, and I save people.” — The Twelfth Doctor
  120. “Demons run when a good man goes to war,
    Night will fall and drown the sun.
    When a good man goes to war,
    Friendship dies and true love lies,
    Night will fall and the dark will rise.
    When a good man goes to war,
    Demons run, but count the cost.
    The battle’s won, but the child is lost.” — Steven Moffat
  121. Amy Pond: “I thought… well, I started to think you were just a madman with a box.”
    The Doctor: “Amy Pond, there’s something you better understand about me, ’cause it’s important and one day your life may depend on it. (he smiles) I am definitely a madman with a box.”
  122. The Doctor: “Doctor Song, you’ve got that face on again.”
    River: “What face?”
    The Doctor: “The ‘He’s hot when he’s clever’ face.”
    River: “This is my normal face.”
    The Doctor: “Yes it is.”
    River: “Oh, shut up.”
    The Doctor: “Not a chance.”
  123. “See the bowtie? I wear it and I don’t care. That’s why it’s cool.”
  124. “It’s a funny thing about stories. It doesn’t feel like you make them up, more like you find them. You type and type and you know you haven’t got it yet, because somewhere out there, there’s that perfect thing — the unexpected ending that was always going to happen. That place you’ve always been heading for, but never expected to do.”
  125. “Always take a banana to a party.” — The Doctor
  126. “You’re not gonna make the world any better by shouting at it!” — The Doctor
  127. “Love is not an emotion. It’s a promise.” — The Doctor
  128. “First thing’s first, but not necessarily in that order.” — The Doctor
  129. “For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about.” — The Doctor
  130. “We’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve while still staying true to who we are. We can honor who we’ve been and choose who we want to be next.” — The Doctor
  131. Doctor: “Where are we? Where did the gap come out?”
    Rose Tyler: “We’re in Norway.”
    Doctor: “Norway. Right.”
    Rose Tyler: “About 50 miles out of Bergen, it’s called Darlig Ulv Stranden.”
    Doctor: “Dalek?”
    Rose Tyler: “Darlig. It’s Norwegian for bad. This translates as Bad Wolf Bay.”
  132. Doctor: “You’re staring at me!”
    Rose Tyler: “My mum’s still on board.”
    Jackie Tyler (to the Doctor): “If we end up on Mars, I’m gonna kill you.”
  133. “I like that, allons-y. I should say allons-y more often. Allons-y! Look sharp, Rose Tyler, allons-y! It would be brilliant if I met someone called Alonso. Cos then I could say, ‘Allons-y, Alonso!’ every time!.” — Doctor