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50 pieces of wisdom from TV characters

50 pieces of wisdom from TV characters

50 pieces of wisdom from TV characters

While the activity of watching TV is often frowned upon as a passive, lowbrow way to spend your time, we're staunch defenders of the glowing box in your lounge.

In fact, we've scoured some of our favourite shows for the best pieces of life-aiding wisdom ever to come from small screen characters. Consider your day bettered.

Let us know what we've missed off at the bottom.

(Images: Rex Features, All Star, YouTube)

Star Trek: The Next Generation

"Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again"

Captain Picard


"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or f*cking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back."

Al Swearengen

The X Files

"I've often felt that dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask."


Boardwalk Empire

"First rule of politics, kiddo: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Nucky Thompson

Freaks & Geeks

"Everything fun in life happens in bars."

Ken Miller

Father Ted

"That's the great thing about Catholicism - it's very vague and no-one knows what it’s really all about."

Father Ted

Doctor Who

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. 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.”

The Doctor

Twin Peaks

"Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair or two cups of good hot black coffee."

Dale Cooper

Parks & Recreation – Ron Swanson

"Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets."

Ron Swanson.

Arrested Development

"It's called 'taking advantage.' It's what gets you ahead in life."

Gob Bluth

Six Feet Under

"The future is just a f"cking concept that we use to avoid living today."


The Sopranos

"A wrong decision is better than indecision."

Tony Soprano

The Office

"If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation."

David Brent


“A leader can't lead unless he knows where he's going.”


Peep Show

"Money can't buy you love, but owning a furnished flat can get you a reasonable simulation."


Game of Thrones

"For all the weight they're given, last words are usually as significant as first words."



"Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don't stare at it. It's too risky. Ya get a sense of it and then you look away."


Nighty Night

"You know how i feel about asthma...take a deep breath and get over it."

Jill Tyrell


"It's one of the great tragedies of life — something always changes."


Only Fools and Horses

"Lunch is For Wimps."

Del Boy


"Charles Darwin said you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And that's what it's all about: breaking eggs!"



"Life just isn't like the movies is it? We're constantly led to believe in resolution in the establishment of the ideal status quo, and it's just not true. Happy endings are a myth. Designed to make us feel better about the fact that life is just a thankless struggle."


30 Rock

"Never go with a hippie to a second location."

Jack Donaghy

Being Human

"You can p*ss your whole life away trying out who you might be. It's when you've worked out who you are that you can really start to live."


Mad Men

"You want some respect? Go out there and get it for yourself."

Don Draper

Curb Your Enthusiasm

"An employee is told that the customer's always right and, in fact, the customer is usually a moron and an asshole."

Larry David

The Walking Dead

"There is nothing easy about taking a man's life no matter how little value it may have. But when you get it done, you have to forget it."



"You deal with talent the same way that you deal with women. You have to make them believe that they need you more then you need them."

Ari Gold

Black Books

"No one is willing to admit that wine doesn't actually have a taste."


Sex and the City

"Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens."

Carrie Bradshaw

Red Dwarf

"When you're younger you can eat what you like, drink what you like, and still climb into your 26" waist trousers and zip them closed. Then you reach that age, 24-25, your muscles give up, they wave a little white flag, and without any warning at all you're suddenly a fat bastard."



"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

Frank Gallagher

The Inbetweeners

"Everyone knows that Wiis are for children and girls."


How to Make it in America

"People don't call their exes when they are moving on - its counter-productive"


I'm Alan Partridge

"Quick tip for yourself: if you're ever doing an after-dinner speech, you say "My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry I'm late, I just popped to the toilet. And while I was there, I saw some graffiti and it said "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure"". Straight away you've got them by the jaffas."

Alan Partridge


"Sometimes, you just have to take a risk. After all, isn't that what relationships are all about?"



"You can look the other way once, and it's no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that's all you're doing; compromising, because that's the way you think things are done."

Jack Bauer

Quantum Leap

"To save a life, to change a heart, to make the right choice. I guess that's what life's about."



"You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there everyday, even on the days you don't feel like it."



"It may be an unwise man who doesn't learn from his own mistakes, but it's an absolute idiot that doesn't learn from other people's."

Frasier Crane

South Park

"If you don't teach your children that Paris Hilton should be despised, how will they know?"

Mr. Garrison

Fawlty Towers

"Don't mention the war."

Basil Fawlty


"You can always tell a good Chinese place by the lower third of the door handle."

Sherlock Holmes

The Simpsons

"I want to share something with you - the three sentences that will get you through life. Number one, 'cover for me.' Number two, 'oh, good idea, boss. 'Number three, 'it was like that when I got here."

Homer Simpson

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"It's hard to do homework if you think you're going to die."

Buffy Summers

True Blood

"There’s a reason why things are the way they are."

Jason Stackhouse

The West Wing

"There's two things in the world you never want to let people see how you make 'em: laws and sausages."

Leo McGarry


"It's couples who are truly right for each other wade through the same crap as everybody else, but the big difference is they don't let it take them down. One of those two people will stand up and fight for that relationship every time. If it's right, and they're real lucky, one of them will say something."

Dr. Cox


"Mercy is the mark of a great man."



"When you become roommates with friends, the things you love about them become the things that make you want to smother them with a pillow."