10 Life-Changing Quotes From BoJack Horseman That Everyone Needs To Hear

These quotes will change your perspective on life.

While TV's primary purpose is to entertain, another indicator of a great show is how much it can teach you. The characters in BoJack Horseman often give each other tough love, and those conversations bring about some of the most memorable moments in the show. 

Whether you are a loyal fan or have never heard of the show, here are 10 quotes from the series that everyone needs to hear.

1. "When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags." - Wanda, S2 E10

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Image: Netflix

This quote is a personal favorite. In this instance, Wanda realizes that BoJack is not who she thought he was. Although the signs of his instability were apparent from the beginning, she does what almost everyone has done once before: she sticks around in hopes that things will get better and he will eventually chill out.

She was excited to be romantic with someone after losing 30 years of her life to a coma, and even when BoJack showed early signs of toxicity (i.e. stalking and taking an immediate dislike to her friend, Alex), she gave him multiple chances and tried to let things slide. However, in the end, she realizes who BoJack really is, and they end the relationship.

This quote struck a chord with me because much like other viewers, I've been blinded by love before. It's so easy to overlook glaring issues when you have deep feelings for someone; you're always so positive you can make things work. This moment in the show taught me to force myself to remove the rose-colored glasses and consider a person for who they really are before making decisions. 

2. "That’s the problem with life, right? Either you know what you want and you don’t get what you want, or you get what you want and then you don’t know what you want." - Diane, S1 E12

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Image: Netflix

I couldn't have said this better myself. This comment perfectly describes the feeling of chasing happiness that all of the characters struggle with. Throughout the series, everyone chases their dreams relentlessly, but then once they achieve them they are left feeling uncertain or unsatisfied. 

This is also the case in real life. All too often we assume that our happiness lies in one thing: one item to attain, one goal to reach, one person to impress, etc. We dream about it and work for it and then when we get it, the joy is short-lived. Maybe it's not what we expected, or it's overshadowed by a new problem. Nonetheless, it's an endless cycle of wanting but never really having. 

This quote resonated with me the first time around and prompted me to take a moment to appreciate all that I've accomplished. I might not be where I want to be now, but I am where I wanted to be 5 years ago. Thought-provoking moments like this are abundant in BoJack Horseman and are the main reason I've rewatched it so many times. 

3. "Nobody else gets to tell you what your story is." - Ana, S3 E1

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Image: Netflix

We live in the age of social media, so this one might be hard to believe. Nonetheless, it's true to some extent. Ana is a publicist, so it is much easier for her to control someone's story than the average person. However, every one of us has a voice, and we can use it to confirm or deny the narratives that are being spun about us.

No one knows your story better than you. No matter how much time a person spends with you or how much information they have about you, no one will ever truly have the full story of your life other than yourself. No one could possibly know all of the thoughts that run through your head. No one could know your every intention or your motivation. Therefore, no one can tell you what your story is, they can only share their observations.

This quote is important to internalize because many people get caught up in what others have to say about them. They allow themselves to be defined by others who don't even understand who they are. It's important to remember that you are in control of your life, and your view of yourself is the only one that matters. 

4. "If you care about what other people think, you're never gonna do anything." - Mr. Peanutbutter, S3 E2

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Image: Netflix

This line pairs well with the previous quote. Again, you can't let others define who you are or what you do. I know too many people (myself included) who made decisions based on what other people would think of them. In the past, I've definitely shied away from participating in certain activities for fear of being judged. Looking back, I would much rather have had the experiences.

Mr. Peanutbutter is so successful because he isn't afraid to look dumb. He is open-minded and willing to do pretty much anything. He takes on a handful of projects that other actors would consider beneath them and treats every gig with the utmost importance. This leads to more exposure for him and makes it easier for him to score more prestigious roles.

If we were to apply this thinking to our own lives, we might take advantage of more opportunities!

5. "Only after you give up everything can you begin to find a way to truly be happy." - Cuddlywhiskers, S3 E3

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Image: Netflix

Again, we see this recurring theme of being happy. Everyone has a different idea of how to attain happiness, and Cuddlywhiskers' approach offers a unique perspective on the matter. 

Typically, people try to find happiness in what they already have, or in something they want to attain. Either way, our expectations are rooted in our experiences, relationships, and our sense of self. What Cuddlywhiskers suggests is letting go of everything you are, and starting from scratch.

In his case, he disappears from society, severs all of his connections with his former self, and re-designs himself in a brand new life. Once cleansed spiritually, he was able to see more clearly what happiness meant to him. When he let go of all the materialistic things from his old life, he was able to focus on what mattered.

It may not be possible for us to disappear like this in real life, but we can do a spiritual cleanse and let go of the notions that bind us. 

6. "Always take every opportunity that comes your way because opportunities are like sneezes from God, and when God sneezes, you can’t say 'God bless you' to God, so instead you have to take the opportunity." - Mr. Peanutbutter & Captain Peanutbutter, S3 E10

mr peanutbutter
Image: Netflix

One of the show's biggest accomplishments is striking the perfect balance between comical, serious, and heart-warming moments. Although the initial reason for this phone call was not so pleasant, the quote we get out of it is absolutely adorable. It also gives us a glimpse into Mr. Peanutbutter's way of thinking.

This saying from the brothers' grandma is a charming reminder that opportunities are special gifts. Opportunities aren't always available, so when they are, it's essential to act. Again, don't take into consideration what others might think, or else you might miss it. This quote reminds us to trust the process and dive headfirst into the unknown. 

7. “In the great grand scheme of things, we’re just tiny specks that will one day be forgotten. So, it doesn’t matter what we did in the past, or how we’ll be remembered. The only thing that matters is right now, this moment.” - BoJack, S3 E11

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Image: Netflix

When you realize that these words are the last words Sarah Lynn hears before her death, the quote becomes considerably eerier. At first, though, they are comforting. 

We tend to get so caught up in our lives that we overhype the importance of our existence. Yes, every life is essential. However, no matter how famous someone might be, they are still just people. They are people who will be loved, hated, and eventually forgotten. In the grand scheme of time, our lives are but tiny blips. In simple words: It's not that serious. Stop spending so much time worrying about your legacy and enjoy the life that is passing you by.

At this moment, BoJack realizes that we all spend too much time living in the past or worried about the future when the most beautiful, relevant moment is the present. 

8. "Believe it or not, time’s arrow neither stands still nor reverses, it merely marches forward." - Joseph Sugarman, S4 E2

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Image: Netflix

This quote comes up multiple times in the series. It is the Sugarman family's motto, and BoJack's mother still recites it well into her older years. This quote is similar to the last in that it focuses on our perception of time. However, the Sugarman mantra places more importance on the future than anything else.

In a nutshell, this line reminds us that we must keep moving forward. There's no use in dwelling on the past and the things you can't change. Nor is there any use in worrying too much about every move you make in the present, because the moment is gone before you even have time to think about it. What matters is making the most use of your time and making every moment count.

Depending on the circumstances this is not always possible, but we can all attempt to make the best out of our situations and value our time.

9. "The world is unforgiving enough as it is. The least we do is find ways to forgive each other and ourselves." - Stefani, S5 E12

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Image: Netflix

Stefani offers a rare piece of wisdom during her diner meet-up with Diane. The latter struggles with self-doubt, and starts to second guess her abilities when offered a more exciting position at her place of work. The advice Stefani shares is relevant to everyone on the show, as well as the audience.

We can't control what other people do, but we can control what we do. In fact, the self is the only thing we maintain absolute control over. In that case, why wouldn't we use it for good? If the whole world is against us, we can't also be against ourselves. We must forgive ourselves in order to begin healing. In addition to healing ourselves, we can assist in the healing of others by forgiving them as well.

Life is too short to hold a grudge, whether against yourself or another person. Use your energy to affect positive change.

10. "There's no such thing as 'bad guys' or 'good guys.' We’re all just guys who do good stuff sometimes and bad stuff sometimes. And all we can do is try to do less bad stuff and more good stuff." - Diane, S5 E12

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Image: Netflix

If the first quote is my favorite, then this would have to be a close second. BoJack constantly seeks validation that he is a decent person, and struggles throughout the series to determine whether he is good or bad. Diane's fresh perspective makes him feel better about his situation, and for a little while, stalls his obsession with being "good."

This new perspective is a complete change from her original opinion in the first season, in which she expressed that she doesn't believe in a "deep down" and believes that all people are are the things they do. 

By this point in the show, her own personal experiences have changed her mind and she reminds us that we are actually much more than the things we do. As humans, we have this irrational need to label everything, and in doing so, we limit our possibilities of being.

As she says, we're all just people. No label required. We are going to make good choices some days and bad choices on other days, but one single choice doesn't define who you are. We must look at what makes up a person as a whole. Anyways, if you do screw up a million times, there is always another chance to make a new decision.  This quote made me feel better about myself, and it is one that I've recited to people many times. 

This show has taught me valuable lessons in the years it has been streaming. Very few shows have changed my perspective on life the way this one has. Each one of these quotes has a special place in my heart and has helped me to become the best person I can be. BoJack Horseman says that everything he knows about being good, he learned from TV. This series is definitely one that will have a similar effect on its audience.

Writer, blogger, and content creator from Sunny San Diego. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring, eating, and watching Netflix.

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