50+ Brilliant Doctor Who Quotes To Live By

With more than 900 years of experience to draw from, it’s only natural everyone's favourite Time Lord would have a few words of wisdom to impart. Here are the most insightful Doctor Who quotes of all time.

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Doctor Who Quotes - David Tennant and TARDIS
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These Doctor Who quotes will inspire you to live your best life

For nearly six decades, Doctor Who has been thrilling audiences around the world. Despite more than a dozen changes in the lead role over the course of that time, the character of the Doctor has remained essentially the same: a hero driven to fight for the oppressed, and to right the wrongs he (and she!) encounters while travelling through space and time in the remarkable TARDIS. From the indomitable First Doctor played by William Hartnell to the whimsical current incarnation played by David Tennant (again!), the Doctor’s boundless optimism, courage and spirit of adventure shine through in these brilliant Doctor Who quotes.

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Doctor Who quotes: The First Doctor
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It’s in the details

“The least important things, sometimes, my dear boy, lead to the greatest discoveries.” – The First Doctor, The Space Museum (1965)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Second Doctor
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Powers of deduction

“Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority.” – The Second Doctor, The Wheel in Space (1968)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Third Doctor
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It’s about the journey

“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.” – The Third Doctor, The Time Warrior (1973)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Fourth Doctor
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An ever-present threat

“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.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil (1977)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Fifth Doctor
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Cultivating curiosity

“There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes.” – The Fifth Doctor, Kinda (1982)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Sixth Doctor
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High praise

“Small though it is, the human brain can be quite effective when working at full efficiency.” – The Sixth Doctor, The Two Doctors (1985)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Seventh Doctor
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Cause and effect

“Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences.” – The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Eighth Doctor

Human nature

“I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.” – The Eighth Doctor, Doctor Who (1996)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The War Doctor
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Truly indomitable

“Never give up. Never give in.” – The War Doctor, The Day of the Doctor (2013)

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Great Doctor Who Quotes: The Ninth Doctor
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Lose yourself

“Time travel is like visiting Paris. You can’t just read the guidebook, you’ve got to throw yourself in. Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers.” – The Ninth Doctor, The Long Game (2005)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Tenth Doctor
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Making it count

“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters. It’s the person.” – The Tenth Doctor, The Lazarus Experiment (2007)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The Eleventh Doctor
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You take the good, you take the bad…

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” – The Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and the Doctor (2010)

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Great Docror Who quotes: The Twelfth Doctor
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The power of thought

“Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.” – The Twelfth Doctor, The Zygon Inversion (2015)

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Great Doctor Who quotes: The 13th Doctor
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On evolution

“We’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve while still staying true to who we are. We can honour who we’ve been and choose who we want to be next. Now’s your chance! How about it?” – The Thirteenth Doctor, The Woman Who Fell To Earth (2018)

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Doctor Who quotes - The First Doctor, William Hartnell

Travel broadens the mind

“As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.” – The First Doctor, The Edge of Destruction (1964)

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Doctor Who quotes - The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

Mission statement

“There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. They must be fought.” – The Second Doctor, The Moonbase (1967)

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Doctor Who quotes - Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, Radio Times 10th Anniversary Special

Never say never

“People who talk about infallibility are usually on very shaky ground.” – The Third Doctor, The Mind of Evil (1971)

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Doctor Who quotes - Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker

Know your strengths

“Of course we should interfere. Always do what you’re best at, that’s what I say.” – The Fourth Doctor, Nightmare of Eden (1979)

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William Hartnell as the First Doctor Who
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Search for the truth

“You wanted advice you said. I never give it, never. But I might just say this to you. Always search for truth. My truth is in the stars and yours is here.” – The First Doctor, The Daleks (1964)

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Doctor Who quotes - Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison

Know thine enemy

“What is the one thing evil can not face—not ever? Itself.” – The Fifth Doctor, Kinda (1982)

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Doctor Who quotes - Seventh Doctor and the Brigadier, Battlefield

Worthy opponents

“You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.” – The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

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Doctor Who quotes - Tenth Doctor, David Tennant

The pen is mightier than the sword

“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” – The Tenth Doctor, Tooth and Claw (2006)

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William Hartnell as Doctor Who with the TARDIS
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History lessons

“My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re too small to realize its final pattern. Therefore don’t try and judge it from where you stand.” – The First Doctor, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve (1966)

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Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor Who
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On growth

“I’d like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings. Life depends on change, and renewal.” – The Second Doctor, The Power of the Daleks (1966)

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Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor - Doctor Who season 8 bluray art
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Beyond science

“You’re right, Jo. There is magic in the world after all.” – The Third Doctor, The Daemons (1971)

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Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor Who
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The right questions

“Answers are easy. It’s asking the right questions which is hard.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil (1977)

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Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor Who
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The little things

“When did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset, eating a well-prepared meal? For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about.” – The Fifth Doctor, Earthshock (1982)

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Doctor Who - The Trial of a Time Lord bluray art
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Time flies

“Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.” – The Sixth Doctor, The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)

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Doctor Who - Time and the Rani
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On principles

“Ah, well… Every dogma has its day.” – The Seventh Doctor, Time and the Rani

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Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor
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Independent streak

“This is my life, Jackie. It’s not fun, it’s not smart, it’s just standing up and making a decision because nobody else will.” – The Ninth Doctor, World War Three (2005)

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Doctor Who - Tenth Doctor and Kitten
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Immortality as a curse

“I’m old enough to know that a longer life isn’t always a better one. In the end, you just get tired; tired of the struggle, tired of losing everyone that matters to you, tired of watching everything you love turn to dust. If you live long enough, Lazarus, the only certainty left is that you’ll end up alone.” – The Tenth Doctor, The Lazarus Experiment (2007)

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Doctor Who quotes - Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith

On coincidence

“Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.” – The Eleventh Doctor, The Pandorica Opens (2010)

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Doctor Who - The Romans
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Free will

“I don’t believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.” – The First Doctor, The Keys of Marinus (1964)

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Doctor Who - Tomb of the Cybermen
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One-of-a-kind wonders

“Our lives are different to anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing. There’s nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.” – The Second Doctor, The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)

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Doctor Who - The Three Doctors
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Righting wrongs

“I had to face my fear… That was more important than just going on living.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Spiders (1974)

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Doctor Who - The Leisure Hive on Brighton Beach
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The nature of mystery

“To the rational mind, nothing is inexplicable; only unexplained.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Robots of Death (1977)

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Doctor Who - The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison
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Proscratination, Time Lord Style

“You know how it is; you put things off for a day and next thing you know, it’s a hundred years later.” – The Fifth Doctor, Arc of Infinity (1983)

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Doctor Who quotes - Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy

Personality quirks

“Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.” – The Seventh Doctor, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988)

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Doctor Who Quotes - First Doctor in The Dalek Invasion Of Earth
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Parting ways

“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.” – The First Doctor, The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964)

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Patrick Troughton, The Second Doctor Who
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Let them underestimate you

“An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?” – The Second Doctor, The Dominators (1968)

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Doctor Who - Colony in Space
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On war

“When you get back to Skaro, you’ll all be national heroes. Everybody’ll want to hear about your adventures. So be careful how you tell that story, will you? Don’t glamourize it. Don’t make war sound like an exciting and thrilling game. Tell them about the members of your mission that will not be returning. Like Maro, Vaber and Marat. Tell them about the fear. Otherwise your people might relish the idea of war. We don’t want that.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks (1973)

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Tom Baker in Paris filming Doctor Who - City Of Death
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Establishing the narrative

“I suppose the best way to find out where you come from is to find out where you’re going, and then work backwards.” – The Fourth Doctor, City of Death (1979)

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Doctor Who - The Seventh Doctor And Ace
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Two sides of the same coin

“Happiness is nothing unless it exists side by side with sadness.” – The Seventh Doctor, The Happiness Patrol (1988)

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Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor Who
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Happy endings

“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang (2010)

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Doctor Who - The Sensorites
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The art of persuasion

“I don’t make threats, but I do keep promises.” – The First Doctor, The Sensorites (1964)

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Doctor Who - The Web of Fear
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On machines

“I hate computers and refuse to be bullied by them!” – The Second Doctor, The Invasion (1969)

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Doctor Who - The Seeds of Doom
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Forever young

“There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” – The Fourth Doctor, Robot (1974)

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Doctor Who - Season 24 bluray art
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On love

“Love has never been noted for its rationality.” – The Seventh Doctor, Delta and the Bannermen (1987)

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Doctor Who - Season 18 bluray art

On hope

“One good solid hope’s worth a cart-load of certainties.” – The Fourth Doctor, State of Decay (1980)

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Doctor Who quotes - Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi

On kindness

“Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.” – The Twelfth Doctor, Twice Upon a Time (2017)

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Doctor Who quotes - The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee

On bravery

“Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks (1973)

Can’t get enough Doctor Who? You can catch all 26 seasons of the classic series on BritBox Canada now.

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