88 Profound John Green Quotes That Will Inspire You

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

-John Green

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

-John Green

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

-John Green

“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

-John Green

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

-John Green

“Saying ‘I notice you’re a nerd’ is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?’ In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even ‘lame’ is kind of lame. Saying ‘You’re lame’ is like saying ‘You walk with a limp.’ Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he’s done all right for himself.”

-John Green

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

-John Green

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

-John Green

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

-John Green

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

-John Green

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

-John Green

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

-John Green

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

-John Green

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

-John Green

“Thomas Edison’s last words were “It’s very beautiful over there“. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

-John Green

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

-John Green

“Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them,” I said.

“Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.”

-John Green

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

-John Green

“You can love someone so much…But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”

-John Green

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”

-John Green

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

-John Green

“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”

-John Green

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

-John Green

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

-John Green

“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”

-John Green

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

-John Green

“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”

-John Green

“May I see you again?” he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.

I smiled. “Sure.”

“Tomorrow?” he asked.

“Patience, grasshopper,” I counseled. “You don’t want to seem overeager.

“Right, that’s why I said tomorrow,” he said. “I want to see you again tonight. But I’m willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow.” I rolled my eyes. “I’m serious,” he said.

“You don’t even know me,” I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. “How about I call you when I finish this?”

“But you don’t even have my phone number,” he said.

“I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book.”

He broke out into that goofy smile. “And you say we don’t know each other.”

-John Green

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

-John Green

“Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should’ve gotten more.’
‘Seventeen,’ Gus corrected.
‘I’m assuming you’ve got some time, you interupting bastard.
‘I’m telling you,’ Isaac continued, ‘Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness.
‘But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.’
I was kind of crying by then.”

-John Green

“Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”

-John Green

“What the hell is that?” I laughed.
“It’s my fox hat.”
“Your fox hat?”
“Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat.”
“Why are you wearing your fox hat?” I asked.
“Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.”

-John Green

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

-John Green

“I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”

-John Green

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”

-John Green

“They love their hair because they’re not smart enough to love something more interesting.”

-John Green

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

-John Green

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

-John Green

“What is an “instant” death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”

-John Green

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

-John Green

“It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”

-John Green

“Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always”

-John Green

“I may die young, but at least I’ll die smart.”

-John Green

“It always shocked me when I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things.”

-John Green

“If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”

-John Green

“Some people have lives; some people have music.”

-John Green

“What you must understand about me is that I’m a deeply unhappy person.”

-John Green

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”

-John Green

“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence”

-John Green

“Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”

-John Green

“You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you. All efforts to save me from you will fail.”

-John Green

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

-John Green

“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

-John Green

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

-John Green

“Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence”

-John Green

“It’s not because I want to make out with her.”
Hold on.” He grabbed a pencil and scrawled excitedly at the paper as if he’d just made a mathematical breakthrough and then looked back up at me. “I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit”

-John Green

“At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid, and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved.”

-John Green

“You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”

-John Green

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal”

-John Green

“It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.’
‘Right, it’s primarily his hotness,’ I said.
‘It can be sort of blinding,’ he said.
‘It actually did blind our friend Isaac,’ I said.
‘Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?’
‘You cannot.’
‘It is my burden, this beautiful face.’
‘Not to mention your body.’
‘Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,’ he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.”

-John Green

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.”

-John Green

“Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future–you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”

-John Green

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

-John Green

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.”

-John Green

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”

-John Green

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

-John Green

“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying.”

-John Green

“He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”

-John Green

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”

-John Green

“Have you really read all those books in your room?”

Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”

-John Green

“You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot. ”

-John Green

“Headline?” he asked.
“‘Swing Set Needs Home,'” I said.
“‘Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home,'” he said.
“‘Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,'” I said.”

-John Green

“Gus: “It tastes like…”
Me: “Food.”
Gus: “Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately…?”
Me: “It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down around your canal-side dinner table.”
Gus: “Nicely phrased.”
Gus’s father: “Our children are weird.”
My dad: “Nicely phrased.”

-John Green

“And then something invisible snapped insider her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.”

-John Green

“Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.”

-John Green

“I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.”

-John Green

“But I believe in true love, you know? I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.”

-John Green

“When you go into the ER, one of the first things they ask you to do is rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, and from there they decide which drugs to use and how quickly to use them. I’d been asked this question hundreds of times over the years, and I remember once early on when I couldn’t get my breath and it felt like my chest was on fire, flames licking the inside of my ribs fighting for a way to burn out of my body, my parents took me to the ER. nurse asked me about the pain, and I couldn’t even speak, so I held up nine fingers.

Later, after they’d given me something, the nurse came in and she was kind of stroking my head while she took my blood pressure and said, “You know how I know you’re a fighter? You called a ten a nine.”

But that wasn’t quite right. I called it a nine because I was saving my ten. And here it was, the great and terrible ten, slamming me again and again as I lay still and alone in my bed staring at the ceiling, the waves tossing me against the rocks then pulling me back out to sea so they could launch me again into the jagged face of the cliff, leaving me floating faceup on the water, undrowned.”

-John Green

“Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war”

-John Green

“It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”

-John Green

“When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost – the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”

-John Green

“I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.”

-John Green

“What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.”

-John Green

“I figured something out. The future is unpredictable.”

-John Green

“Here’s what’s not beautiful about it: from here, you can’t see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”

-John Green

“I just did some calculations and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit.”

-John Green

“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, “I want to go too! I want to go too!” And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: “We are all going.”

-John Green

“That didn’t happen, of course. Things never happened the way I imagined them.”

-John Green

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