From: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Genre: Television and Cartoons
Who said it?: General Iroh
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Avatar: The Last Airbender, a cartoon series that aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. The story follows the adventures of AAng, the titular “last airbender,” to learn how to control, or “bend,” the four primal elements of air, water, earth and fire in order to become the Avatar.
The quote comes from the episode “Bitter Work.” General Iroh (voiced by Makoto “Mako” Iwamatsu), the uncle of Prince Zuko, who comes from the Fire Nation. Iroh decides to teach his nephew the art of lightning bending. Zuko is unable to learn it and gets frustrated. Iroh explains that his shame at himself is causing the anger that is stopping him from creating lightning. Zuko rebutts that he is actually still very proud. This is when Iroh delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Being too proud of oneself leads to overconfidence and can lead you to make disastrous errors. But being too prideful can also lead to not learning from those mistakes. Learn to own up to your mistakes and remember that you’re not perfect.
From: Death Note
Genre: Cartoons, Television, Anime
Who said it?: Light Yagami
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the highly celebrated anime Death Note. The anime follows Light Yagami who discovered the Death Note, a notebook that has the power to kill anyone if you write that person’s name in it. The anime turns into a battle of wits between Light Yagami (who uses the name Kira as a serial murderer) and L, the detective assigned to finding how all these people are being murdered.
The quote comes in Episode 8 of the anime. Light discovered that L ordered that hidden cameras be placed all over his house. He orders the demon Ryuk to search for all the camera. Finding no blind spots, Light still manages to find a way to continue to write in the Death Note by writing the names with one hand while doing innocuous things like studying or… eating a potato chip.
Geek wisdom: It may be a good idea to never take things at face value. Just because something looks harmless, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something sinister hidden beneath the action. Just like Light/Kira eating a potato chip may seem like nothing, it’s actually a way to distract to what he’s actually doing.
From: Rick and Morty
Genre: Television, Cartoons
Who said it?: Morty Smith
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes the absurdist comedy sci-fi animated show, Rick and Morty on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez, the smartest person(s) in the multi-verse and his grandson and hapless companion, Morty Smith.
The quote comes from the second season episode “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate.” While there is a story where Jerry Smith is brought to an intergalactic hospital, it’s mainly an excuse for Rick to watch some disconnected bits on his Interdimensional Cable box (and mostly for Justin Roiland to do some improv). One of the bits is a “How It’s Made” episode where it’s shown how a Plumbus is assembled. After the episode ends, Rick delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Even a man as intelligent and as learned as Rick Sanchez doesn’t know everything. He does realize that, even if he is the smartest man in the multi-verse, he can still learn new things. We are also the same way; we can always be open to learning something new each and every chance we get.
From: Spongebob Squarepants
Who said it?: Spongebob Squarepants
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the hit Nickelodeon cartoon, Spongebob Squarepants. As the theme song tells you, Spongebob Squarepants live in a pineapple under the sea. But even though he lives by himself (with his pet snail, Gary) and does a lot of adult stuff, he still has a childlike innocence inside him as the quote will attest.
The quote comes from the episode entitled, Idiot Box. Spongebob and his close friend Patrick Starr order a large television. However, they throw out the TV and keep the box instead. When their stuck up neighbor goes to ask the two why they’re just keeping the box, Spongebob states they don’t need the television before gesturing with his hands, making a rainbow appear, and delivering the quote.
Oh, and just in case Nickelodeon takes down the clip, here’s a moving image of the quote in question…
Geek wisdom: Yes, imagination can indeed lead to beautiful things and it seems to be that a lot of people are losing their ability to envision new things and instead just focus on the harsh reality of life. But imagination is important as this is how we come up with new innovations and ideas.
Don’t look down on your imagination. You never know if using it will lead you to envision better things in life.
From: Lightning McQueen
Genre: Movies, Cartoons
Who said it?: Cars
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Disney/Pixar film from 2006, Cars. This was a huge hit for the company and launched a franchise.
The quote comes near the end of the movie. Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is about to win the Piston Cup, which was his long-time dream. One of his rivals, Chick Hicks is about to take third place, coming behind McQueen and veteran racer Strip “The King” Weathers. Not wanting to lose, Hicks rams into Weathers, causing the grizzled veteran to crash. McQueen, just a few lengths from the finish line, sees the crash and remembers Doc Hudson (voiced by the late Paul Newman), who he befriended during his stay at Radiator Springs. Not wanting Weathers’ career to end as tragically as Doc’s, stops and goes to help Weathers.
Weathers questions McQueen’s decision as he was about to win the Piston Cup. Recalling Doc’s disdain for the Cups he’d won, McQueen delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: We live in a world where we crave material things as well as fame and glory. In the grand scheme of things, these are just superficial wants and there is more to life than just those goals. Life is much bigger than that but the problem is we can be clouded into thinking that those are the only reason to life as those are just fleeting. Try to get more meaningful goals in life and you’ll end up feeling more fulfilled in the long run.
From: Winnie the Pooh (specifically, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin)
Genre: Movies, Cartoons
Who said it?: Christopher Robin
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the Disney direct-to-video movie, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin. The plot has Winnie the Pooh and his friends go on an adventure to find Christopher Robin, who they have determined to have been captured by the so-called Skullasaurus.
The quote comes early in the movie. Christopher Robin tries to have a heart-to-heart talk with Winnie the Pooh as he is going to be gone for a while. Pooh just can’t understand and tells Christopher Robin that he’s helpless without him. This is when Christopher Robin delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: When we feel down on our luck, we can feel helpless. But you’re only helpless until you really try to help yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with asking for the help from others, we should also try to rely on ourselves as well.
From: The Simpsons
Genre: Cartoons, Television
Who said it?: Bart Simpson
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from one of the episodes of The Simpsons. As one of the longest running shows ever (and since I’ve already used a lot of Simpsons quotes in the past), this show needs no introduction anymore.
The quote comes from 4th season episode entitled “The Front.” The episode has siblings Bart and Lisa Simpson, dissatisfied by the quality of the new Itchy and Scratchy episodes, decide to write their own story and submit it. Inspired by seeing Homer accidentally cut off most of Marge’s hair, they write “Little Barbershop of Horrors.” When deciding on who’s name to put on the script first, Lisa suggests that they play a game of rock-paper-scissors. However, the game is rigged against Bart as he has the tendency of only using rock.
Geek wisdom: We can get too settled in our ways and just do things because we’ve gotten so used to our daily and repetitive lives. We can get too set in our ways and think our way of doing things is the best. This is actually a bad thing as we can never better ourselves this way. We sometimes have to be adventurous and try new things as that’s the only real way to gain new experiences and actually see if there is something better out there for us.
From: The Incredibles 2
Genre: Movies, Cartoons
Who said it?: Edna Mode
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from The Incredibles 2, Disney and Pixar second film in the franchise. The film takes place a few weeks after the first Incredibles film. But this time, it’s Elastigirl doing the superheroing while Mr. Incredible stays home to take care of the household duties.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. Thanks to Jack-Jack’s plethora of emerging powers, Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) goes to Edna Mode (once again voiced by Brad Bird, who also wrote and directed the film) for assistance as he has become incredible tired dealing with Jack-Jack. Mr. Incredible tells Edna the woes he’s experienced since becoming head of the household. This is when Edna Mode turns to Mr. Incredible and delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Being a parent can be a thankless job but it’s actually one of the most noble jobs out there as you are taking care of someone. However, it’s only noble if you really pour some time and effort into it. You can’t just half-ass the job of raising children.
From: Dexter’s Laboratory
Who said it?: Action Hank
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Cartoon Network original animated series, Dexter’s Laboratory. Dexter is a genius eccentric who loves building all sorts of fanciful inventions but his big sister DeeDee, always manages to wreck them. Even if he is incredibly smart, Dexter is still a kid and is still prone to do the things normal children do like watch cartoons and action shows.
Action Hank is an action hero on television in the world of Dexter’s Laboratory and is one of Dexter’s favorite shows. In the episode Beard to be Feared, Dexter decides to to grow a super rugged/strong beard just like Action Hank using his scientific skills and he does eventually team up with his hero. Just as a villain is about to use his beard to stab Action Hank, Dexter deflects it with his own synthetic beard. Action Hank thanks Dexter for saving him but Dexter sheepishly admits that his beard isn’t natural like Action Hank’s. This is when Action Hank delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: We do live in a superficial world where we concern ourselves with outward appearances. It’s become so easy to give snap judgements on our first impressions with people without trying to dig deeper. We won’t really know a person well until we do so and, honestly, that’s what matters.
From: The Simpsons
Genre: Cartoons, Television
Who said it?: Homer Simpsons
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the longest running animated series in the United States, The Simpsons. The show has been on for 29 straight seasons and counting and is a general smorgasbord for quotes.
The quote comes from the 18th episode of the 5th season, Burns’ Heir. In the episode, Mr. Burns has a near death experience and decides to hold an audition for all the kids in Springfield to become his heir. The Simpsons has their kids, Lisa and Bart Simpson try out but they fail to pass the audition. The kids are heartbroken and Marge asks Homer Simpson to cheer his kids up. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do a good job…
Geek wisdom: Homer Simpsons’ reaction is probably one we’re all familiar with. We try something once and, when we initially fail at whatever it is, we give up. This isn’t the way to get better at anything. If anything, this is a call for us to pick ourselves up and try again to get better at whatever it is.
Oh, and because of this “pep talk,” Bart Simpson pulls a prank at Mr. Burns house, which does get him signed as the heir apparent.