“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

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.


“We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

From: Cosmos: A Personal Journey

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Carl Sagan

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the 1980 13-part documentary series, Cosmos: A Personal Journey. The show was hosted by astronomer and scientist Carl Sagan. In the show, Carl Sagan teaches the viewers about numerous scientific lessons, such as the theory of evolution, how time slows down when someone moves close to the speed of light as well as the origins of the universe, all while using his “spaceship of the imagination.” The show was incredibly popular when PBS aired it in 1980 and it is still currently the most viewed PBS television program today.

The quote comes from the very first episode of the show, The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean. In his opening monologue, Carl Sagan talks about the cosmos and all of the mysteries it holds and that mankind is desperately trying to understand the inner workings of the universe while trying to understand ourselves at the same time. It is during this monologue when he delivers the quote, as he tells us that we long to explore and return to the cosmos.

Geek wisdom:  We are all connected. We may not really feel that connection but we are in some way. Whatever we do affects all of us in the future, even in minute ways. But there are times when we do things that cause harm to ourselves because we do not truly understand what we are. It is better to not pretend we know everything and keep plodding ignorantly along. Rather, it would be in all our best interests to learn what we can from each other so we can determine what actions will benefit all of us.

“The only person you’re truly competing against, Wesley, is yourself.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Captain of the NCC-1701-D, AKA the Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Unlike his predecessor, who had a habit of charging in full force into trouble, Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is a more calm and strategic thinking, preferring to take a more logical and level-headed manner to resolve issues.

The quote comes from the closing moments of the Season 1 episode entitled “Coming of Age.” One of the stories in the episode deals with Wesley Crusher taking the entrance exam for Starfleet Academy. He does not get in but not for lack of trying. Wesley is disappointed with himself and apologizes to Picard for letting him and the entire crew of the Enterprise down. Picard tries to comfort the boy by asking him if he tried his best. This is when he delivers the quote to encourage him.

Geek wisdom:  People tend to take too much stock in how people think of them or how they stack up against each other. We try to compare ourselves with others and then ask ourselves how to outdo what they did. In actuality, the best way to do better in life tomorrow is to try to outdo what we are today.

“It’s not our fault. No one designed us. We’re just an accident, Harold. We’re just bad code.”

From: Person of Interest

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Root/Samantha Groves

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the show, Person of Interest. The show ran from 2011 to 2016. Person of Interest was about how a brilliant entrepreneur named Harold Finch (played by Michael Emerson) develops a machine that is able to predict terrorist threats by surveilling communications chatter. However, after giving The Machine to the government, Finch programs in a “backdoor” as The Machine also can predict murders but the government won’t stop them as they are considered “irrelevant.” Finch then recruits former Special Forces soldier John Reese (played by Jim Caviezel) and some other people to prevent these murders.

The quote actually comes from a former foe of the group, Root/Samatha Groves (played by Amy Acker). She encounters Harold and expresses her admiration for The Machine as it is “perfect” and far better than humans because humanity is ultimately flawed…

Geek wisdom: No matter how you cut it, people are flawed being. We’re prone to do bad and stupid things. However, unlike machines, we have the ability to go against our “bad code” and learn from our mistakes. We can evolve and go beyond what we originally are and become better versions of ourselves.

“It’s coming right for us!”

From: South Park

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Uncle Jimbo

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the incredibly successful Comedy Central cartoon, South Park. The show is usually focuses on four children, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick and Eric Cartman, and their adventures in the town of South Park. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show usually focuses on topical topics and parodies them in some (absurd) way.

This week’s quote comes from Stan’s Uncle Jimbo. As an avid hunter, he is displeased that there are laws that protect certain endangered wildlife. However, he has found a loophole regarding the law as it is permitted to shoot anything as long as you’re about to be attacked by any creature. As such, he says the quote before each time he shoots and kills something.

Geek wisdom: There will always be bad people who will try to find ways to skirt the rules or common decency as long as it will suit their purposes. They will search for excuses to get away with bad behavior or justify what they do. It may be difficult but we have to stand our moral ground, even when times are tough.

“He learned to play it safe. And he never, ever got noticed by anyone.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Q

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. A worthy successor to the franchise, The Next Generation introduced a new cast of characters taking control of a new USS Enterprise as they boldly go where no man has gone before.

This week’s quote comes from the 6th season episode, Tapestry. In the episode, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is shot in his artificial heart. Ironically, if he has his normal heart, he wouldn’t be dying. The god-like being Q (played by John de Lancie) gives him an opportunity to return to that bar fight that made him lose his original heart in the first place. Picard does so but, when he is returned to his original time, he is no longer the Captain of the USS Enterprise, but a simple junior officer. He confronts Q about his current situation and Q explains that, because he never had that brush with death in the bar, Picard never took the risks that made him a daring captain in the first place.

Geek wisdom:  It seems easy to take no chances. While you may leave a comfortable life by doing this, the only way to really get ahead is to seize opportunities when you can and take risks. It may seem difficult but the most successful people in life have taken the more perilous route to get where they are. The gamble may be risky but the payout is high.

“Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

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 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 first season episode “Rixty Minutes.” As Morty’s sister, Summer Smith, packs to run away as she has figured out that she was technically a “mistake” by her parents. Morty tries to dissuade her from leaving by telling her a big secret: he isn’t her actual brother. He’s actually a Morty from another multiverse and Rick and Morty destroyed their own planet by accident and, as that universe’s Rick and Morty died in an accident, they just took their places. This is when Morty delivers the quote.

Geek wisdom: Life can be painful and this is why we all crave to have meaning in our lives. We want to not feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things and we want our lives to have been for something. However, we don’t really think if the universe and life, for that matter, is supposed to be meaning. We crave to have significance to a universe that, ultimately, doesn’t really care if we exist or not. The mere fact that we’re alive is supposed to give meaning to our existence because of the mere fact that we are here now. We want to make the most of our lives but maybe the best way to do that is to just live life.

“After a time, you may find that ‘having’ is not so pleasing a thing after all as ‘wanting.’ It is not logical, but it is often true.”

From: Star Trek

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: James Kirk

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the original Star Trek television series. The television that launched a multi-billion dollar franchise and one that has endured for decades. With the latest television show, Star Trek: Discover, set for release tomorrow, I think it would be a good idea to give a quote from the show that started it all.

The quote comes from the episode Amok Time, frequently mentioned to be one of the best episodes of the series. In the episode, Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) desperately needs to return to Vulcan to complete the right to pon farr, which is essentially the Vulcan mating ritual. However, when he does return to the planet, Spock finds out that his future wife has fallen in love with another man. She enacts the right of koon-ut-kal-if-fee, wherein she picks Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) as her champion. At the end of the episode, Spock renounces her claim on his supposed bride-to-be and delivers the quote to the man she fell in love with.

Geek wisdom: There’s an old adage that goes “Be careful what you wish for. You may receive it.” There are times when you want something so badly that it’s all you can think about. But, once you do get that thing you crave for, you may find out that it’s not all that’s it’s cracked up to be. By then, it’s too late and you may have spend all that effort trying to get something that you actually didn’t want or need in the first place.

“Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!”

From: Rick and Morty

Genre: Television, Cartoons

Who said it?: Rick Sanchez

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty, which is aired during their late night programming schedule called Adult Swim. The show was created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland and follows the sci-fi misadventures of the nihilistic and cynical drunkard Rick Sanchez and his rather paranoid and nervous grandson Morty Smith (both voiced by Justin Roiland). The show has become a huge hit due to its dark humor and creativity.

The quote first came at the end of the episode entitled Meeseeks and Destroy. Rick proclaimed it to be his catchphrase and used it sporadically throughout the first season.

While the entire family, including Morty, thought it was just a nonsense string of words Rick strung together, it was revealed otherwise during the final episode of the first season, Ricksy Business. During the closing moments of the episode, one of Rick’s friends, Bird Person, informs Morty that the phrase does have a sadder meaning in his language…

Fun fact: if you search for the exact quote in Google, it will actually translate the phrase for you from Bird Person’s language.

Geek wisdom: There may people around you that are feeling great pain and you may not even know it. It could be they are too proud to admit that they need help or they might feel that even their loved ones will not understand why they feel that way. If we do feel that someone close to you isn’t feeling well, either physically and mentally, the best thing you can do is, at least, acknowledge that they feel that way and not dismiss it. Better yet, be there for them when they do need you.

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

From: Saturday Night Live

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Stuart Smalley

The story behind the quote: We’ve never really published a quote from Saturday Night Live, a show that has a wealth of quotes just rife with Geek Wisdom. Well, that’s all about to change starting now.

This week’s quote comes from one of Saturday Night Live’s cavalcade of characters, Stuart Smalley (who was usually played by Al Franken). Even though Stuart Smalley isn’t a licensed therapist but he does have a lot of experiences with various 12-step programs. Despite this, he does have his own self-help television program called Daily Affirmations. Whenever he starts the show, he would go look at the mirror and deliver the quote to himself.

Geek wisdom: The only one who needs to believe in you is yourself. People will even try to bring you down and say that you’re not good enough for this and that. But you actually don’t need their consent to do or be what you want to be in life. All you have to do is believe that you can do it; what they think is ultimately irrelevant.