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: The Good Place
Who said it?: Eleanor Shellstrop
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the NBC comedy series, The Good Place. The show focuses on four humans who have died and are now supposedly spending eternity in The Good Place. One of the people, Eleanor Shellstrop, apparently isn’t supposed to be there as she was a bad person while she was alive. The first season then focuses on her journey to be a person worthy of being in The Good Place in order to avoid being sent to The Bad Place.
Before you read on, I will have to mention that there are going to be MAJOR SPOILERS for the show. Even though The Good Place has been on for quite a while, the quote does involve a major twist so the SPOILER WARNING is up.
At the end of the first season, the four humans, including Eleanor (played by Kristen Bell), have to send two of them to the Bad Place. As they argue as to whom will be chosen, Eleanor comes to a realization that they can’t be sent to the Bad Place as they are already in the Bad Place!
At the very end of the first season, the architect of the world, Michael (played by Ted Danson), resets everything, including the memories of Eleanor and the rest of the humans. However, even after doing that, Eleanor still manages to figure out that they are indeed in the Bad Place over and over again.
Geek wisdom: You may not realize where you are right now. You may think that you’re doing alright but then it might suddenly hit you that you’re in a bad place in your life. The first step to changing your life for the better is always going to be recognizing that you’re in a “bad place” before you can start changing things for the better.
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: Stephen King’s It, both the television miniseries and the 2017 film
Who said it?: Pennywise the Clown and Georgie
The story behind the quote: This week quote comes from Stephen King’s horror novel, It. The book was adapted a couple of times, once in a 1990 miniseries and a big blockbuster 2017 film. The quote appears in both version but said by different people… somewhat.
In the 1990 miniseries, the quote is said early on. When Georgie loses his paper boat in the sewer, Pennywise the Clown (played here by Tim Curry) shows Georgie the boat. The devilish clown entices the boy to get the boat and also informs the child that there are all sorts of things, such as balloons. When Georgie asks if they float, Pennywise grabs the boy and delivers the quote.
In the 2017 movie, the quote is said also during the early parts of the film. Georgie’s older brother, Bill, is mourning his brother’s death. One night, he hears a noise and follows it to the basement. Here, he sees Georgie. However, the boy is actually Pennywise (here played by Bill Skarsgard) and makes “Georgie” deliver the quote several times.
Geek wisdom: Just because something sounds cool, that doesn’t mean you have to ride the bandwagon. It may seem cool to “float” but it actually means something scary and frightening. Always think for yourself and not just go along with the crowd because it’s the current fad.
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: Star Trek
Who said it?: Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy… but most doctors in Star Trek
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Star Trek. Oddly enough, it comes from most of the Star Trek television shows. The quote is generally mostly associated to the first Enterprise doctor, Dr. Leonard “Bones’ McCoy. However, the same quote has been uttered by several other doctors, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Julian Bashir of Deep Space Nine and The Doctor, a holographic program on the USS Voyager.
The quote is still generally connected to Dr. Bones McCoy (who was played by DeForrest Kelley) from the original Star Trek series. It was his gruff means of expressing frustration when he was given tasks other than his role as Chief Medical Officer on the USS Enterprise.
This line has become a sort of catch phrase and, to pay homage to it, numerous doctors from within the Star Trek series has said some manner of the quote…
Geek wisdom: Although Bones and the other doctors in Star Trek have usually used this quote to express displeasure on taking on a different role, that doesn’t mean that they don’t do it. They may do so begrudgingly but they still do what is asked.
You should do the same. Never pigeonhole yourself in a specific role because you can do so much more.
From: Orange is the New Black
Who said it?: Poussey Washington
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. The show is based on the book of the same name and focuses on a women’s prison and the lives of its inmates.
The quote comes from the middle of the 4th season. Poussey Washington (played by Samira Wiley) develops feelings for new inmate Brook Soso (played by Kimiko Glenn). While Poussey is fine as she has been comfortable with her sexuality for a long time, Soso isn’t. Soso explains that’s she afraid of what will happen in the future. Poussey agrees that the future is uncertain but it’s not excuse to not try, which is when she delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: The future can be scary as we don’t know what it holds for us. This is why we may have so many dreams but are too afraid to try to do anything to achieve them. But not to try is admitting defeat even before you’ve started to do anything.
The point is to try your best, despite the possibility of failing. Because, who knows? Trying at something may help you achieve whatever your goal is.
Who said it?: Abet Nadir
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the geek cult comedy Community. Created by Dan Harmon, the show focuses on the Greendale Community College and a specific study group of six eccentric personalities. The show has become a geeky cult classic and fans may have gotten their six seasons… but we’re still screaming for six seasons and a movie.
The quote comes from one of Community’s most popular episodes, Remedial Chaos Theory. Best friends Abet Nadir (played by Danny Pudi) and Troy Barnes (played by Donald Glover) invite the study group over to their new apartment. When the pizza they order arrives, the sly Jeff Winger (played by Joel McHale) devises a system wherein he throws a dice to see who gets the pizza. This is when Abet, knowing that there are six sides to a die, delivers the quote.
By the way, this quote is repeated numerous times as the episode shows us what happens when each person is picked to get the pizza. Also, go watch this episode as this is one of the most brilliantly written episodes on TV ever.
Geek wisdom: Even when we think we’re in control of everything, we aren’t actually. This is because life is full of randomness that are beyond our control. This randomness can result in good, bad or nothing happening to us. That’s just how life is.
From: How I Met Your Mother
Who said it?: Ted Mosby
The story behind the quote: I have posted several quotes from the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother in the past. But, in a freak coincidence, all of these quotes have come from the breakout star, Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris). This week, I decided to post a quote from the main character of the show, Ted Mosby.
The quote comes from the episode “Something Old.” In this episode, Marshall and Lily are packing for their move to Italy but are unsure of what to pack. Ted (played by Josh Radnor) advises them to pack mostly bulky and useless stuff, including an old beanbag. The couple decide to throw it out instead but Ted insists that they keep it as it has a lot of sentimental value and he’s afraid that he’ll be forgotten when they move. Ted does realize it’s irrational and reluctantly decides to leave the bean bag. This is when Future Ted delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: It can be difficult to accept but the past is just that: the past. It’s already happened and time will move on, even if you’re still stuck in the past. You will have to let go eventually as time only moves forward.
From: That Mitchell and Webb Look
Who said it?: German SS Soldier
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the British sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look. The show features David Mitchell and Robert Webb and is based on their successful radio comedy show.
The quote comes from the very first episode in a sketch entitled Nazis. A SS encampment is bracing themselves from a Russian assault. However, one of the officers starts questioning his superior the reason why they have skull symbols on their caps. This is when he delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: We live in an are where we all think we are on the right side of history and have decided that anyone who opposes our worldview is automatically wrong and the enemy. We never even bother to listen to their argument with an open mind anymore. The problem is we never stop and think if the other side may have valid points or we may eventually think we’re wrong in the future.