The Best (Modern-Era) Doctor Who Quotes

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Last Updated on February 14, 2021 by Stefanie Hutson

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Doctor Who follows an alien who travels across space and time, often with human companions. One day, The Doctor took a TARDIS (a time machine + space ship combo) and flew away to travel the universe, often taking human companions along, too. The Doctor is a Time Lord from another planet called Gallifrey. Rather than dying, Time Lords regenerate. This allows for many actors to play the role of The Doctor and for the show to continue for decades.

The title comes from the common exchange, “Hello, I'm The Doctor!” to which one replies, “Doctor Who?” No one knows The Doctor's name or if they even have one. The Doctor is enigmatic, eccentric, and often heroic.


Doctor Who first began in 1963 and aired until 1989. Apart from the American-produced film released in 1996, the show remained on hiatus until 2005. Now, many fans differentiate these as “Classic Who” and “New Who” (or “The Reboot,” “Modern Who,” and “Revived Era”). 

Where do you start? While it's very possible to start at the beginning in 1963, many fans recommend starting with Season 1, Episode 1 of the 2005 show. This 2005 continuation begins with the 9th incarnation of The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) with Russell T. Davies as the showrunner and primary writer. It gave new life to the series and helped it live on as a sci-fi phenomenon.

Currently, the 2005 series is streaming exclusively on HBO Max in the U.S., but you can own seasons and single episodes digitally on Amazon or get the DVDs; sets are sold as single seasons or as sets for each doctor. *The digital seasons are often sold separately from the digital Christmas/New Year's Specials, so I recommend using Wikipedia or IMDb as an episode guide if you are watching them in order. 

See also: 12 Fun Doctor Who T-Shirts

The Best Doctor Who Quotes

The following is a collection of some of the best quotes from Doctor Who, focusing on the revived series beginning in 2005. The Doctor's unique way of looking at the universe creates the perfect opportunity for dynamic lines that are often reflective, funny, and poignant.


The Ninth Doctor – Christopher Eccleston

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“This is who I am, right here, right now. All right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”
The Ninth Doctor, The End of the World

“Always take a banana to a party, Rose: bananas are good!”
— The Ninth Doctor, Aliens of London

“If I was gonna execute someone by backing them against a wall, a little word of advice… Don't stand them against the lift!”
— The Ninth Doctor, World War Three

“I saw the fall of Troy! World War Five! I pushed boxes at the Boston Tea Party! Now I'm gonna die in a dungeon…in Cardiff!”
— The Ninth Doctor, The Unquiet Dead

“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. Or is that just me? Stop asking questions; go and do it!”
– The Ninth Doctor, The Long Game

Daleks: “Do not interrupt! Do not interrupt! Do not interrupt!”
Doctor: “I think you're forgetting something. I'm the Doctor and if there's one thing I can do, it's talk. I've got five billion languages and you haven't got one way of stopping me. So if anybody's gonna shut up, it's you!”
– Daleks & The Ninth Doctor, The Parting of the Ways

“Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”
– The Ninth Doctor, The Parting of the Ways


The Tenth Doctor – David Tennant

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“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

“Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark. But they’re wrong. ‘Cause it’s not irrational.”
– The Tenth Doctor, Silence in the Library

The Doctor: “Bit of a hermit.”
Professor Yana: “A hermit? With friends”
The Doctor: “Hermits United. We meet up every 10 years, swap stories about caves. It’s good fun… for a hermit.”
– The Tenth Doctor, Utopia

“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!”
— The Tenth Doctor, Tooth and Claw

“I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Doomsday

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Blink

“Tracked you down with this. This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there’s stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I’ve learned to stay away from hens. It’s not pretty when they blow.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Blink


The Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith

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“The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Pandorica Opens

“I’ll be a story in your head. That’s okay. We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? ‘Cause it was, you know. It was the best. The daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away. Did I ever tell you that I stole it? Well, I borrowed it. I was always going to take it back.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang

“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”
The Eleventh Doctor, A Christmas Carol

“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
The Eleventh Doctor, The Hungry People

“This is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”
The Eleventh Doctor, The Power of Three

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things, or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and The Doctor

“I'm the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. I stole a time machine and ran away, and I've been flouting the principle law of my own people ever since.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor


The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi 

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“There’s a horror movie called Alien? That’s really offensive… No wonder everyone keeps invading you!”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, Last Christmas

“Gioffre Borgia – mucho scary hombre – says to me: ‘What do you think of our Leaning Tower of Pisa?’ I say, *The Doctor Leans Sideways* ‘Looks okay to me!'”  – The Twelfth Doctor, Time Heist

“Stars implode, planets grow cold, catastrophe is the metabolism of the universe. I can fight monsters; I can't fight physics.”
– The Twelfth Doctor, In the Forest of the Night

“I'm not sure if any of that matters. Friends. Enemies. So long as there is mercy. Always mercy.”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, The Witch’s Familiar

“Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make any difference?”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, Dark Water

“Hardly anything is evil. But most things are hungry. Hunger looks very like evil from the wrong end of the cutlery. Or do you think that your bacon sandwich loves you back?”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, The Pilot

“Human progress isn't measured by industry. It's measured by the value you place on a life. An unimportant life. A life without privilege. The boy who died on the river, that boy's value is your value. That's what defines an age. That's what defines a species.”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, Thin Ice

“Never trust a hug. It’s just a way to hide your face.”
 – The Twelfth Doctor, Death in Heaven


The Thirteenth Doctor – Jodie Whittaker

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“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

“Right now, I’m a stranger to myself. There’s echoes of who I was and a sort of call towards who I am. And I have to hold my nerve and trust all these new instincts. Shape myself towards them. I'll be fine. In the end. Hopefully. Well, I have to be… because you guys need help and if there one thing I'm certain of, when people need help, I never refuse.”
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Woman Who Fell to Earth

“I carry them with me. What they would have thought and said and done. Make them a part of who I am. So even though they’re gone from the world, they’re never gone from me.”
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Woman Who Fell to Earth

“Whole worlds pivot on acts of imagination.”
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Tsuranga Conundrum

“Love, in all its form, is the most powerful weapon we have. Because love is a form and like hope, love abides in the face of everything.”
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Demons of the Punjab

“I know because we’re all the same. We want certainty. Security. To believe that people are evil or heroic. But that’s not how people are. You want to know the secrets of existence? Start with the mysteries of the heart.”
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Witchfinders 

“None of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Keep your faith. Travel hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.” 
– The Thirteenth Doctor, The Timeless Children


A Few Classic Doctor Who Quotes

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

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

“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 

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

“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

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


What Is Your Favourite Doctor Who Quote? 

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The Best Doctor Who Quotes from the Modern Era


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