Best 'Hitchhiker's Guide' Quotes NOT In The Movie

Ten years ago, cult nerds and anglophiles that would make any Sherlock fan jealous gathered to watch the big screen adaptation of Douglas Adams' science fiction novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On its 10th anniversary, I wonder what are the best quotes from The Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy not in the movie? Both the novel and film are about the demolition of Earth. I first read Douglas Adams' book in middle school, and the humor was unlike anything I had ever encountered. The series has gone on to inspire writers and innovators everywhere. Even the free online translator Babelfish has roots in the Guide.

Most of the best snarky retorts and insightful commentaries did make it into the screenplay adaptation. Therefore, many of these Adams quotes that I have pulled below are from the sequels — The Restaurant At the End of the Universe; Life, The Universe And Everything; So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish,and Mostly Harmless. I've also skipped all mentions of Douglas Adams' preoccupation with digital watches.

Grab your towel, and let's take a moment to celebrate some of the gems that the movie left out. Maybe I can tempt you to pick up the books for the first time, or delve into a re-read.

Theory of Everything

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Useful Insults

'Listen, three eyes,' he said, 'don’t you try to out-weird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.'
We'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.

A Prayer

Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.

Hip Slang

'Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is.' (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

Streets Ahead

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.


Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
Many respectable physicists said that they weren't going to stand for this – partly because it was a debasement of science, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sort of parties.
I don't want to die now!" he yelled. "I've still got a headache! I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it!

Brilliant Metaphors

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying 'And another thing…' twenty minutes after admitting he’s lost the argument.
They’ve got as much sex appeal as a road accident.

Old Jokes

'There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.'

Deep Reflections

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.

Sound Advice

Ford... you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.
If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves.

Wise Political Commentary

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

Think, this was before the invention of Super PACs!


One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.

More Reflections

Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity — distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless.
There was a terribly ghastly silence.There was a terribly ghastly noise.There was a terribly ghastly silence.
The mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.

How To Fly

There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

My friends and I may have taken it a bit too literally when we were younger. We used to "jokingly" test out this theory by nose-diving onto the grass in gym class. Middle School was a special time.

Images: Jose Sa/Flickr; Giphy