30+ quotes from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams

Quotes from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide

Douglas Adams ·  815 pages

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“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said Marvin.
"And what happened?" pressed Ford.
"It committed suicide," said Marvin and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else becomes eerily easy.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“A fragrant breeze wandered up from the quiet sea, trailed along the beach, and drifted back to the sea again, wondering where to go next. On a mad impulse it went up to the beach again. It drifted back to sea.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“What is the point? We assume that every time we do anything we know what the consequences will be, i.e., more or less what we intend them to be. This is not only not always correct. It is wildly, crazily, stupidly, cross-eyed-blithering-insectly wrong!”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Why are people born? Why do they die? Why do they want to spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches?”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn't just jump over and have done with it.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“I'm a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“The available worlds looked pretty grim. They had little to offer him because he had little to offer them. He had been extremely chastened to realize that although he originally came from a world which had cars and computers and ballet and Armagnac, he didn't, by himself, know how any of it worked. He couldn't do it. Left to his own devices he couldn't build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Share and Enjoy' is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium-sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years.
The motto stands-- or rather stood-- in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the offices of many talented young Complaints executives-- now deceased.
The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig," and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. [...]

"But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying on ship's peanut." [...]

"So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and...er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Imagine" he said, "never even thinking, 'We are alone,' simply because it has never occurred to you to think that there's any other way to be.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“If there's any real truth, it's that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“For as long as he could remember, he’d suffered from a vague nagging feeling of being not all there.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“You come to me for advice, but you can't cope with anything you don't recognize. Hmmm. So we'll have to tell you something you already know but make it sound like news, eh Well, business as usual , I suppose.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“You know,” said Arthur thoughtfully, “all this explains a lot of things. All through my life I’ve had this strange unaccountable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was.” “No,” said the old man, “that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“One day old Thrashbarg said that Almighty Bob had declared that he, Thrashbarg, was to have first pick of the sandwiches. The villagers asked him when this had happened, exactly, and Thrashbarg said it had happened yesterday, when they weren't looking. 'Have faith,' Old Thrashbarg said, 'or burn!'

They let him have first pick of the sandwiches. It seemed easiest.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.
-Marvin”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“It's the story of my life. You see, the quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead. Now, as you look through this document you'll see that I've underlined all the major decisions I ever made to make the stand out. They're all indexed and cross-referenced. See? All I can suggest is that if you take decisions that are exactly opposite to the sort of decisions that I've taken, then maybe you won't finish up at the end of your life" --she paused, and filled her lungs for a good should--"in a smelly old cave like this!”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“I don't know what this great thing I'm meant to be doing is, and it looks to me as if I was supposed not to know. And I resent that, right?

"The old me knew. The old me cared. Fine, so far so good. Except that the old me cared so much that he actually got inside his own brain--my own brain--and locked off the bits that knew and cared, because if I knew and cared I wouldn't be able to do it. [...]

"But this former self of mine killed himself off, didn't he, by changing my brain? Okay, that was his choice. This new me has its own choices to make, and by a strange coincidence those choices involve not knowing and not caring about this big number, whatever it is. That's what he wanted, that's what he got.

"Except this old self of mine tired to leave himself in control, leaving orders for me in the bit of my brain he locked off. Well, I don't want to know, and I don't want to hear them. That's my choice. I'm not going to be anybody's puppet, particularly not my own. [...]

"The old me is dead! [...] Killed himself! The dead shouldn't hang about trying t0 interfere with the living.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“They were a double pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, which had been specifically designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“The Universe is an unsettlingly big place, a fact which for the sake of a quiet life most people tend to ignore. Many would happily move to somewhere rather smaller of their own devising, and this is what most beings in fact do.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Many men of course became extremely rich, but this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of because no one was really poor – at least no one worth speaking of.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“Nobody likes a whistler, particularly not the divinity that shapes our ends.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“There was one planet off in the seventh dimension that got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


“The Saab seethed off into the night. Arthur watched it go, as stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for five years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been wearing too large a hat.”
― Douglas Adams, quote from The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide


About the author

Douglas Adams
Born place: in Cambridge, England, The United Kingdom
Born date March 11, 1952
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