‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ turns 42: Celebrate with these iconic quotes
Don’t panic . . . but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy turns 42 this year. Forty-two. You know what that means, right? Actually, it could mean a number of things across a number of different planets, races, and realities. But on a basic level, it means we’re getting old, dear friends. Douglas Adams’s literary masterpiece is officially middle-aged.
Granted, we’re only talking about the first novel in a five-book trilogy (fans of the series understand). So it’s only The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that’s turning 42, not The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, or Life, the Universe and Everything, or So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, or Mostly Harmless. And no, we don’t acknowledge the existence of And Another Thing . . . around here.
Anyway, forty-two. Magic number. The answer. If you know, you know. And if you don’t know, you should read the books, because they’re hilarious & amazing. Let’s celebrate this very special birthday by pulling some of our favorite Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotes!
“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
You could argue The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an alternate Bible. Or an edgy spinoff, maybe.
“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”
This was written before social media was a thing, by the way.
“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”
Truer words have never been spoken (or written).
Up, up, and away!
“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.”
We’ve been practicing for decades and still haven’t gotten anywhere with this.
“The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm’s way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another.”
Douglas Adams was quite the environmentalist wordsmith.
The smartest mammal
“The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.”
The 2005 movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is far from perfect, but it opens with a delightful musical number depicting the dolphins’ farewell to Earth. Worth checking it out just for that! (Okay, and the perfect casting of Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent.)
“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.”
Anybody who lived through 2020 and is currently living through 2021 can probably relate.
No offense meant
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
It’s an oxymoron but it’s still true!
“Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements, sulking.”
This is why we have to tread veeeeeeeery carefully when it comes to artificial intelligence.
“There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.”
Douglas Adams was a really funny writer, but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is also full of beautiful turns of phrase amidst all the comedic stuff going on.
What are your favorite Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotes? Let us know in the comments!