Bojack Horseman quotes may not be the most intellectual or self-help-appropriate way to get your daily reality check, but the Netflix animated series resonated with audiences for exactly this reason.
Bojack, for all his inexcusable acts, makes a great source of wisdom for daily life because he’s so good at fucking up.
That might sound harsh especially if you really liked Bojack, but there are a lot of moments in the show where we’re reminded that we mostly see the show (his life) from his perspective. It’s the Bojack Horseman quotes that come from everyone else that inspire him to have breakthrough moments in self-realization.
And maybe they’ll be yours, too. So grab a beer and find an open sky to stare at because these Bojack Horseman quotes are going to get uncomfortably real.
1. Everybody, Bojack Wants to Get Real!
“And it doesn’t [come easy] for you? You’re a millionaire movie star with a girlfriend who loves you, acting in your dream movie. What more do you want? What else could the universe possibly owe you?“– Mr. Peanutbutter
In the season 2 episode “Let’s Find Out,” Bojack Horseman participates in Mr. Peanutbutter’s new game show where he quickly ends up having a confrontation with the usually laidback Mr. Peanutbutter.
After Bojack says something out of line, Mr. Peanutbutter decides to “get into things” and confronts him about kissing Diane while they were still married. Bojack later admits that he’s jealous of Mr. Peanutbutter because he thinks “everything comes easy” for Mr. Peanutbutter.
While Mr. Peanutbutter might sound dismissive, he does have a point. Bojack’s unhappiness comes from. His envy of Mr. Peanutbutter is unreasonable because, everything considered, he has everything to be happy about and grateful for.
It’s one of the Bojack Horseman quotes that point out Bojack’s lack of appreciation for the things that are in front of him and how this fuels his cycle of sabotaging himself.
2. You Can’t Keep Doing Shitty Things and Then Feel Bad About Yourself Like That Makes It Okay
“You can’t keep doing shitty things and then feel bad about yourself like that makes it okay. You need to be better…You are all the things that are wrong with you. It’s not the alcohol or the drugs or any of the shitty things that happened to you in your career or when you were a kid. It’s you.”– Todd
Earlier in the season 3 episode ‘It’s You‘, Bojack gets in a fight with Diane after he accuses her of “fetishizing her own sadness” which he is later forced to realize is exactly what he does.
Bojack has made his sadness, alcoholism, and woe is me attitude such an integral part of himself that he can’t separate himself from it. This is why, no matter how good he has it, he always finds a way to find something to be upset about or a reason to mess it all up.
After being abandoned by Diane, who outright tells him that he’ll die alone because his friends are sick of him, Todd confronts him the morning after about how he always screws up and then goes on a long self-pity fest about being a bad person.
Todd points out that Bojack always finds a way to blame his problems on something whether it be his alcoholism or his traumatic past. Sure, they explain why he’s like that, but they aren’t an excuse for Bojack to not learn from his past mistakes and grow past them.
3. It Gets Easier
“It gets easier. Every day, it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day. That’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”– Jogging Baboon
Bojack Horseman quotes are pretty heavy and depressing since most of the show is either Bojack being sad or his friends being sad. That said, this one is among the few Bojack Horseman quotes that are actually pretty motivating.
There’s a scene where Bojack runs up a hill before collapsing on the grass because he’s physically out of shape. While he lies there, a baboon jogger approaches him and tells him that it gets easier as long as he does it every day.
If you want to take it literally, the baboon is talking about jogging. But we get the sense that he could be referring to Bojack’s addictions and his talent for making himself happy. He’s not just talking about jogging.
It’s about getting into the habit of happiness and learning to actively look for ways to make ourselves happy.
This could mean making better choices like having a better daily routine that’s conducive to good mental health and actively choosing to stay on that path every day until it starts to feel like second nature.
4. The View From Halfway Down
“I really should’ve thought about the view from halfway down.“– Secretariat, The View From Halfway Down
The View From Halfway Down is a poem from an episode of the same name written for BoJack Horseman. It doesn’t always make it to Bojack Horseman quotes list simply because of how long it is, but it’s lowkey one of the most loaded and most philosophical snippets of text from the show.
There’s the obvious reading, of course, that Bojack and Secretariat are at a similar place in their lives when the poem is read while Secretariat jumps off a bridge. Bojack has always looked up to Secretariat and identified with him.
In a way, he wants to be Secretariat. But Secretariat is another flawed person too and in the end, he decides that suicide is the answer for him.
Bojack wants to die to commit suicide too, but like Secretariat, he comes to the realization that the more real suicide becomes, the more it becomes clear that suicide wasn’t what he wants. He wants life to mean something, for it to have some kind of purpose.
“In a man’s attachment to life there is something stronger than all the ills in the world. The body’s judgment is as good as the mind’s, and the body shrinks from annihilation.“– The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus
French philosopher Albert Camus contemplates the same ideas in the episode regarding suicide in his The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays which you can read get here.
5. Boulders up a Hill
“I have to push a boulder up a hill and then have it roll over me time and time again with no regard for my well-being!”– Princess Carolyn
Speaking of Sisyphus, this next Bojack Horseman quote comes from Princess Carolyn, a pink career cat whose always finishing tasks and moving on to the next one without any time for contemplation about whether all this busyness and exhaustion is worth it.
In one episode she throws her hands up and outright admits that working this much, this hard is kind of like pushing a boulder up a hill over herself with no regard for her own well-being. She knows it doesn’t do her any good, or to be more accurate, all that’s good for her, but she doesn’t know any other way to live than to be busy.
6. What if It Happens Again?
“Then you get sober again.”– Todd
Todd may not seem like a smart cookie at first, but he says a lot of meaningful yet simple things in the show that make a lot of sense.
In a season 6 episode where the two of them are standing at the beach, Todd starts a conversation with Bojack about how his life in prison is and how he’s dealing with his addiction to alcohol.
Bojack begins to walk away from Todd, as if not wanting to think about it and says he’s worried about relapsing. But Todd follows him and gives him one of the most underrated pieces of advice in the show.
You get sober again.
Progress isn’t linear and people mess up. Sometimes you just have to accept that it happens and that it may happen and then get back to the process of being your better self.
It’s a call back to the running baboon who told Bojack he just has to keep making the right choices for himself every day. Todd acknowledges that this is hard but you have to get back to doing it anyway.
7. Maybe Don’t Worry About Whether You’ll Be Happy Later
“Yes, all those things could be true, but on the other hand, what if you deserve to be happy? And this is a thing that will make you happy? And maybe, don’t worry about whether you’ll be happy later, and just focus on how happy you are right now?”-Bojack Horseman
Look, it’s obvious why few of the smart Bojack Horseman quotes you see online come from Bojack himself. But after years of learning and failing and re-learning, finally something has stuck in Bojack’s brain: that you can’t know whether you’ll be happy tomorrow.
Like many “wise” quotes from the show, it doesn’t seem very motivating at first. But that’s not the point.
The point is that you’re never really sure of anything aside from the present moment. That’s all you know and maybe that can be enough. It can be worth enjoying and appreciating on its own, for its own sake.
It means even more when you realize he’s saying this to Princess Carolyn, a woman who has lived her entire life living for tomorrow and ten years from now without any thought for the fact that, eventually, you run out of tomorrows.
It’s Bojack assuring Princess Carolyn that living for the here and now is just as valid as planning ahead.
8. Life Is a Bitch and Then You Keep Living
“Sometimes life’s a bitch and then you keep living.”– Diane Nguyen
The last time we see Diane and Bojack together, they’re sitting on a roof again just like they did back in the earlier parts of the show.
At this point in the series, we’re both very emotionally invested in Bojack’s growth but also really tired of his mess too. He begins to doubt his newfound semblance of happiness again while sitting on the roof with Diane because, as he sees it, life is a bitch.
But Diane shrugs it off with admirable stoicism, telling him that yeah, life kinda sucks sometimes. But then you keep going.
Keep it pushing.
If you’d like to get more life advice from animated shows check out this article on how you can live more like Panda from We Bare Bears. Or, if you want to get really pedantic, check out these easy philosophy books about how to live a fuller life.