All About Connections: A Season Summarizing Quote

I love a good quote. In the past, I’ve been known to keep a very large document with all of my favorite quotes in it. They’ve been printed out and stuck on my walls or just kept around in case I thought I needed whatever messages they contained. Some make me laugh (many of the Gilmore Girls quotes I’ve been known to sprinkle into regular conversations), some are inspiring, and sometimes some just say exactly the right thing and I treasure them forever. So today we are going to be talking about my favorite TV quote and how it relates both to me and the TV show from where it came.

We dream of hope, we dream of change, of fire, of love, of death. And then it happens; the dream becomes real, and the answer to this quest, this need to solve life’s mysteries finally shows itself like the glowing light of the new dawn. So much struggle for meaning, for purpose. And in the end, we find it only in each other. Our shared experience of the fantastic and the mundane. The simple human need to find a kindred. To connect. And to know in our hearts that we are not alone.- Mohinder Suresh (Heroes 1×23, “How to Stop an Exploding Man”)

In one (apparently unpopular) voiceover, Mohinder summed up the thesis of the first season of Heroes. The beginning of the season showed us a group of (mostly) separate individuals, connected by their powers but without knowledge of the others. As the season progressed, they slowly came together against a common enemy, culminating in a finale that finally had the group together.

Characters had met along the way, unintentionally encouraging each other in their journeys. Isaac gave Peter the tools to know how to save Claire while validating Isaac’s belief that it was his destiny to help save the world. Peter saved Claire, and in doing so, made each of them feel like they were a part of something larger. Hiro met Nathan on a few different occasions and made him feel guilty enough the last time to realize that he needed to help save the world. Mohinder found Zane/Sylar who validated the work he and his father had been working on. Not everyone will agree on this, but Mohinder gave Sylar a place to belong (under an assumed identity) for a short time.

These people were alone. They felt like they didn’t fit in with others. Through finding each other and connecting, they found their purpose. They found something they could do to make a difference. They came together and helped save New York.

This is what I loved about the first season of Heroes. It wasn’t the actual superpowers, it wasn’t each character’s origin story. It was the way that a group of different people with a shared gift could come together and do something positive. It was the way these people found a place to belong, even if it was for a short period of time. They had a moment where they knew with 100% certainty that they knew they weren’t alone, that others were fighting with them and going through the same struggles.

The idea that we find meaning and purpose in our connections with others is one that has always resonated with me. I know the difference it can make when you find a group of people who you do connect with and who make you feel like you aren’t alone. I know how much power there can be in that. Finding a kindred spirit gives you the freedom to be and express who you are and know that the other person will accept it. They make you strong. They make you feel like there is another person out there who understands how you feel and see the world. It’s a connection that makes you feel like it was always supposed to happen. It enriches your life. It’s a beautiful idea and it’s the reason I will always love Heroes more than the later quality of the show probably warrants. It gave me this quote and a way to express the way I create meaning in my life.

What are some of your favorite TV quotes? Do you tend to prefer quotes that make you laugh or make you think?


7 thoughts on “All About Connections: A Season Summarizing Quote

  1. First of all, this was beautifully written, Heather. I’d never heard/read that Heroes quote before, but I think it’s really inspiring and very truthful—the connections we make with people are what really matters in life; when we find kindred spirits we need to hold onto them because that’s something precious.

    I have way too many favorite TV quotes to post here, so I’m just going to write about my favorite ones from my three current favorite shows.

    Castle: “You think it’s a weakness? Make it a strength. It’s a part of you, so use it.”

    We all have those parts of ourselves that we see as weaknesses, parts that the world leads us to believe make us damaged goods. But this quote is such a powerful reminder that we aren’t broken beyond repair just because we are imperfect. We all have the strength to become more than our perceived weaknesses not by trying to ignore them or by hating ourselves for them or by hiding them from the world, but by accepting them as a part of who we are and using that acceptance to make us a better version of ourselves.

    Once Upon a Time: “People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, ‘No, this is who I am.’ You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things? You’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.”

    This is a quote I hold incredibly close to my heart because it’s exactly how I try to live my life. People are always going to make assumptions about you (especially for us as women), but we have the power to change the narrative. Strength comes from knowing who you are and not letting other people tell you who you’re supposed to be. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand the power that comes from being an active participant in your life instead of letting the words and actions of others write your story for you, and this quote from Emma perfectly sums up the lesson I want to tell every young person I meet: Your story is yours to write—not someone else’s.

    Parks and Rec: “If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. If I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly.”

    I already talked a lot about this quote and how it relates to me in your “favorite characters” post, but I couldn’t go without mentioning it here. There’s never been another quote that better describes who I am. I don’t know how to feel other than strongly, and I don’t know how to live other than passionately.

    And one final Parks and Rec quote for good measure: “No one achieves anything alone.”

    This is a quote I always come back to every time I think about successes in my life or when I need a reminder that I’m not facing the world on my own. It helps me stay grounded and grateful in the best moments, and it makes me feel like it’s okay to get help from the people I love in moments of doubt. It’s also the best and most concise mission statement for Parks and Rec imaginable.

    1. I love your choices of quotes so much, they are all some of my favorites.

      I think I first fell in love with Emma with that quote. Like you said, it’s powerful to take control of your own story and it’s necessary in order to move forward and be happy in life. There was so much determination in her voice when she said it and it was a great character moment as well as a great life lesson to take forward.

  2. OK favorite quotes is an area of deep expertise to me. As you know from my random declarations of “Shoe Money Tonight”. I remember quotes big and small throughout my TV fandom. I have always been drawn to the quotes that I carried with me. The ones whose meaning maintained resonance across the periods and stages of my life.

    “Sometimes it seems like we’re all living in some kind of prison. And the crime is how much we hate ourselves. It’s good to get really dressed up once in a while. And admit the truth: that when you really look closely? People are so strange and so complicated that they’re actually… beautiful. Possibly even me.” -My So-Called Life

    I would like to say that this defined how I felt as a teenager, but the truth is sometimes in life, no matter where you are and what you are doing you have those moments where that first line is true. I often call them pity parties for 1. But what I love about this quote is that it reminds me that while we can often be our own worst enemies looking for and seeing the beauty in others often allows us to see it in ourselves.

    “Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn’t fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.” – Sex and the City

    There are a lot of beautifully honest moments about friendship and love from this show. I always adored it not for the outlandishness, but for the truth that ran underneath. The love affair for the ages was the lifelong friendship of these women. I feel like this one speaks to my life implicitly. I was the person who busted out of high school with a road map to what my life was going to be. I knew, I was certain and I had a plan. No one was more surprised than me when that course changed – both of my own making and from making mistakes. Some of the best things in my life have come from the mistakes I made because it threw me off balance long enough to be open to the possibilities of something different. As I grew and changed I have been blessed with friends who have grown and changed with me. They are what anchors me in the storm and guides me out of the darkness. Our fate is certainly what we make it. What this quote always reminds me is that those paths we may not have deliberately chosen will still take us to where we need to be.

    “Clear Eyes Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” – Friday Night Lights
    This quote ranks as my all time favorite. Period. It’s simplicity and applicability have always made it special. It spoke perfectly to the mentor and inspiration that Coach Taylor was as a character but more over it is a truth for life. Nothing in life, not love, friendships, family, jobs, adventures or decisions can veer you away from happiness if you come at it with clear eyes and a full heart. The resonance of the quote isn’t about losing. It is understanding that no matter the choice or decision, it is how you approach it that matters. Choices we make in life will go sideways sometimes. Things we believe are right will turn out terribly wrong. However, if we come at it from our gut, give it our best we can survive and walk through anything. We can move on from mistakes and mishaps because when you chose with the honesty of clear eyes and a full heart the outcome no longer matters because no matter what you will land at the outcome without regret. That’s my life goal, to navigate this world with minimal regret. If I do that, then I know I will have a life well lived. At the end of the day, there isn’t much more anyone could ask for in my opinion.

    Very Serious Honorable Mentions:
    – This is the way I see it, good friends offer to help in a crisis, great friends don’t take no for an answer.” -Desperate Housewives

    – “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once, so you take your memories where you can get ’em” -Friday Night Lights

    – “Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart” – My So Called Life

    – “There are no victories. There’s only the battle. And the best that you could hope for is that you find some place where you can make your stand. If this is your spot, I will stand with you.” – Castle

    My absolute favorite TV exchange of all time:

    From Moonlighting
    David: Did I happen to mention, did I bother to disclose, this man that we’re seeking with a mole on his nose? I’m not sure of his clothes, or anything else… Except he’s Chinese, a big clue by itself.

    Maddie: How do you do that?

    David: Gotta read a lot of Dr. Seuss.

    Guard: I’m sorry to say, I’m sad to report. I haven’t seen anyone at all of that sort. Not a man who’s Chinese with a mole on his nose, with some kind of clothes that you can’t suppose. So get away from this door and get out of this place, or I’ll have to hurt you, put my foot in your face.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one with such a deep love for quotes! I absolutely love all of your choices. Sex in the City had some really great quotes and messages for its viewers and that is one of the best. My personal favorite from the show is not so dissimilar in meaning – “So just love, make mistakes, and have wonderful times, but never second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly, where it is you are going.”

      You can’t go wrong with Coach Taylor and there’s a reason “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” has resonated with so many people and become so familiar in pop culture. You completely captured what makes this quote great.

      Now to mention another of my honorable mentions, this one from Scrubs will always be one of my favorites
      “Relationships don’t work they way they do on television and in the movies. Will they? Won’t they? And then they finally do, and they’re happy forever, gimme a break. Nine out of ten of them end because they weren’t right for each other to begin with, and half of the ones who get married get divorced anyway, and I’m telling you right now, through all this stuff I have not become a cynic. I haven’t. Yes, I do happen to believe that love is mainly about pushing chocolate-covered candies and, y’know, in some cultures, a chicken. You can call me a sucker, I don’t care, because I do… believe in it. Bottom line: it’s couples who are truly right for each other wade through the same crap as everybody else, but the big difference is they don’t let it take them down. One of those two people will stand up and fight for that relationship every time. If it’s right, and they’re real lucky, one of them will say something.”
      The very end of this quote captures my feelings on relationships. They take a willingness to fight for each other and for the relationship when things get tough and they also take a fair amount of luck. It’s an idea that’s served me well in my relationship and I love the blend of romanticism and cynicism.

      Another one of my favorites, also from Heroes is “You gotta embrace your inner freak”. The first season of the show came to me at a time in my life when I was figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be. I had just come from an environment where I was not encouraged to be the person I thought I might like to be because it didn’t fit their narrow standards of morality. I was struggling with my love for TV and fandom because it didn’t seem like a “worthy” interest and was looking to redefine myself. It was a reminder that I needed to embrace the things I loved rather than run away from them.

      Finally, I have a deep and lasting love for pretty much any quote from Gilmore Girls. Nothing serious comes to mind, it’s just a show that said things that made me laugh so I remembered them and kept them with me whenever I needed to smile.

  3. All of what you’re saying about Heroes sounds wonderful, and the reason you said you loved season one so much sounds exactly like why I love many of the shows I do – the way the characters come together and bond. It’s all about the characters’ relationships and connections, everything else is just fun extra stuff. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the idea that we find meaning and purpose in our connections with others, and it’s something that I’ve thought about many times – sometimes prompted by a John Green video where he talks about how we create meaning in our lives.

    I think for me, while I’ll always love funny quotes, it’s the more serious ones that make me think or that are eloquently worded that stick with me more. I am however terrible at keeping track of quotes even when I love them, so we’ll see what I can come up with now.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Teen Wolf, said by Melissa McCall:
    “Sweetheart, let me tell you something no teenager ever believes, but I guarantee you is the absolute truth. You fall in love more than once. It will happen again. It will be just as amazing and extraordinary as the first time and maybe just as painful. But it’ll happen again. I promise. But until then, be your own anchor.”

    From the first moment I heard this quote I fell in love with it. Melissa McCall is one of my favorite characters in general, but what I love so much about this quote is that it’s saying that it’s important for you to be there for yourself, for you to be strong in your own right. That while being in love is amazing and wonderful, that you can survive without it and past the point of losing it. It sort of addresses that romantic trope of someone not being whole without their romantic partner, and saying that in real life, you need to be able to stand on your own as well as with others. That you need to be able to depend on yourself, that you can be strong all by yourself, and that you should be strong for you first and foremost, and be strong for others second.

    I also have a lot of love for Sherlock BBC’s dialogue that probably comes partly from my english major background, as I think some of it is the most creative, eloquent dialogue I’ve seen on TV (though I suppose you could say that Sherlock is sort of in its own category of not-quite TV and not-quite movie with the way it’s shot).

    One quote I loved is from Greg Lestrade in A Study in Pink, where he says: “Sherlock Holmes is a great man. And I think one day, if we’re very, very lucky, he might even be a good one.”

    I quite enjoyed this quote because of that distinction they make with their words. At this point, Sherlock is a great man – he’s brilliant, his intelligence leaves people in awe of him – but he’s not really a good one. He insults lots of people and doesn’t care about the hurt he causes in the wake of his search for answers, and in general only appears to care for things that keep his mind occupied and challenge him. I love that Lestrade does see this potential in Sherlock to be a good man when most of the rest of the world only sees the cold, logical, rude side to Sherlock and dismisses that potential entirely. It’s also a quote to me that says “look here is our protagonist’s potential character arc for the whole series” but it also doesn’t feel out of place in that first episode and makes use of a distinction between words in a way that not many of the rest of us would necessarily think to do (I mean, most of us use great as a higher level of good, for example).

    I also have an intense love for the whole of the dialogue from the Reichenbach Fall rooftop scene, but I’ll just put one of my favorite bits of it here:
    Sherlock: “I am you – prepared to do anything; prepared to burn; prepared to do what ordinary people won’t do. You want me to shake hands with you in hell? I shall not disappoint you.”
    Moriarty: “[…] You’re ordinary – you’re on the side of the angels.”
    Sherlock: “Oh, I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.”

    I don’t know, there’s just something about the heightened dialogue and use of symbolism that works really well for me here. It may also help that Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice works quite well for dramatic scenes 😉

    I also love the Castle and OUAT quotes Katie mentioned, those are some of my favorites as well but I figured I’d contribute with some new quotes. I also agree with you that Gilmore Girls quotes are fun and great for cheering up – I’ve always loved the one where Lorelai has that long stream of consciousness word association babble which I think ends in “monkey-monkey-underpants.”

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