The Best Terry Pratchett quotes

Terry Pratchett quotes thumbnail

The renowned English author Terry Pratchett passed away in 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. However, his legacy lives on in the many novels he wrote over the course of his life. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the life and work of one of the most beloved authors of our time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about the brilliant mind of Terry Pratchett.

Here are the deepest Magic, Trouble, Time, Human Beings, Life quotes from Terry Pratchett, and much more.


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About Terry Pratchett

birth of the author

28 April 1948

death of the author

12 March 2015

occupation of the author


genre of the author

Comic Fantasy, Satire, Science-Fiction

award of the author

Notable Works:
Discworld Good Omens Nation The Nome Trilogy

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Knight Bachelor


So much universe, and so little time. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The Luggage said nothing, but louder this time. โ€” Terry Pratchett

As large as worlds. As old as Time. As patient as a brick. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Never trust a species that grins all the time. It’s up to something. โ€” Terry Pratchett

so much universe and so little time Terry Pratchett quote

Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time,’ said Tiffany, ‘but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it. โ€” Terry Pratchett

He felt as if he had been shipwrecked on the Titanic, but in the nick of time had been rescued. By the Lusitania. โ€” Terry Pratchett

We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?’ ‘Why?’ ‘It saves time. โ€” Terry Pratchett

This time it had been magic. And it didn’t stop being magic just because you found out how it was done. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Every intelligent being, whether it breathes or not, coughs nervously at some time in its life. โ€” Terry Pratchett

the luggage said nothing but louder this time Terry Pratchett quote

Peace?’ said Vetinari. ‘Ah, yes, defined as period of time to allow for preparation for the next war. โ€” Terry Pratchett

She was convinced that she was anorexic, because every time she looked in the mirror she did indeed see a fat person. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Nanny’s philosophy of life was to do what seemed like a good idea at the time, and do it as hard as possible. It had never let her down. โ€” Terry Pratchett

I’m trying to remember how you tell the time by looking at the sun. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you. โ€” Terry Pratchett

as large as worlds as old as time as patient as a brick Terry Pratchett quote

Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self. โ€” Terry Pratchett


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I staggered into a Manchester bar late one night on a tour and the waitress said ‘You look as if you need a Screaming Orgasm’. At the time this was the last thing on my mind… โ€” Terry Pratchett

Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Gods don’t like people not doing much work. People who aren’t busy all the time might start to think. โ€” Terry Pratchett

never trust a species that grins all the time it s up to something Terry Pratchett quote

Too much magic could wrap time and space around itself, and that wasn’t good news for the kind of person who had grown used to things like effects following things like causes. โ€” Terry Pratchett

By the time you’ve reached your sixties, you do know that one day you will die, and knowing that is at least the beginning of wisdom. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Eight years involved with the nuclear industry have taught me that when nothing can possible go wrong and every avenue has been covered, then is the time to buy a house on the next continent. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Books must be treated with respect, we feel that in our bones, because words have power. Bring enough words together they can bend space and time. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Anyway, if you stop tellin’ people it’s all sorted out afer they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive. โ€” Terry Pratchett

i m trying to remember how you tell the time by looking at the sun Terry Pratchett quote

I think,’ he said, ‘i think, if you want thousands, you have to fight for one. โ€” Terry Pratchett


That’s what I don’t like about magic, it does everything by magic! โ€” Terry Pratchett

Perhaps the magic would last, perhaps it wouldn’t. But then again, what does? โ€” Terry Pratchett

Magic never dies. It merely fades away. โ€” Terry Pratchett

You can’t kill me, I’ve got a magic… AAAARGH ! โ€” Terry Pratchett

that s what i don t like about magic it does everything by magic Terry Pratchett quote

Ninety percent of most magic merely consists of knowing one extra fact. โ€” Terry Pratchett

People don’t like to say Fantasy they say Magic Realism which means Fantasy written by somebody I went to university with. โ€” Terry Pratchett

But this didn’t feel like magic. It felt a lot older than that. It felt like music. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The senior wizard in a world of magic had the same prospects of longโ€“term employment as a pogo stick tester in a minefield. โ€” Terry Pratchett

There are thousands of good reasons why magic doesn’t rule the world. They’re called Witches and Wizards. โ€” Terry Pratchett

perhaps the magic would last perhaps it wouldn t but then again what does Terry Pratchett quote

That’s one form of magic, of course.’ ‘What, just knowing things?’ ‘Knowing things that other people don’t know. โ€” Terry Pratchett

People who used magic without knowing what they were doing usually came to a sticky end. All over the entire room, sometimes. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Many an ancient lord’s last words have been, ‘You can’t kill me because I’ve got magic aaargh.’ โ€” Terry Pratchett

It doesn’t stop being magic just because you know how it works. โ€” Terry Pratchett

What is magic? There is the wizard’s explanation… wizards talk about candles, circles, planets, stars, bananas, chants, runes and the importance of having at least four good meals every day. โ€” Terry Pratchett

magic never dies it merely fades away Terry Pratchett quote

This looks like a job for inadvisably applied magic if ever I saw one. โ€” Terry Pratchett

A world like that, which exists only because the gods enjoy a joke, must be a place where magic can survive. And sex too, of course. โ€” Terry Pratchett

A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength. It has been universally established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normalโ€“sized billiard balls. โ€” Terry Pratchett

They think written words are even more powerful,’ whispered the toad. โ€˜They think all writing is magic. Words worry them. See their swords? They glow blue in the presence of lawyers. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Some people think this is paranoia, but it isn’t. Paranoids only think everyone is out to get them. Wizards know it. โ€” Terry Pratchett

you can t kill me i ve got a magic aaaargh Terry Pratchett quote

Hat = wizard, wizard = hat. Everything else is frippery. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Knowing things is magical, if other people don’t know them. โ€” Terry Pratchett


If you don’t know when to be a human being, you don’t know when to be a witch. โ€” Terry Pratchett

There is no doubt that being human is incredibly difficult and cannot be mastered in one lifetime. โ€” Terry Pratchett

And what would humans be without love?’ RARE, said Death. โ€” Terry Pratchett

if you don t know when to be a human being you don t know when to be a witch Terry Pratchett quote

Imagination, not intelligence, made us human. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Mere animals couldn’t possibly manage to act like this. You need to be a human being to be really stupid. โ€” Terry Pratchett

And just when you’d think [humans] were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they occasionally showed more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Maybe the only significant difference between a really smart simulation and a human being was the noise they made when you punched them. โ€” Terry Pratchett

and what would humans be without love rare said death Terry Pratchett quote

The more you think about it, the more amazing the everyday world of human beings becomes: most of it doesn’t actually exist at all. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Redundant Thematics

In Terry Pratchett Statements


Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Yes, but humans are more important than animals,’ said Brutha. โ€˜This is a point of view often expressed by humans,’ said Om. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Seeing things a human shouldn’t have to see makes us human. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it’s not murder if you do it for a god). โ€” Terry Pratchett

imagination not intelligence made us human Terry Pratchett quote

It’s useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one. โ€” Terry Pratchett

To save the world takes one cold son of a bitch. โ€” Terry Pratchett


They can tak’ oour lives but they canna tak’ oour troousers! โ€” Terry Pratchett

If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn’t as cynical as real life. โ€” Terry Pratchett

This isn’t life in the fast lane, it’s life in the oncoming traffic. โ€” Terry Pratchett

they can tak oour lives but they canna tak oour troousers Terry Pratchett quote

He had about the same life expectancy as a three legged hedgehog on a six lane motorway. โ€” Terry Pratchett

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story. โ€” Terry Pratchett

We sleepwalk through our lives, because how could we live if we were always this awake? โ€” Terry Pratchett

Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it. โ€” Terry Pratchett

It was the living who ignored the strange and wonderful, because life was too full of the boring and mundane. โ€” Terry Pratchett

this isn t life in the fast lane it s life in the oncoming traffic Terry Pratchett quote

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Once you gave a thing a name, you gave it life. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Her singing always cheered him up. Life seemed so much brighter when she stopped. โ€” Terry Pratchett

His progress through life was hampered by his tremendous sense of his own ignorance, a disability which affects all too few. โ€” Terry Pratchett

he had about the same life expectancy as a three legged hedgehog on a six lane motorway Terry Pratchett quote

Noโ€“one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away… The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence. โ€” Terry Pratchett

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life. โ€” Terry Pratchett

This is Art holding a Mirror up to Life. That’s why everything is exactly the wrong way around. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. โ€” Terry Pratchett

You FEAR TO DIE? ‘It’s not that I don’t want… I mean, I’ve always…it’s just that life is a habit that’s hard to break… โ€” Terry Pratchett

we sleepwalk through our lives because how could we live if we were always this awake Terry Pratchett quote

Natural selection saw to it that professional heroes who at a crucial moment tended to ask themselves questions like ‘What is my purpose in life?’ very quickly lacked both. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences. โ€” Terry Pratchett


Granny Weatherwax, who had walked nightly without fear in the banditโ€“haunted forests of the mountains all her life in the certain knowledge that the darkness held nothing more terrible than she was… โ€” Terry Pratchett

It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life. โ€” Terry Pratchett


Trouble is, just because things are obvious doesn’t mean they’re true. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The trouble with being a god is that you’ve got no one to pray to. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The trouble with thinking was that, once you started, you went on doing it. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind. โ€” Terry Pratchett

trouble is just because things are obvious doesn t mean they re true Terry Pratchett quote

He felt that the darkness was full of unimaginable horrorsโ€“and the trouble with unimaginable horrors was that they were only too easy to imagine… โ€” Terry Pratchett

Last night there seemed to be a chance. Anything was possible last night. That was the trouble with last nights. They were always followed by this mornings. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The trouble with life was that you didn’t get a chance to practice before doing it for real. โ€” Terry Pratchett

If the government ever imposes a tax on booksโ€“and I wouldn’t put it past themโ€“I’m in dead trouble. โ€” Terry Pratchett

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. โ€” Terry Pratchett

the trouble with being a god is that you ve got no one to pray to Terry Pratchett quote

The trouble was that he was talking in philosophy but they were listening in gibberish. โ€” Terry Pratchett

One day I’ll work out what it is you are saying, my lad, and then you’ll be in trouble. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Verence would rather cut his own leg off than put a witch in prison, since it’d save trouble in the long run and probably be less painful. โ€” Terry Pratchett

When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. โ€” Terry Pratchett

Why bother with a cunning plan when a simple one will do? โ€” Terry Pratchett

the trouble with thinking was that once you started you went on doing it Terry Pratchett quote


Terry Pratchett is a master of wisdom, and his quotes are inspiring, thought-provoking, and motivating. Weโ€™ve collected some of our favorites for you to ponder as you go about your day. If you need a little inspiration or motivation, take a look at these quotes from the brilliant mind of Terry Pratchett. And if you want to learn more about how to be successful in life and business, check out our courses.

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