Tom Hanks: A Deep Dive into Tom Hanks Quotes

Explore the profound wisdom and life lessons encapsulated in Tom Hanks Quotes. This article provides an in-depth analysis of his most memorable lines, their context, and their impact on popular culture.



When you think of Hollywood’s most influential figures, Tom Hanks is a name that inevitably comes to mind. Known for his versatile roles and exceptional acting prowess, Hanks has left an indelible mark on the film industry. But it’s not just his performances that have resonated with audiences worldwide; it’s also his words. Tom Hanks quotes have become a source of inspiration, wisdom, and comfort for many. This article delves into the depth and meaning of these quotes, providing a unique perspective on the man behind the words.


Tom Hanks Quotes: A Reflection of His Life and Career

The Early Years: Quotes that Shaped a Young Actor

Tom Hanks’ early years in the film industry were marked by a series of memorable roles that showcased his talent and versatility. His quotes from this period reflect a young actor grappling with the challenges and rewards of his chosen profession.

One of his most famous quotes from this time is, “It’s just as hard… staying happy as it is to stay alive.” This quote, from the film ‘Philadelphia,’ encapsulates the struggle of maintaining one’s happiness amidst life’s trials, a theme that resonates with many of his roles.


The Golden Era: Quotes that Defined a Generation

As Hanks’ career progressed, so did the depth and impact of his quotes. His roles in iconic films like ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ gave birth to lines that have since become ingrained in popular culture.

Who can forget the simple yet profound wisdom of Forrest Gump when he said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”? This quote, delivered with Hanks’ trademark sincerity, has become a metaphor for life’s unpredictability.


The Later Years: Quotes that Echoed a Lifetime of Experience

In his later years, Hanks’ quotes have taken on a more reflective tone, mirroring his own journey through life and the industry. His roles in films like ‘Cast Away’ and ‘The Post’ have yielded quotes that speak to the human condition’s resilience and the importance of truth.

In ‘Cast Away,’ his character, stranded on a deserted island, declares, “I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” This quote, filled with hope and determination, is a testament to human resilience in the face of adversity.


The Impact of Tom Hanks Quotes on Popular Culture

Quotes as Cultural Touchstones

Tom Hanks quotes have become cultural touchstones, resonating with audiences and becoming part of our collective consciousness. They’ve been referenced in other films, TV shows, and even music, demonstrating their enduring relevance and appeal.


Quotes as Life Lessons

Many of Tom Hanks’ quotes serve as life lessons, offering wisdom and insight into the human experience. They’ve been shared on social media, quoted in speeches, and even used as teaching tools, reflecting their universal appeal.



Tom Hanks quotes are more than just memorable lines from his films. They are reflections of his life and career, imbued with wisdom and insight that resonate with audiences worldwide. Whether they serve as cultural touchstones, life lessons, or sources of inspiration, these quotes have left an indelible mark on popular culture. As we continue to revisit and analyze these quotes, we gain a deeper understanding of the man behind them and the universal truths they represent.



-If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.

-Never give up because you never know what the tide will bring in the next day.

-The only way you can truly control how you are seen is by being honest all the time.

-We are still in the position of waking up and having a choice. Do I make the world better today somehow, or do I not bother?

-I think it’s better to feel good than to look good.

Tom Hanks Quotes

-Saying no to something is actually much more powerful than saying yes.

-A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.

-Human beings do things for a reason, even if sometimes it’s the wrong reason.

-Dear God, thank you for my life. I forgot how big and wonderful it is.

-Help publicly. Help privately. Help make sense where sense has gone missing. Help science to solve and faith to soothe. Help, and you will abolish apathy-the void that is so quickly filled by ignorance and evil.

-People ask me all the time, “What kind of father are you?” I won’t know until my kids are grown.

-If things were easy to find, they wouldn’t be worth finding.

-When you try to bring a story to life, it starts in your head and you see possibilities for it, but it’s just one damn thing after another.

-I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.

-I understand the concept of optimism. But I think with me what you get is a lack of cynicism.

-There’s no substitute for a great love who says, ‘No matter what’s wrong with you, you’re welcome at this table.’

-Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

-The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.

-If you’re funny, if there’s something that makes you laugh, then every day’s going to be okay.

-Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.

-I’m glad I didn’t have to fight in any war.
I’m glad I didn’t have to pick up a gun.
I’m glad I didn’t get killed or kill somebody.
I hope my kids enjoy the same lack of manhood.

-There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.

-Even the simplest choice can make a jaw-dropping difference in our world.

-It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together … and I knew it.

-I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope… I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. Im back… Because now i know what I have to do now. I have to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

Tom Hanks Quotes

-Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.

-Shake it off and move on.

-Believing is seeing and seeing is believing.

-I view my wife as my lover, and we have a bond that goes beyond words like wife or girlfriend or mother.

-Eating everything you want is not that much fun. When you live a life with no boundaries, there’s less joy. If you can eat anything you want to, what’s the fun in eating anything you want to?

-If you can feel like a good man in your 40s, you can feel like a better man in your 50s, a Superman in your 60s, and maybe a Spider-Man in your 70s.

-It’s not a mid-life crisis. It’s a mid-life disaster. A mid-life crisis is when you wake up with everything and you go “I have everything but I’m still unhappy.”

-If I have no connection with the character, then it’s all fake – it’s just blah, blah, blah.

-In the 1998 Oscars, I found myself in the bathroom in a stall, next to Tom Selleck. So I leaned over and I said ‘looks like we’re a couple of peeing Toms.’ His angry silence is something I’ll never forget.

-The desert, when the sun comes up…I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began.

-Tweeting is like sending out cool telegrams to your friends once a week.

-A story has the opportunity to enlighten us, because as we connect the extraordinary moments on film with the ordinary moments of our lives, we ask ourselves, “What am I going to do the next time I’m scared? What would it be like to say goodbye to my family for the last time?”

-Some people go to bed at night thinking, ‘That was a good day.’ I am one of those who worries and asks, ‘How did I screw up today?’

-You don’t necessarily go in to talk to the person to try to find some secret key to the lock.

-Reading a script is usually as exciting as reading a boilerplate legal document, so when you read one that makes you feel as if you’re seeing the movie, you know it’s something different.

Tom Hanks Quotes

-The reason most of us go to the movies is to be involved in someone else’s moral dilemma.

-We are all God’s animated cartoons.

-I try not to lie to people – the only way to control the way you’re perceived is to tell the truth.

-You have to adhere to a philosophy that the life unexamined is not worth living, because otherwise you’re just living from day to day and you don’t have any real sense of yourself or where you are.

-Repertory theater is all about being part of the whole, one of the many colors in this vast palette.

-And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? This is almost a racket, you know. And then when the opportunity came along to do it professionally, I thought I’d won the lottery.

-If I stopped having passion, I’d be done.

-Every job requires a certain riding of a horse.

-I am who I am, and I think I have a good nature, by and large. But if someone takes advantage of that good nature, well then, you know, I’m not that nice a guy.

-Larger-than-life characters make up about .01 percent of the world’s population.

-Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.

-I think 80 percent of the population are really great, caring people who will help you and tell you the truth. That’s just the way it is. And I think 20 percent of the population are crooks and liars. It’s just a fact.

-I will entertain anything; it doesn’t matter. You know, it’s not obviously about the price, it’s not about who, it’s kind of about when and what. It’s material, that’s all.

-Help, and you will make a huge impact in the life of the street, the town, the country and our planet. If only one out of four of each one hundred of you choose to help on any given day, in any given cause, incredible things will happen in the world you live in.

-College isn’t necessary for everybody and it’s only from what you put into it what you go there for.

-The average movie set is the least political arena on Earth. Nobody bothers talking about politics because, one, we all love the job so much. You don’t talk about current events. You talk about old show business stories and whether or not there’s gonna be French onion dip at the craft services table that day.

Tom Hanks Quotes

-Hold the mirror up to nature. Human behavior is worthy of examination and celebration.

-My wife and I, we met making a movie. This is not just our job, it’s our life. It’s what we do naturally whether we’re working together or not.

-Even if a story has nothing to do with my life, if I can recognise something of myself in the character and think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what I’d do…’ yeah, that’s what I look for.

-The “Toy Story” films accomplish what timeless classics aim for – innocent characters who face an endless trail of adventures.

-Without question, we make choices – and those choices have consequences. So can you control your own destiny? To a degree, certainly. Must you have faith in serendipity? Without question, you’d better. Otherwise you’re foolish.

-All directors should have to act and all actors should have to direct, so that they can understand all these key things that come into play with whether you can meet your day.

-I have high blood sugars, and Type 2 diabetes is not going to kill me. But I just have to eat right, and exercise, and lose weight, and watch what I eat, and I will be fine for the rest of my life.

-In your mid-30s, it’s time to start playing guys of compromise. And as you get older, men of bitter compromise.

-It’s difficult to say no sometimes. I often hear, “They’ll really take care of you,” or “Someone else is going to take the role if you don’t play it.” Some of the best advice I ever received was to always ask myself: Am I going to kill myself if somebody else takes this role? The answer is almost always no.

-I’ve made quite a number of movies like Castaway and a few others where I’m the only guy in the movie and the only place to be is right next to the camera in costume ready to go in order to get it. The years, and more specifically probably the four months prior to beginning shooting, is where the big preparation is that the director does because I knew we were going to get on the set. And the good news is, if you’re the boss, if it ain’t good, you don’t use it. You just cut it out.

-My favorite traditional Christmas movie that I like to watch is All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s just not December without that movie in my house.

-Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?

-That’s what’s nice about directing a film and having it done: There’s nothing more I can do about it. It’s done. That’s it. All I can do is let it go and hope that people are kind to it.

-I went to college because I didn’t have anywhere else to go and it was a fabulous hang. And while I was there I was exposed to this world that I didn’t know was possible.

-We’re part of a greater humanity and we can actually affect the world by the choices we make once we leave the theater.

-Oprah Winfrey today you are surrounded by nothing but love.

-But actors with political views are a dime a dozen.

-The nature of the movies is different than it was five years ago, and they’re all driven by the possibilities of CGI, which means you can make anything happen on screen that you can possibly desire.

-If you look at romantic comedies as pieces of commerce, the audience is looking for wish fulfillment.

-What we’re doing with Band of Brothers is trying to put it into human terms, so it is not just a flickering, black and white myth on a screen, it is a resonant story. I want the audience to recognize themselves in these men. They’re not just mythic heroes.

-Let’s not pretend there isn’t a huge industry driven by the choices made by editors and writers who decide what a story is.

-My work is really a blast. When it stops being a blast, then it ain’t no fun no more!

Tom Hanks Quotes

-The most accurate representation of how I feel is that I’m incredibly lucky to be working in this structure where people get paid millions to read the news on TV. And, yes, it is insane. And there is nothing I can say beyond acknowledging my immense good fortune, and being aware that I’m blessed, and aware that it isn’t going to last forever.

-I was never intimidated by change. I was like an army brat who had lived all around the world.

-Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

-When I was growing up, everybody in charge, my parents and teachers, had all survived the war, and they talked about the war like it was the Kraken – you know, this huge beast that roamed the earth during their formative years.

-The pleasure of working with somebody who’s an actor is they don’t waste time with stuff that doesn’t matter.

-I don’t cause riots, but I do cause confusion. People freeze when they spot me.

-The power of the individual is as powerful as the universe is infinite.

-There’s such an advantage to being involved in the day-to-day details of each other’s lives. It’s a marvelous fabric to exist in.

-As an actor I am always waiting for my luck to run out.

-I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

-Movie-making is telling a story with the best technology at your disposal.

-You cannot look up at the night sky on the Planet Earth and not wonder what it’s like to be up there amongst the stars. And I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.

-From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It’s not a miracle; we just decided to go.

-I have a woman who teaches me what love is every day. Maybe that sentiment is possible to fake, but for me it’s really true.

-I hope my kids understand that they’re not operating in a normal world. And yet there are principles they have to adhere to that are normal – like decency, choosing between right and wrong, and honesty. That’s important stuff, whether you’re flying first-class or not.

-All that most parents hope is that their children are happy, funny, well adjusted, and have a passion for something in their lives. What would negate everything is if the next generation that we’re responsible for has a passionless existence. And that’s cause for occasional sleepless nights.

-If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.

-I know the Pope is opposed to the use of condoms. All I can say is, I am a spiritual man and I’ve been happily married for 21 years. I don’t even know what a condom is anymore.

-Growing up in northern California has had a big influence on my love and respect for the outdoors. When I lived in Oakland, we would think nothing of driving to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz one day and then driving to the foothills of the Sierras the next day.

-The prejudice surrounding AIDS exacts a social death which precedes the actual physical one.

-I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel.

-I always wanted to play Lestrade of Scotland Yard ’cause he’s a buffoon that gets to wear a uniform. I thought that would be fun.

-I’ve talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles, and just the sheer physical toll it puts on one’s knees and shoulders – no one wants to do it again. I’m 57 and I don’t think I’m going to take on any job or go on vacation again and see to it that I can gain 30 pounds.

-There was nothing to react to except wind and trees [in Cast Away]. It was like making a silent movie.

-It was incredibly cheesy set with torches [TV’s Survivor] – it looked like the lobby of the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. And here as some guy pulling names out of a coconut, and I said, ‘This is the thing that has made American mass media stop in their tracks?

Tom Hanks Quotes

-The nature of motion capture is only going to work for certain films. It’s not going to put any other type of movies out of business.

-For some people, I will be Forrest Gump for the rest of my life. But that’s OK; that’s a good thing.

-‘Forrest Gump’ was great, it was fabulous. It lasted much longer than anybody thought, and brought me a degree of attention that no human being on the face of the planet deserves.

-I’ve made over 20 movies, and 5 of them are good.

-If not for John Adams leading a revolution against Great Britain…This would be the BAFTAs.

-I would not want to live in a country that would have me as a leader in any sort of political bent.

-I’ve been doing a pale imitation of Bill Murray for most of my career.

-And I’m not apolitical – I’m very specific in my politics. But a lot of the time it’s nobody’s business unless you’re over at my house having dinner.

-As a young man, even if I was going to see a play or a film by myself, I didn’t feel like I was alone. There was something that was unfolding up there that brought me into it. And I recognised that. For those two hours, it made me feel like I belonged to something really good.

-I come from the school of That Horse is Not Dead.

-The same way that I know that I’ll never do a movie as good or as celebrated as ‘Forrest Gump,’ I know that I’ll never do a movie as bad as ‘Bonfire of the Vanities.’

-I try to do what I call the three E’s – educate, entertain, and enlighten. If you don’t entertain, no one will show up. But you also have to educate, because people want to discover specific things about a world unlike their own – whether it’s how hard it is to go to the moon or how scary it is to be on Omaha Beach.

-When you’re on the open sea and you drop 10, 12 feet and your stomach goes up around your neck – that’s when you have problems.

-Making a film is to make sure that everybody looks forward to coming to work.

-The truth is that everyone pays attention to who’s number one at the box office. And none of it matters, because the only thing that really exists is the connection the audience has with a movie.

-I’m not looking for anything. If you start looking for something specific, then you take providence right out of it. You can’t completely control it. Otherwise you’d make the same kind of movie over and over again, which some people say I’ve done.

-When you’re going to try and have people talk in a room and actually reflect life as we know it and have people recognize themselves and their own street and their own house in it, well then you’re aiming for the high country and it’s a much bigger gamble. You can interview all the marketing gurus and the people in charge of, you know, the people you gotta fight with in order to get your seats here, and they all talk about release dates and counterprogramming. At the end of the day, it’s gotta be a good movie.

-When I was 21 years old, I had a job playing Santa Claus in a shopping centre in Sacramento. I was rail thin, so it’s not like I was a traditional Santa Claus even then. I had a square stomach; that was the shape of the sofa cushion that I had stuffed into my pants.

-There’s a small percentage of people who can act. There’s a small percentage who get to do this for a living. There’s a swath of the population that are able to keep a story in their head and fight all the battles against self-consciousness and the surreal unnaturalness of acting in a movie. The technical aspects you can learn fairly quickly.

-As long as you as an individual… can convince yourself that in order to move forward as best you can you have to be optimistic, you can be described as ‘one of the faithful,’ one of those people who can say, ‘Well, look, something’s going to happen! Let’s just keep trying. Let’s not give up.

-Being politically correct means always having to say you’re sorry. Believe me, the power and pleasure and the emotion of this moment is a constant speed of light.

-If I was to direct Ron Howard, I guarantee you, I would put him through a living hell every day. I would demand so much of him. We wouldn’t quit until he leaves the set crying. Weeping! Spent!