With the Marvel movie franchises’ runaway success, we thought it’s high time we made a list of the best Thanos quotes. The MCU villain has proved a worthy adversary for our heroes, and Thanos quotes make up a lot of the most impactful dialogue in the series.
The way Marvel has built its cinematic universe has been nothing short of incredible, and their character development has left rivals DC mostly in the dust. From the formidable Thor to the charismatic Rocket, there have been memorable characters throughout the entire franchise.
However, in terms of sheer presence and terror, none come as close as Thanos. The world-beating Titan is seemingly invincible and works off a moral code that only he truly understands. Unlike other antagonists, Thanos is both intelligent and brutal. His ability to philosophize the chaos he creates can be unsettling.
What are the best Thanos quotes?
Check out our selection of the most memorable quotes from the terrifying Titan below and let us know whether we have missed any of your favorites.
“You’re strong, but I could snap my fingers, and you’d all cease to exist.”
What I like about Thanos as a villain is that he rarely underestimates his opponents. He is always measured, and this has been part of his intergalactic crusade’s continued success. This quote lets us know that he understands the power of the Avengers but knows with the Infinity Gauntlet he could crush them in an instant.
He was proved right. Infinity War ends with an enormous battle and includes all of our favorite heroes like the Wakandan forces, Doctor Strange, and of course, Iron Man. It’s in this movie that the snap happens, and half the universe’s population is gone in an instant.
“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this… does put a smile on my face.”
Marvel did a great job of avoiding the cookie-cutter bad guy tropes with Thanos. He was equal parts brutal and intelligent. However disturbing his end-goal was, it was driven by relatively complex reasoning. Many say him as a madman hellbent on destruction while his loyal followers saw him as a preserver of life.
This is one of the best Thanos quotes as I think it reveals that there is more of a sadistic side to Thanos and breaks down part of his philosopher act.
“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.”
If said by your mate as he’s putting up some shelves, the quote above feels pretty harmless and even makes sense. However, when it comes from Thanos, there is a menacing and creepy feel to it with an undertone of death.
The scary thing about Thanos’ ideologies is that they come from seemingly good intentions. He believes that what he’s doing is a necessary evil and that the universe will be a better place after it. His indoctrination of Gamora as a child proves that his mindset has been stuck in savior mode forever.
Respect for Tony Stark
“You have my respect, Stark. When I’m done, half of humanity will still be alive. I hope they remember you.”
The best Thanos quotes often appear at the tensest moments in the movies. In this case, Tony Stark decides to engage in some hand to hand combat with the God like figure and comes off second best.
Again the odd thing about this quote is that it’s nuanced. Thanos doesn’t hate the Avengers, and he just needs to dispose of them as they are blocking his end goal. He respects their tenacity despite its futility. The quote itself is even glass half full. He could have easily said when half of humanity dies.
Unfortunately, like other Thanos quotes, this one has some horrible foreboding, regarding Tony’s final sacrifice.
Knowledge and a curse
“You’re not the only one cursed with knowledge.”
Thanos quotes the above in Avengers: Infinity War when he first crosses paths with Iron-Man and shows that the two are well aware of who the other is. It’s an odd take on comparing a death creating philosophy to the genius of Tony Stark, but Thanos takes that angle regardless. However, in some ways, Stark knows what Thanos is referencing is true. Despite the power that it comes with, the pursuit and attainment of knowledge can be a curse.
“I know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail nonetheless. It’s frightening, turns the legs to jelly. I ask you to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now it’s here. Or should I say, I am.”
With this Thanos quote, we are indeed given a window into the Titan’s more personal side. It’s hard to believe that an eternal cosmic being has seen many failures throughout his long life, but this sentiment echoes storylines from comics like Thanos Rising and The Death of Captain Marvel.
Once half of Earth’s population disappears, the Avengers do end up running from their failures. Avengers: Endgame starts with a dispersed and weakened team that has all but given up. However, when Ant-Man arrives back on the scene, they begin to use their previous failures as a source of strength. Unlike Thanos, who believes destiny is set, the team of heroes believes the future is theirs to make.
Thanos the merciful
“You were going to bed hungry, scrounging for scraps. Your planet was on the brink of collapse. I’m the one who stopped that. You know what’s happened since then? The children born have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies. It’s a paradise.”
Thanos even manages to reframe his abduction of Gamora into a positive and merciful light. According to Thanos, her entire planet would have been doomed without him, and Gamora along with it. She remembers things a little differently, and the vibrant, happy community she was surrounded by certainly didn’t deserve Thanos’ wrath.
Thanos believed that he saw the impending economic and social problems arising before the natives and took it upon himself to remove half the population. His “paradise” allowed for enough food to go around and resources to become less scarce. He chose what was best for a planet that couldn’t decide for themselves.
The Price To Pay
“What did it cost yoU?”
Gamora and Thanos’ relationship is Stockholm syndrome on steroids. However, it does add a vital emotional element to his character and reflects the complexity of human bonds.
I think it’s there with the best Thanos quotes as it comes when things are reaching a boiling point. He sacrifices the only person he truly loved to pursue his larger goal and obtain the soul stone.
The quote comes from flashbacks, where Thanos speaks to a young Gamora who asks the question “What Did It Cost You?” to which he replies, “Everything.” Unlike other powerful quotes from Thanos, this isn’t said with any might or robustness. But with a sense of guilt and vulnerability. It’s a real insight into his love for Gamora.
A Strong Will
“The hardest choices require the strongest wills.”
What made Thanos so scary was his lack of impulsiveness. Like a true psychopath, he had thought everything through to the end. Every act and decision was measured, and their possible results weighed. It’s an insight into his character and lays bare that the process of wiping out half the universe may not always rest easy on the big man’s shoulders as easy as it appears to.
Luckily, despite his near-infinite willpower and affliction for destruction, the Avengers’ pool their collective wills to battle the madman. It shows that without an abundance of resolve, our mighty heroes may never have prevailed.
A changing tune
“I thought that by eliminating half of life, the other half would thrive. But you have shown me… that’s impossible. As long as there are those that remember what was, there will always be those, that are unable to accept what can be. They will resist..”
I was surprised when Thanos said this, and I don’t regard it as one of the best Thanos quotes in terms of keeping with his character. After he snaps his fingers and half the galaxy is gone, he proceeds to rest in his paradise. Whereas other planets had moved on from the grief Earth remained stagnant and couldn’t overcome the loss of life. Instead, they became resentful and wanted to seek revenge.
I feel this quote eventually leads to Thanos making a jump from wanting to destroy half the universe to destroy all of it, which was relatively impulsive and out of character for Marvel’s main baddy. His entire end goal suddenly shifts from being reasonable to outright mad.
“I’m a survivor.”
Some of what Thanos says can be misconstrued and blurs the lines between what motivates the Titan. However, during an exchange with Dr. Strange, which is packed with great quotes, Thanos tells Strange how he predicted his planet’s demise, but nobody would listen to his murderous solution.
Strange sarcastically congratulates Thanos for prophesying his planet’s destruction. However, with the response “I am a survivor,” we get a clear picture of where Thanos places himself, especially regarding his past, and it helps to outline some of his motives.
The best Thanos quote?
This quote has spawned numerous memes and is arguably the most iconic on the list and reappears throughout the series. Having destiny mapped out for you isn’t ideal when that fate means the end of half the universe. It’s an attempt to nudge the Avengers into realizing that it is futile no matter what they do. Their fate has already been sealed. Nothing displays this more poignantly than when the team finds Thanos resting in paradise. Only to discover that he nearly killed himself destroying the stones, so that his work can’t be undone.
The reason it’s my favorite Thanos quote is because of how Tony Star co-opts the phrase in the last movie to deliver one of the best lines in cinematic history.
A universe that is grateful
“I will shred this universe down to its last atom and then, with the stones you’ve collected for me, create a new one. It is not what is lost but only what it is been given… a grateful universe.”
While one of the best Thanos quotes because of its gravity and implications for the universe, I’m not sure this reflects the character that well. After the team combines Pym particles and time travel to relocate all of the stones, they don’t expect Thanos to follow them back from the past and try to steal the stones.
However, after seeing the eventual outcome of his actions, he now believes he needs to destroy the whole universe and rebuild it from scratch to avoid future uprisings. I feel this moves his character from a Titan on a carefully curated mission to a full-blown crazy dictator.
Almost but not quite
“You should have gone for the head.”
As the clock ticks down to the Infinity War’s final moments, it seems like the heroes will prevail after all. The tide begins to change, and through a concerted team effort, Thor manages to stab Thanos just in time.
However, the damage has not hindered him enough, and he turns to Thor saying, “You should have gone for the head” before completing that iconic snap of the fingers. It’s one of the best Thanos quotes and gets brought up again in End Game when Thor loses control of his temper and decapitates Thanos before uttering the line once more.
“You could not live with your own failure, and where did that bring you? Back to me.”
This makes up part of a more extensive quote, but it is still impactful by itself. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes struggled to adapt after the snap, and in large part, this was because their failed mission led to its success. They were made to deal with the consequences of their failure, and this haunted many of them.
However, their failure spurred them to rectify their mistakes and take on the Titan in an epic round 2 battle.