Favourite Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes

In celebration of 42 year anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I ask, what are your favourite quotes from the books/radio series/TV series (even the movie if you like since it did have a cameo from Simon Jones).

One of mine is:

“What’s so bad about being drunk?”
“Go ask a glass of water”

Had me in stitches when I first read that! :smiley:


The first ten million years were the worst, and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.


Also, a rather long conversation with Marvin and a tank…

Marvin stood there.

‘Out of my way little robot,’ growled the tank.

‘I’m afraid,’ said Marvin, ‘that I’ve been left here to stop you.’

The probe extended again for a quick recheck. It withdrew again.

‘You? Stop me?’ roared the tank, ‘Go on!’

‘No, really I have,’ said Marvin simply.

‘What are you armed with?’ roared the tank in disbelief.

‘Guess,’ said Marvin.

The tank’s engines rumbled, its gears ground. Molecule-sized electronic relays deep in its micro-brain flipped backwards and forwards in consternation.

‘Guess?’ said the tank.

‘Yes, go on,’ said Marvin to the huge battle machine, ‘you’ll never guess.’

‘Errrmmm …’ said the machine, vibrating with unaccustomed thought, ‘laser beams?’

Marvin shook his head solemnly.

‘No,’ muttered the machine in its deep gutteral rumble, ‘Too obvious. Anti-matter ray?’ it hazarded.

‘Far too obvious,’ admonished Marvin.

‘Yes,’ grumbled the machine, somewhat abashed, ‘Er … how about an electron ram?’

This was new to Marvin.

‘What’s that?’ he said.

‘One of these,’ said the machine with enthusiasm.

From its turret emerged a sharp prong which spat a single lethal blaze of light. Behind Marvin a wall roared and collapsed as a heap of dust. The dust billowed briefly, then settled.

‘No,’ said Marvin, ‘not one of those.’

‘Good though, isn’t it?’

‘Very good,’ agreed Marvin.

‘I know,’ said the Frogstar battle machine, after another moment’s consideration, ‘you must have one of those new Xanthic Re-Structron Destabilized Zenon Emitters!’

‘Nice, aren’t they?’ agreed Marvin.

‘That’s what you’ve got?’ said the machine in condiderable awe.

‘No,’ said Marvin.

‘Oh,’ said the machine, disappointed, ‘then it must be …’

‘You’re thinking along the wrong lines,’ said Marvin, ‘You’re failing to take into account something fairly basic in the relationship between men and robots.’

‘Er, I know,’ said the battle machine, 'is it … ’ it tailed off into thought again.

‘Just think,’ urged Marvin, ‘they left me, an ordinary, menial robot, to stop you, a gigantic heavy-duty battle machine, whilst they ran off to save themselves. What do you think they would leave me with?’

‘Oooh er,’ muttered the machine in alarm, ‘something pretty damn devastating I should expect.’

‘Expect!’ said Marvin. ‘Oh yes, expect. I’ll tell you what they gave me to protect myself with shall I?’

‘Yes, alright,’ said the battle machine, bracing itself.

‘Nothing,’ said Marvin.

There was a dangerous pause.

Nothing? ’ roared the battle machine.

‘Nothing at all,’ intoned Marvin dismally, ‘not an electronic sausage.’

The machine heaved about with fury.

‘Well doesn’t that just take the biscuit!’ it roared, ‘Nothing, eh?’ Just don’t think, do they?’

‘And me,’ said Marvin in a soft low voice, ‘with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.’

‘Makes you spit, doesn’t it?’

‘Yes,’ agreed Marvin with feeling.

‘Hell that makes me angry,’ bellowed the machine, ‘think I’ll smash that wall down!’

The electron ram stabbed out another searing blaze of light and took out the wall next to the machine.

‘How do you think I feel?’ said Marvin bitterly.

‘Just ran off and left you did they?’ the Machine thundered.

‘Yes,’ said Marvin.

‘I think I’ll shoot down their bloody ceiling as well!’ raged the tank.

It took out the ceiling of the bridge.

‘That’s very impressive,’ murmured Marvin.

‘You ain’t seen nothing yet,’ promised the machine, ‘I can take out this floor too, no trouble!’

It took out the floor too.

‘Hells bells!’ the machine roared as it plummeted fifteen storeys and smashed itself to bits on the ground below.

‘What a depressingly stupid machine,’ said Marvin and trudged away.


Ah yes, that is one of my favourites too :smiley:

“You know," said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”
“Why, what did she tell you?”
"I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”



“What is the meaning of life, the universe , and everything?”


42? We’ll be lynched!


Obviously a different use of the word “safe” that I’m accustomed to.

“Get your self a sense of perspective” she would say 20,000 times a day

I wonder what would happen if I pressed this button…Oh!
A light lit up saying “do not press this button again”
I think this ship is brand new
How do you know, have you got some exotic piece of kit for measuring the age of metal?
No I’ve just found the sales brochure.

I have the original radio recordings ( in mono with authentic Stereo multiplex whistle ) on Reel to Reel tapes, and the episode listings cut out of the Radio Times stuck to the boxes.
I have no idea if they’ll play now, some 42 years later, if there’s anyone in UK interested by all means give me a shout.


BTW, Zaphod Beeblebrox is starring in “ No sex please we’re Ameboid Singatularians, at the Brontesvogon Starhouse.

There was a Talk Show on TV where Peter Jones was talking about this Radio series where he was a narrator and was recording all his pieces in a “ Broom Cupboard” in a London Studio and hasn’t met any one other than a producer, the Second guest, sat listening, was Douglas Adams, who pointed out that he was writing it.


“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”


Trillian-He wasn’t so much a Leopard… more like a Shoebox
Trillion-Yes… full of size nine Chukka boots
Arthur-Size nine Chukka boots?
Zaphod-Hey monkey man what is this dictation?
Arthur-Well excuse me… I just wondered how she knew they were size nine!!


The Pangalactic Gargleblaster, the effects of which are like having your brain slapped by a slice of Lemon…wrapped around a Gold Brick


Where are you?
I’m in the car park
In the car park… what you doing in the car park?
Parking Cars what else would you do in a car park?

I can wash my head in a bucket of water for you if you like. Would you like me to wash my head in a bucket of water? I’ve got one with me… hang on
( Sound of tin bucket and sloshing of water)
There…is that better?


I guess it would have to be the ones I commonly use.
“doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in a supernova”
“he/she really knows where their towel is at”
“I couldn’t give a pair of fetid dingoes kidneys”
“I went mad for a while, did me no end of good”
“I know an improbable event when it materialises a 6 foot stuffed pink aubergine in my shower cubicle”

I reference the bowl of petunias a lot while explaining probability and randomness.


Like I say… The other Shalternak’s Duple Berry shrub is always a more Mauvey shade of pinky russet.


“Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.”


“A personal friend?” inquired the Vogon, who had heard the expression somewhere once and decided to try it out.


Thanks for making this thread. Helped make a gloomy week better.


You’re welcome :grinning::+1: The H2G2 books are my favourite, followed by the Discworld novels.


I got kicked out of class in 7th grade because I kept busting out laughing while reading during class… Well worth it!


“Don’t try and engage my enthusiasm because I haven’t got one”


The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.