65 Powerful John Dutton Quotes From Yellowstone

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In this article, we’re gonna dive into a collection of the best John Dutton quotes!

John Dutton is the rugged patriarch of the Dutton family in the hit TV series, Yellowstone. He’s known for going to extreme lengths to protect his family ranch, his strict code of honor, and a ruthless desire to maintain influence.

It’s these qualities that make John Dutton such a powerful character. His desire to keep the Dutton family name intact drives much of the conflict during the show, and it’s great to watch the drama unfold.

The following John Dutton quotes will inspire, challenge and entertain you. So sit back, relax, and get ready to immerse yourself in the wisdom of one of TV’s great characters.


Powerful John Dutton Quotes


  • “The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.”


  • “You don’t pay for what you get, you pay for what you don’t see.”


  • You want to be me someday? Then become something that can help me protect this place.”


  • “When you kill a thing, it makes you a little less man, a little more animal. Now we try to find the balance between them. That’s all life is.”


  • “It’s the one constant in life. You build something worth having, someone’s gonna try to take it.”


  • “All the angels are gone, son. There are only devils left.”


  • “You’re a good man. Sometimes, good men have to do real bad things. It doesn’t change who you are.”


john dutton quote


  • “It’s a good thing you did today. You broke a rule that shouldn’t have been a rule in the first place, and you did it for the right reasons.”


  • “I made a promise, and I’d rather lose it than break it.”


  • “Living day to day isn’t living, it’s surviving, with no regard for tomorrow.” 


  • “Killing is the one thing that everything on this planet does to survive. It’s the one thing that we all share, and now you share it too.”


  • “You can sit in my living room, or you can leave it. Those are your options.”


The Best John Dutton Quotes From Yellowstone


  • “You realize you ain’t dead, and you’re not gonna die, and you gotta face all the decisions you made. And out of all that you gotta figure out how to let yourself start living again.”


  • “Leverage is knowing that if someone had all the money in the world, this is what they’d buy.”


  • “No more collateral damage, do you understand me? We don’t kill sheep, we kill wolves. What you did was cruel.”


  • “That rifle has the power to take a life. Whatever you point it at. You know that, right?”


  • “I never had much luck leading men and being their friend at the same time. Maybe it could be different for you.”


  • “I have this new rule. I only carry my phone in places with no service, otherwise, that thing stays on the kitchen counter.”


  • (To RIp) “You’re the only man tough enough to take on my daughter.”


  • “You can’t reason with evil. Evil wants what it wants, and it won’t stop until it’s won or you kill it. To kill it means to be meaner than evil.”


famous john dutton quote


  • “This ain’t checkers son, this is chess. And you’re about to play it with masters.”


  • “I think that I’m all out of good days son.”


  • “No one will mourn your loss, son, because this isn’t losing your life; this is quitting it.


  • “Son if I spent a week thinking of ways that I could screw up my day, I would not have come up with this.”


  • “There’s no such thing as dying of old age. Something kills us all. It could be a bacteria so small that you need a microscope to see it, or it could be a big ol’ bear.”


John Dutton Quotes About Family

Enjoying this list of quotes so far? Then you’ll probably also enjoy these Beth Dutton quotes or this list of famous cowboy quotes.

If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some more powerful John Dutton quotes about family.


  • “The whole world’s a test, son. Don’t let them ever trick you into thinking differently.”


  • “Damnit Beth, I never thought I’d feel this way about you before, but you’ve really disappointed me honey. I never thought I’d say that about you.”


  • “Do you love him? Does he make you happy? Well good, because happy is all I’ve ever wanted for you, sweetheart.”


  • “Learn how to be meaner than evil and still love your family and enjoy a sunrise.”


  • “That’s the thing about being a grandfather. I get to do all the things I wish I had done with my children. And the things I regret, I get to do them differently.”


  • “All the promises I’ve made in my life son. If I didn’t love your mother so much, I’d break it. I swear to God I’d break it.”


  • “I’m your father, Beth, I’m the one safe person in this world that you can turn to for anything. And it breaks my heart that I didn’t make you know that.”


  • “You’re my son, I know exactly who you are and don’t ever be sorry for it.” 


  • “He is a disappointment and my greatest failure, but I raised him, and I love him, as much as I’ve tried not to.”


powerful quote on wall


  • “Your grandfather used to say you can’t fix a broken wagon wheel, but you can use the parts to make a new one.”


  • “The difference between raising a son and a daughter. All you do with a daughter is just try to keep her from getting screwed. All you do with a son is try to keep him from screwing himself.”


  • “There’s a saying out here. If your daughter’s riding a horse, no one’s riding her.”


  • “Someday your son’s gonna test you. He’s gonna force you to make a decision that not only determines his future but your place in it.”


Inspiring John Dutton Quotes


  • “No one has a right. You have to take a right or stop it from being taken from you.”


  • “I spent most days wondering why I bother with all this. And then I see something like that happen, and it all comes back to me.”


  • “There’s no heaven to go to, because we’re already in it. We’re in hell too, they coexist right beside each other.”


quote on blue wall


  • “My rule is that you either fight with dignity, or you find and start another fight.”


  • “You gotta earn it; you gotta live it, and that’s what most people will never understand.”


  • “Your memories and your imagination are all mixed up in this soup of what’s real and what’s made up. But the thing about this soup is that you can change the ingredients and put in whatever you want to.”


  • “I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see that little elk live. What do you say we tip the scales in its favor?”


  • “You can be whoever you wanna be in this life. You can be a baseball star who opens Christmas presents all day long. So when you close your eyes later, decide what you’re gonna dream about.”


  • “Makes you wonder the point of it all. Findin’ someone you love so much just to lose ’em. Like to believe there’s a plan to it all, but I don’t see a plan.”


  • “That’s just life. In case you haven’t noticed it is cruel and uncaring.”


 John Dutton Quotes From Yellowstone


  • “Lawyers are the swords of this century. Words are weapons now. I need you to learn how to use them.”


  • “If this is gonna be a contest about who can lose their composure the most, I will put this table through the wall. Or you and I can sit and have a conversation like adults.”


  • “This is America. We don’t share land here.”


  • “I don’t sip my wine, I’m not drinking it for the taste.”


  • “It wasn’t a move. I’m just meaner than you.”


  • “If you betray me again son, you’re dead to me. Do you understand?”


  • “I said if you didn’t leave, I’d bury you here. And you didn’t leave. We keep our word in this valley.”


badass quote


  • “This field’s mine. That fence is mine. You damaged both, and you came back to damage it more. This is my home. If I did this to your home, what would you do?”


  • “I’m gonna leave these holes just like this, right here in the middle of my field. And if you ever come back here again, I’m gonna fill ’em. Understand?”


  • “You think you’re winning’ this game? You don’t even know the goddamned rules. But don’t worry, I’m gonna teach ’em to ya.”


FAQ’s About John Dutton in Yellowstone

Now that we’ve already covered some of the most famous quotes from John Dutton, here’s some more information about this larger than life character.


What is John Dutton diagnosed with?

John Dutton is clearly a survivor. Early on in the show, he’s diagnosed with colon cancer.

Initially, he and Beth were worried that this was gonna kill him, but luckily this never came to fruition.

However, colon cancer isn’t the only scare Dutton experiences in Yellowstone. At one point in the show, his ulcers erupt which causes a bevy of health issues. 

And to top it all off, he also gets caught up in a violent attack against his family that leaves him riddled with bullets and barely clinging to life. Yet through it all, John Dutton stays alive and remains head of the Dutton family for the time being.

How does John Dutton order his steak?

While he never explicitly states his steak order in the show, it appears that John Dutton prefers his steaks to be very rare.

During a scene in the show, Dutton walks into a restaurant and orders a steak by telling the waitress to, “Pull it outta the cooler, whisper fire to it, and put it on my plate.”

So while Dutton may be a tough guy, he doesn’t let this carry over into his steak preferences.

What was John Dutton’s promise?

John Dutton’s main promise is that he will never give up control of the ranch to anyone else outside his family.

When Duttton’s father was on his deathbed, he made him swear that the ranch would stay in the family, which is why he fights so hard to protect it.


Final Thoughts

I hope that you enjoyed this list of John Dutton quotes! 

John Dutton’s rugged persona combined with his wise words on life are part of what makes Yellowstone such a great show. 

He can be ruthless, but he can also be kind. He can be wise, but he can also get impulsive when his power is challenged. It’s this constant tug of war that makes him such an interesting character to observe on-screen.

So, let these quotes serve as a reminder to live like Dutton. Try your best to stay true to your principles, stand up for what you believe in, and never stop fighting for the things that matter most. 

Make the most of your life and try to build a legacy while you’re here. Because as John Dutton puts it,Living day to day isn’t living, it’s surviving, with no regard for tomorrow.” 

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