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The 10 best John Dutton quotes - words of wisdom from Yellowstone

John Dutton spends a lot of time on Yellowstone simply ruminating on life. With that in mind, here are his best quotes from the hit Western drama series.

Best John Dutton quotes: Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone

What are the best John Dutton quotes? When watching the flagship show in Taylor Sheridan’s Western universe, there’s no moment we look forward to quite as much as when John Dutton stops what he’s doing, looks towards the horizon, and waxes lyrical about some metaphorical nonsense.

It’s the fuel that keeps Yellowstone burning. Yes, the best drama series on television also has moments of intense action, swooning romance, and more cowboys than you can count, but it’s John Dutton‘s monologues and cutting insults that keep us coming back for more.

The best TV series will always allow for quotable dialogue and memorable lines, so we’ve picked out the top of the bunch when it comes to the best John Dutton quotes. Just be careful how you use them — there’s only one Yellowstone cast member who could pull most of these off.

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

Said in: Season 1, Episode 1 ‘Daybreak’

Let’s face it: John Dutton knows people. There’s rarely a time when he gets proven wrong in the face of greed, so when he says something like this, it’s probably true. Sometimes, it feels like the Duttons themselves have all the money in the world, but there’s always a bigger fish.

Even when they have the biggest corporations or factions battling against them, they always have the one thing that everyone else wants: Yellowstone. The pleasure in watching the series is knowing that the Dutton’s foes are probably never going to get their hands on it, no matter how hard they try.

Best John Dutton quotes: Kevin Costner as John Dutton

“There’s no such thing as dying of old age. Something kills us all.”

Said in: Season 2, Episode 6 ‘Blood the Boy’

This is classic John Dutton right here. Nothing’s ever easy, so it makes sense that his view on life and death would be just as simplistic and cynical as the rest of his approach to the world. We also wonder if this line is a prophecy of some kind.

We’ve already made our predictions for John Dutton’s Yellowstone fate, but it would certainly make sense if the show ended with John succumbing to an enemy’s fire, or a tragic accident. We think he probably wouldn’t have it any other way.

“His whole life’s in your hands now, Tate. How you treat him is how his life goes.”

Said in: Season 2, Episode 7 ‘Resurrection Day’

Honestly? We might throw this one out if we ever give our kids a pet. John never babies Tate or refuses to tell it like it is around him, which is something that Kayce and Monica often avoid doing. In teaching him about the world in his own way, John’s molding Tate into the man he thinks will be set to run the ranch one day.

His gift of Tate’s own horse is the real beginning of Tate’s love affair with the ways of the ranch, so it’s an important moment in the scope of the Yellowstone timeline, too.

Best John Dutton quotes: Brecken Merrill and Kevin Costner as Tate and John in Yellowstone

“I know who loves me. I know who’s loyal. I always have.”

Said in: Season 2, Episode 10 ‘Sins of the Father’

Despite what his kids might think sometimes, JD’s no fool. He always knows where he stands with others, and where they stand with him. There are moments when he rewards those he knows will never abandon him (like gifting Rip the house) and moments where he punishes those he simply doesn’t trust. But he always knows, and his self-assuredness is part of what makes him such a formidable force.

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

Said in: Season 3, Episode 1 ‘You’re the Indian Now’

We’re including a moment that we’d been waiting for the entire series: John and Kayce’s reconciliation. I mean, technically, they don’t really reconcile (it would take a long time for Kayce to completely come to terms with John’s treatment of him in the past and forgive him entirely), but it’s a step in the right direction.

After a lot of pushing and pulling throughout the series, seeing John understand and accept Kayce is a revelation we thought was a long time coming. And, ultimately, it’s a moment that proves that despite his harsh nature at times, John is a father who does want a lot for his children. …In his own way.

Best John Dutton quotes: Kevin Costner and Luke Grimes as John and Kayce

“Yeah, but you can’t sell this. You gotta earn it; you gotta live it, and that’s what they’ll never understand.”

Said in: Season 3, Episode 4 ‘Going Back to Cali’

We kind of love how John thinks he’s better than everyone else who could ever set foot on his land, because it’s probably true. Often, their battle with external forces becomes so vicious (his grandson gets kidnapped, for crying out loud) that you question why they don’t just sell the land.

There are millions of dollars to be made, but John turns it down every time. The only reason being that he truly believes that there’s nobody else on earth that could treat Yellowstone the way it needs to be treated. Even if he’s wrong, you’ve got to respect him for it.

“If this wants to be a contest about who can lose their composure the most, I’ll put this table through the fucking wall!”

Said in: Season 4, Episode 9 ‘No Such Thing as Fair’

Hey, this is similar to what we said when we found out Yellowstone was canceled! But seriously, John doesn’t let many people talk down to him, but Beth Dutton gets away with an awful lot. On this occasion, however, he’s not having it.

When Beth challenges him in her usual off-handed way, John takes it to heart and uses the moment to remind her who the real man of the house is. And, frankly, it works. We were a little scared, anyway.

Best John Dutton quotes: the cast of Yellowstone

“Horses in Heaven. Wouldn’t that be something?”

Said in: Season 5, Episode 4 ‘Horses in Heaven’

Okay, we’re not crying — you’re crying. If there’s one thing that often gets forgotten about the frontman of Yellowstone, it’s that he’s a rancher first and foremost. All the politics and dirty business that follow are done out of aspiration to maintain the one thing that John Dutton really knows and loves: the land.

Frankly, seeing him so mesmerized by the idea of horses in Heaven sums him up better than any badass take-down or lengthy monologue could. But speaking of lengthy monologues…

“That boy lived a perfect life, Monica. We’re the only ones who know it was brief. All he knew was you. And that you loved him.”

Said in: Season 5, Episode 4 ‘Horses in Heaven’

We’ve shortened this a little for clarity, because the actual speech goes on for a while longer, but this rumination on life is a firm favorite here at The Digital Fix. When Monica loses her baby and buries him on the ranch, John takes a moment alone with her and explains how he lost his baby brother just hours after he was born. It’s a tender scene, and we don’t get many of those between John and Monica because of their past animosities.

It’s a moment of comfort and kindness on John’s part, but it’s also an emotional take on the delicate balance of life, and how the simplest things matter. Again, not surprising, considering John’s overarching mentality, but it’s a real moment of vulnerability for the both of them.

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“I got one child I miss, one child I pity, and one I regret. That girl, that child, I envy.”

Said in: Season 5, Episode 5 ‘Watch ‘Em Ride Away’

Any time John gives insight into what he thinks of his children, we’re let a little more into his inner workings. We get the impression that he loves his kids, but doesn’t always like them that much. So when the utters these words, it opens up a whole wave of questions.

The child he misses is, of course, referring to Lee, who died in the opening episode of the main Yellowstone series. In our minds, he pities Kayce and regrets Jamie because, well, we’d regret Jamie too, honestly.

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There you have it: the best John Dutton quotes. For more, check out the best Beth Dutton quotes. You can also get acquainted with our guide to Yellowstone season 5 part 2, and see if there’s a Yellowstone season 6, so you know when the final season of the best Taylor Sheridan TV series is due to hit screens.

For some long reads, take a look at our features on why Dallas ran so Yellowstone could fly, and find out what we think will happen if Taylor Sheridan can’t bring Kevin Costner back.