Top 10 Quotes From the 12th Doctor

Doctor Who has been a wellspring of inspiration and poignancy for almost six decades. The time-traveling, two-hearted alien with a blue box has become a beacon of wisdom for those who need it. Sometimes those pearls of wisdom take on a comical tone, sometimes they’re quite serious. Sometimes they’re lasagna.

If you know me, you know that the 12th Doctor, played by the utterly sublime Peter Capaldi, is my favorite. Bar none. I was smitten from his very first scene to the bittersweet end. Twelve’s ability to feel a surplus of emotions, sometimes all at once, really resonated with me. Not to mention, he had a seemingly never-ending empathy and a desire to always exude kindness. Despite his gruff exterior and occasionally stoic demeanor, the 12th Doctor truly boasted two bleeding hearts for humanity. He was their greatest champion.

Below, you’ll find a list of my personal favorite 12th Doctor quotes. So, take a trip down Memory Lane and revisit his greatest hits.


“Nothing’s sad until it’s over, and then everything is.”

Hands down, Twelve was the most philosophical of the New Who Doctors. He could convey overwhelming sentiment in just a few words. This particular quote hails from “Hell Bent,” wherein the Doctor encounters Clara (Jenna Coleman) after his memories of her are erased.

I think that’s why this quote is so profound to me — the fact that we’re already mourning the loss of this pairing on top of the Doctor’s inability to recognize a close companion. Think about it. We may know the end of something grand is teetering on the horizon, but until we actually experience that end, “nothing’s sad.” Not until it’s over. After that, everything is coated with sadness.


“Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.”

“The Doctor Falls,” the season 10 finale, is quintessential 12th Doctor goodness. So many wonderful quotes and food for thought. To me, this line encapsulates who Twelve really is. It encompasses his essence.

The 12th Doctor harbored a strong moral compass and never shied away from doing the right thing. He was always transparent when it came to voicing his values and putting them into action. This line epitomizes just that. Where the Doctor stands is where he falls.


“Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?”

This quote is from season 8’s “Dark Water.” The Doctor and Clara embark on a trip to the Nethersphere. Twelve makes the shocking discovery that Missy (Michelle Gomez) is actually The Master, his archnemesis and fellow Time Lord.

The above line perfectly captures the 12th Doctor’s compassionate nature and two hearts that were perpetually overflowing with love. It doesn’t matter if you betray him. He’ll always care about you.


“Never be cruel. Never be cowardly. Hate is always foolish. Love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.”

“Twice Upon a Time” never fails to make me weepy. It’s a wonderful send-off for a wonderful Doctor. I love the plot choice to have him revisit his first incarnation a.k.a. the 1st Doctor (David Bradley). As he’s in the throes of regeneration, the Doctor has some eloquent words to impart for his last go-round in that vessel.

This quote should be written in the sky for all to see. It is excellent advice for humanity and how we should interact with each other. “Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.” Trust me, there’s a difference between the two.


“Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.”

Remember that epic speech from “The Zygon Inversion”? One that should’ve garnered Capaldi, at the very least, an Emmy nomination? The 12th Doctor delivers an impassioned monologue regarding the perils of war and how both sides, in this case, humans and Zygons, need to sit down and talk things through.

Apparently, “thinking” is an elaborate word for “changing your mind.” You learn new things every day! But it rings with truth. You can’t change your viewpoint on something unless you mull over it.


“Sometimes, the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose.”

“Mummy on the Orient Express” is very much inspired by Agatha Christie‘s Murder on the Orient Express. An immortal and deadly creature is stalking passengers aboard an opulent train that carries its occupants through the stars. The 12th Doctor must put a stop to the terrorizing. Unfortunately, he’s left with a bevy of unfavorable choices.

The above quote is definitely applicable to life. There will be times where only bad choices lay before us. Regardless, we still have to choose.


“I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”

Here’s another beautiful line from “The Doctor Falls.” Twelve emphatically states that his actions are driven by the desire to be kind. Be kind in all things.

Even when the odds are stacked against him, even when it takes every ounce of strength he has to elicit a resolution, the Doctor will always do the right thing. You can count on that. He has an unshakable moral center at the core of his being. His ability to decipher right from wrong was never in question.


“Human progress isn’t measured by industry. It’s measured by the value you place on a life. An unimportant life. A life without privilege. The boy who died on the river, that boy’s value is your value … That’s what defines a species.”

If you want to see the 12th Doctor punch a racist, then look no further than the season 10 episode “Thin Ice.” A mysterious threat lurks between the frozen Thames River in 1814. Bill (Pearl Mackie) travels with Twelve to eradicate said threat. The Doctor encounters a man named Sutcliffe who radiates bigotry. Thankfully, he cuts Sutcliffe down to size.

The quote listed above fits the Doctor’s views like a glove. Not to mention, it hints at a previous line stated by his predecessor, the 11th Doctor. Eleven talked about how in his 900 years of time and space, he’d never met “anyone who wasn’t important.”


“Sometimes, on a good day, if I try very hard, I’m not some old Time Lord who ran away. I’m the Doctor.”

In the season 9 two-parter premiere, the 12th Doctor goes toe-to-toe with one of his oldest enemies, Davros. The Supreme Dalek. Davros claims he’s dying and he wants the Doctor by his side. What transpires is a wonderfully philosophical discussion regarding the merits of compassion.

Whether the Doctor’s mercy will be the end of him. Twelve tells Davros that he’s not just some “old Time Lord who ran away.” He’s the Doctor. The one who saves people from the monsters. The one who walks the walk and talks the talk.


“Don’t be lasagna.”

Sometimes the 12th Doctor loved to utilize food as the basis for his nuggets of wisdom. Season 8’s “Into the Dalek” is a prime example of that. Twelve asks what would happen if you microwaved lasagna without pricking the film on top of it. “It explodes,” Clara responds. Then, Twelve urges her to not be lasagna.

In other words, don’t explode. Keep a level head. Think pragmatically and rationally. You’ll be all the better for it if you do. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some lasagna from time to time.


Do you have any favorite quotes from the 12th Doctor? Let Your Geek Sideshow and sound off in the comments below!