Naruto is full of its fair share of quotes as one of the best, most iconic Shonen manga and anime. Its cast of beloved characters is loaded with quirks and distinct personalities. Some lines are generic, tropey Shonen fare, but many words spoken by them will be remembered forever.
One of my all-time favorite series, this franchise is close to my heart, and even upon coming back to this, now 20 years later, it still feels so familiar and comfortable. There are moments of sage wisdom and inspiration, along with potent themes like processing grief, overcoming isolation, and embracing love in all its forms. Here are my picks for the 10 best Naruto quotes across the entire series, Shippuden included.
Top 10 Naruto and Naruto Shippuden Quotes
You’ll find that Naruto is exceptionally good at pulling on your heartstrings, especially compared to the other Shonen Big Three members, Bleach and One Piece. Much of the series features a protagonist fighting to prove his place in the world and to retain his connection to friends and loved ones.
Related: Best Naruto Watch Order
As a result, many quotes have emotional significance, and some even have clever deeper meanings with great life lessons. We should disclaim that Boruto will likely receive a separate treatment as it is still an ongoing series separate and very distinct from Naruto, and you’ll find there’s still plenty to work with in the original classic. There are some series spoilers below, beware!
10. “Those Who Break the Rules Are Scum, But Those Who Abandon Their Friends Are Worse Than Scum.” – Obito Uchiha
Obito Uchiha was a bit of a black sheep compared to the rest of the Uchiha clan. He was brash, incompetent, and didn’t show much promise. But what he had was a lot of heart that reminds us a lot of Naruto Uzumaki, and this potent line was enough to break through Kakashi Hatake’s walls and leave a lasting impression.
What kind of impression? Well, if you’re just starting in the series, you might have thought this was originally a Kakashi quote. He may have said it the first time in the series, but Obito was responsible for reminding Kakashi that he could be an elite shinobi while still protecting his comrades. It’s something he’d impart on Team 7, and so forth from there.
9. “If you don’t like your destiny, don’t accept it. Instead, have the courage to change it the way you want it to be!” – Naruto Uzumaki
‘Out of the mouths of babes.’ Naruto made a ton of profound speeches in his youth that would resonate with others around him, and it was quotes like these that would win over far more respected peers of his. Whether it was humbling Neji Hyuga, or convincing Gaara that he deserved to live like anybody else, Naruto’s endless optimism is a product of him refusing to be isolated as an orphan or an outcast.
8. “People Call Me a Failure…I’ll Prove Them Wrong!” – Naruto Uzumaki
Speaking of humbling Neji, this one goes out to the underachievers and those who weren’t nurtured for their strengths. This scene from the Chunin Exams Arc is among the many that cemented Naruto as one of my top Shonen manga, and seeing it brought to life in anime was gratifying as well.
It was so interesting that in the original series, he didn’t have an ounce of self-doubt, and in many ways left the strongest lasting impressions on major characters that rippled through the franchise. He won the respect of one of the most brilliant fellow genin of his generation in the moments that followed this line, to the point of him being followed into battle years later.
7. “If I Could, If I Were Able, I Would Want to Go to the Same Place on the Other Side As You.” – Zabuza Momochi
The afterlife is a tricky subject depending on who you ask, but for Zabuza Momochi, the first monstrously strong opponent Naruto and Team 7 would encounter, it was all but a given. This character left a strong impression on me, and it clicked many years later: aesthetically he had the tiniest hints of Guts from Berserk in him. He was ferocious, bloodthirsty, and wielded a giant sword, but most relevant to this discussion, he was a mentor to his comrade, Haku, and he loved him like a son.
The entire Land of Waves Escort Mission Arc had us believing Zabuza was nothing but fodder for some epic fight scenes with Kakashi. But Haku was so fiercely loyal to him that the young fighter laid down his life for Zabuza, an assassin infamously known as Demon of the Mist, and that sacrifice brought Zabuza’s walls tumbling down.
Disarmed by Kakashi, injured and brought to death’s door, and able to take out one last act of defiance against Gato, he laid down next to his apprentice. Knowing that while he is likely destined for hell, all he cares about is seeing Haku again in the afterlife. I use the manga panel from Chapter 33 here because this arc endeared me to Naruto forever, and I still have that issue of Shonen Jump to this day.
6. “To Be a Parent Is to Have Undying Faith in One’s Child.” – Minato Namikaze
The Pain Arc is peak Naruto, and this ranks among the top individual moments. When Naruto met Minato, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was seemingly impossible, but Minato left just enough of him behind after he died to guide Naruto past the lowest point in his life. The demon sealed inside him was wreaking havoc when he fell prey to his grief, and in this moment he ignited Naruto’s Will of Fire.
Naruto had plenty of doubt left in himself. His mentor was killed by his strongest opponent yet, and loved ones were mercilessly massacred all around him in this story. But Minato, in a moment where he’s confirmed as Naruto’s father and the Fourth Hokage, reminded his son of their mutual ability to be sanguine in the worst of times. Naruto needed that, just as much as he needed a father all these years.
5. “For You Are a Distinguished Student of One of the Legendary Sannin; Acknowledged by the Great Jiraiya Himself.” – Iruka Umino
Most of these quotes are total tearjerkers to play even now. The context is key here: Iruka was one of the first teachers to believe in Naruto, giving him the time of day when nobody else would. Cut to the present, when Iruka is saying this the night after Naruto learns Jiraiya was killed in battle, wandering at night, holding a popsicle he would normally split with his mentor.
It’s heartbreaking to think about even now. But Iruka did what he always did, reminding Naruto he is not alone and has accomplished a lot. The final kicker of this moment was when Iruka broke the popsicle in half and offered it to Naruto, mimicking how the late sage would do the same. Saccharine, yet fitting.
4. “As For Friends, I Have Lots of Good Ones. I Wish You Could Have Met Them. There’s One That I’m Not Getting Along With Though.” – Naruto Uzumaki
This one felt like a total gut punch that nobody talks about. Naruto has come so far and won over so many hardened, traumatized fellow ninja and improved their lives by being himself. So when he finally got a chance to tell his late mother beyond the grave about this, it was a reminder of his personal growth.
It’s also a reminder of how stubborn he was with the last part of that line. It’s loaded with subtext about his fraught friendship with Sasuke, who thoroughly betrayed all of Konoha multiple times. It was also foreshadowing how he’d never give up on trying to win back his friend. The moment he said it was also endearing for the fact that Kushina Uzumaki is a wonderful character and a charming mother figure.
3. “Rejection Is a Part of Any Man’s Life. If You Can’t Accept and Move Past Rejection, or at Least Use It As Writing Material — You’re Not A Real Man.” – Jiraiya
This one is a precious lesson for any adolescent males reading this, which is good because that’s the primary target audience of Naruto, and this is one of the best, most timeless quotes. I’d argue that it’s a lesson that can be transferred to any gender though. Jiraiya carved a niche for himself as not being able to practice what he preached in many ways (do NOT make him an idol) this speech should be mounted on a plaque in any father’s study that he can point to when lecturing his child.
2. “Because You Fail, You Have the Strength to Face Your Failure…I Think That’s Real Strength.” – Hinata Hyuga
Hinata Hyuga’s demure demeanor was adorable the first time fans were introduced to her. But in how she idolized Naruto, yet cheered him on and loved him from afar, she helped reassure him of his self-worth. The courage to embrace failure is what helps us grow, and Naruto certainly had his share of those in the series.
The story of their love made fans glad, not only because it deviated from a problematic pairing like him and Sakura (even if her pairing with Sasuke has some issues) but because they were perfect for each other. They were both looked down upon and found strength in being each others’ better angels.
1. “I’ll Pick Up Your Pieces.” – Shikaku Nara
For those unfamiliar, Shikamaru Nara’s favorite pastime is Shogi, aka Japanese Chess. The quote in question here has extra meaning as it caps off a potently delivered line by his father, Shikaku, seconds after Shikamaru tosses aside the board and all the pieces they’re using the play together. This one is a fantastic moment for the anime-only viewers in the audience.
It’s only fitting that one of the best arcs of the Naruto Shippuden anime would also get one of its best quotes. Shikamaru recently lost his mentor Asuma Sarutobi (a lot of dead mentors in this show). After a devastating scene at the beginning of the episode where he broke the news to Kurenai, Asuma’s lover, and mother of Asuma’s unborn child, Shikamaru went quiet.
But Shikaku did what any father should at this moment. He sat and played, coaxing Shikamaru’s grief and frustration, being just coarse enough to get across. When he goaded Shikamaru about his playstyle between questions about what he would do about his mentor dying, Shikamaru lost his temper, throwing the board and shogi pieces aside and Shikaku said the following:
Just Let it all out. All of the sadness, fears, and anger, and everything else! You’ve got to let it go. It all starts from there. I’ll pick up your pieces.-Shikaku Nara
It’s haunting, and such a powerful way for a father to say “It’s okay to cry, son.” It’s also not only one of the best quotes in Naruto but quietly among the best in popular fiction. You’d be surprised how many people need that in their lives. Shikamaru was given the space to grieve, and then to plan his next course of action, where he’d grow as a shinobi, and avenge the lost while keeping himself and his friends alive.
- This article was updated on November 1st, 2023