Yellowstone’s John Dutton: Top Ten Quotes

by Outsider
(source: Paramount Networks Press Center, Yellowstone Series Photography)

Yellowstone mastermind Tyler Sheridan undeniably has a way with words, and Kevin Costner‘s John Dutton gets to deliver a lot of those killer quotes. Some of his lines are unforgettable — you know, ones you quote in an argument or mumble to yourself when saddling up for a ride?

Hence, we collected the best lines from John Dutton in Paramount Network‘s hit television show. Of course, narrowing down to ten favorites is no easy feat, so we’re hitting JD’s top quotes from Season 5, then Season 4, ahead of that Top 10. But first, be warned of major spoilers for the entire series below.

Top John Dutton Quotes from ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5

Season 5, Episode 1:

“I fight for what’s right. I don’t really care who supports it.”

“It must break my wife’s heart to look down and see what a mess I have made of this family. What an embarrassment we are to the sacrifice it took to give us a home.”

“Make no mistake. I love Montana, but I’m doing this for our ranch.”

“My wedding reception was in my living room with thirty people. This looks exactly like what it is: work.”
– John on his victory party

Season 5, Episode 2:

“When’s the last time a governor gave you his word? You have mine.”

Beth: Dad, we could lose the whole thing.
John: But it’ll be whole, honey. It’ll be whole… And that matters more than any name on a deed. We’ll worry about who runs things when that’s a worry.

John on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch

“As we speak, they’re raping the land our family has bled into for over a century. We’re already at war.”

“When’s the last time a governor gave you his word? You have mine.”

Clara: I’ve never seen anything like it.
John: Well there isn’t anything like it.
Clara: Where’s it end?
John: Well, you can’t see that from here.
Clara: Can’t imagine what it takes to maintain this place.
John: It takes everything, Clara. Take’s everything we’ve got.

John on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch

Season 5, Episode 3:

“You don’t know me well enough to call me John. It’s Commissioner Dutton. But if Fish and Wildlife officers aren’t on my front porch by Friday with a checkbook, you’re gonna get to know me real well.”
– Young John Dutton

“I can’t reflect at the end of the day. Evenings are for forgetting. But in the morning, I can remember.”

“There are some memories fathers shouldn’t share with their children.”

“I was thinking about your mother. She was a magnificent woman. I wish she could’ve lived long enough for you to recognize that, to know it. To know how much she loved you.”
– John to Beth

Season 5, Episode 4:

“I know how you feel. I wished I didn’t, but I do – I buried a son right over there. Blaming yourself aren’t you? I did that, too. Still do some days.

“I’ll tell you something I never told anybody. I had a brother for about eighteen hours. His name was Peter. He was born early. His little heart wasn’t strong enough. Not much they could do back in those days; not a lot they can do now. So they just gave him back to my mother. Doctors hoped, we prayed, and neither worked.

“It changed my mother. It hardened her. She never tried to have children again. Years later, I was grown and Lee had just been born. Both my parents are looking at him, taking turns holding him. And my father got white as a ghost, looked at my mother and said ‘Peter lived a perfect life. All he saw of this planet was you, and all he knew was that you loved him.’ 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.”
– John to Monica on the death of baby John IV

“Horses in heaven. Wouldn’t that be something.”

John Dutton’s Best Lines from ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

“Why do all my children have to leave to find happiness?”

“Well then you win the ‘Gettin’ Shot Least’ award, Kayce, I don’t know what to tell you.”

“If Walker’s such a problem, what’s he still doin’ here? You’ve enforced the rules of this ranch for 30 years, Lloyd. For you to be the one to break ’em what do you think that says to everybody else? It’s your last chance, but if you blow it, Lloyd. You understand?”

“You’re just pourin’ gas on the fire, Rip. Just dumpin’ it right on the damn fire.”

“This is every meal, Rip. This is where she gets her revenge.”

“Cake with your steak.”

Top 10 John Dutton Quotes of All Time

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

10. “Leverage is knowing if someone had all the money in the world, this is what they would buy.”

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

8. “All the angels are gone, son.”

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

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

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

4. “Horses in heaven. Wouldn’t that be something.”

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

2. “Well, the whole world’s a test, son. Don’t let them ever trick you into thinkin’ different.”

1. “This is going to be the end of us. But we’re gonna do it anyway.”

We couldn’t stop at just ten, though. John Dutton knows exactly what to say when it comes to power, ownership, and self-reliance. So, here are many more classics from the Western survivor.

More Top John Dutton Quotes

“I never had much luck leading men and being their friend. Maybe it can be different for you.”

“I never wanted that office. Beth, I just wanted the control. I still have that.”

“My whole life’s just a long series of losin’ things I love. I’m not gonna lose this one, Rip. Not this one.”

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

“Well, happy’s all I ever wanted for you, sweetheart. You give him your hand if he gives you that.”

John: I’m sorry, Beth.
Beth: Sorry for what?
John: That you thought you couldn’t come to me. That you thought I’d be ashamed or you’d be in trouble for it or whatever you thought. I’m the one safe person in this world that you can turn to, Beth, for anything, and it breaks my heart that I didn’t make you know that.

“Of 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.”

“Lee wouldn’t marry, didn’t want children, and I doubt you will either. Now your sister can’t. She can’t because of you!”

“What happens in 30 years, Jamie? When you and your brother and your sister are too old to fight for this place, and Tate has to fight for it on his own?”

“You know, the thing about suicide, you don’t just kill yourself, you kill every memory of you. This will be all everyone remembers, Jamie. Every second you spent on this earth will be reduced to how you chose to leave it. No one will mourn your loss, son, because this isn’t losing your life, this is quitting it.”

“Yeah, well I have this new rule. I only carry my phone in places with no service, otherwise, that son of a bitch stays on the kitchen counter.”

‘When’s the last time you watched the sunset, Governor?’

Well, I’m surprised you’re against it, Tom. An airport right down the street from your casino? I’m no hotel manager, but that sounds like a good thing to me.

“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?”

“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.”

The amount we can learn from television’s most popular character is infinite. Leadership, family issues, promises, and persistence all coarse through John Dutton’s veins. For more from his co-stars, be sure to see our Beth Dutton Quotes and Rip Wheeler Quotes next.