60 Tenet Quotes on the Complexities of Time

If you enjoy sci-fi movies about time travel and changing the world for the better, then these Tenet quotes might inspire you.

This sci-fi movie was released in 2020 and directed by Christopher Nolan. Tenet revolves around an unnamed agent known as The Protagonist. In the movie, he learns how to manipulate time in order to avert an attack that threatens to destroy the present world.

He was in charge of looking into inverted weapons of war, which are thought to be from the future and sent back in time to change or erase the past. It’s intense, thrilling, and will definitely keep you on your toes. But, aside from all the action-packed scenes, Tenet is a way for us to just stop and reflect on the time we have on our hands.

It’s a movie that explores deeper insights into how the world works and how our actions now will affect our future. If you want to know more about this topic, or even if you’re simply a fan of sci-fi movies, these Tenet quotes should be on your must-read list!

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Inception quotes and Interstellar quotes.

Best Tenet Quotes

1. “One man’s probability of death is another man’s possibility for a life.” – Sator

2. “Time isn’t the problem, it’s getting out alive that’s the problem.” – Neil

3. “Lying is the Standard Operational Procedure.” – The Protagonist

4. “The detritus of a coming war. Even the dead need allies.” – Barbara

5. “We’re being attacked by the future. And we’re fighting over time.” – Priya

6. “But can we change things if we do it differently?” – The Protagonist

7. “Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.” – Barbara

8. “Each generation looks after its own survival.” – The Protagonist

9. “I told you, you have to start looking differently at the world.” – The Protagonist

10. “What’s happened, happened, it’s an expression of faith in the mechanics of the world, it’s not an excuse for doing nothing.” – Neil

11. “It’s the bomb that didn’t go off. The danger no one knew was real. That’s the bomb with the real power to change the world.” – Neil

12. “We all feel like we would run into the burning building, but until you can feel the heat you will never know.” – Fay

13. “I’ve been thinking, we’re their ancestors. If they destroy us, won’t that destroy them?” – The Protagonist

14. “You don’t negotiate with a tiger. You watch the tiger until it turns on you and reveals its true fucking nature.” – Sator

Famous Tenet Quotes

15. “For me, I think this is the end of a beautiful friendship.” – Neil

16. “Our clients use us because we have no priority above their property.” – Gallery Director

17. “Bold I’m fine with. I thought you were gonna say nuts.” – Mahir

18. “All I have for you is a word: Tenet. It’ll open the right doors, some of the wrong ones too.” – Fay

19. “A chance to save my child, you don’t know what that means to a mother.” – Kat

20. “I’m not the man they send to negotiate. Or the man they send to make deals. But I’m the man people talk to.” – The Protagonist

21. “What’s happened, happened. I get it now. But it’s harder to take things on trust from people speaking half-truths.” – The Protagonist

22. “This reversing the flow of time—doesn’t us being here now, mean it never happened? Could we stop them?” – The Protagonist

23. “One of these bullets is like us, traveling forwards through time. The other ones going backward. Can you tell which is which?” – Barbara

24. “I realized I wasn’t working for you. We’ve both been working for me. I’m the Protagonist.” – The Protagonist

Also read: Jumper Quotes, The Martian Quotes

Deep Tenet Quotes That Will Make You Think

25. “Fighting fire with fire is a treacherous business.” – Priya

26. “You were a part of this before we even met.” – The Protagonist

27. “You are not shooting the bullet, you are catching it.” – Barbara

28. “I made a bargain with the devil. Money for time. We sold our future.” – Sator

29. “You have a future in the past. Years ago for me, years from now for you.” – Neil

30. “From your point of view, you caught it. But from the bullet’s point of view, you dropped it.” – Barbara

31. “But you’re not angry enough. Because anger scars over into despair. I look in your eyes—I see despair.” – Sator

32. “There’s a cold war. Cold as ice. To even know its true nature is to lose.” – Fay

33. “In a parallel world’s theory, we can’t know the relationship between consciousness and multiple realities.” – Neil

34. “You don’t work for us. You’re dead. Your duty transcends national interests. This is about survival.” – Fay

Tenet Quotes to Push You to Save the World

35. “We just saved the world, can’t leave anything to chance.” – Neil

36. “Do you think you are the only one capable of saving the world?” – Kat

37. “Ours, my friend. We’re the people saving the world from what might have been.” – Neil

38. “Save the world and then we will balance the books.” – Sir Michael Crosby

Tenet Quotes for Everyone Who’s Curious About the Movie

39. “You went back in time and killed your own grandfather. How could you’ve been born to commit the act?” – Neil

40. Neil: “What the hell happened here?”

The Protagonist: “It hasn’t happened yet.”

41. Sator: “This is where our worlds collide. How would you like to die?”

The Protagonist: “Old.”

Sator: “You chose the wrong profession.”

42. The Protagonist: “You wanna crash a plane?”

Neil: “Well, not from the air. Don’t be so dramatic.”

The Protagonist: “Well, how big a plane?”

Neil: “That part is a little dramatic.”

43. The Protagonist: “Well to do what I do, I need some idea of the threat we face.”

Barbara: “As I understand it, we are trying to prevent World War III.”

44. Barbara: “No small talk. Nothing that will reveal who we are or what we do.”

The Protagonist: “I thought I was here to find out what we do?”

Barbara: “I don’t care for ‘what,’ you’re here for ‘how.’ ‘What,’ is your department. None of my business.”

Interesting Tenet Quotes That Will Help You Learn the Workings of the World

45. “Look, no offense, but in this world where someone is claiming to be a billionaire, Brooks Brothers won’t cut it.” – Sir Michael Crosby

46. “Everyone assumes terrorism, but no one’s died so swift extradition then lost in the system. It’ll barely make the news.” – Mahir

47. The Protagonist: “I’ll manage. You British don’t have a monopoly on snobbery, you know.”

Sir Michael Crosby: “Well, not a monopoly. More of a controlling interest.”

Short Tenet Quotes to Revisit Your Favorite Scenes

48. “Policy is to suppress.” – Neil

49. “I’ll see you at the beginning, friend.” – Neil

50. “And there are no friends at dusk.” – Mumbai Contact

51. “You are inverted, the world is not.” – Wheeler

52. “We live in a twilight world.” – The Protagonist

53. “His ignorance is our only protection.” – The Protagonist

54. “That test you passed? Not everybody does.” – Fay

Tenet Quotes That Show How the Future Is Connected With the Past

55. “Someone manufacturing them in the future. And they’re streaming back to us.” – Barbara

56. “But there are some people in the future who want to continue the algorithm’s journey into the past. You see, Tenet wasn’t founded in the past, it will be founded in the future.” – Priya

57. The Protagonist: “He can communicate with the future?”

Priya: “We all do, don’t we. Email, credit cards, texts. Anything that goes into the records speaks directly to the future. The question is, can the future speak back?”

More Tenet Quotes for You to Enjoy

58. “Now that we know what to look for, we’re finding more and more inverted material.” – Barbara

59. “Even a nuclear weapon could only affect our future. An inverted weapon can affect our past also.” – Barbara

60. “An inverted bullet passing through your body would be devastating. Not pretty.” – Barbara

Did These Tenet Quotes Inspire You to Live a Better Life So That Future Generations Will Not Suffer?

John David Washington plays The Protagonist—a man who works for a secret organization called Tenet. As an agent, his primary mission is to stop future generations from destroying the present world and erasing the past.

Tenet is a great movie to watch, not just for sci-fi enthusiasts, but also those looking for a movie with profound life lessons. As we see the interactions between the past and the future, we’re reminded that even our smallest actions can cause a domino effect on the world, especially our future. 

It serves as a reminder that one should constantly be aware of the actions and decisions one makes. We all live in the same world, and even if we don’t know it right now, we might be affecting someone on the other side of the planet.

With that, we hope that these Tenet quotes were able to encourage you to think about the difference you can make—now and for future generations. Remember that we all have the power to change the world, so make sure to use it for good!

Which of these Tenet quotes motivated you to create a better future? Join the discussion below!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.