25 Remarkably Bright Creatures Quotes : Thoughtful and Heartwarming

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Dive into the collection of thoughtful quotes from Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.

Remarkably Bright Creatures was a unique novel that I read this year. 

The characters are really interesting, particularly Marcellus, the octopus. There are many fascinating observations that he makes about human behavior. I’ve selected a few of wonderful quotes that I am sure you will enjoy. Author Shelby Van Pelt is a wonderful storyteller who has skilfully woven metaphorical elements into the narrative, adding a beautiful touch to the writing.

Explore these incredible lines said by Marcellus Tova and others. I hope you will genuinely love these heartwarming quotes from Remarkably Bright Creatures just as I did.

Remarkably Bright Creature Summary 

Remarkably Bright Creatures delves into friendship, reconciliation, and hope. Tova Sullivan, a widow, forms an unexpected bond with a giant Pacific octopus at Sowell Bay Aquarium. Coping with her husband’s loss and her son’s mysterious disappearance, Tova finds companionship  in Marcellus. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And he is determined to solve the case at any cost.


Best Remarkably Bright Creatures Quotes

Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.

I think this quote stands out for its combination of humor and reality. Marcellus, the octopus, is a keen observer. So he playfully criticizes humans while recognizing their occasional brilliance. irony.

Years ago, she had watched her late mother’s mind slip away. It started with occasional forgetfulness, familiar names and dates elusive. But Tova does not forget phone numbers or find herself searching the back of her mind for names

I really liked these really powerful lines with emotional depth. It shows how capable and independent Tova is. 

Tova wonders sometimes if it’s better that way, to have one’s tragedies clustered together, to make good use of the existing rawness. Get it over with in one shot. Tova knew there was a bottom to those depths of despair. Once your soul was soaked through with grief, any more simply ran off, overflowed, the way maple syrup on Saturday-morning pancakes always cascaded onto the table whenever Erik was allowed to pour it himself.

This heartwarming quote reflects on the nature of grief and the idea of whether it’s easier to confront all tragedies at once. The analogy of grief as a saturation point, like maple syrup overflowing, is poignant. It offers a unique perspective on coping with loss. I also think, It’s one of the best memories of Erik that Tova remembers vividly. 

Why can humans not use their millions of words to simply tell one another what they desire?”

This quote questions the complexities of human communication. It highlights the irony of having an extensive vocabulary but struggling to express desires straightforwardly.  Another great observation by Marcellus. 

Tova has always felt more than a bit of empathy for the sharks, with their never-ending laps around the tank. She understands what it means to never be able to stop moving, lest you find yourself unable to breathe.”

This quote draws a parallel between the relentless movement of sharks and the perpetual motion needed to survive emotional challenges. It humanizes the experience of constant struggle, making it relatable through an unexpected metaphor.

As a general rule, I like holes. A hole at the top of my tank gives me freedom. But I do not like the hole in her heart. She only has one, not three, like me. Tova’s heart. I will do everything I can to help her fill it.”

Shelby Van Pelt has used metaphorical elements throughout the novel.This is one such example. The quote uses contrast between a physical hole in a tank and an emotional hole in a person’s heart.  This also shows the Octopus’ willingness to help Tova. 

Secrets are everywhere. Some humans are crammed full of them. How do they not explode? It seems to be a hallmark of the human species: abysmal communication skills.”

This quote talks about how people often keep secrets and struggle to communicate effectively. It adds a touch of humor to highlight how challenging it can be for humans to express their genuine thoughts and feelings.

Not that any other species are much better, mind you, but even a herring can tell which way the school it belongs to is turning and follow accordingly

The comparison to a herring’s ability to follow a school adds a touch of satire, emphasizing the perceived simplicity of communication in other species.

Some trees aren’t meant to sprout tender new branches, but to stand stoically on the forest floor, silently decaying.”

This saying uses a comparison with trees to express the notion that not everyone is destined for constant development. It highlights the importance of acknowledging one’s inherent qualities and finding beauty in standing upright, even when faced with deterioration.

Conscience does make cowards of us all.

This quote delves into the impact of conscience on human behavior, acknowledging the vulnerability it introduces.

Tell me again about the intelligence of humans. They cannot even manage to comprehend predictable meteorological events.”

Another funny one from Marcellus.  The octopus jokingly wonders about human smarts, pointing out how they struggle to grasp foreseeable weather patterns. 

Day 1,361 of My Captiv- Oh, Let Us Cut the Shit, Shall We? We Have a Ring to Retrieve.”

The part where Marcellus narrates the story always starts with the number of days he has been in captivity. But now, he’s on a mission to find out what really happened.

She understands what it means to never be able to stop moving, lest you find yourself unable to breathe.”

This quote captures the essence of constant motion as a means of survival.

My neurons number half a billion, and they are distributed among my eight arms. On occasion, I have wondered whether I might have more intelligence in a single tentacle than a human does in its entire skull.

Another humorous quote by Marcellus. He  playfully ponders the intelligence of an octopus compared to a human.

We must say goodbye, friend. But I’m glad Terry saved you, because you saved me.”

This quote encapsulates a bittersweet farewell, expressing gratitude for saving and being saved. 

My death is imminent. But I am not dead yet.”

The acknowledgment of not being dead yet implies a reflection on the state of being.

But I have knowledge. To the extent happiness is possible for a creature like me, it lies in knowledge.”

This quote delves into the theme of seeking happiness through knowledge. 

These women have always worn motherhood big and loud on their chests, but Tova keeps hers inside, sunk deep in her guts like an old bullet. Private.”

I believe the quote illustrates how Tova concealed her feelings internally. It also offers a vivid metaphor for depicting the public display of motherhood by some women.

But I have grown to enjoy the bucket. With the bucket comes a sensation of total nothingness, which, in most ways, is more pleasant than the everything-ness.”

This saying brings up the idea of discovering comfort in emptiness, proposing that having nothing around might be more enjoyable than dealing with the overpowering presence of something.

Young humans would fail abysmally in the sea.

This saying suggests that young people might struggle when placed in unfamiliar surroundings, drawing a parallel with the vastness and unpredictability of the sea. 

Humans are the only species who subvert truth for their own entertainment.”

Another thoughtful quote that offers a key insight into human behavior, hinting at a tendency to twist the truth for personal satisfaction. It makes us ponder the intricate nature of human motivations and actions.

For a moment, I considered this option. Nothing was something. What might lie on the other side of life?

This quote adds a philosophical dimension to the narrative.

How delicate those wounds were back then, how little it took to nudge the scabs out of place and start the bleeding anew.

This quote reflects on the fragility of past wounds and the ease with which they can be reopened. 

But then, so much about her life never turned out how she intended

Another great quote captures the theme of life’s unpredictability and the contrast between intentions and outcomes. 

Marcellus, it’s me.” The octopus shifts slightly out of its corner and peers at her, blinking its creepy eye. Who is this lady? And how did she get in here, anyway? She nods, encouraging. “It’s okay.” She holds out her hand, and to Cameron’s shock the creature extends one of its arms and winds it around her wrist. She repeats, “It’s okay. I’m going to help you down now, all right?” The octopus nods. Wait, no. It did not. Did it? He rubs his eyes. Are they pumping hallucinogens through the ductwork here?”

These lines introduces an intriguing interaction between Tova, Cameron and Marcellus. It also blends elements of surprise, confusion, and a touch of humor. The octopus’s response, or lack thereof, adds a layer of mystery and anticipation.


I hope those quotes hit the spot and give you a little boost. Marcellus is one of the funniest characters, and his dialogues are epic. So, whenever you feel distressed or sad, hopefully, these words can bring a smile to your face.

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Book Review: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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