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One of the most beloved and controversial TV shows in recent times, Euphoria isn’t your typical teen drama. But it does drop plenty of wisdom.

In case you missed the memo, Euphoria is not only the second-most watched HBO series in the network’s history (after Games Of Thrones), it’s also the most-tweeted about show of the decade.

“The world’s coming to an end, and I haven’t even graduated high school yet.” That quote alone sets the tone for Euphoria, which takes an almost fatalist approach to one particularly intriguing character’s life. Then again, as the show also intimates, “Nothing in high school lasts forever.” Though sometimes, that may not be as positive as you think.

Based on an Israeli miniseries of the same name, Euphoria is set in an unnamed Southern California suburb and centers around Rue Bennett, the show’s main character, as she struggles with loss, mental health issues, and substance abuse.

At the same time, the hit HBO drama follows her friends, a group of Gen-Z teenagers, as they deal with some of the harsh realities of growing up, tackling subjects like trauma, addiction and identity. With no shortage of controversial scenes and a deep exploration of heavy topics, Euphoria paints a vivid picture of modern teenage life. From insecurities leading a young girl to date a boy who spent years making fun of her, to gun violence and overdose, Euphoria is not for the faint of heart.

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Actor and singer Zendaya’s portrayal of Rue has been so captivating throughout the show’s run that she recently made history by becoming the youngest performer to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and the second Black woman to win the award, behind Viola Davis.

There are a million things one can say about Euphoria, but you can expect to see a blend of unique storylines and masterful cinematography. It’s filled with intense moments that can follow someone throughout their entire life, and thought-provoking dialogue that sticks long after watching the show. But what are some of the most memorable lines from the show?

You’ve Got to Believe in the Poetry…

Ali in Euphoria at a cafe

Full Quote: “You’ve got to believe in the poetry because everything else in your life will fail you, including yourself.” – Ali Muhammad

Sitting across from each other in a diner in the series’ first special, Rue admits to her sponsor Ali that she is struggling with the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) program’s second step, which is to believe in a power greater than ourselves. 

She remembers how her whole world came crashing down after losing her father to cancer; she lost faith and now refuses to believe in anything. Ali demonstrates compassion and empathy for Rue but urges her to believe in something if she’s serious about changing her ways.

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By encouraging her to “believe in the poetry,” Ali emphasizes that having faith in something greater than ourselves helps to weather the ups and downs of recovery so that those in need can come out sober and healthy on the other side.

It reminds us that keeping faith, even in something that can’t be explained, and especially when it seems impossible, can help us to become more clear, more grounded and more focused on our goals.

What’s a Bigger Feeling Than Love?

Elliott and Rue in Euphoria's school

Elliot and Rue enjoy a platonic relationship in Season 2, and usually end up doing drugs whenever they get together. In one intimate moment, as Rue describes her feelings for Jules, Elliot asks her this quoted question and she follows up with a raw and honest response.

Rue answers “loss,” something she’s struggled with since her father died and is obviously a painful experience she’s afraid of reliving with Jules. It’s not uncommon for those who’ve experienced grief to spend their whole life afraid people close to them will pass. Of course, we all know that day will come eventually, but the feeling can be all-consuming if left unchecked.

This heartfelt exchange reminds us that nothing in our life is permanent and that we should hold on tight to the things we have and appreciate them while we can.

Plenty of Great People Have Struggled…

Leslie Bennett on Euphoria

Full Quote: “Plenty of great, intelligent, funny, interesting, and creative people have struggled with the same things you struggle with.” – Leslie Bennett

Rue’s mom, Leslie Bennett, tries her best to support her daughter through her addiction, as she herself recovers from losing her husband. Even as Rue pushes her away, Leslie refuses to give up. 

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Leslie tries to convince Rue that she is not alone in fighting her battles and that even some of the world’s most celebrated and famous people have struggled with serious mental health challenges.

This quote helps put things into perspective by showing mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It’s a reminder that anyone can suffer at any point in their lives and that these challenges don’t define us.

The Worst Part of Depression is [Being] Unable to Stop Yourself…

Zendaya as Rue looking over her shoulder in Euphoria

Full Quote: “The absolute worst part of depression is that even though you know you’re depressed, you’re unable to stop yourself from getting worse.” – Rue

Rue’s bouts of depression are brutal and fuel a lot of her drug use. Throughout the show, Rue offers a much-needed and honest perspective on what it’s like to live with multiple mental health disorders.

Mental illness makes it so that you don’t even recognize the person standing in front of the mirror. This powerful line raises awareness of just how frustrating it can be to live with depression. Basic needs take a backseat, whether it’s being unable to fall asleep, or being unable to get out of bed even to eat. No matter how painful it is to experience, it’s not something that you can simply “snap out” of.

The Hardest Part of Addiction is That No One Sees it as a Disease

Alie looking sad in a car in Euphoria

Full Quote: “The hardest part of having the disease of addiction, aside from having the disease, is that no one in the world sees it as a disease.” – Ali Muhammad

In his attempts to guide Rue towards sobriety, Ali dishes out some harsh truths about what life is like for those with addiction. He sheds light on one of the most painful realities of dealing with substance use disorder which is that most people don’t understand that addiction is a disease, which perpetuates stigma around drug use. Merely classifying people as “drug addicts” or referring to someone as a “drug addict,” implies that the term is attached to the person. Further implying that they can’t separate themselves from it, or overcome it.

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This powerful line reminds us that addiction is in fact a chronic disease and that by treating it as such, we can help break the stigma surrounding it and help those who are suffering get the treatment they need.

Memories Exist Outside of Time and Have No Beginning or End

Zendaya's Rue in Ruphoria looking depressed on a bed with her laptop

In Season 2, Rue delivers a speech at a gathering to mark her father’s passing and remembers some of the things he said to her before he died.

With these comforting words, Rue’s dad suggests that memories are stored with us forever, they shape who we are and they stay with us as long as we choose to hold onto them.

Baby, Trouble Don’t Last Always

Miss Marsha on Euphoria

Sitting at the diner with Rue, Ali turns to their waitress, Miss Marsha, a former addict, for advice. Drawing on her own personal experience with substance abuse, Miss Marsha repeats a saying her grandmother always said: “trouble don’t last always.”

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With these simple yet sage-like words, Miss Marsha suggests Rue stay focused on her recovery. The iconic quote was chosen to be the title for Euphoria’s first special episode.

How Do you Want your Mom and Sister to Remember you?

Ali and Rue speak on stairs in Euphoria

In the emotionally-charged special, Ali asks Rue how she wants to be remembered after she finished telling him she doesn’t think she’ll live much longer, considering her vulnerability to suicide and overdose. Rue had suffered a near fatal overdose before and it was her little sister, Gia, who found her laying on her bedroom floor, covered in vomit.

This profound moment serves as a reminder that even in her toughest battles, Rue has a choice in how she shows up in her life and for her loved ones, but she has to want to change. With watery eyes, Rue’s reply to Ali is, “As someone who tried really hard to be someone I couldn’t,” which reflects the reality of her struggles.

Without a Map or a Compass, at Some Point, you Have to Make a Choice

Zandaya as Rue looking pale and sick in Euphoria

Full Quote: “I just showed up without a map or a compass, and at some point, you have to make a choice … about who you are and what you want. And therein lies the catch.” – Rue

In the Euphoria Season 1 trailer, Rue opens with this insightful quote, which sets the tone for the show. Viewers get a sense that Rue is going through something and is at a loss for ways to cope.

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Her lines serve as a reminder that without the proper tools, it can feel overwhelming and scary to confront difficult situations, but there comes a time where we are called to make choices, and they ultimately dictate the direction our lives will take. It’s important to get clear on what we want in life or else, before we know it, it might pass us by. 

All I Know is, Life is Not a Nicholas Sparks Novel

Rue and Jules get intimate in Euphoria

Of all people, Rue knows firsthand just how messy life can get. Life isn’t fair, or perfect, and no matter how hard we try, there are things we simply can’t control.

After losing her father to cancer and battling a worsening drug addiction, she’s had plenty of time to ponder the meaning of life and came to realize at a young age that it isn’t all sunshine and fairytales. 

With this quote, she reminds us that in reality, life is filled with ups and downs and teaches us the importance of staying grounded in the real world in order to avoid future let downs. As Cal told Nate, “The farther you go, the sharper their blade.” We all would do well to take those words and use them as fuel to move forward and overcome obstacles.

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