Home Quotes 20 Tom Buchanan Quotes of The Self-Control King

20 Tom Buchanan Quotes of The Self-Control King

by Louise W. Rice

Ah, yes — good old Tom! He is the one guy who seems to be living the ultimate American dream, so you could only imagine how insightful Tom Buchanan quotes have to be. On the outside, it looks like he has it all: he was born into a well-off family, has a beautiful wife and daughter, owns an incredible estate, was a celebrated athlete and has tremendous strength. What else could you possibly ask for?

Well… morals. Tom Buchanan comes across as someone who has been through a moral bankruptcy.

At some point in the book, though, cracks begin to appear. Buchanan starts having affairs, one of which ends fatally for more than one of the parties involved. There are not very many likable characters from The Great Gatsby, but Buchanan has to be the least liked. He is the definition of old money and someone that knows to exert his authority even when he shouldn’t.

Being a self-absorbed man, Tom believes that his thoughts, ideas, and judgments are of great relevance to every single person he comes across. Taking that into consideration, it’s no surprise that he has plenty of quotes that will either make you cringe, laugh, or question why he exists, even as a fictional character.

That said, let’s get into some fun Tom Buchanan quotes:

20 Tom Buchanan Quotes That Will Make You Laugh or Cringe

Defensive Quotes

#1. “Self-control! I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out […] Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.”

#2. “What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s, but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you’d run over a dog and never even stopped his car.”

#3. “You’re crazy! I can’t speak about what happened five years ago, because I didn’t know Daisy then — and I’ll be damned if I see how you got within a mile of her unless you brought the groceries to the back door. But all the rest of that’s a God damned lie. Daisy loved me when she married me and she loves me now.” 

#4. “Oh, no. No. We’re different. I am. They are. She is. We’re all different from you. You see, we were born different. It’s in our blood. And nothing that you do or say or steal… or dream up can ever change that.” 

#5. “You think I’m pretty dumb, don’t you?” — Oh, poor Tom! I think we all do by now.

Accusatory, Racist and Sexist Tom Quotes

#6. “I found out what your ‘drug-stores’ were. He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong.” 

#7. “That’s what happened. The police arrived just as he was leaving the scene of the crime. He tried to escape but wound up getting lead poisoning for his troubles.”

#8. “Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?… Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved…This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or those other races will have control of things…The idea is that we’re Nordics. I am, and you are, and we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilization — oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?”

#9. “Did you give Nick a little heart-to-heart talk on the veranda? […] Don’t believe everything you hear, Nick.” 

#10. “I wonder where in the devil he met Daisy, and I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” 

Degrading and Threatening Quotes

#11. “He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive.”

#12. “Daisy, can’t you see who this guy is, with his house and his parties and his fancy clothes? He is just a front for Wolfsheim, a gangster, to get his claws into respectable folk like Walter Chase.”

#13. “It was hard enough last year for Bartleby to pick up after you when your menage-a-trois with the Negro Twins turned ugly after they killed each other over you.”

#14. “I’d like to give you what you and your boys gave me.”

Tom’s Victory, Love-Reassuring and Wealth Show-Off Quotes

#15. “I carried you down from the Punch Bowl to keep your shoes dry.”

#16. “She’s not leaving me! […] Certainly not for a common swindler who’d have to steal the ring he put on her finger.”

#17. “You two start on home, Daisy, in Mr. Gatsby’s car. […] Go on. He won’t annoy you. I think he realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over.”

#18. “And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time.”

#19. “Here’s your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it.” 

#20. “Dear, from now on you must promise me to be as careful in your choice of lovers as they are in choosing you when they settle on yet another mark on whom they’ll hustle.”


I believe these are the finest Tom Buchanan quotes you’ll come across since they do a good job showing all his characteristics and how his brain works. He is a rich, proud, arrogant, ‘truth-valuing’ and sexist man who, naturally, thinks he’s the jack of all trades.

I think it’s safe to assume that Tom is a weakling packaged in a sturdy body with an outstandingly closed mind. He’s a textbook example of a hypocrite.

If you were looking for some of the best Tom Buchanan quotes, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of fun reading these!

Image Source: Tom Buchanan by Roisin Lanigan

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