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Rust Cohle is a fictional character that appears in the first season of HBO’s anthology television series True Detective and is played by Matthew McConaughey.

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Along with his partner Martin “Marty” Hart, played by Woody Harrelson, he works as a homicide detective with the Louisiana State Police.

The season recounts Cohle and Hart’s 17-year search for a serial killer in Louisiana.

Rust is a gifted but disturbed investigator who is committed to his profession and well-known for his skills, particularly his ability to extract confessions from criminals.

His colleagues have given him the nickname “The Tax Man” because he carries an abnormally big ledger in which he keeps notes and sketches of crime scenes.

You will find below a curated collection of popular Rust Cohle quotes to read and share with others.


Top 10 Rust Cohle Quotes

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I don’t think men can love. ~ Rust Cohle.

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I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Look me in the eyes. I want to watch your lights go out. ~ Rust Cohle.

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And you could just let go. Finally know that you didn’t have to hold on so tight. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Well, once there was always dark. If you ask me, the light’s winning. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at. ~ Rust Cohle.

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There is no such thing as forgiveness. People just have short memories. ~ Rust Cohle.

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If the common good has got to make up fairy tales, then it’s not good for anybody. ~ Rust Cohle.

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The world needs bad men. We keep other bad men from the door. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light’s winning. ~ Rust Cohle.

This place is like somebody’s memory of a town, and the memory is fading. It’s like there was never anything here but jungle. ~ Rust Cohle.

Kids are the only thing that matter. They’re the only reason for this whole man-woman drama. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Certain linguistic anthropologists think that religion is a language virus that rewrites pathways in the brain, dulls critical thinking.

Look, as sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgements. Everybody judges all the time. Now, you got a problem with that, you’re living wrong. ~ Rust Cohle.

Sometimes I think I’m just not good for people, that it’s not good for them to be around me. I wear ’em down. They… they get unhappy. ~ Rust Cohle.

When you can’t remember your lives, you can’t change your lives, and that is the terrible and the secret fate of all life. You’re trapped, by that nightmare you keep waking up into.

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I’m through talking to you like a man. ~ Rust Cohle.

I don’t think that man can love, at least not the way that he means. Inadequacies of reality always set in.

Famous Rust Cohle Quotes

This is a world where nothing is solved. You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Most of the last decade I spent stone-drunk. Functional, but hammered. ~ Rust Cohle.

You know, people that give me advice, I reckon they’re talking to themselves. ~ Rust Cohle.

I contemplate the moment in the garden, the idea of allowing your own crucifixion. ~ Rust Cohle.

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People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time. ~ Rust Cohle.

I see a propensity for obesity. Poverty. A yearn for fairy tales. Folks puttin’ what few bucks they do have into a little wicker basket being passed around. I think it’s safe to say nobody here’s gonna be splitting the atom, Marty. ~ Rust Cohle.

The newspapers are gonna be tough on you. And prison is very, very hard on people who hurt kids. If you get the opportunity, you should kill yourself.

My life’s been a circle of violence and degradation as long as I can remember. I’m ready to tie it off. ~ Rust Cohle.

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Look, I’d consider myself a realist, all right? But in philosophical terms I’m what’s called a pessimist. ~ Rust Cohle.

In eternity, where there is no time, nothing can grow. Nothing can become. Nothing changes. So death created time to grow the things that it would kill and you are reborn but into the same life that you’ve always been born into. ~ Rust Cohle.

Great Rust Cohle Quotes

I think the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming. Stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight. Brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal. ~ Rust Cohle.

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I don’t sleep. I just dream. ~ Rust Cohle.

Of course I’m dangerous. I’m police. I could do terrible things to people… with impunity. ~ Rust Cohle.

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People… so goddamn frail they’d rather put a coin in a wishing well than buy dinner. ~ Rust Cohle.

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I sure hope that old lady was wrong. About death not being the end of it. ~ Rust Cohle.

I tell myself I bear witness. But the real answer is that it’s obviously my programming. And I lack the constitution for suicide. ~ Rust Cohle.

Given how long it’s taken for me to reconcile my nature, I can’t figure I’d forgo it on your account, Marty. ~ Rust Cohle.

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People incapable of guilt, usually do have a good time. ~ Rust Cohle.

I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. ~ Rust Cohle.

If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit. And I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible. You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What’s that say about your reality? ~ Rust Cohle.


So these were the 35 top Rust Cohle quotes from True Detective.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Herb Brooks quotes and David Foster Wallace quotes.

You are welcome to share these quotes, sayings, lyrics, messages, and captions with your family and friends on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and inspire them to take their life to the next level and achieve greatness and success!