These Pay It Forward quotes show how the concept from the movie is the right way to live.
The movie Pay It Forward first premiered in 2000 starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment.
The story is about a boy, Trevor, who is assigned a school project to improve the world.
He starts something called “Pay it Forward” where you do a favor for someone and then ask them to pay it forward to three people instead of repaying the favor so the movement will continue to spread.
While the movie gained much attention, the idea of paying it forward has always existed.
Many wise people throughout history have pointed to this concept as one of the things that life is all about.
Keep reading these Pay It Forward quotes to see why.
Don’t forget to also check out these giving quotes that will melt your heart.
Also, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily wisdom.
See the rest of our quote database for even more inspirational ideas and thoughts.
Inspirational Pay It Forward Quotes
1. “If you can’t pay it back, pay it forward.” – Catherine Ryan Hyde
2. “I hope the fruits of my labor are ripe for many generations to come.” – Donovan Nichols
3. “For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis Assisi
4. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou
5. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
6. “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
7. “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
8. “It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.” – Jackie Mutcheson
9. “One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
10. “Spread good energy. Pay it forward.” – Brittany Maynard
11. “A life lived for others, is the only life worth living.” – Albert Einstein
12. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan
Motivational Pay It Forward Quotes from the Movie
13. “I thanked him and there were some very specific orifices in which I was told to shove my thanks. He told me, ‘Just pay it forward.’ Three big favors for three other people. That’s it.” – Mr. Throsen
14. “Is that what you want for your birthday? Everybody to pay it forward?’ – Chris Chandler
15. “You’re giving me a brand-new Jaguar, and you don’t want anything?” – Jay Mohr
16. “I just want to see if the world would really change.” – Trevor McKenney
17. “I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are – even if they’re bad – to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.” – Trevor McKenney
18. “What did you tell my son to make him bring a homeless man into my house?” – Arlene McKenney
19. “Hey, you did good work. Look at me, I’m proud of you, Trevor. I’m proud of you. And anyway for what it’s worth, I’m grading you on the effort, not the result.” – Eugene Simonet
20. Trevor McKenney: “Are you saying you’ll flunk us if we don’t change the world?”
Eugene Simonet: “Well, no. But you might just scrape by with a C.”
21. Eugene Simonet: “I will always care — about you, always.”
Trevor McKenney: “Yeah. You’re my teacher. They pay you to.”
Pay it forward quotes about helping others
22. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden
23. “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day, someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana
24. “A purposeful act or extension of kindness is never wasted, for it always resides in the hearts of all.” – Molly Friedenfeld
25. “Learning to pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives. Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get back or not.” – Greg Epstein
What did you learn from these pay it forward quotes?
Spoiler Alert: At the movie’s end, Trevor is injured while defending a friend from bullies.
He dies from his injuries.
This seems like it would be a dark ending to what could be an inspiring movie, but there’s more.
His mother and teacher hold a vigil for Trevor, and hundreds of people show up who have been directly impacted by the Pay It Forward movement.
It shows how one little act can multiply and spread far beyond yourself.
Check out this article about Pay it Forward Day to make your own contribution to a better world.
So now for the real challenge—take inspiration from the quotes above and find a way to Pay It Forward in your day.
Choose to be the first person to start spreading the idea of paying it forward in your own area.
And you can point people back to these Pay It Forward quotes and sayings to encourage them to do the same.