There’s something super exciting about being a spy, isn’t there?
A master detective who is able to move about unseen and unheard, not just anyone can be a spy!
Want to channel your inner super sleuth?
These spy quotes will have you ready to go undercover and get sneaky!
The world of espionage is fascinating.
Whether it’s in novels or movies, millions of us love spy stories.
There’s something about them that intrigues and thrills us.
There are many reasons why we love spy stories, but mostly it’s because they are fun.
Whether a spy escapes or is caught, or a secret is stolen or protected, tales of espionage and double agents guarantee a fictional journey in which something happens.
Below is our collection of motivational, wise, and thought-provoking spy quotes, spy sayings, and spy proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement.
Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.
Spy Quotes for Being Undercover and Sneaky
1. “Spies are the ears and eyes of Princes.” – George Herbert
2. “Don’t mention your move before you make a move.”― Amit Kalantri
3. “Spies go undercover. They take on different personas.” – David Leitch
4. “The birds are the eyes of heaven, and the flies are the spies of hell.” — Suzy Kassem
5. “I’m almost incapable of lying. I’d be a terrible spy.” – Gary Oldman
6. “Waiting. Like it or not, it’s a skill all spies have to master eventually.”― Ally Carter
7. “I’ve been a spy for almost all of my adult life – I don’t like being in the spotlight.” – Edward Snowden
8. “Setting people to spy on one another is not the way to protect freedom.” – Tommy Douglas
9. “Good neighbors always spy on you to make sure you are doing well.” ― Pawan Mishra
10. “Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.” – Stephen King
Spy quotes that will make you want to channel your inner super sleuth
11. “Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.” – Edward Snowden
12. “Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity.” – Sun Tzu
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Sun Tzu quotes from the iconic warrior and philospher.
13. All seems infected that th’ infected spy, As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.” — Alexander Pope
14. “The life of spies is to know, not bee known.” – George Herbert
15. “For an old spy and codebreaker like myself, nothing in the world happens by coincidence.” – Malcolm Nance
16. “That’s the thing about spies. Most of the secrets we keep are from each other. – Ally Carter
17. “The role of women has always been undervalued in the spy world, always undermined in terms of recognition. Unfairly so. It’s a world that needs women.” – Helen Mirren
18. “Spies have the same kinds of needs and desires that everybody does, which is funny. The best kind of comedy derives from that kind of truth.” – Matt Nix
19. “The Spy Act prohibits keystroke logging, hijacking, and phishing.” – Cliff Stearns
20. “For decades to come the spy world will continue to be the collective couch where the subconscious of each nation is confessed.” – John le Carre
Spy quotes that will have you ready to go undercover
21. In my head, I think I’d make a perfect spy, but in reality, I don’t think I’d fare very well.” – Matthew Rhys
22. “I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut, preferably at the same time.” – David Byrne
23. “From the outside, the CIA seems pretty exotic, but from the inside, it’s a big bureaucratic place. Think ‘post office with spies.” – Barry Eisler
24. “If I was a spy, I would have a watch that would cloak me in invisibility.” – Kyle
25. “We can do more for the people if they are not so aware of what we are trying to do.” ― Volker G. Fremuth
26. “Our mobile phones have become the greatest spy on the planet.” – John McAfee
27. “Spies go to bars for the same reason people go to libraries: full of information if you know where to ask.” – Michael Weston
28. “I’m a spy, Cam. I was born to do this- to be this. It’s in my blood. And I will do it until the day I die. It’s who I am… The thing is I don’t think you realise is… it’s who you are too.” – Ally Carter
29. “How can it be a spy satellite if they announce on television that it’s a spy satellite?” – George Carlin
30. “A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it.” – John le Carre
Thought-provoking spy quotes
31. “Protection is the first necessity of opulence and luxury.” – Joseph Conrad
32. “I got nothing. Even the spies I’m spying on who are spying on other spies got nothing.” – Kresley Cole
33. “Spies are a most important element in water, because on them depends an army’s ability to move.” – Sun Tzu
34. “The report also said I show great potential as an agent. I figure they must be right, since I successfully broke into a safe to find that out.” ― Amy McAuley
35. “A good man does not spy around for the black spots in others, but presses unswervingly on towards his mark.” – Marcus Aurelius
36. “However I dress it up, I was a spy and I am not proud of it.” – Christine Keeler
37. “Writing about magic is harder than writing about spies because you’re dealing with something that doesn’t really exist.” – Anthony Horowitz
38. “Turns out, you can take the girl out of the spy school, but you can never take the spy school out of the girl.” – Ally Carter
39. “I am on Facebook, but mainly as a way to spy on my children. I find out more about them from their Facebook pages than from what they tell me.” – Salman Rushdie
40. “Spies are, by nature and necessity, pathological liars who strive to make their endgames justify their meanness.” ― Stewart Stafford
Other memorable spy quotes and sayings
41. “There are Russian spies here now. And if we’re lucky, they’ll steal some of our secrets and they’ll be two years behind.” – Mort Sahl
42. “Spy plots are hard, really hard.” – Rashida Jones
43. “There aren’t enough secrets to go round anymore. Some spies are having to invent secrets in order to earn a living.” – Shelagh Delaney
44. “Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.” – Jane Austen
45. “He was a secret agent, and still alive thanks to his exact attention to the detail of his profession.” – Ian Fleming
46. “With stealth technology, the U.S. could spy on its Cold War adversaries without running the risk of getting caught.” – Annie Jacobsen
47. “Once is a stranger; twice is a coincidence; three times is a tail.” ― Ally Carter
48. “It’s a very dangerous and lonely thing, I imagine, to be a spy: to have friendships that are deceptions, that are not honest.” – Mark Rylance
49. “I’ve always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.” ― Benedict Cumberbatch
50. “I think I would make a good spy. I can sort of be a chameleon. People don’t notice me very easily. I never get recognized.” – Dana Delany
More spy quotes from the world of espionage
51. “It’s a very dangerous and lonely thing, I imagine, to be a spy: to have friendships that are deceptions, that are not honest.” –Mark Rylance
52. “I think I would have been a hopeless spy. I love telling stories and am almost entirely unable to keep a secret.” –Ben Macintyre
53. “Everybody calls everybody a spy, secretly, in Russia, and everybody is under surveillance. You never feel safe.” –Agnes Smedley
54. “The human spy, in terms of the American espionage effort, had never been terribly pertinent.” –Aldrich Ames
55. “If I wanted to make spy movies for the rest of my life, that would be one thing, but I don’t want to just make spy movies.” –Daniel Craig
56. “I know not every mom is a secret KGB spy, but every mom has this whole other life. Every dad and every person has this whole other life.” –Keri Russell
57. “I feel really lucky that I grew up pretending to be a spy for my whole childhood.” –Daryl Sabara
58. “used to try to pick locks because I grew up on my grandparents’ farm and I started my own little spy club. I would go around the farm and try to break into the shed and try spying on my grandpa. It was ridiculous.” –Odette Annable
59. “Slightly embarrassing admission: Even when I was a kid, I used to have these little spy books, and I would, like, see what everybody was doing in my neighborhood and log it down.” –Heather Brooke
60. “Being a filmmaker is kind of like being a glorified spy.” –Jehane Noujaim
Spy Quotes to Unleash the Secret Agent in You
61. “There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Philip K. Dick
62. “Spying is waiting.” – John le Carré
63. “I’d be a terrible secret agent. I can’t keep a secret and I’m not sneaky.” – Katherine Heigl
64. “Of all those in the army close to the commander, none is more intimate than the secret agent.” – Sun Tzu
65. “You can’t be a real spy and have everybody in the world know who you are and what your drink is. That’s just hysterically funny.” – Roger Moore
66. “That world of spies and espionage, there’s a coldness to it. That’s what makes those worlds fascinating” – Elizabeth Debicki
67. “I know people like to read about serial killers and spies, but most of us will never encounter these things.” – Paula Hawkins
68. “As soon as I know it’s about technological things or spies, I lose interest. I want to know what goes on in people’s minds.” – Ruth Rendell
69. “We knew we were talking about spies. I knew he knew I knew. I was digging my own grave.” – Christine Keeler
70. “Female spies typically represented one of two extremes: the seductress who employed her wiles to manipulate men, and the cross-dresser who blended in by impersonating them.” – Karen Abbott
Intriguing Spy Quotes To Inspire Secret Agents
71. “Breaking a cardinal rule of spy craft, I actually let it be known that I wanted to work for the CIA.” – James Luceno
72. “I’ve always enjoyed disappearing into a crowd in New York. As an actor, I love to spy, and it’s hard to be a good spy if everyone is looking at you.” — Katherine Waterston
73. “I am a spy in the house of me. I report back from the front lines of the battle that is me.” — Carrie Fisher
74. “But I think the real tension lies in the relationship between what you might call the pursuer and his quarry, whether it’s the writer or the spy.” — John le Carré
75. “A small country town is not the place in which one would choose to quarrel with a wife; every human being in such places is a spy.” — Samuel Johnson
76. “So I stepped away, reminding myself that when you’re a spy, sometimes all you can do is go on.” — Ally Carter
77. “It’s a thrilling world, and people really like stories about secrets, which is the essence of a spy drama.” — Andrew Scott
78. “Thoughts are to the Desires as Scouts and Spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the things Desired.” — Thomas Hobbes
79 “I’m a holy man minus the holiness. Hand that on to your three spies, and tell them to put it in their pipes.” — E. M. Forster
80. “I wasn’t a spy. I’d have been spotted in five seconds. Yes, I was in intelligence, but that covered a multitude of things.” — Christopher Lee
Which of these spy quotes is your favorite?
In a world where we all want to know what’s really going on, the world of espionage will always intrigue us.
After all, there’s a secret agent in all of us.
So go ahead, let these spy quotes ignite your inner super sleuth.
Nobody’s watching you.
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Which of the quotes is your favorite?
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July 31, 2022 5:00 AM EST