Top 100 Rebel Quotes To Go Against The Grain

Writvik Gupta
Dec 12, 2023 By Writvik Gupta
Originally Published on Mar 23, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Ulysses S. Grant Cavalry Memorial at the Western base of Capitol Hill in Washington DC

Rebel comes from the Old French word 'rebelle' and from the Latin 'rebellis' based on 'bellum' or 'war'.

A rebel is someone who stands up against rules and norms in society, usually for a political cause. Oppression, injustice, corruption are all fought against but the rebels of society.

You can find rebels through history, from freedom fighters to women's rights activists, from soldiers to teenagers; rebellion is seen in literally everyone. Rebels refuse to accept injustice and fight for what they believe is right.

Here are 100 rebel quotes to go against the grain, from Criss Jami, Alice Walker, and more. So, read on to discover the best rebel quotes about those who rebel.

If you like these rebel quotes from famous rebels themselves, you can also check out these protest quotes and Nat Turner quotes.

Quotes About Rebellion

Are you ready to discover the best rebel quotes? Here are some of the best quotes about rebellion, including country rebel quotes and rebellious quotes for you to read. Which of these rebel quotes is your favorite?

1. "A rebellion is not a revolution. It may ultimately lead to that end."

- Bhagat Singh.

2. "Rebellion has its roots in government's indifference and incompetence."

- Mike Barnicle.

3. "Originality is independence, not rebellion; it is sincerity, not antagonism."

- George Henry Lewes.

4. "Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness."

- Alice Walker.

5. "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God."

- Benjamin Franklin.

6. "It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause."

- H. L. Mencken.

7. "The pattern of the prodigal is: rebellion, ruin, repentance, reconciliation, restoration."

- Edwin Louis Cole.

8. "The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion."

- Frederick Douglass.

9. "Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is."

- James Branch Cabell.

10. "It's both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success."

- Amy Tan.

Rebel Girl Quotes

This section includes rebel quotes for girls and quotes about being a rebel for strong women.

11. "I am not an angel, and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself."

- Charlotte Bronte.

12. "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

- Frida Kahlo.

13. "Adventure is worthwhile in itself."

- Amelia Earhart.

14. "Nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do."

- Amna Al Haddad.

15. "I was built this way for a reason, so I'm going to use it."

- Simone Biles.

16. "I will not be triumphed over."

- Cleopatra.

17. "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."

- Malala Yousafzai.

18. "When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty."

- Thomas Jefferson

19. "I tell you what freedom is to me: No fear."

- Nina Simone Singer.

20. "I worked on all the Apollo manned missions."

- Margaret Hamilton.

Quotes About Those Who Rebel

This section includes quotes about those who rebel against society and being a rebel without a cause quotes, perhaps these would make good rebel quotes for tattoos?

21. "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."

- George Orwell, '1984.'

22. "The most subversive people are those who ask questions."

- Jostein Gaarder, 'Sophie's World.'

23. "You're only a rebel from the waist downwards."

- George Orwell, '1984.'

24. "Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently."

- Rosa Luxemburg.

25. "Under tyranny, it is right to be a rebel!"

- Robert Fanney.

26. "A rebel! How glorious the name sounds when applied to a woman."

- Matilda Joslyn Gage.

27. "Originals cost more than imitations."

- Suzy Kassem, 'Rise Up And Salute The Sun: The Writings Of Suzy Kassem'.

28. "If it takes more than 5 minutes, it's not graffiti."

- Mint Serf.

29. "Change never happens unless you force it."

- Marie Lu.

30. "You rarely regret the things you do, but always the things you don't."

- Marie Lu.

Rebel Pride Quotes

Check out some "being a rebel" quotes and rebel alliance quotes right here that show people standing up for what is right.

31. "The beauty of standing up for your rights is others see you standing and stand up as well."

- Cassandra Duffy.

32. "I've been embraced by a new community. That's what happens when you're finally honest about who you are; you find others like you."

- Chaz Bono.

33. "We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity."

- George Takei.

34. "What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."

- Tennessee Williams.

35. "I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better."

- Brittney Griner.

36. "I want to march for tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, 'Me, too.'"

- Jason Collins.

37. "Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law."

- Boethius.

38. "When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."

- Barack Obama.

39. "There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a lot wrong with the world you live in."

- Chris Colfer.

40. "I think being gay is a blessing, and it's something I am thankful for every single day."

- Anderson Cooper.

The Best Rebel Quotes

The quotes in this section include quotes about those who rebel against society and quotes about being a rebel.

41. "A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere."

- Groucho Marx.

42. "Revolution is an inalienable right of mankind. Freedom is an imperishable birthright of all."

- Bhagat Singh.

43. "Revolution is the festival of the oppressed."

- Germaine Greer.

44. "We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves."

- Marilyn Manson.

45. "At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice."

-Maya Angelou, 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.'

46. "People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

- Maya Angelou.

47. "Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them."

- Bill Cosby.

48. "I've been reckless, but I'm not a rebel without a cause."

- Angelina Jolie.

49. "Rebels are the people who refuse the seen for the unseen."

- Anne Douglas Sedgwick.

50. "My mind rebels at stagnation, give me problems, give me work!"

- Arthur Conan Doyle.

Rebel Child Quotes

In this section, we have collected some great rebellion quotes about rebel kids.

51. "I'm not the angry, rebellious child that I was. You can remain a child for a long time. I certainly did. I was a slow learner."

- Patti Davis.

52. "That is the most godlike feeling a human can experience; being ignored by rebellious child."

- Dennis Garvin.

53. "They appeal to the imaginative, questioning, rebellious child within all of us, renew our instinctive energy, and act as a force for change."

- Alison Lurie.

54. "Calling a child 'rebellious' has the equivalent effect of calling a child that is struggling in school 'stupid.' It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

- Tim Kimmel.

55. "The future will be the child of the past and the present, even if a rebellious child."

- George Crumb.

56. "Once I started dancing, I was not the spoiled brat or the rebellious child that I was as a child."

- Suzanne Farrell.

57. "Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors."

- Khaled Hosseini.

58. "Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."

- Margaret Mead.

59. "All little girls should be told they are pretty."

- Marilyn Monroe.

60. "Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded."

- Jess Lair.

More Great Rebel Quotes And Sayings

Here are some great rebel quotes and sayings for you to read, from Criss Jami and more.

61. "I'm not going to be a rebel and offend anybody, but I'm not going to live in somebody else's image."

- Iris Apfel.

62. "Rebels and non-conformists are often the pioneers and designers of change."

- Indira Gandhi.

63. "It's not rebels that make trouble, but trouble that makes rebels."

- Ruth Messinger.

64. "Everyone has that moment where they just rebel."

- Mia.

65. "Every organization should tolerate rebels who tell the emperor he has no clothes."

- Colin Powell.

66. "The rebels did more in one night than my whole army would have done in one month."

- William Howe.

67. "If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That's much more powerful than rebelling outside the system."

- Marie Lu.

68. "The rebel in me never really had died. She just needed some time off and a reason to come back to work."

- Abigail Baker.

69. "When I need to identify rebels, I look for men with principles."

- Frank Herbert.

70. "You can't be a rebel without the scars that come with it. Truth is, some days scars are just as ugly as they are beautiful."

- Criss Jami.

Famous Irish Rebel Quotes

The quotes below are all famous Irish rebel quotes.

71. "Of my death, tell them I have done my duty."

- Henry Joy McCracken.

72. "The cause of labor is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labor."

- James Connolly.

73. "I have nothing to regret, to retract or take back... I can only say; God Save Ireland!"

- Edward Condon.

74. "Our revenge will be the laughter of our children."

- Oglach Bobby Sands.

75. "Every individual born on Irish soil constitutes, a unit of that nation without reference to race or religious belief."

- John O'Mahony.

76. "The Irish people will only be free when they own everything from the plough to the stars."

- James Connolly.

77. "I am pledged as a rebel, an unconvertible rebel, to the one thing – a free and independent Republic."

- Constance Markiewicz.

78. "Why speak the language of a nation who’ve invaded our country and killed our people, when you can speak a language that is your own?"

- Eoghan Gardiner.

79. "Apostles of Freedom are ever idolized when dead, but crucified when alive."

- James Connolly.

80. "No man has a right to fix the boundary of the march of a nation; no man has a right to say to his country – thus far shalt thou go and no further."

- Charles Stewart Parnell.

Rebel Heart Quotes

Here are some rebel quotes from 'Rebel Heart' by Moira Young.

81. "All the time I’ve knowed you, Jack, you kept the door to that heart of yers locked up tight an the key hid away."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

82. "What happens to you changes you. Fer good or ill, yer changed ferever. There ain't no goin back. No matter how many tears you cry."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

83. "We like to think we’re in charge of our own lives, but we ain’t."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

84. "I don’t know no soft words. Be with me, Jack. That’s what I’ll say. Burn with me. Shine with me."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

85. "Fer in our dreams we find ourselves. Who we were. Who we are. Who we can become. Sleep. Dream."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

86. "My heart breaks. I hear it break. I feel it."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

87. "You cut it down in front of you only to find that it's standing right behind you."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

88. "We don't choose the times we're born in, he says. That's the business of the stars."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

89. "The only choice we got is what we do while we're here. To make it mean somethin."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

90. "The lies that lurk in the shadows of truth."

- Moira Young, 'Rebel Heart.'

Albert Camus 'The Rebel' Quotes

This section belongs to 'The Rebel' quotes from Albert Camus.

91. "Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being."

- Albert Camus.

92. "Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love."

- Albert Camus.

93. "Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty."

- Albert Camus.

94. "Actual freedom has not increased in proportion to man’s awareness of it."

- Albert Camus.

95. "The future is the only transcendental value for men without God."

- Albert Camus.

96. "Human rebellion ends in metaphysical revolution."

- Albert Camus.

97. "There are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. The boundary between them is not clearly defined."

- Albert Camus.

98. "The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves."

- Albert Camus.

99. "Once crime was as solitary as a cry of protest; now it is as universal as science. Yesterday it was put on trial; today it determines the law."

- Albert Camus.

100. "The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words and casts up the same astonished beings on the same sea-shore."

- Albert Camus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the top 100 rebel quotes, then why not take a look at these Emiliano Zapata quotes or John Hancock quotes for more quotes?

Second image credit: Kathy Hutchins /

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Written by Writvik Gupta

Writvik Gupta picture

Writvik Gupta

A professional content writer hailing from Kolkata, India, with extensive experience in the corporate sector, Writvik Gupta has worked with several reputed companies, including ITC WelcomHotel Jodhpur, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, Aryan Imaging, and Eduquity. He also serves as a consultant for a startup based in Bangalore. With a passion for the outdoors, Writvik enjoys trekking and traveling to remote destinations. He also has a keen interest in exploring various cuisines and regularly volunteers for social causes.

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