11 Johnny Cade Quotes From 'The Outsiders' Explained

Check out quotes explained from the book 'The Outsiders'.

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

'The Outsiders' is a book that is relevant because of the kind of reflection it provides to people of different ages.

The youngsters relate to it because the story told from a teenage boy's perspective is something they might encounter in real life to some extent. The adults relate to it because it might help them reflect back on their younger self in a different way.

This is a story about sensitivity, about confronting your demons, about taking responsibility for your actions. It tells the story of broken families, about how violence can change and significantly distort one's perspective of self and life in general. Johnny Cade is also "afraid of his own shadow". This is also a story about how mistakes made by your younger self can sometimes come with lifelong consequences. That is why, we have compiled here, a few Johnny Cade quotes for you. If you are looking for Outsiders quotes, Johnny Cade quotes, quotes from Johnny Cade in 'The Outsiders', here are a few of them.

If you want to read more articles like this, do check out our similar ones JD Salinger quotes and [Kerouac quotes].

Quotes By Johnny Cade

Quotes by Johnny Cade to make you feel the power of sensitivity.

Johnny is a character, who is sensitive, with a sense of morality which is rather stronger than his peers. Troubled by his dysfunctional family, with parents that did not seem to want him at all, he tried to find that love, that guiding force in his make-shift family with the greasers. One of the biggest takeaways from this novel would be the friendship between Johnny and Ponyboy. Johnny Cade tried to find a father figure in Dally, a hardened man from the streets with a mile-long criminal record. We also see him standing up to Dally when he thought the latter was doing something wrong. In the end, when he died, too young at that, he died as both a criminal and a hero at the same time. If you are looking for Johnny Cade quotes, Cade quotes, Johnny from 'The Outsiders', you can find a few of them here.

1.  "How come y'all ain't scared of us like you were Dally?"

- Johnny Cade.

Johnny asks Cherry about why they are not scared of him and Ponyboy, like they were of Dally.

2.  "I never noticed colors and clouds and stuff until you kept reminding me about them. It seems like they were never there before."

- Johnny Cade.

Johnny tells Ponyboy how he never noticed colors, clouds or appreciated the beauty of the environment before, but, Ponyboy's constant reminders have made him appreciate the beauty of everything around them lately.

3.  "Would you rather have me living in hide-outs for the rest of my life, always on the run?"

- Johnny Cade.

Johnny asks Dally whether he should live his life on the run forever, as he thinks of the latter as a proper guide, he immediately assumes that his advice would be best.

4.  "I don't want to die now. It ain't long enough. Sixteen years ain't long enough. I wouldn't mind it so much if there was so much stuff I ain't done yet - and so many things I ain't seen."

- Johnny Cade.

This has got to be the most painful thing a friend ever has to hear from another friend, which is why, we see Ponyboy trying his hardest to control his emotions in front of Johnny as the latter tells him of his fears and regrets, lying in a hospital bed.

5.  "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold."

- Johnny Cade.

In his last breath, before he dies, Johnny says this to Ponyboy, referring to a poem the latter once mentioned, as a goodbye, as his last wish to protect his friend's heart of gold. This is one of the most famous quotes from 'The Outsiders'.

Quotes About Johnny Cade

Quotes about Johnny Cade that will make you emotional.

At first in the story, Johnny seems to be a pet to every one of the greasers. He always had that scared puppy look, that made him someone everyone wanted to look out for. Here are a few quotes from the book 'The Outsiders' characters that might make us understand his character better.

6.  "Oh no! My hand flew to my hair. 'No, Johnny, not my hair'."  

- Ponyboy Curtis.

Johnny comes up with a plan for them to evade the police for the time being, by cutting and bleaching his and Ponyboy's hair.

7.  "I was crazy, you know that, kid? Crazy for wantin' Johnny to stay outa trouble, for not wantin' him to get hard."

- Dally.

Dally tells Ponyboy that he was wrong for wanting to protect Johnny's innocence by not letting him go to jail, as he has been there, he knows how it changes and hardens people.

8.  "You'd better wise up, get tough like me and you don't get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothing can touch you..."

- Dally.

Dally tells Ponyboy to toughen up if he wants to survive in their world, he says that when you get hardened like him, things cannot hurt you easily, and if he had let Johnny toughen up he would not be in this situation right now.

9.  "Yeah, they're calling you a hero now and heroizin' all the greasers. We're all proud of you, buddy."

- Dally.

Out of sorts with grief, Dally says this to Johnny during his last moments, trying to cheer up Johnny by telling him that he is being praised like a hero now.

10.  "Johnny's eyes glowed. Dally was proud of him. That was all Johnny had ever wanted."

- Ponyboy Curtis.

Learning that Dally, whom Johnny considered to be a father figure, was proud of him, probably provided him with the solace Johnny needed in his last moments.

11. "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."

- Ponyboy Curtis.

The novel begins and ends with the same sentence about Ponyboy stepping outside the movie theater, thinking about Paul Newman and about taking a new ride home. So, the final line brings the story to a full circle. The reader now realises that they have been reading an essay written by Ponyboy for his school assignment.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for Johnny Cade quotes then why not take a look at [Harper Lee quotes], or Boo Radley quotes.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.