"Look, as sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgments. Everybody judges, all the time. Now, you got a problem with that, you're living wrong."
— Rust Cohle, waxing poetic about the human condition.
"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. Maybe 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, philosophizing about the absurdity of life itself.
"Mans game charges a mans price. Take that away from this, you have nothing else."
— Marty Hart
"If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of shit. And Id 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? Whats that say about your reality?"
"I just want you to stop saying odd shit. Just stop."
"You know, for somebody who doesn't think reality matters, you sure spend an awful lot of time fretting about it."
— Marty Hart, actually making a good argument for once.
"Never do anything out of hunger. Even eating."
— Frank Semyon, musing on the dangers of acting on impulse.
"What the fuck is this? An 8-part series?"
— Ray Velcoro, providing much needed, self-referential levity.
"I'll come back and butt fuck your father with your mom's headless corpse on this god damned lawn. 12 years old? Bullshit. Fuck. You."
"Sometimes your worst self is your best self."
"We get the world we deserve."
— Ray Velcoro, with a harsh insight into True Detective's stories.
"Fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands."
Within True Detective, this is always framed with the idea that this is a fallen world. The edges of it are always rotting into an unspeakable barbarism; something that cannot quite be displayed and seen... In this regard consider Frank, who is defined precisely by his inability to see the world of paper mache that he surrounds himself with, and does not notice being torn away.