In the contemporary Western drama, Yellowstone. Kevin Costner’s John Dutton is the dad of the hour. He loves his family, his ranch (and all its land), and power, and not necessarily in that order. Played to near-perfection by Costner, John aspires to be a good man but occasionally falls short, as a deep-rooted penchant for revenge occasionally gets the better of him. Still, he’s learned a thing or three about life and about parenting over the years, and he’s happy to pass that on to his kids, to Tate… and to viewers at home.
Here are eight of John Dutton’s best parenting quotes from across all Yellowstone’s five seasons.
8. “This ain’t checkers, son. This is chess, and you’re about to play it with masters. Now, these people, they’re gonna twist you into so many knots, you won’t know where the truth begins, and your future ends.”
This comes from a moment where John implores Kayce not to underestimate enemies of the Dutton family. (“Kill the Messenger,” Season 1)
7. “You feed your horse? You think it’s fair you have your dessert before he has his supper?”
John teaches Tate, who wants ice cream after his dinner with Grandpa, an important lesson. And it works. After John speaks, Tate smiles, replies, “I’ll be right back,” and runs off to get his jacket and feed his horse. (“Enemies by Monday,” Season 2)
6. “Well, happy is all I’ve ever wanted for you, sweetheart. You… you give him your hand if he gives you that.”
Here’s John answering Beth, who, in an unusually calm, sweet moment with her father, asked for his blessing to marry Rip. (“The Beating,” Season 3)
5. “You’re my son. I know exactly who you are, and don’t you ever be sorry for it.”
Here’s John replying to Kayce, who had just apologized for turning down an opportunity to become a livestock commissioner. (“You’re the Indian Now,” Season 3)
4. “You know what dreams are? It’s your memories and your imagination all mixed together and into this soup of what’s real and what’s made up. But the thing about this soup is you can change the ingredients, Tate, and put in whatever you want to. Any memory. Any fantasy. You can be a baseball star who opens Christmas presents all day long. So, when you close your eyes later, decide what you’re gonna dream, and that’ll be the dream.”
John, draping his arm over Tate’s shoulder and soothing his grandson’s fears after Tate tells him he’s been having nightmares. (“You’re the Indian Now,” Season 3)
3. “Are you done? Or do you need a little more time to psych yourself into being right? Or are you just throwing a tantrum for no reason? Because if this wants to be a contest, about who can lose their composure the most, I will put this table through the f—king wall! Or you and I can sit down and have a conversation like adults.”
John explodes in anger at Beth after she’s come at him hard because she needs/wants/demands John treat her like her male siblings. (“No Such Thing as a Star,” Season 4)
2. “Yes, it is good for the prostate. Lots of things are good for the prostate. We just don't talk about them at the dinner table.”
John, barely hiding his annoyance, reacts after a dinnertime conversation in which she tries to convince a disgusted Rip to eat a salad that includes fruit. (“No Kindness for the Coward,” Season 4)
1. “You know, I always thought Beth would calm down as she got older. Every year, seems like she gets wilder. Never seen anything else like it. What it must feel like to be that free… You know, I got one child I miss, one child I pity, and one I regret. That girl, that child, I envy.”
John and Rip engage in a heart-to-heart talk after the latest shenanigans involving Beth. John’s words resonate with Rip, but even more so with Yellowstone fans watching at home. (“Watch ‘Em Ride Away,” Season 5)
When does Yellowstone return?
It’ll be a while before fans hear more of John’s fatherly words of wisdom. The Paramount Network just recently announced that episodes 9 through 14, of Season 5, will run this summer. Here’s everything we know.