100+ Quotes: Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

Updated: April 4, 2022

Here’s a collection of quotes from the Korean series, Twenty-Five Twenty-One:

On career, dreams, and goals

“In some moments, we’re doing our best but all of that is just a practice.” – Baek Yijin

  • “We fence and you cover stories. Let’s acknowledge and accept that. There aren’t many things that we can do as we want in this world.” – Na Heedo
  • “You can’t do this job if you let it all hurt you. Grow numb to their situations and focus on the incident.” – Reporter Junghyuk

“They are much more enthusiastic when it comes to bad news.” – Na Heedo

  • “Doing your best is a given. Don’t just do your best. You have to do well.” – Coach Yang
  • “I don’t fight for myself in team matches. I fight for us. Us, the people I love.” – Na Heedo

“Don’t ever forget how you earned a new opportunity. Whenever you’re having a hard time, remind yourself how difficult it was to start.” – Coach Yang

  • “What’s the point of being an athlete if you can’t compete.” – Na Heedo
  • “The other fencers here today are more desperate than I am. I don’t want to take away that opportunity. I think I’ve had enough fencing in my life.” – Lee Yeji

“Think before you pick.” – Na Heedo

“In the real world, you make an apology for the sake of everyone’s peace. It’s nothing personal. Society doesn’t care at all about an individual finding peace.” – Reporter Junghyuk

  • “I want to learn quickly and improve quickly.” – Back Yijin
  • “We’re athletes. Not actresses.” – Na Heedo
  • “This isn’t a variety show. It’s sports.” – Back Yijin
  • “Lessons come at a price.” – Coach Yang
  • “I don’t apologize for things being the way they are. There is always a victim to every news I cover. Then should I be going around apologizing? I’ve decided not to feel sorry for anyone, and I’m not making an exception.” – Heedo’s mom

“Think about it. Did you enjoy ballet or the compliments? If you liked the compliments, you can quit. But if you liked ballet, think it over again.” – Mrs. Kim

  • “Do you like being complimented or do you like fencing?” – Heedo’s dad
  • “Later on, even if things don’t go your way with fencing, remember this one thing. Your skill doesn’t improve consistently but in steps. Hop. Hop.” – Heedo’s dad
  • “Everyone told me to quit fencing. But I didn’t. Why? Because I still find it so much fun.” – Na Heedo

“Your skills don’t improve consistently but in steps.” – Mrs. Kim

  • “My gold medal has lost its honor.” – Na Heedo
  • “Do you know why you’re mistaken? You failed to keep a distance from the subject.” – Reporter
  • “A public figure must not get too close to or too far from a civilian. A journalist must maintain a distance from the subject being covered.” – Reporter

“It wasn’t her sword that broke, but her confidence.” – Reporter

  • “The young athletes had to bear the weight of overly emotional speculation. What should have been the happiest moment became a piercing wound.” – Back Yijin
  • “We feigned innocence as the public criticized her. It was an improper attitude for the news.” – Back Yijin
  • “My strategy is not to have a strategy.” – Na Heedo
  • “Being teammates and then enemies at the finals is awkward and fun.” – Coach Yang

“Why do you root for me? Even my mom doesn’t.” – Na Heedo
“Because you give me hope. And I want more for you. And it makes me want to do well, too.” – Back Yijin

  • “Fencers who can’t be controlled make fencers who are usually in control flustered.” – Coach Yang
  • “Trust me if you can’t trust yourself because I chose you. You won’t lose. I don’t choose fencers who lose.” – Coach Yang
  • “Ignore everything she says. Just do what you prepared.” – Coach Yang

“I still don’t trust myself. But I have faith in her, who saw my potential.” – Na Heedo

“I’m positive that I’ve worked the hardest out of all the fencers here. That’s why it’s only natural that I win. Today, I will join the national team.” – Na Heedo

  • “I can’t right now. But I’m going to make it someday.” – Na Heedo
  • “The times have presented an opportunity for you.” – Coach Yang
  • “Fencing is a game of wits. You have to be able to read the game. That is strategic thinking.” – Coach Yang
  • “Other opportunities will come.” – Back Yijin

“Countless kids don’t know how to dream, but you do.” – Coach Yang

  • “I lost in so many matches. I couldn’t let everyday be tragic just because I lost every time. Laughing makes it easier to forget. You have to forget to move on.” – Na Heedo
  • “You can’t gain a sense of rhythm by mastering a single choreography.” – Coach Yang
  • “There’s nothing to gain by winning and a lot to lose by losing. But nothing I do can make me lose face.” – Coach Yang

“Improve your perspective. That will help you to see yourself objectively.” – Coach Yang

  • “You lost because you thought you’d lose.” – Coach Yang
  • “Even if you’re scared, don’t let it show.” – Coach Yang
  • “That’s called having mental fortitude. Everyone wants to be as strong-minded like you. They don’t want to be scared of losing and failing. Sometimes, I wish I could take it from you.” – Back Yijin

“You are by far the most experienced fencer when it comes to losing. Those losses were blocks to build yourself stairs leading up. Think about it. Now you’ve got the highest staircase. Take your time to climb it and take whatever you want.” – Back Yijin

  • “I need to do something to look like I’m doing something.” – Kim Minchae
  • “Adults never accept it if we say we don’t have a dream. Do we need to have one?” – Kim Minchae
  • “People only talk about getting a job.” – Kim Minchae

“I always think only about what I’ve lost. But you think about what you can gain.” – Back Yijin

  • “Winning doesn’t matter.” – Mrs. Kim
  • “People must be losing something. But it has nothing to do with me. It’s adult stuff. I’m just 18, too young to lose anything. The stuff I have can’t be lost. For example, my dream and admiration.” – Na Heedo
  • “My dream is to become her rival. But of course, in reality, we live in different worlds.” – Na Heedo

“A single win doesn’t mean I am better than her.” – Na Heedo

  • “I didn’t crush your dreams. The times did.” – Fencing coach
  • “If your world is gone, go to her world.” – Injeolmi
  • “Your matches will only get more difficult from now on. Why? Because everyone knows your moves. So work hard.” – Coach Yang
  • “Don’t belittle your achievement.” – Coach Yang

On life

“That summer was ours to keep.” – Na Heedo

  • “Looking back, everyday was a practice. The moments when I dared to say everything would last forever. I loved living in that illusion.” – Mrs Kim (Heedo)
  • “My old diary found its way back to me, bringing back past regrets that I had forgotten about.” – Mrs Kim (Heedo)

“Waiting, then being let down, and eventually giving up. That’s what I have been doing all my life. And you’re making me do that again. I don’t want that for my future, Yi-jin.” – Na Heedo

  • “Everything was new to me. And frankly, your support was burdensome. I couldn’t cheer up no matter what.” – Baek Yijin
  • “Back then, I believed I could have everything. There were so many things I wanted to have. I had thought love and friendship were mine to have for a brief moment.” – Mrs Kim (Heedo)

“Life is precious. Let’s love with no regrets while we’re alive.” – Baek Yijin

  • “Let’s erase it together. At least that much, we can do as we want.” – Na Heedo
  • “I don’t want to grow numb. I’ll feel their pain every time and empathize with them. That’s the priority for me.” – Baek Yijin

“My diary from those days is filled with just love and friendship. A time when friendship and love were all that mattered in life. A time like that lasts only for a moment.” – Mrs Kim (Heedo)

  • “Neither money nor a medal could give me this kind of happiness.” – Ko Yurim
  • “You’ll forever be my mentee. Wherever you are, let me know the instant you come across any difficulties.” – Coach Yang

“It’ll probably hurt if you lose it all. But what matters is that you’ve had it at one point.” – Ko Yurim

“Feeling pressure is also an experience.” – Na Heedo

  • “It seemed so natural for nothing to change in this world.” – Ji Seungwan
  • “You have to learn how to be flexible. You can’t live in this world if you only know how to break.” – Seungwan’s mom
  • “The class president will now make her exit.” – Ji Seungwan
  • “That autumn, they tried breaking without knowing how to bend. Is it because of the crack that formed when they broke? Everything started to change slowly.” – Na Heedo
  • “We’ll be the first to witness the end of the world.” – Back Yijin
  • “What would you like to do before the world ends?” – Back Yijin

“Life is long and fireworks are short.” – Back Yijin

  • “Behind her professionalism are your heartaches.” – Back Yijin
  • “Sometimes, saying that we can do something can be more discouraging. We haven’t learned about a world in which you don’t have to do well and can fail. Still, let’s do the most we can. Let’s do our best. But I still hope that even if we fail, we’ll be strong enough to get back up again.” – Back Yijin

“It’s not a failure, but a hardship.” – Back Yijin

  • “It feels like I’ve found all the missing pieces in my world. I feel like I can befriend anything unfamiliar, and overcome difficulties that will come my way. I feel stronger.” – Na Heedo
  • “This is so beautiful. I get emotional when I see things like this.” – Ko Yurim
  • “All in all, none of us can buy that sky.” – Ko Yurim
  • “Why is it that none of us have money?” – Ji Seungwan
  • “What do you mean we can’t buy anything? Summer is free. We should buy it.” – Na Heedo
  • “The summer belongs to us!” – Ji Seungwan

“Nothing lasts forever. Everything is momentary. They all flow away. And that’s not always a bad thing.” – Mrs. Kim

  • “The tougher things are, the busier you need to be. You need to laugh in order to forget more quickly. And you need to forget in order to survive.” – Coach Kang
  • “What can feelings do for us? Feelings can’t pay off our debt.” – Ko Yurim
  • “I didn’t know but there are debts that feelings do repay.” – Ko Yurim

“Your mistakes weren’t small blunders, but much more serious. And in a way, you took the credit for those mistakes. Whereas my mistakes had thrown me into an abyss.” – Na Heedo

“I wonder what tragic circumstances she has to endure. I hated her so much but now I feel confused.” – Na Heedo
“I hope she knows that you feel this way about her. Then she wouldn’t feel so lonely.” – Injeolmi

“I had no idea that she would be criticized by everyone because I complained and was in distress.” – Ko Yurim
“That’s the life of a star.” – Back Yijin

“You must have been so hurt. Life throws you some nasty curveballs, doesn’t it? You’ve been through a lot.” – Old man

  • “When people hit a wall here, here, and here, they want to give up. Once they get past this corner, they’ll improve exponentially, but they don’t realize it. Why not? Because they think this will last forever.” – Mrs. Kim
  • “Running away isn’t the solution.” – Back Yijin
  • “I ran away because I didn’t want to hear that garbage. Don’t you get it?” – Na Heedo

“It must have taken such hard work to make it there. You must have cried so much in secret and suffered so much pain.” – Old man

  • “At times you’re sad as if the whole world’s turned its back on you. But other times, you laugh your guts out.” – Back Yijin
  • “Our friendships are always excessive, we’re helpless in the face of love, and our failures are passionate. Anxiety, grief, jokes, and smiles come together to form a strange and irregular shape. Perhaps we’re currently standing at the center of our youths.” – Back Yijin
  • “I know how much your growing pains hurt. I understand.” – Back Yijin

“Sometimes, saying that we can do something can be more discouraging. We haven’t learned about a world in which you don’t have to do well and can fail. Still, let’s do the most we can. Let’s do our best. But I still hope that even if we fail, we’ll be strong enough to get back up again.” – Back Yijin

“I have faith that he made the right choice. I’m sure he went somewhere better. Somewhere less tiring. And somewhere he’ll get hurt less. It’s now my turn to root for him.” – Na Heedo

  • “When you try hard, it makes me want to try hard, too. When you accomplish something, it makes me want to accomplish something. You make other people do well, not just yourself.” – Back Yijin
  • “I’m going to give my all tomorrow. But you’re not the reason why I’m going to give my all. I’ll give it my all for myself. Because only I know how hard I’ve tried.” – Na Heedo

“We have the strength to get back up again. So let’s be as frustrated as we want when things are tough. Let’s be sad as we want. And let’s get back up together.” – Na Heedo

“If you think about it, there’s no such thing as a pure tragedy or comedy. Still, I hope the road ahead of us is filled with more comedy.” – Na Heedo

  • “No one gives her stress other than herself.” – Mrs. Kim
  • “The only thing I believe that will be constant in this world is gravity. I don’t believe in anything to stay the same forever. Because believing in something like that sets expectations for how things should turn out. However, gravity is constant regardless of any expectations. That’s why I can believe only in gravity.” – Back Yijin
  • “It feels better when I turn my tragedy into a comedy.” – Na Heedo

“I heard that every tragedy in life is a comedy if you see it from afar.” – Back Yijin

  • “I promise I will never be happy again. I’ll spend my entire life thinking of all the pain you’re going through.” – Back Yijin
  • “I am tired of talking about money.” – Back Yijin

“The times took everything from you. You can’t give up on happiness.” – Na Heedo

  • “I like the fact that you’re so reckless. Looking at you reminds me of myself.” – Back Yijin
  • “Whether it was from running or because I was excited, I was out of breath. The green leaves rustled from the blowing wind. It was the peak of summer.” – Na Heedo

On family, friendship, and relationships

“This is where I met you for the first time. And this is where we end.” – Baek Yijin

  • “Neither of us is at fault here. And yet we’ve grown this much apart.” – Na Heedo
  • “I’m not trying to say who is right or wrong. It’s just that this love isn’t supporting me anymore.” – Na Heedo
  • “We’re lovers only during the good times, and a burden to each other in the bad times.” – Na Heedo

“Don’t you have any room to try and understand me?” – Yijin

“You’re not trying to understand me either.” – Heedo

  • “That can’t be how we end our relationship.” – Baek Yijin
  • “I can’t let you go after saying such hurtful things.” – Na Heedo
  • “The only thing I know how to do is to love you.” – Jiwoong

“It doesn’t matter where I came from. What matters is where I will go.” – Jiwoong

  • “No one else can make me happier or sadder than you can. Wherever it is, we’ll go together like we’ve been for the past 10 years. Will you marry me?” – Jiwoong
  • “The moment of our breakup haunted me and I had wished to have it altered.” – Mrs Kim (Heedo)
  • “You comforted me just by being there. I grew up alone and I was lonely. You held me in a warm embrace.” – Na Heedo

“You helped me get back on my feet during the hardest times of my life. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I’m now.” – Baek Yijin

  • “At times when I didn’t believe in myself, I believed in you who believed in me. That made things possible.” – Na Heedo
  • “You made me smile. With you, I felt like I was on top of the world even when I had nothing.” – Baek Yijin
  • “At times, the world seemed complete because we were together.” – Na Heedo

“You will have no idea how much your love has brightened up my life.” – Baek Yijin

“I have loved you with all my heart.” – Na Heedo

“Let’s suffer together when we’re in pain. It’s 100 times better than being lonely alone.” – Na Heedo

  • “I’m going to share everything that’s yours. Everything, including your sadness, happiness, and despair. So don’t hide because things are tough. Make sure to leave my share.” – Na Heedo
  • “If you don’t lean on me, I’ll be lonely.” – Na Heedo
  • “I thought the world had come to an end because I missed you so much.” – Jiwoong
  • “You always lead me to do what is right and to a good place.” – Baek Yijin

“I love you in every way.” – Baek Yijin

  • “Only we know how hard it is for us. No one else does.” – Na Heedo
  • “Congratulations on having a girlfriend you can be proud of.” – Heedo’s mom
  • “A rowdy friendship and passionate love. Because those brief moments are what make your long life shine.” – Mrs. Kim (Heedo)

“Waiting, missing each other, and being disappointed. One person is always sorry and the other always gives up. Are you really okay with a relationship like that?” – Heedo’s mom

  • “If you’re waiting at the end of my misery, all of that misery was worthwhile. Compared to the days we have ahead of us, 600 days is just an instant.” – Baek Yijin
  • “I’m still sending you my support. But the more I do, the farther apart we grow.” – Na Heedo

“You both sacrificed your entire lives for me. Now it is simply my turn to make that sacrifice.” – Ko Yurim

  • “Would the distance between us drift us apart?” – Jiwoong
  • “I don’t want you to live for me. I want you to live for yourself.” – Ko Yurim
  • “I don’t want you to be in my misery, Ji-woong.” – Ko Yurim
  • “Every moment that we spent together made me happy.” – Na Heedo

“Even if all you can give me is misery, I’m up for it. I’m fine as long as we’re in it together.” – Jiwoong

“I can’t stand Yi-jin. I hate him. I loathe him! I like him.” – Na Heedo

  • “It’s a gamble to confess your feelings. You either get it all or lose it all.” – Ko Yurim
  • “Even though we get it, we’ll end up losing it eventually. Nothing lasts forever.” – Na Heedo
  • “Don’t be too far but don’t get too close.” – Reporter Junghyuk
  • “Liking someone means I can learn about myself.” – Na Heedo

“I don’t understand you. I simply accept you.” – Baek Yijin

  • “I don’t regret meeting you or loving you. Letting myself waver, wanting to waver was my failure. A failure that’s clearly not minor.” – Baek Yijin
  • “Heedo, let’s put a distance between us. We were capable of anything. So let’s try this as well.” – Baek Yijin
  • “You drive me crazy.” – Baek Yijin

“Your only weakness is having me as your friend. You’re perfect but I always put you into trouble. That really upsets me.” – Jiwoong

  • “I want to stay by your side and watch you grow into a great person.” – Back Yijin
  • “I would’ve killed myself out of boredom if it wasn’t for you.” – Ji Seungwan
  • “We should spend our last moments with family.” – Ji Seungwan
  • “The kiss that started when I was 19, ended when I was 20. It was now a new year and a new century. I guess I also wanted to change for myself.” – Na Heedo

“I don’t think my feelings for you are that big.” – Na Heedo

  • “Whatever you do, or no matter what you look like, I’m in love with you for who you are.” – Back Yijin
  • “I love you. I don’t need a rainbow.” – Back Yijin

“How is that possible? Is that what love is?” – Ne Heedo
“For you, it is.” – Back Yijin

“I have to have you.” – Ne Heedo

  • “I want to crawl into a hole and die. My mind’s completely blank! I like being sure about things but everything is unclear when I think about you. That’s why right now I really hate you.” – Na Heedo
  • “Why are you laughing when my head’s about to explode from worrying?” – Na Heedo
  • “A word that describes our relationship doesn’t exist yet. Acquaintance. Friends. Lovers. None of the words that people have invented apply.” – Na Heedo

“You and I are the only ones in that huge space. Isn’t it romantic?” – Moon Jiwoong

  • “I was so lonely and struggling. You were always the one to comfort me.” – Ko Yurim
  • “When your mom hugged me, all of the hurt and sadness melted away.” – Na Heedo
  • “Your mom comforted me. Something even my mom didn’t do. I’m really grateful.” – Na Heedo

“It’s not a rainbow. It’s love.” – Back Yijin

“It feels like we’re growing apart. I can feel your world and my world becoming distant. You’re so much ahead of me. Somehow, I feel like I’m lagging far behind.” – Na Heedo

  • “You don’t want to do anything. So let’s stay out of each other’s business. Whether I do something stupid or not has nothing to do with you and your news.” – Na Heedo
  • “I don’t want you treating me like some young, dumb, funny kid. I hate it.” – Na Heedo
  • “When I’m with you, it feels like everything is going to be fine.” – Ko Yurim

“The less you know about the person, the deeper the conversation gets.” – Ko Yurim

“How can I remove my family? My family is my everything.” – Yurim

  • “As your dad, I don’t want my daughter to live with such a heavy burden.” – Yurim’s father
  • “Yurim, you’re already the best. Fence for yourself now. Not for your family.” – Yurim’s father
  • “You’re the gold medalist in beauty.” – Jiwoong
  • “Of course, it’s special. Because you can win this without trying.” – Jiwoong

“Be cute or pretty. Choose one. Or you might drive me crazy.” – Jiwoong

“We were destined to meet at some point in our lives.” – Back Yijin

  • “You should also meet someone like that. Someone that inspires you to improve just by being together.” – Yijin’s mom
  • “It was so noisy out there. But all I could hear was your voice.” – Back Yijin
  • “Even if we didn’t know each other, we would still be together like now. Because we have the same destination.” – Back Yijin
  • “You have to be in love first for a breakup to be sad, you idiot.” – Back Yijin

“Let’s become great together.” – Na Heedo

  • “Even if we’re not together, let’s get back up together. I’ll be your strength to help you back up again.” – Na Heedo
  • “You are one of a kind.” – Back Yijin
  • “What shocked me wasn’t mom’s love story, but her efforts. Her efforts that only she knew about. I saw how hard she worked rather than her glamor for the first time.” – Kim Minchae
  • “The only thing I can do as a big brother is run.” – Back Yijin

“I’ll show up before volume 15 comes out. Wait for me, Hee-do.” – Back Yijin

  • “You’re a family. How could you be a burden?” – Yijin’s uncle
  • “I got on the national team but you still manage to find a flaw.” – Na Heedo
  • “Yijin is all grown-up because he suffered so much.” – Yijin’s mom
  • “I’m not someone who congratulates you. I’m here to make people congratulate you.” – Heedo’s mom
  • “The work isn’t hard. Something like this is hard. Being treated like this by my one and only brother.” – Back Yijin

“I’m happy to watch from where I am. You are fun to watch even when up close.” – Back Yijin

  • “I’ll reunite our family. I’ll bring us together.” – Back Yijin
  • “I’ve failed to keep the right distance with everyone I like.” – Na Heedo
  • “There’s no distance between us. So, there’s no need to control it.” – Injeolmi
  • “You put a smile on my face.” – Back Yijin
  • “I miss you when I feel mentally weak.” – Back Yijin

“Remember, not many people win a gold medal in their life. I respect you, not as your dad, but as a person. Your mom and I are already so proud of you.” – Yurim’s father

  • “Live as an achor who leads by example for society. You don’t do that for your family anyway.” – Na Heedo
  • “You never once came to watch me compete. Whenever I came home alone, upset after losing a match, you weren’t the one who comforted me. It was that comic book.” – Na Heedo

“That’s what I like about you. You don’t hide your tears.” – Back Yijin

  • “Did you know you can read a person’s face from behind? Her expression kept on hurting me.” – Na Heedo
  • “I think I was closer to her when I watched her from afar.” – Na Heedo
  • “Do you think our relationship will change if we meet in person?” – Na Heedo

“From now on, when you hang out with me, you can be happy and keep it a secret.” – Na Heedo

Genre: Romantic, Drama, Coming of age
Synopsis: The series depicts the romantic life of five characters from 1998 to 2021. 
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Bona and Lee Joo-myung
Written by: Kwon Do-eun
Directed by: Jung Ji-hyun
Original network: tvN, Netflix
Date: February 12 – April 3, 2022

Subtitle translation: Netflix