90+ Quotes: Thirty-Nine (2022)

Updated: April 1, 2022

Here’s a collection of quotes from the Korean series, Thirty-Nine (2022):


On life, pain, and death

“I’ll probably only get to live half the amount most people get to live. But it’s quality over quantity. It was more than enough for me.” – Chanyoung

  • “Time was not on our side. It passed quickly and took us to the middle of winter.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Time passes by slowly when you’re lying on a hospital bed. It makes you think of things.” – Chanyoung
  • “I started to wonder, ‘What would my funeral look like?'” – Chanyoung
  • “Some days were clear and sunny, while some days were very overcast.” – Cha Mijo

“When you’re overwhelmingly grateful, you find it so hard to express your gratitude.” – Chanyoung

  • “You’re objective about other people’s affairs but too subjective about your own.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Everyone dies. But I don’t know what will happen to me once I die, and I think that’s what scares me.” – Chanyoung
  • “I can’t live without painkillers. What if they don’t work anymore later? I’m scared.” – Chanyoung
  • “This is about the things that won’t come back. This is about our moments.” – Chanyoung

“Everyone has a sad story.” – Cha Mijo

  • “You can stay with us for countless thousands of nights.” – Mijo’s mom
  • “Though I didn’t have high expectations, I expected her to have warmer words to share with me.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Doesn’t the sea wash away your worries?” – Kim Seonu
  • “He who dances must pay the piper. It means whoever created a mess should be the one to clean it up.” – Cha Mijo

“I want to live the rest of my life as if I’m not sick and go when it’s time.” – Chanyoung

  • “The stars are so pretty that it makes me sad.” – Cha Mijo
  • “You said running would clear my head. But it’s still a mess.” – Cha Mijo

“Life is so capricious.” – Cha Mijo

  • “I feel like I decided to make her the happiest terminally ill person to ease my mind.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Let’s live in the present.” – Kim Seonu
  • “We could’ve have golfed together. Now that I’m dying, I regret such little things.” – Chanyoung
  • “I want to give everything back and live on my own.” – Sowon
  • “When we encounter an inconvenient truth, the truth itself isn’t what makes us flustered. We become flustered because we finally encounter something ominous that we’ve strived so hard to bottle up.” – Cha Mijo

“Will be able to muster up strength before the uneasiness turns into fear?” – Cha Mijo

  • “The fact that they are an orphan will always make them feel depressed and small.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Conviction. Even if it meant putting aside my conviction to always be honest, I had to protect them.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Whenever I walked on eggshells, you always told me to stop acting like an orphan.” – Sowon
  • “You sound like a robot. Completely emotionless.” – Kim Seonu

“Perhaps the way she looked reminded me of how I looked at the orphanage. I was anxious everyday with no one to lean on. She reminded me of the little girl I used to be.” – Cha Mijo

  • “Instead of worrying about the future, think about the good memories you had with her.” – Cha Mijo’s doctor
  • “Live as if this is not happening.” – Chanyoung

“That was our choice. To live like there’s no tomorrow. Like there’s no sadness. That’s how we decided to spend each day.” – Cha Mijo

  • “They say people change if they’re dying. Are you dying?” – Chanyoung
  • “Those who get bad grades in school highlight everything. You should know what’s important and not highlight everything.” – Chanyoung
  • “We were only 39. When we encountered this painful life-and-death situation, we had barely bloomed. We were only just nearing the end of our 30s.” – Cha Mijo

“Who in the world said you become wiser when you turn 40?” – Jinseok

  • “Some of us had a new beginning and some faced an end when we were thirty-nine.” – Cha Mijo
  • “When our bodies get sick, we either get surgery or take medicine. When our minds get sick, we should get good rest.” – Mijo’s father
  • “Alcohol is the best way to cleanse your body.” – Chanyoung

“Instead of looking back, let’s just do everything that we’ve always wanted to do.” – Cha Mijo

  • “I’d feel lost for awhile but slowly find my way back.” – Cha Mijo
  • “You should take a look at yourself, too.” – Cha Mijo
  • “I want you to be the happiest terminally ill person the world has ever seen.” – Cha Mijo

On women and singleness

“Are things different now that you’re 40? Imagine how nice it would have been for the three of us to grow old together.” – Chanyoung

  • “A thousand nights over and over again. Please let us be together for a long time.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Why is a pretty woman like you still single? But then again, competent people nowadays choose to live alone. Marriage isn’t everything.” – Mijo’s biological mom

“How do I feel now that I’m 40? I’m not sure. Everything is the same. The only difference is that you’re gone.” – Cha Mijo

  • “All that alcohol just turned into tears.” – Cha Mijo
  • “She just had two bowls of noodles out of frustration.” – Chanyoung
  • “It’s hard to take care of yourself if you live alone.” – Cha Mijo

“We chose not to get married. It was by choice.” – Cha Mijo

  • “I’m single with no kids. I should save up.” – Joohee
  • “Do you call being old and single ‘doing well’?” – Chanyoung’s mother
  • “I promise to do everything except for getting married.” – Chanyoung
  • “People get married in their 40s, too.” – Chanyoung’s mother

“We may be turning 40 soon but we’re not emotionless.” – Chanyoung

  • “We’re still in our 30s. We still have so much left to enjoy.” – Cha Mijo
  • “We avoid weddings and baby birthdays since we probably won’t have them. But we do our best to attend funerals because we’re 39. That’s what we’ve become.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Eyes are very important for women our age.” – Chanyoung

On love, dating, friendship, and family

  • “You were never in my life.” – Cha Mijo
  • “As I grew older, I realized no matter how tough life may be and no matter your story, you should never abandon your child.” – Mijo

“It’s always like this with parents and children. They fight like cats and dogs, but all it takes is a simple meal to reconcile.” – Seonu’s dad

  • “Why in the world would you date a married man? You deserve more than that!” – Chanyoung’s mom
  • “Although you never grew inside my belly, I cared for you as if you did. That’s pretty much the same thing. Whether or not I was pregnant with you doesn’t really matter.” – Mijo’s mom
  • “It took me awhile to pick ones that aren’t as pretty as you.” – Jinseok

“She may not be your daughter, but she’s still my little sister.” – Kim Seonu

  • “It’s not her fault. We’re just different.” – Hyunjoon
  • “I want us to part as friends, not as lovers.” – Chanyoung

“Is this how people propose in America?” – Cha Mijo

“No, I came up with this on my own.” – Kim Seonu

  • “Letting each other do whatever they want is respecting each other.” – Mijo’s father
  • “He wanted me to ask him to disown me.” – Sowon
  • “You’re like a rest stop. A rest stop on the highway.” – Cha Mijo
  • “I can’t go. Even if you leave, I can’t go with you.” – Jinseok

“Why do you care about him when he’s not even your son?” – Jinseok’s wife
“Because you don’t.” – Jinseok

  • “I’ll show you how passionate dating at the age of 39 can be.” – Cha Mijo
  • “I guess IQ has nothing to do with dating.” – Chanyoung

“This is a place where I can be safe and consider my home.” – Cha Mijo

  • “You should protect her by her side so that he won’t hurt her anymore.” – Cha Mijo
  • “We met as teenagers, spent our twenties together, and now we’re nearing the end of our thirties.” – Joohee

“I didn’t know how but I wanted to become her Rachmaninoff.” – Cha Mijo

  • “Calling them family isn’t enough to describe them. Since I don’t know how it feels to really have a family.” – Cha Mijo
  • “Everyone in my family is kind to me, and I also live a hard-working life. But deep down inside, I always feel anxious because I was adopted.” – Cha Mijo

“A true friend lets you know what’s right and wrong.” – Cha Mijo

  • “Then why haven’t you gotten over him yet? What makes him so great that you’re sacrificing your thirties for him?” – Cha Mijo
  • “If I do it, it’s love. If others do, it’s an affair.” – Chanyoung
  • “We’ve had this vague and sad relationship for a while, and I think we should end it.” – Chanyoung
  • “Is it okay if I soothe my heartache by congratulating your new beginning?” – Chanyoung

“My life used to be so calm and quiet, but you showed up and now I’m completely into you!” – Kim Seonu

  • “My entire body aches because you hit me with the sad reality.” – Chanyoung
  • “When I saw you there with peonies in your hands, I wanted to take you with me.” – Kim Seonu
  • “I just confessed my feelings to you. Is it okay if I like you?” – Kim Seonu
  • “That day, when everything felt hopeless, the touch of his hand felt so warm.” – Cha Mijo

Genre: Romantic, Drama
Synopsis: This series revolves around the life, friendship, romance and love of three friends, who are about to turn 40 years old.
No. of episodes: 12
Starring: Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do, Kim Ji-hyun
Written by: Yoo Yeong-ah
Directed by: Kim Sang-ho
Network: JTBC, Netflix
Date: February 16 – March 31, 2022

Subtitle translation: Netflix