17 Life Lessons From HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE Hero Arthur Dent

Arthur Dent stands in spaceship with his friends

Touchstone Pictures

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hit the big screen 15 years ago with a wonderfully bizarre take on Douglas Adams’ novel series. The film continues to get a lot of love from those who read its source material as well as those who were randomly drawn in by its offbeat adventures and fun characters. And there is perhaps no one more relatable in this funny, irreverent story than Arthur Dent.

He’s an aggressively typical dude living through a ho-hum life until he suddenly becomes an accidental space traveler and one of the last survivors of Earth. The character learns a lot about the universe—and himself—in the process, and he teaches us a few lessons too. Most of them are things we already know but often forget in our daily lives. And, well, others are just plain silly because it’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: a movie that is nonsensical in the most wonderful way.

Here’s what we have all learned from our dear buddy Arthur Dent.

A man stands with hands behind head and a spaceship above him

Touchstone Pictures

Watch Your Head

Tall people beware: there are low ceilings and archways waiting to take you out. It’s the punishment you get for being able to reach things on top shelves and see the stage in a concert crowd.

Stand Up (or lie down) For Yourself

Arthur Dent stages a one-man protest and stands up for what he believes in by lying down in front of a bulldozer. It’s not the most effective measure in this situation, but use it as a reminder to advocate for yourself.

It’s Always Beer O’Clock

There’s nothing wrong with some serious beer action in the middle of the day. Maybe you are in quarantine…or maybe the world is ending in 10 minutes. As long as you’re drinking responsibly, go for it.

Keep An Open Mind

The end of the world? Ford is from another planet? Arthur’s last lunch on Earth is pretty bizarre but he doesn’t run away screaming for help. He has some shaky moments throughout the film but his level of adaptation is aces. It’s always a good look to keep an open mind!

Weird People Are Superior Friends 

Arthur’s life is saved because he was friends with Ford. Always, always be friends with the strange people. They are not only fun, they also might be aliens who help you get off a doomed Earth.

Arthur and Ford stand face to face near demolished house

Touchstone Pictures

If You Have A Guide…USE IT

It doesn’t matter if you are gallivanting across the galaxy or trying to put together that impossible table from IKEA. Life doesn’t come with many instructions so when you get a guide in your hands, please use it.

Keep A Towel Handy 

Towels are extremely useful for cleaning up messes and drying off your body. You can set it on fire as a weapon, chase off enemies, and use it as a distress signal. Life is messy and sometimes dangerous. Space is even messier and more dangerous. Be like Arthur Dent and keep up with your towel.

Some Beings Won’t Appreciate You

Arthur tried to give some compliments and positive observations to the Vogon’s poem, but it led to him being jettisoned off the ship. Welp. Some people (or aliens) simply won’t appreciate your kind words and constructive criticism. Don’t let it deter you from being an awesome person.

Be Thankful For Improbable Odds

The chances of Arthur and Ford being picked up by the Heart of Gold were very, very slim but it happened anyway. Sometimes, the most improbable things happen in our lives without an improbability drive. They may (or may not) have an explanation but it’s never a bad thing to be thankful for good luck.

Annoying People Are Everywhere

Arthur Dent ends up running into the man who captured Trillian’s interest in space after the destruction of Earth. And Trillian is with Beeblebrox. Also, Ford is related to Beeblebrox. Yikes. We all know what it’s like to have someone around who gets under our skin. But Arthur gets the last laugh in the end and adapts to Beeblebrox’s foolishness, so maybe we can come out on top too—annoying beings be dammed.

Zaphod Beeblebrox sits on a counter with a robe and cowboy boots

Touchstone Pictures

Great Things Are Done In A Robe

Arthur went through his entire adventure rocking a green robe and pajamas. You can too. Working from home? Getting the newspaper? Traveling the universe? Saving lives? It can all be done in comfy clothes.

When Plans Fail, Freestyle

Arthur Dent is a space novice who knows nothing about anything. But, that doesn’t stop him from trying to save Trillian and doing what feels right in his heart. He doesn’t have a plan and things go awry, but he keeps making it up as he goes along. Our best laid plans don’t always pan out. Sometimes you gotta wing it.

Paperwork And Long Lines Exist Everywhere

Apparently, every planet’s official offices have long lines and paperwork. But, considering our current quarantine situation, maybe standing in those lines and filling out papers wasn’t so bad after all.

Normal Is Non-Existent

This is self-explanatory. Everyone has their own set of experiences, beliefs, and standards for what is normal.

Don’t Panic!

This is perhaps the most important lesson from Arthur’s adventure. Why? It’s printed in massive letters on the guide to the galaxy. Do NOT panic. Well, maybe panic a little bit when murderous aliens are coming for you. But don’t panic too long because you will die.

Arthur Dent reads the guide to the galaxy

Touchstone Pictures

Amazing Things Can Come After Fear

Arthur is afraid of what will happen when he goes off with Slartibartfast in a rickety carriage. But, he learns that there is something awesome on the other side of his fear when he’s taken into a pocket dimension. He discovers the secrets to the universe and witnesses a new version of Earth. Our fear keeps us from jumping on some amazing journeys but there might be something life-changing and cool on the other side.

Go For The Adventure

Arthur decides that this new planet can do without him. He chooses to travel with his newfound gang to a restaurant at the end of the universe. His journey from a man who feared change to someone ready to take off into the stars is weird yet inspiring. It’s okay to start over, change your life, and go towards a new and exciting adventure.

Arthur Dent is an everyday man with no special powers. He didn’t have an eventful life before the end of Earth. But his hitchhiker adventure reveals that he’s more than just a hapless man who inadvertently ends up in space. He is someone who reminds us to go with the flow, be ourselves, and hang out with the weirdos.

So, cheers to Arthur Dent for the simple life lessons. We hope you are still out there having a great time in your green robe.

Featured Image: Touchstone Pictures

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