Home > Life, The Universe, & Everything > The Quotes Quoted By Dr Tom From CBC’s “Being Erica” – Season 1 Edition

The Quotes Quoted By Dr Tom From CBC’s “Being Erica” – Season 1 Edition


Dr Tom from Being Erica played by Micheal Riley – picture taken from Being Erica Wiki

Some people know that I watch the CBC series “Being Erica” but some people haven’t even heard of the show. If you haven’t: the show is about a woman in her early 30’s who has been in a number of dead end jobs and relationships and one day meets the mysterious Dr. Tom. Dr. Tom promises to treat Erica and help her live a better life. He does this by having her list her life regrets on a piece of paper and then he sends Erica back in time to relive these regrets and possibly rectify them but always to learn from them.

The show is, I believe, mainly targeted at women but I’m a sucker for pretty much anything that has to do with time travel so I enjoy the show. One of the things Dr Tom consistently does throughout the show in treating Erica is to quote wisdom of people (famous and not-so-famous). The quotes are always relevant to Erica’s current predicament/regret. Often the quotes are very obscure but they are always, in my humble opinion, quite inspirational.

Every now and again I would look for a comprehensive list of “Dr Tom’s Quotes” and have never been able to find one. As such, I put this list together by searching around the interiorwebs and reading some really, really random sites. Again, I am surprised there isn’t a better, more comprehensive list out there so if you’d like to help me build this list I would really appreciate it! (Or if there is one that I haven’t found I’d appreciate the link!)

There were a number of doubles which came from different websites “arguing” about where the quotes came from/were said so I deleted some of them – more or less guessing which episode they came from. I haven’t proofread all of the names either so there might be some which are misspelled. Lastly, for everyone who wants to tell me that Prime Minister Winston Churchill didn’t say the quote about history and it was George Santayana I am well aware of this but this is what the contributor wrote it as so I assume that is to whom Dr. Tom attributed the quote. I am going  to go through Season 1 and fix up this list however, so not to worry! As well, I have completed rewatching Season 3 of Being Erica so the Season 3 list is available here The Quotes Quoted By Dr Tom From CBC’s “Being Erica” – Season 3 Edition.

Episode 1 “Dr. Tom”

  • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein
  • Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make. – Abraham Cowle
  • Pressure makes diamonds. – General George S. Patton 
  • The life which is unexamined is not worth living. – Plato
  • We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way. – John Holt
  • Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand. – Baruch Spinoza
  • If life’s journey be endless where is its goal?  The answer is, it is everywhere. – Rabindranath Tagore

Episode 2 “What I Am Is What I Am”

  • The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality and, instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. – Samuel Johnson
  • We are the sum of our decisions, and as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. – Antigone Morris, Erica’s classmate
  • Those who plot the destruction of others often perish in the attempt. – Thomas Moore

Episode 3 “Plenty of Fish”

  • Sarcasm: the last refuge of the modest people when the privacy of the soul is intrusively invaded. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Let your net always be cast, and in the pool which you least expect, there will be a fish. – Ovid
  • There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. – Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix)
  • Chasing the past, she stumbled into the future. – T.A. Sachs

Episode 4 “The Secret of Now”

  • You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry. – William Bell
  • While we are postponing, life speeds by. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 5 BC
  • Defeatism is the wretchedest of policies. – George Bernard Shaw
  • Oops… I did it again. – Britney Spears
  • Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go–it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow. – Alice M. Swain

Episode 5 “Adultescence”

  • Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. – Prime Minister Winston Churchill
  • No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly. – Desiderius Erasmus
  • It takes a lot of courage to grow up and be who you really are. – e.e. cummings

Being Erica Title Screen Season 1

Episode 6 “Til Death”

  • The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen

Episode 7 “Such a Perfect Day”

  • You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. – Zig Ziglar
  • Although the world is full of suffering it is also full of the overcoming of it. – Helen Keller
  • We cannot, we will not, choose the path of surrender. – President Woodrow T. Wilson

Episode 8 “This Be the Verse”

  • There is no try, only do. – Yoda
  • To err is human, but to forgive is divine. – Alexander Pope (paraphrased)
  • They screw you up, your mom and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. – Philip Larkin (paraphrased)
  • Your parents will mess you up. They don’t mean to, but they do it anyway. – Philip Larkin (I am unsure if this is the way Dr Tom quotes it or if he paraphrases as above. When I rewatch this episode this portion will be edited.)

Episode 9 “Everything She Wants”

  • Labels are for cans, not people. – Anthony Rapp

Episode 10 “Mi Casa, Su Casa Loma”

  • Being entirely honest with oneself is a worthwhile exercise. – Sigmund Freud (paraphrased)
  • A man has two reasons for doing anything – a good reason and the real reason. – J.P. Morgan (I also found out that the original person who said this was Thomas Carlyle and his version is “A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason.”)

Episode 11 “She’s Lost Control”

  • He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.. – George Orwell (paraphrased)
  • We create our fate every day we live. – Henry Miller
  • There is advantage in the wisdom won from pain. – Aeschylus
  • Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly. – Chinese Proverb

Episode 12 “Erica the Vampire Slayer”

  • Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with good grace all that you are not. – Henri-Frédéric Amiel (paraphrased)
  • Thinking is easy, acting is difficult – and to put one’s thoughts into action, the most difficult thing in the world. –  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Episode 13 “Leo”

~ No Dr Tom Quotes ~

Coming soon – posts of Dr Tom’s quotes from Season 2 and Season 3 (and when it comes out, Season 4). I am going to have to either get a lot of help for those, do a lot more research, or rewatch the seasons in their entirety because what I have found thus far is SPARSE!

UPDATE: September 6, 2011 – The Season 3 quotes are available here. Turned out I had to rewatch the entire Season 3 in it’s entirety and it is looking like I am going to be doing the same for Season 2 too: The Quotes Quoted By Dr Tom From CBC’s “Being Erica” – Season 3 Edition

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  1. Stacey
    March 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I absolutely love this show. It has it all, but most importantly the message is you can change your future, by the choices you make today. Very spiritual!! Excellent story lines dealing with today’s 30-50 somethings. I love love Dr. Tom! I wish I had him & his expertise on hand every time I had a question. This show can run a long time.

    • March 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

      I agree it conceivably COULD run a long time based on story alone.

      However, I have the horrible responsibility of being the one to inform you that it will not be running for a long time. If you check out this article here “SpoilerTV: Being Erica – Season 4 confirmed to be the final season” (don’t worry even though the name of the site seems to indicate it, there aren’t any specific plot details in that link) I think the title says it all.

      BUT! It is apparently being remade in the USA & the UK so much like The Office maybe the remake will run longer than the original show???

  2. May 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I came across your site when trying to find out whether Bob Dylan really did say “Act the way you want to be and soon you’ll be the way you act” since on other sites it’s attributed to Dr George Crane.

    Anyway I can say that the quote is used in Series 2 episode 10 – ‘Papa can you hear me’ since I just watched it since the series is being re-run in Australia.

    I love the series too – every time I watch it I learn something about myself.

    • May 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

      Thanks so much Karen. I will be adding that info to my little text file of quotes from Being Erica. Alas I haven’t yet had the opportunity to re-watch Season 2 or 3 yet so the quotes post for those is still forthcoming but please feel free to make note of the quotes you hear in the rest of Season 2 and email them to me at LevyNewsNetwork AT gmail DOT com

  3. Tiffany
    May 27, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Hi Dan,

    I came across your site when searching for a compilation of all of Dr. Tom’s quotes. I’m watching season 1 of the show, and I looked up some of the quotes used. Dr. Tom rewords many of them. For example, the Yoda quote is supposed to be worded like this, “Do, or don’t do. There is no try.”
    It’s quite possible he says the wrong name tied to that quote. Another possibility is that the person Dr. Tom mentioned was also quoting someone[the original owner of the quote], and he’s just quoting the one that he came across?? That’s just my insight. We’ll never know, unless we ask the writers. Anyways, since I am watching the show from the beginning, I will do my best to collect as many quotes and which episode they’re from as I can.

    • May 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Tiffany,

      I would very much appreciate all the help you could give me on this and thank you for the comment.

      I have found many times when looking up quotes they are attributed incorrectly and/or quoted incorrectly. Not much we can do about it unless the actual saying of it was recorded but even then the same person may have said it again differently another time so we will never know. As well, it is possible someone came up with a line and unwittingly was quoting someone before them.

      RE: Yoda, IMDB lists the quote as Dr Tom said it, here’s a link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/quotes?qt=qt0358485 As well, this YouTube clip from the movies seems to disagree with you & support Dr Tom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3hn6fFTxeo (33 seconds in). Where did you hear/see it quoted the other way?

  4. fbm224
    September 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Episode 5 ”Adultescence”

    Learn to… be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

    • May 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      @fbm224: I am not sure – as it has been a while since I watched – if that quote is in Episode 5 but I have it listed as being in Episode 12 of this season as well. When I can, I will get around to rewatching both but as it stands now I think the fact that the quote is included in this list (even if it is in the wrong place) is sufficient, don’t you?

      As well, it may well have been quoted by Dr. Tom twice in which case it would be a little redundant to post twice, no?

  5. Trish
    December 17, 2011 at 1:56 am

    I have been watching the series on Netflix and for the most part am enjoying it.

    Regret number 49 for me: I wish I had of known of the quotes in ‘Being Erica’ and their interest to me earlier on. I could have written them down as I watched each episode and been able to help someone out online to compile a comprehensive list. If I had to do it over again I’d buy a purposeful journal sit down with a vanilla latte, pen in hand, watch each episode and wait for the wisdom.

    Thanks for ensuring it all gets into one place accurately!

    • May 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      You are most welcome, Trish!

  6. May 12, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I tried to write all I could hear and the quotes are hugely why I watched the series.

    • May 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Well I am happy that I was able to help you out. I have all 4 seasons listed on this blog in different posts. The quotes were also part of the reason I really, really enjoyed the show.

  7. Lilly
    June 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    You can see so much rubbish on TV but Being Erica has truly inspired me. I have seen all 4 seasons via youtube and I am really upset it has come to an end. Please, please, please carry on filming. I want to see more and get even more inspiret.
    Lilly x

    • June 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Lilly, I am sorry to say but the show has ended in Canada after 4 seasons. However, last I checked ABC in the USA and a company in the UK will each be remaking the series in their respective countries.

      See http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2010/12/abc-to-adapt-canadian-series-being-erica.html for some info on the US remake of the show and http://www.tv.com/news/being-erica-moves-to-britain-22479/ for the info on the British version of the show, tentatively titled “You Again.” Both of those articles are somewhat old so if you find any more updated info about these two productions do let me know! I have been keeping my eye on the Wikipedia page for Being Erica it had this information and those links above but have no more information aside from that.

      I am in no way associated with the show (or any of the remakes) and am just a fan like you so any information I have find out about the show is freely available on the internet.

  8. Buddy Bradley
    April 6, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Awesome, thanks a lot!! I love this show

    • April 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      You’re welcome. I am personally looking forward to the US & UK versions now that the Canadian one is done.

  9. April 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Excellent write-up. I definitely appreciate this website.
    Keep writing!

  10. April 30, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Good write-up. I have got a dilemma. As a site owner, how long did
    it require for your web-site to be productive? Also what do you enjoy most about
    running a blog?

  11. Kerry
    May 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Only just discovered Being Erica this week and just poured through it! I was just about to start re-watching it so that I could write down all the inspiring quotes, when it occurred to me to google it. Thanks so much for this collection!!

    • May 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      You’re very welcome, Kerry!

  12. Fiona O Connor
    June 23, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Thanks for listing the quotes above. The idea of being able to fix ‘mistakes’ by going back in time is a very interesting one and the quotes on Being Erica are usually thought provoking. I have got into the habit now of watching BE on Netflix with a pen in hand! This one was somewhere before episode 7 in Series One:
    “Learn to… be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.”

    Henri Frederic Amiel

  13. August 6, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

    • August 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Courtney,
      Thanks for commenting and it’s cool you found this blog vids Yahoo News but I don’t know how my blog got listed there. In fact, until I read your comment I had no idea that this blog was listed!

  14. Leena Kloppers
    October 29, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for this…I love the quotes by Dr. Tom. This show has inspired me many times.

  15. Omar
    November 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I watched the whole 4 seasons about 2 years ago, yesterday I started to watch it again, there’s too much to learn from it. Chapter 4 season 3 tought me more about positive attitude than a whole seminar about it.

    • November 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Very true.
      I really should rewatch this show too and relearn the lessons I learned the first time around.

  16. February 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for making the list! It’s John Holt (not “Halt”).

    • February 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      You’re very welcome, Sandra. Thanks for the heads up on the typo. I have fixed Mr Holt’s name.

  17. elizabeth
    April 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I really appreciate your efforts to gather all these great quotes. It was a fabulous show and neck in neck with Joan of Arcadia. Many thanks again!

  18. May 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for doing this! :)

  1. September 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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  3. September 21, 2011 at 2:23 am
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  5. October 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm
  6. December 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

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