John Marston isn't just the beloved protagonist in Rockstar's first Red Dead Redemption game; he's a secondary protagonist in the second game in the series and one of the sassiest cowboys in the series. Both Red Dead titles are chock-full of his most hilarious quotes, though out of context, they may not make much sense. Whether you're new to the Red Dead games or a lifelong fan, you're sure to appreciate the ten most hilarious things well-loved John Marston has said during his time in the Red Dead universe. In this article, you'll even get to know the context behind the quotes that make John, John.
10 "They told us there was a prize when you got to fifty."
John Marston doesn't seem to have a problem making light of his past mistakes. This quote makes that very obvious. When Edgar Ross berates John for robbing upwards of forty banks in his earlier years, this quote is the quip John responds with. There's no doubting, especially in Red Dead Redemption 2 that John isn't the most upstanding citizen, but by the time Red Dead Redemption's storyline starts, he's kind of put his worst days behind him. Maybe that's why he feels so comfortable making light of all the banks he's robbed in the past.
9 "One of them machines can turn men into angels."
In context, this quote isn't necessarily as funny as some of the others, but it's certainly a good euphemism. In a moment John shares with his son, Jack, the two of them see an airplane (or "aeroplane," as it were) and while Jack stands in awe of the sight, John has a more pessimistic reception to it. He knows the reality behind air travel and makes such clear when he says the quote above. Out of context, though, the quote does sound pretty hilarious.
8 "I just know that there are two theories when arguing with women. And neither one works."
Bonnie MacFarlane is a great character in Red Dead Redemption who helps the player controlling John get their bearings at the beginning of the game. She and John have plenty of heart-to-hearts throughout the course of the game, during which John makes it clear that he not only respects women; he knows better than to argue with them. This is probably a side effect of being married to Abigail as long as he has, but the humor in his quote is still very much appreciated and full of truth.
7 "It ain't no secret I didn't get these scars falling over in church."
Since Red Dead Redemption 2 came out in 2018, players are finally aware of how John did get those trademark scars on his face. He didn't exactly get them in a scuffle or doing something totally illegal, but he probably wouldn't have been stranded on that mountain Arthur has to get him off of, his face full of claw marks courtesy of wild wolves if he actually was in church. Still, this quote solidified John's characterization as not just a morally gray guy, but as a pretty sassy cowboy too.
6 "I think there's some schoolchildren down the way you can go and frighten."
In one of the funniest exchanges in the entirety of Red Dead Redemption, John meets Deputy Jonah while Jonah is snoring in a jail cell in Armadillo. Upon waking up, Jonah immediately thinks John is a member of Bill Williamson's gang and tries to blow his brains out. After calming Jonah down, John tells him he can go scare some schoolchildren, which solidifies John's low opinion of Jonah, as well as their pretty antagonistic and eventually neutral relationship for the remainder of the campaign.
5 "I hear you speak and suddenly I'm reminded of how the people I respected most in my life had a problem with authority."
It's no mystery John Marston has problems with authority. He's rough all around the edges and has the scars and backstory to prove it. There are very few people he respects and they all seem to have the same gray morals John does. This can't be a coincidence, but at least John is aware of it. He also knows how to twist his backstory and character flaws into a quip that easily cuts the person he's talking to (someone he obviously doesn't respect) down to their knees.
4 "I'll give you a bad case of 'someone just shot me in the head' if you don't hurry up."
There's no doubt that John can handle himself. He's a strong character who has no problems using violence to get his way, and if he needs to remind somebody of that, he will. Sometimes, he does so with a side of humor, though that probably isn't how the character at the wrong end of his shotgun feels about it. John and Uncle don't always get along perfectly well, so it isn't really a surprise when John threatens Uncle with bodily harm when he's impatient with the old man. Luckily for the player, it's something they can laugh at.
3 "We have shared a saddle, O'Driscoll, but we ain't friends."
Kieran Duffy is a strange supporting character who drifts throughout Red Dead Redemption 2. He doesn't get along very well with either John or Arthur, though John makes his distrust in the former O'Driscoll gang member pretty obvious when he says the quote above. The quote also makes a statement about John's characterization: he's capable of being amicable with people, even when he doesn't want to be, but that doesn't mean he necessarily likes them. It also might even speak to the character development John goes through from the Red Dead Redemption 2 story to the Red Dead Redemption one.
2 "They let idiots like you in the army?"
John doesn't just have good voice lines during the campaign; he has some good lines during combat as well. During a gunfight down in Mexico, John makes quite a few good jabs at the army he's fighting, but one of the best is this one. It's trash talk at its finest, and if John has done anything in the two games he's in, it's prove that he's one of the sassiest cowboys in the Red Dead Redemption series. He can dish out insults like nobody's business, and there's no better place to do so than during a gunfight against a foreign army hell-bent on taking him out instead.
1 "Why are you so interested in my life? Haven't you got one of your own?"
John is the quintessential man of the 19th century: masculine, hard-working, and above all, closed off. It isn't easy to get him to open up, so it's no surprise he makes this quip to Arthur during the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign. It speaks to some pretty clever writing on Rockstar's part as well. While players were excited to get another game under the Red Dead umbrella, Rockstar makes it clear both in gameplay and with this quote that players are supposed to focus on the new characters rather than the old, nostalgia-inducing characters.