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Birthday Messages and Quotes to Write in a Card

Blake started out scribbling in cards over 30 years ago. Though his handwriting is mostly unchanged, the content has improved.

Birthdays are big! Find the right words for their special occasion.

Birthdays are big! Find the right words for their special occasion.

A well-worded card is an excellent gift. It's the thought that counts. A thoughtful note is a simple way to bring a smile to someone's face. A birthday card is a great opportunity to make someone's day by writing something meaningful, inspiring, sincere, or funny.

Below are different categories of birthday wishes, including specific examples. Browse each category and decide which birthday message is best for the person you are celebrating. Remember to personalize your greeting with something specific. Have fun and let your own personality shine through.

Funny Birthday Wishes

Most funny birthday messages will poke fun at aging. Here are some jokes, funny wishes, and humorous sayings for birthday cards.

  • You are getting really old for your age.
  • How do you know you are really the age you think you are? Can you remember your own birth?
  • Aging is hard work, and you've earned another year!
  • Right now you are the oldest you've ever been in the past and the youngest you'll ever be in the future. Enjoy this moment!
  • A jury of your peers has decided that you are guilty on several counts of not looking your age.
  • Think of age as a speed limit. The older you get, the faster you can go.
  • If you continue to look so young for your age, scientists will demand to study your secrets.
  • I don't believe that it's your birthday. You don't look any older than you did last year.
  • I think it's time to start being honest about your age. You need to start including your B.C. years.
  • You're so old, I bet your watch measures time in centuries.
  • If you were a piece of gum, you would be Extra sugar-free gum. You've lasted a long time.
  • Your country gave you your first birthday present: your citizenship!
  • There's a strong correlation between total number of birthday cards received over one's lifetime and the likelihood of death. Now how do you feel about those people who always remember to give you a birthday card?
  • You know you're getting old when you get a sympathy card for your birthday. (Put this in a general sympathy card)
  • The older you get, the older I feel. So please stop getting older.
  • If people celebrate you this many times just for being born, shouldn't they also celebrate all the real accomplishments you've made in your life?
  • Happy birthday! You're one year closer to your death day. (For the pessimist)
  • It's debatable whether birthdays are actually good for you. Each birthday lowers your life expectancy by one year. On the other hand, those who have the most birthdays tend to have the highest life expectancy.
  • I was going to get a cake with a picture of you just after you were born printed on top, but the cake decorator said it was easier to just give you the cake with Yoda. 'May the force be with you young Jedi.'

I hope you have a happy annual celebration of escaping from your mom's uterus. I wish that you may never again have to return to your dark underwater prison.

  • There were a lot of famous people born on your birthday. Too bad you're not one of them.
  • Even though I don't see how it could be possible, I am celebrating the fact that someone even more annoying than you was not born in your place. Just kidding!
  • Forget the Republican and Democratic parties. I'm voting for the birthday party.
  • I'm glad to celebrate your birthday with you today. It sure beats the alternative.
  • If there is a positive correlation between age and wisdom, then I'll be asking you for advice.
  • Shouldn't your mom get your birthday presents? She labored the most on your birthday. Happy birthday to you and her!
  • No one holds a candle to you, especially on your birthday. You already have enough candles on your cake as it is.
  • It may be a good thing, or it may be a bad thing. They definitely 'broke the mold' when you were born.
  • Wrinkles are tally marks of our birthdays. Here’s to another one!
  • You may not like me giving you advice, but I'll give you some anyway. If I were you, I’d have a happy birthday.
  • I'm confident you’ll have a happy birthday. When it comes to having birthdays, you've had a lot of experience.
  • The older you get, the more stuff you know. So tell me, where are the best senior citizen discounts?
  • I'm usually pretty good at guessing how old people are. In your case, I was way off. I won't tell you which direction.

Sincere Birthday Messages

  • I promise to not make any age related jokes. That's just one gift I'm giving you for your birthday.
  • Stay young at heart, you old soul!
  • I hope you are surprised by an even better birthday than you've ever had.
  • I'm glad to have the opportunity to wish a happy birthday to someone I'm so glad to know.
  • As you grow older, grow richer in all the most important things in life.
  • I hope all your wishes come true on your birthday!
  • I'm wishing a happy birthday to you because you make me happy!
  • I hope you are not only blessed on your birthday, but that you are also surprised by blessings throughout the entire next year.
  • I hope you enjoy your birthday as much as I enjoy being around you.
  • God created you for a great purpose, and it all started with your birthday. He will continue to bless you with many more wonderful years. Happy birthday!
  • No matter how many birthdays go by, I always feel young when I'm around you. You are full of life and energy.
  • I wish you many more years of health and prosperity.
  • All the gifts you get today will not compare to the gifts you generously give to those you know and love.
  • This is just one day of the year we get to celebrate you the way you deserve to be celebrated. You are an amazing person!
  • Many things have changed over the years, but you're still the same great person you have always been.
  • Happy birthday to a timeless classic! You will never go out of style.
  • We hope that your birthday is wonderful, and we hope this year will bring amazing and fun adventures.
  • Your birth was the beginning of many great plans that God has for your life.
  • You are the coolest person I know who was born on (month/day)!
  • Your birthday is an important date for me because it is the day the love of my life was born.
  • Today, you’re a little more beautiful, smart, witty, and awesome. You happen to be a little older, too.

Famous Birthday Quotes

These are some famous funny quotes. The actual quote is in quotation marks and may be accompanied by a suggestion for how to make it a better or funnier message:

  • Michael Pritchard said, “You don’t stop laughing because you are old; you grow old because you stop laughing.” I hope you have tons of laughs on your birthday!
  • Job 12:12 in the Bible says, “With the ancient is wisdom, and in length of days understanding.” Congratulations on acquiring a little more wisdom and understanding today.
  • Sue Banducci said, “Old age comes at a bad time.” Maybe that’s why it’s such a good time to have a party and eat cake.
  • Tammy Mein said, “After a certain age if you don’t wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead.” Did you wake up with achy joints this morning?
  • George Burns said, “You know you’re getting old when you stoop down to tie your shoes and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.” Here's to the efficiency of old age. Happy birthday!
  • George Burns said, “When I was young, the Dead Sea was still alive.” I hope you live as long as he did.
  • On his 85th birthday, Bernard Baruch said, “To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.” That was 100 years old for him. I’ll let you do the math for yourself.
  • "Birthdays are like taxes. Both seem to happen too often and there's no avoiding either." –Blake Flannery
  • "The only consolation you get for aging another year is knowing that everyone else you know is getting older too." –Blake Flannery
  • "Your birthday is just one day, even though we think of being an entire year older. Time has a way of being sneaky until you stop to notice." –Blake Flannery

Funny Belated Birthday Wishes

  • The only difference between my birthday wishes and those that were on time is the verb tense. In that case, I hope you had a great birthday!
  • Birthday cards are like overdue items from the library: the later they are, the bigger the fine. (Enclose a money gift.)
  • Scientists have discovered a strong correlation between how late a birthday card is and the quality of the relationship between the sender and receiver. I guess that means we have a great relationship.
  • I’m so sorry I didn't get your birthday card to you on time. No one knows how much longer we have to give each other birthday cards, especially when we get to be your age.
  • Two things that I always do are sending people birthday cards on time and writing a great birthday wish in the…
  • I’m sorry I missed getting you a card for your birthday a few days ago. Hopefully, with this card being almost 12 months early for next year, it will make up for me missing a year.
  • If my birthday card is the latest, then that also makes it the youngest birthday card. I wanted to do that to symbolically represent your age with my birthday card.
  • Yes! I got to be the last one to wish you a happy birthday.
  • Did your birthday change? I could swear it was today last year.
  • I wanted to wish you a happy birthday in style. That’s why I’m fashionably late in telling you to have a great birthday.

Birthday Messages for Mom

Whether it's her birthday or Mother's Day, mothers are special ladies who deserve some nice words.

  • Mom, no matter how old you get, you’ll always be an amazing mom.
  • Mom, you give so much to others. Your life is a blessing in my life, and I appreciate all that you do for me.
  • If you turn the word ‘MOM’ upside down, you get ‘WOW!’ You are such an awesome person, and that’s all I can think to say about you: “wow!” Happy birthday to an awesome mom!
  • Each birthday that passes is another year that I am thankful to have you in my life. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday! I’m wishing a great day to the person who gave me my own birthday.
  • You were responsible for my birthday, so I feel responsible to make sure you have a great birthday.

Birthday Messages for Dad

  • Dad, you used to say, “Just wait until you’re my age.” How am I supposed to catch up to your age if you keep having birthdays? I guess I’ll figure that out when I’m your age.
  • Have an awesome birthday! Do all the things that you want to do today.
  • Happy birthday to the coolest dad in the world!
  • There are a lot of people who are having birthdays today, but you’re the only one who is important in my life. Happy birthday to a great dad!
  • Dad, I love that you were born a long time ago, and I love that I was born more recently with you as my dad. Happy birthday!
  • You were born to be my dad, right?

Birthday Messages for Brothers and Sisters

  • You’ll always be the perfect age to be my brother/sister. Happy birthday!
  • Happy birthday to my biggest ally against our parents’ rules!
  • We may have had our times when we didn’t get along, but I am glad you were born because having a brother/sister like you has made me a better person. Happy birthday!
  • Every time you have a birthday, it’s a reminder that I’m getting older too. My own birthdays already remind me enough of my aging.
  • Brothers/sisters are born to build character. Thanks for being born so you could build my character.
  • I don't know what my life would be like without you as my sibling. I'm definitely glad to have you in my life.

Birthday Wishes for Christians

If the person you are writing to is Christian, these meaningful birthday messages might work well:

  • Your birthday is an affirmation and reminder that God has a special plan and purpose for your life.
  • "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
  • God knew you before you were born, so He knows you the longest. Happy birthday!
  • Happy 1st birthday! Your second birthday was when you were born into the kingdom of heaven.
  • I'm sending you warm wishes on your birthday to remind you that at least two people love you: me and Jesus.

Milestone Birthday Wishes

The great thing about milestone birthdays is that each one only comes once.

18th Birthday

  • I am glad that you are finally 18 so you can be a mature adult now. You can pay your own bills, vote, etc. The important thing is having fun with your new privileges.
  • Happy 18th birthday. You're an adult now. That's your last developmental stage. Congratulations on surviving this far.
  • Finally, people will take you as a serious mature adult now that you're 18.
  • You can vote, smoke, gamble, sign up for the armed forces, and get a credit card. And you thought adolescents were dangerous. Happy birthday!

21st Birthday

  • You're 21 now, so you can drink and in just 14 years you can become president of the United States. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's a good idea.
  • 21 is a super important milestone birthday event. It means you have less than 80 years to hit 100. Then you can start drinking.
  • I don't know what all the fuss is about turning 21. By 21 you should realize that birthdays just mean more responsibility. So remember to be more responsible. Happy birthday.

How to Say "Happy Birthday" in Other Languages

One fun thing to do in a birthday card is to say happy birthday in a different language. You could even create a little match-up game where the person tries to identify the language.

"Happy Birthday!" in the Top 10 Languages

  1. Mandarin Chinese: 生日快乐 or shēngrì kuàilè
  2. Spanish: ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
  3. English: Happy birthday!
  4. Arabic: عيد ميلاد سعيد!
  5. Hindi: जन्मदिन मुबारक हो!
  6. Portuguese: Feliz aniversário!
  7. Bengali: শুভ জন্মদিন!
  8. Russian: С Днем Рождения!
  9. Japanese: 誕生日おめでとう!
  10. German: Alles gute zum geburtstag!

"Happy Birthday!" in Obscure Languages

  • Pig Latin: Appy hay irthday bay!
  • Canine (Dog): Arf Arf Arf Arf!
  • R2D2: Beep Boop Boop Beep Boop Boop Zeeee!
  • Baby: Ha Ba Bu Da
  • HTML: </Happy><Birthday</h1>
  • Alien: .........(transmitted directly into your mind).
  • Text messaging: Hppy bday!


Kathie Bullock on October 30, 2019:

I hand make all my cards and I really liked some of your sentaments! Thanks for the most difficult part.

Nameera Khanam on September 27, 2019:

nice birthday messages

Tet A Buck on October 30, 2018:

some are alright mostly corny jokes

Patricia on April 10, 2018:

Great birthday messages

tirumalesh on September 27, 2015:

Very very useful in your thoughts thanks

Bev on July 03, 2015:

Sayings for step mom, not the same as mom

Martina on May 03, 2015:

This website is awesome I will check this every time I write a card for someone!

Blake Flannery (author) from United States on April 12, 2015:

Thanks everyone for stopping by and using this resource. Please let me know here in the comments if there's any way to improve this page. Also, I'd like to offer you help if you are needing help with what to write in someone's birthday card. I know that the general messages above will help most people, but having a more specific birthday message would be cool too. Just leave any details that you think are important, and I'll try to come up with something to help you!

Chris Montgomery from Irvine, CA on March 28, 2015:

This is great! Clever idea for a hub and it's a great reference. I'll check this everytime I write a card now!

muhammad jamshaid on March 17, 2015:

very nice messages.

presh on March 05, 2015:

Awesome wishes!!!