108 Happy Birthday Wishes That Just Keep Giving

It may seem like a small gesture, but wishing someone a happy birthday is always worth the effort.

Even though birthdays roll around once a year the pressure to celebrate never seems to fade—no matter how familiar we become with the tradition. While gift-giving is certainly one way to do things, delivering those happy birthday wishes is an equally important gesture. Of course, we understand it can be hard to come up with the right words. So, we decided to come up with our very own list of things to say to the guest of honor. You can read on below for the perfect birthday message to send to that someone special, whether they're a friend, family member, or something a little more romantic. But before we really dive into things, let's take a look at how the "happy birthday" tradition got started in the first place.

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Why Did We Start Saying 'Happy Birthday' in the First Place?

black-and-white still of a woman celebrating her son's birthday
Shutterstock / Everett Collection

At this point in history, wishing someone a happy birthday is more of a reflex than it is a courtesy, but it wasn't always that way. It actually wasn't until the mid-19th century that birthday traditions became recognized nationwide.

In earlier days, these celebrations were reserved for leaders or powerful members of the upper class. For instance, there was a point where all U.S. Americans celebrated George Washington's birthday, but their own? Well, that would have been a little lavish.

But as time went on, things started to shift. Some scholars credit the change to people having fewer children. Others say it was a way for families to finally demonstrate the emotional value their children provided (as a reminder, children were once viewed as economic assets first, little bundles of joy second).

A few other developments soon followed. The now iconic "Happy Birthday Song" evolved out of a kindergarten classroom around the same time birthdays were really taking off. By the time we hit the 1930s, the song was already making cameos on Broadway. And as these celebrations became more important, so too did the very concept of time.

Once scarce and often inaccurate, household clocks and pocket watches were suddenly high in demand. Not only did these timepieces make it easier for people to track how time passed in their own lives, but it made it easier to keep up with their rapidly industrializing surroundings.

The Best Happy Birthday Wishes to Share With the Ones You Love

Use the messages below to wish someone special a very happy birthday. Whether you're looking for something simple or something silly, a happy birthday for him or for her, we've definitely got you covered!

Funny Happy Birthday Wishes

balloon with a mustache and party hat
Shutterstock / Ruth Black
  1. You may be a year older, but a year wiser? We'll have to wait and see about that one…
  2. Everyone gets to be young once. And today, your stint has officially come to an end!
  3. Happy birthday, and here's to many more. May you live to be so old, the very sight of you terrifies all who cross your path!
  4. A birthday means that you are a year older, but a birthday party means you get to act 10 years younger. Enjoy the festivities!
  5. Cake? Check! Presents? Check! Candles? Check! Drinks? Definitely. Let the birthday festivities begin!
  6. Happy birthday to my partner in crime. Let's make some mischief today!
  7. Happy birthday to the only person I'd break a nail for!
  8. Is it just me or does it feel hot in here? Oh, it might be all those candles on your cake!
  9. Happy birthday to a dear friend. May today always serve as the anniversary of when you escaped your mother's womb!
  10. We all know you love cake. Today, we decided to dress things up with a few candles. Happy birthday!
  11. Wishing you a wonderful birthday. I hope it's as much fun as you are, but that's setting the standard pretty high!
  12. Fun fact: A good birthday is about 90 percent mental and 10 percent alcohol. Now, let's get into the booze and start celebrating!
  13. Happy birthday! Remember, age is just a number—yours just happens to be really high!
  14. Happy birthday, buddy! Let's see how much of it you actually remember!
  15. It's your birthday and all you got was this lousy birthday card. Hope things turn around for you soon!
  16. We should think about turning your birthday into a national holiday. I could really use another day off!
  17. When life gives you another birthday, you must eat cake!
  18. A good friend remembers your birthday but forgets your age!
  19. I hope you aren't planning on a birthday cake this year—there aren't enough fire extinguishers around!

Simple Birthday Wishes to Send From Afar

person writing down happy birthday wishes on a birthday card
Shutterstock / Tom Gowanlock
  1. Happy birthday to a very special person. I may not be there to celebrate in person but know that I'm with you in spirit!
  2. Wishing you a very happy birthday. Can't wait to celebrate when I'm back in town!
  3. Happy birthday, my friend. Have an extra piece of cake for me!
  4. Wishing you a very special birthday and a wonderful year ahead!
  5. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. May all your wishes come true!
  6. Wishing you nothing but the best birthday. You are a wonderful person and the world is lucky to have you!
  7. It's your special day so get out there and celebrate. I'll be there in a jiffy!
  8. Sending you a birthday wish, wrapped in lots of hugs and kisses. I can't wait to see you soon!
  9. Happy birthday, love! I know the distance feels overwhelming, but know my love for you is always greater!
  10. Happy birthday to a dear friend. Sending you my warmest wishes from afar!
  11. Happy birthday to a wonderful friend! Looking forward to spending future celebrations together!
  12. I hope you have an absolutely fantastic birthday. I wish I could be there to celebrate in the flesh!
  13. Hope you're enjoying your special day. Keep an eye out for a birthday gift in the mail!
  14. Wishing you a great birthday. I can't wait to celebrate with you soon!
  15. Happy birthday. Hoping you have nothing short of a wonderful day!
  16. Happy belated birthday. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to celebrate this year but we've got many more trips around the sun to look forward to!
  17. Happy birthday to an amazing person. I hope you have a fun-filled birthday, with lots of laughs in between!

Inspirational Messages for Your Best Friend's Birthday

woman celebrating her best friend's birthday
Shutterstock / ViDI Studio
  1. Happy birthday, friend. An adventure-filled year awaits!
  2. Happy birthday to a truly amazing person. You are such a great friend and I'm lucky to have you in my life!
  3. Wishing you all the best on your special day. I hope your birthday is filled with happiness, joy, and laughter!
  4. Happy birthday to the best friend I've ever known. I can't imagine doing this life without you!
  5. Happy birthday to a wonderful friend. Wishing you the very best life has to offer on your special day!
  6. Happy birthday to someone I simply couldn't picture my life without. Looking forward to seeing all you accomplish in the coming year!
  7. Cheers to even more fun, even more memories, and even more cake in the year ahead. Happy birthday!
  8. Happy birthday, babe. Here's to aging like fine wine, inside and out!
  9. Happy birthday to one of my best friends in the whole world. I'm so thankful to spend these big moments together!
  10. Another birthday marks another trip around the sun and another year of success. Best wishes, my friend!
  11. Wishing you the most wonderful birthday. I hope this year sees all your dreams come true!
  12. Happy birthday to my best friend. I hope you pocket all the laughter from today and carry it around with you for the rest of the year!
  13. Happy birthday to a truly special friend. You've carved out a beautiful life for yourself, be sure to enjoy it!
  14. Wishing my best friend a fabulous birthday. You deserve nothing but the best!
  15. Sending all the birthday blessings your way on this special day. Know that you are loved and appreciated!
  16. Wishing you a year full of wonderful memories, good friends, and of course, lots of cake to celebrate with!
  17. Happy birthday to someone who has made a truly positive impact on my life. I am forever grateful for our friendship!
  18. I've loved watching you grow into the person you've become, and I love watching you celebrate it even more. Happy birthday to an amazing friend!

Happy Birthday Messages for Her

woman holding presents and celebrating her birthday
Shutterstock / Prostock-studio
  1. Happy birthday, (Mom). May all your birthday wishes come true!
  2. Happy birthday, (sweetheart). I'm so appreciative of all the wonderful things you do. Can't wait to celebrate you today!
  3. Happy birthday to my amazing (fiancée). Not only are you funny, kind, and beautiful, but you also know how to party like the best of them. Let the festivities begin!
  4. Let's hear it for the birthday (girl). Another year older and more beautiful than ever!
  5. Happy birthday to a wonderful (sister). Blood may be thicker than water, but birthday cake is sweeter than both!
  6. To the birthday (girl)! May today be filled with a lot of cake, a few good gifts, and a million laughs!
  7. Sending the happiest birthday wishes to my loving (sister). To many more!
  8. Happy birthday to the coolest (sister) around. Everything is brighter and more fun when you're around!
  9. Happy birthday to the best (mom) I could have asked for. It's time for us to spoil you for a change!
  10. To the most loving, attentive, and charismatic (woman) I know. May this year bring you everything you desire. Happy birthday, darling!
  11. I have enough material to write a novel, but there isn't enough space on the card. I'll keep it short and sweet: You're the absolute best (woman) I know. Wishing you your happiest birthday yet!
  12. Wishing my (partner) the very best birthday. Let's stay up late and sleep in tomorrow. All my love!
  13. To my darling (girlfriend), I hope you have the best birthday ever. I've already got the cake, candles, and balloons, but the only thing I need in order to celebrate is you!
  14. Happy birthday to my loving (wife). Words can't express how lucky I am to have you in my life. Thank you for being you and giving your all every day!
  15. (Sisters) fill your soul with sunshine and your heart with laughter. Happy birthday!
  16. I am so grateful you're my (mother), I can't imagine life without you. Thanks for being so amazing. Have a great birthday!
  17. I couldn't have dreamt up a better (wife) if I tried. You are my best friend and partner in crime. Life would be so dull without you. Happy birthday!
  18. (Sisters) are like whipped cream: You can survive without it, but what's the fun in that? Thanks for making my life that much sweeter! Happy, happy birthday!

Happy Birthday Wishes for Him

man celebrating his birthday
Shutterstock / Mix and Match Studio
  1. Happy birthday to my wonderful (husband). I couldn't imagine life without you!
  2. Wishing nothing but the best to the birthday (guy). Hope it's one for the books!
  3. Happy birthday, (brother). Go out and celebrate like the champ you are!
  4. To my wonderful (boyfriend), I never believed in soulmates until I met you. Happy birthday!
  5. Happy birthday, (son). You've grown into a wonderful man, and we couldn't be prouder of you!
  6. Happy birthday to the best (boyfriend) I could ever ask for. You make all our days brighter!
  7. A toast to my loving (husband): You're my best friend, my confidant, and the love of my life. I can't wait to celebrate with you. Happy birthday!
  8. Happy birthday to my wonderful (fiancé). Life is more fun with you by my side!
  9. Happy birthday, (son). May today begin a wonderful, glorious, and joyful year!
  10. Another adventure-filled year awaits, and I hope you enjoy it to the fullest! Happy birthday, (brother)!
  11. Happy birthday to the best (father) there ever was. May today be filled with lots of presents, too much cake, and tons of corny jokes!
  12. It's a wonderful day to celebrate the (man) you've become. We're all so proud of you and wish you nothing but an awesome birthday!
  13. No matter how crazy life becomes, you're the one person who I know can keep me sane. So glad to have you in my life, (bro). Wishing you a very happy birthday!
  14. There's never a dull moment with you by my side! Stay gold, and stay wild. Happy birthday to the best (brother) around!
  15. Every day, I celebrate you as a companion, comforter, and friend. I feel beyond blessed to have you as my (husband), today, tomorrow, and always. Happy birthday!
  16. Happy birthday to my darling (son). May your day be wonderful and full of fun!
  17. To my loving (son), I am so looking forward to seeing where you go and who you become. Know that I will always be proud of you. Happy birthday!
  18. Cheers to the (man) of the hour! Happy birthday, (brother), hope it's a great one!

Cute Birthday Quotes From Names You Know

man holding a microphone and a martini giving delivering happy birthday wishes
Shutterstock / Aleksey Matrenin
  1. "Your birthday is the beginning of your own personal new year. Your first birthday was a beginning, and each new birthday is a chance to begin again, to start over, to take a new grip on life." — Wilferd Peterson
  2. "You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely." — Ogden Nash
  3. "In other words, live vicariously, beautifully, and excitingly, discover, love, dare and act as there is nothing to lose." — Andy Hertz
  4. "I like birthday cake. It's so symbolic. It's a tempting symbol to load with something more complicated than just 'Happy birthday!' because it's this emblem of childhood and a happy day." — Aimee Bender
  5. "Don't regret another birthday, the good news is that you are alive and can celebrate it." — Catherine Pulsifer
  6. "To my surprise, my 70s are nicer than my 60s and my 60s than my 50s, and I wouldn't wish my teens and 20s on my enemies." — Lionel Blue
  7. "Count your life by smiles, not tears, and count your age by friends, not years." — John Lennon
  8. "Life seems to fade our memory, so on this birthday I will forget yours if you forget mine!" — Kate Summers
  9. "Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year. The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again." — Menachem Mendel Schneerson
  10. "You've heard of the three ages of man—youth, age, and 'you are looking wonderful.'" — Francis Spellman
  11. "A birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy." — Abhishek Bachchan
  12. "Every year on my birthday, I start a new playlist titled after my current age so I can keep track of my favorite songs of the year as a sort of musical diary because I am a teenage girl." — Chris Hardwick
  13. "Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new." — Sammy Hagar
  14. "Eventually you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it." — Will Rogers
  15. "My policy on cake is pro-having it and pro-eating it. " — Boris Johnson
  16. "Like many women my age, I am 28 years old. — Mary Schmich
  17. "As you get older, three things happen; the first is your memory goes, and I can't remember the other two." — Norman Wisdom
  18. "Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth." — Janet Evanovich

Wrapping Up

That's it for our list of happy birthday wishes. Be sure to check back with us soon for more material to share with the ones you love. You can also sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on what's coming next!

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