I'm Sorry Quotes: 125 Ways to Apologize
Expressing contrition for your mistakes isn't always easy, but we'll help you find the right words.
Sometimes, the hardest thing about saying "I'm sorry" is finding the right words to do so. After all, apologies are nuanced, and different situations demand different scripts. In his book, On Apology, Aaron Lazare, MD, explains that saying "I'm sorry" also involves reaffirming and resetting the values held by both parties. Specifically recapping your offense and outlining how you plan to remedy the situation are important details to include. So, to help you through what could be an anxiety-inducing conversation, we've put together a list of over 120 "I'm sorry" quotes. Use these lines to kick off the conversation, enhance your apology, or simply fill in the blanks!
"I'm Sorry" Quotes From Literature
- "I'm sorry I was awful. I'm so full of terrors."― The Sacred And Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch
- "It's always too late for sorries, but I appreciate the sentiment."― The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- "Would 'sorry' have made any difference? Does it ever? It's just a word. One word against a thousand actions."― Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
- "But sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. […] True sorrow is as rare as true love." ― Carrie by Stephen King
- "Sorry, mom. Sorry, God." — Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
- "I love you and I always will and I am sorry. What a useless word." — The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
- "I'm sorry I can't save the world, I don't want any part in that. I just want to be remembered in a way where I can mean everything to one person, and save them from all the insecurities this world has created." — Untitled poem by R.M. Drake
- "I loved and adored you, but I drained you like a thirsty man at a spring. I loved what you could give me —your admiration, your acceptance, your love, your forgiveness. I forgot to love you for yourself." — Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
- "When you forgive, you free your soul. But when you say I'm sorry, you free two souls." — Look Into the Stillness by Donald L. Hicks
- "I am sorry for the pain I caused you, I feel so bad." – Love Letters From the Heart by Gabor Timis
Funny "I'm Sorry" Quotes
- "Nothing says you're sorry like a dead bunny." ― Patricia Briggs
- "If I've done anything I'm sorry for, I'm willing to be forgiven." – Edward Noyes Westcott
- "I am sorry for those that disagree with me because I know that they are wrong." — Woodrow Wilson
- "I'm sorry. If you were right, I'd agree with you."— Robin Williams
- "If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late." — Henny Youngman
- "Never forget the nine most important words of any family: I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me." — H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- "I'm sorry for making you lose your temper. But if I'm being honest, you look boiling hot when your temper boils over." — Unknown
- "Never make a defense or apology before you are accused." — King Charles I
- "Chocolate says 'I'm sorry' so much better than words." – Rachel Vincent
- "'I'm sorry.' The two most inadequate words in the English language." – Beth Revis
- "An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!"― Lynn Johnston
- " Apology accepted. End of story." — Brad Goreski
Sorry Messages for Her
- "Lately, I have been distant from you. And it's killing me. I'm sorry, sweetheart."
- "Honey, I am so sorry for my awful behavior. I won't act that way again."
- "I am sorry for crossing the lines we established. I promise never to do that again."
- "I know I am not perfect and I make mistakes, but I am so glad that I have you to help me grow into the best version of myself."
- "I want to let you know that I see how what I did was wrong now that I've had time to reflect on it."
- "I never meant for things to spiral so out of control. I have made a huge mistake by hurting you. Please find it in your heart to forgive me."
- "More than what I did, I am ashamed of who I have become. Please forgive me, and I promise you will see the best of me soon."
- "Give me a chance to show that you are the most important thing in my life. I love you, and I am sorry."
- "My heart is heavy and my ego is in shambles. I'm a sad soul, I feel awful, and I need to apologize."
- "I completely disregarded your feelings in an attempt to make myself happy. Turns out, if you're not happy then I'm not either. I'll be over here with my head hung low, ready to talk whenever you're willing."
- "I should have put in more effort. I see that now. I'm so sorry."
- "I hate that I was too stubborn to see your perspective. I sincerely apologize for how I acted. I'll give you your space, but I'm also happy to talk whenever you want."
- "Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I hate knowing you're angry with me."
- "You're the most important person in my life, and I'm furious with myself for hurting you. I am so sorry, [Name]."
- "I am so sorry for my behavior. I know you need to take some time to process, but I hope we don't let this one mistake ruin what we have between us."
- "Taking you for granted was one of the worst mistakes I've ever made. I'm sorry it took so long for me to figure that out. I sincerely hope you can forgive me so that we can move forward."
- "I know I was wrong for claiming that I was right. I promise to always consider your perspective. Please accept my apology."
- "Apologizing you is the first of many steps I'm willing to take to make this better. Please let me prove to you that I can be a better person and a better partner. Again, I am so sorry"
- "My lousy attitude has left an ugly stain on our relationship. I pray that time and forgiveness can wash it away. I'm sorry for being so bad to you."
- "I want nothing more than your forgiveness. It hurts me to see you cry. Please help me make this right."
- "My biggest mistake was letting my ego come in the way of a heartfelt apology. I am sorry, my love."
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"I'm Sorry" Quotes From Songs
- "I don't know why, I made you cry. I'm sorry sweetheart and yet though you shouldn't be lenient with me, I hope you'll forgive and forget." — "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry" by Frank Sinatra
- "Please forgive me, I know not what I do. Please forgive me. I can't stop loving you. Don't deny me this pain I'm going through. Please forgive me, I need you like I do." — "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams
- "Everything is my fault, I'll take all the blame." — "All Apologies" by Nirvana
- "So many things that we never will undo. I know you're sorry, I'm sorry too." — "Mississippi" by Bob Dylan
- "So this is me swallowing my pride standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night." — "Back to December" by Taylor Swift
- "Oh I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do, and I've hurt myself from hurting you." — "Hurt" by Christina Aguilera
- "Hello from the outside. At least I can say that I've tried to tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart." — "Hello" by Adele
- "It's sad, so sad. Why can't we talk it over? Oh it seems to me that sorry seems to be the hardest word." — "Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word" by Elton John
- "I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain." — "Purple Rain" by Prince
- "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, I am for real. I never meant to make your daughter cry, I apologize a trillion times." — "Ms. Jackson" by Outkast
- "Is it too late now to say sorry?" — "Sorry" by Justin Bieber
- "I'm sorry, so sorry that I was such a fool. I didn't know love could be so cruel." — "I'm Sorry" by Brenda Lee
- "If I could turn back time, if I could find a way. I'd take back those words that have hurt you. And you'd stay." — "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher
Thoughtful Apology Quotes
- "When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm." — Dan Heist
- "The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology." — Red Auerbach
- "An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift." — Margaret Lee Runbeck
- "Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." — Robert Brault
- "The ability of a person to atone has always been the most remarkable of human features." — Leon Uris
- "I trust fate and I believe in love, which is why I know you'll accept my apology. I'm sorry." — Unknown
- "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." — Paul Boese
- "Let us forgive each other—only then will we live in peace." — Leo Tolstoy
- "It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, 'I'm sorry.'"— Matshona Dhliwayo
- "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." — G.K. Chesterton
- "Take your time. Don't worry. I'll wait forever, if that is what it'll take for you to forgive me. I love you." — Unknown
- "The hero isn't the one who is right, but the one who steps forward to take the blame—deserved or not—and apologize to save a relationship." – Richelle E. Goodrich
- "True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive." — Mignon McLaughlin
- "The reality is people mess up, don't let one mistake ruin a beautiful thing." — Unknown
- "Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." — Martin Luther King Jr.
- "Sacrifice is at the heart of repentance. Without deeds, your apology is worthless." — Bryan Davis
- "Any good apology has three parts: First, I'm sorry. Second, It's my fault. Third, What can I do to make it right? Most people forget the third part." — Unknown
- "True friends stab you in the front." — Oscar Wilde
- "Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge." — Isaac Friedman
- "I am sorry I didn't tell you the truth before. I was hoping I wouldn't have to." — Anne Fortier
- "I overlooked your happiness in an attempt to make myself happy, only to realize that my happiness lies in yours. I am sorry, please forgive me." — Unknown
- "You can make up a quarrel, but it will always show where it was patched." — Edgar Watson Howe
- "Apologies are great, but they don't really change anything. You know what does? Action." — Stella Young
- "A sincere and warmly expressed apology can produce the same effects as morphine on a suffering soul."― Richelle E. Goodrich
Humble Apology Quotes
- "I'm not very good at saying sorry, but I apologize." – Chris Kurtz
- "Not admitting a mistake is a bigger mistake." – Robert Half
- "Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them." – Bruce Lee
- "Be the hero of hearts; learn to say I'm sorry."― Richelle E. Goodrich
- "I am immensely contrite. And I'm sorry for the damage I've done." – Jayson Blair
- "It isn't always easy to apologize for your mistakes but doing so shows a person with a strong sense of self." – Byron Pulsifer
- "What is past is past, there is a future left to all men, who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone." – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
- "I felt ashamed for what I had done. I don't have any excuses. I did what I did. I take full responsibility for myself and my actions. I wouldn't pawn this off on anybody. I'm sorry it happened. And I hurt people." — Louie Anderson
- "It's like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else — you're not, or were not, the person you thought you were. We have huge blind spots about ourselves — well, I certainly do. I'd like to think I am beyond making mistakes like this, but clearly at the time I was not." — David Byrne
- "Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or to ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a question that begs forgiveness, because the metronome of a good heart won't settle until things are set right and true. Sorry doesn't take things back, but it pushes things forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It's an offering. A gift." — Craig Silvey
- "Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past."– Tyron Edwards
- "Never believe you're so great or important, so right or proud, that you cannot kneel at the feet of someone you hurt and offer a humble, sincere apology."― Richelle E. Goodrich
- "I believe that when you're wrong, own it and apologize, and so I do and put it on the equivalent of my front page." — Peter Coyote
- "An apology is a good way to have the last word." — Unknown
- "It's very hard for me to say I'm sorry… but I do." — Joe Nichols
- "The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest." — Unknown
- "The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway." — Henry Boye
"I'm Sorry" Quotes From Movies
- "For what it's worth, I'm sorry for everything." — The Mule
- "People do bad things; if you're lucky, you get a chance to set it right, but most of the time it goes unpunished." — The Equalizer II
- "I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not attractive." — Happy Gilmore
- "You should apologize to her. You may not live to get another chance." — Venom
- "I'm a horrible person. You have every right to hate me. You should hate me. I want you to hate me! I insist that you hate me! I'm scum, I'm garbage, I'm vermin, and I'm sorry." — In & Out
- "Everybody's sorry for something." — Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
- "I'm sorry I brought this upon you, my boy. I'm sorry that you must carry this burden." — Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- "Master, I've disappointed you. I haven't been very appreciative of your training. I've been arrogant, and I apologize." — Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
- "Sorry if I ever took a snap at you. Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta eat." — Finding Nemo
- "Sorry. I… I'm sorry for the way I am. I didn't mean for things to go so wrong." — A Bug's Life
"I'm Sorry" Quotes About Pride
- "Apologies require taking full responsibility. No half-truths, no partial admissions, no rationalizations, no finger-pointing, and no justifications belong in any apology." — Cathy Burnham Martin
- "Apologizing does not always mean you're wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego." — Mark Matthews
- "If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit [the] same mistake again they just apologized for." — Amit Kalantri
- "Never ruin an apology with an excuse." – Benjamin Franklin
- "A stiff apology is a second insult… The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt." — Gilbert K. Chesterton
- "More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made."— Greg LeMond
- "I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, I hurt people. But when I say sorry, I mean it." — Unknown
- "Saying sorry to someone is hard… but putting your pride down for someone is the hardest." — Cristina Orante
- "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't." — Louis C.K.
- "Apologize! That's the least you can do to try to make right something you have wronged." ― Sanhita Baruah
- "Apology is only egotism wrong side out." — Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Famous Celebrity Apologies
- "I want to say to each of you, simply, and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in." — Tiger Woods
- "I probably owe an apology to fans that have been supportive and have not wanted to believe any of this was true." — George Michael
- "I am a simple man who comes from a village, and villagers like us speak our mind. Now, in the process, if unknowingly my words came across as disrespectful or insulting, then I am deeply sorry. I don't want to hurt anyone." — Arijit Singh
- "I ask the people of Connecticut for their forgiveness, I should have paid more attention to people around me and people that I trusted but I am sorry for my actions and take full responsibility." — John G. Rowland
- "You're my backbone. You're a blessing. You're a piece of my heart. You're the air I breathe. And you're the strongest person I know, and I'm so sorry for having to put you through this and having to put our family through this." — Kobe Bryant
- "Indeed I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong … I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that." — Bill Clinton
- "It starts with this… I'm sorry, Taylor." — Kanye West
Why Is Saying Sorry Important?
Apologies are part of any close relationship, and the more willing you are to offer them up, the better your relationship becomes. That's what the science suggests, at least. A 2021 study published in Scientific Reports says that the act of apologizing is one way to gauge just how valuable the apologizer finds the relationship. They also found that most apologies eventually lead to forgiveness. And—according to the authors—saying sorry in person remains the most meaningful and effective way to apologize.
A separate study explored how the way in which we apologize influences someone's decision to forgive us. People who end up apologizing out of necessity or for show tend to avoid eye contact. More sincere apologies usually involve a direct gaze and facial expressions that communicate sadness or regret.
So, there we have it: Saying sorry is definitely important. If one friend ends up hurting another friend's feelings, chances are the relationship can easily bounce back—so long as an apology message makes its way over (soon and preferably in person). But remember, insincerity is easy to detect. If you need to do so in order to make a genuine apology, take some time to cool down. Later on, you might find it easier to swallow your pride and fess up. It's not always fun, but it's almost always worth it in the end.
That's it for our list of "I'm sorry" quotes, but be sure to check back in with us soon for more inspiring words! You can also sign up for our newsletter to enjoy the latest in wellness, entertainment, and travel.