Clever Birthday Wishes & Quotes

Clever birthday wishes and birthday quotes, at their best, can be witty, even inspiring. To get started, take a look at the examples of clever birthday greetings and birthday quotes below.

By Kevin Nishmas 
Updated: February 18, 2024

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Pick birthday wishes or birthday quotes for your card, eCard or text that cleverly express what you want to say to the birthday girl or boy.

Clever Birthday Wishes

Clever birthday wishes for "brainiacs" that come with heartwarming, yet smart birthday messages are the key to making any birthday boy or girl feel incredibly special.

The best clever birthday wishes go beyond mere brain teasers, inspiring birthday gals and guys to break out of their comfort zone and live a more purposeful life.

Don't know where to start? Take a moment to look at the examples of clever birthday wishes below. 

Birthday Wishes & Quotes: Clever Birthday Messages

To some, life may be a play with a terrible third act. To me, life is a blank page. Nobody writes your first, second or third act. You do. Write yourself a happy ending...and a happy birthday every year!

Age is like water but we're all in the same boat when it comes to the waves of birthdays ahead of us. It's up to us alone to steer our ships in the right direction. Have a happy birthday, come heck or high water!

Be careful about what you learn from experience. What you think you know may just be bad food for thought. Feed your head with the best ideas. On your birthday, just eat cake and you'll be happy, healthy and wise.

You really can stay forever young and wise, if you keep your mind open enough for new ideas and experiences to seep into your heart and soul. Happy birthday!

Keep your inner child happy. Letting that kid in you taste joy  and wonder is the best recipe for staying young at heart. Happy birthday!

Live life like it's a journey and wisdom will come along for the ride. so will joy and wonder. Happy birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Age is merely an illusion. If you don't keep track of your age, what you feel in your heart would be the only thing that counts! Happy birthday!

Nothing comes easy as you grow older. But anything is possible with a little hard work (and maybe some plastic surgery). Happy birthday!

Your youth never leaves you. There's something to be said about staying young at heart, even if you can't see it in the mirror. Happy birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! Getting older is beautiful! The older the song, the sweeter the tune. As far as I'm concerned, you strike the right chord with me every time.

Getting older liberates the inner you. You could be a budding...I'll let you fill in the blank. Happy birthday!

Just remember: you may older today than yesterday but you're younger today than tomorrow. Today is yours to celebrate! Happy birthday!

Honesty is the best policy as you get older. Be honest to everyone you meet, since it will be harder to remember your white lies when your memory goes. Happy birthday!

Welcome every birthday. The more you have, the more you enjoy life. Happy birthday.

If you look at the big picture with the right eyes, you'll see the grandeur of life's beauty in the littlest of things! Happy birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Even growing old — with all its aches, pains and wrinkles — has one redeeming quality: it takes so much time. Happy birthday!

In life, it's not the person with the least birthday candles who wins — it's the one with the most! Wishing you many more birthdays!

Growing old is unavoidable. Acting old isn't. Happy birthday!

Happy birthday! Today, you’re one year older and one year closer to dressing like your parents.

There is only one rule at your age! There are no rules! Have a wonderful birthday, no holds barred! 

Happy birthday! You're an adult! Now you can legally do out in the open what you've done secretly for years as a teenager. 

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

I must be psychic — I predicted you would start drinking as soon as you were legally an adult. Happy b-day!

It’s not your birthday everyone is celebrating today — it’s just another excuse to "friend" you and wish you "happy birthday" on Facebook. 

You are exactly like wine. The more you mature, the better you taste. Have a wonderful birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! Don’t be sad that you're the perfect candidate for a mid-life crisis— it’s so much better than an end-of-life crisis.

Happy birthday! Being a baby boomer nowadays means you've managed to live through the 60s: yours and the actual decade.

Happy birthday! Although your limited warranty on your body parts is almost over, your lifetime warranty on your heart will not expire until you do.

Happy birthday! At your age, the problem isn't the fact you've slowed down — it just seems like everybody else hasn’t.

Happy birthday! Start thinking of your age in terms of hours — instead of years. This way, you've automatically added thousands upon thousands of hours to your life.

Happy birthday! You’re not the only aging baby boomer who doesn’t see himself as old. Inside every senior is a teenager screaming for attention.

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

You deserve to have the respect that comes with your age. Unfortunately, life isn't fair for old fogies like you. Happy birthday!

You're still young, relatively speaking  — you'd be hundreds of years old if you were a dog. Happy  birthday!

The wonderful thing about growing up with the proof I have to nail you on your special day! Happy birthday, sucker!

Happy birthday! Everything looks so amazing on you, especially when you wear your heart on your sleeve and a big smile of your face.

Happy birthday! My birthday wishes for you come down to two words: always and never. May you always feel joy and never know sadness.

Birthdays are like the dark. The more you have, the less you see! Happy birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! It’s a blessing that wrinkles don't come as fast as our birthdays. 

Happy birthday! At your age, you should really stick with the "big things in life" big print.

Happy birthday to a wonderfully, beautiful, sensuous woman! Women at your age don't have hot flashes — they're just hot. 

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Happy birthday. So what if you're almost a senior citizen. The older you are, the better the seats you get on the bus and subway! 

Happy birthday! There’s a definite moment when you can no longer deny you’re getting older: the moment you start to use decade-old shots as your Facebook, g+1 or LinkedIn profile photo.

There is still no miracle cure for the aches and pains of getting older (but napping all day comes close). Happy birthday!

Clever Birthday Wishes - eCards with Clever Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! Youth comes in many shapes and sizes. For wealthy men, it’s a trophy wife. For the rest of us, it’s a distant memory.

Happy birthday! You're only young once, but you can act like a reckless teenager until you are destitute or, worse, celebrate your 25th anniversary as a McDonalds employee (whichever's first).

Happy birthday! If age is all in our minds, like everybody tries to tell us, why do we feel more and more aches and pains all over our bodies every year?

Happy birthday! You know you're middle-aged when one of life's greatest temptations involving your bed is napping.

Happy birthday! At your age, younger coworkers at your company will certainly take you seriously — since they certainly won't get any old jokes of yours.

Happy birthday! You know you’re getting older when sowing your wild oats means pouring oat bran cereal into a bowl for breakfast.

Happy birthday! We senior citizens shouldn't think about what we can’t do anymore. We should think about all the things we can do that youngsters can't — like hogging the middle lane and getting senior discounts!

Happy birthday! At our age, it’s never a good idea to look up old girlfriends or boyfriends — you've likely forgotten why the relationship didn't work out in the first place.

Happy birthday! Don't worry about the fact you've been around the block too many times — at our age, nobody cares or, more likely, remembers!

Clever Birthday Quotes

Puns are clever. Clever birthday quotes, like clever birthday wishes, are much smarter with puns. If the birthday gal or guy prefers "brain teaser" birthday quotes over simple ones, clever birthday quotes are the way to go.

The best route? Select clever birthday messages that express what you want to say with just the right turn of phrase and, even more importantly, the right amount of heart.

To get you started, check out the examples of clever birthday quotes below.

"You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." 

- Jonathan Safran Foer

"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."

- W.P. Kinsella

"Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny."

- Steve Maraboli

Birthday Wishes & Quotes: Clever Birthday Messages

"Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value."

- Albert Einstein

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

- Herman Melville

"Do one thing every day that scares you."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Birthday Wishes & Quotes: Clever Birthday Messages

"This is a wonderful way to celebrate an 80th birthday... I wanted to be 65 again, but they wouldn't let me — Homeland Security."

- Art Buchwald

"Handmade presents are scary because they reveal that you have too much free time."

- Doug Coupland

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

- Satchel Paige

Birthday Wishes & Quotes: Clever Birthday Messages

"Always forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."

- Robert Kennedy

"The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them."

- George R.R. Martin

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."

- Fyodor Dostoevsky

"Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists."

- Cornel West

"Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness."

- Thomas Huxley

"When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on."

- Theodore Roosevelt

"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act."

- Truman Capote

"I think all this talk about age is foolish. Every time I'm one year older, everyone else is too."

- Gloria Swanson

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

 - Albert Einstein

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood."

- Sam Ewing

"Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened."

- Jennifer Yane

"Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself."

- Tom Wilson

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty, but it's up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."

- Coco Chanel

"Lost time is never found again."

- Benjamin Franklin

"The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune."

- English Proverb

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"At middle age, the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage."

- John Andrew Holmes

"At 20 years of age, the will reigns; at 30, the wit; and at 40, the judgement."

- Benjamin Franklin

"Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young."

- Fred Astaire

"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not."

- Mark Twain

"You were born, and with you endless possibilities - very few ever to be realized. It's okay.  Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do."

 - Richelle E. Goodrich

"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live."

 - Irish Blessing

"A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer."

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else."

 - Ogden Nash

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury."

- Marcus Aurelius

"Handmade presents are scary because they reveal that you have too much free time."

- Doug Coupland

"Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting."

- William Arthur Ward

"The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape."

- Samuel Johnson

"Most of us can remember a time when a birthday — especially if it was one's own — brightened the world as if a second sun has risen."

- Robert Staughton Lynd

"New Year's Day is every man's birthday."

- Charles Lamb

"It is not length of life, but depth of life."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."

- Andrew Carnegie 

"Forty is the old age of youth. Fifty the youth of old age."

- Victor Hugo

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey's end."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master but from many."

- Plato

"Age merely shows what children we remain."

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"A woman telling her true age is like a buyer confiding his final price."

- Mignon McLaughlin

"The old believe everything. The middle-aged suspect everything. The young know everything."

- Oscar Wilde

"If youth knew; if age could."

- Sigmund Freud

"Middle age is youth without levity, and age without decay."

- Doris Day

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach 18."

- Mark Twain

"As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost."

- Margaret Mead

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"Age is just a number. It's totally irrelevant, unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine."

- Joan Collins

"The years teach much which the days never know."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery."

- Anais Nin

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it."

- Doris Day

"Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Men are like wine. Some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age."

 - Pope John XXIII

"Education is the best provision for old age."

- Aristotle

"He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden."

- Plato

"Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?"

- Erich Fromm

Clever Birthday Quotes - Clever Quotes & eCards for Birthdays

"Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age."

- Ernest Hemingway

"The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm."

- Aldous Huxley

"Age is not important, unless you're cheese."

- Helen Hayes

Hints & Tips

How do you write clever birthday wishes?

What are the ingredients of the best clever birthday wishes? All clever birthday messages have five ingredients in common: originality, imagination, wordplay, whimsy and wit.

How much of each ingredient should you use in your clever birthday wishes? That comes down to what you want to say to the birthday boy or girl, and what he or she will appreciate (and, of course, understand). 

Sound difficult? It's not. All you need to do is turn an ordinary birthday message upside down or inside out and, presto, you have clever birthday wishes to send.

For example, you can turn even the simplest birthday greeting, "Happy Birthday," into clever birthday wishes: "Hope you have a happy birthday today and happy unbirthdays the rest of the year."

Put simply: clever birthday wishes, by their very nature, need a hint of humor, a few puns and an unexpected turn of phrase. Have fun with it all!

When should you use clever birthday wishes?

Although you can write clever birthday wishes for just about anybody, the birthday boy or girl may not want you to be too “clever” with your birthday greetings.

Some people prefer slightly clever birthday messages. Others love brain teasers. Then, there's the bunch that can’t wait to sink their teeth into a pun-laced, hard-to-solve birthday verse.

Should you choose the "clever" route for the birthday boy or girl?

It depends on how much he or she likes riddles. Yes, riddles. Because clever birthday wishes are typically cryptic, they are very much like riddles. So, the real question to ask is "does the birthday boy or girl like riddles?" Let's see:

  • Does he or she like a good challenge?
  • Does he or she love to solve problems?
  • Does he or she like to find the answer to everything?
  • Does he or she prefer love word or number games?

If you answered "yes" to three or four of the questions above, you should choose clever birthday wishes for the birthday boy or girl. 

Keep in mind that clever birthday wishes should not be too cryptic. Clever birthday greetings can be whimsical, even inspiring. Whatever you do, just make sure that the birthday messages you choose or write do not go over the head of the birthday boy or girl. 

If you answered "yes" to one or two of the questions above, go for a semi-clever birthday verse. In other words, don’t be too clever with your choice.

This group won't like the "smarty pants" approach, so express how you feel about the birthday boy or girl with a simple, yet smart turn of phrase.

Birthday Messages -

Message Guy
Creator of this site - Kevin Nishmas (Message Guy, the creator of this site)

Kevin, the "Message Guy" who writes the birthday wishes, quotes, poems, toasts and speeches on, has been a content writer since 1993. In 2012, Kevin created this site to share the incredible power of words with birthday well-wishers everywhere.

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