What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend – 100+ Examples, Tips & Greetings

What to Write in a Birthday Card for a Friend

Trying to figure out what to write in a birthday card for a friend? Even though they are simple greetings, birthday cards carry a lot of meaning. They show loved ones you remembered their special day and convey just how much they mean to you.

But staring at a blank card often leaves us stuck on finding the right words. You want your message to make them laugh or possibly tear up at your thoughtfulness.

This guide covers exactly what to write with over 100 birthday wishes and messages for every friend. We have ideas for funny, sincere, short, and inspirational birthday greetings for all ages. Use these examples to craft the perfect sentiment or spark your own creativity on their card this year!

Why Writing the Perfect Birthday Card Message Matters

Birthday Card Message

In today’s digital world, taking a few minutes to write a birthday card means so much. With schedules getting busier each year, handwritten notes demonstrate true care for someone. The time and effort spent show how special they are.

Also, Read a Related Article on What To Write On Anniversary Card For Friends?

Beyond conveying your innermost feelings, birthday cards also:

  • Create long-lasting memories: When was the last time you remembered a text or social media birthday greeting years later? Probably never. But opening the same thoughtful card annually for 5 or 10 years reminds your friend just how much you care, year after year.
  • Spark joy: Who doesn’t love finding a card in their mailbox? The surprise greeting fills people with happiness and excitement knowing you thought of them on their special day.
  • Encourage connection: Beautiful cards often end up on display rather than tossed in the trash. They spark questions like “Wow who sent that gorgeous card? What did it say?” This gives you more opportunities to connect with old friends or relatives living far away.

As you can see, greeting cards written from the heart create an invaluable lasting impression. Now let’s explore exactly what to say or write inside them this year!

Best Birthday Wishes and Messages for Friends

Below we’ll explore 100+ best birthday wishes ranging from sentimental and sincere to short and sweet. These examples work beautifully for close girlfriends, guy friends, coworkers, cousins, and everyone in between!

Meaningful & Heartfelt Birthday Messages

Meaningful & Heartfelt Birthday Messages

If you want to make your friend feel extra special this year, opt for one of these meaningful messages. Share how much you appreciate having them in your life or your favorite memories over the years. Going the sentimental route for milestone birthdays is especially thoughtful.

Here are great heartfelt examples to spark inspiration:

  • Wishing my dear friend the happiest of birthdays! Thanks for always being my shoulder to lean and cry on through the ups and many downs of life. Our weekly calls are truly the highlight of my week. I don’t know what I’d do without you! Enjoy your special day – you deserve nothing but the best!
  • Happy birthday to my adventure buddy! Thanks for always being down to try new weird foods with me and hit up random mountain towns for a weekend road trip. Here’s to many more spontaneous weekends and growing old together. I couldn’t ask for a cooler best friend!
  • Happy birthday to one of my favorite people on the planet! I know life got crazy and we don’t talk nearly as much as we used to, but I’m so grateful for the special bond we share. No matter how much time passes, whenever we reconnect it feels like no time has passed at all. Can’t wait to celebrate YOU this year’s legend!
  • Happy 100th birthday wishes Aunt Marge! What an amazing milestone. It has brought me so much joy getting to know you more over wine on your patio this summer. I finally feel like I understand where Dad got his stellar sense of humor from! I admire your spunk for life and can’t wait to hear all your words of wisdom over cake today at the family BBQ.

Short and simple Birthday Wishes

Short and simple Birthday Wishes

If you need a quick birthday greeting for a less intimate friend or coworker, keep it short and sweet. Share the message that comes most naturally or opt for one of these simple go-to birthday quotes:

  • “Wishing you all the happiest on your big day! Enjoy!”
  • “May all your birthday wishes come true this year! Have fun celebrating you!”
  • “Happy Birthday friend! So thrilled we met at orientation last year – you made my transition to the new state so much smoother. Hope you have an awesome day!”
  • “Happy Birthday legend! Go out and conquer today birthday girl!”

As you can see, even a short note shows you care. Knowing how much free time someone has is also considerate. New moms or busy executives will appreciate a caring message without feeling pressured over not connecting more often.

Funny and Goofy Birthday Messages

Funny and Goofy Birthday Messages

Laughter truly brings people together. Adding a silly or dramatic flair to your card with one of these goofy birthday messages is sure to get a giggle:

  • Happy birthday ya ol’ fogey! Can you believe we used to actually mail letters back in our day? So glad we kept up with modern times so I can wish you well from miles away! Wishing you the happiest year ahead – but take it easy on the knees during dance parties, eh? 🕺💃😉
  • Happy birthday, bestie! Thanks for blessing the world with your presence and hysterical commentary for the past 29 years. I can always count on you to make any bad day brighter. Here’s to celebrating another year of your lovable weirdness! Chicken nuggets and cake on me tonight, boo! 🎂🍗
  • Rise and shine birthday girl! Today marks another successful trip around the sun without losing your mind dealing with me. Let’s celebrate keeping our sanity and amazing friendship alive and kickin! Brunch is on me! 🥂

Humor relieves anxiety and brings people together in a profound way. Share an inside joke or embarrassing memory to make your friend really feel special on their big day.

Inspirational Birthday Blessings

Inspirational Birthday Blessings

Share an inspirational blessing or piece of positive wisdom if your friend deals with anxiety, loss or life transitions:

  • Wishing you buckets of sunshine, rainbows, hope, and happiness today and all year my friend! I know this past year brought many storms but remember, rainbows can’t happen without a little rain first. Excited to continue watching your dreams unfold.
  • Happy birthday dear heart! I hope this next trip around the sun brings new adventures, passionate pursuits, and incredible joy. Always remember how cherished you are. May you see yourself through the eyes of those who adore and believe in your gifts!
  • Happy birthday, friend! Here’s to another year full of laughter, learning and growing into the boldest version of yourself. Keep sharing your beautiful spirit with this world – it needs your light! Love you!

Uplifting messages reassure friends they are valued, understood and have a solid support system. Small inspirational touches provide encouragement precisely when people need it most.

Use any of these examples word for word or mix components from different messages to capture exactly what you want to express most. Don’t stress overbeing wildly original – conveying true feelings is what matters most!

Now let’s explore some additional creative direction tailored specially for various friend groups in your life.

Best Birthday Wishes for Different Friends & Relationships

Birthday Wishes for Different Friends

Not every friendship looks the same which is part of what makes them so special. Lean into what makes your specific bond unique with one of these birthday messages crafted for every type of bestie:

Birthday Messages for Best Friends

Best friends share all the feels – joys, triumphs, tears and screw ups too. Celebrate the sacred sisterhood or brotherhood you’ve built over multiple decades:

  • Through breakups and breakdowns first jobs and first homes, you’ve stayed by my side with wine, wisdom and witty banter to get me through! Our friendship is such a gift. Happy birthday to my OG BFF! Can’t wait to boogie all night with my fave partner in crime like old times! 🥂
  • Happy birthday to the Bonnie to my Clyde! Thanks for always being down for adventure and foolishness but still telling me when I’m being an idiot. Here’s to growing towards our golden years together one spontaneous road trip at a time! Vegas this weekend?! 🎲

Birthday Messages for Childhood Friends

Childhood friends share so many precious firsts and formative memories growing up together. Tap back into that nostalgia!

  • Dude!! Happy Birthday Robert! Can you believe we met 25 years ago building rock castles and riding our razor scooters around the cul-de-sac? So wild but I’m grateful to have you in my corner for the long haul. Here’s to 25 more years of shenanigans my friend!
  • No one makes me belly laugh quite like you Jenny. Thanks for all the happy childhood memories from talent show failures to learning to ride a bike together! Hope year 33 brings even more giggles and reckless dance parties!

Birthday Messages for Roommates

Roommates see you at your best and definitely your worst too. Celebrate how much you’ve bonded sharing personal space:

  • Happy birthday roomie legend! Thanks for only judging me a little bit for those 3 am frozen burritos runs when work deadlines had my sleep schedule outta whack. Enjoy your special day! First round at O’Mally’s on me tonight! 🍺
  • Hey birthday roomie! Here’s to another year of cohabitation without killing each other over dishes in the sink or weekend parties waking us up early. So proud we made it 4 years and counting! You still down to get matching roomie friendship tattoos next month? 😆

Birthday Messages for Long Distance Friends

The miles between you never dull your powerful connection. Share how much you appreciate having them rooting for you, despite the distance.

  • Cheers to you Nicole! No matter how many states apart life takes us, I always feel your friendship and fierce support. Enjoy spoiling yourself on your special day! Counting the days until I’m back home to celebrate in person! Miss your face! 🥂
  • Happy birthday to my conference bestie! Who knew sharing coffee and loneliness in a Las Vegas convention hall would spark such an incredible long distance friendship? Still not over how well you know me. Enjoy every magical moment today!

Use any of these friendship specific examples as a jumping off point. Brainstorm sweet anecdotes from your history or inside jokes to customize the message further. Getting personal makes cards 1000X more meaningful.

Now let’s explore helpful writing tips to make composing your birthday card greeting even smoother!

6 Tips for Writing the Best Birthday Card Message

Tips for Writing the Best Birthday Card Message

Stuck on finding the perfect words to write in their birthday card this year? Follow these simple card-writing tips to channel inspiration:

1. Recall Favorite Memories Together

Favorite Memories Together

Tap back into special moments you shared over the years. For example, childhood adventures climbing trees, university road trips or recently trying that intense spin class together.

Mention the memory then tie it back to appreciating their friendship. This instantly creates a sentimental, personal card.

For example:

  • Dan – Remember junior year cramming for midterms together while chugging way too much coffee? Thanks for always offering a study break right when I needed it most with those epic meme compilations. Your friendship kept me sane through those crazy days! Cheers to another year making unforgettable memories together dude!

2. Give Specific Compliments

Ditch the generic happy birthday greeting for something unique all about THEM. For example, thank them for their loyal friendship or for introducing you to new passions like watercolors or French cinema.

Shout out character traits that set them apart too – fierce independence, determination in pursuing dreams despite obstacles or always being up to try innovative restaurants.

For example:

  • Melissa – Happy Birthday beautiful soul! Thanks for showing me the power of watercolors last summer. Who knew such vibrant little paintings could lift spirits so much? I swear, you single handedly kept me sane when my old condo deal fell through. Here’s to more artsy Saturdays at the pier together this coming year! Love ya girlie!

3. Share Your Authentic Wishes or Hopes

Cards written from the heart with clearly stated desires for their upcoming year leave a huge impression. Do you hope they spend more time chasing passions vs corporate interests? Or wish for renewed clarity and peace if they seem anxious or distant lately? State it genuinely! The vulnerability touches hearts deeply.

For example:

  • Mark! On your 35th birthday, I hope this next trip around the sun gifts you the courage to pursue your dreams of opening a woodworking studio. I know the security of sales pays the bills but true joy comes from creating. Wishing you clarity and conviction this year my friend to take that leap of faith! God bless!

4. Tell a Joke or Funny Story

We all love to laugh! Adding humor makes cards even more special by calling up delightful memories. For example, tease about disastrous baking fails during quarantine or the time you face planted into mud trying to climb that tree before prom. Harmless embarrassment bonds people together tighter.

For example:

  • Bahaha remember junior year homecoming when we tried dressing up as ketchup and mustard but my costume zipper broke right as we stepped on the dance floor? crying laughing emoji Thanks for always embracing my crazy ideas like an awesome friend would. Keeping making me smile on your birthday and every day friend!

5. Send a Nostalgic Throwback Photo

They say a picture speaks 1000 words! Attach a printed photo inside the card from a fun childhood memory or recent adventure laughing together. For digital birthday cards, upload the throwback image right into your message.

Birthday Card for a Friend

Getting flooded by happy memories and seeing their glowing smile builds powerful emotional connections.

For example:

Insert image of mini golf outing where you took an embarrassing fall but can’t stop laughing about it

“Kyle! Just rediscovered this gem from our epic golf outing over summer. Remember how hard we laughed for hours? My stomach legit hurt after! Thanks for always knowing how to make the worst situations hysterical. Miss you tons bud!”

6. Offer Loving Encouragement

If your friend battles anxiety, self doubt or tough transitions like divorce or losing a parent, offer encouragement. Remind them how valued they are and that brighter days lie ahead, even if they can’t see it now.

Providing comfort through the storm demonstrates unconditional love and support. Your card may inspire them to keep hanging on.

For example:

  • Meghan, I know this past year held unimaginable heartbreak with losing your mom. The grief must feel suffocating. Just know you never walk alone my dear friend. Brighter days WILL come again even if it seems impossible now. I’m here loving and believing in you always! XO Jessie

How you customize the message depends entirely on your specific relationship and experiences together. Simply start writing a greeting focused on your authentic truth. Beautiful sentiments come pouring out when you follow the heart!

For even more examples and inspiration, browse our next section highlighting different lengths and formats for birthday messages. Find the perfect pre-written option or mix and match components to craft your own!

Example Birthday Wishes & Greetings for Friends

Here we’ve organized the best happy birthday messages and quotes into different lengths and categories.

Quickly scan to find the perfect prewritten message to spark inspiration for your card!

Short Happy Birthday Messages for Friends

Sometimes short and sweet is the perfect amount for casual work friends or distant relatives. Choose from these quick birthday wishes to make anyone’s day brighter!

One Liners

  • Wishing you buckets of birthday joy today my dear friend!
  • May all your birthday dreams come true today! 💫
  • Happiest birthday hopes coming your way! 🎉
  • Happy happy birthday buddy! Have the best day!

Two to Three Line Messages

  • Cheers to another year around the sun friend! Wishing you a day full of celebrating how awesome you are! 🥂
  • Happy Birthday ya ol’ fogey! Ha, I joke. You don’t look a day over 25! Stay youthful forever!
  • Birthday greetings and well wishes coming at you my friend! Eat lots of cake today! 🍰

See? Even short and sweet shows you care on their special day!

Up next, let’s explore more traditional length birthday wishes for friends, family members and partners.

Happy Birthday Messages for Friends and family

Happy Birthday Messages for Friends and family

These birthday card messages run from two sentences up to a short paragraph. They work beautifully for close friends, cousins or relatives you see a few times per year.

Add or delete components to match your specific relationship and friendship dynamic.

For Close Friends

  • You’re officially another year older my friend! But I swear you look even more radiant and lively than ever before. Thanks for being my adventure buddy – dragging me out my comfort zone regularly. Our spontaneous weekend road trips are easily my favorite memories over the years. Wishing you abundant joy and laughter today! Can’t wait to celebrate later with our favorite bottle of red wine!
  • Holy smokes friend! The big 30 is here. I still remember our crazy college days like they were yesterday though I’m super thrilled to watch you thriving beautifully into adulthood. Thanks for being the sweetest support system through my ugly crying breakups and always knowing how to make me literally laugh and snort soda out my nose! Here’s to celebrating YOU today! Cheers girlfriend!

For Best Friends

  • A very happy birthday shout out to my best friend and partner in crime! Thanks for over a decade of midnight dance parties, spur of the moment road trips and endless belly laughing. Also thanks for the occasional reality check when my drama queen side rears its ugly head! Our soul sister bond inspires me to live boldly everyday. Here’s to soaking up every drop of joy on your special day lady!
  • Happy Birthday to my long time bestie! We’ve been blessed with countless incredible memories from high school football games up to being maids of honor at each others’ weddings. No matter how far life takes us or how long we go between catch


What are some funny things to write in a birthday card?

You can get creative and humorous with your birthday messages! Try inside jokes, embarrassing stories from the past, or silly nicknames. For example:

“Happy birthday to my partner in crime and favorite meme lord! I’ll never forget the time you FaceTimed me from the bathroom stall because the wifi was better. Here’s to making more inappropriate memories together! Cheers!”

What should I write in my little brother’s 18th birthday card?

Milestone birthdays are extra special! For an 18th birthday, celebrate this major rite of passage with a meaningful message:

“Sean, happy 18th birthday, officially an adult now! So proud of the caring, hilarious young man you’ve become. I know you’ll thrive out there in the real world soon, but try not to party too hard at university! Love you bro!”

Or joke about finally being able to share grown-up experiences: “18 years down and now a world of opportunities ahead! Happy birthday lil bro! Looking forward to our first guys night out now that you can actually join me for drinks! Just don’t get too wild! Proud of you!”

What should I write in a birthday card for my favorite coworker?

Make your special colleague feel extra appreciated on their big day! Share how much they brighten up the office:

“Janelle, wishing the happiest birthday to the brightest light in our office! Thanks for always lending a hand on projects and making me smile with your fabulous outfits. Let’s celebrate with coffee and cake on your special day!”

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