Birthday Wishes for Friends: What to Write in a Friend’s Birthday Card

2278_ii_Friend birthday cards decorated with cakes and garland on top of blue envelope against green background with confetti and streamers

Our friends are like the family we choose—they answer our texts, give us Netflix and skincare recommendations, and hold us up when we need it most. But so often we don’t take the time to tell them how much they mean to us. So on their birthdays, it’s important to go beyond texting a funny GIF to writing a heartfelt, personalized message.

But crafting the perfect birthday wishes for friends can be tricky, so we’ve put together a list of tips and options to help you express your BFF-ness (and beyond) on their birthday!

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Birthday Wishes for Friends

Want birthday message ideas for any and every relationship? You know we’ve got you—check out even more birthday card wishes.

Simple and Short  

Sometimes the card has already said it all. Or maybe you’re just not the mushy type. In those instances, short and sweet can be the best way to go when it comes to birthday wishes for friends.

Here are some lines to add extra love and personality to your mighty little message.

  • I hope you get to (garden/skate/eat sushi/any fave activity) today!
  • Hope your [25th] is the best one yet!
  • [Carolina], you are living your best life! And this year it really shows.
  • [Aliyah], Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people in the history of ever.
  • I love being your (neighbor/PTA volunteer/co-chair)!
  • So glad to have met you and know you.
  • ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! Que seas muy feliz, no solo hoy, sino todos los días de tu vida.
  • Hope it’s the happiest ever…you deserve it!

Best Friend  

They’ve seen it all. They’ve done it all. They’ve held your hand and had your back. So what to write in a best friend’s birthday card? Get sweet and personal and let them know what they means to you! Here are some ways to start.

  • To my beautiful bestie, [Jackie]! You deserve every wonderful thing in the world.
  • What would I do without you? I’d be all alone in my (thrift shopping/carrot-cake eating/walking)!
  • How did I ever get so lucky to call you my BFF? I’m so grateful.
  • You make my life a million times better. Hope you know how much you mean to me.
  • Our friendship is so natural. Thank you for all the ways you love and accept me.
  • You’re my nonjudgy, no makeup required, come-as-you-are friend for life.
  • You deserve a great birthday because you’re awesome. And fun. And the coolest. And all the becauses.
  • [Christy], I can’t believe we’ve been friends since (middle school/college/our first job). So glad I’ve had you in my life for so long.
  • You’re my favorite person to do nothing with.
  • Not everyone can say they have a best friend like you. I know I’m so lucky to know you and love you.

Funny  

Funny birthday wishes for friends are the best of both worlds: you get to send a little love AND laughter! Here are a few ideas to get you going.

  • You bring out the crazy in me, [Kyla]. This is both a good and bad thing.
  • Friends for life! Deal with it. 
  • Having you in my life just makes everything better. And (louder/funnier/spicier)!
  • Thanks for always putting up with my (late-night calls/crazy driving)I know I owe you more than a birthday drink.
  • Should we make birthday plans or just stay home and text from the couch?
  • I love you enough to send a card instead of just a text.
  • Hope your birthday celebration is as big as your 90s bangs!

Writing tip: Do the two of you share an inside joke? Reference it in their birthday card! It’ll be fun for them to look back on and remember down the road.

Across the Miles  

It totally stinks not having your people close by for important days like birthdays! But when you don’t get to see each other often, it’s even more important than ever to send sweet birthday messages to faraway friends. Try these.

  • HERE isn’t the same with you THERE!
  • Get back here! I need you!
  • Just because I see you less, doesn’t mean I love you less!
  • Hope your birthday is full of good times and good (sushi/nachos/wine)! Wish we could enjoy it together!
  • [Sharon], You’re faraway but kept super close in my heart.
  • Girl, get your birthday butt back here!
  • Wish we could spend your birthday (shopping/crafting) together!

Belated  

If a long to-do list or memory lapse has delayed your card-sending, send it anyway! Belated birthday wishes for friends are still birthday wishes. You can include a sincere or humorous apology…or just frame it as your way of extending the birthday fun.

  • It wouldn’t be me if it was on time, right?
  • So sorry I missed it, [Alishia]! Hope it was happy!
  • I may have forgotten your birthday, but I’m always thinking of you!
  • You’re on my mind, whether I’m on time or not!
  • It’s a little late, but it’s BIG on love!
  • Happy Birthday from your not-so-on-the-ball friend! 
  • Thanks for always overlooking my flaws…like my tendency to be late.

Female Friend  

Birthday messages for female friends are extra important—’cause a good girl squad is irreplaceable. Here are a few examples for showing the love to your girl gang.

  • You’re my person. My go-to. My homegirl for life.
  • Love the way our friendship is full of fun and free of drama!
  • Good girlfriends are hard to come by. So glad I found ya.
  • You, [Chantal], are a queen. Here’s to another blessed birthday.
  • Thank you for influencing me in wonderful ways, like only a strong woman can.
  • Love you, my fearless, feisty friend.
  • Hope you know you’re my ride or die.
  • Thank you for being such an exceptional woman, someone I’m always learning from.
  • #Slaying! On your birthday and every other day, too. Happy Birthday, beautiful [Shanae].

Male Friend  

Let’s face it, birthday wishes for a male friend can be a little more difficult to write, especially if he’s not the sentimental type. But you don’t have to be mushy or lengthy to be sincere and personal.

  • You’re one of my favorite people!
  • You’re such a great dude, [Charlie]. Hope you know that.
  • The flyest. That’s you.
  • HBD IRL and not just in a social media post!
  • Homies for life. You and me.
  • Happy Birthday to one of the coolest guys I know.
  • Best wishes to the (funniest/nerdiest/most stylish) birthday boy ever!
  • You’re such a great guy and you deserve a great year—hope it’s full of all your favorite (beers/video games)!
  • Another year older, and you just keep getting cooler.

Writing tip: You don’t HAVE to go short and sweet. Guys have feelings, too! If he’s been there for you a lot lately, open up and let him know how much he’s appreciated. Just don’t, like, make him read it in front of you.

Heartfelt and Meaningful  

Birthdays are full of fun, but they’re also the perfect time to express your feelings and share your heart. If you want more meaningful birthday wish for friends, here are a few ways to say what often goes unsaid.

  • You’re the BEST at friendship stuff. All of it.
  • You and I were simply meant to be friends.
  • You have such a good heart and make such a difference in the world.
  • All you need is love. And laughter. With you, I have both!
  • I’m so lucky you’re my person, [Steph].
  • [Sonya], you bring out the best in me.
  • Hope your birthday is just the start of a year of major happiness.
  • You deserve more than just one day to celebrate the incredible person you are!
  • Happy Birthday to someone who just makes life better.

Religious  

For faithful friends, there are many special options to add meaning to a card. Adding a scripture or a reminder of God’s love is a beautiful way to add a special birthday wish for a religious friend. Here are a few options.

  • He sure blessed me when He put you in my life!
  • So glad to know you and your good, God-loving heart.
  • I’m so grateful to God to have a friend of faith like you, [Danielle].
  • Hope the year to come is full of blessings!
  • I’m thanking Him extra today for the amazing blessing that is YOU!
  • Hope you feel all the love today—especially His.

Like a Sister  

She’s not just your friend, she’s like family. You’re so close, you might as well be related (and maybe people often mistake you for sisters!). How to even begin to write just the right birthday wishes for friends that are like a sister to you? Let us get you started.

  • Love you as much (if not more than) my own family.
  • In my heart, you’re my sister, [Sherice].
  • Love how we do friendship in such a close, sisterly way.
  • You’re like a sister to me. We don’t share genes, but we share everything else, huh?
  • I know what real, genuine friendship is because of you, [Lisa]. 
  • Our closeness is a rare and wonderful thing.
  • You’ve always shown up for me. To me, that’s sisterhood.
  • You’re my sis. Blood or not, we’re family.
  • Thank you for being there for little things, big things and everything in between, [Kelly].
  • Thanks for the million ways you’ve always had my back.
  • Saying we’re “tight” doesn’t even come close. Love you, Sis.

Inspirational  

A birthday means a new year, a new start, another year to embrace life. Here are some ideas for inspirational birthday wishes for a friend.

  • Life is ready and waiting for all your dreams, [Lydia]!
  • You deserve wishes that come true, more than anyone I know.
  • Celebrate wildly—like the true, free spirit you are!
  • Happy Birthday to a friend who dreams big and is loved even bigger.
  • Hope the love and smiles you spread come back to you today times a million!
  • Don’t count the candles—count the hugs, the smiles, the memories.
  • Birthdays are a bright, new start…and the best is yet to come!

Writing tip: Does they have a dream or a goal for the year ahead? Let them know you’re there to support them in their dreams!

Parent or Mom Friend  

As parents, we definitely get by with a little (or a lotta) help from our friends.

And so often we don’t get a chance to say “thank you” or tell them how much they mean to us. So a grateful birthday wish for a mom friend is one of the most important you can write!

  • Thanks for being my no-matter-what, no-matter-when friend.
  • Couldn’t get through parenthood without a friend like you!
  • So glad I have you to lighten the mom load.
  • Happy Birthday to my favorite mom friend ever.
  • How many times have you saved my butt?? Too many to count.
  • Carry on killin’ this parenting thing, [Christina].
  • (Parenting/Mom-ing) is easier with a friend like you on my side.

Work Friend  

Colleagues so often become more like “work family.” They share our time, our breakroom, our smiles and gripes. Whether close or casual, here are some idea starters for writing a birthday wish for a work friend.

  • Thank you for being my go-to!
  • Not sure I could survive [name of workplace] without you!
  • So very glad we’re in this together.
  • You’re my favorite part of going to work.
  • Being with you makes weekdays feel less like workdays.
  • Thanks for all the ways you make the workday go by faster!
  • You bring such happiness to [name of workplace] and we’re lucky to have you.
  • Thanks for lightening my workload with laughter.
  • [Kim], you make work a lot less like work. Thanks for all you do!

Complicated Relationship  

Birthday wishes for friends are usually the most fun to write, but sometimes the timing or the relationship is complicated. Those are the times you can let the card do the talking—or you can write a simple, sincere message that says just enough.

  • Thinking of you and remembering the fun times we’ve had.
  • We’ve been through some stuff, huh? Hope we are closer together in the year to come and that you have tons of goodness in your life.
  • [Erin], when things are complicated between us, I still care about you and wish you all the best.
  • I’m not great at finding the right words, but I know this: I love you.
  • It’s been a while, huh? I couldn’t let the day go by, though, without letting you know I’m thinking of you and wishing you a truly happy day.
  • We’ll always be friends, [Mia], and I’ll always care about you.
  • You’re close in my heart, no matter how much time goes by.
  • On your birthday, know I’m thinking about you and wishing you good things.
  • Birthdays are a chance to let people know how much they matter to you. You matter to me, and I want you to have a good day.
  • [Tanisha], we have such a history together—and that means I’ll always think of you on your birthday. I hope this is a good one.