Profound, Humorous, and Borderline Insane Quotes

I'm sure a lot of you have heard quotes that have stuck with you for various reasons, ranging from because they really mean something to you to because they are so ludicrous that you simply can't believe any human could possibly utter them. I used to say, "Please bear in mind that this is not one of those fantastic archives of thousands upon zillions of quotes," but then I added a whole shitload of quotes that weren't here before, and now I'm not so sure that applies. For the record, I added 155, so now you know: 155 of something is a shitload. In any case, this page contains quotes that I like. That's what this page is to me. Lots of quotes. Nothing but quotes. With more quotes appearing all the time. So if you don't like quotes, go away. (Or, you could just visit the rest of the site.) We won't miss you at all. The rest of you, here goes:

"This isn't the kind of advice I'd ordinarily offer gents of your age, but, Jimmy, keep that bit of gangster in may need it to do things that men like me can't find the grit in ourselves to do. Know the rules, my boy, but know when to break them."

—Robert April

"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?"

—Stephen Levine

"To let a fool kiss you is stupid; to let a kiss fool you is worse."


"Life is too serious to be taken seriously."

—Mike Leonard

"It's only words...unless they're true."

—David Mamet

"Remember, it was Saint Patrick who drove the snakes out of Ireland, and Dick, I believe that took place in a Buick..."


"There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order."


"Disclaimer: If anyone disagrees with anything I say, I am quite prepared to not only retract it, but also to deny under oath I ever said it."

—T. Lehrer

"Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space."

—Diana Black

"Never mistake motion for action."

—Ernest Hemingway

"Oh my god, you're OLD!"

—Carrie Seiwell, upon learning I'm all of 27 years old

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. "

—Albert Einstein

"I will never agree with the theory [of evolution], even if it's somehow proven (beyond a shadow of a doubt, 100%) correct."

—Paul Allen Panks, one of the many true idiots of our time

"If a person wants to be atheistic it's his God-given right to be an atheist."

—Michael Patton

"Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope."

—P. J. O'Rourke

"If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?"

—Art Hoppe

"Fans are interesting things. Rush fans just can't comprehend why the rest of the world doesn't like Rush. REM fans consider the rest of the world beneath their social level to notice. Kate Bush fans love the rest of the world, and the world loves them, but spend long nights plotting to knife one another."

—Richard Darwin

"If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face."

—Zach de la Rocha

"It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than to say pretty things from time to time."

—Honoré de Balzac

"Okay everybody, line up in alphabetical order according to your height."

—Casey Stengel

"Rule of thumb–every time Microsoft use the word 'smart,' be on the lookout for something dumb."

—John Walker

"The idea that 'the public interest' supercedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others."

—Ayn Rand

"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform."

—Mark Twain

"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."

—John Kenneth Galbraith

"I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."

—Ronald Reagan

"You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty."

—Sacha Guitry

"Why (he wondered rhetorically) do people who have a position that's being attacked constantly state that they have a right to say it, as if the right itself—rather than the statement—has been challenged?"

—Peter David

"What makes life worth living? To be born with the gift of laughter and sense that the world is mad."

—S. Scaramouche

"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."

—Horace Walpole

"Ned, have you ever considered one of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same."

—Reverend Lovejoy

"I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me."

—Hunter S. Thompson

"I'd give $1000 to be a millionaire."

—Lewis Timberlake

"You're a transsexual fighting with a hermaphrodite over a mistress."

—Jerry Springer, to a guest who had just called someone else "a freak"

"One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly."

—Friedrich Nietzsche

"In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing."

—Mignon McLaughlin

"I don't need romance. I have goldfish."

—Zak Kebron

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."

—Mark Twain

"The average person thinks he isn't."

—Father Larry Lorenzoni

"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings."

—Ed Gardner

"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are."

—Captain Jean-Luc Picard

"You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note."

—Doug Floyd

"All great truths begin as blasphemies."

—George Bernard Shaw

"Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much."

—Walter Lippmann

"What luck for the rulers that men do not think."

—Adolf Hitler

"Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic."

—Jean Sibelius

"Have you seen Chad, the master of stat, the ruler of regression and the icon of industrial engineering anytime lately? I haven't heard from him, and I fear that he has been captured by pirates and forced into life as a galley slave. Or, he is still an engineering major. Either way I figure he is doomed."

—Andy Z.

"I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts."

—John Locke

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

—Abraham Lincoln

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

—General George S. Patton

"My lawyer can beat up your lawyer!"


"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."

—Soren Kierkegaard

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

—Bertrand Russell

"Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin."

—Ambrose Bierce, The Devils Dictionary

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."

—Albert Einstein

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

—H.G. Wells

"The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract."

—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts... Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for."

—Billy Joel, "Shades Of Grey"

"I know for a fact that no one CAN be truly fair and balanced in all that they say and do. But if they aren't fair or balanced in ANYTHING they say or do, then I, personally, consider them to be an enemy to the continued progress of humanity."


"I was watching John 'I'm So Arrogant It Makes Me Fat' Hagee today, and he pissed me off, surprise-surprise. First, he belittled Buddhism and Hinduism, making fun of their worship of cows and belief in reincarnation, and then he had the unmitigated balls of rock to call someone else 'self righteous'. Why was I watching John Hagee, you ask? Shut up."

—Steve Shives

"Thank you Varjak, you are corre— Wait a minute. VARJAK! Twit... you suck."


"He's as weird as purple spotted flying aardvark, bent on destroying the known universe."

—Kaitlin, about me

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh."

—W. H. Auden

"I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun."

—Charles Swindoll

"A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If you are ever in doubt as to whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt."

—Thomas Carlyle

"It's good to know that if I behave strangely enough, society will take full responsibility for me."

—Ashleigh Brilliant

"Kites rise highest against the wind—not with it."

—Winston Churchill

"Driving down Hollywood Boulevard is like riding through a sewer in a glass-bottom boat."


"Always do right; this will gratify some and astonish the rest."

—Mark Twain

"If you don't like the Beatles, you obviously haven't heard enough of them."

—Fearing, to my mom, who was born in the late 50s

"Oh yeah? Well, the other day I looked in the mirror and saw you and got scared!"

—Jeff Selvenis, who was trying to insult me, I think

"There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy."

—Ambrose Bierce

"I think it would be totally inappropriate for me to even contemplate what I am thinking about."

—Don Mazankowski

"It isn't what they say about you, it's what they whisper."

—Errol Flynn

"Character is what you are in the dark."

—Lord John Whorfin

"Cheer up, the worst is yet to come."

—Philander Johnson

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."

—Alfred Adler

"The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it's the opposition."

—Nick Seitz

"I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing."

—Oscar Wilde

"There are very few people who are not ashamed of having been in love when they no longer love each other."

—Francois, Duc de La Rouchefoucald

"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."

—Carl Gustav Jung

"As a final incentive before giving up a difficult task, try to imagine it successfully accomplished by someone you violently dislike."

—K. Zenios

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb..."


"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

—Douglas Adams

"Many, many of you have written to me asking the following question: 'Dave, have their been any new advancements in the field of artificial falcon insemination, and could these developments be used to improve the American electoral process?'"

—Dave Barry

"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."

—Edward R. Murrow

"Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate."

—Thomas Jones

"The first word you see at the airport is 'terminal'."

—Beano Cook

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."

—Mark Twain

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."


"Does it matter?"

—Sam Beckett

"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?"

—Will Rogers

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win."

—Jonathan Kozol

"Don't accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange."

—Robin Morgan

"My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating."

—Ashleigh Brilliant

"Ack! Ack! Thbppbt!"

—Bill The Cat

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."

—William Blake

"Music is not just wallpaper. It helps us define our situations to an extent, and allows us the comfort of knowing that not only are our emotions shared by others, but sometimes by others who are talented enough to put them to word and song in a way that we ourselves are not able to. They are in a sense our 'shaman' our 'storyteller'. I truly believe the music we listen to is a good gauge of defining who we are and what we believe."


"Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure."

—Ross MacDonald

"Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles."

—Frank Lloyd Wright

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

—Thomas Jefferson

"My advice to you is get married. If you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher."


"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage."

—James Holt McGavran

"Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she'll take it anyway."

—Joey Adams

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

—Thomas Jefferson

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."

—Alvin Toffler

"A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."

—James Feibleman

"The origin of all science is the desire to know causes, and the origin of all false science and imposture is the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance."

—William Hazlitt

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it."

—Joseph Joubert

"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers."

—Kahlil Gibran

"A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students."

—John Ciardi

"My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right."

—Ashleigh Brilliant

"In a race between a rock and a pig, don't varnish your clams."

—A wise Elbonian

"I've been poor and I've been rich, and rich is better."

—Bessie Smith

"The theoretical broadening which comes from having many humanities subjects on the campus is offset by the general dopiness of the people who study these things."

—Richard Feynman

"I am a sociologist, God help me."

—John O'Neill

"Captain Ahab has to go hunt his whale!"

—Lily Sloane

"If she wasn't the way she is, you'd be perfect for each other."

—Christy Emelett, amateur matchmaker

"If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought."

—Dennis Roch

"Don't play stupid with me... I'm better at it!"


"Like most intellectuals, he is imensely stupid."

—Marquise de Merteuil

"A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends."

—Baltasar Gracian

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

—Abraham Lincoln

"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."

—William G. McAdoo

"How glorious it is—and also how painful—to be an exception."

—Alfred de Musset

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

—Joe Theismann

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

—Albert Einstein

"I would have made a good Pope."

—Richard Nixon

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."

—John Stuart Mill

"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common."

—John Locke

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it."

—Henry Ford

"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."

—Mignon McLaughlin

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

—Herm Albright

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

—Mel Brooks

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."

—John Buchan

"I still live."

—Daniel Webster's last words

"Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them."

—Alfred North Whitehead

"We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones."

—L. Rochefoucauld

"Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it."

—Laurence J. Peter

"My wife is like coffee Jakobs Monarch. But yesterday she buy imitation of coffee with taste of fried bread and was strongly untune. I hope you will be wrestle with pirates."

—A concerned consumer

"A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can."


"If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM."

—Lyndon B. Johnson

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something."

—Wilson Mizner

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

—Eleanor Roosevelt

"My favorite review described me as the cinematic equivalent of junk mail. I don't know what that means, but it sounds like a dig."

—Steve Buscemi

"Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian."

—Lee Simonson

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, still exists."

—Phillip K. Dick

"No matter how cynical you get, you can't keep up."

—Lily Tomlin

"Maybe this world is another planet's Hell."

—Aldous Huxley

"I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse."

—Isaac Asimov

"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"


"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language."

—Mark Twain

"Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different."


"Er, could someone give me a push?"

—Sir Launcelot

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."

—Niels Bohr

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning."


"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents."

—Nathaniel Borenstein

"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2."

—Grabel's Law

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."

—George Burns

"An egotist is a person of low taste—more interested in himself than in me."

—Ambrose Bierce

"I bet your natural charm has made you a good sprinter."

—Hobbes, to Calvin

"One lives in the hope of becoming a memory."

—Antonio Porchia

"The average American will be exposed to 1.4 million incorrect statistics over the course of a lifetime."


"Truly great madness can not be achieved without significant intelligence."

—Henrik Tikkanen

"It's not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It's what you do with your life that counts."

—Millard Fuller

"I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me."

—Dave Barry

"I despise the pleasure of pleasing people that I despise."

—Mary Wortley Montagu

"It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right."


"I see all. I hear all. I know all. And I spend a great deal of time in the bathroom."

—Harlan Ellison

"Someday we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car."


"I like the word 'indolence'. It makes my laziness seem classy."

—Bern Williams

"Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we'll find it."

—Sam Levenson

"Life is wasted on the living."

—Zaphod Beeblebrox IV

"I wouldn't mind dying. It's the business of having to stay dead that scares the shit out of me."

—R. Geis

"Never explain—your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."

—Elbert Hubbard

"Once you've heard one non sequitir, the price of tea in China."


"The Lord's Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, and there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence. Yet, government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words."

—David McIntosh

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

—Will Rogers

"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages."

—H. L. Mencken

"If you are wrong, I will turn you inside out over a very long period of time."


"Something to do with free will, I think..."

—The Supreme Being, on why there must be Evil

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

—Truman Capote

"I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation."

—George Bernard Shaw

"What the hell kind of country is this that I can only hate a man if he's white?"

—Hank Hill

"The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing."

—Gamel Nasser

"I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones."

—John Peel

"Whatever you want too much you can't have, so when you really want something, try to want it a little less."

—Joel Rosenberg

"It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help."

—Miss Manners (Judith Martin)

"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."

—Theodore Roosevelt

"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack."

—General George S. Patton

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain—and most fools do."

—Dale Carnegie

"Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater."

—Roman Polanski

"Yeah, England is way behind the times. That explains the Spice Girls."

—Ryan Netzley

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

—Harry S Truman

"Ahhh. A man with a sharp wit. Someone ought to take it away from him before he cuts himself."

—Peter da Silva

"When you read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before."

—Clifton Fadiman

"Miscellaneous is always the largest category."

—Joel Rosenberg

"Always remember, more is more, and less is less. More is better, and twice as much is good, too. Too much is never enough unless it's just about right."

—The Tick

"Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter because nobody listens."

—Nick Diamos

"Only the shallow know themselves."

—Oscar Wilde

"Any clod can have the facts; having opinions is an art."

—Charles McCabe

"No, I should not consider not cursing. If the parents are paranoid, then that is their problem. Why should I curb my normal behavior to meet the skewed, outdated, idiotic standards of some old prudes? To hell with 'em. Let 'em eat my feces."

—Steve Shives, on self-censorship

"Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian."

—Robert Orben

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

—Winston Churchill

"After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done."


"People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little."

—Jean Jacques Rousseau

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

—Pablo Picasso

"Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon."

—E. M. Forster

"Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all."

—Woody Allen

"In the world of human thought generally, and in physical science particularly, the most important and fruitful concepts are those to which it is impossible to attach a well-defined meaning."

—H.A. Kramers

"Nirvana is not the blowing out of the candle. It is the extinguishing of the flame because day is come."

—Rabindranath Tagore

"Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding."

—Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

—A. A. Milne

"Eagles may soar in the clouds, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines."

—Jason Hutchison

"But, see, this one goes to eleven..."

—Nigel Tufnel

"All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power."

—Ashleigh Brilliant

"Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it."

—W. Somerset Maughm

"There are a lot more intelligent people out there than the people in charge realize. This, of course, is because the people in charge don't number among them."


"I put it in the bottom drawer with the rest of the tapes that aren't yours."

—Dana Scully

"I hate quotations."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat!"

—Will Rogers

"I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me."

—George Bernard Shaw

"Oil prices have fallen lately. We include this news for the benefit of gas stations, which otherwise wouldn't learn of it for six months."

—Bill Tammeus, in Toronto's National Newspaper, 1991

"Few rich men own their own property. The property owns them."

—Robert G. Ingersoll

"I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."

—August Strindberg

"Men always want to be a woman's first love. Women like to be a man's last romance."

—Oscar Wilde

"People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."

—Abraham Lincoln, in a book review

"You can't be a Real Country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."

—Frank Zappa

"The truth is more important than the facts."

—Frank Lloyd Wright

"Lord, make me pure—but not yet."

—Saint Augustine

"When it gets dark enough out, you can see the stars."

—Charles Beard

And, of course, the immortal:

"Don't worry; you'll understand eventually. Well, actually, no you won't, but in time you'll learn to fake it better."

—Lester the Lizard, on life in general

Return to the front page.

This page was originally created on Jan 28 1997.