125 George Carlin Quotes To Make You Laugh, Smile and Think

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<p>Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO</p>

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

George Carlin was one of the greatest comedians that ever graced a stage, and his comedy was as poignant and deep as it was hilarious. From his infamous take on censorship with his NSFW "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" (which landed in the Supreme Court) to nuanced George Carlin quotes on partisan politics and consumerism, Carlin not only made audiences laugh, but he challenged them to think independently and critically—albeit not entirely deliberately.

"Sometimes people say, 'Do I try to make audiences think?' I say: 'No no no,' because that really would be the kiss of death," Carlin said in his final interview before his death in 2008. "But what I want them to know is that I’m thinking. It’s part of that showoff and dropout syndrome. I think I need to show them that I have brought myself to a cleverer, smarter spot than they have."

He was as prolific as he was profound, with a career spanning nearly five decades, 23 albums, 14 HBO specials, 130 Tonight Show appearances and three books (plus posthumous releases). These George Carlin quotes on life showcase his wit, ingenuity and genius—and, occasionally, his potty mouth, which was part of his signature charm. Known for his funny and sarcastic quotes, we think you'll get a kick out of his words.

Related: George Carlin's Daughter Slams His AI-Generated Comedy Special

125 George Carlin Quotes

1. "Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid."

2. "Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it."

3. "Some people see things that are and ask, 'Why?' Some people dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?' Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that."

4. "Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit."

5. "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."

6. "Some people have no idea what they're doing, and a lot of them are really good at it."

7. "The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity."

8. "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."

9. "Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward."

10. "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

11. "Careful, if you think too much, they’ll take you away."

12. "Think off-center."

13. "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

14. "I don't have pet peeves. I have major psychotic f**king hatreds."

15. "Life gets really simple once you cut out all the bulls**t they teach you in school."

16. "Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."

17. "We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years."

18. "Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body."

19. "When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts."

20. "In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem."

21. "We are a nation of sheep, and someone else owns the grass."

22. "The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions."

23. "Although I broke a lot of laws as a teenager, I straightened out immediately upon turning eighteen, when I realized the state had a legal right to execute me."

24. "Bulls--t is truly the American soundtrack."

25. "When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat."

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26. "That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it."

27. "I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently, I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."

28. "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."

29. "Well, if crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fires, what do freedom fighters fight?"

30. "How is it possible to have a civil war?"

31. "War is rich old men protecting their property by sending middle class and lower class men off to die."

32. "I have lots of ideas. Trouble is, most of them suck."



33. "Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist."

34. "'Bipartisan' usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out."

35. "I think people should be allowed to do what they want. We haven’t tried that for a while. Maybe this time it’ll work."

36. "If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to have selfish, ignorant leaders."

37. "You show me a lazy p***k who's lying in bed all day, watching TV, only occasionally getting up to p**s, and I'll show you a guy who's not causing any trouble."

38. "Conservatives say if you don’t give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they’ve lost all incentive because we’ve given them too much money."

39. "If it requires a uniform, it’s a worthless endeavor."

40. "Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."

41. "By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."

42. "I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so f**kin' heroic."

43. "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?"

44. "Religion is just mind control."

45. "Don't give your money to the church. They should be giving their money to you."

46. "I think everyone should treat one another in a Christian manner. I will not, however, be responsible for the consequences."

47. "Conservatives want live babies so they can train them to be dead soldiers."

48. "Religion is like a pair of shoes: Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes."

49. "I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it."

50. "He — and if there is a God, I am convinced he is a he, because no woman could or would ever f**k things up this badly."

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51. "How can [God] be perfect? Everything He ever makes dies."

52. "The Christians gave Him Sunday, the Jews gave Him Saturday, and the Muslims gave Him Friday. God has a three-day weekend."

53. "I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."

54. "I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me — they’re cramming for their final exam."

55. "I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a man nailed to two pieces of wood."

56. "Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

57. "Atheism is a non-prophet organization."

58. "So, have a little fun. Soon enough you'll be dead and burning in Hell with the rest of your family."

59. "Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck."

60. "'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence?"

61. "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."

62. "Most people with low self-esteem have earned it."

63. "If you can’t say something nice about a person, go ahead."

64. "People are wonderful one at a time. Each one of them has an entire hologram of the universe somewhere within them."

65. "I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loath and despise the groups they identify or belong to."

66. "The planet is fine. The people are f**ked."

67. "If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."

68. "I'm happy to tell you there is very little in this world that I believe in."

69. "I think the warning labels on alcoholic beverages are too bland. They should be more vivid. Here is one I would suggest: 'Alcohol will turn you into the same a**hole your father was.'"

70. "Instead of warning pregnant women not to drink, I think female alcoholics ought to be told not to f**k."

71. "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor."

72. "There are women named Faith, Hope, Joy, and Prudence. Why not Despair, Guilt, Rage, and Grief? It seems only right. 'Tom, I'd like you to meet the girl of my dreams, Tragedy.' These days, 'Trajedi.'"

73. "I bet you anything that 10 times out of 10, Nicky, Vinny and Tony will beat the s**t out of Todd, Kyle and Tucker."

74. "Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?"

75. "If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?"

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76. "The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept."

77. "Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do 'practice?'"

78. "I was a loner as a child. I had an imaginary friend. I didn't bother with him."

79. "My mother would say, 'Why are you always playing alone?' And I would say, 'I'm not playin', Ma. I'm f**kin' serious!"

80. "I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."

81. "Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be."

82. "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"

83. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

84. "When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to hear '27 months.' 'He's two' will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place."

85. "I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?"

86. "If your kid needs a role model and you ain't it, you're both f**ked."

87. "If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?"

88. "If four out of five people suffer from diarrhea … does that mean that one enjoys it?"

89. "Just ‘cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean that the circus has left town."

90. "Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."

91. "The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live."

92. "Things you never hear: 'Please stop sucking my d**k or I'll call the police.'"

93. "I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed."

94. "People always tell me 'Have a nice day.' Well what if I don't want to? What if I want to have a crappy day?"

95. "If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made out of that stuff?"

96. "It's never just a game when you're winning."

97. "Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."

98. "I had no shoes, and I felt sorry for myself until I met a man who had no feet. I took his shoes. Now I feel better."

99. "'Meow' means 'woof' in cat."

100. "I think I am, therefore, I am ... I think."



101. "Would a fly without wings be called a walk?"

102. "Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did."

103. "It's important in life if you don't give a s**t. It can help you a lot."

104. "What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

105. "Is a vegetarian permitted to eat animal crackers?"

106. "There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past."

107. "Electricity is really just organized lightning."

108. "Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning."

109. "People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think."

110. "If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."

111. "One can never know for sure what a deserted area can look like."

112. "When you step on the brakes, your life is in your foot’s hands."

113. "I often warn people: ‘Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an ‘I’ in independence, individuality, and integrity."

114. "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."

115. "Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."

116. "Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time."

117. "There's a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it."

118. "Let a smile be your umbrella, and you'll end up with a face full of rain."

119. "My advice: just keep moving straight ahead. Every now and then you find yourself in a different place."

120. "Everyone should try to scratch their name on the bomb of life."

121. "Everyone smiles in the same language."

122. "A good motto to live by: 'Always try not to get killed.'"

123. "People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point."

124. "Life is not measured by the number of breath we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

125. "Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath."

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