50 Wonderful Lily Tomlin Quotes

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Which are your favorite Lily Tomlin quotes?

Lily Tomlin is an American actress, comedian, writer, singer, and producer.

She is best known for her current role as the main character ‘Frankie Bergstein’ in the renowned TV series ‘Grace and Frankie’ which has successfully earned her many prestigious awards nominations, including Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.

Through her acting career which spans over 40 years, Tomlin has numerous acting credits to her name. Tomlin started out her career in entertainment working as a stand-up comedian while also performing off-broadway. She made a breakthrough when she landed a role on the well-known variety show ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’.

Here’s a collection of the best Lily Tomlin quotes:


50 Wonderful Lily Tomlin Quotes

1. “My space chums think my unique hookup with humanity could be evolution’s awkward attempt to jump-start itself up again. They’re thinking just maybe, going crazy could be the evolutionary process trying to hurry up mind expansion. Maybe my mind didn’t snap. Maybe it was just trying to stretch itself into a new shape. The cerebral cortex trying to grow a thumb of sorts.” – Lily Tomlin

2. “Did you know, in the entire universe, we are the only intelligent life forms thought to have a Miss Universe contest?” – Lily Tomlin

3. “What goes up must come down. But don’t expect it to come down where you can find it.” – Lily Tomlin

4. “Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.” – Lily Tomlin

5. “I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.” – Lily Tomlin

6. “We are all in this together, by ourselves.” – Lily Tomlin

7. “The phone company handles 84 billion calls a year everything from kings, queens, and presidents to the scum of the earth.” – Lily Tomlin

8. “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

9. “If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?” – Lily Tomlin


10th of 50 Lily Tomlin Quotes

10. “Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.” – Lily Tomlin


11. “I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” – Lily Tomlin

12. “Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.” – Lily Tomlin

13. “There’s nothing sadder than getting to the end of your life and saying, I didn’t do it right.” – Lily Tomlin

14. “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.” – Lily Tomlin

15. “We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” – Lily Tomlin

16. “To act out something or take chances in the performance is one thing. But in terms of a camera, whatever’s captured is captured so that’s a little more daunting. You know you can’t go back next week and fix it. Whereas in a live audience you know it’s so in the moment and you just go with what’s happening. First of all, you never have to see it again so you don’t know if you were really fulfilling it or not.” – Lily Tomlin

17. “I wanted to be a stage actress. I wanted to be a New York actress and have a community with other actors. I didn’t want to get famous; I always thought getting famous was a drag on you.” – Lily Tomlin

18. “There will be sex after death, we just won’t be able to feel it.” – Lily Tomlin

19. “The formula for water is H2O. Is the formula for an ice cube H2O squared?” – Lily Tomlin


20th of 50 Lily Tomlin Quotes

20. “Maybe if people started to listen, history would stop repeating itself.” – Lily Tomlin


21. “Language was invented because of the deep human need to complain.” – Lily Tomlin

22. “When I am happy I feel like crying, but when I am sad I don’t feel like laughing. I think it is better to be happy; then you get two feelings for the price of one.” – Lily Tomlin

23. “I worry about kids today – because of the sexual revolution, they’re going to grow up and never know what “dirty” means.” – Lily Tomlin

24. “The start to a better world is the belief that it is possible.” – Lily Tomlin

25. “In the depths of the night, fear grips my heart. It paralyzes my mind. But most of all, I feel very, very alone” – Lily Tomlin

26. “Instead of working for the survival of the fittest, we should be working for the survival of the wittiest – then we can all die laughing.” – Lily Tomlin

27. “Wouldn’t it be great if we all grew up to be what we wanted to be? The world would be full of nurses, firemen, and ballerinas.” – Lily Tomlin

28. “I’m not a religious person. I don’t have any desire. To me, it’s imitative of a conventional culture. I’m all for it for anybody. I totally have a free and open feeling about how other humans want to live their lives. It’s just not something that has any real significance for me.” – Lily Tomlin

29. “Don’t be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.” – Lily Tomlin


30th of 50 Lily Tomlin Quotes

30. “If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?” – Lily Tomlin


31. “Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.” – Lily Tomlin

32. “Suddenly I burst into song: ‘Awe, sweet mystery of life, at last, I found thee…’ And I felt so good inside and my heart felt so full, I decided I would set time aside each day to do awe-robics. Because at the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life that you don’t understand, you are closer to understanding it all than at any other time.” – Lily Tomlin

33. “You are what you think … geez, that’s frightening….” – Lily Tomlin

34. “The best mind-altering drug is the truth.” – Lily Tomlin

35. “You can’t expect insights, even the big ones, to make you suddenly understand everything. But I figure: Hey it’s a step in the right direction if they leave you confused in a deeper way.” – Lily Tomlin

36. “To me, “sexual freedom” means freedom from having to have sex.” – Lily Tomlin

37. “There’s so much plastic in this culture that vinyl leopard skin is becoming an endangered synthetic.” – Lily Tomlin

38. “No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.” – Lily Tomlin

39. “If I had known what it would be like to have it all – I might have been willing to settle for less.” – Lily Tomlin


40th of 50 Lily Tomlin Quotes

40. “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin


41. “I feel some part of me can wake up and be very existential and the next day wake up and be sort of in love with the universe.” – Lily Tomlin

42. “Sometimes I feel like a figment of my own imagination.” – Lily Tomlin

43. “I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else.” – Lily Tomlin

44. “And yet humanity is so not evolved that how can you expect anything absolutely major to happen? Look how long, we move ahead in technology, how much do we move ahead in morality or emotion? We move ahead so minimally, minimally, minimally.” – Lily Tomlin

45. “If you read a lot of books you are considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well viewed.” – Lily Tomlin

46. “Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic?” – Lily Tomlin

47. “I can handle reality in small doses, but as a lifestyle, it’s much too confining.” – Lily Tomlin

48. “When I’ve had a meltdown, people will say to me, Well, you failed to keep your sense of humor.” – Lily Tomlin

49. “Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.” – Lily Tomlin

50. “If evolution was worth its salt, it should’ve evolved something better than ‘survival of the fittest.’ I think a better idea would be ‘survival of the wittiest.’ At least, that way, creatures that didn’t survive could’ve died laughing.” – Lily Tomlin



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Lily Tomlin! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Lily Tomlin quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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