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15 'Golden Girls' Quotes That Stand the Test of Time

Picture it: Miami, 1985... When The Golden Girls premiered on NBC in 1985, its premise seemed unlikely to resonate with younger viewers — four female senior-citizen housemates in Miami bicker and banter about everything from sex to menopause to marriage equality, all while wearing very ‘80s fashion (think: huge shoulder pads and copious amounts of hairspray). Yet Golden Girls is one of America’s most widely beloved sitcoms of all time. More than 35 years later, the series still has legions of loyal fans spanning all ages and backgrounds. It has won numerous Golden Globes and Emmys and has been broadcast around the world, even inspiring international versions in Russia, Spain, and the Philippines.

The series aired for seven seasons, and featured four iconic actresses: Bea Arthur, who played sarcastic Dorothy Zbornak, a substitute teacher from Brooklyn prone to eye rolls and a quick temper; Rue McLanahan, who played lusty Southern belle Blanche Devereaux; Betty White, who played sweet, ditzy Rose Nylund with way too many stories about life in St. Olaf, Minnesota; and Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo, Dorothy’s wise-cracking elderly Italian-American mother. Together, the four unlikely housemates pushed the envelope with their unmatched wit, unabashed sass, and undeniable love for one another.

“I think everybody — including younger people — when they reach an age when they feel alienated, the thought of being alone and spending your life alone is terrifying,” show creator Susan Harris told Out magazine in 2010 of the show’s lasting appeal. “These women were at an age where they were alone and were likely to stay alone until they found each other. Then they constructed a family that really, really worked. They encouraged each other and had a life together. It showed that you didn’t need the customary, traditional relationship to be happy. It paints a picture of all the possibilities for family.”

Below, we’ve collected 15 memorable quotes from Golden Girls that have stood the test of time. Get the cheesecake ready.

People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

My mother used to say: The older you get, the better you get. Unless you're a banana.
— Rose (Betty White)

No matter how bad things get, remember these sage words: You're old, you sag, get over it.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

​​You know what they say: You can lead a herring to water, but you have to walk really fast or he’ll die.
— Rose (Betty White)

Oh, c’mon, Blanche. Age is just a state of mind.
— Dorothy (Bea Arthur)

After 80, every year without a headstone is a milestone!
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

It is not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.
— Dorothy (Bea Arthur)

Jean is a nice person. She happens to like girls instead of guys. Some people like cats instead of dogs. Frankly, I’d rather live with a lesbian than a cat. Unless a lesbian sheds; that I don’t like.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

You know my motto. Today could be the last day of your life.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

The bottom line is, in life, sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen. But honey, if you don’t take a chance, nothing happens.
— Dorothy (Bea Arthur)

Everyone wants someone to grow old with, and shouldn’t everyone have that chance?
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

How come whenever my ship comes in it's leaking?
— Dorothy (Bea Arthur)

Why do blessings wear disguises? If I were a blessing, I'd run around naked.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

I eat raw cookie dough. And occasionally, I run through the sprinklers and don’t wear a bathing cap. And at Christmas, I’ve been known to put away more than one eggnog.
— Rose (Betty White)

Look, you didn't ask me for my opinion, but I'm old, so I'm giving it anyway.
— Sophia (Estelle Getty)

Photo credit: Album / Alamy Stock Photo

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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