“The family,” wrote the philosopher and writer George Santayana, “is one of nature’s masterpieces.” Well, perhaps Santayana was lucky enough to have some particularly impressive relatives, because it’s likely that many of us would not consider our families “a masterpiece”— no matter how much we love them.
Odd uncles, grumpy granddads, the wayward relation who grandma never mentions, the occasional squabbles between parents — it hardly sounds like life’s magnum opus. Still, love them we do, because they are, for better or for worse, our family. Blood may not always be thicker than water, but for many of us, our families are the bedrock and the safe harbor in our lives.
Families tend to be an endless source of both amusement and bemusement — equal parts unconditional love and filial frustration. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that jokes about family abound, often critical in nature but coming from a place of care. Here’s a collection of funny quotes about family, who, with all their quirks and eccentricities, provide plenty of laughs and even greater measures of love.
Families are like fudge — mostly sweet, with a few nuts.Les Dawson, comedian
Insanity is hereditary. You can get it from your children.Sam Levenson, humorist
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.George Burns, comedian
Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.P.J. O'Rourke, satirist
The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.Marge Kennedy, writer
The family — that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.Dodie Smith, writer
I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.Phyllis Diller
I grew up in a very large family in a very small house. I never slept alone until after I was married.Lewis Grizzard, writer
Nothing in life is fun for the whole family. There are no massage parlors with ice cream and free jewelry.Jerry Seinfeld
I like football. I find it’s an exciting strategic game. It’s a great way to avoid conversation with your family at Thanksgiving.Craig Ferguson, comedian
No one's family is normal. Normalcy is a lie invented by advertising agencies to make the rest of us feel inferior.Claire LaZebnik, novelist
Obviously, if I was serious about having a relationship with someone long-term, the last people I would introduce him to would be my family.Chelsea Handler, comedian
The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.George Carlin
Family: A unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.Ogden Nash, poet
It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is.Michael Chabon, author
The thing about family disasters is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts the previous one into perspective.Robert Brault, author
Big families are like waterbed stores: They used to be everywhere and now they're just weird.Jim Gaffigan, comedian
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