To celebrate the goddess of comedy that’s brought us everything from “That’s so fetch,” to Bossypants, we present thirty of our favorite Tina Fey truisms.
1) “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” —Bossypants, 2011
2) “I want to thank my parents for raising me to have confidence that is somehow disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done. That is what all parents should do.” — Emmy acceptance speech, 2008
3) “People say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: yeah, she is. And so am I. And you know what? Bitches get stuff done. Get on board: bitch is the new black.” — SNL Weekend Update, 2008
4) “When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.” —Bossypants, 2011
5) “I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, ‘Nice tits.’ Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, ‘Suck my dick.’ Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I didn’t hold in my anger.” —Bossypants, 2011
6) “I don’t enjoy any kind of danger or volatility. I don’t have that kind of ‘I love the bad guys’ thing. No, no thank you. I like nice people.”—Vanity Fair, 2009
7) “Whitney Houston’s cover of ‘I Will Always Love You’ was constantly on my FM Walkman radio around that time. I think that made me cry because I associated it with absolutely no one.” —Bossypants. 2011
8) “MAKE STATEMENTS also applies to us women: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, ‘I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?’ Make statements, with your actions and your voice.” —Bossypants, 2011
9) “I don’t hate animals and I would never hurt an animal; I just don’t actively care about them. When a coworker shows me cute pictures of her dog, I struggle to respond correctly, like an autistic person who has been taught to recognize human emotions from flash cards. In short, I am the worst.” —Bossypants, 2011
10) “Some people say, ‘Never let them see you cry.’ I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” —Bossypants, 2011
11) “This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. ‘You’re up for a promotion. If they go for a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.’ Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.” —Bossypants, 2011
12) “You have to remember that actors are human beings. Which is hard sometimes because they look so much better than human beings.” —Bossypants, 2011
13) “There was an assumption that I was personally attacking Sarah Palin by impersonating her on TV. No one ever said it was ‘mean’ when Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford falling down all the time. No one ever accused Dana Carvey or Darrell Hammond or Dan Aykroyd of ‘going too far’ in their political impressions. You see what I’m getting at here. I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both.” —Bossypants, 2011
14) “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” —Bossypants, 2011
15) “When humor works, it works because it’s clarifying what people already feel. It has to come from someplace real. You don’t just decide to destroy a person by making up stuff, and no one at SNL is writing to go after someone.” —Oprah, 2009
16) “George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria, and was selected to a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.” —Golden Globes, 2015
17) “I keep my eyes on the sea, waiting to be rocketed into it on a wave of fire. I’ll be ready for it to happen and that way it won’t happen. It’s a burden, being able to control situations with my hyper-vigilance, but its my lot in life.” —Bossypants, 2011
18) “A coworker at SNL dropped an angry c-bomb on me and I had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, “No. You don’t get to call me that. My parents love me. I’m not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that’s going to take that shit.” —Bossypants, 2011
19) “THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities.” —Bossypants, 2011
20) “Lesson learned? When people say, ‘You really, really must’ do something, it means you don’t really have to. No one ever says, ‘You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.’ When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.” —Bossypants, 2011
21) “Am I just chasing it because it’s the hardest thing for me to get and I want to prove I can do it?” —Bossypants, 2011
22) “I’m not a mean person, but I have a capacity for it. I have the biting comment formed somewhere in the back of my head — like it’s in captivity. Sometimes people expect that I’m going to be tough. It’s not a bad situation. People treat you better. People are on time.” —Reader’s Digest, 2008
23) “I have no enabler bone in my body — not one. I’m sort of like, ‘Oh, are you going crazy? I’ll be back in an hour.’” —Vanity Fair, 2009
24) “Politics and prostitution have to be the only jobs where inexperience is considered a virtue. In what other profession would you brag about not knowing stuff? ‘I’m not one of those fancy Harvard heart surgeons. I’m just an unlicensed plumber with a dream and I’d like to cut your chest open.’ The crowd cheers.” —Bossypants, 2011
25) “You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.” — Oprah, 2009
26) “Lying on a beach feels a little ‘first thought’ to me. I prefer the retro chic of spending Christmas just like Joseph and Mary did — Traveling arduously back to the place of your birth to be counted, with no guarantee of a bed when you get there.” —Bossypants, 2011
27) “How can I give (my daughter) what Don Fey gave me? The gift of anxiety. The fear of getting in trouble. The knowledge that while you are loved, you are not above the law. The Worldwide Parental Anxiety System is failing if this many of us have made sex tapes.” —Bossypants, 2011
28) “Sometimes you want to have a very productive Saturday to feel that you are in control of your life, which of course you are not.” —Bossypants, 2011
29) “A Mother’s Prayer for It’s Daughter:
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
…Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.
Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day –
And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
…And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.” —Bossypants, 2011
30) “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV.” —Bossypants, 2011
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