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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Fran Lebowitz. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Fran Lebowitz

Frances Ann Lebowitz (born October 27, 1950) is an American author, public speaker, and occasional actor. She is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities. The New York Times has called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker. She is known for her books Metropolitan Life (1978) and Social Studies (1981), which were combined into The Fran Lebowitz Reader in 1994. She has been the subject of two projects directed by Martin Scorsese, the HBO documentary film Public Speaking (2010), and the Netflix docu-series Pretend It's a City (2021).

If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture, you would pretty much be left with Let's Make a Deal.

--Fran Lebowitz

A hobby is, of course, an abomination, as are all consuming interests and passions that do not lead directly to large, personal gain.

--Fran Lebowitz

Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.

--Fran Lebowitz

Bread that must be sliced with an axe is bread that is too nourishing.

--Fran Lebowitz

If thine enemy offends thee, give his child a drum.

--Fran Lebowitz

If you have a burning restless urge to paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.

--Fran Lebowitz

The 3 questions of greatest concern are:, 1) Is it attractive?, 2) Is it amusing?, 3) Does it know its place?

--Fran Lebowitz

China is not a great idea: capitalism and a dictator. It's like the two worst possible things you could imagine together. It's a very bad idea.

--Fran Lebowitz

The downfall of most diets is that they restrict your intake of food.

--Fran Lebowitz

If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies.

--Fran Lebowitz

There's no such thing as advice to the lovelorn. If they took advice, they wouldn't be lovelorn.

--Fran Lebowitz

Longer Version:

There's no such thing as advice to the lovelorn. If they took advice, they wouldn't be lovelorn. You see, advice and lovelorn don't go together. Because advice makes love sound like some sort of cognitive activity, but we know that it isn't. We all know that it's some sort of horrible chemical reaction over which we have absolutely no control. And that's why advice doesn't work.


I'm not a Communist. I'm an American. I'm a capitalist. I mean, I'm not a very good capitalist, myself. I'm not very good at it, but it's not that I'm not for capitalism. But people who believe in things like corporate citizenship, it's idiotic. I mean, it shows you're an idiot.

--Fran Lebowitz

Television turned out to be exactly as bad as the most irritating and pedantic intellectuals of the '50s said it was going to be.

--Fran Lebowitz

Because I was young, I had this long hair, and people used to try to tip me with joints.

--Fran Lebowitz

I never would start writing before midnight and I would finish at, like, seven in the morning.

--Fran Lebowitz

Most writers write too much. I have the exact opposite problem. I feel I could write almost anything in a paragraph. I have a natural ability to condense, and so I often think, Are you kidding me? Five thousand words? How am I gonna make 5,000 words out of that?

--Fran Lebowitz

No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.

--Fran Lebowitz

Special-interest publications should realize that if they are attracting enough advertising and readers to make a profit, the interest is not so special.

--Fran Lebowitz

Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by the prudent as the heavy petting of literature.

--Fran Lebowitz

Screenwriting is not an artform, it is a punishment from God.

--Fran Lebowitz

I, unfortunately, take the subway a lot. It's not my preference, but it is my lot in life.

--Fran Lebowitz


The Italians are the most civilized people. And they're very warm. Basically, they're Jews with great architecture.

--Fran Lebowitz

Middle class was defined by having certain values and only a certain amount of money. But this new middle class seems to have absolutely no values and an unlimited amount of money.

--Fran Lebowitz

If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you've imagined. Venice is -- Venice is better.

--Fran Lebowitz

I'd like to decide who comes here. I'd like to be the admissions director of New York.

--Fran Lebowitz

American women think that clothes fit them if they can fit into them. But that's not at all what fit means.

--Fran Lebowitz

Food is definitely important part of your balanced diet.

--Fran Lebowitz

The only appropriate response to the question, 'Can I be frank?' is, 'Yes, if I can be Barbara.

--Fran Lebowitz

For the movie review columns, I always knew exactly what I was going to write about -- the movies.

--Fran Lebowitz

I've never had the experience of being edited and never will.

--Fran Lebowitz

All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal. It's horrible to feel felonious every second of the day. It's much more relaxing to actually write.

--Fran Lebowitz

I don't care if New York avoided bankruptcy by substituting tourism for the garment business.

--Fran Lebowitz

It would also have been helpful to have gone to a Catholic grammar school. The only people who know grammar are those people who went to Catholic grammar school. Those nuns beat it into them.

--Fran Lebowitz

Frenchman: Germans with good food.

--Fran Lebowitz

It's very important who the president of the United States is. America is a great idea, so that's why it's a great country.

--Fran Lebowitz

I must take issue with the term 'a mere child,' for it has been my invariable experience that the company of a mere child is infinitely preferable to that of a mere adult.

--Fran Lebowitz

There were a zillion bad jobs. That doesn't exist any more. I mean, I could wake up one afternoon with zero money and know that by the end of the day, I would have money.

--Fran Lebowitz

That which we call civilization is merely the accumulated debris of a chilling number of bad nights.

--Fran Lebowitz

I'm sure that being sober all these years accounts for my ill humor.

--Fran Lebowitz

I do not believe in God. I believe in cashmere.

--Fran Lebowitz

On parenthood: You can't change your mind -- you know, and say, this isn't working out, let's sell.

--Fran Lebowitz

Now the culture is made of old things, it's a collage. Art made out of art is not art. You're supposed to make art out of life.

--Fran Lebowitz

Being poor is like being a child. Being rich is like being an adult: you get to do whatever you want. Everyone is nice when they have to be; rich people are nice when they feel like it.

--Fran Lebowitz

I believe that at birth everyone gets the capacity for a certain amount of drugs and alcohol, everyone the same, you can do it all between 15 and 19 like I did, or you can stretch it out over 70 years.

--Fran Lebowitz

Writers get exactly the right amount of fame: just enough to get a good table in a restaurant but not enough so that people are constantly interrupting you while you're eating dinner.

--Fran Lebowitz

Your grandparents did not endure the indignities of a steerage journey to Ellis Island so that you could stand outside a discothèque and beg a wallpaper designer to take you in with him.

--Fran Lebowitz

When I started publishing, I got offers to write for big magazines. But I would always say, Well, it's not that I don't want to write for these big magazines, but you can't edit it.

--Fran Lebowitz

I have the exact opposite problem of every writer I've ever met: Every writer I've ever met writes things that are too long, and they have to edit them down.

--Fran Lebowitz

I'm not interested in being a wife. I'm interested in being an empress.

--Fran Lebowitz

Friendships are easy to get out of compared to love affairs, but they are not easy to get out of compared to, say, jail.

--Fran Lebowitz

I never wanted to have any extra money, if it meant having to have any extra work.

--Fran Lebowitz

Democracy is an interesting, even laudable, notion and there is no question but that when compared to Communism, which is too dull, or Fascism, which is too exciting, it emerges as the most palatable form of government.

--Fran Lebowitz

Why not have your first baby at sixty, when your husband is already dead and your career is over? Then you can really devote yourself to it.

--Fran Lebowitz

There are certain relationships I think I'm great at: I'm the world's greatest daughter. I'm a great relative. I believe I'm a great friend.

--Fran Lebowitz

Ever since I was a little child, I refused to see movies of books that I loved. Because you already know what Heidi looks like and she doesn't look like Shirley Temple.

--Fran Lebowitz

Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is a rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had he only come a little earlier he could have gotten it while it was still hot.

--Fran Lebowitz

People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding fresh lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand that there must be a reason for this.

--Fran Lebowitz

Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel.

--Fran Lebowitz

To lose yourself in a book is the desire of the bookworm. I mean to be taken. That is my desire.

--Fran Lebowitz

There are some short essays that are very grave, and most contemporary novels are lighter than air.

--Fran Lebowitz

I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use.

--Fran Lebowitz

Longer Version:

I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use. Pleasant because one is in the best possible company and safe because sleep is the consummate protection against the unseemliness that is the invariable consequence of being awake. What you don't know won't hurt you. Sleep is death without the responsibility.


If there had been a job of being a reader, I would have taken that, because I love to read and I don't love to write. That would be blissful.

--Fran Lebowitz

The first people who died of AIDS were artists. They were the most interesting people.

--Fran Lebowitz

Children do not really need money. After all, they don't have to pay rent or send mailgrams.

--Fran Lebowitz

Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house.

--Fran Lebowitz

Communism requires of its adherents that they arise early and participate in a strenuous round of calisthenics. To someone who wishes that cigarettes came already lit the thought of such exertion at an hour when decent people are just nodding off is thoroughly abhorrent.

--Fran Lebowitz

I'm not a nervous person. I'm not afraid to be on TV. I'm only afraid when I write. When I'm at my desk I feel like most people would feel if they went on TV.

--Fran Lebowitz

New York was always more expensive than the other places, even when it was going bankrupt. In other words, in 1971, New York was expensive for someone with no money. For anyone.

--Fran Lebowitz

If people had gavels, there would be no wars. If every person in the world had a gavel and could bang it and get everyone's attention right away and make their displeasure known, I believe the level of actual violence in the world would just disappear to practically nothing.

--Fran Lebowitz

It's very important when making a friend to check and see if they have a private plane. People think a good personality trait in a friend is kindness or a sense of humor. No, in a friend a good personality trait is a Gulfstream.

--Fran Lebowitz

I'm such a slow writer I have no need for anything as fast as a word processor. I don't need anything so snappy. I write so slowly that I could write in my own blood without hurting myself.

--Fran Lebowitz

While it is undeniably true that people love a surprise, it is equally true that they are seldom pleased to suddenly and without warning happen upon a series of prunes in what they took to be a normal loin of pork.

--Fran Lebowitz

On not reading newspapers: If something important happens, your mother calls you.

--Fran Lebowitz

Educational television should be absolutely forbidden. It can only lead to unreasonable disappointment when your child discovers that the letters of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around with royal-blue chickens.

--Fran Lebowitz

Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy.

--Fran Lebowitz

Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.

--Fran Lebowitz

How do you know if your child is a writer? Your obstetrician holds his stethoscope to your abdomen and only hears excuses.

--Fran Lebowitz

I hate money. It is boring and it is arithmetic. The two things I hate the most.

--Fran Lebowitz

The thing you love right away, don't do it, because that's the very thing that's going to be your addiction for the rest of your life.

--Fran Lebowitz

New York's not exactly antiseptic. It could be clean and less dangerous, and not horrible, not under a tidal wave of tourists.

--Fran Lebowitz

When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.

--Fran Lebowitz

It's very disheartening to encounter a fearful twenty-one year old. They haven't earned the right to be that afraid. It's not like we're living in war-torn Bosnia or something.

--Fran Lebowitz

Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram.

--Fran Lebowitz

Longer Version:

Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram. The rigors of learning how to do long division have been a traditional part of childhood, just like learning to smoke. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the two go hand in hand. Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke.


I used to love to write. As a child I used to write all the time. I loved to write up until the second I got my first professional writing job. It turns out it's not that I hate to write. I hate, simply, to work.

--Fran Lebowitz


I am alternately very gregarious -- very sociable -- and then very solitary.

--Fran Lebowitz

Perhaps one of the more noteworthy trends of our time is the occupation of buildings accompanied by the taking of hostages. The perpetrators of these deeds are generally motivated by political grievance, social injustice, and the deeply felt desire to see how they look on TV.

--Fran Lebowitz

If you can stay in love for more than two years, you're on something.

--Fran Lebowitz

The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat.

--Fran Lebowitz

Notoriously insensitive to subtle shifts in mood, children will persist in discussing the color of a recently sighted cement-mixer long after one's own interest in the topic has waned.

--Fran Lebowitz

While clothes with pictures and or writing on them are not entirely an invention of the modern age, they are an unpleasant indication of the general state of things. ... I mean, be realistic. If people don't want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?

--Fran Lebowitz

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