Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

58 Inspiring Quotes by Lily Tomlin

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Lily Tomlin.

Wikipedia Summary for Lily Tomlin

Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born September 1, 1939) is an American actress, comedian, writer, singer and producer. Tomlin started her career as a stand-up comedian as well as performing Off-Broadway during the 1960s. Her breakout role was on the variety show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1969 until 1973. She currently stars as Frankie Bergstein on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, which debuted in 2015 and has earned her nominations for four Primetime Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

In 1974, Tomlin made her film debut with Robert Altman's Nashville, which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1977, her performance as Margo Sperling in The Late Show won her the Silver Bear for Best Actress and nominations for the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Her other notable films include 9 to 5 (1980), All of Me (1984), Big Business (1988), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Tea with Mussolini (1999), I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Grandma (2015).

Her signature role was written by her then-partner (now wife), Jane Wagner, in a show titled The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe which opened on Broadway in 1985 and won Tomlin the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play. She is also known as the voice of Ms. Frizzle on the children's series The Magic School Bus. She won her first Emmy Awards in 1974 for writing and producing her own television special, Lily. Tomlin won a Grammy Award for her 1972 comedy album This Is a Recording. In 2014, she was given Kennedy Center Honors and in 2017 she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

dog on pier at water

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.

--Lily Tomlin

scenery of aurora

Reality is a crutch for people who can't handle drugs.

--Lily Tomlin

shoreline during golden hour

I always knew I wanted to become somebody when I grew up. Now I realize I should have been more specific.

--Lily Tomlin


brown wooden dockside beside sea

We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company.

--Lily Tomlin

time lapse photography body of water

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

blue and white abstract painting

I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.

--Lily Tomlin

shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

The problem with winning the rat race is you're still a rat.

--Lily Tomlin

brown and white dog in close-up photography

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.

--Lily Tomlin

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Even when I'm being funny, I'm deadly serious.

--Lily Tomlin



I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.

--Lily Tomlin


white wall paint with black shadow

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

woman carrying toddler on seashore

After all, in private, we're all misfits.

--Lily Tomlin

purple flower field during daytime

What is reality, anyway? Just a collective hunch.

--Lily Tomlin

green leaf in close up photography

I was always empathetic with animals. It's a terrible and self-involved point of view that we do something because someone else is exploitable.

--Lily Tomlin

green leaf in close up photography

Just remember, we're all in this alone.

--Lily Tomlin


toddlers standing outdoors

Lady, I do not make up things. That is lies. Lies are not true. But the truth could be made up if yo know how. And that's the truth.

--Lily Tomlin


green and white bird on black wire during daytime

9 to 5 made people aware of equal pay for equal work. It hasn't really happened, but it has come closer.

--Lily Tomlin

sunset

We're all in this alone.

--Lily Tomlin

photo of woman climbing mountain

I worry about kids today -- because of the sexual revolution, they're going to grow up and never know what "dirty" means.

--Lily Tomlin

bird on pier

I guess that's one of the reasons that you do it -- work all the time -- because it's sort of a high to find something that really works.

--Lily Tomlin

man facing women near forest

Infinity is just time on an ego trip.

--Lily Tomlin


person holding sunflower

Did you know, throughout the cosmos they found intelligent life forms that play to play? We are the only ones that play to win. Explains why we have more than our share of losers.

--Lily Tomlin

yellow sunflowers

When we talk to god, it's prayer. When god talks to us, it's schizophrenia.

--Lily Tomlin

bonfire in forest

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.

--Lily Tomlin

aerial photography of beach

Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?

--Lily Tomlin

silhouette of kneeling man

I still believe that sex is dirty. It's just that now I wouldn't have it any other way.

--Lily Tomlin

clear wine glass with red wine

Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pocket The road to success is always under construction.

--Lily Tomlin

red textile in close up photography

The phone company handles 84 billion calls a year-everything from kings, queens, and presidents to the scum of the earth.

--Lily Tomlin

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

If I had known what it would be like to have it all -- I might have been willing to settle for less.

--Lily Tomlin

sunset

The formula for water is H2O. Is the formula for an ice cube H2O squared?

--Lily Tomlin


rainbow

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.

--Lily Tomlin

selective photography of green leaf plant

When I've had a meltdown, people will say to me, "Well, you failed to keep your sense of humor."

--Lily Tomlin

green trees under white sky during daytime

I have always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.

--Lily Tomlin

white wooden hut during daytime

No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.

--Lily Tomlin


bare tress and mountain

Sometimes I feel like a figment of my own imagination.

--Lily Tomlin

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

You know being relevant or coming up with something interesting, funny to say about what's current is just as hard as it might ever be depending on the serendipity of it all.

--Lily Tomlin

body of water during daytime

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



gray slabs

Remember we're all in this alone.

--Lily Tomlin

golden retriever inside car

It's my belief we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.

--Lily Tomlin

white wall paint with black line

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them.

--Lily Tomlin

orange moon during nighttime

I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.

--Lily Tomlin

three person looking stars and milky way

I especially love 'Web Therapy' and I did 'Eastbound and Down' too. I had a lot of fun doing that.

--Lily Tomlin

white tulips with green leaves

When I was 9 or 10, I had a ten-cent business: I would walk your dog for a dime, go to the store for a dime, empty your garbage for a dime -- and then I could use the money to buy tricks at the magic store.

--Lily Tomlin

sunset

Creating characters is just another way to express a type and put that type to use.

--Lily Tomlin


mountains covered with fog

There's so much plastic in this culture that vinyl leopard skin is becoming an endangered synthetic.

--Lily Tomlin

green grass field

Did you know, in the entire universe, we are the only intelligent life forms thought to have a Miss Universe contest?

--Lily Tomlin

brown butterfly perched on flower

If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in a library?

--Lily Tomlin

We wish you a perfect day!