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Top 25 Woody Allen Quotes

Woody Allen is one of the most respected and prolific filmmaker in modern times. Allen draws heavily on literature, philosophy, psychology, Judaism, European cinema and New York City, where he was born and has lived his entire life. Some might consider his films an acquired taste, but no one can deny that he is brilliantly witty. Here is a list of 25 of his finest quotes (taken from his own life or screenwriting).

Quotes 1 – 5

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1. Harvard makes mistakes too, you know. Kissinger taught there.

2. He was so depressed, he tried to commit suicide by inhaling next to an Armenian.

3. As the poet said, ‘Only God can make a tree,’ probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

4. I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.

5. I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

Quotes 6 – 10

Allen

6. I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it’s the government.

7. I don’t have to ‘freedom-kiss’ my wife when what I really want to do is French-kiss her.

8. I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.

9. I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys.

10. I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia

Quotes 11 – 15

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11. I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox.

12. I’d call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.

13. I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.

14. I’m such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.

15. I’m very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.

Quotes 16 – 20

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16. If my films make one more person miserable, I’ll feel I have done my job.

17. In Beverly Hills… they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.

18. Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.

19. Most of the time I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time I don’t have any fun at all.

20. My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.

Quotes 21 – 25

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21. Some guy hit my fender, and I told him, ‘Be fruitful and multiply,’ but not in those words.

22. There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?

23. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

24. When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.

25. You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Wrong title. It says at the top ‘Top 15 Woody Allen quotes’.

    I saw a great Allen film once, it was kind of a sketch one. The only bit that i can think of it now is a giant pair of breasts destroying some houses. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

  • Forgot to add: great list! no. 9 is awesome :D

  • oops – thanks – I have fixed that :) I don’t know what movie you are talking about – but I am sure that there are some people here who would be able to tell us :)

  • JT

    Haha, I was just about to send you a Woody Allen quotes list, jfrater. Oh well. Nice work though, #14 is my life story.

  • I cant stand Woody Allen.

  • JT

    Oh and dangorironhide, the film you are thinking of is Everything you always wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask.

  • JT ah – I was worried that might happen :) If you want to do a film list I will keep away from that for now :)

    Juggz: I don’t actually like him as an actor/person – but I do enjoy his films a lot and find his writing very funny

  • 20Fan20

    25 is the best. Looks like I made it to 33 and may not make it to 34…

  • CrimsonChrissi

    I can’t stand the little weasel either.. but #25 is the best!

  • Mikerodz

    The problem here is familiarity. I hoped I never had an idea on his way, so I could enjoy his works.

  • JT: thanks! That films really funny but I’ve never been able to find it again because I forgot the name!

  • Bruno

    It’s interesting that the 14 out the first 15 quotes begin with the personal pronoun. Of the 25, it seems all of the quotes concern himself. I don’t know if this is indicative of Woody Allen being self-centered or if it is more of a product of his self-deprecating humor.

  • Bruno

    Er, 12 of the first 15.

  • zubair kaka

    wow this guy is really unfunny- and i foung dude wheres my car funny

  • kittym

    zubair kaka: No offense meant, but you finding Dude Where’s My Car funny makes me think you may not have the best taste in humour …

  • Useless

    No. 18 was a quote from either Freud or Groucho Marx (Allen says this himself in the movie).

  • Gravy

    Hilarious list. Great job! I think this one deserves an encore!

  • Jim C

    The sketch movie with the breasts is “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex* But Were Afraid To Ask”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068555/

  • Jim C

    Bruno: “I don’t know if this is indicative of Woody Allen being self-centered or if it is more of a product of his self-deprecating humor.”

    Yes.

  • mattayeaux

    I think that some people would think that “Dude, where’s my car” was funny if the thought that Woody wrote it. He is just unfunny with a warped fanbase.

  • Tjgrs

    his best quote was “Don’t knock masterbation, it’s sex with someone i love” or something to that effect

  • Luxmanfan

    Actually, this list misses his best quote ever. When asked if he thought sex was dirty, he replied; “Only if you’re doing it right.”

  • Late O’Day

    (Speaking of his ex-wife): “The Museum of Natural History took her shoe and, based on her measurement, they reconstructed a dinosaur.”

  • Haha, love it! Woody Allen is a strange man indeed, but I love his sense of humor sometimes. =) Espeically 9. Gets me every time.

  • shawn

    Probably misquoting a bit “The great thing about bi-sexuality is it doubles your chance of getting a date for Friday night”

  • Mattayeaux wrote that Allen is “just unfunny with a warped fanbase.”

    Then I must be warped … I find his work extremely funny, and intellectual.

    PS: I highly recommend his movie, “Annie Hall.”

  • heavybison

    I loved Play it again, Sam.

  • zubair kaka

    mattayeaux i just meant to say that i laugh at almost everything-but apparently not this list

  • Dandelion

    Haha. Great quotes.

  • This is not really a quick quote. it’s more of a sample of his writing. (I don’t think the quick quotes do him justice) Anyway this is my favorite Woody Allen moment. It is right at the end of Annie Hall.

    “It was great seeing Annie again and I realized what a terrific person she was and how much fun it was just knowing her and I thought of that old joke, you know, the, this, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy, he thinks he’s a chicken,’ and uh, the doctor says, ‘well why don’t you turn him in?’ And the guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.’ Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships. You know, they’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and, but uh, I guess we keep going through it…because…most of us need the eggs”

  • InconsistentAngelThings

    I never really thought he was funny. Then again I don’t think I ever really watched one of his films. Maybe it was because I thought he was creepy. But that’s only because he looked like an old, dirty pedophile (and probably is).

    Thats bad though, because it doesn’t reflect on the quality of his work and in fact, I’ve always said that the geniuses are usually messed up in the head…

    I think I will start watching his movies. These are good quotes.

  • InconsistentAngelThings – What?! How can that be? I am not messed up in the head :) Anyway – I recommend you look at some of his movies – they are very funny.

  • JMurf

    Woody Allen is a euphemism, and if he isnt….. ”Nnnnneeeeeeeeeeerd”

  • Dave

    “23. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet”

    This is why Woodie Allen is so freaken awesome

  • PJMurphy

    Favorite Woody Allen quote, may not be exact:

    “She had a body that not only wouldn’t quit, it wouldn’t take 15 minutes off for a coffee break.”

    If you want to see a strange Woody Allen movie, try “What’s Up, Tiger Lily”, his first film, where he takes a Japanese James-Bond type film, and dubs his own dialogue over it.

  • PJMurphy: great quote! And thanks for the mention of What’s Up, Tiger Lily – I hadn’t heard of it but will definitely see it. I would like to buy a box set of all his films – I wonder if such a thing exists.

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  • eric n.

    how about, i think it goes… the human race is made up of the horrible and the miserable. the horrible are the disabled, blind, terminally ill, etc… and the miserable..thats everyone else.

  • heavybison

    My fav Allen movie has to be Annie Hall. It’s actually rumoured to be based on his real life relationship with Diane Keaton(who i think was absolutely beautiful in her heydays..). I have almost all of his stuff except What’s up Tiger Lily, which is rather hard to get hold of. Guess i’ll keep lookin’. Heard somewhere that his own fav is Love and Death.

  • I never heard that one about the Armenian before. It’s rude.

    Other than that I’ve always found Woody hysterical!

  • Not that anyone replies to older lists really, but if by chance….I cant quite remember the quote…something to the extent of (and I know this isn;t anywhere close) ” If I die and go to heaven, I’ll pack extra spare underwear, just in case.”
    Which would be easy to see him in one of his early movies with his old beat up suitcase, in line among others on the longest escalator, thinking to him self, “oh no!, I forgot to pack spare underwhere!” He reaches the top in heaven and the “stewardess” angel says”this way please, sir”
    “no, no. I ah, forgot..uh, something.. down, down there”
    “Sir, there’s no going back, I’m sorry.”
    “but, but but.”

    Ok I’m making it up but I know he said something of the sort of which I first stated

  • Brosiusjb

    #8 has also been said “I don’t want to live on in my work I want to live on in my apartment.”

  • Sled

    BEST Woody Allen quote ever:

    His ex-wife was violated in Central Park. When a reporter asked his opinion on the matter, he replied: “Well, knowing her the way I do, I’m sure it wasn’t a ‘moving’ violation”

  • Ash

    Hard to take anything this guy says seriously anymore
    After the whole stepdaughter incident
    Now he just seems like a perv with a sense of humour
    Rather than a witty individual.

  • fleabitn

    “The great thing bout being bisexual is that it automatically doubles your chances of getting a date for Saturday night.”

  • deepak_legoals

    In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start working, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm! I rest…

    Next Life …Woody Allen

  • Cogito Cogito

    Great comedian. Excellent writer. Less than great moviemaker.

    Many of the best quotes were from his standup routine!

  • I4gotmyMANTRA

    woah, woah, woah, woah…

    where is:

    ” Don’t knock masterbation, its sex wth someone I love.”

    Did I miss something?

  • yurri_fargonbashczed

    Woody is an amazingly wonderful being human, and besides, the French love the guy. What could be a better evidence of his talent and intelligence?

  • A.K

    hey, people, yeah, i agree that woody allen is great..
    and i have one little question. there is a episode from House MD , where was said that woody allen had said that love is irrational and crazy, but we go through it, because we need the curry. I don’t understand what is curry? I thought it’s some kind of a meal…? so, what does it mean in this sentence? Can anybody please answer me?

    • j.d.

      Last lines of "Annie Hall," spoken by Woody's character, Alvy Singer. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075686/quotes?qt0373

      House says "curry" to put his twist on things and to show his appreciation of Stacy's "vindaloo" story from earlier in the episode.

  • diogenes

    Due to the overwhelming response that was received from my request for a plain and simple answer concerning a correct Allen Stewart Königsberg quote (one of which I wondered about over a year ago) I hereby congratulate the hard working staff and regular devotees of The List Universe on their expedient grace in prompt fashion. If only it hadn’t taken me so long to recover from forgetfulness and realize that my imagination is much more spectacular than,

    “I don’t believe in the after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.”

  • 14gotmyMANTRA

    btw, I also liked this little bit of dialogue from Manhattan (1979)

    “I finally had a orgasm, and my doctor said it was the wronge kind.”
    “Oh, really? Cause I’ve never had the wrong kind. My worse one was… right on the money.”

  • kennypo65

    Here’s an Allen quote that would also go well with your famous atheists list, “My God my God. What have you done…lately.” I think it’s from Side Effects or maybe from Without Feathers.

  • Diogenes

    quoted from comment#668 pesqueli,
    February 10th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
    (from “14 Miserable Facts About St Valentine’s Day” on this site. Published on February 10, 2010 by Lia and Nick Romeo)

    “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”—Woody Allen

  • Timbo

    #1A – “She’s not really related to me.”

  • ayo

    you missed one notable one, ‘The heart want what it wants’

  • Tobie Mattick

    Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

  • Somebody

    Hahah number 21 is AWEsome!

  • Nuneh

    the one about the Armenian was pretty rude . a talented artist though…

  • peanut6

    no. 6 is originally a spike milligan quote.

  • raymen avanesian

    how I can meet Woody Allen in person i am a big fan

  • Auth

    Ouch That is a tough error on a SQL Server community webiste. Glad they got that one fixed. Full recovery model with no log backups??Anyway That session Thursday with you was my first time seeing Buck speak and it definitely was surprisingly motivating for the time of day, jet lag exhaustion and heat in the room. Very informative, enlightening and, well, fun. Made me go see two of his other presentations the next day.I am with you, Buck is a great speaker. The kids he has in his University of Washington class are incredibly blessed to have a teacher who loves his trade, can give a great presentation and can make a topic fun and exciting. Microsoft is fortunate to have him and I am glad that we can steal him at PASS summits.That being said, I would still go to the PASS summit if Bucky Woody wasn’t presenting. There are a ton of great presenters. Sure most of them don’t pull of the dunk tank clown insult routine like he does and make everyone feel equally welcome at the same time. Sure some of the presenters are dry but I go because of the wealth of knowledge, meeting others in the community and having opportunities to network.I had to go through some hoops to get the company pay for the airfare to a west coast conference, even as a PASS volunteer so Summit cost being essentially negated. I know of other folks who would LOVE to go to a PASS conference but can’t do the travel to Seattle for whatever reason.If we could have every 3rd Summit (for example) in CST or EST it would allow us to have it at a different time (it’s kind of tough for folks who speak at both PASS and Connections and then fall into the holidays) and it would allow more (and different) faces to be in the audience. Sure we may miss some of the extra MS folks but hopefully MS could foot the bill for at least a couple speakers, we have a community of experts to speak (many pay their own airfare being independent consultants) and it would still be a great time of learning and fun had by all.It would allow more people to get interested in PASS and volunteering. It would get more people hooked (think meth only your teeth don’t rot out) on the Summit experience and the budget would increase because attendance could come from more first time attendees.As for me, I’ll pay my own airfare and take FTO if I have to but not everyone can make that choice.

  • nice one! thanks for sharing..

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