10 ‘The Golden Girls’ Quotes That Have Since Become Iconic Catchphrases (2024)

By Josh Lezmi

Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Betty White in The Golden Girls (1985) | IMDb

By Josh Lezmi

Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Betty White in The Golden Girls (1985) | IMDb

Despite airing its series finale over 30 years ago, The Golden Girls remains one of the most famous sitcoms to date. With four clearly defined characters — each boasting unique quirks, conflicts, and tendencies— and an ensemble overflowing with talent, the show is a timeless masterpiece that leaves us laughing hysterically upon each rewatch. The writing is clever, the insults are sharp and damning, and the tender moments are heartfelt and authentic. And, of course, the social commentary surrounding feminism, aging, the LGBTQ+ community, animal rights, and more is way ahead of its time.

Over the show’s 180 half-hour episodes, several memorable lines came slipping from the mouths of our favorite protagonists, and they have since become pop culture catchphrases. So, let’s reminisce…

“Picture it: Sicily.”

Whenever Sophia uttered these three words, we were in for quite the tale. Her anecdotes —colorful, exaggerated, and humorous — often contained a lesson beneath all the whimsy. She set the stage and transported not only her fellow housemates to a nostalgic time and place but also all of us viewers at home.

With a bit of the impossible and a heaping helping of cultural references, these moments worked to further define Sophia’s character and impart kernels of wisdom. “Picture it: Sicily” has since become a humorous way for fans of the sitcom to recount personal tales with a dramatic flair.

“Shady Pines, Ma.”

Before living with Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche, Sophia resided at the Shady Pines Nursing Home — where she was quite miserable. Whenever Sophia pushed Dorothy too much — getting under her skin with backhanded comments or maternal nagging — Dorothy uttered these three words as a threat. “Test me,” she was implying, and I’ll send you right back to all the Nurse Ratcheds at Shady Pines. If you have a solid rapport with your parents (or grandparents), you can use this one when they get a little testy.

“Hi, It’s me Stan.”

Dorothy’s ex-husband Stan frequently started his phone calls or in-person greetings with this phrase. It was always a foot in the door — a subtle attempt at reconciliation that was always met with a bit of vitriol from Dorothy. Yet, the unnecessary introduction suggested Stan’s fear and hesitance — and always served to set Dorothy up for a glorious zinger.

“Eat dirt and die, trash.”

Easily one of Blanche’s most creative and sassy insults, this was Ms. Devereaux’s way of dismissing someone she was conversing with, or should we say arguing with? It’s the last-word insult that can’t be one-upped. It’s Blanche’s no-nonsense, shoulders-back expression of superiority (polite decorum be damned) surging to the surface in moments of unbridled aggravation. And it’s oh so delicious. Want to end an argument, and walk away with a brazen stride? Try this Blanche line on for size.

“Back in St. Olaf…”

This is Rose’s version of “Picture it: Sicily” but her stories feature a lot more oddball customs and traditions, as well as characters and animals who defy the laws of science. Who could forget the man who was so tall he slept in shifts — his upper body would sleep as his lower body remained awake to tend to the farm? Or, what about the invisibility cloak that only worked on mice? These stories were so ridiculous yet Betty White delivered them with such conviction and faith — only adding to the humor. These stories work to highlight Rose’s unique worldly perspective, underscoring just how far from the norm her approach to life was.

“I’m not a slu*t. I’ve been very selective.”

Blanche’s cheeky response when questioned about her sexual escapades, this line reveals her laissez-faire attitude toward boudoir adventures. She was proud of the life she led. She was very aware that she had her fun, but her standards were right where they belonged..at the top of the highest mountain. It’s a playful retort that further characterizes Blanche, and also comes in handy for anyone who may be questioned about a little promiscuity. However, in 2023, slu*t-shaming should just be shut down.

“Go to sleep, sweetheart. Pray for brains.”

Aww poor Rose, she just sometimes doesn’t connect the dots correctly, but that’s why we love her. After they are robbed, Dorothy notes that a crappy sliding lock and “massive unemployment” are to blame. Rose explained that three of the four people in their house are employed, so she wouldn’t label Sophia’s lack of employment contribution “massive,” to which Dorothy utters this line. It’s a classic line that is perfect for insulting someone’s dim-witted nature.

“I’m not one to blow my own vertubenflugen.”

Rose’s St.Olaf-ied version of “I’m not one to blow my own horn” is one of the character’s funniest catchphrases. She utters this before noting one of her many past achievements (often bizarre in nature), so as to not seem co*cky. The line adds to Rose’s charm and naivete and works to do exactly what she desires — remove any sense of arrogance from the declaration.

“Flirting is part of my heritage.”

Blanche often referenced her Southern upbringing and the many qualities she possessed as a result of her childhood. Flirting, she declared, is just in line with all that Southern hospitality everyone’s always talking about. It’s a perfect excuse — it can’t exactly be denied, nor can it totally be validated. It works for Blanche. It works for us. Let the girl flirt. She isn’t hurting anyone.

Rose: “Can I ask a dumb question?” Dorothy: “Better than anyone I know.”

This memorable interaction between Rose and Dorothy perfectly captures the dynamic between these two. Dorothy loves Rose (and vice versa), yet Rose’s naivete and simple-minded ways definitely frustrate Dorothy from time to time, who is quite an intelligent woman. If ever your friend asks if they can ask a dumb question, this is the perfect retort…as long as they have a good sense of humor and don’t get easily offended.

10 ‘The Golden Girls’ Quotes That Have Since Become Iconic Catchphrases (2024)
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