25 Ellen DeGeneres Quotes That Are Surprisingly Insightful

If You've Got Something to Say, Why Not Make It Funny?

Via Getty Images/C. Flanigan

There are few celebrities who are more beloved than Ellen DeGeneres. The venerable comedian, actor, and TV host has been making audiences laugh since 1981. Along the way she has become a humanitarian whose mission is to bring more love and kindness to the world through comedy.

Over the course of her impressive career Ellen has penned four books that are filled with personal observations, insights, and witticisms about what it means to be human in a modern world. Although she never fails to make us laugh, she somehow manages to convey a deeper meaning in many of her writings.

On Being Yourself

"Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come."

“Be who you really are. Embrace who you are. Literally. Hug yourself. Accept who you are. Unless you're a serial killer.” 

On Kindness

"Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings."

On Facing Obstacles

"It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure… I think."

On Failure

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important. It's hard to understand failure when you're going through it, but in the grand scheme of things it's good to fall down—not because you're drunk and not near stairs.” 

“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”

On Balance

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The piña and the colada.” 

On Unity

"I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connected thing. We are all from the same exact molecules."

“We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos and negativity and bullying in the world. And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common
which is – we all want to be happy.” 

On Compassion

"I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion."

On Beauty

"True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass."

“Above all things physical, it is more important to be beautiful on the inside -- to have a big heart and an open mind and a spectacular spleen.”

On Fashion

"What you look like on the outside is not what makes you cool. I had a mullet and I wore parachute pants for a long time and I’m doing okay."

“You are never too old to play. You are only too old for low-rise jeans.”

On Happiness

"Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system."

On Exercise

“I'm so unfamiliar with the gym, I call it James.”

“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the heck she is.”

On the Rat Race

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

On Ignoring the Haters

"Don’t worry about what people say about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying."

“Who's to say what's better or worse anyway? Who's to even say what's normal or average? We're all different people and we're allowed to be different from on another. If someone ever says you're weird, say thank you. And then curtsy. No, don't curtsy. That might be too weird. Bow. And tip your imaginary hat. That'll show them.” 

On Procrastination

Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”

On Sexuality

"I don’t know what people are scared of. Maybe they think their children will be influenced, but I’ve got to tell you, I was raised by two heterosexuals. Everywhere I looked — Heterosexuals. And they did not influence me. It’s time we love people for who they are and let them love who they want."

"Do we have to know who’s gay and who’s straight? Can’t we just love everybody and judge them by the car they drive?"

On Emotions

"I’m a comedian, and I definitely see the humor in a lot of things. I am also sad a lot. I cry often and easily. I think you’re supposed to feel all kinds of things."

On Positive Thinking

“Start thinking positively. You will notice a difference. Instead of 'I think I'm a loser,' try 'I definitely am a loser.' Stop being wishy-washy about things! How much more of a loser can you be if you don't even know you are one? Either you are a loser or you are not. Which is it, stupid?”