100+ Best Cynical Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Profoundly inspirational cynical quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

Famous Cynical Quotes

A comedian’s a comedian. They’re a very kind of cynical bunch. I guess that’s why I like them. — Graham Norton

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder’s than any other agency in the world. — Richard Le Gallienne

The Ides of March was a fairly cynical film. — Grant Heslov

The way I see politics is, I don’t think it’s cynical to accept the fact politicians are human beings, that they’re flawed, and they represent the best and the worst of us. — Beau Willimon

I’ve always felt that if I ever got cynical, I would have to stop making music because I’d just be poisoning the air. — Glen Hansard

As human beings we’re so cynical, so uncompassionate. — Alicia Silverstone

Mitt Romney subscribes to the cynical logic that says the American dream belongs to some of us but not all of us. — Kamala Harris

The habit of religion is oppressive, an easy way out of thought. — Peter Ustinov

You have to find some way to not become a cynical or negative person, a person who keeps walking around and opening your eyes in the outside world but inside you close down, a person who stops expecting tomorrow to be better than today. — Richard Rohr

It’s an indication of how cynical our society has become that any kind of love story with a sad theme is automatically ridiculed as sentimental junk. — Winona Ryder

Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt… Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves. — Robert Anton Wilson

As we get older – perhaps I’m just speaking for myself – we can get too cynical. — Matt Smith

The more cynical you become, the better off you’ll be. — Matt LeBlanc

I don’t think something necessarily has to be mean or cynical to represent ‘edgy.’ I think ‘edgy’ can mean a lot of different things. — Steve Carell

Cannes is a very strange place. I tried to show up as best I could and to try not to be cynical. — Lili Taylor

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. — Franz Kafka

I don’t mock things, which makes me more vulnerable to mockery myself. If you’re cynical, you’re protected from mockery. But I have to be nice. I don’t think I have irony. A sense of humour, yes, but not irony. — Michel Gondry

Yeah, it’s pretty hard not to be completely cynical these days. — David Byrne

I don’t see myself as a stand-up comic doing cynical, mean-spirited or disrespectful stuff. I’m very aware that I don’t like to disrespect people too much. — Tracey Ullman

I think I’ve finally proven something to people who were cynical about me. Because they were cruel. — Nancy Sinatra

All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake. — Indira Gandhi

We are at heart so profoundly anarchistic that the only form of state we can imagine living in is Utopian; and so cynical that the only Utopia we can believe in is authoritarian. — Lionel Trilling

It’s so sweet, I feel like my teeth are rotting when I listen to the radio. — Bono

It’s often been said that I’m an extremely depressing, cynical writer. I’ve never known what to make of that. — Ann Beattie

Just try to be happy. Unhappiness starts with wanting to be happier. — Sam Levenson

Generally I don’t like doing remakes, but I think that’s more in the cynical world of Hollywood where normally remakes are purely for commercial reasons. — Gerard Butler

Ineptitude and negligence directed British policies in India more than any cynical desire to divide and rule, but the British were not above exploiting rivalries. — Pankaj Mishra

We always reference kids but very rarely ask their opinion. Our inexperience might be what gives us the ability to teach our elders something, due to the fact that we are not jaded or cynical. — Adora Svitak

I don’t know many South Africans who don’t have their eyes wide open to what it’s like to be exposed to some sort of violence. The question is whether we choose to be cynical about it or not. — Gavin Hood

If I never saw another airport again, I’d be happy! — Emm Gryner

The history of saints is mainly the history of insane people. — Benito Mussolini

The world is cynical and sarcastic, but that doesn’t mean that that’s always the truth. — Patrick Ness

I felt slightly superior to student politics, for instance. I had no reason to think this, but I thought of myself as slightly more seasoned. I became quite cynical talking to my student friends. — Kazuo Ishiguro

You’ve got to be strong enough for love. It’s very easy to be cool and cynical. It’s very difficult to just let yourself go and be in love. You’ve got to be strong enough for that. — Noel Gallagher

EMILY’s List has worked a lot with swing women voters over the years, and one thing we’ve learned is that they are very cynical about politics and politicians. They very much want help with the challenges facing them and their families, and they feel like most politicians don’t understand or want to lift a finger to help them out. — Ellen Malcolm

There are four stages in a marriage. First there’s the affair, then the marriage, then children and finally the fourth stage, without which you cannot know a woman, the divorce. — Norman Mailer

I’m rather cynical about the way the honours system is used, frankly. A whole lot of the honours system is used for political purposes by the government in power. — Peter Higgs

Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government. — Milton Friedman

I’m not cynical or bitter in any way. Life’s too short; you get ripped off, but if you hold a grudge, it’s going to affect you. You take it on the chin, you learn, you try not to make the same mistakes. — Tony Fernandes

Harvard takes perfectly good plums as students, and turns them into prunes. — Frank Lloyd Wright

Global terrorism is extreme both in its lack of realistic goals and in its cynical exploitation of the vulnerability of complex systems. — Jurgen Habermas

I don’t think I’m against all wars, but you’d have to have a damn good reason to send your son or daughter to fight, or to go yourself. So often, we are lied to and manipulated by our governments for their own very cynical reasons. — Paul Haggis

Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills. — Minna Antrim

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. — George Bernard Shaw

The worst thing that can happen in a democracy – as well as in an individual’s life – is to become cynical about the future and lose hope. — Hillary Clinton

What I’m trying to do is deliver results, not promises; results, not vision; results, not concepts. The world is cynical about IBM’s promises. — Lou Gerstner

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum. — Arthur C. Clarke

Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation. — Aldous Huxley

I’m a bit cynical that it ever will be addressed properly. I think it is healthy to get some sort of copyright protection. But some of it has gone on forever. — Peter Gabriel

Students now arrive at the university ignorant and cynical about our political heritage, lacking the wherewithal to be either inspired by it or seriously critical of it. — Allan Bloom

I am cynical about politicians. My experience of politicians has been thoroughly negative. I have found that politicians are people that can not be taken at face value. There are very few politicians I have been impressed with. — Zac Goldsmith

I think the future also will not belong to those who are cynical or those who stand on the sidelines — Paul Wellstone

I can say that even in the midst of my most cynical comic stripping: Opus shone through with a bit of heart, anchoring the ugly proceedings with a comforting pull of emotion. — Berkeley Breathed

I would say most comedians have a very cynical worldview of the way the world can work. It’s almost like if you didn’t, you couldn’t be a comedian. — Colin Quinn

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. — George Carlin

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. — Voltaire

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism. — Thomas Jefferson

I do get cynical, but what can you do? It doesn’t make any difference. — Kurt Russell

Avoid cynical and negative people like the plague. They are killers of potential. — Rick Pitino

Because I was from the Midwest and untrained, I was completely open and ready to try anything. Many of my classmates were cynical and jaded; some already had conservatory training, and they were there simply to get that Yale stamp of approval, which they saw as a career stepping-stone. — Laila Robins

I think if you’re a regular viewer of Fox News, you’re among the most cynical people on planet Earth. I cannot think of a more cynical slogan than ‘Fair and Balanced.’ — Bill Keller

If I’m breathing in 2016, I’ll be happy. — Andrew Cuomo

The rarest quality in an epitaph is truth. — Henry David Thoreau

Students undergo a conversion in the third year of medical school – not pre-clinical to clinical, but pre-cynical to cynical. — Abraham Verghese

I’ve gotten very cynical and kind of anhedonic about all the things I have to do to get to do comedy: all the travel, hotels, and airports. — Patton Oswalt

That a peasant may become king does not render the kingdom democratic. — Woodrow Wilson

In the early 1990s we witnessed the emergence of a revitalized contemporary Chinese art world that began as a reaction against the government-approved Social Realist style. Zhang Xiaogang, Huang Yong Ping, Ai WeiWei, Yue Minjun, and Wang Guangyi were among the first group of artists to establish a movement that became known as Cynical Realism. — Arne Glimcher

I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment. — Ambrose Bierce

You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you’re cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism. — W. Somerset Maugham

Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated. — Gilbert K. Chesterton

I am a cynical optimist. Big opening weekends are like cotton candy. The films you will remember over time are the films that stick in the consciousness of the audience in a good way. — Robert Redford

Amongst my friends, I am known as the most cynical person they know – I’m incredibly cynical. I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in the supernatural, I don’t believe in anything! And I’m terribly cynical, and somehow or other, all three of my films and much of my television work has been rather sentimental, and ‘heartwarming’. — Nigel Cole

When a Cabinet Minister who is sacked for telling lies is re-appointed, in the face of every constitutional convention, only for the same man to be sacked again from the same Cabinet for the same offence by the same Prime Minister no wonder the public are cynical about politics. — William Hague

I love Billy Wilder, and I love the way that his films can be very touching and very moving and very romantic, and at the same time there’s always a little cynical undertone, there’s always something that undercuts things. — David Nicholls

We cannot consume our way into personal growth. Yet, millions of us have bought into this cynical concept of faux identity. — Jane Velez-Mitchell

In principle, skeptics are neither closed-minded nor cynical. We are curious but cautious. — Michael Shermer

Americans are cool; if you show just a chink of vulnerability, they respond so much. They’ll pat you on the arm and say, ‘Hey kid, you’re all right.’ Brits will respond but they are much more cynical. — Bear Grylls

I am a positive person. I am not cynical. If you are born in this world, no matter who you are, negative things will happen. If you aren’t positive as a person, you’ll be very unhappy. It’s extremely important to be positive, to laugh, to be happy, to accept life as it comes. — Bipasha Basu

Multiculturalism may well be our saviour, wresting us out from the straitjacket of our history, thrusting the old continent into an environment where other ethnicities, less cynical and more positive, will play a big role in its future. — Loretta Napoleoni

I’m disenchanted with Communism and most other things. I’m cynical but not a cynic. I’m cynical about TV, Congress, and commercial peanut butter. — Howard Fast

Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don’t swallow it. — Hank Ketcham

I am supporting David Cameron purely out of cynical self-interest. — Boris Johnson

The function of muscle is to pull and not to push, except in the case of the genitals and the tongue. — Leonardo da Vinci

I think the word ‘earnest’ kind of has a negative connotation on some level. I think one of the things that’s happened is that being cynical is somehow conflated with being sophisticated. I think that’s problematic, to say the least. — Josh Radnor

It is time to let America be America again. To return freedom to the people. To stand on our founding principles and reject the cynical politics of the Nanny State. — Rick Perry

Politics has come to resemble a cynical team game played by politicians, while the public has been pushed aside as if sitting on the seats of a stadium in which passion for politics is gradually making room for blindness and desperation. — Edi Rama

Making love in the morning got me through morning sickness. I found I could be happy and throw up at the same time. — Pamela Anderson

Oscar Wilde always makes me smile – with respect and admiration. His short stories prove that it is possible to be both sarcastic, even cynical, but deeply compassionate. Just seeing the cover of one of Wildes books in a bookshop makes me smile. — Orhan Pamuk

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. — Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I’m not the type of guy who enjoys one-night stands. It leaves me feeling very empty and cynical. It’s not even fun sexually. I need to feel something for the woman and entertain the vain hope that it may lead to a relationship. — Ben Affleck

No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up. — Lily Tomlin

It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody. — Brendan Behan

We tolerate shapes in human beings that would horrify us if we saw them in a horse. — William Ralph Inge

I was never a liberal. I was radical. I was cynical. I was negative. But, I was never a liberal. I always saw that as too lukewarm for me. — Clarence Thomas

People like Bill Maher, who brags about being a cynic, it sickens me. I am the least cynical person I know, and I am very, very skeptical. — Penn Jillette

I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this, but probably not… I was a really cynical child. — Nikki Reed

I think you can be cynical about religion on occasion, and certainly skeptical about the degree to which some people use religion to manipulate other people. — Peter Jennings

I’ve actually always wanted to write like a one-person show that was sort of a romantic comedy – a show that was kind of cynical about romance and marriage but ultimately embraced it. Because I feel like comedy is always cynical, inherently, because it’s contrarian. — Mike Birbiglia

The absent are never without fault. Nor the present without excuse. — Benjamin Franklin

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