133+ Best Erma Bombeck Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Erma Louise Bombeck was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Profoundly inspirational Erma Bombeck quotes will fire up your brain and encourage you to look at life differently while making you laugh.

If you’re searching for famous quotes by comedians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Jack Handey, powerful Terry Pratchett quotes and famous Amy Poehler quotes.

Famous Erma Bombeck Quotes

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. – Erma Bombeck

There is nothing more miserable in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo. – Erma Bombeck

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. – Erma Bombeck

It is my theory you can’t get rid of fat. All you can do is move it around, like furniture. – Erma Bombeck

Cleaning the house while the children are home is like shoveling while it’s still snowing. – Erma Bombeck

Sometimes I can’t figure designers out. It’s as if they flunked human anatomy. – Erma Bombeck

Success is outliving your failures – Erma Bombeck

Time. It hangs heavy for the bored, eludes the busy, flies by the for young, and runs out for the aged. – Erma Bombeck

If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead. – Erma Bombeck

How come anything you buy will go on sale next week? – Erma Bombeck

Housework can kill you if done right. – Erma Bombeck

Adults are always telling young people, ‘These are the best years of your life.’ Are they? I don’t know. Sometimes when adults say this to children I look into their faces. They look like someone on the top seat of the Ferris wheel who has had too much cotton candy and barbecue. They’d like to get off and be sick but everyone keeps telling them what a good time they’re having. – Erma Bombeck

Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity. – Erma Bombeck

Some emotions don’t make a lot of noise. It’s hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint – like a heartbeat. And pure love – why, some days it’s so quiet, you don’t even know it’s there. – Erma Bombeck

Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other. – Erma Bombeck

When you look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home. – Erma Bombeck

Kids have little computer bodies with disks that store information. They remember who had to do the dishes the last time you had spaghetti, who lost the knob off the TV set six years ago, who got punished for teasing the dog when he wasn’t teasing the dog and who had to wear girls boots the last time it snowed. – Erma Bombeck

When the going gets tough, the tough make cookies. – Erma Bombeck

For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it’s time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward. – Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. – Erma Bombeck

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night. – Erma Bombeck

A child needs your love most when he deserves it least – Erma Bombeck

Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go. – Erma Bombeck

My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car. – Erma Bombeck

Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone? – Erma Bombeck

I don’t think women outlive men, Doctor. It only seems longer. – Erma Bombeck

I do not participate in any sport with ambulances at the bottom of the hill. – Erma Bombeck

I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food – Erma Bombeck

I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: ‘Checkout Time is 18 years.’ – Erma Bombeck

Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another. – Erma Bombeck

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. – Erma Bombeck

Kids are without a doubt the most suspicious diners in the world. They will eat mud (raw or baked) rocks, paste, crayons, ball-point pens, moving goldfish, cigarette butts, and cat food. Try to coax a little beef stew into their mouths and they look at you like a puppy when you stand over him with the Sunday paper rolled up. – Erma Bombeck

Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen Three. It takes one to say What light and two more to say I didn’t turn it on. – Erma Bombeck

Women are never what they seem to be. There is the woman you see and there is the woman who is hidden. Buy the gift for the woman who is hidden. – Erma Bombeck

Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It’s unbridled, its unplanned, it’s full of suprises. – Erma Bombeck

A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween. – Erma Bombeck

I never leaf through a copy of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes. – Erma Bombeck

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. – Erma Bombeck

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you? – Erma Bombeck

It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have…One pair that see through closed doors. Another in the back of her head…and, of course, the ones in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and reflect ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word. – Erma Bombeck

I see children as kites. You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you’re both breathless. They crash . . . you add a longer tail . . . you patch and comfort, adjust and teach. You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that someday they’ll fly. – Erma Bombeck

It is ludicrous to read the microwave direction on the boxes of food you buy, as each one will have a disclaimer: THIS WILL VARY WITH YOUR MICROWAVE. Loosely translated, this means, You’re on your own, Bernice. – Erma Bombeck

I’ve exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars. – Erma Bombeck

There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they’re still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, ‘How good or how bad am I?’ That’s where courage comes in. – Erma Bombeck

When humor go’s, there go’s civilization. – Erma Bombeck

A grandparent is the only baby-sitter who doesn’t charge more after midnight – or anything before midnight. – Erma Bombeck

No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. – Erma Bombeck

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. – Erma Bombeck

Good kids are like sunsets. We take them for granted. Every evening they disappear. Most parents never imagine how hard they try to please us, and how miserable they feel when they think they have failed. – Erma Bombeck

Children make your life important. – Erma Bombeck

Someday, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I’ll tell them: I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home. … I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your friend was a creep. I loved you enough to make you return a Milky Way with a bite out of it to a drugstore and confess, ‘I stole this.’ … But most of all I loved you enough to say no when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all. – Erma Bombeck

Grandparenthood is one of life’s rewards for surviving your own children. – Erma Bombeck

Given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it… live it…and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us. – Erma Bombeck

When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States. – Erma Bombeck

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. – Erma Bombeck

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance. – Erma Bombeck

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it. – Erma Bombeck

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart. – Erma Bombeck

It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of super sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners. – Erma Bombeck

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. – Erma Bombeck

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one. – Erma Bombeck

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. – Erma Bombeck

Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven. – Erma Bombeck

One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is. – Erma Bombeck

Cats invented self-esteem. – Erma Bombeck

Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins. – Erma Bombeck

I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex. – Erma Bombeck

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. – Erma Bombeck

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving. – Erma Bombeck

I remember thinking how often we look, but never see … we listen, but never hear … we exist, but never feel. We take our relationships for granted. A house is only a place. It has no life of its own. It needs human voices, activity and laughter to come alive. – Erma Bombeck

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. – Erma Bombeck

Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they will think that is all you have done since you graduated. – Erma Bombeck

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you. – Erma Bombeck

Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time. – Erma Bombeck

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. – Erma Bombeck

There is one thing I have never taught my body how to do and that is to figure out at 6 A.M. what it wants to eat at 6 P.M. – Erma Bombeck

Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago. – Erma Bombeck

A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend – and he’s a priest. – Erma Bombeck

I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up. – Erma Bombeck

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. – Erma Bombeck

House guests should be regarded as perishables: Leave them out too long and they go bad. – Erma Bombeck

When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. – Erma Bombeck

When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911. – Erma Bombeck

Who in their infinite wisdom decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother. – Erma Bombeck

Never have more children than you have car windows. – Erma Bombeck

Youngsters of the age of two and three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub. – Erma Bombeck

On vacations: We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings. – Erma Bombeck

Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, ‘A house guest,’ you’re wrong because I have just described my kids. – Erma Bombeck

I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and give me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it. – Erma Bombeck

Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It’s like stealing a two-year-old. – Erma Bombeck

Most women put off entertaining until the kids are grown. – Erma Bombeck

Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You’re not out of it until the computer says you’re out of it. – Erma Bombeck

Humorists can never start to take themselves seriously. It’s literary suicide. – Erma Bombeck

A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday. – Erma Bombeck

Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you. – Erma Bombeck

Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial. – Erma Bombeck

Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery. – Erma Bombeck

God created man, but I could do better. – Erma Bombeck

Never order food in excess of your body weight. – Erma Bombeck

For some of us, watching a miniseries that lasts longer than most marriages is not easy. – Erma Bombeck

A friend doesn’t go on a diet because you are fat. – Erma Bombeck

In two decades, I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. – Erma Bombeck

Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead. – Erma Bombeck

I will buy any creme, cosmetic, or elixir from a woman with a European accent. – Erma Bombeck

I was terrible at straight items. When I wrote obituaries, my mother said the only thing I ever got them to do was die in alphabetical order. – Erma Bombeck

Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments. – Erma Bombeck

Somewhere it is written that parents who are critical of other people’s children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it. – Erma Bombeck

There’s something wrong with a mother who washes out a measuring cup with soap and water after she’s only measured water in it. – Erma Bombeck

Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you. – Erma Bombeck

People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you’ll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow. – Erma Bombeck

Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip. – Erma Bombeck

I was too old for a paper route, too young for Social Security and too tired for an affair. – Erma Bombeck

It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows. – Erma Bombeck

What’s with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere? – Erma Bombeck

I was going to have inner peace if I had to break a few heads to do it. – Erma Bombeck

At some point in your life, if you’re lucky, you throw practicality to the wind and start living. – Erma Bombeck

I’ve been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. BY all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. – Erma Bombeck

Dreams have but one owner at a time. That is why dreamers are lonely. – Erma Bombeck

Anybody who watches three games of football in a row should be declared brain dead. – Erma Bombeck

All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. – Erma Bombeck

The bad times I can handle. It’s the good times that drive me crazy. When is the other shoe going to drop? – Erma Bombeck

A child develops individuality long before he develops taste. I have seen my kid straggle into the kitchen in the morning with outfits that need only one accessory — an empty bottle of gin. – Erma Bombeck

As a child, my number one best friend was the librarian in my grade school. I actually believed all those books belonged to her. – Erma Bombeck

I’m trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week. – Erma Bombeck

In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn’t danced on television. – Erma Bombeck

If life is a bowl of cherries, then what am I doing in the pits? – Erma Bombeck

Many people are intimidated by doctors. … People also feel stupid when they don’t understand what a doctor’s talking about the first time around, so they don’t ask again. And let’s be honest here, people. English is not a doctor’s first language. – Erma Bombeck

I have never understood, for example, how come a child can climb up on the roof, scale the TV antenna, and rescue the cat … yet cannot walk down the hallway without grabbing both walls with his grubby hands for balance. – Erma Bombeck

It is upsetting to many parents that their teen-agers introduce them to their friends as encyclopedia salesmen who are just passing through … if they introduce them at all. I have some acquaintances who hover in dark parking lots, enter church separately and crouch in furnace rooms so their teen-agers will not be accused of having parents. – Erma Bombeck

I hated skiing or any other sport where there was an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the hill. – Erma Bombeck

With all the precautions and risks that accompany sex today, it sounds about as much fun as walking through a minefield. – Erma Bombeck

If I had my life to live over I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. – Erma Bombeck

No baby shall at any time be quartered in a house where there are no soft laps, no laughter, or no love. – Erma Bombeck

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