The Best Life Advice from ‘Golden Girls’ Matriarch Sophia Petrillo


When feisty Golden Girls grandma Sophia Petrillo wasn’t busy poking fun at her daughter Dorothy Zbornak (and Dorothy’s yutz ex-husband Stan), reminiscing about the good old days in Sicily, and bringing her Brooklyn ’tude to Miami, she was doling out some of the best real-life advice on television during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Sophia’s words of wisdom always started out with her catchphrase, “Picture it,” followed by a highly imaginative story that posited Sophia as the close pal of historical luminaries like Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, and Pablo Picasso. But her absurd speeches always ended with advice that was honest and perceptive — which is why she was the glue that kept the other Golden Girls together as a family. On the day of late actress Estelle Getty’s birthday, we’re remembering Golden Girl sage Sophia with some of her best life advice.

“If you can’t count on family, who the hell can you count on?”

“Don’t turn your back on your mother.”

“You drink out of a brown paper bag and suddenly everybody’s your friend.”

“In this life, that’s all we have, is hope.”

“Get it in writing.”

“The law of supply and demand. Before you supply the sandwiches, you demand the money.”

“Anger is a lot like a piece of shredded wheat caught under your dentures. If you leave it there, you get a blister and you gotta eat jello all week. If you get rid of it, the sore heals and you feel better.”

“You want poetry, you listen to Neil Diamond. You want good advice, you listen to your mother.”

“Just because a man’s in a wheelchair doesn’t mean he can’t satisfy a woman.”

“Get it while you’re young, baby.”

“Sluts just heal quicker.”

“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but cement pays homage to tradition.”

“The point I’m trying to make is what’s going on here is living. Just because you have some rough times doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. You go on living. And eating.”

“Jealousy is a very ugly thing, Dorothy. And so are you in anything backless.”

“Quit being an idiot.”

“It’s not whether you agree or disagree with somebody. It’s whether you can be there for that person when they need you!”

“Where I come from you learn never to turn your back on family! Never!”

“When a person dies, you go to their funeral to show the man upstairs you have respect for human life, no matter how wretched it was. Any idiot knows that.”

“Fools read Dear Abby, simpletons read Ann Landers. It’s a fine line.”

“Here’s a newsflash, witches can fly.”

“Everyone wants someone to grow old with, and shouldn’t everyone have that chance?”

“Jean likes girls instead of boys. Some people prefer cats instead of dogs. I’d rather live with a lesbian than a cat.”

“People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever’s in the glass.”

“You were brought up a lady. Keep both feet on the floor.”

“No matter how bad things get, remember these sage words: You’re old, you sag, you get over it.”

“I’m old. I’m supposed to be colorful.”

“Wake up and smell the coffee, you fossil.”

“Blow it out your ditty bag.”

“It’s great bringing two idiots closer together.”

“Has water ever made you feel better when you were upset? Have you ever heard anyone say: ‘Thank God, the water’s here’? Call me when dinner is ready.”

“I always wondered why Blessings wore disguises. If I were a Blessing, I’d run around naked.”

“Why do we let things like this happen? Why can’t we take care of our elderly like they do in Japan?”

“Every generation adds something to the sauce thereby improving it.”

“Get on your knees and beg your mother’s forgiveness.”

“Picture it.”