30 Mark Twain One-Liners That Are Still Relevant Today

His advice will live on forever.

30 Mark Twain One-Liners That Are Still Relevant Today

His advice will live on forever.

“Honesty is the best policy—when there is money in it.”

That line was written almost a hundred years ago, by one Samuel Langhorne Clemens—better known to the world by his pen name, Mark Twain. But the crazy thing is, it feels like it could’ve been written today. The sentiment is a little cynical, sure, but it feels right on target with our modern world. Was Twain some sort of clairvoyant? How was he able to perfectly encapsulate what it feels like to be alive in 2018 so many, many, many years before it happened?

Here are 30 quotes by Mark Twain that feel as apropos and on the nose today as when he first put pen to paper. And for more mind-blowing trivia, here are 50 Crazy Celebrity Facts You Won’t Believe Are True.

Mark Twain Bow Tie

1
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

It doesn’t matter whom you voted for in the last presidential election, you probably agree with Twain on this one. For more stellar put-downs, here are The 28 Wittiest Put-Downs Ever Uttered.

Mark Twain in Chair

2
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.”

In a world where everybody seems to be shouting their opinions over everybody else, this is a nice reminder that the smartest ones are usually the quietest. And for more wisdom and perspective, here are the 40 Life Secrets You Need After 40.

Mark Twain One-Liners

3
“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

Twain might’ve meant this sarcastically, but it’s it’s proven to be scarily accurate in 2018. If you prefer confidence over arrogance, check out these 70 Genius Tricks to Boost Your Confidence.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

4
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

As we’ve seen time and time again, liars always get caught.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

5
“Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

That’s just silly. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy a new iPhone 8. And for more fun trivia, check out the 100 Awesome Facts About Everything. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

6
“Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.”

Hey, how did Twain know everything about our modern-day Congress?

Mark Twain One-Liners

7
“A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”

If there’s one thing that doesn’t change over the years, it’s the recipe to a successful marriage. And yes, Twain’s advice is so good, it could be included in the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.

Mark Twain One-Liners

8
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Whether it’s sports or politics, rooting for the underdog is one of our favorite pastimes. And for more great history lessons, here are the Most Enduring Myths in American History. 

Mark Twain One-Liners

9
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

We’re pretty sure Twain was explaining why the Tide Pod Challenge is stupid, right? And for more great one-liners, here are Ryan Reynold’s 30 Funniest Tweets. 

Mark Twain One-Liners

10
“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.”

Do you know anyone who says, “Oh, I love tax day? Nothing gives me more pleasure than giving my money to the government.”

Mark Twain One-Liners

11
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

Let this Twain quote be your guide before you venture into any comments section online.

Mark Twain One-Liners

12
“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”

Could everyone just learn where North Korea is on a map so we don’t have to worry about World War III? Thanks in advance!

Mark Twain One-Liners

13
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

Hey Millennials, Mr. Twain has some friendly advice for you. For more pithy wisdom, here are 50 Relationship Quotes to Reignite Your Love. 

Mark Twain One-Liners

14
“The only rational patriotism is loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.”

If more of us took this quote to heart, there might be fewer “who’s more patriotic” political arguments.

Mark Twain One-Liners

15
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

Twain died in 1910, and yet he seems to know exactly why modern relationships can become toxic.

Mark Twain One-Liners

16
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Thanks to the Internet, we’re exposed to more personal criticism than ever before. But Twain reminds us that not every opinion needs to be taken seriously.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

17
“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

Any dog owner will tell you this is 100% true. If you’re not convinced, consider these 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet.

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Mark Twain One-Liners

18
“The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.”

It’s hard not to wonder what Twain would have made of Twitter and Facebook.

Mark Twain One-Liners

19
“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”

Other people telling you what you should be doing to get thinner, stronger, healthier, sexier, etc? No, no, that doesn’t sound familiar at all.

Mark Twain One-Liners

20
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

This will probably be just as true in another hundred years.

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Mark Twain One-Liners

21
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

Wait, are we crazy or did he just predict the rise of “fake news”?

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Mark Twain One-Liners

22
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”

Twain would’ve made a great nutritionist in 2018.

Mark Twain One-Liners

23
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Maybe if a few Internet trolls took this to heart, we’d live in a kinder world.

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Mark Twain One-Liners

24
“Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”

You don’t need a college diploma to find this funny, but it helps.

Mark Twain One-Liners

25
“Virtue has never been as respectable as money.”

And remember, he wrote these things 100 years before Martin Shkreli was even born.

Mark Twain One-Liners

26
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done [the] day after tomorrow just as well.”

Believe it or not, this is coming from a guy who had never heard about computer solitaire or social media.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

27
“We are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.”

We’d like to introduce you to our new personal therapist, Dr. Mark Twain.

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Mark Twain One-Liners

28
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

Wouldn’t it be great to say we all had no idea what he was talking about?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

29
“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

He was joking, but it sure does feel like this is true sometimes.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Twain One-Liners

30
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

If this doesn’t resonate for you, you need to get offline immediately and figure some things out.

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