Quotations by Snicket, Lemony


Shyness is a very curious thing, because, like quicksand, it can strike people are any time, and also, like quicksand, it usually makes its victims look down.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Austere Academy (2000)
Added on 13-Jan-21 | Last updated 13-Jan-21
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Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see how this can lead to terrible trouble. For instance, one morning you might wake up and make the assumption that your bed was in the same place that it always was, even though you would have no real evidence that this was so. But when you got out of your bed, you might discover that it has floated out to sea, and now you would be in terrible trouble all because of the incorrect assumption that you’d made. You can see that it is better not to make too many assumptions, particularly in the morning.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Austere Academy (2000)
Added on 20-Jan-21 | Last updated 20-Jan-21
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The sad truth is that the truth is sad.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
Added on 17-Feb-21 | Last updated 17-Feb-21
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It’s hard for decent people to stay angry at someone who has burst into tears, which is why it is often a good idea to burst into tears if a decent person is yelling at you.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
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One of the most troublesome things in life is that what you do or do not want has very little to do with what does or does not happen.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
Added on 3-Mar-21 | Last updated 3-Mar-21
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“People aren’t either wicked or noble,” the hook-handed man said. “They’re like chef salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Grim Grotto (2004)
Added on 21-Oct-20 | Last updated 21-Oct-20
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Of all the ridiculous expressions people use — and people use a great many ridiculous expressions — one of the most ridiculous is “No news is good news.” “No news is good news” simply means that if you don’t hear from someone, everything is probably fine, and you can see at once why this expression makes such little sense because everything being fine is only one of many, many reasons why someone may not contact you. Perhaps they are tied up. Maybe they are surrounded by fierce weasels, or perhaps they are wedged tightly between two refrigerators and cannot get themselves out. The expression might as well be changed to “no news is bad news,” except that people may not be able to contact you because they have just been crowned king or are competing in a gymnastics tournament. The point is that there is no way to know why someone has not contacted you until they contact you and explain themselves. For this reason, the sensible expression would be “no news is no news,” except that it is so obvious that it is hardly an expression at all.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Hostile Hospital (2001)
Added on 10-Feb-21 | Last updated 10-Feb-21
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The moral of “The Three Bears,” for instance, is “Never break into someone else’s house.” The moral of “Snow White” is “Never eat apples.” The moral of World War One is “Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.”

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Miserable Mill (2000)
Added on 2-Dec-20 | Last updated 2-Dec-20
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To Beatrice–
My love flew like a butterfly,
Until death swooped down like a bat,
As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said:
“That’s the end of that.”

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Miserable Mill, Dedication (2000)
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More on the referenced poet.
Added on 18-Nov-20 | Last updated 18-Nov-20
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Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Slippery Slope, ch. 1 (2003)
Added on 8-Sep-08 | Last updated 8-Sep-08
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Just about everything in this world is easier said than done, with the exception of “systematically assisting Sisyphus’s stealthy, Syst-susceptible sister,” which is easier done than said.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Vile Village (2001)
Added on 27-Jan-21 | Last updated 27-Jan-21
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A newspaper, as I’m sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists, and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometimes make mistakes.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Vile Village, ch. 1 (2001)
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Added on 3-Feb-21 | Last updated 3-Feb-21
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Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Wide Window (2000)
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Added on 9-Dec-20 | Last updated 9-Dec-20
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If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Wide Window (2000)
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Added on 16-Dec-20 | Last updated 16-Dec-20
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Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if, for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house, and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it might be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Wide Window (2000)
Added on 30-Dec-20 | Last updated 30-Dec-20
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There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational — or, in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t. For instance, the Baudelaire orphans have a fear of Count Olaf, which makes perfect sense, because he is an evil man who wants to destroy them. But if they were afraid of lemon meringue pie, this would be an irrational fear, because lemon meringue pie is delicious and would never hurt a soul. Being afraid of a monster under the bed is perfectly rational, because there may in fact be a monster under your bed at any time, ready to eat you all up, but fear of realtors is an irrational fear. Realtors, as I’m sure you know, are people who assist in the buying and selling of houses. Besides occasionally wearing an ugly yellow coat, the worst a realtor can do to you is show you a house that you find ugly, so it is completely irrational to be terrified of them.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Wide Window (2000)
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Added on 6-Jan-21 | Last updated 6-Jan-21
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Don’t repeat yourself. It’s not only repetitive, it’s redundant, and people have heard it before.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
Who Could That Be At This Hour?, ch. 1 (2012)
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Added on 24-Nov-20 | Last updated 24-Nov-20
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