John Mulaney is best known for getting his start working as a writer on Saturday Night Live as well as his comedy specials. He has also done a variety of voice acting and other appearances, and overall is just super funny. The Internet is a big fan of his and his jokes, and some of the lines from his comedy specials are highly relatable.
Whether he’s talking about being raised Catholic or going on about how people always think he’s gay, Mulaney has a quote that is bound to make you laugh.We’ve put together a list of 15 of the funniest John Mulaney quotes that will have you busting up laughing.
Updated October 1st, 2020 by Hayley Mullen:No matter the state of the world, we all could use some more laughter. It's healthy, it's fun, and it helps us feel connected to other human beings. John Mulaneyis an expert at absurd stories, setups, and delivery, and his comedy is both super relatable and punches up instead of down. For those who haven't seen all of his Netflix specials or are looking for particular jokes that became instant classics, look no further than the compiled list below.
15 'COULD BE A NURSERY'
Mulaney has a certain way of impersonating people that is hilarious and captivating at the same time. In this joke, he talks about his and his wife's experience with their real estate, including her bubbly attitude and way she would try to oversell a house that should really be avoided.
Immediately after (and sometimes even before) couples get married, people will inevitably start asking about children, whether or not they want them, and if so, when they will have them. The idea that a committed relationship between people isn't a family until there are children to raise is a flawed one, and Mulaney comments on it and brings the laughs when talking about his experience with their real estate agent.
14 'I WAS OVER ON THE BENCH'
It's always a trip to get a glimpse into John Mulaney's childhood, especially since he himself has said that "I look like I was just sitting in a room on a chair eating saltines for, like, 28 years." This was from a legendary story of a conversation with his father, a lawyer and debate team champion who preferred to "pick us apart psychologically," as Mulaney says. The combination of his dad's intensity, his mom's diversion, and the fact that Mulaney was only a 6 year old makes this joke a heavy hitter, delivered all in just one minute.
13 'A HORSE LOOSE IN A HOSPITAL'
Perhaps the most relevant/current of Mulaney's jokes is the scenario of a horse being loose in a hospital. Though he never directly says it, it's a clever way to allude to the political atmosphereand discuss just how unprecedented and wild things have been using an equally wild metaphor.
There have been countless takes and commentary on the political climate of the United States and North America in general, but Mulaney manages to craft a joke that is ahilarious juxtaposition. The whole bit is a trip worth taking.
12 'STREET SMARTS!'
There's a lot to love about this bit; the Detective Bittenbinder voice, the repeated catchphrase, and Mulaney's fear of "secondary locations," but the fascinating combination of relatability and absurdity is what makes it so hilarious. Many people in westernized schools would have speakers come in to discuss a serious topic such as drugs or stranger danger, but Bittenbinder seems like a character out of a cop television show who's seen too much and become numb to it all. Of course, Mulaney's delivery makes it all the more ridiculous, especially since he has so many ludicrous stories from his younger years.
11 'HEY JOHN, IT'S COLLEGE. YOU REMEMBER?'
It's something millions of young adults can relate to. While drowning in student loans and no savings in sight, your old college comes knocking on your door asking for more money. Mulaney goes off on his college, which he's absolutely entitled to since he gave them $120,000 of his money already.
Anyone who has ever been messaged by their alumni association will feel seen by this joke, and considering the $1.56 trillion in American student debt, there are probably a lot of people that can relate.
10 'IN TERMS OF INSTANT RELIEF, CANCELLING PLANS IS LIKE HEROIN'
When you enter adulthood, things start to change. While as a kid and teenager it was always fun to have plans and get outside, adulthood can be super draining.
With all the responsibilities adults have, being able to cancel some of them is one of the best feelings in the world. Mulaney is able to express this feeling perfectly here in a perfect, slightly dramatic way.
9 '13-YEAR-OLDS ARE THE MEANEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD'
Middle school is one of the worst times of life for many people. The hormones are raging and the kids around you are just mean. John Mulaney brings us all back to this dramatic time of life with this hilarious quote where he goes on to say, “They terrify me to this day because 8th graders will make fun of you but in an accurate way. They will get to the thing that you don’t like about you.” Even adults are sometimes scared of how cruel and insightful middle schoolers can be.
8 'NOW, I WAS RAISED CATHOLIC'
This intro quote is somewhat of a catchall for a lot of Mulaney’s bits. He often talks about what it’s like to be raised Catholic and turns anecdotes from his childhood into hilarious stories that people of all faiths can relate to.
That’s one of the things that makes his comedy so great is that he’s able to make audiences laugh even if their own lived experience was quite a bit different than his.
7 'YOU HAVE THE MORAL BACKBONE OF A CHOCOLATE ECLAIR'
During his Netflix special, The Comeback Kid, Mulaney talks about telling his dad he was going to be a Democrat and that he planned on voting for Bill Clinton. This whole story is hilarious and definitely worth listening to. After this pronouncement, Mulaney’s father tells him, “You have the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair.” Even out of context this line is pretty dang funny and one that can be used in multiple situations.
6 'AND THEN HE ORDERED ONE BLACK COFFEE FOR HIMSELF AND KEPT DRIVING'
This story is one that has become somewhat infamous on the Internet. You might have seen people talking about this line (or using it in a meme) but not realized that it originated from John Mulaney. In this bit, he talks about driving in the car with his parents and asking his dad to go to McDonald’s, saying, "We started chanting, McDonald's, McDonald's, McDonald's! And my dad pulled into the drive-thru, and we started cheering and then he ordered one black coffee for himself and kept driving.”
This story is super funny for parents and adults everywhere, and it shows that Mulaney’s dad is a bit of an icon.
5 'I’M LIKE AN IPHONE'
Another way that Mulaney’s comedy is super relatable is when it comes to getting older. While being in college and in your early 20s might still be fun and games, Mulaney talks about the woes of entering into mid-adulthood. This hilarious quote in its entirety reads, “I’m like an iPhone, it’s going to be worse versions of this every year, plus I get super hot in the middle of the afternoon for no reason.” Anyone who is starting to get to a phase of life where they aren’t considered young can relate to this.
4 'I WAS IN CONNECTICUT RECENTLY DOING WHITE PEOPLE STUFF…'
Mulaney isn’t afraid to at times talk about issues of social justice, and he often does so in hilarious ways. He’s pretty aware of his privilege as a straight white man, and he makes jokes about it that can make all kinds of people laugh.
This line might be short and sweet, but it’s definitely one that is dang funny and easy to come up with your own image of what kind of activities he’s talking about.
3 'JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE ACCURATE DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE INTERESTING'
Sometimes, Mulaney is able to offer some sage words of wisdom mixed in with all of his hilarious stories. During this part of his special, Mulaney says, “You’re like the kid at the sleepover who, after midnight, is like, ‘It’s tomorrow now.’ Get out of here with your technicalities. Just because you’re accurate doesn’t mean you’re interesting.”
It just goes to show that being right isn’t always the best thing to be and sometimes being too concerned with being literal is just annoying.
2 'I’LL KEEP ALL MY EMOTIONS RIGHT HERE, AND THEN ONE DAY I’LL DIE'
Mulaney has a way of making us all feel a little bit called out. With this bit, he’s talking about his Irish ancestry and how Irish people tend to keep their feelings held inside their entire lives. Obviously, doing so is not a great thing. While the specific story might be about being Irish, many of us can relate to holding our emotions close to the chest even at our own detriment.
1 'YOU REMEMBER BEING 12 WHEN YOU’RE LIKE, ‘NO ONE LOOK AT ME OR I’LL KILL MYSELF''
Once again, John Mulaney is able to capture that feeling of adolescence in a succinct and laughs-inducing manner.Being 12 years old is no walk in the park and every day can feel like you’re being judged. When you’re in middle school, feeling embarrassed continually is just part of the territory. Mulaney is able to sum all this up in just one short, hilarious line.
NEXT:13 Best Comedies According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 12 Stuck At 0%)
Amanda Steele (1101 Articles Published)
Amanda is a freelance writer and entertainment journalist.
More From Amanda Steele