Bossypants by Tina Fey

I know that I’m very, very late to the party, but I recently finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants, the first book I borrowed from the New York Public Library…which is now overdue…I shall consider the fines a donation!

The whole book is so funny and interesting – the honeymoon cruise chapter is a stew of fascinating, scary, and romantic – and I’ve been chuckling aloud on the subway, airplanes, and other public places. I wanted to jot down and share a few quotes with you…and also have all of my favorites in one place! Enjoy!

Quotes/excerpts from Bossypants by Tina Fey in purple:

“The Myth of Not Enough”

When I worked at Saturday Night Live, I had a five A.M. argument with one of our most intelligent actresses. It was rumored that Lorne was adding another woman to the cast, and she was irate. (In fairness, she was also exhausted. It was five A.M. after writing all night.) She felt there wouldn’t be enough for the girls and that this girl was too similar to her. There wouldn’t be enough screen time to go around.

I revived my old argument: How could this be true if we made up the show? A bunch of us suggested that they collaborate instead of compete. And, of course, that’s what they did, with great success, once they were actually in a room together. But where does that initial panic come from?

This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. “You’re up for a promotion. If they go with a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.” Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.

Conclusions of her chapters on being “Very Very Skinny” and “A Little Bit Fat”

We should leave people alone about their weight. Being skinny for a while (provided you actually eat food and don’t take pills or smoke to get there) is a perfectly fine pastime. Everyone should try it once, like a super-short haircut or dating a white guy.


We should leave people alone about their weight. Being chubby for awhile (provided you don’t give yourself diabetes) is a natural phase of life and nothing to be ashamed of. Like puberty or slowly turning into a Republican.

Tina Fey’s recollection of Amy Poehler being awesome or “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it”:

Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday read-through to start. There were always a lot of noisy “comedy bits” going on in that room. Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and “unladylike.”

Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.” Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. “I don’t fucking care if you like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit. (I should make it clear that Jimmy and Amy are very good friends and there was never any real beef between them. Insert penis joke here.)

With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.

And I was tickled by this snippet about visiting relatives in the country for the holidays:

We always pull up carefully, making sure not to run over any outdoor cats. (One of the best-kept secrets of “country life” is that people accidentally crush their own pets a lot.)

Select verses from “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter”:

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and you will too if you haven’t already! Check it out from your local library or you can get it new or used at or on Kindle! The book description in either link is delightful in of itself: Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.