Although Golden Girls had no shortage of sadness and sentiment, the heart of the beloved sitcom has always been its clever sense of humor. Many of the shows funniest moments involve Sophia Petrillo — wise-cracking old lady and matriarch of the Miami home.
According to canon, Sophia suffered a stroke sometime before the girls moved in together. This stroke destroyed the part of her brain that sensors what she says. Although Sophia technically can't help herself, it's obvious that much of what she says is just her sarcastic, old-world personality. Below are ten of her very best one-liners.
10 "Look In The Mirror, Blubber Butt."
Season 3, Episode 11 'Three On A Couch'
Season three finds our favorite girls in what they believe is a desperate need for professional help. They each believe the others have become impossible to live with. The episode is full of flashbacks, each one displaying the girls' trademark personality traits: Dorothy's insensitivity, Sohpia's storytelling, Blanche's sex drive, and Rose's stupidity. By the end of the session, the girls are told their differences are irreconcilable and the best thing they can do is part ways.
When they get home, Sophia convinces the girls that their differences are irrelevant by telling a story about four women in Miami who share a house. "They laugh, they cry, they eat. They love, they hate, they eat. Every time you turn around, they eat." Rose asks, "Sophia, are those four women us?" To which Sophia responds without hesitation, "Look in the mirror, blubber butt."
9 "Banana Boat Time, He's Talking To Himself."
Season 2, Episode 1 'End Of The Curse'
After Blanche realizes she is experiencing menopause, she suffers a mental breakdown. She cannot accept that she is growing older. After growing increasingly concerned, the girls escort the now-hysterical Blanche to see a therapist. While she is inside with the doctor, Sophia, Rose, and Dorothy sit in the waiting room.
"See him?" Sophia motions toward the man across from them. "Total fruitcake." Dorothy tells Sophia that she's being ridiculous and that perfectly normal people see psychiatrists. Sophia gestures towards the man again. "Banana boat time, he's talking to himself," Dorothy argues that the man is not talking to himself, that his dentures have simply slipped. When Sophia approaches the man and asks if he is, in fact, talking to himself, the man tells her that he isn't. He's talking to Franwok, his martian friend who landed in his backyard.
8 "You're Standing Over Me With Pores Like That And I Think I'm On The Moon!"
Season 1, Episode 10 'Heart Attack'
In season one, Sophia suffers an esophageal spasm that everyone mistakes for a heart attack. As she is lying on the couch, eyes closed, a panicked Dorothy leans over her. Sophia screams.
"What, Ma, what?" Dorothy asks. "What?" Sophia responds. "You're sitting on top of me! I open my eyes, I see pores like that, I think I'm on the moon!"
7 "Thank You, You Bed-Hopping Relic."
Season 7, Episode 18 'Ebbtide VI: The Wrath Of Stan'
After the second disastrous attempt to find Sophia a new pair of shoes, Sophia, Blanche, and Dorothy sit on the couch together. Sophia is holding a balloon on a stick that she got from the shoe store after causing such a scene. A disgruntled Blanche asks Sophia why she insists on being so difficult about the shoe-shopping process.
"Sophia, there's something I don't understand. You're always a bit ornery, unpleasant, impolite, even downright mean —that's part of your charm— "Thank you, you bed-hopping relic." Blanche pops Sophia's balloon, and the two resume a conversation about the losses of old age.
6 "There Is Something To The Power Of Suggestion."
Season 2, Episode 23 'Son-in-Law Dearest'
Rose reveals that she has never seen I Love Lucy after Blanche asks her to stay up all night and watch a marathon of the show together. Rose says that she and her husband, Charlie, never had a television. Blanche tells Rose that it seems to her that Charlie was cheap. "I'll say," Rose laughs. "Charlie was a wonderful man, but he could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo pooped."
The camera pans to a wide-eyed Sophia, who says before scurrying away, "I'll tell you, there is something to the power of suggestion. Excuse me."
5 "I Wish I Could Say The Same For Your Thighs."
Season 6, Episode 19 'Melodrama'
'Melodrama' chronicles the ups and downs of Blanche believing she has fallen in love with her go-to guy, Mel Bushman. Although it's clear to everyone but Blanche that the two of them having nothing in common beyond friendship with benefits, Blanche remains adamant.
"Mel and I belong together." Sophia immediately fires back, "I wish I could say the same for your thighs. God, I'm hot tonight."
4 "Your Heart's In The Right Place, But I Don't Know Where The Hell Your Brain Is."
Season 5, Episode 1 'Sick and Tired'
Sophia walks into the kitchen to find Rose separating egg yolks from the egg whites and storing them in a sandwich bag. "Rose, what the hell are you doing?" She asks. "I'm making omelets for us without yolks so we don't get too much cholesterol. That leaves us all these yolks, which I hate to throw out, so I thought we'd give them to the homeless."
"Fine," Sophia says. "Give them egg yolks. They'll die of heart attacks, they won't need homes. Your heart's in the right place, Rose, but I don't know where the hell your brain is."
3 "Jealousy Is A Very Ugly Thing, Dorothy, And So Are You In Anything Backless."
Season 2, Episode 2 'Ladies Of The Evening'
After Rose, Dorothy and Blanche are mistakenly identified as prostitutes and taken to jail while on their way to a Burt Reynolds afterparty, Sophia bails them out. Sophia's kindness does not come without a price — she demands to be given one of the three Burt Reynolds tickets that she was left out of in the first place. After they refuse to give her a ticket, she snatches them for herself and leaves the girls to stay put behind bars.
The next day, Sophia happily tells the girls stories of her celebrity encounters at Burt Reynold's party. When Dorothy accuses her of lying about meeting so many famous people, Sophia says, "Jealousy is a very ugly thing, Dorothy, and so are you in anything backless."
2 "Have I Given You Any Indication At All That I Care?"
Season 1, Episode 24 'Big Daddy'
After a tired Sophia explains to Dorothy that Rose kept her up all night, afraid of the storm, Rose comes into the kitchen, apologetic.
"Sophia, I want to explain about last night. When I was a little girl, one summer we had a terrible thunderstorm—" "Excuse me, Rose. Have I given you any indication at all that I care?"
1 "And The World Heaves A Collective Sigh Of Relief."
Season 4, Episode 24 'Foreign Exchange'
In season four, Blanche rushes into the living room and excitedly asks the girls if they have ever heard of dirty dancing. She wants them to sign up for classes with her. "Oh no," Dorothy says. "I can't myself swinging my hips and wildly gyrating my pelvis. I'm not interested."
Sophia responds, "And the world heaves a collective sigh of relief."