It was bound to happen sooner or later. After 25 seasons of tough love and no nonsense, Judy Sheindlin has announced her show, Judge Judy, is coming to an end. Don’t fret — you still have another year to catch fresh episodes before you’re left with syndicated reruns. Plus, Sheindlin is already hinting at a new show called Judy Justice (exact details are still under wraps).
This is definitely the end of an epic era though. Over the years, Sheindlin has become a legal icon, or just a plain icon. She even holds an official Guinness World Records as the longest career as a TV judge. By the way, she also takes the honor of highest paid TV personality, earning $47 million a year. The show premiered September 16 in 1996, and it’ll wrap in 2021. But until then, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of that Judge Judy wisdom that she has graced us over the years. Here are 15 great quotes from the show, along with great lessons and teachable moments from each one.
“Have you ever heard of the KISS principle? Keep It Simple, Stupid?”
Judge Judy always sticks to the facts on her show, and it’s a good life lesson, too. When you go back to the facts and keep it simple, usually the truth comes out.
“I eat liars for breakfast.”
Anyone who has watched Judge Judy knows that she hates lying. She was almost a truth-o-meter all on her own with her ability to know when someone was trying to pull the wool over her eyes. (She even called herself a truth machine.) If we can follow the simple rule of “Don’t lie,” then we’d all be a lot better off.
“It’s not a good thing to start off by irritating the person who’s supposed to decide your case.”
This quote is a good reminder of authority and respect. Everyone has someone to answer to — a parent, a boss — and it’s important to remember to treat those people with respect if you want things to turn out in your favor.
“My grandmother always told me; beauty fades, but dumb is forever!”
Ah yes, this is a classic quote from Judy. It’s a reminder that you can’t rely on any single thing, like looks, if you want to succeed. There are so many other things that matter, it’s best to be well-rounded.
“That’s going to be the most expensive curse word you ever said!”
Judge Judy does not like cursing. She’s even been known to kick people out of the courtroom because of foul language. This is a reminder that what we say and how we say it matters. Think before you speak.
“Um is not an answer.”
Our words matter. Not only does Judge Judy not like cursing in her courtroom, but she wants you to be prepared and use words that matter. This is a good lesson on preparedness and making every word count.
“I think you ought to be quiet. You know, they don’t need anybody stirring up the pot. “
You can help someone and even get involved sometimes, but there are good and bad ways to do so. Don’t focus on the negative or try to make someone look bad just for the sake of doing so.
“Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
This is another classic line from Judge Judy — it was even the title of one of her books ($12; Amazon). This quote is an empowering reminder that we’re all capable and smart. Don’t let someone dupe you or try to pull one over on you. If they do, call them out!
“Don’t make a cemetery of your life by burying your talents.”
We all have talents and untapped potential. This quote is a good reminder that we should all take a moment to highlight what we’re good at and be proud of ourselves. Sure, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, but remember the positives, too.
“The time to change was yesterday; the time to wake up is now.”
We’ve all had moments we regret or situations that we wish we would’ve handled differently. This quote is a good lesson that it’s never too late to wake up and take action.
“I couldn’t give a rat’s tutu about your emotional distress.”
Don’t go into Judge Judy’s courtroom with excuses, and don’t do this in life either. It’s easy to come up with reasons things didn’t work out or why you did what you did, but it’s important to take ownership of your actions.
“Little things happen to us during the course of our lives when we were children that stay with us.”
Don’t forget about where you came from or your history. In both good and bad, it shapes who we are as people. Plus, it’s important to remember this is also true for the kids in our own lives.
“Did you forget you were coming to court today?”
When you show up, be ready. This is a good lesson for just about any situation — work, school, family events, etc. If you take the time to show up, then be as ready as if you were facing Judge Judy herself.
“I’m the boss, Applesauce.”
Let this be a lesson about taking charge when it matters. If you are a boss, then own that. If you need to get things done, then get them done with authority. The next time you need to tackle something big or important, just remember this phrase and then get the job done in a true Judge Judy way.
“Do you realize that every second of my life is precious?”
This is a great one. Always remember that life is precious, so try to make the most of your time every single day. It seems as though Judge Judy has done this herself, and it’s a great act to follow.