Why I am I writing about nose quotes? To be honest, I was listening to a show, heard a funny quote about noses, and thought, “Hey! That could be an article.” But noses really are an often-overlooked-yet-persistent part of stories. To help inspire you to use the overlooked or unexpected, here are 8 nose quotes from page, stage, & screen.
A Sampling of Nose Quotes for Writers
When talking about famous noses, really, where else could you start but with Cyrano?
As tragedies go, this one has a plethora of wit as well as a plethora of nose (poor Cyrano), and said nose has a central role in the plot. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case if Cyrano had only believed his own words:
“… a big nose is indicative
Of a soul affable, and kind, and courteous,
Liberal, brave, just like myself, and such
As you can never dare to dream yourself…”
— Cyrano from Cyrano de Bergerac
Another obvious choice. The quote, however, is not from the movie’s namesake.
“A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.”
— The Blue Fairy
That’s definitely true of Pinocchio who has a harder time lying than most. Even in his guest appearance in Shrek 2.
One of my favorite movies growing up, Court Jester is a mix of parody, comedy, and musical with a script that is wonderfully witty and actors who deliver it with a fast-paced rhythm that will leave you giggling as you catch up. This particular quote comes from the opening credits.
“Why be gloomy – cut thy nose off to spite thy face? Listen to me: a nose is hard to replace.” — Hawkins from Court Jester
Maybe, it’s not your first reaction when you’re gloomy (I know it’s not mine), but when taken into context with the saying, it actually has a surprisingly deep meaning…
This quote is an example of how something small combined with parody can equal hilarity:
“A nose by any other name could still smell.”
— Adam as Juliet in The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged
Seriously, folks, if you haven’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for?
And just to prove that it doesn’t have to be parody to be a Shakespearian nose quote…
“O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible,
As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a steeple!”
— Speed from Two Gentleman of Verona
I like how he contrasts the ideas to change the meaning. You know, like most of us sarcastic types do.
As many seasons as this television show ran, there’s probably a quote in it from about any topic you can think of. The nose, however, has its own episode.
“Major, all a nose is is a nose. It takes in air, and it breaks up the space between your eyes and your mouth. It has nothing to do with a person’s value or quality. It’s there to catch a cold through or that which to look down on people from. Enjoy it! You’ve been given a good, strong, aquiline nose.” — Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce from “Operation Noselift“
Dammit, Pierce! Where were you when Cyrano needed you?
Not to leave out poetry, here’s a little couplet by Longfellow called “The Best Medicines.”
“Joy and Temperance and Repose
Slam the door on the doctor’s nose.”
It seems appropriate to end with a bit of good advice. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “stick your nose into other people’s business/affairs.” Well, with his usual skill at surprise endings to traditional lines, Mr. Pratchett added a valuable twist:
“Don’t stick your nose where someone can pull it off and eat it.”
— Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms
Who knew a nose could be quoted from so many different angles? Even now, I feel like I’m forgetting some.
Know any great nose quotes that I missed?
If you thought, “Yes!” when you read that, please, please, share it/them because that’s kind of hilarious.