‘Sesame Street’ 50th anniversary: The best character quotes ever

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Ever since it premiered in 1969, “Sesame Street” has been dispensing wisdom to audiences of all ages. Some of it is funny, some of it is moving and smart. In honor of the 50th anniversary, here are the best quotes from the show’s most iconic characters including Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and more.

Kermit the Frog with the gang of characters on "Sesame Street" in 2014.
Kermit the Frog with the gang of characters on “Sesame Street” in 2014.©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Evere

“Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending.” — Kermit the Frog

Simple and concise enough for kids to understand, yet useful life advice everyone needs to hear about having agency.

Big Bird on "Sesame Street" in 1969.
Big Bird on “Sesame Street” in 1969.

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.” — Big Bird

An 8-foot-2 yellow creature makes for an unorthodox therapist, but over the years, Big Bird has dispensed countless nuggets of wisdom — and in simpler language than a shrink would, to boot.

Cookie Monster in a 1969 episode of "Sesame Street."
Cookie Monster in a 1969 episode of “Sesame Street.”Henson Associates/Courtesy: Ever

“Friend something better than chocolate ice cream … Maybe friend somebody you give up last cookie for. — Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster is a goof, but occasionally he supplies genuine insights about friendship and generosity.

Oscar the Grouch in "Sesame Street" in 1969.
Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street” in 1969.Courtesy Everett Collection

“You’d be a grouch, too, if you lived in a trash can!” — Oscar the Grouch

In typical “Sesame Street” fashion, this has layers: It’s Oscar’s signature quote, but it also invites the audience to feel empathy and put themselves in somebody else’s shoes — or trash can.

“Of all the benches in all the parks in the world, I had to pick this one!” — Mr. Johnson

This “Casablanca” reference shows how the show became such a hit for audiences of all ages, weaving in Easter eggs and references for adults to enjoy, too.

“It’s good to be alive.” — Cookie Monster

And finally, some good old-fashioned life affirmation. Nobody can say “Sesame Street” promotes nihilism. Its constant positivity remains a key reason why it’s a staple in so many different households around the world.

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