Top 10 Quotes from ‘Designing Women’

[ buy every Designing Women DVD ever ]

10. Suzanne: What’s the big deal about sex. I mean, people talk about it as if it’s the be-all and end-all of existence and I just don’t get it. I mean, we’re talking about what, 6 or 7 seconds here? And it’s OK but it’s not as good as having someone put a crown on your head or shopping.

9. Suzanne: Where are our seats?
Julia: I don’t know. If history teaches us anything, mine will be next to a baby who smokes.

8. Charlene: We’re talkin’ about a millionaire who spends his weekends with under-privileged kids. I mean, we’re talkin’ about a Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt who still knows why Hee-Haw is funny. I mean, men like that are just not walking the streets.
Suzanne: Well, that’s good. Because men like that would be bumping into each other.

7. Julia: If you must know, Charlene, I’m at a keg party.

6. Julia: I’m saying I want you and your equipment out of here now. If you are looking for somebody to suck pearls, then I suggest you try finding yourself an oyster. Because I am not a woman who does that, as a matter of fact, I don’t know any woman who does that, because it’s stupid. And it doesn’t have any more to do with decorating than having cleavage and looking sexy has to do with working in a bank. These are not pictures about the women of Atlanta. These are about just the same thing they’re always about. And it doesn’t matter whether the clothes are on or off… it’s just the same ol’ message. And I don’t care how many pictures you’ve taken of movie stars — when you start snapping photos of serious, successful businessmen like Donald Trump and Lee Iacocca in unzipped jumpsuits with wet lips, straddling chairs, then we’ll talk.

5. Suzanne: It’s been my experience, Julia, that no matter where you go…there you are.

4. Publisher: Actually, I’m a feminist, and I and my magazine make large contributions to feminist charities.
Suzanne: Yeah, well I donate to the ASPCA, but that doesn’t make me a cat!

3. Julia: I’m saying this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ’em right down to the living room and show ’em off. See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.
Phyllis: Oh? And which side are yours on Mrs. Sugarbaker?
Julia: Both.

2. Suzanne: I have better things to do with my time than sitting around waiting for some concubine to fall outta bed. I mean, I could be home watching Green Acres.


Tell me which quotes I missed in the comments!

Before you go! It takes funding to keep this publication by and for queer women and trans people of all genders running every day. And A+ members keep the majority of our site free for everyone. Still, 99.9% of our readers are not members. A+ membership starts at just $4/month. If you’re able to, will you join A+ and keep Autostraddle here and working for everyone?

Join A+

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 914 articles for us.


  1. One of my favorite shows ever, OBVS. I have always felt like a hybrid of Julia and Suzanne. Love that you posted this. Random and perfect. Thank you.


  2. Well this made my day! I love you, Autostraddle! This was one of my family’s favorite shows.

    One of my favorite scenes is when Julia is on jury duty, and is ready to get the hell out of there…”case closed, QED, over an out!”

    • There was never a bad show. They were all good. I love the one about Bernice and the Christmas tree skirt. She took them literally and wore the skirt for the Christmas tree. Or the very best one was the time the old lady died on New Yrs eve when Olivia was born .

  3. This is my favorite television show EVER… It was probably the number one cause of my liberal and feminist ideologies.

    They were promoting girl power before it was commercially popular, a la Spice Girls.

    Also, I learned tons of information by memorizing Trivial Pursuit Q&As just like Suzanne and Charlene did in an episode so that the “Boobs” to beat the “Brains”.

    Sadly, no one will play Trivial Pursuit with me anymore. :(

    • I bought the entire series, over time, and watch it often now. What amazes me is that politically, we have not progressed at all. The issues that Julia scrams about all the time, we are still fighting for today. This show was very relevant. Any time a show takes on political issues that need to be brought out of the closet, like AIDS, for just one, it is very relevant. Loved Dixie Carters character in this show although DIXIE CARTER was a republican. Did you know that? She was old republican though and not a crazy person. I loved her anyway and her character was awesome. ALL of them were. I hated when they broke them up. ALL OVER weight gain. THAT was terrible. I did not care at all what SUZANNE weighed. THAT was another issue they tackled but they actually lost that battle when they cancelled Delta Burkes contract.

  4. THIS!!! This should be # 1!!!

    Julia: Excuse me, aren’t you Marjorie Leigh Winnick, the current Miss Georgia World?

    Marjorie: Why, yes I am.

    Julia: I’m Julia Sugarbaker, Suzanne Sugarbaker’s sister. I couldn’t help over hearing part of your conversation.

    Marjorie: Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here.

    Julia: Yes, and I gather from your comments there are a couple of other things you don’t know, Marjorie. For example, you probably didn’t know that Suzanne was the only contestant in Georgia pageant history to sweep every category except congeniality, and that is not something the women in my family aspire to anyway. Or that when she walked down the runway in her swimsuit, five contestants quit on the spot. Or that when she emerged from the isolation booth to answer the question, “What would you do to prevent war?” she spoke so eloquently of patriotism, battlefields and diamond tiaras, grown men wept. And you probably didn’t know, Marjorie, that Suzanne was not just any Miss Georgia, she was the Miss Georgia. She didn’t twirl just a baton, that baton was on fire. And when she threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down, Marjorie, my sister caught that baton, and 12,000 people jumped to their feet for sixteen and one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated her tear-stained face! And that, Marjorie – just so you will know – and your children will someday know – is the night the lights went out in Georgia!

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!