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  • Rachel Burchfield

I watched Sex and the City so you don’t have to (but you should!)

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

I watched Sex and the City so you don’t have to (but you should!)

By Rachel Burchfield

I try to be the best person I can be, and sometimes that includes making extraordinary sacrifices like binging all six seasons of the best television show ever made, Sex and the City, and pulling out the best quotes and lessons from each season and each episode. I mean, I am really doing my part here to make the world a better place. So, you’re welcome.

In all seriousness, I had a ball of a time re-watching my favorite show from start to finish as an adult, and not a teenager who thought she knew about men and sex and friendship and womanhood but really had no clue. (I was 12 when the show premiered on June 6, 1998, and 17 when it wrapped on February 22, 2004. Yeah. I knew nothing. And no, my mom did not know I was watching the HBO show – I snuck around and did it, holding my finger on the power button of my little white TV the entire airtime for fear she’d walk in on me and catch me watching. She never did, though, because she was in the other room, watching it herself.) Sure, I’ve seen the show since 2004, but in patchy reruns on TBS here and there, never in order of air date.

So, from me to you, the best quotes and lessons from each season and each episode. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha dropped a lot of knowledge in those six seasons, so get ready to take notes. Will you learn something? As Mr. Big would say, abso-fucking-lutely.

Season 1

Episode 1:

It’s like the riddle of the sphinx – why are there so many great unmarried women, and no great unmarried men? – Carrie

Episode 2:

I happen to love the way I look. – Samantha

It was hard to imagine that anyone so beautiful could ever be lonely. – Carrie, talking about Derek “The Bone”

I think you’re luminous. – Skipper to Miranda

But the thing is this – after a while, you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh, you know what I mean? – Mr. Big

Episode 3:

Charlotte treated marriage like a sorority she was desperately hoping to pledge. – Carrie

Are you telling me you haven’t gotten those “poor single you” looks? – Miranda

I hate those. – Carrie

Married people don’t hate singles – they just want us figured out. – Carrie

Another time I hate being single is when married friends surprise fix you up. – Carrie

He was the flesh and blood equivalent of a DKNY dress – you know it’s not your style but it’s right there, so you try it on anyway. – Carrie

Everywhere I looked people were standing in twos. It was like Noah’s upper West side, rent-controlled ark. – Carrie

Sure, it’d be great to have that special someone to walk home with. But sometimes, there’s nothing better than meeting your single girlfriends for a night at the movies. – Carrie

Episode 4:

Sometimes you need a second opinion – with doctors, real estate, men… – Carrie

I had entered an interesting chapter – I had outgrown the boys of my past and not quite grown into the men of my future. – Carrie

Maybe all men are a drug. Sometimes they bring you down, but sometimes, like now, they get you so high. – Carrie

Episode 5:

Just because Venice was sinking didn’t mean my morals had to go down with it. – Carrie

Episode 6:

The truth is, I was dying to sleep with him. But isn’t delayed gratification the definition of maturity? – Carrie

Interesting dress. – Mr. Big

Meaning? – Carrie

Interesting dress. – Mr. Big

I will not be the first one to speak. And if he never calls me again, I will always think of him fondly. As an asshole. – Carrie

Episode 7:

I’d committed the cardinal sin – I’d forsaken my girlfriends for my new boyfriend. – Carrie

I felt like a fool. I had gone so far out on a limb with my feelings that I didn’t realize I was standing out there alone. – Carrie

When life gets this confusing, sometimes there’s only one thing to do – attend a fabulous party. – Carrie

I’ve done the merry-go-round, I’ve been through the revolving door, and I feel like I’ve found somebody I can stand still with for a minute. Don’t you want to stand still with me? – Carrie

Episode 8:

Why is it that putting a tie around a man’s neck is sometimes even sexier than taking it off? – Carrie

Episode 9:

It’s always better to marry someone who loves you more than you love them. – Brooke to Carrie

My Zen teacher also said the only way to true happiness was to live in the moment and not worry about the future. Of course, he died penniless and single. – Carrie

Episode 10:

Let’s be honest. Sometimes there is nothing harder in life than being happy for somebody else. Like lottery winners. Or extremely successful people who are 27. And then, there’s that hell on earth that only your closest friends can inflict on you – the baby shower. – Carrie

Well I, for one, love my life, and I will not be made to feel inadequate by all this baby talk. – Samantha

It’s very strange when the life you never had flashes before your eyes. – Carrie

Episode 11:

There’s a moment in every relationship when romance gives way to reality. – Carrie

Normal is the halfway point between what you want and what you can get. – Samantha

I think I’m in love with him and I’m terrified he’s going to leave me because I’m not perfect. – Carrie

Well then stop! Why don’t you show him more of this Carrie? She’s pretty great. – Miranda

Episode 12:

She simply refused to believe the idea that she’d never get married. All she had to do was keep believing it would happen. – Carrie about Charlotte

After he left, I cried for a week. And then I realized I do have faith – faith in myself. Faith that I would one day meet someone who would be sure that I was the one. – Carrie

Season 2

Episode 1:

It takes half the total time you went out with someone to get over them. – Charlotte

How does it happen that four smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? It’s like seventh grade with bank accounts! What about us? What we think, we feel, we know – Christ! Does it always have to be about them? Just give me a call when you’re ready to talk about something besides men for a change. – Miranda

And finally, the most important breakup rule – no matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you’ll never get through it without your friends. – Carrie

Episode 3:

You can tell everything about a person by who their friends are. – Miranda

Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us, understand us, and kiss our three heads and make it all better. – Carrie

Episode 4:

We’re all alone, even when we’re with men. So I suggest you go through life like I do – enjoying men, but not expecting them to fill you up. – Samantha

When did being alone become the modern-day equivalent of being a leper? – Carrie

She hadn’t expected to be caught out alone, without a book, or a project, or any of her dining alone armor. – Carrie

Instead of running away from my fear of being alone, I’d better sit down and take that fear to lunch. So, I sat there and had a glass of wine, alone. No books, no man, no friends, no armor, no faking. – Carrie

Episode 7:

Excuse me, I’m not the gift person. That’s some other B-list friend…It’s a bullshit job, Carrie. People know what to do with the guestbook. – Miranda on being the guestbook girl at a wedding

Episode 9:

So maybe you can’t change a man, but once in a blue moon, you can change a woman. – Carrie

Episode 11:

Man may have discovered fire, but women discovered how to play with it. – Carrie

Episode 12:

Why is it so hard for you to factor me into your life in any real way? – Carrie to Mr. Big

You said you loved me. – Carrie

I do. – Mr. Big

Then why does it hurt so fucking much? – Carrie

There were no words left. We’d said them all. – Carrie

Did I ever love Big, or was I addicted to the pain? The exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable? – Carrie

Episode 13:

Look, we’re as fucked up as you are. It’s like the blind leading the blind! – Samantha

We spent our childhood playing games – was it just a primer for the games we play as adults? – Carrie

Episode 14:

Did I really believe a relationship had to be difficult in order to work? – Carrie

Episode 15:

The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into, and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself. – Carrie

Episode 17:

I wondered, what was the allure of the 20s? On the one hand there’s great skin tone, the thrill of fresh experience, and the sense of a consequence-free life full of endless possibilities. While on the other there are horrible apartments, sexually inexperienced men, and embarrassing errors in fashion judgment. – Carrie

Episode 18:

I don’t get it. – Mr. Big

And you never did. – Carrie

Then I had a thought – maybe I didn’t break Big. Maybe the problem was, he couldn’t break me. Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with. – Carrie

Season 3

Episode 1:

I’ve been dating since I was 15, I’m exhausted, where is he? – Charlotte

Episode 3:

Do you have a rolling pin? – Miranda

On me? – Carrie

In your kitchen. – Miranda

Are you kidding me? I use my oven for storage. – Carrie

I had to accept the fact that, in life, some women are simply better…I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it…And I can’t feel bad about that. – Carrie

Episode 7:

We whine when we don’t have a boyfriend, and we whine when we do. – Miranda

Being in an actual relationship means taking a leap of faith, no matter how many times one may have been disappointed in the past. – Carrie

Episode 10:

It doesn’t matter how much you have. If you don’t have a guy that cares about you, it doesn’t mean shit. – Samantha

Episode 12:

It’s hard to find people who will love you no matter what. I was lucky enough to find three of them. – Carrie

Episode 17:

The universe might not always play fair, but at least it’s got a hell of a sense of humor. – Carrie

Episode 18:

After a certain age and a certain number of relationships, if it still isn’t working and the exes seem to be moving on and we don’t, perhaps the problem isn’t the last boyfriend, or the one before him, or even the one before him. Could it be the problem isn’t them but, horror of horrors, is it us? – Carrie

Season 4

Episode 1:

If you are single, there’s one thing you should always take with you when you go out on a Saturday night – your friends. – Carrie

Don’t laugh at me, but maybe we could be each other’s soul mates. And then we could let men be these great, nice guys to have fun with. – Charlotte

Episode 2:

You know, when I first moved to New York and I was broke, I would sometimes buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more. – Carrie

Because when real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep on walking. – Carrie

Episode 9:

The only thing I have made in the kitchen is a mess. And several little fires. – Carrie

Episode 17:

Your father leaves with all the answers and you spend your life asking questions about men. – Julian

Later that night I got to thinking about fathers, or the lack of them. Some say a daughter’s relationship with her father is the model for all of her subsequent relationships with men. Is that just pop psychology or is there some truth to it? And if you were given a less than perfect model, does it mean a life of less than perfect relationships? – Carrie

Do you think it can be as simple as hey, my father walked out, therefore I’ll always be messed up about men? – Carrie

I admit it’s tempting to wish for the perfect boss or the perfect parent or the perfect outfit. But maybe the best any of us can do is not quit. Play the hand we’ve been given and accessorize the outfit we’ve got. – Carrie

Episode 18:

Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course we would never fall in love or have babies or be who we are. After all, seasons change…people come into your life and people go, but it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. – Carrie

Season 5

Episode 1:

Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be. – Carrie

Episode 5:

I sparked with this person. I never spark. – Carrie

Why do we let the one thing we don’t have affect how we feel about the things we do have? – Carrie

That’s the key to having it all. Stop expecting it to look like what you thought it was going to look like. – Enid Frick

Episode 6:

If I worried about what every bitch in New York was saying about me, I’d never leave the house. – Samantha

Why do we only believe the negative things people say about us, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary? Why do we believe our worst reviews? – Carrie

The truth is, at any given moment, someone, somewhere, could be making a face about you. But it’s the reviews you give yourself that matter. – Carrie

Episode 8:

Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies. – Carrie

Season 6

Episode 7:

Everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t know what it is yet. – Charlotte

Episode 8:

I would love to find a man who is strong enough to catch me. – Carrie

Episode 9:

Think about it – if you’re single, after graduation, there is nothing that celebrates you. – Carrie

Episode 10:

So maybe it won’t look the way you thought it would look in high school. But it’s good to remember love is possible. Anything is possible. – Carrie

Episode 19:

You can drive down this street all you want, ‘cause I don’t live here anymore. – Carrie

Episode 20:

I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love. – Carrie

Later that day, I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic. Those that are old and familiar. Those that bring up lots of questions. Those that bring you somewhere unexpected. Those that bring you far from where you started. And those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous. – Carrie

© Rachel Burchfield, 2019

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