Year in Review: The Best Quotes of 2013

As 2013 winds down, we reflect on the words—funny and serious—that proved to be history in the making.

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“I want to look out one more time. I’m not going to see this again.”

“I want to look out one more time. I’m not going to see this again.”Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images
—President Barack Obama, surveying the crowd at his second inauguration

“I was the Justin Bieber of the ’70s. Really. Ask your mother.”

“I was the Justin Bieber of the ’70s. Really. Ask your mother.”Getty Images
—Barry Manilow, to his audience on the opening night of his Broadway show

“I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen.”

“I’m basically the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen.”Kena Betancur/ Getty Images
—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as he ate a doughnut on a late-night talk show

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"I'm a flawed character."

"I'm a flawed character."Peter Dejong/AP Images
—Lance Armstrong, admitting in a TV interview that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles

“Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier, but everyone is entitled to a chance.”

“Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier,  but everyone is entitled to a chance.” Pool /Getty Images
—Former defense secretary Leon Panetta, about lifting the U.S. military ban on women in combat

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell, and that’s really embarrassing, but thank you.”

“You guys are just standing  up because you feel bad that I fell, and that’s really embarrassing,  but thank you.”Jason Merritt/Getty Images
—Jennifer Lawrence, after she stumbled onstage to accept the Academy Award for Best Actress

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"It's wonderful to see you in good health and combative as ever."

"It's wonderful to see you in good health and combative as ever."Win McNamee/ Getty Images
—Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain to Hillary Clinton, in a hearing about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya a month after she had fainted from dehydration 

"Please put the harps back in the closet."

"Please put the harps back in the closet."Courtesy of Jean Becker
—Jean Becker, aide to former president George H. W. Bush, after the president was admitted to a Houston hospital for complications from bronchitis

“If you’re not getting a call from a terrorist organization, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“If you’re not getting a call from  a terrorist organization, you’ve  got nothing to worry about.”Alex Wong/ Getty Images
—South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, on the uproar over surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency

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“I never was asked, Did you see her in person?”

“I never was asked, Did you see her in person?”Kent Horner/Getty Images
—Manti Te’o, Notre Dame football star, to Katie Couric about Lennay Kekua, with whom he’d claimed to have an online relationship

“I’ll tell you what, if there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me.”

“I’ll tell you what, if there’s anyone out  there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you’re out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me.”Jason Merritt/ Getty Images
—Paula Deen, on the Today show, about using offensive language about race

“My arms are aching like you wouldn’t believe.”

“My arms are aching like you wouldn’t believe.”Taylor Hill /Getty Images
—Daredevil Nik Wallenda, upon completing his high-wire walk over the Grand Canyon

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“I was Hannah Montana’s mother … Where did I go wrong?”

“I was Hannah Montana’s mother … Where did I go wrong?”Laura Cavanaugh/ Getty Images
—Brooke Shields, on Miley Cyrus

"The administration does not support blowing up planets."

"The administration does not support blowing up planets."Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
—Paul Shawcross, chief of science and space in the White House Office of Management and Budget, rejecting a viral petition for the creation of a national-defense "Death Star"

“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen.”

“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen.” Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images
—Anthony Fauci, MD, of the National Institutes of Health, regarding the promising treatment of a baby born with HIV

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"It's stupidity. But you can't arrest somebody for being stupid."

"It's stupidity. But you can't arrest somebody for being stupid."Keith Srakocic/ AP Images
—Fred Abdalla, sheriff of Jefferson County, Ohio, explaining why he didn't arrest the teens who witnessed the Steubenville rape

“I would give $200 million for my dad to be back here and be alive. There’s no price on the hell you go through with this.”

“I would give $200 million for my dad to be  back here and be alive. There’s no price on the hell you  go through with this.”Win McNamee/ Getty Images
—Garrett Webster, son of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, on the $756 million NFL settlement to compensate former players with brain injuries

“Here’s some Twinkies trivia for you: Twinkies are the only food that has a longer shelf life than the life of the average shelf.”

“Here’s some Twinkies trivia for you:  Twinkies are the only food that has a longer  shelf life than the life of the average shelf.”Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images
—Jay Leno, on the snack returning to grocery shelves eight months after Hostess’s bankruptcy

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“He’s got way more than me. Thank God.”

“He’s got way more than me. Thank God.” Chris Jackson/ Getty Images
—Prince William, responding to a reporter’s question about the royal heir’s hair

“Twenty years from now, if there is some obscure Trivial Pursuit question, I am confident I will be the answer.”

“Twenty years from now, if there is some obscure Trivial Pursuit question, I am confident I will be the answer.”Mark Wilson/Getty Images
—Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, in remarks opposing the Affordable Care Act made during a 21-hour marathon speech

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

“One child, one teacher, one book, and  one pen can change the world.” Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
—Pakistani student activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012

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“The era of the lawn in the West is over.”

“The era of the lawn in the West is over.” Courtesy of University Communications, University of Wisconsin.
—Paul Robbins, director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, on dwindling water supplies in the Southwest

“You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”

“You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”Paul Marotta/ Getty Images
—Former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to lawmakers at a hearing on gun violence

“I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

“I made a strong choice that in no way  diminishes my femininity.”Karwai Tang/ Getty Images
—Angelina Jolie, on her double mastectomy after learning she carried the breast cancer gene

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"Lean in."

"Lean in."Britta Pedersen/ Corbis
—Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, who suggests that more women should strive for professional success

“This amount of carnage in the civilian population, this is what we expect from war.”

“This amount of carnage in the civilian population,  this is what we expect from war.” Courtesy of Massachusetts General Hospital
—Alasdair Conn, MD, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital, after the Boston Marathon bombing

“What they did on Twister was pretty damn accurate.”

“What they did on <i>Twister</i> was pretty damn accurate.”Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images
—Truck driver David Bergquist, after a powerful tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma

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“I came to commemorate the greatest hero of our modern age. She took a nation on its knees and breathed new life into it.”

“I came to commemorate the greatest hero of  our modern age. She took a nation on its knees  and breathed new life into it.”Oli Scarff/ Getty Images
—Anthony Boutall, who camped out overnight near St. Paul’s Cathedral to see the funeral procession for former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”David Levenson/ Getty Images
—George Saunders, at a Syracuse University commencement

“The Pope buys a 1984 Renault … Now, there’s a man who believes in the power of prayer.”

“The Pope buys a 1984 Renault … Now, there’s a man  who believes in the power of prayer.” Charles Krupa/ AP Images
@CarTalk, on Pope Francis’s latest ride

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“It’s the most important battle of the 21st century, whether what we have in common is more important than their differences.”

“It’s the most important battle of the 21st century, whether what we have in common is more important than their differences.”Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
—Former president Bill Clinton, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship, is recorded.”

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything that  I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship, is recorded.” Handout/ Getty Images
—Edward Snowden, on the U.S. government monitoring Internet usage

“We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”

“We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest  people you’ll ever meet.”Christian Petersen/Getty Images
—Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo, after a wildfire killed 19 firefighters outside Phoenix, Arizona

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“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.”

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.” Angelo Merendino /Getty Images
—Michelle Knight, one of three captives held prisoner for ten years in Ohio, to the Cleveland Police Department after they rescued her

“Instead of being tucked safely in their beds at home, we saw rows of children lying side by side, sprawled on a hospital floor, all of them dead from Assad’s gas, and surrounded by parents and grandparents who had suffered the same fate.”

“Instead of being tucked safely in  their beds at home, we saw rows of children  lying side by side, sprawled on a hospital floor,  all of them dead from Assad’s gas,  and surrounded by parents and grandparents who had suffered the same fate.” Alex Wong/Getty Images
—Secretary of State John Kerry, in a speech condemning a chemical attack in Syria

“We seek a future when a child can walk down the street and not worry that others see him as dangerous because of the color of his skin.”

“We seek a future when a child can walk down the street and not worry that others see him as dangerous because of the color of his skin.” Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images
—Tracy Martin, after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Martin’s son, Trayvon

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“Nolle timere.”

“Nolle timere.” Chris Jackson/Getty Images
—Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s final words (“Don’t be afraid”), to his wife in a text message

“I don’t know if it’s in the same league as landing on the moon, but it’s right up there—Star Trek stuff, for sure.”

“I don’t know if it’s in the same league as  landing on the moon, but it’s right up there—<i>Star Trek</i> stuff, for sure.”Mark Tade
—Donald A. Gurnett, physics professor at the University of Iowa, on the spacecraft Voyager’s historic entry into interstellar space

“I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

 “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”Bruce Glikas/ Getty Images
—Nina Davuluri, the first Indian-American to be crowned Miss America, after social media posts about her race

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“@BarackObama I express my gratitude for your #hospitality and your phone call. Have a good day Mr. President.”

“@BarackObama I express my gratitude for  your #hospitality and your phone call. Have a good day Mr. President.”Atta Kenare/ Getty Images
—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Twitter, after a phone call that was the first direct communication between the leaders of their countries in 34 years

to be a lesson for my life that says, Be fully engaged. Be awake and alert and alive every minute of every waking day.”" image_radio="image_url_81" slide_template="half_wdth_template_slide" url="http://www.rd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Diana-Nyad-sl.jpg" attachment_id="102119" page="41"]—Diana Nyad, on being the first person to swim from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage

“Some of us feel we are in a circular firing squad.”

“Some of us feel we are in a circular firing squad.”Andrew Harrer/ Getty Images
—West Virginia Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, about the government shutdown

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“It does give you a perspective on humanity … They just came in, they helped, and they left.”

“It does give you a perspective on humanity … They just came  in, they helped, and they left.”Joe Amon/ Getty Images
—Boulder resident Kim Schuler, on receiving assistance from neighbors after epic flooding in Colorado

“Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages supersize!”

“Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages supersize!”Spencer Platt/ Getty Images
—New York City fast-food workers, chanting their demand for an increase in the minimum wage

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Some people like to travel by train because 
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I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

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A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

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Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

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My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
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“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
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My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

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Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

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