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Here are the most notable quotes of 2023

Yale's 2023 list of notable quotations ranges from disagreements within the Kennedy family to surprising insights from Barbie.
Posted at 2:52 PM, Dec 31, 2023

In 2023, there was a lot to talk about. War overseas, political turmoil at home, the fading remnants of a life-changing pandemic, and noteworthy ups and downs in Hollywood kept conversations buzzing.

But just 10 quotes have made Yale's list of notable 2023 quotations.

First up, the Kennedy siblings.

Thrown into the political storm of another Kennedy running for president, the siblings of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. publicly denounced his independent candidacy in October.

In an Instagram post, Rory Kennedy shared a statement that read, in part, "Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision, or judgment... We denounce his candidacy."

The younger Kennedy's track record of anti-vaccine rhetoric has earned him a reputation among medical professionals and others as a dangerous conspiracy theorist. He launched his independent presidential bid earlier this year, in lieu of a Democratic Party nomination.

Coming in at number two is former representative George Santos.

Having been caught lying about his personal and professional background, including that he was Jewish, he told the New York Post late last year, "I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was 'Jew-ish',"

The New York Republican was expelled from the House in December over federal charges related to the misuse of campaign funds. The sixth House member to ever be expelled.

At number three is General Mark Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, at his farewell address in September.

"We don't take an oath a king or queen or a tyrant or dictator. We don't take an oath to a wannabe dictator. We don't take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution," Milley said during the ceremony.

Milley, who was in his position during former President Donald Trump's tenure, has become more outspoken against him in recent years. His comments were widely seen as a rebuke to Trump.

These were the top political stories of 2023
Former President Donald Trump

These were the top political stories of 2023

One of the biggest stories of the year was former President Donald Trump being indicted in four different cases.


At number four is President Joe Biden. In a verbal slip about Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, he said, "He's clearly losing the war in Iraq."

Biden's faux pas became a bastion for his critics, who alleged the misstep was evidence of an ailing, then-80-year-old president.

Number five is "Do you guys ever think about dying?" from Margot Robbie in the movie "Barbie."

Barbie's now-iconic one-liner opened the introspective layer of the summer blockbuster that shattered box office records.

Greta Gerwig, the film's director, now holds the record for largest gross by a solo female director, and the film's debut came alongside the other box office smash that won't make quote six very surprising.

“We thought we might start a chain reaction that would destroy the entire world … I believe we did," from Cillian Murphy playing J. Robert Oppenheimer in the movie “Oppenheimer.”

 Professor Fred Shapiro, who is the man behind the list, said  he looks for quotes "that become famous, become celebrated, or quotes that are particularly important...Many of them are chosen because they are weird or deplorable, and they capture that element of our times."

The four quotes that close out the top 10 are from leaders and change-makers who shaped culture, tech, and public opinion this year and set the tone for 2024.

Such as number seven by Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, during remarks at a forum in India in June: “I probably trust the answers that come out of ChatGPT the least of anybody on Earth.”

Of course, Taylor Swift couldn’t have missed this list, as she came in at number eight with the now iconic "Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me.”

And the last two are: 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that an American billionaire, in possession of sufficient fortune, must be in want of a Supreme Court justice," said Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri.

“Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson disagreed in the case of Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College.

And there you have the most notable quotes of 2023.