The 10 best epitaphs ever

All of us have to go. Why don’t do it with style? Here is a list of people who have found humor, inspiration or just plain quirkiness to be remembered forever.

10. Billy Wilder

10. Billy Wilder

I’m a writer, but then nobody’s perfect.

I have a soft spot for Jack Lemmon and “Some like it hot”. It deserves to be in movies’ heaven, and its end shows us that love is greater than hair color, smoking, a shady past and the wrong sex. Who cares if you’re a man or a woman? Didn’t you know that nobody’s perfect?

9. Groucho Marx

9. Groucho Marx

Excuse me, I can’t stand up.

This epitaph was suggested by Groucho himself in an interview, but his tomb marker only carries his stage name and his years of birth and death.

8. Edith Mary Tolkien and John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

8. Edith Mary Tolkien and John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Luthien/Beren.

If you are a fan of Tolkien’s works, there’s nothing else to add. If you’re not, let’s say there’s no better and more romantic way to express their love for each other.

7. Mel Blanc

7. Mel Blanc

That’s All, Folks!

Life is many times as wacky as an old cartoon. I almost can hear the orchestra playing the Merry Melodies tune.

6. Merv Griffin

6. Merv Griffin

I will not be right back after this message.

This quote is quite ingenious by itself, and it becomes better if you knew that Merv was a TV host who said the opposite (he would be right back after these messages) a lot of times. By the way, he announced his own epitaph on a talk show.

5. John Laird McCaffery

5. John Laird McCaffery

Free your body and soul
Unfold your powerful wings
Climb up the highest mountains
Kick your feet up in the air
You may now live forever
Or return to this earth
Unless you feel good where you are!

This headstone is on Montreal. Maybe at first sight you haven’t spotted what makes it special: you have to join the first letter on each sentence. Yep, it doesn’t look like a love message. In some places you can read that the message was ordered by two women, John’s wife and John’s mistress. Maybe that’s why the headstone ends with “Missed by your friends.”

4. Buffy Summers

4. Buffy Summers

Beloved sister
Devoted friend
She saved the world
A lot

All those fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer know that she indeed saved the world a lot. Once per season, approximately.

3. Robert Southey

3. Robert Southey

Beneath these poppies buried deep, The bones of Bob the bard lie hid; Peace to his manes; and may he sleep As soundly as his readers did!
Through every sort of verse meandering, Bob went without a hitch or fall, Through Epic, Sapphic, Alexandrine, To verse that was no verse at all ; Till fiction having done enough, To make a bard at least absurd, And give his readers quantum suff., He took to praising George the Third:
And now, in virtue of his crown, Dooms us, poor whigs, at once to slaughter ; Like Donellan of bad renown, Poisoning us all with laurel water.
And yet at times some awkward qualms he Felt about leaving honor’s track; And though he ‘s got a butt of Malmsey, It may not save him from a sack.
Death, weary of so dull a writer, Put to his works a, finis thus. Oh! may the earth on him lie lighter Than did his quartos upon us!

This is not the actual epitaph on Southey’s tomb, but a literary epitaph written by his enemy Thomas Moore. There are many literary epitaphs, and this is a clever one. It shows us that geniuses may write well, but their relationships are sometimes difficult.

2. William H Hahn Jr

2. William H Hahn Jr

I told you I was sick.

It’s difficult to know if this headstone is real or not. It’s been attributed to William H. Hahn, Spike Milligan, B. P. Roberts or Jeremiah Johnson. In any case, it’s a great way to go.

1. George Pierce

1. George Pierce

Died from not forwarding that text message to 10 people.

Probably a fake, but so brilliant that someone should put it on their headstone.


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