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The 10 Things We Learned About Love from Liz Lemon

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Every once in a while, television is blessed with a wise-cracking heroine who proves that a funny, smart character can carry a TV show just as easily as a charming ingenue. There was Murphy Brown, Roseanne Barr, and, for the past seven years, there’s been Liz Lemon.

Liz Lemon is the stereotype of the educated, feminist, city-dwelling single woman. She’s successful, funny, at ease in a male-dominated work environment, sarcastic, and more concerned with her job than her closet. She can be a little sloppy, a little mean, a little prudish, and a little too happy with the prospect of going home at the end of the night with an extra-large pizza. Which she can and will shotgun!

But where Liz Lemon rings truest is in her romantic life. It wasn’t always pretty. It was fraught with disappointments, mistakes, the occasional insanely hot guy, the more occasional freak. In other words, the series was dominated by her seeming inability to land a functional relationship. At times, Liz seems resigned to a life of permanent singlehood. And yet, throughout the years, Liz Lemon has been, at heart, a romantic, a woman who doggedly believes that having both a career and loving relationship could be and should be and is possible. This week, the show airs its final episode. Here are ten of Liz’s most valuable insights regarding matters of the heart:

1.  On dealbreakers

“If your boyfriend is over thirty and wears a nametag to work, that’s a dealbreaker.” [Liz sees the employee's nametag, it reads Mike] “But not you, Mike!” —Into the Crevasse (4.2)

2. On skipping to the good stuff

“I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without anybody trying any funny business. ” —Gavin Volure (3.4)

3. On the benefits of being single

“You know, there are some things that are actually harder to do with two people. Like, monologues.” —Anna Howard Shaw Day (4.13)

4. On the wedding industrial complex

“It’s not the most important day of my life, getting my show picked up or meeting you, or the time I got a sleeve of starbursts with all pink, those were all more important days. I’m Liz Lemon! My parents spent the money they saved up for my wedding on a PT Cruiser. I have been sure for a long time that this was never going to happen and I was fine with it, ergo it couldn’t matter. And I’m still 90% right. It’s stupid, it doesn’t matter. [...] And then you came along and now we’re doing this and a tiny little part of me that I hate wants to be a princess.” —Mazel Tov, Dummies! (7.7)

 5. On regrets

“Who hasn’t made mistakes? I once french-kissed a dog at a party to try to impress what turned out to be a very tall 12-year-old.” —The Mentaliz (5.10)

5. On seduction

“I’m going to tell Drew that I’m having a little welcome-to-the-building party for him, but there is no party and then when he shows up I’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh it’s the wrong night.’ And then he’ll laugh and say, ‘One glass couldn’t hurt,’ and then I will put my mouth on his mouth.” —Generalissimo (3.10)

6. On online dating

“We met on K-Date, it’s the dating section on the Kraft Foods website.” —Floyd (4.16)

7. On dating vocabulary

“Lovers…oh, that word bums me out unless it’s between meat and pizza.” —Secrets and Lies (2.8)

8. On exes

“Anyone I ever dated in high school turned out to be either gay or a girl dressed as a guy to get a journalism scholarship.” —Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish (5.9)

9. On Valentine’s Day

“Valentine’s Day is a sham created by card companies to reinforce gender stereotypes. [..] I’ll buy some cookies, but NOT for Valentine’s Day. These cookies celebrate the February 14th birthday of Anna Howard Shaw, famed American suffragette.” —Anna Howard Shaw Day (4.13)

10.  On what we’re all really looking for

“I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching “Lost.” And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame, and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks as needed – like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms, like a damned Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me. Even when I’m old. And that’s what I want.” —Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter (4.17)

It took her seven seasons and a lot of trial and error, but in the end, Liz Lemon, hot mess that she is, got her happy ending. In the words of Jack Donaghy:  “From a grateful nation: ‘Thank you, Liz Lemon, there’s hope for us all.’”

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