19 Iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s Quotes To Help You Cope with the “Mean Reds”

Breakfast at Tiffany's Quote Truman Capote

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Audrey Hepburn playing the now-iconic role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But, if Truman Capote had had his way, she wouldn’t have been cast. He wanted curvy, blonde Marilyn Monroe.

Maybe it’s for the best that Capote didn’t get his way with the role’s casting. Still, we should all be forever grateful to the author for creating the independent, her-life-her-way character of Holly Golightly.

If you’ve only ever seen the movie, then definitely carve out some time to read the book. It’s darker and more nuanced in its message, but it’s a delight to experience and a quick read.

19 Breakfast at Tiffany’s Quotes (in the Order of Appearance in the Book)

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1. “I want to still be me when I wake up one fine morning and have breakfast at Tiffany’s.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

2. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.” She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

3. “Listen. You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds?” “Same as the blues?” “No,” she said slowly. “No, the blues are because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re sad, that’s all. But the mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

4. “If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's Quote

5. “After all, how do I know where I’ll be living tomorrow? So I told them to put Traveling.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S QUOTE TRAVELLING THE ROAD TAKEN TO

6. “Sometimes, stopping there, I shared her wake-up coffee while she dressed for the evening. She was forever on her way out” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

7. “…the average personality reshapes frequently, every few years even our bodies undergo a complete overhaul—desirable or not, it is a natural thing that we should change.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

8. “I’m always top banana in the shock department.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

9. “Everybody has to feel superior to somebody,” she said. “But it’s customary to present a little proof before you take the privilege.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

10. “Every day she’d walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

11. “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

12. “I’m still stealing turkey eggs and running through a brier patch. Only now I call it having the mean reds.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

13. “But you can’t give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

14. “… it’s better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

15. “Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart. Which isn’t being pious. Just practical. Cancer may cool you, but the other’s sure to. Oh, screw it, cookie—hand me my guitar and I’ll sing you a fado in the most perfect Portuguese.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

16. “A girl doesn’t read this sort of thing without her lipstick.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's Quote Audrey Hepburn

17. “Anyway, home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

18. “Certain shades of limelight wreck a girl’s complexion.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

19. “I’m very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what’s yours until you’ve thrown it away.” | Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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