Top Ten Tuesday: Funny Opening Lines

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I think I will let these quotes speak for themselves!

1. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

2. “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” ― Samuel Beckett, Murphy

3. “To say the least, it was inconsiderate of Diana’s almost-dead husband to show up at her engagement party.” ― Robin Lee Hatcher, Beloved

4. “The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

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6. “That year the Ribeiro’s daffodils seeded early and they seeded cockroaches. Now, ecologically speaking, even a cockroach has its place — but these suckers bit. That didn’t sound Earth-authentic to me. Not that I care, mind you, all I ask is useful. I wasn’t betting on that either.” ― Janet Kagan, Mirabile

7. “This year had been one for the books. And by that, Jason meant a book that got doused in gasoline, set on fire, and kicked over a cliff.” ― Katherine McIntyre, Color of a Soul

8.“If you had met my father you would never, not for an instant, have thought he was an assassin.” ― Magda Szubanski, Reckoning: A Memoir

9. “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” ― Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

10. “She was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when she decided to summon the devil and sell her soul for fame. As you do. Hell, we’ve all been there… Of course, things didn’t go according to plan. Never have, never will…” ― G.H. Finn, How to Trick the Devil


  1. Great list! The first line of Beloved would definitely make me want to know more, and I love the opening of The Haunting of Hill House.

  2. These are some fun ones! It’s always good to start off a book with a laugh 🙁

    Happy TTT!


  3. A lot of these books are new to me, thanks for introducing them with their first lines.

  4. These made me laugh for sure!

  5. I am only familiar with a couple of these books. Thanks for interesting me in some new ones with these great first lines.

  6. These are really interesting! The line from Murphy is pretty matter-of-fact, I love it haha! And the line from Color of A Soul sounds nice as well!

  7. I really love the opening line of Beloved… sounds like something that could really grab a person and keep them glued.

  8. Love these! Especially #s 1, 2 and 10. Great choices. 🙂

  9. “She was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar …” ― G.H. Finn, How to Trick the Devil

    Oh my word that takes me right back to the early 80’s and Human League.

    You have some amazing first lines – I clearly need to keep a spread sheet of books with great lines to quote!
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Thank you very much! Yes, I think it’s a smart idea to jot down great lines from books as you discover them. I honestly don’t do it often enough either.

  10. I love that opening for The Haunting of Hill House. It’s sets up the story so well.

  11. LOVE the lawyer one–I was a law firm librarian for years!

  12. Great list! Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie sounds really interesting!

  13. As you know, Harry Potter also made my list. Also love 3, 4, 7, and 8. Thanks for sharing all these.

  14. We both went for Harry Potter! I also love Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. ?

    • So glad to hear that. And, yeah, Harry Potter was really popular this week from the sites I visited.

  15. So is that opening line for Color of a Soul describing 2020?

    The first part of the last quote gave me an earworm for a Human League song!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  16. A great list! I actually hadn’t heard some of this but HP will always be a classic worth mentioning. I’m actually thinking of re-reading it soon.

  17. I love this list! The opening line The Haunting of Hill House is amazing!

  18. I love Samuel Beckett’s first line. The sun doesn’t have an alternative. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

  19. Christine @ LifeWithAllTheBooks says

    The Haunting of Hill House is a good one! Great list ?

  20. Love this list, made me laugh, especially curious about How to Trick the Devil now

  21. LOVE the opening lines of The Haunting of Hill House! I first considered doing classic opening lines, and that one was on my list. 🙂

    • I hope you do write a post about classic opening lines someday whether it’s for TTT or as a regular post on your site. 🙂

  22. Love the Samuel Beckett and Shirley Jackson opening lines!! Excellent choices!

    My TTT:

  23. These are all great! I laughed out loud at the ones from Beloved and How to Trick the Devil 🙂

  24. Wow! Color of a Soul and How to Trick the Devil sound really funny! Cool list:)

  25. Great choices for the first lines. 🙂

  26. Love these opening lines! Definitely needed that laugh today. 😀 I think How to Trick the Devil is my favorite, and I definitely need to check that book out!

  27. I just love these first lines!

  28. These are great! I especially love the Beloved one, haha 🙂

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