Did Marilyn Monroe Really Say This?

"If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best," Monroe supposedly said.

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Attributed to Marilyn Monroe: "If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
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Claim

Marilyn Monroe said, “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Rating

Misattributed
Misattributed
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Fact Check

In September 2022, some social media users shared a quote erroneously attributed to actress Marilyn Monroe: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

The quote has also been attributed to the “Some Like It Hot” star in a longer form: “I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Face, Person, Human

As of this writing, we have been unable to locate the original source of the quote — but we found no evidence that it was said by Monroe. One source claimed in 2013 it was a line of dialogue from the 1953 noir film “Niagara,” though we searched the screenplay at Scripts.com but didn’t find any such dialogue there. We also viewed the portion of the movie Monroe is in, but Monroe’s character Rose Loomis never makes the remark.

According to Dictionary.com, the quote has been online for many years, since the 2000s, and hasn’t always been attributed to Monroe. It has often been used in “before” and “after” or “best” and “worst” memes. Here’s one example without attribution, posted by pop superstar Mariah Carey in 2018:

Person, Human, Clothing

Falsely attributing pieces of faux internet wisdom to famous people is a common occurrence. Recently, we reported actor Morgan Freeman never made a remark widely credited to him. Another popular quote widely misattributed to Monroe read, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Although fascination with Monroe has remained fairly constant since her lifetime, there may be renewed interest in September 2022 because of the release of a controversial Netflix movie titled, “Blonde.” The movie is based on a 2000 novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates.

Sources:

“4 Marilyn Monroe Quotes You’re Taking The Wrong Way.” Thought Catalog, 3 Mar. 2013, https://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-shock/2013/03/4-marilyn-monroe-quotes-youre-taking-the-wrong-way/.

“If You Can’t Handle Me at My Worst Meme | Meaning & History.” Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/e/memes/if-you-cant-handle-me-at-my-worst/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2022.

Lemire, Christy. “Blonde Movie Review & Film Summary (2022) | Roger Ebert.” Https://Www.Rogerebert.Com/, https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/blonde-movie-review-2022. Accessed 20 Sept. 2022.

Niagara Movie Script. https://www.scripts.com/script.php?id=niagara_14741&p=14. Accessed 20 Sept. 2022.

Showalter, Elaine. “Joyce Carol Oates’s ‘Blonde’ Is the Definitive Study of American Celebrity.” The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2020. www.newyorker.com, https://www.newyorker.com/books/second-read/joyce-carol-oatess-blonde-is-the-definitive-study-of-american-celebrity.