SparkNotes Blog

15 Times The Great Gatsby Was Hilariously Relatable

Ah, The Great Gatsby. That classic tome of idealism, regret, and jazzy beats. Gatsby hooks up with Daisy, Daisy commits vehicular manslaughter, and Nick Carraway narrates the whole crazy parade. Given that the book takes place in the Roaring Twenties and primarily features rich people with poor impulse control, you wouldn’t think it’d be so ridiculously and universally relatable. But trust me, it is. You just have to use it in the right contexts. For instance:

When you’ve got a raging crush but you’re trying to be subtle about it:

“Fine fellow, isn’t he? Handsome to look at and a perfect gentleman.”

When you’re awkward at parties:

“I was on my way to getting roaring drunk from sheer embarrassment.”

When it’s too hot outside but people still inexplicably expect you to do things:

“In this heat every extra gesture was an affront to the common store of life.”

When you have no people skills so you wind up treating every interaction with another human being like it’s your first:

“Hello!” I roared, advancing toward her. My voice seemed unnaturally loud across the garden.

When you’ve got a new crush and your friends want to know what he looks like:

“Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body—he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat.”

When you’ve got a friend who’s super clingy:

“His determination to have my company bordered on violence.”

When you want to flirt with your neighbor’s wife by complimenting her dress, but you’re a respectable married woman and you’re trying to play it cool:

“But it looks wonderful on you, if you know what I mean.”

When that hot guy in AP bio smiles at you and you’re probably reading too much into it, but whatever:

“He smiled understandingly—much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.”

When your towels are really humiliating:

“Daisy went upstairs to wash her face—too late I thought with humiliation of my towels…”

When you only just started studying the night before the exam and you’re thinking there’s still a chance you’ll get an A:

“The colossal vitality of his illusion.”

When you endorse outdated gender roles:

“By God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.”

When your friend Tom could use a mint julep:

“Open the whiskey, Tom. And I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself.”

When it seems like all hope is lost but then Dumbledore reminds you that you’ve got a Time-Turner:

“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

When people have died, but you’re dealing with an irrational fear of dog biscuits, and that’s kind of the same thing:

“And if you think I didn’t have my share of suffering—look here, when I went to give up that flat and saw that damn box of dog biscuits sitting there on the sideboard I sat down and cried like a baby. By God, it was awful—”

When you hate the new wizarding houses so you replace them with your own:

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” *

* Sort yourself, I’m tired.