The happiest four words. The saddest four words.

Conversation with Victor at lunch:

Victor: I read something about a contest where you have to come up with the saddest story in just four words, and I think I’ve nailed it.

me:  Okay.  Hit me.

Victor:  “She loved someone else.”

me:  Ooh, that is a good one.  How about… She’d forgotten his smell”.

Victor:  Hmm.  “He never became himself.”


Victor:  Um…subtlety?

me:  “The baby spontaneously combusted.”

Victor:  Jesus, Jenny.

me:  Well you said it should be sad.

Victor: Okay, let’s switch to happy.  The happiest story in four words.  “He loved her back.”

me:  Okay.  “The monsters never returned.”

Victor: How about…“She became his world”.

me:  Ew.  No. That sounds like a stalker.  Oh!  “More gravy for everyone!”

Victor:  “They made a family.”

me:  Aw, I like that.  How about…Knock knock mother fucker.”

Victor: No.  Also, “motherfucker” is one word.

me:  Fine.  How about… “He never questioned her.”

Victor: How about…“She stopped acting stupid.”

me: How about…“Her divorce came through.”

Victor:  Hmm.  We should probably stop this.

me:  Yeah.  Agreed.

And they lived happily (ever after).

Your turn.  Happy or sad story in four words.  Go.

945 thoughts on “The happiest four words. The saddest four words.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Sad: She never looked back.
    Happy: She never looked back!

    No. That’s too cheesy. How about:

    Sad: She’s waiting for you.
    Happy: I found the dog!

  2. Happy: She didn’t need surgery!
    Sad: She desperately needs surgery.

    My daughter has a heart. First we heard the sad, then we hear the happy. I prefer the happy.

  3. coffee never runs out
    she finally smiled again
    he never looked back
    the cat never died
    it was a dream

  4. Knock knock mother fucker!

    The asshole moved out.

    He is potty trained.

    Sober for ten years.

    The new antidepressant works.

  5. Happiest: I love you, Daddy. (my four year old son at bed time)
    Saddest: Daddy, are you full? (my four year old son pointing to my belly)

  6. Their cats got along. (Big, right? I have a cat, my beau has a cat, and I worry if we ever combine households that the damn cats will ruin everything with their incessant fighting. Because they are cats. But we love them. So yeah; “Their cats got along.”)

  7. Their vacation never happened.
    The laundry was completed.
    Love blossomed in them.
    Fear kept her anchored.

  8. ILove you Olie….these were the last words my husband said to me before he died. They’re the happiest & saddest words in my world.

  9. Sad: It’s just Penny’s time.
    (Penny’s our lab. She’s 13 it’s time to say goodbye)

    Happy: You’re so fucking brave!
    (Said to Jenny at the book signing in Boston)

  10. The mothership finally arrived.
    Death was a relief.
    Her dreams required sunglasses.

  11. Life must go on.
    These wounds will heal.
    Wonder Woman is Supreme!
    Creative juices are flowing.
    Creative road is blocked.
    Shitty people cause catastrophes.
    This house is clean.

  12. Hello. I’m the Doctor. (I know I’m is a contraction and technically two words but this phrase makes me extremely happy.)

  13. Happy:
    “Every day is Saturday!”
    “Music in my head…”

    “Abe Vigoda has died.” (really, he did)
    “My home is empty.”

  14. @Emma Rose: are you thinking of The Sure Thing (aka the greatest John Cusack comedy no one seems to remember)?

    ‘Do you love me?’ she whispered. ‘Do you love me?’ It would not be tonight. The answer was no.

  15. I think this is based off of the story about Ernest Hemingway’s saddest story in 6 words. His supposed response was “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Which can be looked at really sad, or maybe the parents just had so many pairs of shoes from the baby shower that the baby didn’t need them all? Or because babies don’t even need shoes until they are toddlers? Happy thoughts.

    Mine are:
    Saddest – Willy never got freed
    Happiest – Dreams can come true

  16. She got the job.
    London Fog Latte Drink.
    You want to come?
    Get in the car.
    Stop creeping me out.

  17. 🙁 Cribs empty; coffin isnt.
    🙂 Touch me right …. thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  18. There was once one of those FB things where you pose a question: “You wake up next to me in jail, what are the first four words you say to me?”
    My (then 15year old daughter) commented, “Sorry, mom. My bad.”
    It both horrified me and cracked me up.

  19. The vodka is low.
    There is no Chardonnay.
    The struggle is real.
    I just might die.

  20. Happy: His humiliations tapered off.
    Sad: F U, bipolar disorder.
    Happy: Backyard garden feeds family.
    Sad: I overcooked my steak.

  21. Dishes filled the sink.
    The dish standoff continued.
    He washed the dishes.
    She celebrated with wine.

  22. Saddest: My daughter has died.
    Happiest: She was MY daughter.

    My 19yo daughter Kaitlyn died from a car crash in Oct of 2013. She was in the backseat. She was my first born. She made me a mom. My happy and my sad…

  23. Magnificent entries here 🙂 I’m just going to go with irreverent:
    The wine was free

  24. I was aware of the Hemingway story (perhaps apocryphal), but I had to shorten it to fit the four word limit.

    Here’s another sad one, unique to me (as far as I know):

    I never risked anything.

  25. Ernest Hemingway was once bet that he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words. His response was: For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

  26. I’m happily not normal.
    Sanity lost its foothold.
    Pain is my companion.
    All circuses closed down.
    SeaWorld freed its imprisoned.
    Poachers all died mysteriously.
    Men suddenly understood women.
    Women suddenly understood men.

  27. Happy: “Stumbled into enternal bliss.”

    Sad: “Stumbled into an oubliette.”

  28. She didn’t know how.
    He only heard himself.
    Her life went on.

    Cats, chocolate and fries.

  29. She never loved herself.

    Followed by the inevitable sequel:

    Neither did anyone else.

  30. Jen, #247, The plow finally arrived.. I want to like this 1000x. (just got word, our schools are remaining closed with the hope to reopen on Monday, Feb. 1st.)

    Happy & Sad, all in 1 word..

  31. “Everything has changed now.” <— happiest and/or saddest, all in one.

  32. I live on the east coast in the middle of the blizzard sooooo

    It never snowed again

    It never snowed again

  33. An author I know wrote a book based on her writing partners husband sitting up in bed and saying “the elves are dying”. Four words= a book

  34. I’m out of chocolate (or wine, or Prozac, or whatever)- saddest
    I’ll love you always – happiest

  35. Sad:
    Strangers. Friends. Lovers. Strangers.
    David Bowie has died.

    He held my hand.
    The workday has ended.
    Bottomless cups of coffee.
    I graduate in December.

    As an aside, I think there’s a lot you can tell about someone in how they respond to something like this, especially the things they value or hold dear.

  36. Ok, mine happen to coincidentally be happy for me and sad for my husband, but they are also the biography of the past two years of my life. Here goes:

    She quit her job.
    They mortgaged their equity.
    She took up sewing.
    She still isn’t working.
    She is now vegan.

  37. Happiest four words: The results were positive.
    Saddest four words: The results were positive.

  38. She said, “I quit!”

    Either, depending on your connotation. I’m hoping desperately for the happy one…SOON.

  39. Sad – She’ll always hate herself.
    Happy – Hope strengthens. Fear kills.

    Anyone who has read Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series will get the happy one…. 🙂

  40. Sad: She was hard work.
    Her problems overwhelmed everybody.
    She was too intense.
    It was her fault.
    She tried too hard.
    Her name was lost.
    No Who until Christmas.

    She had two dogs.
    Love was almost unconditional.
    She stroked silky ears.
    She learned to love.
    She stopped personalising everything.
    She learned about gratitude.
    She found her faith.
    People show refugees compassion.

  41. Sad: My dog just died.
    Happy: Just kidding; she’s fine.
    Prologue: She’s got one eye.

  42. This Pin from Pinterest. Sadly I don’t know where it originated. It is the most re-pinned image of all of my pins. Resonates with people I guess.

    “It’s hurting again. ”

    (Technically 4 words if you think “it is” instead of “it’s”, but it doesn’t sound as bittersweet somehow.)

  43. We were in love.
    He never apologized sincerely.
    I dreamt I left.
    I gave notice, finally.
    It was a relief.

    Unicorn Success Club, yo.

  44. The mice are dead. (Bad news, they were your science experiment to save the world.) The mice are dead. (Thank God, they were invading the house and eating all the fruity num mums.)

  45. Happiest: Hearing “I love you too”
    Saddest: Knowing “It was all lies”

  46. She was alone again. (= an extrovert’s reaction)
    She was alone again! (= an introvert’s reaction)

    He left his wife. (Sad for the wife.)
    He left his wife! (Good for the mistress.)

  47. There was no wifi (wait, is that a horrror story)

    It was never lost

    I still work there (sad for me 😉

    And dementor-proof: I ALWAYS have chocolate.

    I’ve added some pot/alcohol (depending on preferences) XD

  48. She lost her balloon – extremely sad, especially when her friend hit it and it fell down several floors between some escalators
    She got it back – mega happy, because the nice lady, working on the bottom floor of the mall, gave it back to a certain girl (in her twenties)

  49. It’s dusty in here.

    I have never been moved to tears before about COMMENTS. This place is just magical.

  50. He never loved back.
    His impotent heart withered.
    The moon cried tears.
    They were happily coupled.
    The operation was successful.
    She licked the spoon.

  51. I am furiously happy.
    Victor, listen to Jenny!
    Jenny is always right.
    Hailey is a fabulous kid.
    I truly love myself.
    Please and thank you.

    No more toilet paper.
    The dog ate it.
    He’s practicing trumpet again.
    The motherfucking souffle’s burned!

  52. I still can’t breathe
    You stole my expectations
    You left my life
    You were my treasure
    I cry to breathe

  53. In my life, the sad are:

    “Mom, I wanna die.”
    “It is not viable.”
    “I don’t love you.”
    “Just sex, that’s all.”

    The happy are:

    “It’s a beautiful girl!”
    “We are so proud.”
    “Your son is amazing.”
    “I’ll love you forever.”

  54. “It isn’t your heart.”
    Could be happy or sad, depending on the context. (That’s what I’d like to hear from my cardiologist in a month.)

  55. They bought a house

    (4 words is tough – so in my usual fashion, I have to qualify: They bought their forever house)

  56. “Please bring bail money”
    Could be sad or happy, it all depends on the details.

  57. He and I are soulmates
    Heart surgery was successful
    She loves chocolate cookies
    He is so bored

  58. SAD: His penis was small.
    He ate my Cheetos.
    The flowers are dead.
    Your baby is UGLY.
    Jeff doesn’t get Jenny.
    I miss my cat.
    (Jenny, this would luckily never happen at our house. We have 800 bottles of wine left in the basement! I’m just completing the assignment. So my first two happy statements reflect this.)

    HAPPY:I was just kidding!
    There’s tonza wine left.
    (five words, really…so shoot me.)
    I’m reading Jenny again!
    We got another kitten.
    Time for more wine.

  59. Sad: The closet was emptied
    Happy: Parents are on vacation

    Both: Just one pink line…

  60. Sad:
    Is the love mutual?
    Close but so far.
    Alone with people around.
    Somebody help me please.
    Sometimes I hate myself.
    My fears inhibit me.
    My dreams are fading.
    I need you today.
    Best friends across oceans.

    I love my family.
    Today I feel okay.
    It could be worse.
    Four paws, unconditional love.

  61. Constant pain diminished her.
    She learned to live.
    She dreamt of more.
    She found her people.
    Pain fought and lost.
    After rain came sunshine.
    Love brought them together.

  62. Alas, darkness was victorious.

    There’s always more cake.

    I’ll just leave you to guess which is which…

  63. Constant pain diminished her.
    She learned to live.
    Love brought them together.
    After rain came sunshine.
    She lost the light.
    I feel your pain.
    She found her people.

  64. Naptime was not interrupted.
    I began to paint.
    Buffy and Angel forever.
    And she was glorious.

  65. Happy: I promise you forever.
    Sad: The baby didn’t survive.
    Sad: I can’t have children.
    Sad: You should leave me.
    Happy: I promised you forever.

  66. Failure consumed her thoughts.
    There’s always tomorrow.
    Making manhattans for Santa.
    Body bag; Amazon wishlist.

  67. I quit my job.

    Happy for me, sad for my bank account. Instead I’m hoping for “You got the job” first.

  68. Her divorce was final. This qualifies as happiest iot sad first, depending on the ex-spouse.

  69. She would’ve been 46.😥

    (If she hadn’t passed 17 years ago today.) 😥

    I love you sister. 😘