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  1. Blog
  2. Women to Know
  3. Last updated April 3, 2024

10 Olivia Pope Quotes to Get You Through the Week

It’s time to channel your inner gladiator

Kerry Washington, aka Olivia Pope, of Scandal

Olivia Pope, of Scandal and one of Shonda Rhimes’ most brilliant and eloquent characters, is without a doubt, a total badass boss. As the leading crisis communicator—or “gladiator”—of her firm, Pope and Associates, she fearlessly leads her tight-knit team through “fixing” the scandals of America’s social elite and most trusted political officials (ahem, the President, for example).

The gladiators sometimes blur the lines of morality, occasionally engaging in ethically questionable or even illegal behavior to save the skins of their clients. But at the end of the day, Olivia usually ends up wearing her figurative white hat, signifying her good intentions.

Sure, she may not lead a “conventional” life by our standards, but there are definitely themes most of us can relate to… Complicated relationships with family and significant others? Check. Throwing ourselves into our work? Check. Love for a good bottle of wine…? Triple check. And I think we can all agree that her brutal honesty, passion for justice, and refusal to give up is admirable.

So if you’re looking for a little motivation this week, grab a bag of popcorn and a glass of red, and channel your inner gladiator. You’re about to get a heck of a lot of inspiration.

(Tip: Find even more inspo in our roundups of quotes from Michelle Obama, Madeleine Albright, Grace Hopper, and other successful women.)

Olivia Pope quotes on always giving your everything...

"If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But you have to try, because if you try, if you leap and you try, and it doesn't work out, it's not on you."

“Mediocrity is not an option for me.”

"Whatever happens, we do not give up. It is my name on that door, and I do not give up."

Olivia Pope quotes on powering through when life just keeps on throwing you lemons…

“I don’t want to talk. I want to eat too many fries, and drink way too much wine and have a relaxing evening.”

"Work helps. So does exercise. Stuff that numbs you, keeps you from thinking too much."

Olivia Pope quotes on schooling the men in your life who want to control you…

“I am not the girl the guy gets at the end of the movie. I am not a fantasy. If you want me, earn me! Until then, we are done."

“I don’t need protecting. I am not the girl you save. I am fine.”

Olivia Pope quotes on knowing and exercising your self-worth...

“I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anyone else. And that is not arrogance, that is a fact."

"I'm choosing me. I'm choosing Olivia. And right now, Olivia is dancing. Now you can dance with me, or you can get off my dance floor. I'm fine dancing alone."

And finally, the most iconic of all: Olivia Pope quotes on being able to hold your head high after resolving a ridiculously difficult situation...

“It’s handled.”

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