8 ‘How to Make It in America’ Quotes To Step Up Your Work Game

Lead Photo: Photo courtesy of HBO
Photo courtesy of HBO
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Do you remember How to Make It in America? I do. Grit! Ambition! Love! Brooklyn! A bunch of ethnically diverse, really good-looking people! My mind is blown, but wait, there’s more: Lake Bell! Kid Cudi! Luis Guzmán! I miss ‘em all. And those are just the supporting players. The main duo is comprised of Ben (played by Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (played by Victor Rasuk) besties who are, well, trying to make it make it in America. Ben is the creative genius – a wanna-be jean designer, Barneys employee, and freelance graphic designer. He is Jewish. Cam is the bonafide hustler who pushes the product. He’s got that flavor. He’s Dominican. Their brand is Crisp; together they are Jewminican.

It wasn’t at all cool for HBO to cancel the series after only two seasons. That’s not enough time for anyone to make it. Rumors of a possible comeback got us thinking. We’ve all been there (most of us probably still are): working soul-sucking jobs, being too introspective, and dreaming of doing something great. Something that we can be proud of. Something that can make us money.

We can’t give you money to seed your next project, but we can give you the next best thing: funny lines from the show! These zingers aren’t limited to the particular context they’re set in, so feel free to make them yours.


When your friend bails on lunch because something (or someone) came up at work.

“See that’s why I’m self employed. I’m already at the office.” The award for cleverest freelancer goes to…drum roll…you!


When you’re caught stalking someone you can’t get a meeting with.

Follow it by doing the actual hustle. You’ll charm their pants off.


When you’re going to a business meeting.

“I could use some Jewish muscle with me.” No shame in knowing what you need.


If you’re prepping for a pitch meeting, copy and paste below, and replace the last two sentences with your product.

“Pero, oye, there’s a new thing happening, a black man has been elected President, there’s a Puerto Rican chick on the Supreme Court. And I, like them, I want to make a huge change for our people. It’s called Rasta Monsta. Tastes like fruit punch, pero spicy.Don’t be afraid to get emotional. Remember: appeal to their emotions.


When your pot dealer asks you what you’re looking for after a day full of rejection.

“I want it to feel like my body doesn’t exist.” Specificity is always key.


When your friend is trying out a new look, but it's just not working.

When Cam tries on a fur coat, Ben keeps it ? and tells him, “You look like a Dominican ewok.” Friendship is a dish best served straight-up.


When you’re finally the boss and have to fire someone.

“Don’t think of it as ‘being fired’. Think of it as ‘being free.’” Stay classy, boss person.


When you realize that life is never going to go smoothly for you.

“Puñeta, man.”