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"Don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"
Cave Johnson, Portal 2

A phrase said by some characters to show how optimistic they are. Even if something horrible has happened- being given the metaphorical lemons- one can still try to make the best of it. The typical answer is to say "Make lemonade", but this is easily parodied to emphasize really how unfunny the character is. Or how unhinged they are. Just as easily turns into Metaphorgotten, or Popular Saying, But....

Examples of When Life Gives You Lemons include:


Advertising


Film

 Surfing Instructor: When life gives you lemons, just say "Fuck the lemons" and bail.

  • Home Room

 Deanna Cartwright: "When life give you lemons... make lemonade."

Alicia Browning: That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.

 The Wolf: You see, Twitchy, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade... and then that lemonade turns bitter, ferments and turns to pig swill.

 Josie McCoy: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when the going gets tough...

Melody Valentine: The tough make lemonade!

 Layla: When life gives you lemons...[tries to grow a lemon, but produces an apple instead]

Will Stronghold: Make...apple juice?

Layla: I can't make lemons. I don't know why.

 Drake: When life gives you razor blades... you make a baseball bat covered in razor blades!


Literature

 Doctor Impossible: When life gives you lemons you squeeze them, hard. Make invisible ink. Make an acid poison. Fling it in their eyes.

  If life deals you lemons, why not go kill someone with the lemons (maybe by shoving them down his throat).

 Anita: When life gives you lemons, shut up and eat your damn lemons.

  • A variant of this happened with the March 1980 edition of Australian car magazine Wheels, when it controversially declared "No Car of the Year" for 1979, with the front cover featuring a giant lemon on four wheels. This prompted Ford Australia to hit back with an advertisement for its then-latest model Falcon, depicting a page full of literal lemons with popular car brands printed on them and declaring, "There are times when being a lemon is not a bitter experience at all".


Live Action TV

 Harry Solomon: You know, Dick, when life gives you lemons, just shut up and eat the damn lemons.

 Veronica: So my Grandma Reynolds was always saying, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I wish she was still alive because I'd really like to ask what she suggests for when life gives you chlamydia.

 Bill: Dave, haven't you ever heard the expression, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for"?

 Hal: I always say, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade. You got any lemonade?

Waiter: No, sir.

Hal: [disappointed] Aww. [brightening up] Got any lemons?

  • The original, KTKA public-access version of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme used this phrase verbatim.
    • Crow also used "You find a new God" variant listed in the advertising section.


Music

  • Atmosphere's album, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.


Newspaper Comics

 Bug-Eyed Earl: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you poop, make poop juice.

 Susie: When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.

Calvin: I say, when life gives you a lemon, wing it right back and add some lemons of your own!

 Dogbert: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Dilbert: I'm allergic to citrus.

Dogbert: When life gives you lemons, swell up and die.

    • Another one from a computer game adaptation: "When life gives you lemons, throw them at people."
    • Yet another shows complete lemonade ingredients mysteriously appearing in front of Ratbert who complains "No napkins?!"
  • Snuffy Smith:

 Snuffy: If life gives ya lemons, make lemonade!! If it gives ya apples, make cider!! punkins? Make pie!! Avacados? Make guacamole!! Cucumbers...

Jughaid: Okay, okay, Uncle Snuffy, I get yore drift.

 Bucky Katt: When life gives you lemons, chuck 'em at dogs.


Stand-Up Comedy

  • Ron White (from Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again): I believe...if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And then try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.
  • Bo Burnham: I'm a realist. I try not to romanticise reality. You know? When Life gives you lemons... you probably just found lemons.
  • Sarah Silverman: When life gives you AIDS, make Lemon-AIDS.
  • Henry Rollins: When life hands you a lemon, say "Oh yeah, I like lemons. What else you got?"


Video Games

  • Penny Arcade Adventures: The prison guard in number 2: "When life gives you dungeons, you make dungeonade." Your character takes time to reflect on how awful this joke is.
  • In Portal 2, Aperture Science's Cave Johnson says the original cliché line in response to his fatal illness. Then, after thinking about it, he realizes he's got a better idea:

 Cave Johnson: When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!

GLaDOS: Yeah! YEAH! BURN HIS HOUSE DOWN! (joyfully) Burning people! He says what we're all thinking!

    • Earlier in the game you can rescue a "different" turret from the "Turret Redemption Line". She foreshadows much of the game- among her lines is "Get mad" and "Don't make lemonade".
  • Guild Wars 2's "Hey Bookah!" fake advice column has a letter from an engineer saying he invented a "Lemonade Turret". Problem is, the lemonade tastes like gunpowder and machine oil. Bookah, a member of the often-arrogant Asura race, insists that only the "small-minded and pedantic" would insist lemonade taste like "outmoded versions". He further recommends proper marketing; it's not a lemonade turret, it's a turret with "fresh, lemon-scented ammunition".

 When life gives you lemons, shoot them back at life at high velocity.

 Hades: When freaky aliens give you lemons, make freaky alien lemonade! (cue Star Fox Assault reference)


Webcomics

 Parson: When life gives you crap, yo'make Crap Golems.

 You'll be doing one thing then something else hits you just like that and you roll with it. That's what you do when life hands you lemons. You sure as fuck don't make lemonade because who the fuck knows where that fuckin' shit comes from? It's squeezed out of miracles is where.

  • In an early Penny Arcade, Gabe tells a badly-injured Tycho "You know what they say, 'when life gives you shit...'" to which Tycho angrily replies "'Make shit-aid?' What?!" Gabe admits he's still working on it.
  • A Mad Scientist from Cyanide and Happiness knows what to do:

 "Lemonstein": So I discovered that when life gives you lemons... You give those lemons life!

  • Captain SNES: Kefka, somehow being Not Quite Dead, explains "There's an old saying about what to do when life gives you a lemon. Burn down every lemon tree in the world."


Web Original

  • The story Take A Lemon, takes its title from this phrase. It's the Arc Words recited between two sisters when something really bad happens and they then do a little speech about how they will make what ever lemon into lemonade. Story contains no Lemon though.
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "other days", Strong Bad is seen acting as a motivational speaker, giving out the advice "When life throws pies at you, you make yourself a tall, cool glass of pie-monade!"


Western Animation

  • Clone High, episode "A.D.D.: The Last 'D' Is for Disorder"

 Scudworth: When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons and make super lemons.

 Angelica: When life gives you lemons, make applesauce.

 Bud: When life gives you lemons... make orange soda!

 Ron: Oh, complain, complain. You know, when life gives you lemons--

Drakken: I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE LEMONS!

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