Just because its a courtroom doesnt mean we cant get a laugh.
- Any particularly egregious Bad Liar.
- His window hit my elbow.
- For that matter, everytime Judy laughs.
- Anytime Judy goes into snark mode.
- A case that went viral as "her quickest," though it really wasn't: the plaintiff came in asking for restitution from two guys who stole her purse and the items inside, though they denied they had it.Plantiff: I had gift cards in there, my earpiece, and a calculator.
Defendant: [speaking up] There was no earpiece in there, ma'am.
Judge Judy: I love it! I love it. [to Byrd] That's Dumb and Dumber. Judgment for the plaintiff for the amount of $500. That's what I think it's worth, madam. Goodbye.
- NOTE: The case is actually standard length. Based on the YouTube clip that has gone viral, people assume the YouTube clip is the entirety of the case. It isn't. That doesn't make it any less funny. In fact, the whole episode shows the Defendants as being Too Dumb to Live as one example is that they said they were in four places at one time (In the hallway in from the bathroom where the purse was found, the cafe, outside and in the bathroom where the purse was found).
- Another Epic Fail in a similar vein, in which the defendant was being sued for failing to repay a loan to her former friend.Judge Judy: You don't sound like an unintelligent woman, Ms. Gebhardt. I would assume that if you hadn't made five children, you would be able to have a job and work full time and maybe drive around in a BMW. Instead, what you chose to do is, you chose to have a gaggle of children, and that was your choice, your choice to have a lot of kids. She [the plaintiff] chose to have two, have a job, drive around in a BMW. What is that your business?
Defendant: It's not my business, but she had the money to give me. She loaned—-
[Judge Judy grins]
Defendant: [quickly catching herself] ...she didn't loan the money. She...
Judge Judy: Judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $2000. That's all.
- In one extreme example of I Never Said It Was Poison, a case involving a vandalized car, the defendant slipped up not once, not twice, but three times. The first two times were the result of her not being able to keep her mouth shut while the plaintiff and his witness were testifying.
- Exhibit A:Defendant: [while Judge Judy is examining photos of the plaintiff's vandalized windshield] And they didn't actually see me do it.
Judge Judy: They didn't actually see you do it? [laughs] Be quiet.
- Exhibit B:Plaintiff: She came back with a rock of some sort, and got out and threw it at my back gas tank, and dented the gas tank portion of my car, the back left fender.
Judge Judy: Just a second. Who saw that?
Defendant: No one.
Judge Judy: [laughing, turning to Byrd] Don't you love it? Do you love it? It's like one of those reverse lines...
Defendant: But no one seen me do it. No one seen me do it.
Plaintiff: Our roommate was outside when she threw it.
Judge Judy: [to defendant] What I'm telling you is, [breaking up in laughter] you're supposed to be quiet!
- And then, Exhibit C, which clinched the case for the plaintiff.Defendant: No, I'm just saying, like, that's why he doesn't drive his car. It's not 'cause of what I di- I mean, what he thinks...
[Uproarious laughter from audience]
Judge Judy: What a dummy. Oh my God! So glad we did this case first today. [more audience laughter] Judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $2500. You're getting the $2500 partially to fix the stuff on your car, and partially because this was the most fun I've had in a long time. [more audience laughter]
- Exhibit A:
- This particular exchange, as seen in Judyisms:Plaintiff: But he cheats all the time!
Judge Judy: Are you trying to justify to me the fact that you're an idiot?!
- In a case from 2007, a woman lost a case against another woman who had shot her dog, primarily because she didn't have a leash on the dog and blew the case out of proportion, realizing she was responsible for her dog being shot (there were signs up too). Judy was full of her usual gems, including this particular gem (when the plaintiff was asked why she kept changing her story about there being no leash):Judge Judy: Oh, I get it, it was snatched by the leash fairy!!!
- In one case, a woman ruined her boyfriend's clothes by pouring bleach all over them. She then goes on a 30 second rant, which consisted of almost nothing but insults directed at him. Judge Judy gloriously and hilariously put her in her place - and then proceeded to rule against her in the full $5,000 amount of the plaintiff's complaint (thus also instantly dismissing the defendant's counterclaim) when the defendant still refused to shut up.Judge Judy: LISTEN TO ME! (Beat) Where do you think you are? You think you're on Springer? YOU'RE NOT! YOU'RE NOT! You wanna go to a therapist? Go someplace el-
Monika Lahai: No, I don't need to see a therapist. I don't need to see a-
Judge Judy: LISTEN TO ME! Only one person is going to have- only one... judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $5,000! Your counterclaim is dismissed!
Monika Lahai: Excuse me? NO! What about my computer?
Judge Judy: That's all. Your counterclaim is dismissed.
Monika Lahai: You just gonna walk away like that? That don't even make no sense! What about my computer? I don't get no chance to say nothin'?
Judge Judy: I told you- I told you: it's MY playpen, I have the word. Goodbye, go someplace else!
- A case rerun April 17, 2020, also involving a woman who poured bleach on her ex's clothes when she suspected he was cheating on her. In this case, she live-streamed her actions online, probably not counting on her ex suing her and bringing the video to court as evidence. When shown in court, the video exposed the defendant as unhinged and crazy - not to mention barely able to put a sentence together without cursing - when she was mad as opposed to the soft-spoken demeanor she presented before Judge Judy:Defendant: [on video] All right. This is what I'm talking about right here. ... That's bleach. ... [after she pours the bleach over the clothes] Look at that changing color! That's so [expletive deleted] pretty. Look at that changing color. That is so beautiful. Yeah. Talk that [expletive deleted]. Yeah, that was his [expletive deleted].
- The plaintiff and his witness couldn't keep from giggling while the video played, and Judge Judy's facial expression was priceless to boot. Watching the defendant try to backpedal when she knew her goose was cooked was also amusing to watch.Judge Judy: [laughing] I still love this job!
- The plaintiff and his witness couldn't keep from giggling while the video played, and Judge Judy's facial expression was priceless to boot. Watching the defendant try to backpedal when she knew her goose was cooked was also amusing to watch.
- The cell phone eBay scamming case. After Judge Judy questions the scammer, who claims that the auction was for two photos of the cell phone instead of two cell phones, the scammer insists that that's what they paid for. Judge Judy still references that case, understandably a fan favorite, to this day.Judge Judy: YOU'RE AN IDIOT! AND A SCAMMER!Judge Judy: Listen to me. I'm older, smarter. If you live to be a hundred and fifty, you're not going to be as smart as I am in one finger!Judge Judy: [last words to the defendant before ruling against her] You need to find something else to do with your time, constructively, rather than make children who are going to grow up with no moral compass, like their mother.
- The 1997 case of Williams v. Lydon. Drummer Robert Williams (who played with such bands as Captain Beefheart, Tex and the Horseheads, and Zoogz Rift) was suing John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) for assault and lost wages. Lydon's courtroom antics were epic; he even made JJ herself laugh at one point. Here's a few excerpts.
- A 2015 case saw a former boyfriend and girlfriend against each other. Judy asks when they started dating, but he does not know the answer. She then proceeds to ask him when his birthday was, followed by his mother's birthday. While it may be expected that a son might have a bit of a problem remembering his mother's birthday, Judy then pointedly asks when the girlfriend's birthday was. He doesn't have a clue that her birthday is the Fourth of July! Not even Judy can resist laughing.
- In a 2015 case, Judy had no patience for a crybaby suing her own son for breaking her Grandma's china.Judge Judy: You say no, I say yes. I win. I'm the Judge. Goodbye.
- The taper even squeezes in one at the end with his reaction: "Murdered".
- One defendant answers Judge Judy's rhetorical question about rocket science. You know you've really stuck your foot in your mouth when Byrd is shaking his head.Defendant: Rocket science is when the scientists find out things about space...I think.
- Circa 2001: The judge heard a case from a teenage girl suing her boyfriend for damaging several music compact discs. The plaintiff brought the ruined albums to court with her, which turned out to be mostly hip-hop and R&B albums. Judge Judy examined the discs, which included titles such as DMX's Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (the cover of which featured the rapper nude and covered in blood), which led to this exchange:Judge Judy: [to Byrd] Whatever happened to Benny Goodman?
Byrd: He was replaced by "Bootleg Booty."
Judge Judy: "Bootleg Booty"? [to plaintiff] Have you ever heard of Barry Manilow?
- Circa 2003?: In hearing a case in which the plaintiff was suing the defendants for assault in a dispute over a parking space, Judge Judy invited the plaintiff up to the bench so she could get a better look at the scar on the plaintiff's face.Judge Judy: Don't have it fixed. When you get older, it'll just be another one of those lines that starts creeping around your face. [turns to Byrd] I know you don't understand that, because you have a mustache. [audience laughs]
Byrd: Maybe it's because "Black Don't Crack." [audience laughs again]
Judge Judy: [laughing] Oh no, you're not gonna escape. No one gets away, sweetheart.
- Circa 2005: Her Honor threw the defendant and his witness out of the courtroom when the defendant wouldn't stop interrupting the plaintiff's testimony.Judge Judy: I have other things to do today. I have to get home! [points to her watch] "Judge Judy" is on! [audience laughs]
- In a case involving a very young little girl, Judge Judy spoke very gently and calmly to her. After asking her questions about the case, she asked a few others (either to get a laugh or to judge the child's ability to tell the truth), including asking if the child thought she (JJ) was beautiful. The child answered "no," prompting laughter in the court and a grin and snicker from JJ. When asked to clarify why she thought that, the child responded, "You're old." Cue more amusement from everybody present.
- Circa 2003?: The smallest judgment ever awarded in Judge Judy's courtroom... one nickel, in a case involving a firearms sale in which the defendant testified that the plaintiffs had originally been willing to let him have the firearms for five cents. Judge Judy literally had the defendant take a nickel out of his pocket and give it to Byrd to hand to the plaintiffs (who had been suing for several hundred dollars for the return of the firearms or their value).
- Whenever the judge gets impatient while doing a case before lunch and tells the litigants to hurry it up.Judge Judy: My question is a simple one, sir, and I'm getting hungry. It's sushi day.
- April 23, 2018 case: a middle-aged couple were being sued by a relative for the return of a loan, and their defense was that they'd done things to help out the plaintiff as well, which ought to cancel out the debt. It turned out the following statement was correct since the defendants were talking about chores such as mowing the lawn, not money:Judge Judy: I guarantee you, on Byrd's life [cue mock outraged look from Byrd], that the two of you never gave him any money!
- May 2018 case: a man is suing another driver for backing into his car. While describing the car he was driving, the man delved into the history of the car. Judge Judy cuts him off by saying "T.M.I." The litigants and the extras cracking up is a given. Byrd cracking up is Adorkable. Even better, Judge Judy is audibly confused as to why everyone is laughing and can't get a straight answer from Byrd.
- An example given to a defendant who claimed she had waived a guarantee in a case involving a beauty salon visit:Judge Judy: Let me give you an example. Let's say I buy a car - no, let's make it better, Byrd buys a car, because I want him to pay attention. The car is guaranteed for 100,000 miles from stem to stern. Byrd has the car for three days. The car blows up. Byrd takes the car back to the dealership and complains, saying, "You gave me a guarantee." The dealer tells him, "We waive the guarantee. Because we knew that the person who put the car together wasn't wrapped too tight, so we waive the guarantee." What do you think Byrd would do? [to Byrd] What would you do?Byrd: I'd take it to Judge Judy.[Judge Judy and the audience laugh]Judge Judy: Someone gave you very bad legal advice if they told you that you, and not the customer, could waive a guarantee. And I don't know whoever said that, but they must have gotten their legal license in "Close the Cover Before You Strike" School.
- The conclusion of a case from circa 2010, dealing with a dispute over a Honda and a Prius.Judge Judy: [to plaintiff] Do you have the title to the Honda?Plaintiff: Yes, I do.Judge Judy: Great. Sign it over to him [the defendant]. Now!Plaintiff: Okay.Defendant: Wait, Your Honor...Judge Judy: [quietly] Listen to me. [louder, sing-song voice] YOU'RE GETTING... THE HON-DA! It's yours! ... You're going to pay her another $1900, then the Honda's yours. And then I can go do something that I find interesting. This is not it.[The plaintiff then becomes upset when the judge tells her the defendant will not be paying off her Prius.]Judge Judy: [sing-song] THAT'S WHAT'S HAP-PEN-ING! Understand this!Plaintiff: Your Honor, I have evidence that he agreed to pay off the car in six months...Judge Judy: Listen to me, dear. Your Honda was worth $6000. He's going to pay $6000 and the Honda is now his. He has already paid $4100 toward your Prius. He is going to give you another $1900 and I... [looks toward her office] am going through that door. [over both litigants' protests] SIGN IT! [sing-song] 1-2-3... 4-5-6... 7-8-9... 10... You're both going to be out of here, and then you can both deal with your problems without me![The plaintiff continues to protest about damages to the Prius, so Judge Judy gives her the option to accept her judgment or to have the case dismissed without prejudice and go back to small claims court.]Judge Judy: Do you want the $1900 and do you want to sign over the car to him, or do you want me to leave you exactly the way I found you? Your pleasure!Plaintiff: Your Honor, I beg of you to please listen to my—Judge Judy: [leaving for chambers] 'BYE!!!
- 2012: A woman sues her ex-roommate for his half of the fees incurred after they were evicted from their apartment. When Judge Judy learns the defendant is a restaurant server, she asks him if he'd be upset if a customer stiffed him on a tip, and he says no.Judge Judy: Mr. Ballard, there's really only one winner here; that's me. Because you just made yourself look foolish. What restaurant do you work in, sir?Defendant: Um... it's a restaurant. I don't want to say the name.Judge Judy: Why? I asked you what the name is. I'm gonna tell all the patrons they can come in and stiff you... [audience laughs] ...and they're still gonna get good service! ... Enough people are gonna see you there, and just for sport... [audience laughs again] ...just to see how you react, they're gonna stiff you. Because they're gonna say, "We saw you on Judge Judy, and you said it really didn't matter to you whether you gave good service or bad service; you would not get mad if you got stiffed at the end of a meal." And enough people are gonna do that, and I guarantee you, Mr. Ballard, it's gonna irritate you. So I told you, Mr. Ballard, there's only one winner here.
- Owens vs. McDaniel (circa 2010): the famous "twist ending" case involving a dental-office receptionist who was suing her former coworker for allegedly breaking into the plaintiff's Email and posting suggestive photos (of the plaintiff in a swimsuit) on the dental practice's website.Judge Judy: [to plaintiff] So you admit that you posed for these photos, and that's fine; you can do that if you like. I don't do that anymore because, you know, I think that people are entitled to keep their last meal. In fact, I don't even get into a bathing suit anymore.
Judge Judy: I'd like to say something to the millions of people, hopefully, who are watching this case: nothing on the Internet is private! No picture, no Email, no Blog, no Twitter...Byrd: Look at you! [audience laughter]Judge Judy: ...Nothing is sacred! It used to be that you'd write a journal and then put it away someplace and then maybe after you'd been dead for 50 years, people would read your journal. But these days, everything is global! So, you should never put anything on the Internet that you wouldn't want to see, as we used to say in my day, "in the front window of Macy's."
- Later in the case, the admittedly computer-illiterate judge gave a short lecture on online privacy, which amused Byrd and the audience with how many of the terms she got right.
- This observation when ruling in favor of the plaintiff in the case of an auto accident, in which the defendant claimed he wasn't at fault because the sun was in his eyes:Judge Judy: It may not have been your fault that the sun was in your eyes. But it was your fault that you hit [the plaintiff]. He can't sue the sun.
- May 20, 2019 case:Defendant: Do you prefer "Ma'am" or "Your Honor"?Judge Judy: I prefer "Your Majesty." You can call me "Your Honor."
- Pretty much whenever Judge Judy talks about Byrd or to Byrd about the case.
- In a few recent (later half of 2019) cases, she has taken to describing the case, always comically absurd, to Byrd at the start. In one case, she even remarks how the litigants deserved each other for being so stupid and, at least twice, made subsequent asides to Byrd reaffirming her stance. Byrd, being Byrd, generally gives a thoughtful nod of agreement.
- One case involved two sisters in which the Plaintiff was suing her damages to the car when the Defendant took the car without permission and hit a deer. The case got to being really ridiculous when the defendant not only admitted to crashing the car but taking the deer home and eating it. The defendant even offered some to the plaintiff.Judge Judy: After you hit the deer with the plaintiff's car, what happen to the deer?Defendant: I ate it.Audience bursts out laughingJudge Judy: You ate it?Defendant: It was good. I offered [The Defendant] some.Plaintiff: Yes, she offered me some, but I'm not having any rigor mortis stew or whatever.Defendant: It did NOT have rigor mortis.
- Circa 2013: The plaintiffs and the defendants, both married couples, moved in together and opened joint checking and savings accounts, but after the living arrangement went sour, the plaintiffs kicked the defendants out and closed both accounts. Later, the plaintiffs reopened the savings account in order to deposit $5,000, and later learned that the defendants had not only withdrawn the $5,000, emptying the account, but had arranged for the bank statements to be sent to their new address. First, the defendants tried Obfuscating Stupidity by denying they had changed the address on the account and claiming they didn't know how or why the bank statements were sent to their new address. When Judge Judy castigated them for this, pointing out that the address on the bank statements matched the defendants' new address and that "The Bank Fairy" didn't make up this new address, the defendants tried a different tack, insisting that they were entitled to the money because their names had been on the original joint account. Judge Judy didn't buy that either.Judge Judy: If I have a bank account that has $100 in it and then one day I see that it has $100,000 in it, and I write myself a check for $90,000, cash it, go to Vegas and throw myself a party, how far do you think I'd get with the bank if I told them, "That's my name - Judith Sheindlin. My name is on the account and therefore it's my money and I'm entitled to do what I want with it." And the bank would say to me, "What are you, crazy?" and the Feds would say to me, "What are you, nuts?" and then they'd ask, "Do you want your hands cuffed in the front or the back?"
- An early case that was quite possibly Judge Judy's shortest ever. The plaintiff came into court wearing a hat, and when Judge Judy asked her to remove it, refused. Judge Judy dismissed the case without prejudice and sent the plaintiff packing. It was all over in less than two minutes.
- Any time Judge Judy figures the case will be over quickly and tells Byrd right at the beginning, "Don't get comfortable."
- Speaking of short cases: circa 2008, the plaintiff who sued her former friend for breaking her toilet when she sat on it. The plaintiff figured the defendant was responsible legally because the defendant had been sitting on the toilet when it broke. Judge Judy let her know she didn't have a case because there was a difference between the defendant actually breaking the toilet and the toilet breaking while the defendant was using it.Judge Judy: The toilet broke while she was using it. That doesn't mean that she broke it, and that doesn't mean that she's responsible for it! Toilets break. I had one break in my apartment just last week. Cost me $650 to put in a new toilet. You think I went around to try to FIND THE LAST PERSON WHO SAT ON IT?! [audience laughs] DON'T BE STUPID! GROW UP! That's all.
- The ending of a case involving a dispute over purses the defendant was given to sell on consignment and threw away instead.Judge Judy: Beauty fades, dumb is definitely forever. You owe her $1100. That's all. Step out.
Byrd: Parties are excused, you may step out.
Plaintiff: Thank you, Judge Judy!
Defendant: [appearing shocked, but not moving from the podium] For what?!
Plaintiff: For my bags, that's what.
Defendant: Your bags? I'm not payin' you nothin'! Whatever.
Plaintiff: [on her way out] Yeah, whatever, we'll see. You supposed to be the diva.
Defendant: I AM the diva!
Plaintiff: No you're not!
Defendant: I'M the diva! I'M the diva!
Plaintiff: And I'M the baller.
Byrd: [to defendant, who has yet to leave her podium] Boss - out that door. [audience laughs]
Plaintiff: A diva has class. A diva would never do what you did.
- Circa 2019, Judge Judy is hearing a case where a younger man struck an older man for talking to his date (who gets flirty when she's drunk). While expounding on the fact that the six-foot-huge date felt the need to deck an elderly man just barely above five-foot, she remarks that even Byrd can tell how vicious the younger man appears even before cleaning his glasses. Byrd, in the middle of cleaning his glasses, turns to give her a confused glare.
- The plaintiff in a 2019-20 season case who couldn't accept that Judge Judy told him he didn't have a case. He was suing for the value of property he'd had in a storage unit which was auctioned off when he neglected to pay for the unit.Judge Judy: Then you get nothing.
Phillip Bereal, Plaintiff: What do you mean I get nothing?
Judge Judy: That's what I just told you, you get nothing. [laughs] If you put things in storage, who's supposed to pay for it? Me? Byrd? You get a zero. Zip-a-dee-do-dah. Nothing.
Bereal: Hold on-hold on-hold on-hold-on, Judge Judy...
Judge Judy: Don't tell me to hold on.
Bereal: Hold on-hold on-hold on...
[At conclusion, after Judge Judy officially dismisses the case]
Bereal: Just hold on-hold on-hold on...
Judge Judy: Don't tell me to hold on. If you have a storage unit, you have to pay for it.
Bereal: I agree. Can I-can I...
Judge Judy: Good. And if you didn't pay for it and you lost your stuff, that comes under the category of "TOO BAD."
Bereal: Can I- can I say something?
Judge Judy: Goodbye. [leaves for chambers]
Bereal: That's not what happened. Judge Judy, that's not what happened. [as Byrd comes to escort him out] Oh my God, I can't say one word?!
- Any time litigants call Judge Judy by her first name and get scolded with a Death Glare.Plaintiff: [after Judge Judy grants her $2,000 on her complaint] Thank you, Judy.
Judge Judy: Uh... excuse me?
Plaintiff: ..."Your Honor."
Judge Judy: Much better.
[The look on the plaintiff's face as she turned to leave was priceless.]
- Any time Judge Judy pokes fun at her own incompetence in math, as in a case circa 2001: the plaintiff starts to approach the bench to give Judge Judy evidence when Officer Byrd stops her.Plaintiff: Oh, I'm so sorry.
Officer Byrd: That's alright. It is one of the few things I do here.
Judge Judy: Oh Byrd, that isn't true. You do so much for me; you know how to add.
- Circa 2008: Judge Judy throws the defendant's witness out of the courtroom for wearing short pants to court. As she is about to rule on the case, Byrd informs her that the witness has found a pair of long pants to wear and would like to return to court. Judge Judy refuses:Judge Judy: No, he was better without pants. [pauses as Byrd looks at her strangely] I didn't mean it *that* way.
- Sometimes during cases, Byrd will typically work on a crossword puzzle.Judge Judy: Byrd, as soon as you finish 9 Across, will you get the plaintiff's evidence, please? [laughter from audience] Wasn't that funny? I thought that was funny.
Officer Byrd: It was funny. It's actually 8 Across.
- Circa 2014, a case involving a motorist suing a farmer for damage to his car after he hit one of the defendant's cows (the cow survived, but the car was totaled). Judge Judy came up with this analogy to explain to the defendant, who claimed he wasn't legally responsible because his cows were free-range, why his position was ridiculous.Judge Judy: Let's say you had a herd of 150 cows, and they all got out, went to Byrd's house and decided to go through Byrd's house in order to get to whatever pasture they wanted to get to, knocked down the front door, went into the house and left gifts for Byrd all over the house, and then went into his backyard and destroyed his yard and his pool. Are you telling me that you wouldn't feel responsible for that, sir?