Whoever Said Money Can’t Buy Happiness Didn’t Know Where To Shop

Gertrude Stein? Joanna Lee? Fred Neher? Kate Osann? George Gobel? Bo Derek? John E. Gibson? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Twisting timeworn adages produces new comical sayings. Altering a hoary remark about wealth and happiness yields a maxim for shopaholics:

Anyone who says money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.

The prominent literary figure Gertrude Stein has received credit for this saying. Is this attribution accurate?

Quote Investigator: QI has been unable to find substantive evidence to support the ascription to Gertrude Stein who died in 1946. The linkage may have been established by a misreading of the text in the 1987 citation presented further below.

The earliest match known to QI occurred in an episode titled “All About Eva” from the third season of the television series “Gilligan’s Island”. The episode was written by Joanna Lee and first broadcast on December 12, 1966 according to the Gilligan’s Island Wiki on the Fandom website. 1 QI watched the episode and verified the following dialog. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 2

Professor (Russell Johnson): “Well, I’m sorry folks, but money can’t buy happiness!”

Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer): “Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.”

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Whoever Said Money Can’t Buy Happiness Didn’t Know Where To Shop


  1. Website: Fandom – Gilligan’s Island Wiki, Season 3, Episode 14: All About Eva, Air Date on Website: December 12, 1966, Episode Writer: Joanna Lee, Website description: Information about Gilligan’s Island. (Accessed gilligan.fandom.com on January 25, 2019) link
  2. Dailymotion video, Title: Gilligan’s Island All About Eva S03E14, Uploaded May 2018, (Quotation starts at 10 minutes 13 seconds of 25 minutes 16 seconds). Description: This video is an episode of “Gilligan’s Island” called “All About Eva”. (Accessed on dailymotion.com on January 25, 2019)