Variations of this quote have been around almost as long as the bicycle itself. The origin seems to be a derivative of an earlier form:
God needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.Unknown
This is perhaps the earliest version of the “fish needs a bicycle” quote.
The place [Aragon, Spain] didn’t need an American consul any more than a cow needs a bicycle; for it had no trade with America, and no American tourist ever dreamed of stopping there.The Hartford Courant, A Connecticut newspaper, 1898. Credit.
Try making a fun quote yourself.
Here’s the formula:
A needs B like C needs a bicycle.
Send us your quote inspired by “a fish needs a bicycle” and we’ll post it here. Or leave a comment below.
More variations from earlier times
A man without faith is like a fish without a bicycle. ~ , 1958.
Man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle ~.
In recent times, the Quote Investigator did a much better job deconstructing this quote than I did. See the full breakdown of “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Spoiler alert, the quote investigator attributes this to graffiti on a wall as reported by a newspaper.
We found this anonymous contribution to International Women’s Year on a wall at Forest Lodge: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”The Sydney Morning Herald, January, 1975.
And, perhaps, my favorite of them all.
“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” I really hate this expression. I bet fish would totally want bicycles.Meg Cabot, Princess on the Brink.
It seems people like their freedom from needing anything as evident in these variations.
A man needs a woman like a fish needs a bicycle. ~.
People need government like a mouse needs a cat. ~
In pop culture
Nothin’ much to say I guess
You’re just the same as all the rest
Been tryin’ to throw your arms around the world
And a woman needs a man
Like a fish needs a bicycle
When you’re tryin’ to throw your arms around the world
I’m gonna run to you, run to you, run to you.
More deconstructed bicycle quotes
An Adventure Cycling #TGIF quote, Bicycle Bliss Calendar’s February bike quote and now an all-time famous bicycle quotes. Read the story behind this quote and how it is one of the surprising benefits to travel.
This humorous essay by one of America’s greatest authors gave birth to many famous quotes about riding a bicycle. And it was written in 1884 shortly before women suffragists.
Test yourself with this bicycle quotation mashup quiz. We’ve replaced one word with one of the following: bike, bicycle, bicyclist, road or ride. Can you guess the original quote and author?