Top 10 Things We’ll Miss About Liz Lemon

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For seven seasons on NBC’s 30 Rock Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) has been both an inspiring role model and a somewhat cautionary tale. Everyone’s favorite feminist nerd may have wanted to have it all, but she had a whole lot of issues to overcome first.

When we think of good ole Elizabeth Miervaldis Lemon, it is those issues that always first come to mind over her triumphs — though both provided for hearty laughs. From her false pregnancy reading after consuming way too much Sabor de Soledad, to returning to her high school only to learn she was the original Mean Girl, to her being bummed by the word “lovers” (unless it’s between the words “meat” and “pizza,” of course), Liz always made us feel better about our own relationship, professional, and “bathing suit area” problems.

What will Celebuzz miss most about Liz Lemon? Read on for our Top 10 list!

1. Her love of sandwiches and willingness to use them as a metaphor for just about anything. We never thought we’d meet a television character who loved sandwiches more than Friends’ Joey Tribbiani, but Liz Lemon could give him a run for his money in that kind of culinary devotion. She may have never tried to “save” a sandwich from assumed gunfire, but she did effectively choose a sandwich over a guy when she brought her special Teamster sandwich to the airport. Unable to bring it through security because the container of sauce was more than three ounces, she debated chasing down what ended up not being her dream guy anyway, instead trying to scarf it on the spot so she wouldn’t have to give up the kind of love that never let her down = food love.

2. Her own lexicon. This is, of course, as much Fey’s triumph as it is her fictional Liz’s, but like Saturday Night Live and Mean Girls before it, 30 Rock gave us a number of quotable phrases easily adapted into everyday life by those of us just trying to be like Liz Lemon. “Blerg” is the most obvious; even Anne Hathaway used it when accepting her Golden Globe this year. But, “I want to go to there” has become a thing, too. As has “nerds” as an expression of emotion and “ham napkin,” which has been expanded from just being wedding dress slang to include a number of kinds of clothing options.

3. The parade of terrible choices in men and the part of her that wasn’t willing to settle. Starting as early as childhood, Liz was always practical to a fault about her romantic options. Her pretend wedding to Saul Rosenbear had her sharing her special day with her new stepson, after all! And then the list just declined from there — dummy Dennis who thought technology was cyclical; The Hair who turned out to be her distant cousin; the coffee-delivery guy, Jamie, whose mother she too greatly resembled…; all the way to attractive Doctor Drew who lived in his own bubble of stupidity; and Wesley, who she simply hated. With each (funny but) bad relationship that she sent kicking to the curb, eventually for good, her own self-esteem seemed to bolster for the next guy. She even got to date her equivalent of an astronaut (a pilot), but when he turned not to be quite as she imagined, she didn’t settle for him either.

4. Her forever (though unlikely) friendship with Jenna.Let’s face it, we all have people in our lives who are kind of only still around because we’ve known them for so long, it’s just easier to keep them around, right? Maybe, we had a lot in common when we were younger (in Liz and Jenna’s case, they shared a common goal of wanting to break down barriers for women in comedy), but as time went on and we matured individually, we drifted apart. If Liz and Jenna met each other today, we have no doubt they’d hate each other. But there is something so sweet about them sticking by each other for as long as they have. Remember when they did that magazine cover and Jenna tried to warn Liz not to use the props because the funny photo is always the one they’ll use, embarrassing the crap out of you? That’s a kind of help she wouldn’t share with just anyone!

5. Her ample appropriation of pop culture for her own personal and sometimes selfish purposes. When Liz found out Jack (Alec Baldwin) had three possible fathers, she got oh-so excited at the possibility of a Mamma Mia. She willingly disguised herself as the Joker from Batman in order to clear out subway cars and movie theaters and have private experiences. She dressed as Princess Leia (complete with buns and deep voice) to avoid jury duty. She has taken our own love of pop culture so much farther than simple costumes at Halloween time!

6. The terrible TGS sketches. Let’s be honest: the kind of sketches TGS has aired that have kept them on the air for 100+ episodes are kind of a commentary on how devoid of quality programming NBC is. “Bear Versus Killer Robots” technically may have been more Frank (Judah Friedlander), but what about “Bear and Robot Talk Show” or “Pam, the Overly Confident/Morbidly Obese Woman?” They’re so bad you just have to laugh and enjoy them. Just don’t think too hard about them or you may start to question Liz’s judgement for airing them.

7. Her anti-Carrie Bradshaw everything. Sure, she dressed up as Princess Leia to get out of jury duty, but she also wore her Leia dress as her wedding dress. Liz always knew who she was, and she was always unabashedly and unapologetically a nerd. She made it OK for everyone who didn’t want to prance around Manhattan in insanely impractical high heels and belly-bearing shirts to be okay with it, because she went so far in the other direction. She wore a Slanket at her desk, not because it was product placement but because she just liked it. And on laundry days, she wore her bathing suit because she was out of clean underwear. She celebrated the weird things women do, but rarely want to talk about.

8. Her righteous indignation. Who else would buy up all the hot dogs from a street cart just because some “wang” had formed a second line, and she wanted only to reward the “good people” in the real line?

9. The fact that we’ll never get to see what Liz’s kid(s) will be like or how much of an influence she’ll have on Liddy. When Jack realized he was kind of old to be having a baby and therefore might not be around to see the kid through the tough times in life, he made a series of videos to teach the kid all he thought was important. Of course, that was when he thought he was having a boy. Then he learned the baby was a girl, and he enlisted Liz’s help. Personally, we’ll miss simply getting to hear her attempt to impart her wisdom on her friends and co-workers every week, but being able to shape a complete, new life, too? We want to go to there!

10. And of course, her judgmental but oh-so-perfect eye roll. ‘Nuff said.

The one-hour 30 Rock series finale airs Thursday at 8PM on NBC.

What will you miss most about Liz Lemon? Let us know if you think we missed anything, in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano

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Tags: 30 Rock, Tina Fey