What Does He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best Mean?

He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best Meaning

Definition: It may seem like someone is winning throughout a situation, but it is only when it is over that the real winner is apparent; The final outcome is more important than whoever had the advantage at the beginning or in the middle.

Origin of He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best

This expression comes from England, from around the year 1608, from a play called The Christmas Prince.

Laugh on laugh on my freind

Hee laugheth best that laugheth to the end

It draws attention to situations in which one person has an advantage over another, and laughs at the person losing.

If someone begins a sports game with a large lead, he or she may laugh at the players on the other team because they are losing. However, at the last minute, the other team makes a comeback and wins the game, so they now “have the last laugh.”

Since this team is the final winner, they have they last laugh and their laugh is the best, mos satisfying laugh. It doesn’t matter how well someone plays, but only whether he or she wins or loses.

Examples of He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best

who laugh last laugh best quote In this example, two sisters are talking to each other about a surprise visit from their parents.

Amy: Did I tell you what happened with Mom and Dad when you went to the store?

Kimberly: No, what was it?

Amy: Mom was making fun of me for not having a good job.

Kimberly: Really? You never told her about your new job?

Amy: No, I had wanted to surprise her in person. Anyway, she was so rude about it. She was saying how incompetent I was.

Kimberly: Well, I guess you got the last laugh when you told her that your new job pays better than her job and Dad’s job put together.

Amy: You’re right. I did. And she who laughs last laughs best.

who laugh last laugh best quote In the second example, two friends are discussing their camping trip.

Keira: Oh no! You look awful!

Rory: I know! My skin has this terrible rash. I don’t know what happened!

Keira: That’s poison ivy. Don’t worry. I brought a cream with me that will help stop that.

Rory: I’m sorry I laughed at you for bringing so much stuff on the camping trip. In the end we needed almost all of it.

Keira: Well, I guess he who laughs last, laughs best. Now you know for next time!

More Examples

This excerpt uses the expression to describe the winner of a boxing match.

  • Ride bene chi ride l’ultimo … Italian for “He who laughs last, laughs best.” That’s the best way to describe the current state of Victor Ortiz … I mean, the new WBC welterweight champion Victory Ortiz. –OC Register

This excerpt uses the expression as the headline for its article. The article is about the Prince of England. He started a company over twenty years ago, and people laughed at him because they thought it was such a stupid idea. However, the company still exists today and is hugely successful. They use a variation of the expression.

  • He who laughs last laughs loudest: THIS week Prince Charles’s organic food company Duchy Originals celebrated its 21st birthday with an event at Clarence House. –Express


The expression he who laughs last, laughs best is a saying that means the final winner will have more glory than someone who was winning in the beginning but ultimately lost.