Never knows best

What does the phrase “NEVER KNOWS BEST” mean?

The first time I saw this was in the show FLCL. Mamimi Samejima smokes a worn cigarette with “Never Knows Best” written onto the paper. I looked for a meaning on the internet but nothing seems to work right.

I am well aware that there is a lack of a preceding noun, the phrase really doesn’t have a meaning.

I assume because it is printed on a cigarette and as the cigarette is smoked, the meaning changes. To smoke is to “Never Know Best” because, you know, cigarettes are bad. Once lit, the smoker is committed to the action of smoking. A partially smoked cigarette in media or entertainment can represent a sense of confidence, coolness and self assure nature, thus the “Knows Best” only drives any point the smoker is making. For those that have smoked cigarettes, the last part of the cigarette is the best part of smoking. Of course this is completely a guess on my part. But there has to be an answer. Someone must know what these words on a cigarette mean? Right?

This tidbit was found on the from the DVD commentary of FLCL but does not explain it’s meaning:


What does “Never Knows Best” mean?

*giggling* The English written on her cigarette

Tsurumaki Kazuya:

Oh, that? Originally, it was a cigarette on a postcard I have.

What did it say on the cigarette?

It was a close-up picture of a cigarette that had “Join London” on it.

And it was probably handwritten, not printed.

I thought it looked cool and that I would mimic it.

*with laughter* It’s not a cigarette brand. There’s no such brand in Japan


I thought that it might be the title of a song.

Tsurumaki Kazuya:

Oh, no.

I’m not sure if it has a real meaning or not.

How can I say it? Um…

*in an explanatory manner* There’s a best way, and not everyone can follow it.

No one knows the best way.

I thought it reflected Mamimi’s belief that there’s no future.

That it had a nuance that said she’s given up on life.

It sounds like Kazuya doesn’t have a real explanation for it. He saw English written on a cigarette on a postcard, thought it looked cool, and wanted to copy it. He even says “I’m not sure if it has a real meaning or not”. It looked cool. Also he said “There’s a best way, and not everyone can follow it. No one knows the best way.” So Never knows Best could be referring to everyone not knowing the best thing to do a lot of the time. Kazuya also said it reflected Mamimi’s belief that there’s no future. What could be best if there’s nothing to go to? She’s given up on life, he said. It does have a kind of depressing ring to it, in my opinion.

Also it probably doesn’t have a preceding noun cause the guy is japanese. Bad translation maybe? Just sounded cool?

Never knows best

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