Thursday, September 8, 2005

"No, but could you tell me more about Jackie Robinson, and breaking barriers?"

So - I got this fascinating new device from my cable company for mere pennies per month. It's a DVR. If you don't know what that is, look it up - you need to know. It's like TiVo, or replaytv. It enables me to record, without those cumbersome videotapes, anything I want. In fact, I can even set it to record a certain show any time it comes on on any channel. Which I have done with several shows, including (here comes the point) The West Wing. Since I got it I have watched approximately 453 episodes. In case you didn't know - The West Wing is probably (not possibly) the 100% greatest television show of all time.

It is also the show with the coolest dialogue. Since about 79.8% of the appeal of something is sharing it with others, I thought I would contribute to our conversation (yes, we are having a conversation. Deal with it.) several of my favorite bits of West Wing dialogue, and allow you to do the same with your comments - all culminating in a massive compendium of screenwritten literary gems and fanboy geekiness. I'll go first!

President Bartlet: I could jump you right now.
Abby Bartlet: I could kill you right now.
President Bartlet: My thing's more fun.

Josh Lyman: All I'm saying is, if you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop to get a beer.
Donna Moss: If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights.

President Bartlet: Who's your commander-in-chief?
Abby Bartlet: You are.

(With the cabinet member who stays behind during the State of the Union address, in case someone blows up the Capitol Building)
President Bartlet: Roger, if anything happens, you know what to do, right?
Roger: I honestly hadn't thought about it, sir.
President Bartlet: First thing always is national security. Get your commanders together. Appoint Joint Chiefs, appoint a chairman. Take us to Defcon 4. Have the governors send emergency delegates to Washington. The assistant Attorney General is going to be the Acting A.G. You got a best friend?
Roger: Yes sir.
President Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Roger: Yes sir.
President Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Roger: Yes sir.
President Bartlet: That's your Chief of Staff.

C.J. Cregg: The theme of the Egg Hunt is "Learning is delightful and delicious!" As, by the way, am I.

President Bartlet: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those that show up.

Abby Bartlet: I was very young when I had my kids. I was very, very, very, very young. I was barely even born yet when I had my oldest daughter, Elizabeth.

President Bartlet: You're Dr. Jenna Jacobs, right?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: Yes sir.
President Bartlet: Forgive me, Dr. Jacobs. Are you an M.D?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: A PhD.
President Bartlet: A PhD?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: Yes sir.
President Bartlet: Psychology?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: No sir.
President Bartlet: Theology?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: No sir.
President Bartlet: Social work?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I have a PhD in English Literature.
President Bartlet: I'm asking 'cause on your show, people call in for advice, and you go by the name Dr. Jacobs on your show, and I didn't know if maybe your listeners were confused by that and assumed you had advanced training in psychology, theology, or health care.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't believe they are confused, no sir.
President Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
President Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22
President Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While you're thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side-by-side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands - nobody sits.

C.J. Cregg: The more photo-friendly of the two turkeys gets a presidential pardon, and a full life at a children's petting zoo; the other one gets eaten.
President Bartlet: If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.

John Van Dyke: When our children can go to any street corner in America and buy pornography for five dollars, don't you think that is too high a price to pay for free speech?
President Bartlet: No. On the other hand, I do think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.

And last, but not least:

Toby Ziegler: He calls you and me the Batman and Robin of speechwriting.
Sam Seaborn: Well, I don't think he does.
Toby Ziegler: He doesn't, but he should, 'cause that's what we are.
Sam Seaborn: Okay.
Toby Ziegler: We are Batman and Robin.
Sam Seaborn: Which one's which?
Toby Ziegler: Look at me, Sam. Am I Robin?
Sam Seaborn: I'm not Robin.
Toby Ziegler: Yes you are.
Sam Seaborn: Okay, well, let's move off this.
Toby Ziegler: You bet, little friend.
Sam Seaborn: Listen, we're really not Batman and Robin.
Toby Ziegler: No, we'll keep those identities secret. I'm Bruce Wayne, and you're my ward... Dick Something...

I could go on forever.... and it appears I have.


jamie said...

ooooh, I want to play! I can go on forever, too.

CJ: So, the 4-H convention.
Toby: We're not going.
CJ: I don't get it. How can you not want to see the butter cow?
Toby: I'm that way.
CJ: You understand it's a life-size cow made entirely of butter.
Toby: We're not going.
CJ: There's also a butter Elvis and a butter Last Supper which has, I swear to God, Toby...
Toby: Butter on the table?
CJ: It's got butter on the table right there between butter James and butter Peter, an almost mind-blowing vortex of art and material that dares the viewer to recall Marcel Duchamp.
Toby: How do they keep it from melting?
CJ: How, indeed.
Nancy: Toby, you have a phone call in the staff cabin.
Toby: Thank you.
CJ: Butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter.

Sam: Ms. O'Brian, I understand your feelings, but please believe me when I tell you that I'm a nice guy having a bad day. I just found out the Times is publishing a poll that says a considerable portion of Americans feel the White House has lost energy and focus. A perception that's not likely to be altered by the video footage of the President riding his bicycle into a tree. As we speak, the Coast Guard is fishing Cubans out of the Atlantic Ocean while the Governor of Florida wants to blockade the Port of Miami. A good friend of mine's about to get fired for going on television and making sense, and it turns out I accidentally slept with a prostitute last night. Now would you please, in the name of compassion, tell me which one of those kids is my boss's daughter?
Mallory: That would be me.
Sam: You.
Mallory: Yes.
Sam: Leo's daughter's fourth grade class.
Mallory: Yes.
Sam: Well, this is bad on so many levels.

Toby: There's literally no one in the world I don't hate right now.

C.J.: Oh, boy, I like it when "In Style" magazine is issued press credentials. "Mirabella" wanted to know what wine is served with the fish course. So it's a good thing I went to school for 22 years.
Josh: What wine are we...
C.J.: It's wine, you'll drink it.

*about typos on the teleprompter*
Bartlet: And I see we're spelling 'hallowed' with a pound sign in the middle.
Sam: We'll fix that.
Bartlet: The pound sign is silent?Toby: You don't look so good.
Bartlet: Well, I'm gazing in the 321st century, man. There's a lot on my mind.

Mandy: Who was the last president to commute a sentence?
Josh: Lincoln.
Mandy: Abraham?
Josh: No, Bert Lincoln.

Mrs. Landingham: You're not getting enough roughage in your diet, you know I'm right about that.
Bartlet: I know I'd like to beat you senseless with a head of cabbage, I know that for damn sure.
Mrs. Landingham: Once again you display an immaturity about vegetables that I think is not at all presidential.

Toby: Since when are you an expert on language?
CJ: In polling models?
Toby: Okay.
CJ: 1993. Since when are you an uptight pain in the ass?
Toby: Since long before that.

CJ: Every time we come up on a holiday, you guys check out like seniors who are done with finals.
Toby: We are writing a very important Thanksgiving proclamation.
Sam: And possibly a new action-adventure series.
Toby: Nobody here has checked out...
Josh, entering: Hey, I was just flipping a nickel in my office. Sixteen times in a row, it came out tails.

C.J., to Ainsley: What do Republicans think about him?
Ainsley: We don't all hang out in a little group.

jamie said...

and forever!!

Bartlet: Donna wants me to call Karen Cahill and make it clear she wasn't hitting on her when she gave her her underwear.
Leo: Yeah, that's because I made fun of her shoes and Sam said there were nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan and Donna went to clear up the mix up and accidentally left her underwear.
Bartlet: There can't possibly be nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan.
Leo: Mr. President, please don't wade hip deep into this story.

Sam: They have bathrobes at the gym?
CJ: In the women's locker room.
Sam: But not the men's.
CJ: Yeah.
Sam: Now, that's outrageous. There's a thousand men working here and fifty women...
CJ: Yeah, and it's the bathrobes that's outrageous.

Sam: When I was downstairs, I made a decision. I'm gonna register with the Republican Party - and I'll tell you why, if you're curious. It's because they're a freedom-loving people.
Ainsley: We also like beef.

Sam: What could possibly be your problem with the ERA?
Ainsley: Its humiliating! A new amendment stating that I'm equal under the law to a man? I'm mortified to discover that I wasn't before. I am a citizen of this country, not a special subset. I don't need my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men. The same Article 14 that protects you, protects me and I went to law school just to make sure.

Donna: Why are you a Republican?
Cliff: Because I hate poor people. I hate them, Donna. They're all so poor, and many of 'em talk funny, and don't have proper table manners... my father slaved away at the Fortune 500 company he inherited so that I could go to Choate, Brown and Harvard and see that this country isn't overrun by poor people and lesbians.

Toby Ziegler: In my day, we knew how to protest.
C.J. Cregg: What day was that?
Toby Ziegler: 1968.
Josh Lyman: And how old were you when you were protesting?
Toby Ziegler: My sisters took me. We had the underground. We had rapid response.
C.J. Cregg: And, by God, you were home by supper on a school night.

C.J.: How much does it pay?
Toby: How much do you make now?
C.J.: $650,000.
Toby: We'll give you $400/month.
C.J.: So this would be less.

Donna: You've got to ask a girl on a date. You can't just stumble sideways into one and hope she'll break up with you, like you usually do.

Toby Ziegler: You think the United States is under attack from 1200 Cubans in rowboats?
Sam Seaborn: I'm not saying I don't like our chances.
Toby Ziegler: It's mind-boggling to me we ever won an election.

President Josiah Bartlet: It's not like I'm totally without experience. Your talking to a former governor. I was the Commander in Chief of the New Hampshire National Guard.
Morris Tolliver: You guys get into a lot of tough scrapes, did ya?
President Josiah Bartlet: We didn't have to. We'd just stand on the border and stare you down. The we'd all go for pancakes.

Mallory O'Brian: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Mallory O'Brian: Why?
Sam Seaborn: Because it's next. Because we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is on a timeline of explorations and this is What's next.

President Josiah Bartlet: you know that line you're not supposed to cross with the president?
C.J. Cregg: I'm coming up to it?
President Josiah Bartlet: No, no look behind you.

Charlie: Toyko opens in three hours and you're going to drape your arm around the Mayor of Shantytown?

krysten said...

i have never seen this show....

i feel like i've missed out on something...

this is something i should watch, yes?

Shane said...


you have some details wrong, but I will let them slide... especially since you included the date scene between Cliff and Donna.

I don't know how to narrow this down...

There is at least one in each amazing piece of TV history....

President Bartlet: Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded mandate" is two
words, not one "big word."

TOBY: The Chief Justice-- wrote a dissenting opinion in Sea Northern v. Arizona, saying that an association between asbestos and a higher risk of cancer in later life was insufficient to merit relief.
BARTLET: So what?
TOBY: He... [chuckles] I don't know how to say this. He wrote it in meter. BARTLET: A meter?
TOBY: He wrote a dissenting opinion in what I am almost certain is trochiac tetrometer. Will?
WILL: It is.
BARTLET: What are you talking about? TOBY: He starts in the fourth graph. BARTLET "Fear of cancer from asbestos, fuzzy science manifestos."

TOBY: The National Security Advisor and Secretary of State didn’t know who they were taking their orders from! I wasn’t in the Situation Room that night but I’ll bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that it was Leo... who no one elected! For 90 minutes that night there was a coup d’etat in this country.

AINSLEY: Textbooks are important, if
for no other reason than they'd accurately place the town of Kirkwood in California and
not in Oregon.

BRUNO GIANELLI: Sometimes I have difficulty talking to people who don't race sailboats.

SAM: Like there's not any pictures of you and a call girl!
MALLORY: No, Sam, there aren't any pictures of me and a call girl.
SAM: Well, that's a crime.

I could go on, but I'm tired.

This is the greatest show ever....

The Bagboy said...

Do you people sell Amway?

jamie said...

I know Shane, I was too lazy to look most of them up on the crappy dial-up, and anyway, hey! I'm mad at you for not ever answering my e-mail about Corner Bakery. Bygones.

But also, hey, I forgot my favorite Donna line of all time, "We're not going to make the 6:15. That was a pipe dream. That was folly."

Tanya Rallinson said...

CJ: You know, enjoying the suffering of others. The whole rationale behind the House of Representatives.

Leo: Don't go out there again until morning.
CJ: Okay, but the enemy's advancing and you had better give me more than a squirt gun before the sun comes up.

Donna: Would you be going if she weren't attractive?
Josh: We'll never know.

Josh: Toby, come quick! Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!
Toby: Ginger, get the popcorn!

Leo: I am making a mental list of those who are snickering, and even as I speak I'm preparing appropriate retribution.


J.T. said...

WW Marathon Mondays on Bravo are proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.

jamie said...

Mr. Lyman, Mr. Ziegler.

Call me Josh.

Toby. I work at the White House.

Yeah, can I tell you something? People are going think you're a lot cooler if you don't say
that yourself, but rather let them find out on their own.

And also from that episode:

Jed: Three hundred IQ points between them, they can't find their way home. I swear to God, if Donna wasn't there, they'd have to buy a house.

J.T. said...

Josh Lyman: [about Navy pilot Vicky Hilton] The thing is, she's just not any pilot. She's like Jackie Robinson - she's broken a lot of barriers. She was the first woman at Miramar, the first woman to fly the F-14 Tomcat - she teaches on an F-14. I'm sure by now I don't have to give you her resume.

Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: No, but can you tell me more about Jackie Robinson and breaking barriers?

Seriously - I have never laughed so hard in my entire life. Ask Jamie. Jamie - how long did I laugh as hard as I could when we saw this one? A long time.

Pat Man said...

I'm afraid I'm not on board with this one... maybe if I had watched it from the beginning, but alas "I am not left handed"...

jamie said...

At least 10 minutes. I had to pause the DVD player and it actually powered itself off while I was waiting (patiently, I might add) for you to finish guffawing. And it was like 3am. I think you woke up your sister. And the neighbors.

I can't stop.

Ainsley Hayes: Mr. Tribbey? I'd like to do well on this, my first assignment. Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.
Lionel Tribbey: Well, not speaking in iambic pentameter might be a step in the right direction.

Mrs. Landingham: Ah, sarcasm - the grumpy man's wit.

[Of the Mars probe ship Galileo]
Toby Ziegler: They know it was on course traveling at a rate of 15,400 miles per hour, which it was supposed to. Somewhere during its descent it was also supposed to release two probes - each about the size of a basketball - firing them deep into the ground as part of the mission's search for evidence of water under surface.
Josh Lyman: We think if we hit the ground hard enough, we can make it to the center of the planet and find water?
Toby Ziegler: Yeah.
Josh Lyman: That's not a theory of physics pretty much disproved by Wile E. Coyote?

[talking about the President's bike accident]
Donna Moss: What happened?
Leo McGarry: What are you, from State Farm?

C.J. Cregg: They called her an elitist femininst
Bruno Gianelli: Elitist feminist? You can't do that to the English Language.

Sam Seaborn: Mallory, education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That's my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Major Tate: Sir, we're not prejudiced toward homosexuals.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: You just don't want to see them serving in the Armed Forces?
Major Tate: No sir, I don't.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: 'Cause they impose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion.
Major Tate: Yes, sir.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: That's what I think, too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change.
Major Tate: Yes, sir.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: The problem with that is that what they were saying to me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with whites. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... Beat that with a stick.

jamie said...

So I'm supposed to be watching LOST right now, but this post put me in the WW mood, so I watched a couple of second-season eps last night.

BARTLET If only technology could invent some way to get in touch with you in an emergency. Some sort of telephonic device with a personalized number we could call to let you know that we needed you. Perhaps it would look something like... THIS, Mr. Moto!
[reaches into Leo's back pocket and pulls out a pager]

and J.T., what was that one where Bartlet said something to Leo like "Honey, if we're going to have this fight, let's not do it front of the Joint Chiefs - it scares the Hell out of them." Hahahahaha!

I'm becoming singularly obsessed. I blame you, mostly. And Sandy. And Tonya. But mostly you.

Shane said...

Jamie, it was "Debate Camp" in season 4.

Bartlet: You mean they won't let me smoke inside anymore, but she can pee in Leo's closet?

jamie said...

Shane, you're a TWW encyclopedia!! You're like, a TWW GOD! Don't lie; do you have all 4 seasons on DVD, and how many times have you seen them?

I just re-read "I'm looking into the 321st century, man. I've got a lot on my mind." and laughed AND LAUGHED. And it's 1:30am and I have to be at work in less that 7 hours and I should really be asleep.

Shane said...


jamie said...

How many times?

Shane said...

too many to count...

jamie said...

Josh: "Don't worry, we'll have Jews for the money stuff. You have an inadvertent habit of putting down my Judaism by implying that you have a sharper anti-Semitism meter than I do.
Toby: You know, the ancient Hebrews had a word for Jews from Westport: they pronounced it "Presbyterian."
Josh: And by saying things like that.
Toby: I'm just saying, I'm from Brighton Beach.
Josh: Well, Mohammed al Mohammed el Mohammed bin Bizir doesn't make the distinction when he suits up in the morning.
Toby: Well, as long as you have a good grasp of the complexity of that situation.
Donna: What the hell are the two of you talking about?
Toby: I assure you neither one of us knows.

WHEN is the 5th season coming out? *pouts*

Tanya Rallinson said...

Is it wrong that I read this...OUT LOUD...IN THE VOICES OF THE ACTUAL CHARACTERS? And for the life of me I can't stop talking with the accent of Ainsley Hayes!

jamie said...

It's not wrong, Tanya, in fact, I'd be worried if you DIDN'T do the voices. Remember that one where Sam "did" the president in rehearsal? I almost peed my pants.

The Bagboy said...

*shakes head worriedly*

jamie said...

I forgot another great one...

Larry (or Ed) is reading out of that book that a former short-lived White House photographer had written:

"Bartlet was playing a round of golf with Toby Ziegler, the prickly, mumbly Communications Director whose inner bitter darkness spelled the break up of the one marriage we know about."

*long pause... everyone looks around uncomfortable*

CJ: It was miniature golf, wasn't it?

Toby: Yeah.

Shane said...

Josh: Tell me your aide's name. I'll ask her out - we'll double.
Jack Reese: Chief Petty Officer Harold Wendell.
Josh: Well I got the fuzzy end of that lollipop.
Jack Reese: I don't know... Wendell's not "cute" cute, but he's so funny.

Shane said...

Sam: By the way, my Princeton Tigers could whoop your Cal Bears any day of the week.
CJ: At what?
Sam: Logorithms, possibly.

jamie said...

Toby: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system, and you're telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

Shane said...

CJ: 22?
Hoynes: yeah.
CJ: You haven'thad a drink since you were 22?
Hoynes: right.
CJ: Ulysses S. Grant would've slapped your face.
Hoynes: He did once.

It smells like junkyard Taboo said...

hey J.T hey that new Dvr is very cool um
yeah some guys I know uses it to record their halo games then they replay the game and some way they copy it to computer and just whatch the videos to become I guess better at the game I would not even begin to tell you how they get it on computer even though yeah I took 3 semesters of Computer Networking gaming and video are not up my ally I perfer other stuff now i am a huge Halo fan I love to play Halo 1 i would call my self a Vet yeah i could school people I can i just hate H2 cause its like controling a retarted Robot

It smells like junkyard Taboo said...

oh by the way its Me Jonathan
you know me i work for Robert
The Minster of Belonging