The West Wing/Quotes

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. It's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam: President of the United States. I'll call ya.

from the opening minutes of the pilot episode

I serve at the pleasure of the President.

repeated phrase throughout the show, but introduced in the episode "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet"

You're a son of a bitch, You know that? She bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. What? Was that supposed to be funny? "You can't conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God," says Graham Greene. I don't know whose ass he was kissing there, 'cause I think You're just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman - a warning shot? (chokes up) That was my son! What did I ever do to Yours but praise His glory and praise His Name? There's a tropical storm that's gaining speed and power. They say we haven't had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the North Atlantic last year. Sixty-eight crew. You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. It doesn't even carry guns. It just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail. That's all it can do. Gratias tibi ago, Domine. Yes, I lied. It was a sin. I've committed many sins. Have I displeased You, You feckless thug? 3.8 million new jobs, that wasn't good? Bailed out Mexico! Increased foreign trade. Thirty million new acres of land for conservation! Put Mendoza on the bench! We're not fighting a war. I've raised three children. That's not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a Deo pio, a Deo iusto, a Deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem. Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui, officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem.
(crushes his cigarette to the floor of the National Cathedral)
You get Hoynes!

President Bartlet chewing out God, Two Cathedrals[1]

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, 'Hey you. Can you help me out?' The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, 'Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, 'Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here.' The friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before... and I know the way out.'"

Leo to Josh, about why Leo sent Josh to counseling, Noel

Sam: "[Ritchie] said this is how ordinary Americans got their entertainment."
Toby: "I've been to 441 baseball games at Yankee stadium; there's not a single person there who's ordinary."
Sam: "Heh I know."
Toby: " making fun of the Yankees?"
Sam: "No."
Toby: "They went to the Yankee game..."
Sam: "He's coming at intermission."
Toby: "Well, I'm not sure that suits me. Making an entrance after the President. [with lots of head bobbing and gesturing and crazy eyes] That's just not how we play bridge, it's not how we say cricket."
Sam: "Okay but you're starting to freak me out a little bit."
Toby: "Talk to me."
Sam: "There was an incumbent President who was facing a primary challenge, and on the day of the primary, his staff sent his motorcade into a district that was heavily favored by his opponent in order to tie up traffic. Now I would like to make it plain that I would never do anything to tamper with an election..."
Toby: [patting his cheek and squeezing his face] "I, am so, proud of you."
Sam: "You're really very much freaking me out."

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  1. the Latin translates to something along the lines of "I give thanks to you, O Lord. [...] Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments. I was your servant here on Earth and I spread your word and I did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you!"