The West Wing

 Season 1, Episode 2, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

President Bartlett (in staff meeting): Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. After, therefore because of it. What it means is one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it’s not always true, in fact, it’s hardly ever true. We did not lose Texas because of the hat joke. Do you know when we lost Texas?
CJ: When you learned to speak Latin?
President Bartlett: Go figure.

Season 1, Episode 3, A Proportional Response

Josh (going to hide from CJ in his office because Sam slept with a call-girl): If she calls, I’m at the dentist, I’ll be back in an hour.
Donna: Got it.
CJ (sitting in Josh’s office reading a paper): Wow, are you stupid!

Season 1, Episode 7, The State Dinner

Sam: Do you think it a good idea to invite people to dinner and then tell them what they’re doing wrong with their lives?
Toby: Absolutely, otherwise it’s a waste of food.

Season 1, Episode 14, Take This Sabbath Day

Priest (to the president who is seeking his advice about capital punishment): You remind me of the man who lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rise up and flood the town, and that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me. The waters rose up. A guy in a row-boat came along and he shouted, “hey you, you in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.” But the man shouted back, I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me. A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, “hey you, you down there, the town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety!” But the man shouted back that he is religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety. The man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. Lord, he said, I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen? God said, I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a row-boat. What the hell are you doing here?” … He sent you a priest, a rabbi, and a Quaker, not to mention his son Jesus Christ. What to you want from him?

Season 1, Episode 16, 20 Hours in L.A.

Donna (when Josh is excited about finding out the Joey Lucas is staying at the same hotel and is coming to same fundraiser): Gather your rosebuds while you may, Josh. You know what that means? It means you should take this time to gather rosebuds cause later on you might not be able to.
Josh: Interpreting the classics with poet laureate Donna Moss.
Donna: I’m just saying, call her or stop bugging me.
Josh: Let’s call her.

Season 2, Episode 7, The Portland Trip

Josh: What are your plans?
Donna: We’re having drinks, we are having dinner, we’re dancing, we are having desert.
Josh: No problem. You can do all those things except for the drinks, the dancing, and the desert.
Donna: Josh!
Josh: You need to be done with dinner in an hour and five minutes.
Donna: Do you see what I’m wearing (holds her jacket open to show her red dress).
Josh: If you wanna have sex, you better do it during dinner.
Donna: This is the guy, Josh. This is a great guy. His name is Todd.
Josh: You met him for five minutes at a party.
Donna: I got a good vibe.
Josh: Ok (starts walking away).
Donna:  I have an excellent sense about these things.
Josh: Actually, you have no sense about these things. You have no vibe. You have terrible taste in men. And your desire to be coupled up will always and forever drown out any small sense of self or self-worth you may have.
Donna: You are a downer, you know that? I’m calling you Deputy Downer from now on.

Season 2, Episode 9, Galileo

Charlie: They told me he (the composer) got so nervous when he heard that you’re coming tonight, that he was rewriting the peace until 6 o’clock.
Bartlet: If he wants more time, I’m happy to take a rain check.
Charlie:  I thought you like classical music.
Bartlet: I do like classical music. But this is not classical music. It is not classical music if the guy finished writing it this afternoon.

Donna: A-Ha!
Josh: What’cha got there?
Donna: Precedent, baby!
Josh: Precedent?
Donna: Precedent – the mother’s milk of, you know, making your point and being right!

CJ (to President Bartlet): We have at our disposal a captive audience of school children. Some of them don’t go to the black board or raise their hand because they think they’re gonna be wrong. I think you should say to those kids, “You think you get it wrong sometimes, you should come down here and see how the big boys do it.” I think you should tell them that you haven’t given up hope and that it may turn up, and that in the meantime you want NASA to put its best people in a room and you want them to start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh and most of them won’t care, but for some, they might honestly see that it’s about going to the black board, and raising your hand.

Season 2, Episode 10, Noël

Leo (to Josh after his trauma counselling): This guys walks down the street when he falls into 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 and 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 guys 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.”

Season 2, Episode 12, The Drop-In

Toby: CJ, where are you going?
CJ: New York, New York – it sounds so nice, they named it twice.
Toby: What are you doing there?
CJ: I’m receiving the Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications.
Toby: For what?
CJ: I discovered a comet! What do you mean for what?

Season 3, Episode 10, Bartlet for America

Leo (to Josh over the phone, before his deposition): Don’t help me.
Josh: I’m gonna help you! Do you know why?
Leo: Because you’ve walked around with so much guilt about everybody you loved dying, that you’re a compulsive fixer?
Josh: No, Leo, no. ‘Cause a guy is walking down the street and he falls into a hole, see.
Leo: Yeah. It’s my day Josh, I gotta take the hit.

Season 3, Episode 11, H. Con-172

Amy (to Josh over drinks): Is it possible that you are so adult that you’ve constructed some non-sense problem so that you have excuse to see me?
Josh: Is it possible… I suppose you can say…
Amy:  I don’t believe you!
Josh: Hey, you threw a water balloon at me.
Amy: And?
Josh: I don’t know, I was just throwing that out there.
Amy: Look..
Josh: Like there’s not another reason you’re here right now.
Amy: I’m here because I thought there was a problem. … Why can’t you pick up a phone and say “Would you like to go out some time?” Why?
Josh: Look…
Amy: I’ll tell you why.
Josh: Do you need me in this conversation? Or are you ok by yourself?
Amy: Because this is what you like. This. Not anything else. This is the fun part.
Josh: That’s not true.
Amy: Yes it is. We’re not in the dorm anymore. I get paid a lot of money to do an important job and I’m not into getting diddled around by guys like you.
Josh: Ok, it’s like the fifth time you said “guys like you!”
Amy: That is not.
Josh: It’s the second time. What’s with guys like me?
Amy: If this thing were five minutes longer than you want it to go, you’d run for the hills. You hit and run, Josh.
Josh: It’s not true. (His cell phone rings, he picks up, and has to leave.) I have to go.
Amy: Yes. Indeed.

Amy (later that night, waiting for Josh on his door steps): You owe me half a million dollars and a drink.
Josh: I paid for the drinks.
Amy: Alright. 500,000 grant
Josh: What are you doing here?
Amy: Just hanging out. Why do you live here?
Josh: I do. I’m sorry I had to leave quickly before. I still can’t tell you why.
Amy: Was it a matter of national security?
Josh: No.
Amy: Would you tell me if it was a matter of national security?
Josh: No.
Amy: Ok. You didn’t talk to me much in school.
Josh: You were having quite a bit of sex with Chris.
Amy: There were times I wasn’t.
Josh: I studied a lot in school. I studied hard. In high school, and at Harvard and in Law School, my IQ doesn’t break the bank, and I wanted to do this, so I studied all the time. And I missed something. It’s like I skipped a year. ‘Cause I never learned what you do after you think you like somebody, what you do next. And everybody did learn, a lot of other people, anyway. I didn’t walk out tonight. When my phone rings at 11 o’clock at night, it’s important. Not important to me, but important. And I’m not puffing myself so…
Amy: You know what, maybe not so much for you with the talking (kisses him). Thanks for the drink (walks away).

Season 3, Episode 12, 100,000 Airplanes

Amy (to Josh): Don’t talk to me. I have wit, I have charm, I have brains, I have legs that go all the way down to the floor, my friend!

Season 3, Episode 13, The Two Bartlets

CJ: Duchamp was the father of Dadaism.
Toby: I know.
CJ: The dada of Dada.
Toby: It’s like there’s nothing you can do about this joke. It’s coming and you just have to stand there.
CJ: The cow made out of butter. That’s how I like my irony served, my friend.
Toby: I have a phone call waiting, that’s being related through four satellites.
CJ: Ok.

Season 4, Episode 1, 20 Hours in America

Sam: What’s the photo-op?
Ginger: It’s a man who’s shaken hands with every president since Herbert Hoover.
Sam: Do we have some sort of condensed readers’ digest index of… well all human knowledge?
Ginger: We usually just use Margret.
Sam: Oh well, we’ll have to talk about that, but we’ll do it another time.

Season 4, Episode 3, The Red Mass

Amy (to Josh): You know, I lost my job because of a strategy that you organized.
Josh: You lost your job in a fashion that ensured you 93 better offers.
Amy: That’s sweet of you to look out for me, but I liked the job I had. And when I lost it I didn’t pitch anything, I didn’t stage a nutty. I fought you, I lost, I had a drink, I took a shower. Cause that’s how it is in the NBA. You know what I do when I win? Two drinks. I didn’t start consulting with Stackhouse to piss you off, there are things here I believe in.

Season 4, Episode 13, Inauguration Part 1

CJ (to Danny): This is ridiculous, it’s been ridiculous ever since you came back.
Danny: What?
CJ: Do you mind if I turn off the lights?
Danny: No.
CJ: It’s just easier this way. (goes over to stand next to him) For three years I’ve been thinking about what might have been if it weren’t for the…
Danny: Yeah…
CJ: …conflict…
Danny: Yeah…
CJ: And I’m almost over it, I mean I’m right there, and you come back. Your scruffy face and your jokes and your incredible talent and your way of getting (takes a breath) getting at me. And I was thinking if we could…
Danny: Be adults…
CJ: (waves her wrist in front of his face) Do you like this perfume?
Danny: Yeah.
CJ: Do you like this blouse?
Danny: What’s gotten into you?
CJ: Do you?
Danny: Yeah.
CJ: Come here. (Danny slowly comes closer.) Remember when you asked me what exactly I’d do to have you? (She puts her hands on his face and draws him in for a kiss.)
Danny: Yeah.
CJ: I’d do that. (and walks away)

Season 4, Episode 14, Inauguration Over There

Bartlet (to Will after the Inaugural speech, and after promoting him to Deputy Communications Director): There is a promise that I ask everyone who works here to make. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. You know why?
Will Bailey: It’s the only thing that ever has.
Bartlet (nods): William Bailey, reposing special trust and confidence in your integrity, prudence, and ability, I designate you to the post of Deputy White House Director of Communications and Special Assistant to the President.

Season 4, Episode 14, California 47th

Toby (to pregnant Andy on the way to California on Air Force One, after he tells her she shouldn’t be flying): Also, you’ve got twins in there, you’re basically a minivan, how are you fitting into a seat? (Donna and another female assistant look at him in disbelief.)
Andy (after a pause): A-a, I saw him first, girls!

Season 5, Episode 20, No Exit

Abbey Bartlet (to Leo): You know what this life style does to the body? The minute your system senses stress, it releases a hormone that constricts blood vessels, contracts the heart muscles, stimulates the adrenal gland. You stay in this state for not a hundredth of the time that you and I have existed like this and the vessels begin to shred. The heart permanently constricts.  The intestines, the immune system shut down.  Relieving those conditions is the one responsible course of action I can take.

Season 6, Episode 10, Faith Based Initiative

CJ (to Leo, after rumours of her homosexuality circulated on the internet): I’m a heterosexual. I don’t know why I said that except that as of this morning I’m the most famous, not famous, but apparently the most powerful lesbian on the planet.  And the fact of the matter is, I’m absolutely crazy about this particular man I just met and had two fabulous dinners with him in the space of one week, a man who hasn’t had the courtesy to call me today, probably because he’s simply of the undependable gender, or come to think of it, he probably has even less of an idea how to deal with my alleged fictitious lesbianism than I do. So, he’ll just remain silent, like a submarine under the ice cap and drift away. Just drift away like the legion of other cowards for whom I spent my young life staring at the phone, panting like an exquisite Collie and waiting for table scraps. Until I became successful and suddenly started to scare them, scare them with the very independence they required for me to have, so that now I’m looking at some bad numbers. Really rough stuff, if you know what I’m talking about. But what was I supposed to do? Turn down an opportunity to serve the president of the United States, whom I believe in and adore? You just wanna share it all with someone, you know?
(Leo has no response).

Season 6, Episode 12, 365 Days

Leo: The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, esteem too lightly. ‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.
Will: Thomas Paine.

Season 6, Episode 21, Things Fall Apart

Leo (to CJ): We don’t want Russia and China building space bombers of their own.
CJ: Well, they’re going to build them anyway, if they assume we’ve got one.
Leo: But if they know we’ve got one, they have to build it.
CJ: This is Alice in Wonderland.
Leo: Yeah, some days it is.

Season 7, Episode 4, Mr. Frost

Matt Santos (to a school assembly): To be a person of faith is to have the world challenge that faith.

Season 7 Episode 11, Internal Displacement

CJ (to Will, who open the door for her, but bumps into her on the way out): Did you swallow an awkward pill today?

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One Response to The West Wing

  1. aletta says:

    Yay! Favourite post yet! Heart WW.

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