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Madam Secretary (TV series)

2014 American political drama television series

Madam Secretary (2014 -) is an American TV drama staring Tea Leoni, based on the personal and work life of the Secretary of State.


Season 1Edit

Pilot [1.1]Edit

Elizabeth: Hey Blake, on a scale of one to ten how much does Nadine hate me?
Blake: I think that one goes to eleven.
Elizabeth: Do they all hate me that much?
Blake: No… It’s a mixture.
Elizabeth: Why don’t you hate me?
Blake: Because you hired me. And you’re awesome… I might have inadvertently reversed those.

Matt: Who’s she in there with?
Blake: I’m not at liberty to say.
Daisy: Well I got it straight from security that it’s the director of the CIA.
Blake: Can’t confirm or deny.
Daisy: Just so you know, there’s a tradition of sharing information in the outer office.
Blake: Oh well, in that case I heard you guys tongued in the supply closet at the Christmas party and it’s been a little awkward ever since, because you’re both with other people.

Daisy: Madam Secretary, we need to review your statement about the King of Swaziland visit.
Elizabeth: OK.
Matt: Yeah, I have a rough first draft. I’m still working on the adjectives, right now you’re happy and excited.
Elizabeth: You need to work on the adjectives.
Daisy: Well I have to get something to the press by tomorrow.
Elizabeth: Can I be resigned and conflicted?
Daisy: You can never be either of those things.
Matt: You can be eager and optimistic.
Daisy: No she can’t be eager, that’s too Jimmy Carter.
Elizabeth: Can I be cautiously optimistic?
Matt: Well that’s for more serious world events.
Daisy: You can be forward thinking.
Matt: You know what, I’ll do the writing, thanks!
Elizabeth: What if I’m grateful for the opportunity to expose the world to a variety of cultural differences as we move toward a more global thinking society?
Matt: That’s really good.
Elizabeth: Should I write it down for you?
Matt: No, I’m the writer, I can do it.
Elizabeth: Just as long as our roles are clear.

Jay: The intel on the prison location was bad and when the special forces made their way inside the structure they found goats.
Elizabeth: Is that code for something?
Jay: No Ma’am, actual goats.
Nadine: It was disinformation.
Jay: The good news is that there were no casualties, and no goats were harmed.
Elizabeth: That’s just not helpful.

Nadine: It’s alright to address his wives by their first names, but be advised they probably won’t have much to say. Most of them don’t speak English. Unless you speak Swazi?
Elizabeth: French, German, Arabic, Farsi, a year of Spanish in high school.
Nadine: So you’ll just smile a lot.

Another Benghazi [1.2]Edit

Elizabeth: Do not come near me, with that. Don't. I love you.
Stevie: I know.

Henry: Consider giving your mom a break.
Stevie: God, dad. You would defend her if she was standing over a bloody corpse, with a knife.
Henry: I would not. It would totally depend on who the corpse was.
Stevie: You guys really don't know me at all, do you ?
Henry: Other than sucking snot out of your nose with a tube when you were two days old, I'm barely acquainted with you.

Elizabeth: They are reporting that your guys fired into the crowd and provoked the attack.
Isaac: Let's not convict them just yet, okay ?
Elizabeth: You let me know the minute I can.

Russell: If it's any consolation, that's not how the President sees it. He thinks you saved his ass. Told me to tell you that.
Elizabeth: Were you ? Going to tell me that ?
Russell: I haven't decided.

The Operative [1.3]Edit

Pakistan Ambassador: Madam Secretary, your country has shown it can disrespect our sovereignty with impunity: the prerogative of the greater power, but when you're caught you must accept the consequences

Matt: They have no standing army and their biggest export product is false teeth. They literally have no bite.

Just Another Normal Day [1.4]Edit

Blame Canada [1.5]Edit

Nadine: How can I say this with love and respect? Huh. No one cares.

Henry: We're at war with Iran?
Elizabeth: No. Canada.

Elizabeth: Is he mad?
Nadine: In a Canadian kind of way.

Elizabeth: What do you need, sir?
Dalton: For you to fix this. Have I been unclear about that?
Russell: Sir. In fairness, she inherited a lot of this, including Allen Bollings. This was Marsh's agenda.
Dalton: Vincent Marsh is dead. When are you going to do your job?

The Call [1.6]Edit

Elizabeth: Thank you. And now I'm going to barf. That speech is so terrible. No offense Matt.
Matt: Trying to fit all that into one speech is ... super hard.

Blake: The White House is on the line.
Elizabeth: Of course they are. Because I just tied The President to a drug dealer.

Elizabeth: Let me guess ... The White House loved the speech?
Nadine: Russell Jackson has already texted several times.
Elizabeth: With lots of smiling faces?

Stevie: Honey, you are the descendant of some of the greatest heroes and villians the commonwealth of Virginia has ever seen. If you have got one thing running through your veins, it's guts. And don't call me back until you've reached the top of that mountain, little girl.
Elizabeth: I actually said that?
Stevie: Yup.
Elizabeth: What a pain in the ass I am. And why did I sound like Dolly Parton?
Stevie: I got to the top of the mountain.
Elizabeth: I bet you did.
Stevie: You'll think of something.

Elizabeth: I am a realist. But there are events that transcend national interests, and I believe this is one of them.
Dalton: I know you do. But I don't.

Passage [1.7]Edit

Need to Know [1.8]Edit

So It Goes [1.9]Edit

Elizabeth: So why tell me now?
Matt: Because now Jackson wants me to spy on you.
Elizabeth: Really?
Matt: Yeah, in exchange for a job at The White House. I tried to tell him no, but he made me promise to think about it.
Elizabeth: Tell him you'll do it.

Russell: You don't backstab the President of your own party without consequences.
Marsh: Is that a threat, Russell?
Russell: It's a guarantee. I speak for the President on this. As you might imagine, he's very upset.
Marsh: And he'll have no compunction whatsoever slitting the throat of someone who has been a staunch ally and helped get him elected.
Russell: So it goes.

Matt: I never agreed to spy on Secretary McCord. I won't do it.
Russell: Then think of it as keeping tabs. Come on, Matt. This is how it works. You give me something. I give you something. Don't you want an office in the West Wing?

Collateral Damage [1.10]Edit

Elizabeth: If you never listen to anything I say again for the rest of your life, please hear this: Everything is more complicated than you think it is right now. And the only way you come to know that is through experience. And that's what this whole process of growing up is all about.
Stevie: Yeah. I know. I gotta go do that now.

Stevie: What did stepping it up mean?
Elizabeth: Stress positions. Physical abuse. Waterboarding. I wasn't in the room when they did it. But I knew what was happening, obviously.
Stevie: Why are you telling me this?
Elizabeth: 'Cause I have to.
Stevie: Well, I really wish you hadn't.
Elizabeth: We were at war. Changes the landscape. It forces you to face things you didn't even want to know.
Stevie: Yeah, like the fact that your mother is not the person you thought she was at all.

Game On [1.11]Edit

Russell: My God. All this time. How could you just go about your business?
Elizabeth: That's what I was trained for.
Russell: Tell me everything.
Elizabeth: That could take awhile.
Russell: I've got all night.

Russell: So what am I supposed to think? What possible reason could there be except that you think I had him killed.
Elizabeth: Thought you might have knowledge of it, yes.
Russell: You seriously think I and the President are assassins?
Elizabeth: Not anymore.

Russell: Maybe you can finish what he started.
Elizabeth: What's that?
Russell: Land.

Standoff [1.12]Edit

Elizabeth: This is why the intelligence community shouldn't keep secrets from me.
Henry: I agree. Not that we're doing a very good job of it.

Elizabeth: You lied to me.
Henry: Under penalty of law and for your own safety, you know that.

Chains of Command [1.13]Edit

Jay: He's used to getting his way.
Elizabeth: Well, that may be, but I happen to know he is extremely ticklish.
Matt: Wait. Did the Secretary just admit to intimate anatomical knowledge of the Prince of Bahrain?
Blake: The CIA briefs must be very detailed.

Whisper of the Ax [1.14]Edit

Elizabeth: You're giving me the 'you're an idiot' look.
Mike B: Because you're an idiot.

Elizabeth: A little cold terror over job security never hurt anyone.
Russell: You should have that embroidered on a pillow.

The Ninth Circle [1.15]Edit

Elizabeth: How long do you think you're gonna be mad at me?
Isabelle: You were just doing your job.
Elizabeth: So, like, less than a year?
Isabelle: Probably.

Munsey: Give them what they want.
Elizabeth: I'm not leaving here with it. I'll give them Hawaii if that's what it takes.

Tamerlane [1.16]Edit

Elizabeth: More like parameters. I think we're talking north of 40 with 35 as the floor for someone really spectacular.
Henry: I'm not Hugh Hefner. 40 is just fine.
Elizabeth: Good.

Elizabeth: Was she coerced?
Munsey: No. She was a patriot.
Elizabeth: How is she?
Munsey: Righteous.

Nadine: Daisy, whatever good was in that man, he was most definitely not a good husband.
Matt: But he always had such good things to say about Mrs. Marsh.
Nadine: Not when he was in bed with me.

Russell: It's a little thing called power.
Elizabeth: Is it really that alluring? The history of mankind not withstanding?
Russell: I understand you left a horse farm to become Secretary of State.
Elizabeth: The President asked and I answered the call ... yeah, the power is pretty awesome too.

Face the Nation [1.17]Edit

Elizabeth: Our greatest responsibility as parents is to leave the world a safer and more peaceful world for our children.

Elizabeth: We do all these horrible things to each another. And there are always - always - kids in the middle. Henry, what have I done to our sweet children?

Elizabeth: I know. I'm all messed up. One minute I'm fine, then I'm furious, then I'm numb. The truth is I'm just not ready to talk about what happened yet.

Mike: Exhausted is Washington code for complete mental freakout, you 12 year-olds.

The Time is at Hand [1.18]Edit

Elizabeth: Do you think you'll have God on your side?
Henry: I have you.

Dalton: No half measures. If we're going to do this, let's send Henry down there.

Henry: When she hates you, it's a crisis. When she hates me, it's natural progression.
Elizabeth: I know. It's so weird.

Stevie: Would you guys not spycraft me before 8:00 AM?

Spartan Figures [1.19]Edit

Dalton: Now anyone who wants to leave, there is the door.

Dalton: Tell me you're on this, Bess.
Elizabeth: I'm on this.

Dalton: It seems like our victory lap has turned into a funeral march.

Henry: Tell me, Jackson. Does this midnight menacing ususally work?
Russell: On most people.

Blake: My coins were too big.
Nadine: Is that some sort of euphemism?

The Necessary Art [1.20]Edit

Elizabeth: Listen, I just want you to know, even when it's hard and no matter how much it hurts right now, that it's not the end of the world.

Daisy: Three words that can never go together in this town: "Boss", "Internship" and "Sex".

The Kill List [1.21]Edit

Elizabeth: And now I can't stop thinking ... that this treaty I fought so hard for, that people close to me died for, is really all a big mistake?

Elizabeth: Who knew it would be so hard forging your legacy?
Dalton: This isn't just my legacy, Bess. It's ours.
Elizabeth: That's very nice of you to say, sir. Thank you.

Dalton: We're talking about you participating in the execution of your friend. You're sure you're okay with that?
Elizabeth: Perfectly.

Henry: You don't want Juliet to die.
Elizabeth: Does that make me a traitor?
Henry: No. It makes you human.

Jay: Once immobile, he'll be pummeled with stones the size of tangerines, specially chosen to inflict maximum pain but not too big so he won't get knocked out. His ribs will snap and break into pieces, lacerating his liver and kidneys and liquefying his spleen. And if he's lucky, his lungs will fill up and he'll drown in his own blood. But if not, he could be conscious for up to 2 hours and his body is pushed to the human limits of agony.

There But for the Grace of God [1.22]Edit

Elizabeth: When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you find it in yourself.

Russell: If it goes badly ...
Elizabeth: You and the President won't protect me?
Russell: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Blake: [about his fruitless search for a home for a portrait of Vincent Marsh] I've tried everything.
Daisy: National Portrait Gallery?
Matt: Library of Congress? How about the state house in Illinois? He served there once in the...
Blake: The general assembly. I've tried everything is not a sentence I use lightly. Lest you attempt to keep saying names of museums.

Mike B: What do you think it means that Russell Jackson is coming to your office?
Elizabeth: I think it means it's a weekday during business hours... He said it was about the Senate investigation.[Looking up at Mike pacing, she asks about his dog] Where's Gordon?
Mike B: He's- with my ex-wife. We share custody. It's actually a painful subject.
Elizabeth: I'm sorry. I didn't know you felt pain.

Dalton: To the inner sanctum: Colleagues. Friends. Noble warriors.

Season 2Edit

The Show Must Go On [2.1]Edit

Russell: Elizabeth, you know the Chief Justice.
Chief Justice: Madam Secretary.
Elizabeth: Yes, I actually took your constitutional law class at UVA. [pauses then whispers] I got an A.
Chief Justice: [Whispering back] I remember.

Russell:: [Gesturing to a large briefcase] This is the football. It's a remote device that can authorize a nuclear attack in the unlikely event that we are required to do that.
[a Colonel hands Elizabeth a small card]
Russell": This is the biscuit. It's an authenticator card containing all the launching codes. That stays with you. The football stays with the Colonel who's never far away.
Elizabeth: [Shakes the Colonel's hand] Thank you, Colonel. I hope we never work together.
Colonel Preston: My hope as well, Ma'am.

The Doability Doctrine [2.2]Edit

The Rusalka [2.3]Edit

Waiting for Taleju [2.4]Edit

Henry: [on phone] How bad did I make things for you?
Elizabeth: You're still my hero.
Henry: No, I'm not. I went off like a hopped up undergrad.
Elizabeth: You did what I have been wanting to do all day. Instead, I have to listen to my staff imply that I shouldn't be sitting down with the virgin goddess of Nepal while my slutty daughter is all over the internet. [Under her breath to Grant] Not you.
Henry: [In a hushed reverent tone] You have a meeting with the Kumari?
Elizabeth: [to Grant, endeared and in love] He knows what a Kumari is. [to Henry] Don't ever change.

Henry: May I make a request?
Dalton: What is it?
Henry: Before you finish questioning this guy... fifteen minutes alone with him. Off the radar.
Dalton: You got it.
Elizabeth: [after they left the oval office] Well, that was very Godfather. You thinking piano wire or bare hands?
Henry: I haven't decided yet.
Elizabeth: Is it wrong that I find it kinda hot?
[Henry turns to her]
Elizabeth: Don't answer that.
[Henry leans in, whispers in her ear, and they both laugh]

The Long Shot [2.5]Edit

Catch and Release [2.6]Edit

You Say You Want a Revolution [2.7]Edit

Jason: How about Markes? It's pretty crazy, huh?
Elizabeth: What are you talking about?
Jason: It's all over the news. Markes is resigning.
Elizabeth: Senator Markes?
Jason: Yeah.
Elizabeth: Is resigning?
Jason: Yeah.
Elizabeth: Senator Gregg Markes is resigning?
Jason: Why does she keep asking me that?
Henry: Processing the ramifications.
Jason: Which are?
Eliazbeth: I-I... I h-have to go. Here, go.
Henry: Yeah.
Elizabeth: I have to go.
Henry: Your mom's about to change the world.

Elizabeth: What's the latest?
Blake: So, Markes was...
Nadine: Was pulled over for driving the wrong way down a one-way street and then failed a field sobriety test.
Blake: And the woman who he was with...
Diasy: Who was not his wife.
Blake: ...had half...
Diasy: A half ounce of cocaine on her.
Blake: And Markes...
Nadine: Then tried to bribe the arresting officer by telling him that he could give him a big promotion if he made the charges go away.
Daisy: And all of that would've been bad enough except...
Blake: Okay, let me tell it.
Elizabeth: The whole thing was caught on video by someone who recognized him. Sorry, Blake, I heard that part on the drive over.
Blake:No problem, ma'am. Being interrupted by you is a pleasure. But, uh, if I may, what does this have to do with the State Department?
Elizabeth: Okay, what do we know about Markes?
Daisy: He was a cheater.
Blake: And a liar.
Elizabeth: Head out of the tabloids, think policy.
Nadine: He was head of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Diasy: Wait, so he was the man responsible for controlling what came up for a vote.
Nadine: And he stymied us on Cuba last spring.
Daisy: And now that he's out of the way, you're going to try...
Elizabeth: Wait. Let Blake say it.
Blake: You're going to try to bring a bill to the floor of the senate and lift the embargo on Cuba.
Elizabeth: And how cool would it be to announce that when we reopen the embassy?
Blake: That's in 48 hours.
Elizabeth: (Laughs) Well, we better get to work.

Lights Out [2.8]Edit

Russian Roulette [2.9]Edit

Henry: At what point would you be willing to violate the cone of silence between us? What would it take? Would millions of lives have to be at stake because that's where we are.

Henry: You're gonna reveal Russia's involvement in the Air Force One hack in hopes of getting the allies to fall into place. And if you do your job well, which you have a track record of doing, then the world will be poised to go to war with the country that is just unstable enough to take the bait. If you're wrong, do you really wanna be on the side of that?

Elizabeth: The objective is simple, convince the entire world, particularly our allies, that we are justified and willing to go to war to contain Russian aggression.

The Greater Good [2.10]Edit

Unity Node [2.11]Edit

The Middle Way [2.12]Edit

Elizabeth: You're so much nicer than I am.
Henry: I am.

Blake: Spider moneys will be extinct!
Elizabeth: Somebody take that away from Blake.

Invasive Species [2.13]Edit

Russell: Are you mocking me, son?
Matt: No, no, I would never mock.

Left of the Boom [2.14]Edit

Elizabeth: I've seen those teachers flirt and you totally encourage it by the way.

Elizabeth: No females can resist his charm.
Henry: I heard that.

Henry: A little early in the morning for the worst of humanity.

Right of the Boom [2.15]Edit

Matt: [strums a note on a balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument, that he sees on Nadine's coffee table]
Nadine: That's lovely isn't it? That was a present from Boris Yeltsin.
Matt: Do you play?
Nadine: I dabble.
Matt: [laughs]
Nadine: I had to learn for an experimental piece my dance troupe did in Minsk.
Matt: [impressed and surprised, raises his eyebrows] Here's to unexpected skills.

Nadine: [turns away from Matt to get something for him from another room in her home]
Matt: [with facial expressions that register surprise at the high quality and luxury of Nadine's furnishings, artwork, and mementos] You know, I always figured that you lived more like a...
Nadine: [turns back around toward Matt and raises one eyebrow, as if to stop him from saying something inadvertently insulting]
Matt: ...I just mean more like me. Half of my furniture is from Ikea. And that's the good half.

Hijriyyah [2.16]Edit

Stevie: If you look too smart on the first day of school the other kids won't like you.

Alison: Hey dad.
Henry: Hey.
Alison: You look terrible.
Henry: Thanks honey.

Higher Learning [2.17]Edit

Blake: She's being modest, it was a SmackDown.

Elizabeth: I think the thing getting lost here, Mr. and Mrs. Lindstrom, is your son's passionate commitment to social justice. Young people rising up against the abuse of power has been a force for change many times in this country, and Brian was right. Not about the mining contract. That was legitimate. But about the larger issue. The brutal legacy of colonialism asserting itself once again in Chile. That turned out to be true. And, Brian, without you guys and the Chilean citizens rising up against what you thought was wrong, the Inhawoji people might not have dared raised their voices, too, and found a world ready to listen.
Brian: Thanks, Mrs. Secretary.
Blake: Madam Secretary.
Elizabeth: Don't stop speaking truth to power. But, maybe the best way to call upon our better selves is for you to show us yours.

Stevie: Great. Great. Yeah, okay. C'mon guys, delete the photos.
Douchey Guy: Or, what? Your mom and her fascist goons will hunt me down?
Alison: Fascism is the direct opposite of a representative democracy, which you happen to be lucky enough to live in thanks to people like our mother who defend it every single day. And, by the way, you attacking and trying to silence people because they don't agree with what you think kind of makes you the fascist.

Elizabeth: Goodbye Madam Secretary, hello another college mom.

On the Clock [2.18]Edit

Henry: When I tell you I'll take care of it, I'll take care of it.

Elizabeth: The President actually said that?
Russell: Of course not, but I speak for him.

Russell: That damn doomsday clock!

Desperate Remedies [2.19]Edit

Elizabeth: I can feel your sarcasm behind my back.

Nadine: Any questions?
Matt: Yeah. What's the wifi password?

Elizabeth: Too much? Did I go on too strong?

Ghost Detainee [2.20]Edit

Alison: You're going to New York? Nobody tells me anything! Could you stop at the Hello Kitty store in Times Square and get me this cute pencil case? It's an exclusive.

Elizabeth: Is Hello Kitty still in?
Stevie: Oh, Hello Kitty is the Chanel of our time. It'll never be out.
Elizabeth: That's just a little bit depressing.

Henry: Whatever happens, we're together.

Connection Lost [2.21]Edit

Henry: I will always show up for you. Always.

Nadine: You wanted to restore a world your mother lost?

Stevie: Mom, you look stunning!

Henry: There was beer and there was strategy.

Render Safe [2.22]Edit

Dalton: Tell Henry I'll buy him a drink when he gets back.
Elizabeth: Well, I think you can buy me one, too.

Russell: Slow day at the office?

Blake: What am I taking care of?
Elizabeth: Appeasing a racist Quaker.

Vartius [2.23]Edit

Michael: The White House is looking to dump you.

Dalton: Bess, I'm not firing you. I'm trying to ask you to be my Vice President.

Henry: Honestly, I just want to immerse myself in mindless activities for a while.

Michael: Listen, you could be Thomas Jefferson, but I'm telling you, it looks like you're about to get canned.

Season 3Edit

Sea Change [3.1]Edit

Jane: Are you breaking rank with the President and the party on this?
Elizabeth: Well, I-I've never been an official member of any political party. I'm not a partisan politician. I'm a public servant.

Henry: I dare you to yell out "capital gains tax." See what happens.
Elizabeth: Be safer to yell "fire."

Henry: Well, well. Look at this. Did you happen to catch any philosophy?
Jose: Yeah, but I got a strong immune system.

Elizabeth: Yes, Matt, my question was largely rhetorical. But I appreciate you being at the ready with your political ire.
Matt: Well, I'm always here for you, ma'am.

Daisy: You were a huge hit at the fair, ma'am. Your pig remark is trending.
Elizabeth: Wow, take that Lincoln and your Gettysburg Address. *I'm* going to be known for the pig remark.

The Linchpin [3.2]Edit

General Cherad: This is treason.
Elizabeth: This is how you save your country.

Matt: Haddad has eleven wives. Why does he need a mistress?
'Daisy: Have you met men?

Elizabeth: Oh. I don't understand. We gave him the drinking talk.
Henry: Apparently it didn't take.
Elizabeth: Nadine's making a face. Maybe...we needed more than one talk. [pause] Now Blake is pointedly avoiding eye contact.
Henry: Well...he's already grounded for a month. We can wait till you get home to give him the big talking to.
Elizabeth: Okay. [pause] I'm afraid to say anything else, lest the mime troupe weighs in again.

Matt: Seeds of democracy sown.
Elizabeth: Well, let's hope they get plenty of...
Matt: Sun.
Elizabeth: Yes. And...
Matt: Moisture. And love.
Elizabeth: Okay.

Elizabeth: Where is Nadine?
Blake: She is on the phone in her office, ma'am. She waved me off like a thirsty fan boy when I tried to wrangle her.
Daisy: Does feel 20% less austere in here.

South China Sea [3.3]Edit

Minister Chen: If I were to offer some suggestions to my President as to how we might deescalate, what might they be?
Elizabeth: Well, for starters, we've looked into it, and we're not giving the pandas back.

Matt: Wait. You're a Panda-Cammer too?
Russell: Shut up. It's relaxing. [pause] It's good for my blood pressure.

Elizabeth: You know you don't have to say "ma'am" after every time, Captain.
Ronnie: Yes, ma'am.

Elizabeth: Fine. You want to talk to the FBI, you can talk to the FBI. On one condition.
Henry: Name it.
Elizabeth: You have to put the shams on the big pillows.

The Dissent Memo [3.4]Edit

Henry: You know what my dad said to me, the night before I got married? "Marriage is the nicest way to confront your own inadequacies on a daily basis."
Stevie: You should write that in a song.

Scott: Why would I agree to this?
Elizabeth: Because you want to build democracy. And because, if your company, KronicDM, is the force behind an internet led revolution that leads Angola to expose a corrupt regime and elect its first female president...that's gonna make a really kick-ass Super Bowl commercial.

Blake: Uh, Assistant Secretary Thompson is here, presumably to share the diplomatic equivalent of a high five.

Stevie: [about Jareth] I don't want you to think he's a bad person. He's just... British, it turns out.

Elizabeth: Marcia Forman is having a field day with this dissent memo.
Blake: Marcia Forman is an unhappy woman desperately trying to make herself relevant.
Matt: Aren't we all?

Henry: Are you kidding me? Who wrote these talking points? The Browns have got way bigger problems than finding a go-to receiver on third down.
Elizabeth: Can I just say how adorable it is that this is the most opinionated you've been about my job?

Russell: Here's a novel idea: stick to the Prime Directive. Let democracy take its course...without U.S. interference.
Elizabeth: Really? A Star Trek reference?

The French Revolution [3.5]Edit

Elizabeth: It's a classic negotiating tactic. The more I chase after him, the more control he has over the discussion. Secretary Albright actually taught me that one.
Nadine: I believe it was, uh, Wendy Rogers who taught me another classic negotiating tactic. If a guy won't talk to you, send in a close companion to bridge the gap.
Elizabeth: Wendy Rogers?
Nadine: The most popular girl in sixth grade.

Elizabeth: We apologized. It's forgotten.
Russell: Really? The French forget? 'Cause every representative they send over here still manages to bring up "Freedom fries" at least once.

Elizabeth: And my remarks will be rich with praise for everything French?
Matt: Rich and thick like a fine béarnaise.

Blake: Good morning, ma'am. Russell Jackson's office needs your approval on this.
Elizabeth: Coffee?
Blake: Café au lait. The White House barista has been practicing for the state dinner.
Elizabeth: It's coffee with milk.
Blake: The French are picky...and easily insulted.

Alison: Forget it. I'll just power through, and develop an ulcer, and later in life, I'll send you a bill for all my therapy.
Elizabeth: [pause] Do you want to go to therapy?

Alison: So, Dad's just never coming back then?
Elizabeth: Yes, I forgot to tell you that your father's taken the cutest little apartment in the Pentagon.

Daisy: Whew. Okay, so let's see. We busted a stalker, we rescued some priceless artifacts, took the fight to HS and saved Algeria, and we held together our most vital military alliance.
Matt: All without offending the French.

The Statement [3.6]Edit

Nadine: Any one of substance will dismiss the story.
Matt: And what about the rest of the country?

Daisy: [to bruised Jay & Matt] Oh my god, what happened?
Blake: A sample sale at Brooks Brothers?

Henry: She's used her YouTube tutorial as a metaphor for the democratization of media, third-wave feminism, and the internet as a virtual university.
Elizabeth: What? All of that in 500 words or less?

Henry: I never knew smokey eyes could be so poignant. [chokes up] It's really good. And now I'm getting misty eyed.
Elizabeth: You're very cute when you're overwhelmed by intelligence.

Tectonic Shift [3.7]Edit

Dalton: Well, I think this demonstrates what we can achieve when we come together for common goals and values.
Evans: Some things do rise above the level of partisan politics, like being blackmailed by a common thug.

Elizabeth: As Russell said, when there's no rule book, you don't have to worry about breaking the rules.
Russell: [scoffs] Sometimes I just say stuff.

Henry: Jason's upstairs, claiming to be doing his homework. [sighs] He's probably gambling online.
Elizabeth: As long as he wins.

Nadine: All we know so far is President Suarez was addressing the National Assembly when the earthquake hit. We have no idea why he called a session on a Sunday.
Matt: Other than he thinks he's God?

Breakout Capacity [3.8]Edit

Russell: In theory, I'm eligible to be Pope. Other than being married and not Catholic.

Elizabeth: Thing is...I just don't want a nineteen year old zoning our neighborhood.
Henry: We could end up with a bunch of juice bars and artisanal vape shops.

Elizabeth: If Jason genuinely believes that Reynolds would make a better president, I don't have a problem with him wearing it.
Henry: No matter how obnoxious and disrespectful it may be.

Blake: [about the election returns] I prefer to watch at home where I can curl into the fetal position with my blanket.

Snap Back [3.9]Edit

Stevie: Maybe I'm just being entitled and stupid.
Jason: You and the rest of America.

Henry: How's the world doing today?
Elizabeth: Well, the fate of the Middle East rests on China's appetite for chicken.

The Race [3.10]Edit

Elizabeth: Stevie's engaged!
Juliet: Wow! You like the guy?
Elizabeth: Yes, I do. Maybe even more than she does.

Elizabeth: It's freezing in here.
Juliet: You get used to it. It burns calories.

Carol: You want another heart attack?
Russell: Let's see the results, I'll let you know.

Gift Horse [3.11]Edit

Elizabeth: Make it clear that we are respectfully declining the gift horse.
Blake: May I ask why?
Elizabeth: So many reasons, not the least of which -- we don't have anywhere in the State Department to put her!

Russell: Okay, y-you guys are really gonna make me be the one to say it? The oppo research.
Dalton: [sighs] What happened to being a knight?
Russell: The painkillers have worn off!

Henry: Oh, hey, here's something weird. I got a call from the CIA. They want me to come in for an Ex Post Facto Re-Debrief regarding Black Dog Station.
Elizabeth: Well, I was in the CIA for 20 years, and I've never heard of an Ex Post Facto Re-Debrief.
Henry: When they shut the operation down, they called it a "hotwash," now they want to get me debriefed. Why does all their terminology sound like that happens in a nursing home?

The Detour [3.12]Edit

Henry: Thanks for looking at us instead of your phones.
Alison: Thanks for being interesting.

Daisy: This trip is coming off the rails, Susan, just like I said it would.
Susan: Okay, so a trip to Africa turned out to be complicated. Congratulations, Nostradamus.

Nadine: Why can't these people speak English?
Matt: 'Cause then we could understand what they're saying.
Nadine: I hate the Pentagon so much.

Elizabeth: Not only did Minister Chen undercut our deal at the last minute, he chose to do so in a very public and embarrassing way.
Blake: So he...he trolled us?
Susan: Arguably tried to bigfoot us.
'Elizabeth: I believe the correct diplomatic term he "pantsed" us.

The Beautiful Game [3.13]Edit

Alison: Well, you looked smokin' hot on your magazine cover.
Elizabeth: Oh, my God, do you see that? I mean, even in my own house, I am appraised like a show pony!
Alison: All I said was you looked hot.
Elizabeth: Alison, it's not a reality show!

Daisy: [watching Abby walk away] Wow. Look at that. A personal life. I used to have one of those.
Jay: Yeah. Me too.

Elizabeth: Okay, that was a bad "um." What does that "um" mean?
Daisy: [about media coverage] It hasn't been as focused on the peace deal as we'd like.
Matt: Some pundit on Twitter is calling you Madam Sexy-tary.

Season 4Edit

Season 5Edit

E Plurubus Unum [5.1]Edit

Elizabeth: Look where isolationism has gotten us in the past. Two world wars. Seventy million dead. Never again can we go back to those dark times when fear and hatred, like a contagion, infected the world.

Stevie: And I do understand that women of your generation didn't necessarily learn to be comfortable with ambition in the same way and I know it can look very obnoxious and over-reaching. But we have to demand more power ourselves. You know? Otherwise, we all just get stuck serving powerful men.

Elizabeth McCord's speech:

What is an even greater threat than nuclear weapons?
That which makes the use of them possible: hate.
Specifically, the blind hatred one group or nation can have for another.
That is why I am convinced that nationalism is the existential threat of our time.
Now I want to be clear.
Nationalism is not the same as patriotism.
It’s a perversion of patriotism.
Nationalism, the belief system held by those who attacked us, promotes the idea that inclusion and diversity represent weakness, that the only way to succeed is to give blind allegiance to the supremacy of one race over all others.
Nothing could be less American.
Patriotism, on the other hand, is about building each other up and embracing our diversity as the source of our nation’s strength.
“We the people” means all the people.
America’s heroes didn’t die for race or region.
They died for the ideals enshrined in our Constitution.
Above all, freedom from tyranny, which requires our unwavering support of a free press; freedom of religion, all religions; the right to vote, and making sure nothing infringes on any of those rights, which belong to us all.
Look where isolationism has gotten us in the past.
Two world wars.
Seventy million dead.
Never again can we go back to those dark times when fear and hatred, like a contagion, infected the world.
That, as much as ending the threat of nuclear war, is what today is about.
And it's why we must never lose sight of our common humanity, our common values, and our common decency.
I was reminded recently of our nation's founding motto, e pluribus unum, out of many, one.
13 disparate colonies became one country, one people.
And today we call on all Americans and people everywhere to reject the scourge of nationalism.
Because governments can't legislate tolerance or eradicate hate.
That's why each one of us has to find the beauty in our differences instead of the fear. Listen instead of reacting. Reach out instead of recoiling.
It's up to us. All of us.
Thank you.

Russell: You know I respect Henry, but he needs to be on the same page as you. Publicly.
Elizabeth: We still have a year.
Russell: Practice makes perfect. Unless you convince your family that they're in it too, you won't win. It's as simple as that.

Stevie: What do you think?
June: Well, of course she offered you the job. You're a hot ticket. You have an inside track to the White House not to mention a direct line to your mother. This town will take connections over anything else.

The Chaos Game [5.2]Edit

Elizabeth: No reckless attack on our democracy will ever shake America's commitment to our core values. And any country that tries will face dire consequences so much worse than one lucky RPG hit.

Henry: Our founding fathers knew what people were capable of when they created the justice system. I think we should trust it to do its job as it always has.

Daisy: Classic Russian move. Blame your opponents for your own dirty deeds.
Matt: Why does that always work?

Elizabeth: If you want to make things better for the next generation, get rid of this notion that we're supposed to be invisible and self-effacing.
Stevie: I don't want to be invisible. I just want to be worthy of the people who came before me.

The Magic Rake [5.3]Edit

Daisy: Because real talk? It doesn't get any easier from here. You know better than most that sometimes this world, this country is not going to be fair. You won't always be seen for the creative, enthusiastic young men and women you are. So on the bad days, when you're tempted to give up you're going to have to find that belief in yourself. Because you can make it. I know, because I made it and you all are definitely smarter than me and I know because I read your essays.

Elizabeth: We know how this works -- once we respond, China escalates and so on until the both of us go over an economic cliff, probably taking the rest of the world with us.
Russell: A few months of being locked out the Chinese markets and many of our pork producers, soybean farmers, they could go under.

Daisy: I mean, a bunch of white guys were so enraged by the prospect of making space for someone like my daughter, like me, they would literally rather blow up the White House, rather destroy the country than share it. And also I can give you the names of at least five unarmed black people who have been killed by the police in the last six months. Just driving along and get pulled over and, boom, that's it.

Requiem [5.4]Edit

Elizabeth: You know the last Secretary of State to become President? James Buchanan. 150 years ago.
Henry: Well, even the Cubbies eventually won the World Series.

Blake: Did that work?
Matt: I don't know. I can't read that lady.
Daisy: Yeah, me neither. She's either chill...
Kat: Or she's gonna kill somebody.

Kat: Ma'am, if I could put a finer point on it: Andrada is a chauvinist who is unlikely to meet with a woman whose last interaction left him with a deviated septum.

Dalton: 'No man left behind' isn't just a credo, it's a pledge we make to the enlisted and every second those soldiers aren't back is a breach of faith to those who serve.

Blake: Good morning, Madam Secretary.
Elizabeth: You know, I have this fantasy that one morning I'm going to step off of that elevator and be greeted by a genie. Or a masseuse, or maybe a wayward puppy.

Season 6Edit


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