Boardwalk Empire

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Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014) is an American television series airing on HBO. Set in Atlantic City, New Jersey during the Prohibition era, it is written by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and producer Terence Winter.

Season 1


Boardwalk Empire [1.1]

Nucky Thompson: [to Jimmy] First rule of politics, kiddo: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Margaret Schroeder: I'd be honored to name my child after you.
Nucky Thompson: Enoch? You couldn't possibly be so cruel.

William McCoy: And he took the loaves and fishes, looked at his disciples and said, "Fuck it. We're going into the whiskey business"!

Jimmy Darmody: Nucky, all I want is an opportunity.
Nucky Thompson: This is America, ain't it? Who the fuck's stopping you?

Jimmy Darmody: [to Nucky] Look, you can't be half a gangster, Nucky. Not anymore.

The Ivory Tower [1.2]

Arnold Rothstein: There was a man once, I don't recall his name, frequented the billiard parlors downtown. He made a comfortable living wagering whether he could swallow certain objects, billiard balls being a specialty. He'd pick a ball, take it down his gullet, to here, and regurgitate it back up. One evening, I decided to challenge this man to a wager. Ten thousand in cash for him to do the trick with a billiard ball of my choosing. Now he knew I'd seen him do this a dozen times so I can only surmise that he thought I was stupid. We laid down the cash and I handed him the cue ball. He swallowed it down, it lodged in his throat, and he choked to death on the spot. What I knew and he didn't was that the cue ball is one sixteenth of an inch larger than the other balls, just too large to swallow. Do you know what the moral of this tale is, Mr. Yale?
Frankie Yale: Don't eat a cue ball?
Arnold Rothstein: The moral of the story is: If I'd cause a stranger to choke to death for my own amusement, what do you think I'll do to you if you don't tell me who ordered you to kill Collisimo?

Margaret Schroeder: Would you help me, Mr. Thompson? All I want is to provide for my children.
Nucky Thompson: I'd like to help you.
Margaret Schroeder: Then tell me what to do. What do you want from me?
Nucky Thompson: I want you to vote Republican.

Al Capone: What'll it be?
Corrigan: I'll take a whiskey and a statement on the record.

Johnny Torrio: [seeing Capone kicking Corrigan] What the fuck's going on?
Al Capone: I'm making a statement.

Broadway Limited [1.3]

Nucky Thompson: The split is 80 percent-20 percent, my favor. I supply the product, your people work their magic.
Chalky White: That's a whole lot of magic for 20 percent.
Nucky Thompson: It's the same deal I gave Mickey Cusick.
Chalky White: You know that motherfucker changed his name to Doyle?
Nucky Thompson: I did.
Chalky White: 40 percent.
Nucky Thompson: What happened to 30?
Chalky White: I'll charge 10 extra for thinking I'd take the same deal as Mickey.
Nucky: I didn't know you were so sensitive.
Chalky White: As a baby's ass, motherfucker. [leaves]
Nucky Thompson: [to Eddie] What's motherfucker mean?
Eddie Kessler: I suppose it's a schvartze term.

Arnold Rothstein: There's a lot of money in that pot. Do you know how much?
Buck: Yeah, 20.
Arnold Rothstein: 22,500. How much mining equipment would you have to sell to make 22,000 bucks, Buck?
Buck: A lot. Are you in or out?
Arnold Rothstein: I'll see your 2, and raise you 5.
Buck: [after a moment's hesitation] Take it. I was bluffing.
Arnold Rothstein: I know. So was I.

Gillian Darmody: I was under the impression that you could do anything.
Nucky Thompson: I'm not God, Gillian.
Gillian Darmody: Now you tell me.

Nucky Thompson: When you were 10 years old, I don't know if you'll even remember this, President Taft came to town, some campaign speech. You were in the crowd. I suppose you were with your dad. But you turned to me and said, "Nuck, what's a fella gotta do to become president?" I said, "well, you gotta study, learn everything you can about the world and do a lot of hard work." And you looked up at me in disbelief and said, "gee, is that all?" I used to think you'd own the world one day.

Jimmy Darmody: Where am I supposed to go?
Eli Thompson: I hear California's nice. Maybe Chaplin needs a foil.

Anastasia [1.4]

Chalky White: I was born in Elgin, Texas. My daddy taught himself the carpenter trade doing for the black folk there. I tell you, anything that man put his hand to - table, chair, wedding chest - he make that wood sing. Now one day, a man, Mr. T. O. Persall, come 'round. He a white man, own his own store, stable, hotel. He say to my daddy: "I hears you the finest carpenter in Elgin." My daddy tell him: "Well, I can't say one way or the other, but I knows a bit about somethin'." So Mr. T. O. Persall take my daddy to this house he was building. Biggest house in town. They walk in there, say: "This here gon' be the library. What you think 'bout that?" My daddy say: "Well, I think you need some bookcases." "Well then, that's what I want you to make me." 10 months my daddy worked there. And when he finished, he bring me 'round. "Mr. Persall, this here my boy. I'd like to show him what I done." "Well, come on in! Through the front door!" Just like that! And we did. When I see them bookcases, all covered with scroll and flowers, baskets of fruit, little angels floatin' in the corner... that was the most beautiful thing I ever seen. About a month later, another man come 'round. "I see what you did for T. O. Can't let that old dog top me. You come 'round my house, I'll show you what I need." My daddy go with him to the edge of town. Wasn't nothin' there but 6 white men, 12 foot of rope, and the pepper tree they hung him from. [pause, Chalky takes out some carpentry tools] These here my daddy's tools.
Grand Cyclops of the KKK: [afraid] What are you gonna do with them?
Chalky White: Well... I ain't buildin' no bookcase...

Lucky Luciano: I'm a friend of James.
Gillian Darmody: His friends call him Jimmy, so who are you really?
Lucky Luciano: I'm a, whatchacallit, an acquaintance. From New York.
Gillian Darmody: That part I suspected. What's your name?
Lucky Luciano: Never mind my name. Is he here or ain't he?
Gillian Darmody: He's not.
Lucky Luciano: Then where is he?
Gillian Darmody: Maybe he's up your ass. Have you considered looking there?

Nights in Ballygran [1.5]

Eli Thompson: The whole thing's a game isn't it? So easy for you. Well, I'll keep at it. Maybe one day I'll lie as good as you.
Nucky Thompson: It's "lie as well as me", you dolt. You wanna be taken seriously, then learn how to fuckin' speak.

Bill Fallon: [about the case against Rothstein for fixing the World Series] You get mud on your trousers, or horse shit, you don't rub it off. You let it dry and set awhile, then you brush it off nice and easy.
Arnold Rothstein: The World Series was months ago, Lawyer Fallon, and the horse shit hasn't dried yet!

Family Limitation [1.6]

Nucky Thompson: Knock, goddammit!
Eddie Kessler: I did!
Nucky Thompson: Well, knock like a man!

Nucky Thompson: Jesus Christ! The fuck are you doing?
Eddie Kessler: You told me to knock in a manly fashion.
Nucky Thompson: Well leave the door on the hinges!

Al Capone: That stuff you said in front of the boys, bout me in the war; makes me look bad. That ain't how you treat a buddy.
Jimmy Darmody: Is that what we are?
Al Capone: What did you think we were?
Jimmy Darmody: Accomplices.
Al Capone: It's the same thing right?

Home [1.7]

Richard Harrow: Hrrm. You want this? [brings out a book] My sister sends them to me, cause I used to enjoy 'em.
Jimmy Darmody: You don't anymore?
Richard Harrow: Hrrm. It occurred to me the basis of fiction is that people have some sort of connection with each other. Hrrm. But they don't.

Liam: The whore, Pearl... I was just doing Sheridan's bidding.
Jimmy Darmody: Relax, I'm not gonna kill you. Did you serve, Liam? In the war.
Liam: I had pneumatic fever.
Jimmy Darmody: 3 years. France, mostly. It's almost impossible to describe the horror. It's a living... waking... nightmare. There was a soldier, a German; him and his men tried to attack our position in the Argonne forest. It was nighttime. While he was trying to climb through some barbwire, I shot him twice; once in the stomach, once in the neck. He slumped over the barbwire, and no matter what he did to try and wriggle free, it just got worse for him. I left him there, like that, for days, listening to him moaning, crying, "mutti, mutti, mutti". That's German for "mama"; "mama", that's what he kept saying. The curious thing is that despite the fact that his situation was utterly hopeless, he didn't wanna die. I offered to kill him several times, but he just kept fighting. Like some miracle would befall him, get him out of his predicament. We hold on so desperately to life. Some people feel, certainly in that soldier's situation, that being alive is much, much worse. [pause] I'm gonna go now. I don't wanna ever see you again.
Liam: [frightened] You won't.

Hold Me In Paradise [1.8]

Nucky Thompson: You must be awfully proud of Warren.
Florence Harding: It's a terrible, wretched thing. A fortune teller told me he'll die in office.

Senator Walter Edge: I'll make it up to you, later.
Nucky Thompson: Later, when?
Senator Walter Edge: When I'm in the White House.
Nucky Thompson: The only chance you have of entering the White House is on a guided fuckin' tour.

Belle Femme [1.9]

Richard Harrow: Chalky, Mr. White, heard back from his men in Philadelphia.
Jimmy Darmody: Any sign of them?
Richard Harrow: Mrs. D'Allesio, the mother is there, the sisters and another brother.
Jimmy Darmody: Which one?
Richard Harrow: Adrian.
Jimmy Darmody: Never heard of him.
Richard Harrow: He's a dentist. I could go there.
Jimmy Darmody: Where?
Richard Harrow: To Philadelphia.
Jimmy Darmody: There's no point. They're laying low someplace else.
Richard Harrow: I would kill the mother and the sisters. And the dentist. That would make them stick their heads up.

Arnold Rothstein: You know the nice thing about the Bronx Zoo, Charlie? There's bars between you and the monkeys.

The Emerald City [1.10]

Nucky Thompson: [to Matteo D'Alessio] We've already met actually; you shot at me on the boardwalk.
Matteo D'Alessio: You've got me confused with somebody else.
Nucky Thompson: There's another dago walking around with dog shit on his face?

Nucky Thompson: Mr. Rothstein made his bed.
Jimmy Darmody: Now you fellas can die in it.
Lucien D'Alessio: [to Matteo D'Alessio] Huh, tough talk when he ain't in the room, right?
Jimmy Darmody: What did you say?
Lucien D'Alessio: Oh I'm sorry, I thought you heard me. What I said was that you, Mr. Thompson and this coon here can all go fuck each other. Right. [Jimmy draws his gun] Oh! Oh! Fuckin' tough guy, you're gonna shoot me for mouthing off?
Jimmy Darmody: I wasn't going to, but you kinda talked me into it.

Paris Green [1.11]

Eli Thompson: Nobody cares about you. They just care about what you can give them. And that includes your Irish chippie, who you just handed a blank cheque!
Nucky Thompson: Y'know, it's too bad you didn't see Hardeen the other night.
Eli Thompson: What?
Nucky Thompson: It's an entertaining act, but if he wasn't Houdini's brother, nobody'd give a fuck!

Agent Nelson Van Alden: [After drowning his Jewish partner for refusing to convert to Christianity] THOU HAST FULFILLED THE JUDGEMENT OF THE WICKED!!!

A Return to Normalcy [1.12]

Nucky Thompson: Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate. Tragic though it is, I need hardly remind you that the passage of the 18th Amendment has given rise to a new breed of criminals. Vicious thugs, emboldened by the promise of an easy dollar. Last January, in the woods, only a few miles from where I speak to you today, a horrible massacre occurred. Five men, bootleggers all, were cut down in cold blood by a rival gang. The suspected ringleader of the killers, Hans Schroeder, was found dead days later, caught in a fisherman's net in one of our piers. Due to the tireless work of my brother, former sheriff Eli Thompson, we have since learned the Schroeder's conspirators in this cowardly attack were a group of killers laid to Philadelphia, well-known to law enforcement as the D'Alessio brothers. I am happy to report, they are being sought for questioning as I speak. Motivated by political gain, the Democrats have argued that the incumbent administration has been rife with corruption, soft on crime. On this election eve, I submit to you this: while this heinous crime did certainly occur on the Republican watch, the apprehension of those responsible did as well. Vote for Edward Bader tomorrow, and keep our city safe. I thank you all, and God bless America!

Margaret Schroeder: There's a kindness in you. I know it. How can you do what you do?
Nucky Thompson: We all have to decide for ourselves how much sin we can live with.

Season 2


21 [2.1]

Nucky Thompson: [to Jimmy] Your father is a very duplicitous man. You've been told.

Mickey Doyle: Should I be concerned that there's blood on some of these crates?
Jimmy Darmody: Not unless it's yours.

Commodore Louis Kaestner: [to Jimmy] You will be judged by what you succeed at, boy, not by what you attempt.

Jimmy Darmody: [Joining Nucky on the porch outside a Klansman's funeral] An awful waste of a lot of good tablecloths.
Nucky Thompson: The laundry bills alone..
Commodore Louis Kaestner: Ask the man inside of you this: When you come face to face with destiny, do you want to be the bear or do you want to be the one holding the shotgun?

James Darmody: I won't pretend you're inclined to be warm to me. I wouldn't insult you like that, cuz before anything else, I have great respect for you, your wisdom, your achievements.
Arnold Rothstein: You're better spoken than I expected.
James Darmody: We never really talked before.
Arnold Rothstein: You and Charlie are acquainted?
James Darmody: We have someone in common [Lucky slept with James' mother and tried to murder him].
Arnold Rothstein: You hear, Charlie? Discretion. Charlie volunteered to absent himself from this meeting. He felt his presence might be disruptive, but I counseled what?
Lucky Luciano: Never let the past get in the way of the future.
James Darmody: We are all learning, Mr. Rothstein.
Arnold Rothstein: And what can I learn from you, Mr. Darmody?
James Darmody: That things are changing in Atlantic City. If you're in the market for quality liquor coming in off the beaches at a reasonable price and in good supply, I can get it for you.
Arnold Rothstein: You personally?
James Darmody: Me. My associates. I'm expanding my business and you are precisely the type of discerning customer I'm looking for.
Arnold Rothstein: And Nucky Thompson?
James Darmody: Nucky's like a father to me.
Lucky Luciano: I have a father. Barely said hello in 5 years.
James Darmody: Sorry to hear it.
Arnold Rothstein: Who are you, Mr. Darmody?
James Darmody: Pardon?
Arnold Rothstein: Y-Y-You show up well dressed with a suit cravat and a bold proposal. A year ago you were a brigand in the woods. Who are you?
James Darmody: I'm a businessman, a veteran, I just got married.
Arnold Rothstein: Congratulations.
James Darmody: I have a son. He's almost 4.
Arnold Rothstein: Cart before the horse?
James Darmody: Do you have kids, Mr. Rothstein?
Arnold Rothstein: No, but I'm told they often say unexpected and amusing things. I appreciate you coming to me. I applaud your audacity. And I give you my word that your offer remains in this room.
James Darmody: What does that mean?
Lucky Luciano: I'll show you out.

Margaret Schroeder: [to Nucky] You are smarter than your enemies and you will persevere, but you aren't thinking clearly now. You must concentrate and not give over to emotion.

Leander Cephas Whitlock: [Toasting Eli] Propinate nobis similibusque. [Translation: "Here's to us and those like us - damn few left]
Nucky Thompson: I keep my promises, James, and I'll make you one now: I will ruin you, all of you.

Nucky Thompson: How's Torrio handling the competition?
Al Capone: We're killing them.
Mickey Doyle: You've got your friends on the Coast Guard to thank for that three ship's worth of booze: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Canadian Club.

Manny Horvitz: We got a deal, but just so we're clear, my ice box is filled with pieces of fellas who tried to fuck me over.
Jimmy Darmody: [unmoved] I just got creamsicles in mine.
Jimmy Darmody: You think I can't play this game?
Nucky Thompson: I don't think you even know the rules.

Eli Thompson: You're one nasty prick!
Nucky Thompson: And you're a frightened little boy with nowhere else to go.

[after Richard returns late from his would-be suicidal trip into the woods on Memorial Day]
Jimmy Darmody: Where were you today?
Richard Harrow: Needed to take a walk.
Jimmy Darmody: I should've gone with you.
Richard Harrow: We're both back now.
Jimmy Darmody: You up for a job tonight?
[Richard just looks at him]
Jimmy Darmody: Is there a problem, Richard?
Richard Harrow: [haltingly] Would you... fight for me?
Jimmy Darmody: [walks over to him; with intensity] Of course I would. Right down to the last bullet.
Richard Harrow: [near tears] Then let's go to work.
Margaret Thompson: Are you in the habit of toying with women, Mr. Sleater?
Owen Sleater: I wouldn't call it a habit.

Jimmy Darmody: Not every insult requires a response.

Peg of Old [2.7]

Jimmy Darmody: It doesn't make a difference if you're right or wrong; you just have to make a decision.

Gillian Darmody: The men talk, the Geisha retires.

Two Boats and a Lifeguard [2.8]

Esther Randolph: You're like an onion, Mr. Thompson, the more we peel.
Nucky Thompson: I prefer to think of myself as an artichoke.

Nucky Thompson: [to Eli, at their father's wake] I'm here for mother, and for Susan.
Eli Thompson: They're all together now.
Nucky Thompson: Heaven? If such a thing existed, you really think that son of a bitch would be there?
Eli Thompson: [choking up] Was he that bad, Nucky? Really?
Nucky Thompson: You've obviously forgotten key events from our childhood.
Eli Thompson: I turned out OK. So did you. Whatever he did, he made us the men we are today.
Nucky Thompson: What's that?
Eli Thompson: We run this fucking town, Nucky!
Nucky Thompson: We don't run anything, brother. And he can rot in Hell.
Eli Thompson: That's you, boy, in spades. No capacity for forgiveness.
Nucky Thompson: Grow up, brother, please. And take some responsibility. At long fucking last.

Battle of the Century [2.9]

Waxey Gordon: [on killing Horvitz] Before we go any further, you need to tell me if that's a problem.
Jimmy Darmody: Maybe, but it's not mine.

Georgia Peaches [2.10]

Commodore Louis Kaestner: Just... show 'em your cunt. [Jimmy looks puzzled] You heard me. Just lift up your skirt and let yourself get fucked!

Jimmy Darmody: I know you're not happy, Angela. I know there are things that you think about me that you're afraid to say. I'm gonna make it up to you. I'm gonna get everything settled once and for all. You'll see. I can be the person you want me to be.

Under God's Power She Flourishes [2.11]

Nucky Thompson: [to Margaret] You listen! If you want to punish yourself because your daughter got sick, that's your business, but I will not permit you to sacrifice me!

[After Angela's murder, a traumatized Jimmy sits with Gillian]
Gillian Darmody: There will have to be a funeral, of course. It's important that everything look right. There won't be many people there, anyway. She didn't have a very wide circle, did she? The other one... not a local girl. They're trying to find some family. Not our concern. We'll need to consider Tommy. I told him, "Mommy went away for a few days to paint." That buys us some time. I think, tell me if I'm wrong, we'll say that she went to live with her friends in Paris, and she wants her little boy to stay here, where he'll be safe with his daddy, who works so hard, and his meemaw, who loves him so very much. And, you know what? A month from now - and I don't mean to sound cold - he won't even remember who she was...
[Enraged, Jimmy grabs her by the throat]
Jimmy Darmody: I'll remember! I'll remember! I'll remember! I'll remember!
[The Commodore attacks Jimmy, and the two fight]
Gillian Darmody: No!
[Jimmy suddenly stabs the Commodore in the gut. He pulls the knife out and stares at his father, unsure of what to do]
Gillian Darmody: Then finish it, goddamn you! Finish it!
[Jimmy stabs the Commodore in the heart, killing him]

To the Lost [2.12]

Nucky Thompson: Et tu, Eli?
Eli Thompson: What?
Nucky Thompson: Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.
Eli Thompson: There's a character named Eli?

Jimmy Darmody: [moments before he is shot] All you got to worry about is when you run out of booze and you run out of company and the only person left to judge you is your...
Nucky Thompson: [to Jimmy, just before shooting him] You don't know me, James. You never did. I am not seeking forgiveness.

Season 3


Resolution [3.1]

Nucky Thompson: Untie him. Oh, but before you do, put a bullet in his fucking head.

[Nucky has just cut the city's liquor barons out of a profitable deal]
Nucky Thompson: Sorry, gentlemen. New year, new rules.
Gyp Rosetti: Well, that makes sense. A chink I know, runs a laundry, tells me that '23 is the year of the pig.
Nucky Thompson: This is a business decision.
Gyp Rosetti: I come all the way down here, put up with car trouble...
George Remus: We all got the same news.
Gyp Rosetti: Yeah but we ain't all in the same fuckin' boat! I'm gettin' squeezed on all sides...
Frankie Yale: [warns him in Italian]
Gyp Rosetti: No fuck you, Frank! Your fuckin' rathole bar and your warehouse in Canarsie? I don't see you doin' me any favors, amicu! [to Rothstein] And you, you smug kike midget, creeping around like a dentist with ether...
Lucky Luciano: Why don't you watch your fuckin' mouth...
Gyp Rosetti: Why don't you go sit in the corner, short pants? [to Nucky] And then there's you. Fuckin' breadstick in a bowtie. You pasty-faced cocksucker...
Nucky Thompson: [angry but controlled] You must be tired, Mr. Rossetti. That can make a man irritable. You need some rest.
Gyp Rosetti: I need 500 cases of rum.
Nucky Thompson: You and your men, my guests at the Ritz.
Gyp Rosetti: You think I can't float my own hotel room?
Nucky Thompson: I'm making a goodwill gesture. Accept it or not.
Gyp Rosetti: How about I make one to you?
Owen Sleater: You'll not do it here.
Gyp Rosetti: I'll shit you out like yesterday's sausage, you bog-trottin' prick.
Nucky Thompson: You're making my decision very easy.
[Rosetti looks around the room, sees he has no support]
Gyp Rosetti: Nobody around here can take a joke.

Spaghetti and Coffee [3.2]

Gaston Means: Consider me an admirer, Mr. Thompson. Ordinary men avoid trouble. Extraordinary men turn it to their advantage. You and I have that in common.

Gyp Rosetti: 8 trucks, huh? Lotta gasoline.
Mickey Doyle: So? We're good for it.
Gyp Rosetti: Sure. Only thing is, we ain't got any.
Owen Sleater: You have no fuel?
Gyp Rosetti: And here it is, a filling station. That makes me chuckle.
Owen Sleater: [pointing with his gun] We'll gas up, we'll pay you, and we'll move on.
Gyp Rosetti: What's that? A gun? [shows his own weapon] I got a gun. [Rosetti's men appear and hold Doyle and Sleater at gunpoint] I got a gun, and he got a gun, and he got a gun. Everybody got guns!

Bone For Tuna [3.3]

Richard Harrow: [describing killing Horvitz] I waited, outside his house. I used a shotgun, very close.
Nucky Thompson: May I ask why?
Richard Harrow: Angela Darmody.
Nucky Thompson: Not her husband?
Richard Harrow: Jimmy was a soldier. He fought, he lost.
Nucky' Thompson: So I can assume my family and I are safe?
Richard Harrow: You and Mrs. Thompson were good to me. You have nothing to fear.
Nucky Thompson: How many people have you killed?
Richard Harrow: 63.
Nucky Thompson: Do you think about any of them?
Richard Harrow: You know the answer to that, yourself.

Gyp Rosetti: "Bone For Tuna". What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Tonino Sandretti: The kid's Irish. The pronunciation was off...
Gyp Rosetti: I know what he meant! Who the fuck is Nucky Thompson to wish me good luck? In Italian, no less, like he's fuckin' mocking me? He's real fuckin' cute, I'll tell you that! Sets me up to lose, pulls out of the whiskey deal at the last minute, and then says "bon fortuna" like he's rootin' for me to get back on my feet. Push me off a cliff, why don't ya?
Tonino Sandretti: I don't think...
Gyp Rosetti: Good luck flappin' your arms on the way down! Am I right?
Tonino Sandretti: Sure, but...
Gyp Rosetti: The attitude on him. Scrawny Irish prick. I need his blessing to make my way in the world?
Tonino Sandretti: I don't...
Gyp Rosetti: I need him to lecture me? Nothing's personal? What the fuck is life if it's not personal?

Blue Bell Boy [3.4]

Nucky Thompson: [to Eli] Allowing you to simply go to jail is the last gift I'll ever give you.

[Nucky kills Roland Smith]
Owen Sleater: I thought you were letting him go.
Nucky Thompson: Why would you think that?
Owen Sleater: [pause] I misunderstood.
Nucky Thompson: As long as you understand now.

You'd be Surprised [3.5]

Arnold Rothstein: [discussing Rosetti's blockade of Nucky's liquor] It's bad for business?
Nucky Thompson: Isn't it?
Arnold Rothstein: And what would you know about it, conducting yours like a drunken shopkeeper?
Nucky Thompson: Alright, Arnold. You're allowed to blow off steam.
Arnold Rothstein: It's not alright. Do you think I entered into this arrangement because I value your companionship? You are a convenience, of geography and supply. You promised a quantity and a price. You have failed to deliver! And now, owing to your inability to manage your affairs in New Jersey - a state I have little interest in or affection for - you expect me to start a war? In New York? Where things actually matter?
Nucky' Thompson: I expect you to understand that Gyp Rosetti is trouble for everyone. I lost an entire convoy...
Arnold Rothstein: Because of your own cavalierness! Because you run off to Manhattan at a moment's notice to rut with some showgirl!
Nucky Thompson: You'd be wise to leave Miss Kent out of this.
Arnold Rothstein: Why? You can't. Do you even begin to understand how weak that makes you look?
Nucky Thompson: That's a big noise from a man who is dead below the waist.
Arnold Rothstein: I practice discretion.
Nucky Thompson: You practice bullshit! Who the fuck are you, Arnold, aside from a little weasel with a good poker face?

Eddie Cantor: [discussing the male lead of "The Naughty Virgin"] He dances like a... what do you call a horse whose kischkes have been cut off?
Nucky Thompson: A gelding.
Eddie Cantor: That's not very naughty.

Ging Gang Goolie [3.6]

Lucky Luciano: It's the 20th century, sweetie. You wanna make a buck? Have 'em start showin' a little skin.

Paul Sagorsky: What's all this bullshit about alcohol? A man's willing to lay his life down for his country, you best let that man have a goddamn drink!

Sunday Best [3.7]

Joe Masseria: [to Rosetti, in Italian] I can't control you, I can't rely on you, and now I can't afford you.
Gyp Rosetti: [nervous] It's Easter Sunday, Joe.
Joe Masseria: Also April Fool's.
Gyp Rosetti: So what're we jokin' about?
Joe Masseria: I'm not joking. [gets up and walks away as his men advance on Rosetti]
Gyp Rosetti: Nucky Thompson. Arnold Rothstein.
Joe Masseria: What about them?
Gyp Rosetti: They're not losin' sleep about no 20 blocks of road on the East Side. They're workin' together. They're buildin' something a lot bigger than you and me.
Joe Masseria: Then let them do what they want.
Gyp Rosetti: Because you think you got what you have, right? But not for long. Things are changin'. That Luciano kid...
Joe Masseria: I straightened him out. You don't want...
Gyp Rosetti: He's not like you and me! Look who he works for, Joe! They're buildin' something, and it don't include us! Who's gonna own this place, huh? Heebs and Micks and back-stabbin' fucks that don't respect where they come from! After all the blood we put into it! [in Italian] What about us? What happens to us? [in English] You do what you gotta do with me, but you're gonna be in a war whether you like it or not.
Joe Masseria: Ah, you gonna save me, huh?
Gyp Rosetti: Give me your blessing. Let me finish what I started, but this time with enough juice to make it stick. I'll bring you Thompson.
Joe Masseria: What do I care about Thompson?
Gyp Rosetti: And I'll bring you Rothstein. Luciano and the kikes he runs with. I'll kill 'em all. And when I'm through, they're not gonna call you Joe the Boss no more - they're gonna call you Joe the King.

Gyp Rosetti: [talking to God in church] I just need to get this said. No disrespect, but you put me down in this game. I didn't ask for that. Make me want things, things I can see, that I can almost touch... then you take 'em away. Not for me, right? Everyone else, but not me. I'm, what, a mistake you made? Like some leftovers? And I'm supposed to go through my life, no friendship, no love, till I'm pissin' in my bed and coughin' up blood on the sheets? Then I'll know, right? Then it'll be clear. [shouting] Put it in front of me, take it away! Why would you do that? Just to screw with me? What kind of sick fuck thinks that way? I'm supposed to trust you. Based on the treatment so far? What're you up to, huh? I'm here! I'm listenin'! I'm ready for any kind of explanation!
Priest: Are you all right?
Rosetti: I'm prayin'.
Priest: You're yelling.
Rosetti: Can I ask you something?
Priest: Of course.
[Rosetti hits him in the face and takes the collection money]
Rosetti: Where does God keep the rest of it? [screams] Answer me!

The Pony [3.8]

Nucky Thompson: You have to understand: No matter what you think of me, there's no walking away. It doesn't work like that. I do it to them, or they do it to me. And that's all there is.
Margaret Thompson: And the men in your office?
Nucky Thompson: Either they're with me and we go to war, or they'll smile, shake my hand and walk away. I'll be alone, and that's as good as dead.

Gyp Rosetti: That's 1200 cases, 24 bottles per... that 28,800 bottles. That's math. That's useful. That's what my father used, on account he laid bricks. He built churches, bridges... he came home at night, he smelled like sweat, not fish. Broke his back, dead at 50. Layin' around in a fuckin' boat, he would seen 100, but not him. Not fuckin' him. Not like your father, right, Franco?
[He looks down at Franco, who is buried up to his neck in sand]
Franco: Please, Mr. Rosetti... I'm a fucking idiot, I'm sorry! Please, Tonino, for the love of Christ!
Tonino Sandretti: Gyp, he's my mother's brother's kid. He didn't mean no disrespect. He's just a fuckin' know-it-all. Break his legs, anything... not this. Please, I'm beggin' you. Gyp, he's my blood!
Gyp Rosetti: Fuckin' family, right?
Tonino Sandretti: You know how it is.
Gyp Rosetti: You're a lucky fella, Franco. [to one of his henchmen] Gimme that.
[Gyp's henchman hands him a shovel]
Gyp Rosetti: [to Tonino] Because I respect you.
[Gyp bashes Franco's head in with the shovel]
Gyp Rosetti: [to Tonino] You owe me.

The Milkmaid's Lot [3.9]

Margaret Thompson: Knowing nothing doesn't make in better.

Gyp Rosetti: Howdy, sheriff. What's new on the prairie?
Sheriff: [nervous] Howdy, Gyp. Good to see you again.
Gyp Rosetti: What's so good about it? You miss my company? You like the way I look? What're you, some kind of fanook?
Sheriff: Just ready to get back to business.
Gyp Rosetti: No kiddin'? You been twiddlin' your thumbs, waitin' for me to show up? [he picks up a club]
Sheriff: There's no need for any of that. You know me. I'm flexible.
Gyp Rosetti: [laughs] Not for much longer. [hits him in the knee, then beats him when he's down]

A Man, A Plan... [3.10]

Nelson Van Alden: Please, sir, I provide for a family. I failed to eschew evil, but I'm trying.
Al Capone: [sticking a fork into Van Alden's face] 25 blocks into my territory. I know you're gonna pay me back.
Nelson Van Alden: Yes, sir.
Al Capone: Huh?
Nelson Van Alden: Yes, sir!
[Capone lowers the fork]
Al Capone: Tell me everything you know about O'Banion's operation.

Margaret Thompson: I'm pregnant. It's yours. You can do what you choose. Plans or no, I won't hold you to them. But say what you want, as long as it's the truth.
Owen Sleater: The truth? [pause] Well, I'd like it to be a boy.

Two Imposters [3.11]

Gyp Rosetti: [to Chalky] I'm gonna be runnin' things now. People tell me you're the man to see on this side of the fence... Mr White. We really need all these guns?
Chalky White: Not if you put yours down first.
[At Tonino's motion, Rosetti's men put down their weapons. Chalky's men do the same]
Gyp Rosetti: Look at us now. We're almost kissin'. I'm not lookin' to put my hands in your pockets. However things used to work, I don't operate that way. I mean, look at me, look at you. We got a lot in common, eh?
Chalky White: And what's that?
Gyp Rosetti: We both got left out in the sun too long. [smiles] Maybe you a little longer.
Chalky White: You just ain't done cookin' yet, friend.

Al Capone: We've been on the road for 18 hours. I need a bath and some chow. Then you and me sit down... and we talk about who dies.

Margate Sands [3.12]

Gyp Rosetti: You laughin' at me?
Gillian Darmody: Why not? Everybody else does.

Gyp Rosetti: [imitating Nucky] Relax, it's a party.
Tonino Sandretti: What?
Gyp Rosetti I'm making a big decision. From now on, I'm only selling hooch every other Thursday. Because I have important friends. I'm an important person. I have important garters holding up my very important socks! Do you know who have any idea who the fuck I am? [mimes glasses over his eyes] Do you? DO YOU?!
Tonino Sandretti: [bemused] You're Nucky Thompson.
Gyp Rosetti: I'm Barney Google, with the goo-goo-googly eyes! AND I NEVER, EVER TAKE ANYTHING PERSONAL!

Nucky Thompson: [to Tonino, after he kills Rosetti] Tell Masseria this can be the end of it, or the beginning. I'll meet him either way.

Season 4


New York Sour [4.1]

Joe Masseria: What do you want?
Nucky Thompson: See a Broadway show, have the chop at Keens, do a little window shopping... and not be looking over my shoulder every second I'm at it.

Arnold Rothstein: All of man's troubles come from his inability to sit quietly in a room, by himself.

Resignation [4.2]

Eddie Kessler: Mr. Thompson is a part of everything. He is in the sky and sea. He is in the dreams of children at night. He is all that there is, forever.

Valentin Narcisse: A thing mixed is a thing diluted.

Acres of Diamonds [4.3]

Bill McCoy: Tucker's very excited to meet you.
Nucky Thompson: Most people are until they do.

[Narcisse and Rothstein negotiate a heroin deal]
Valentin Narcisse: 20 pounds, uncut. I will weigh it myself to ensure good measure.
Arnold Rothstein: 80,000 in cash. Large bills only.
Valentin Narcisse: Why would you expect otherwise?
Arnold Rothstein: My understanding, you control the local numbers racket.
Valentin Narcisse: Therefore, I transact my business like a schoolboy, dealing in pennies, nickels and dimes?
Arnold Rothstein: It was not my intention to offend you.
Valentin Narcisse: Nonetheless, you have succeeded despite yourself.

All In [4.4]

Arnold Rothstein: You're a type I recognize.
Nucky Thompson: What type is that?
Arnold Rothstein: A small town gladhander, peeking up over the fence, eager to stick his finger in a new piece of pie.
Nucky Thompson: I don't like pie.
Arnold Rothstein: Well, I have learned something new about you.

[Lansky wants to go into business with Nucky]
Nucky Thompson: Tell me something about yourself.
Meyer Lansky: I'm a businessman. Charlie and I partnered in several high level endeavors...
Nucky Thompson: No. About yourself. What kind of man you are.
Meyer Lansky: When I was a boy, my father moved us from Russia to the Upper East Side. He was weak, my father - never stood up. One day, on the way to school, I was stopped by a gang of older boys. The leader said he wanted my lunch money. I told him, go fuck himself. He laughed, said he'd beat it out of me, so I spit in his face. He did beat me - they all did - and he took my money. Next day, same thing: Again I spit in his face, again we fought. But the third day, the kid asked me to join his gang. He was Charlie Luciano. That's how we teamed up. Last year, we made more money than the President of the United States. And I think you will find us to be responsible partners, both here and in Florida, should you need eyes on the investment.
Nucky Thompson: $500,000.
Meyer Lansky: Done.
Nucky Thompson: In 48 hours.
Meyer Lansky: Done.
Nucky Thompson: [extending his hand] The money doesn't show, this conversation never happened - and it won't ever happen again.

Erlkonig [4.5]

[Nucky has gotten Willie out of a murder charge]
Nucky Thompson: Whatever occurred, it's over. Every now and then you'll think about the terrible thing that occurred to a boy whose face you can't quite remember. I promise you, you can live with it.
Willie Thompson: Is that what you do?
Nucky Thompson: [pause] You're going to graduate. We'll get you into another school, if that's what's required. It's not important now. You worry about what other people might say, you worry about someone who you call a friend - none of that matters. The only thing that you can count on is blood, the blood that's in your veins and the blood that's in mine. People who discount you? They don't know who you are. The rage you feel - listen to me carefully: it's a gift. Use it, but don't let anyone see it. Know that I'm watching over you. Show me the person you intend to be.

Eddie Kessler: I have done nothing wrong.
Agent Knox: You had a pistol up your sleeve.
Eddie Kessler: That is for protection.
Agent Knox: Against who?
Eddie Kessler: [sarcastically] Apaches!

The North Star [4.6]

Nucky Thompson: My circumstances have changed. There are things I won't do anymore. You understand that, don't you?
Margaret Thompson: There's what I know, what I suspect and what I don't think I should ever hear.

Al Capone: [weeping over his brother Frank's body] Everything that crawls is gonna pay!

William Wilson [4.7]

Margaret Thompson: I's a woman's place to tend to the home. It's a man's to tend to the future.

Daughter Maitland: Dr. Narcisse found me. Put his wings around me ever since.
Chalky White: You and him ever...?
Daughter Maitland: No, he's a decent man.
Chalky White: So what that make me?
Daughter Maitland: That make you my man.

The Old Ship of Zion [4.8]

Valentin Narcisse: Where I am from, Mr. Thompson, there are no such things as "niggers", and I refuse to be treated like one.

[Van Alden has a gun on Dale]
Dale: Whoa, whoa, Mueller, calm down!
Nelson Van Alden: I am calm. [shoots him dead]

Marriage and Hunting [4.9]

Chalky White: [to Nucky] Heard a lot of "we" last year, when you was in trouble. Now it's just "you."

Dean O'Banion: [holding Van Alden at gunpoint] How's about the truth, Mueller? One more "I'm sorry", "I don't know", "I'm not looking for any trouble", and I will pop your head open like a melon.
Nelson Van Alden: I didn't kill Stu. Al Capone did. But I have killed other men. The one you know about, the three that attacked me... and my partner.
Dean O'Banion: Your what?
Nelson Van Alden: I was a Prohibition agent. I drowned him with my bare hands. My name isn't Mueller. I'm not legally married to my wife. I used to believe in God, but now I don't believe in anything at all.

White Horse Pike [4.10]

Arnold Rothstein: May I offer you some free advice?
Margaret Thompson: Is there anything more expensive in the world?

[Nucky is threatening to execute Lansky for betraying him]
Nucky Thompson: You come to me begging, some wet behind the ears little shit...
Meyer Lansky: Nucky...
Nucky Thompson: You assure me your intentions are honorable, that you and your partner have big plans for the future.
Meyer Lansky: If you just let me speak...
Nucky Thompson: I let you in on the deal, things are going great. And then what do you do the second you get the chance?
Meyer Lansky: Mr. Thompson...
Nucky Thompson: You stick it up my fucking ass!
Meyer Lansky: We were coerced, Charlie and I! By Masseria. He found out about Tampa from his cousin.
Eli Thompson: Petrocelli.
Meyer Lansky: And realized he could use it to his advantage.
Nucky Thompson: As did you and your greaseball partner.
Meyer Lansky: He would've killed us if we didn't go along!
Nucky Thompson: You think I fucking won't?
Meyer Lansky: I know that is a distinct possibility, sir, though I do pray to God that it won't happen. If it were up to me, sir, I'd have nothing to do with narcotics. There is plenty of money to be made in booze, which is a safer and eminently more socially acceptable...
Nucky Thompson: [slaps him across the face] You've got two fucking seconds to drop the boy scout routine, or you're going in that hole!
Meyer Lansky: There's a fortune to be made in heroin. Millions and millions of dollars. Now, I don't know about you, but the way I saw it, it was the same life I was risking either way. I'm beggin' you, Mr. Thompson, please! What would you have done if you were me?

Havre de Grace [4.11]

Gillian Darmody: Childhood doesn't last. Nothing lasts.

Gillian Darmody: You can make yourself live with anything.

Farewell Daddy Blues [4.12]

Eli Thompson: [to Willie] You go to him? Over your father?
Nucky Thompson: I'm the one who can fix it.
Eli Thompson: He was supposed to amount to somethin'!
Nucky Thompson: He's still going to.
Eli Thompson: What? A man in an empty hotel, pointing a gun at his brother?
Nucky Thompson: I did it for the family.
Eli Thompson: You don't have a family. I do. Now you're gonna take that too? Nothing will fill that hole you got inside you. Don't you know that yet?
Nucky Thompson: This is your mess, Eli. Drown in it.

J. Edgar Hoover: You seem to be a clever fellow. Who do you think gets to decide what the truth is?
Valentin Narcisse: Truth is what those in power wish it to be.
J. Edgar Hoover: During the course of investigating the seditious activities of Marcus Garvey, James M. Tolliver, Special Agent with the Bureau of Investigation, was murdered in Atlantic City, New Jersey by an unidentified colored male. Dr. Valentin Narcisse assisted the Bureau in apprehending the suspect. He further agreed, during a private conversation with Director Hoover, to provide ongoing, secret intelligence regarding Mr. Garvey, with particular concern to his radical agenda and his ties to foreign powers.
Valentin Narcisse: And why would he do that?
J. Edgar Hoover: To demonstrate his commitment to the values of his adopted land.
Valentin Narcisse: Brother Garvey is a hero, dedicated to liberation of a great people.
J. Edgar Hoover: But you are not. You are just a peddler and a pimp sitting in a jail cell.
Valentin Narcisse: I am a businessman and a follower of Christ.
J. Edgar Hoover: You agree to cooperate, you can go on pretending to be anything you want. You don't, and I will make sure you never see daylight in America again.
Valentin Narcisse: [to himself] Sufficient unto the days the evil thereof...
J. Edgar Hoover: I cannot hear you.
Valentin Narcisse: I said yes.
J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, what?
Valentin Narcisse: Yes... sir.

Season 5


Golden Days for Boys and Girls [5.1]

Ethan Thompson: [to young Nucky] It took your mother three days to birth you. I was out in the water. I didn't know if I was a father or a widower. I come home, she's in bed with her hair down, her beautiful hair. A boy in her arms. My boy. [He strokes Nucky's hair, and then hits him in the face] You're the son of a fisherman. And what are you trying to catch?

Lucky Luciano: [in Italian] To us, and only us. Now and forever.

The Good Listener [5.2]

Nucky Thompson: Year in, year out - different dogs, same fucking bone.

Salvatore Maranzano: The universe loves nothing so much as to change things which are, and make new things like them.

What Jesus Said [5.3]

Lucky Luciano: [to Narcisse] You got the policy game, the dope, the clubs...
Benjamin Siegel: And you got all those whores.
Valentin Narcisse: What I have belongs to me.
Lucky Luciano: People are losing things all over. Some guy, he's a millionaire, next thing you know he's sellin' Chiclets in the street.
Benjamin Siegel: [rubbing his throat] Or worse.
Valentin Narcisse: [bemused] Chiclets...
Lucky Luciano: Hanging on to what you have, that sounds like a good idea. That's what Mr. Maranzano would like to help you with. [pause] And that's what we have to say.
Valentin Narcisse: I thank you both for your concern, and I am sorry you came all this way for nothing.
Lucky Luciano: [smiles] What I love about the city: everything's so close.

Fern: Does your daughter know what you are?
Chalky White: She know what I was.

Cuanto [5.4]

Al Capone: You think I'm stupid?
Nelson Van Alden: No successful man is stupid.
Al Capone: Are you successful?
Nelson Van Alden: Not really.
Al Capone: Why's that?
Nelson Van Alden: I get the feeling that my boss doesn't like me.

[Capone has a gun on Van Alden and has given him 30 seconds to explain himself]
Nelson Van Alden: I've worked for you for seven years. I set up Dean O'Banion. I make my number every week. Maybe I'm a federal agent, maybe I'm a bigamist, maybe I'm a murderer on the run. Believe what you want, there's no way I can stop you. But that's not what matters now.
Al Capone: It's not?
Nelson Van Alden: [indicating Luciano] What matters is that this man comes in from out of town and starts telling Capone what to do about Capone's business in Capone's house? You ask me, that's pretty goddamn disrespectful.
[After a moment, Capone lowers the gun]
Al Capone: [to Luciano] You can rule by fear, or you can rule by love. Remember that, if you're ever in charge. Get him a drink.
[D'Angelo leads Van Alden out]
D'Angelo: You've got a pair.
Nelson Van Alden: What did I say?
D'Angelo: You don't remember?
Nelson Van Alden: I need a men's room.
D'Angelo: You gonna be sick?
Nelson Van Alden: I may have soiled myself,

Al Capone: [to Nucky] We got a problem. His name is Charlie.

King of Norway [5.5]

Eli Thompson: Look, I don't know about you, but my life is a fuckin' shipwreck!
Nelson Van Alden: Well, land ho!

Nucky Thompson: There's no sense looking back. The only thing you can do is start again. I really believe that.
Chalky White: We ain't schoolboys no more.
Nucky Thompson: We're not dead, either. That leaves a lot of road in the middle.

Devil You Know [5.6]

[Flashback scene to when Nucky and Gillian met for the first time]
Nucky Thompson: Been busy today, hmm? What's your name? You must have a name.
Gillian Darmody: Nellie Bly.
Nucky Thompson: Don't cut shines with me. That's what it says on the book. I'm Nucky. That's my brother Eli. It's not as bad as you think. Just tell me your name.
Gillian Darmody: Gillian.
Nucky Thompson: That's not a name for a boy.
Gillian Darmody: I'm not a boy.

[Nucky hands Joe Harper a $100 bill]
Nucky Thompson: Take it.
Joe Harper: No, sir.
Nucky Thompson: Why not?
Joe Harper: You just had a rough night, that's all. Besides, if you only help people to help yourself, what kind of world would it be?
Nucky Thompson: Someone I was close to just died because of me. Last thing I heard her say was, "have your coffee." She's gone... and I'm still here. What kind of world is that? [holds out the money] Come on, now. It's not helping yourself. It's helping me.

Nelson Van Alden: I am Nelson Casper Van Alden. I am a sworn agent of the United States Treasury. And I swear by Jesus our Lord that justice will reign down upon you if it is my last- [Clipped by D'Angelo]

Friendless Child [5.7]

Benny Siegel: Hey, Talia, I think I left my tongue down there.

Joe Harper: [about death] What's it like, when you see it?
Nucky Thompson: You tell yourself it's quick, but you don't know. You can't know until it's you and then you'll never tell anyone.

Lucky Luciano: What do you want?
Nucky Thompson: A meeting so we can settle this bullshit.
Lucky Luciano: I'll meet you at your funeral. We can talk there.

ElDorado [5.8]

Commodore Louis Kaestner: In the end, we do what we have the nerve for, or we disappear

Nucky Thompson: I was a bellboy. The first time I was tipped a nickel, I thought, "The world is a wonderful place... but a dime, a dime would be better." Then it was a quarter.

Margaret Thompson: Here is an experiment for you. Think about the things you want in life, then picture yourself in a dress.

Eli Thompson: How come you always had to be the wise one?
Nucky Thompson: Because you needed me to be.

Lucky Luciano: [addressing the Commission] This table, it's round for a reason: 'Cause no one sits at the head. There's no boss - there's seven bosses. A commission. Five families in New York, plus Buffalo and Chicago. Nobody gets made, unless we all approve. Put it to a vote. Any beefs, wherever you go - New Orleans, Kansas City, St. Louis - they all get settled here by us, before things get out of hand. The old way of doin' things, it's over. The mustache petes are in the ground. Our friends, our partners - the Jews, the Irish, what have you. If it's good for business, it's good for us. There's no point in limiting our opportunities. The future is ours, boys.

Chalky White: All a dream to begin with. Ain't nobody ever been free.