Madam Secretary (TV series)

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Madam Secretary (2014-2019) was an American TV drama staring Tea Leoni, based on the personal and work life of the Secretary of State.

Season 1[edit]

Pilot [1.1][edit]

Jake: Hey, can I talk to you about my thesis?
Elizabeth: Uh, sure. During office hours.
Jake: Yeah, your office hours don't really work for me.
Elizabeth: laughs Sorry to hear that.
Jake: Thing is, I don't really want to write about the Cold War.
Elizabeth: You're aware that the class is called "Postwar Politics and the Cold War."
Jake: Yeah, but I feel like it's been done.
Elizabeth: That's why they call it history, Jake.
Jake: Thing is, my theory is that we are living through a new cold war.
Elizabeth: All right, compare and contrast to the original and convince me.
Jake: Great. Also, I'll need an extension. My parents are coming to town and they're very needy
Elizabeth: Oh. My husband bought tickets to the opera this weekend. I mean, normally, I love the opera, but I got to tell you, it's been a hell of a week and the thought of sitting in a dimly lit room with a bunch of people singing at me in Italian... It's just going to make me fall asleep. I'm so sorry. I thought we were telling each other our problems. No extension.

Elizabeth: Honey? Their eyes are glazing over. They're just listening to you because you're so cute.
Girl: No way. I hated religion before I took his class. Now I'm totally caught up. He's brilliant.
Elizabeth: Wow. Well, do you mind if I just steal his brilliance for a minute?

Henry: So, how am I supposed to develop a cult following?
Elizabeth: Oh, I think you'll figure it out. Hey, listen. Did you remember you got to cook tonight? 'Cause I'm going into DC.
Henry: Right, the spy reunion.
Elizabeth: Yes. And since I'm the only one who can talk about work, I get to be the center of attention.
Henry: You're always the center of attention with me.
Elizabeth: Really? Tell that to your cult following.

Elizabeth: Why don't you call our former boss and complain to him about your desk job?
George: Oh, I did.
Elizabeth: George! You called POTUS about your desk job!

Conrad: It's a bad time to be without diplomatic representation.
Elizabeth: Because of the peace talks with Iran and President Shiraz's upcoming visit to the U.S.?
Conrad: So you understand why I can't waste any time on this decision. I want you to step in.
Elizabeth: Step into what?
Conrad: Secretary of State.
Elizabeth: You're joking. Um, I don't mean you're joking, but you can't be serious. Obviously, you're serious, I just... Why?
Conrad: I recruited you for the CIA. I trained you as an analyst. I know how you think, how you work. I trust you. I wanted to nominate you right after I was elected. I was talked out of my choice by... well-meaning advisers. Vincent Marsh was always running for office. You have no such ambition. You quit a profession you love for ethical reasons. That makes you the least political person I know. You don't just think outside the box. You don't even know there is a box. I believe I can effect real change in the world. I want you to help me do that. I know you won't let me down.

Nadine: I've charted out all ten of his wives by their names and ranks. Basically, it's a seniority system. You look like you have a question.
Elizabeth: Um... Yes. Why are we doing this?
Nadine: The chart?
Elizabeth: The dinner.

Daisy: The press loves stuff like this. The guy's flamboyant, exotic.
Elizabeth: Polygamist.
Matt: We're not using that word.
Elizabeth: We're not? What are we calling it?
Matt: It falls under cultural diversity.
Elizabeth: I see. Well, is it important to have all the wives? You think maybe we could cut it off at say three?

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.

Blake: Meeting with the chief of staff and the secretary of defense in half an hour. Oh, that's Russell Jackson and Gordan Becker, respectively.
Elizabeth: Blake? I know their names.
Blake: Yeah. Yeah.

Russell: We got you the name of a stylist, right?
Elizabeth: A stylist?
Russell: You're going to find it useful. It's a tough transition.

Elizabeth: So we're fine?
Henry: We're fine.
Elizabeth: Totally fine?
Henry: Totally fine.
Elizabeth: We used to have sex more often.
Henry: We had sex this weekend.
Elizabeth: But we used to have weeknight sex.
Henry: Stop overthinking things.
Elizabeth: Is it my masculine energy? I've got too much of it? Because I know some men, they're turned off by women in positions of power.
Henry: I totally love women in power positions.
Elizabeth: Ugh.
Henry: I'm completely attracted to your masculine energy... Tell me what to say.

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.

Blake: This is Roxanne Majidi, the newest addition to our staff.
Elizabeth: I see. In what capacity?
Roxanne: I was sent by the chief of staff. Mr. Jackson says I'm to be your personal appearance specialist.
Elizabeth: Okay, I have no idea what that means.
Roxanne: Your stylist.
Elizabeth: Oh. Well, I'm sure that you're very good at what you do. But, um, I don't need a stylist.
Roxanne: Madam Secretary, I just do as I'm told. But I was sent by the chief of staff. He was pretty insistent. The way he conveyed it to me, you don't have a choice in the matter.
Elizabeth: See, here's the problem. I've never met a situation where I don't have a choice in the matter.

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.

Henry: What's going on?
Elizabeth: I can't tell you.
Henry: Okay. Let me take the Socratic approach. Why did you take this job?
Elizabeth: Because who wouldn't take this job?
Henry: Hey, wise guy, I'll be Socrates.

Elizabeth: You know, there's a reason why they killed Socrates.

Anton: So you're cashing in your chips?
Elizabeth: No. I am appealing to your humanity. And if that doesn't work, I'm reminding you that the Secretary of State can have any foreign diplomat removed off of U.S. soil for any reason.
Anton: I am feeling very... humane.

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.

Elizabeth: I got the president to sign off.
Russell: How could you do that without my knowledge?
Elizabeth: I don't know. By blatantly circumnavigating your authority?
Russell: You'd better learn how to work with me instead of around me.
Elizabeth: My first choice, as well. I used your stylist, didn't I?
Russell: I think you'll find I make a much better ally than opponet.
Elizabeth: Same here.
Russell: I'm going to chalk this one up to rookie enthusiasm. But going forward? I won't be so forgiving.

King Nungunde: And what about your family, Madam Secretary? Do you have children?
Elizabeth: I do. I have a son and two daughters.
King Nungunde: Ah. A nice small family.
Elizabeth: Well, I just have the one husband.
King Nungunde: laughs Yes. I am honored to have 23 children.
Elizabeth: Wow! That sounds like a lot of work.
King Nungunde: Well, I am blessed with wonderful partners.

Elizabeth: I'm sure that you can enlist the help of your wives. Majaha. Sibhale. Lindelwa. Nomcebo. Nolwazi. Siviwe. Temily. Dzelwe. Andiswa. And Bongeka. A woman's perspective is such an important thing. And you have no shortage of that.

Daisy: That exchange with the king is already trending Madam Secretary. Twitter is blowing up. People love it.
Elizabeth: Well, not everyone's going to love it. Matt, prepare a statement for tomorrow. We may have to call a press conference.
Matt: I'm already on it.
Nadine: Do you want this to become an issue?
Elizabeth: Yes! I think we've spent enough time on my look.
Daisy: World health, education, war on women... How do you want to frame it?
Elizabeth: All of the above.
Jay: It's a strong message. It'll play well in the polls. Not that I, you know, care about polls.

Nadine: Nice work, Madam Secretary.
Elizabeth: Thank you.

Another Benghazi [1.2][edit]

Elizabeth: Let me put it this way. On a scale of 1 to 10, how far are we from another Benghazi?

Elizabeth: Baptism by fire.
Henry: You were bored at the horse farm.
Elizabeth: Was not.

Nadine: The ambassador's office is still saying he doesn't want reinforcements.
Elizabeth: I know Paul. He was a visiting scholar when I was at UVA. He wore cowboy boots with a suit and drove a Harley. He's not a man whose sense of environment you can trust.

Jay: Not without going through Everar Burke. The chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Fighting off Jihad is a cakewalk compared to getting anything past him.
Elizabeth: What kind of guy is he?
Jay: Slow, methodical... cheap.
Nadine: It'll take us a month to get a meeting.
Elizabeth: I mean, what does he like? Fruit baskets? Steak? Is flirting gonna get me anywhere? Everybody has a weakness.

Elizabeth: Nice shot. Congressman Burke? Elizabeth McCord. We haven't officially been introduced.
Everard Burke: Madam Secretary.
Elizabeth: I was told I might find you out here.
Everard Burke: You play?
Elizabeth: Uh, I was raised in Virginia by a man who wanted sons. What do you think?

Munsey: Got a call from Everard Burke's office. He was a little taken aback by your encounter on the golf course.
Elizabeth: Oh, what can I say? I'm a beast off the tee. My short game would've made him relax.

Elizabeth: Fine. You want me to talk to her and explain why the Secretary of State's daughter can't be doing things like this?
Daisy: And we need to release a statement.
Matt: Explaining your mystery daughter.
Blake: Not a mystery daughter.
Elizabeth: By 'mystery' do you mean born out of wedlock or sired by aliens?
Matt: Well, we'd like to remove all doubt about either of those speculations.
Elizabeth: Knock yourself out. Can we talk about matters of national security now please?

Elizabeth: I'd like to think about hiring private security contractors.
Jay: I mean. come on.
Matt: You mean, like Vesuvian?
Elizabeth: I mean exactly like Vesuvian.
Matt: That might be a problem.
Elizabeth: I'm aware.
Daisy: We are talking about the people you referred to a year ago in a national publication as 'the latest guise of Satan, bloodless mercenaries who serve and protect and kill out of naked ambition rather than honor or duty while cashing a check three times the size of anyone in military service.'
Elizabeth: I really thought I'd cut the satan line.

Stevie: Is that mom talking?
Henry: No, actually, it's the State Department. And as the head of that, I guess, yeah

Isaac Bishop: Can I ask you how you plan to handle the financial end?
Elizabeth: We have a discretionary fund. This'll classify as a home improvement.
Isaac Bishop: Happy to pave over the money trail accordingly.
Elizabeth: No. I'm not afraid if this becomes public.
Isaac Bishop: So the illusion of transparency?
Elizabeth: No, Mr. Bishop, actual transparency. I'm happy to defend actions that protect our people. And making the ambassador's home safer qualifies as an improvement, don't you think? Maybe I'll throw in a fountain.
Isaac Bishop: If anyone is well-acquainted with code of ethics, Madam Secretary, it is 'the new guise of Satan'.
Elizabeth: I didn't actually call you Satan.
Isaac Bishop: No, no. Just my life's work.
Elizabeth: I was in academia then. I have a different job now.
Isaac Bishop: Right. You're a diplomat.
Elizabeth: I'm responsible for the safety of our employees overseas.
Isaac Bishop: I understand. Desperate times, desperate measures and all of that.
Elizabeth: We'll let Shakespeare have the last word on that, shall we?
Isaac Bishop: How does it feel? To make a deal with the devil?
Elizabeth: Thank you, Mr. Bishop.

Elizabeth: Do not come near me, with that. Don't. I love you.
Henry: I know. Can you really not give work a break?
Elizabeth: I am. I'm-I'm shopping. It's weird. Nobody's doing a wedge heel this fall.
Henry: Right? Seriously, I called my congressman.

Elizabeth: What are you doing here, Norma Rae?
Stevie: Go ahead. Get it out of your system.
Elizabeth: I just needed the one. I'm good.
Henry: How'd you get here so fast I just talked to you.
Stevie: I know. I hung up and I suddenly realized what I needed to do. I quit.
Elizabeth: You quit what?
Stevie: College. Is there anymore of that?

Stevie walks out of the room

Elizabeth: No, no, no, no.

Stevie: I can't believe you don't even have a room for me.
Henry: You have a room. It just happens to be filled with boxes at the moment.

Daisy: It's an easy spin. There's a difference between philosophical thought, academia and practical application... work in action
Matt: Well, if it's so... easy, why don't you give me the headline to that? Uh, "Secretary of State Discovers that Doing is More Challenging than Talking About Doing"?
Daisy: And we still have to explain the mystery daughter.
Blake: Not a mystery daughter.
Nadine: Blake... everyone appreciates your allegiance to your boss.
Blake: Well, she is not my boss, she's our boss.

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.

Henry: What do you expect your mom to do, quit?
Stevie: No! That's the reason I came home. She can't quit. So... I have to.

Russell: How many guys on the ground?
Elizabeth: Fifty. One in the air.
Russell: You think that was enough?
Elizabeth: It was about fifty more than anyone else thought we should have.

Conrad: Is it safe to say, this is another Benghazi?
Russell: Oh, it's safe to say, it's a lot worse than that, politically speaking.
Elizabeth: 'Cause it looks like we didn't learn anything from the first one.

Henry: Guess this isn't a good time to give you something else to think about.
Elizabeth: You're about to plead Stevie's case, aren't you?
Henry: It's not a case. It's a situation.
Elizabeth: Why didn't she come to me about it?
Henry: She's scared of you.
Elizabeth: Because of my long history of chastising and humiliating her?
Henry: She doesn't want to let you down.
Elizabeth: She said that?
Henry: Of course not.

Elizabeth: about Stevie I just wish she wouldn't split us like this. And you're not helping, acting like her lawyer.
Henry: No, you're not helping. That's what she's telling you.
Elizabeth: Excuse me, that's what she's telling you and you're telling me. Since when do we have a system like that?
Henry: I was there. She was upset. I listened to my daughter. Guilty.
Elizabeth: Really? You're gonna go there?
Henry: Oh, I'm already regretting it.

Elizabeth: Henry, look at me. I can't quit this job.
Henry: I know.
Elizabeth: Can I?
Henry: laughs No, you can't.

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

Stevie: I'm working on a novel. I-I was gonna take the time to finish that.
Elizabeth: Well, you can still write your novel. Everybody needs a day job. Chekhov was a doctor.

Stevie: Tell me the truth. Is this you or is this her?
Henry: sternly This is us. We're a unit. You got that?

Isaac Bishop: That's not protocol, ma'am.
Elizabeth: You may have picked up on this: I'm not big on protocol.
Isaac Bishop: Then that makes us two peas in a pod. May I call you Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: No.

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 hadn't decided.

The Operative [1.3][edit]

Jay: It was a private email!
Elizabeth: You really believe there's such a thing anymore?
Daisy: There's thousands. Twittersphere is calling them the Viper cables.
Elizabeth: Viper?
Daisy: Fisher's source. She's claiming he's a State Department employee.
Elizabeth: Oh, great. Our very own Snowden.
Jay: What happened to at least giving us a heads up?
Elizabeth: Hey, Jay. Daisy's about to tell us that that gotcha video is blowing up on social media. Which was clearly the point. Right now, I need you to focus on fixing it.

Blake: Dubois's the tip of the iceberg. In another cable, an INR analyst referred to the Austrian ambassador as Das Boob. Several deputy assistant secretaries agreed in an e-mail chain that a member of the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal is a coked-up, narcissist blowhard. Oh, and our ambassador to Kenya called their defense minister a sweaty, brain-damaged hippo.
Elizabeth: Are we sure those cables aren't from a frat?

Matt: Already crafting your apologies ma'am. On a scale of non-apology-apology to full Swagger-Kanye, how far do you want to take it?

Nadine: That's all we have for now.
Elizabeth: Only 47 apologies? I was just getting warmed up. (chuckles) How'd I do?
Nadine: No one's launched any missiles at us, yet.

Elizabeth: Honey, Alison's 15. We can't be spying on her texts anymore. Can we?
Henry: Hey, was it really our fault that my iPad somehow tied in with her phone? And it's not like these were icky diary entries. They're stuff that she's sharing with her friends.
Elizabeth: That's true.
Henry: We're great parents.
Elizabeth: We are.
Henry: It's our responsibility to balance her privacy with her safety.
Elizabeth: She's at a precarious age.
Henry: Fifteen.
Elizabeth: We spy because we love.
Henry: Like the U.S. on France. (pauses as Elizabeth makes a face) Much, much too soon, right?

Elizabeth: Remind me again why we had kids.
Henry: They were supposed to be cute.

Henry: (answers phone) Hello? ... It's the Russian Foreign Minister's office.
Stevie: How'd they get our home number?
Jason: Russia.

Nadine: You have another 23 apology calls to make this morning.
Elizabeth: Good morning, Nadine.
Nadine: Oh. You really want to start with that every morning?
Elizabeth: I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.

Elzabeth: Oh, come on Gina. Your source wouldn't be invited to sit in the Situation Room on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons.

Elizabeth: He's Top Secret SCI.
Nadine: She gave you that?
Blake: You Jedi mind-tricked her, didn't you ma'am?

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 2[edit]

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 3[edit]

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.

Labor of Love [3.14][edit]

Elizabeth: [after Stevie describes what a Memorandum of Understanding is] It's nice to know that *one* of my kids listens to me.
Stevie: Actually, I was listening to Russell Jackson.

Matt: Is this more Dateline?
Blake: It's semi-legitimate journalism.

Rojas: What about a membership at one of those big box stores you have here?
Elizabeth: Yeah. You bet.
Rojas: Inflation in Venezuela makes prices on basic goods very high. So if I could purchase a few things in bulk, even with the cost of shipping, I'd be a hero to my mother.
Elizabeth: Oh, yeah. I get it. I've got a pantry full of toilet paper. We're gonna make that happen.

Rojas: Nevertheless, I must go back to Caracas and rather awkwardly withdraw my support for your memorandum until the situation is settled.
Elizabeth: Can you just stick around for another day? Just give us a chance to straighten this out? Anything you need, my staff will provide it. And...I might have a lead on a couple of Hamilton tickets. We'll get you up to New York. Stay at the Plaza Hotel.
Rojas: Eh, I've already seen the original cast.

Blake: I can't believe what it feels like to Juan-Luis or Soledad. I mean, when I was their age, I thought the pinnacle of pressure was being director of my acapella group.
Nadine: Now they're being groomed to run for office.

Break in Diplomacy [3.15][edit]

Russell: God, sometimes democracy just...blows.
Elizabeth: Hey, good title for your memoir.

Russell: Plenty of religious, socially conservative countries still manage to turn a blind toward the sexual indiscretions of powerful men.
Elizabeth: Sexual assault isn't an indiscretion, Russell. It's a crime.

Elizabeth: [after ending a call with a Filipino general] Just to confirm we all heard the same thing, that was a clear offer for a covert assassination.
Russell: Well...that's one way to skin a cat.

Daisy: Ma'am, I hope you're not blaming yourself.
Elizabeth: Of course I am. It's my job to keep those talks alive.
Daisy: But Andrada sexually assaulted you. How are you supposed to turn that into a diplomatic discussion? I realize it's your call, ma'am, but I feel like we're covering up for him.

Henry: Andrada's been posting all these photo's of himself, with his nose splint and his black eyes.
Elizabeth: Really? Thought he'd be embarrassed and lay low.
Henry: No. He's very proud of the fact he got his nose the gym, by his sparring partner. Guy named Cobra.
Elizabeth: You're gonna start calling me "Cobra" now, aren't you?
Henry: As soon as it's funny.

Swept Away [3.16][edit]

Dalton: Why did I want this job again?
Elizabeth: Your house does have a bowling alley in the basement.

Henry: [asking about the cult's reaction to it's missing member] Does the Council of Elders suspect foul play?
Ian: Yeah, of course. They have conspiracy theories on why certain squirrels show up when they do.

Russell: The Chinese have had a bug up their ass about the Dalai Lama since the 1950s, when they first drove him from his spiritual seat in Tibet. To them, he's a font of separatist rhetoric, hell-bent on breaking away from China, so it is indeed delicate.
Elizabeth: [laughing incredulously] Are you really mansplaining Tibetan history to me?

Blake: [about the sand mandala] Uh, I still don't get the point.
Elizabeth: That is the point.
Blake: No. Due respect, ma'am, not getting the point can't possibly be the point. You can say that about anything.
Elizabeth: [points at Blake] Exactly.

Blake: I don't get it. These monks spend all week, painstakingly arranging colored sand to fit this blueprint, and then "whoosh," they just sweep it away? What's the point?
Nadine: That is the point.
Daisy: Everything's transitory.
Matt: Everything ends.
Blake: That's...very sad.
Nadine: Even that feeling...that'll pass too.
Blake: Okay, now you're just piling on.

Convergence [3.17][edit]

Elizabeth: Next time, Gwen, don't wait for an invitation. You sat on this proposal for how long?
Gwen: Two years.
Elizabeth: A good idea is meaningless without the courage to act. You must speak up.

Elizabeth: [after Henry gets shot] Henry, when are you gonna get a desk job that involves a real desk?
Henry: Well, they offered me a cubicle, but I was gonna hold out for something with a window.

Daisy: [after Ambassador Dong vetos the ED education proposal] I really thought The Fonz would clinch it.
Blake: He was humming the theme song!
Nadine: Well apparently "Happy Days" can't beat cold hard cash.

Henry: [upon opening a toy engine kit his father left for him] Hey, Jace, you wanna help me see if we can finally get this thing to work?
Jason: Uh, and foster a legacy of inter generational cruelty? I think I'll pass.

Elizabeth: Okay, I want a name. Who took the last donut?
Nadine: [after no one responds] It was me, ma'am.
Elizabeth: Noble gesture, Nadine, but I didn't spend the last 20 years in the CIA profiling dissemblers and liars for nothing. Got anything to say, Matt?
Matt: Is that a new jacket?

Good Bones [3.18][edit]

Matt: I want to slay dragons, Ma'am, not play whack-a-mole with evil.
Elizabeth: Sometimes making evil have to duck and find another hole is the best we're going to do.

Elizabeth: None of this is easy today but we have a budget to pass and we need to pull it together and fight for a lot of programs that matter.
Jay: Do they? Does any of this matter? All of our big meetings and political positioning, is any of it going to save one person who shouldn't die today?

Elizabeth: How old were you when you stopped fighting with your siblings?
Henry: I'll let you know.

Elizabeth: What just happened?
Nadine: I believe we just made a deal to convince an actress to go to a despot's birthday party in Central Asia so that we can combat human trafficking.

Matt: Isn't Nogoyev the Russian lapdog who outlawed free press on the first day?
Daisy: And made his mother's birthday a national holiday.
Matt: Well, that would totally work on my mom.

Matt: How are you doing with the whole…
Daisy: Guy I was dating getting poisoned by some nefarious agent still at large? Not great, but thanks for asking.

Global Relief [3.19][edit]

Stevie: Oh, my god, you already know?
Elizabeth: I don't know.
Stevie: Mom, I don't know how you made it twenty years in the CIA with that lousy poker face.

Russell: Elizabeth, hang on.
Elizabeth: Ah, Russell, you heard the president. Let it go.
Russell: Hey, I already have. Faustian bargains always take me an extra minute. No, no, no, I'm all in.

Carpenter: Now, if the Secretary of State were to put in a word on my behalf, I'm sure DoD would shake loose a jet. [chuckles] And then I might be inclined to help you with your request.
Elizabeth: So...if I call DoD, you will pass the emergency waiver?

Carpenter: We have these food aid rules for a reason.
Elizabeth: Yes, to, uh, subsidize US farmers so they can sell off their grain overages.
Carpenter: Now, that's a very simplistic...
Elizabeth: ...And to give US shipping companies the monopoly so they can overcharge and underperform on delivery. It is a...inefficient and wasteful system.
Carpenter: Welcome to the United States government.

Extraordinary Hazard [3.20][edit]

Matt: So the whole arms smuggling thing -- was that Vesuvian or just Brennan?
Jay: He was the only one on the take. Apparently he was massively in debt, thanks to our skill in solving conflict with diplomacy instead of shooting wars.
Matt: Go us.

Elizabeth: [about Piper] You know, this is good. She's going against her instincts. Jason's got to get in there and build on the friendship.
Henry: That's not exactly what I told him.

Elizabeth: So where'd you land? Good cop or bad cop?
Henry: Grounded for lying, pancakes for broken heart.

Henry: Okay, I've got to say something. Two things, actually. One, we're never going to be able to compete with Kuwaiti royalty.
Jason: I know.
Henry: And two, which is way more important, Piper's gonna like who she likes, and it may not make sense, and it might seem like she's betraying who she really is, but you're not gonna change her mind by trying to compete.

The Seventh Floor [3.21][edit]

Henry: I did underscore the seriousness of the situation, right?
Elizabeth: He's concerned we're not all sufficiently terrified.
Jay: Nope. Message received. I'm deeply, deeply scared.

Russell: [watching Henry and Elizabeth bicker] Bet you don't miss that part of being married, huh?
Jay: Sorry, what?
Russell: Hmm, yeah, that was insensitive.

Nadine: On the other hand, if we don't engage --
Jay: We've potentially let a respected journalist, not to mention an American citizen, die in a foreign prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Matt: Which is a bad look for us.

Mike B: Fine, I like you, Nadine. I like you, and I would like to go out with you.
Nadine: You sound like a teenager.
Mike B: Americans have an underdeveloped language for romance. Yes or no?

Revelation [3.22][edit]

Henry: I'm sorry that you felt ambushed.
Elizabeth: I'm sorry that I called you out in front of the leader of the free world.

Nadine: So you have anxiety about running into old colleagues?
Blake: Not unless you count waking up at two am in a cold sweat from stress nightmares where I'm back there and all the doors are locked and I'm naked, but...[Nadine laughs] not really.

Matt [in a bad Italian accent] Ah, of carbs-ah.
Elizabeth: I have to admit, I've been dreaming about the stracchi for the past week. [high fives Matt, receives glare from Nadine] And the deal with Russia on tax avoidance.

Elizabeth: You ambushed me!
Henry: I would have told you, but we were a little busy trying to prevent a bioterror attack.
Elizabeth: If only there were some method of communication where you could send messages almost instantaneously.

Article 5 [3.23][edit]

Elizabeth: This was a really hard week. I'm sorry if I wasn't entirely myself.
Henry: Yeah, I was meaning to talk to you about that. When you're saving the world, could you be a little more cheerful, please?

Daisy: Have you at least, you know, trolled him?
Nadine: Oh....that's...stalky.
Daisy: Yesterday's stalky is today's getting to know you. Take it from the girl who got knocked up by a guy with a false identity.

Blake [holding tennis shoes] Ma'am, Russell Jackson wants to meet right away and he's requested that you wear flats.
Elizabeth: [pause] Why?
Blake: I didn't ask. I thought it might be classified. Or weird.
Elizabeth: [mutters] It's probably both.

Season 4[edit]

News Cycle [4.1][edit]

Russell: You throwing patriotic temper tantrums on live TV isn't doing you any favors.
Nadine: Neither is sitting there mute after she's been ambushed by someone pretending to represent legitimate journalism. Instead of throwing your own tantrum and blaming the victim for this latest tool of terrorism, why don't you grow a spine and do something about it?!

Elizabeth: What Senator Morejon is doing by legitimizing this baseless story is not just immoral and unethical. It undermines the stability of democratic government.
Host: That's an overstatement.
Elizabeth: Reliable information is the bedrock of any institution, be it science, government, or private enterprise. If citizens can't tell the difference between fact and fiction, then the project of civilization turns to dust.

Elizabeth: I love Bed Bath & Beyond.
Alison: Yes, you do.
Elizabeth: Because they have everything, they have things you didn't even know you wanted. That's where the "Beyond" part kicks in.

Off the Record [4.2][edit]

Elizabeth: I'm asking you to focus on one little girl who doesn't need to die today.
Libyan Politician: We did nothing to this girl.
Elizabeth: No. But she will die if you do nothing now. Isn't it our most fundamental responsibility to save innocent lives? I am begging you.

Jareth: Do you want me to be honest with you or not?
Stevie: Of course. Just not after withholding your true feelings when we're making a decision and then getting all pissed off at me about how miserable I've made you because of, I don't know, my family's oppressive dynastic thumb!

Stevie: Why are you being so weird?
Jareth: Maybe it's just disconcerting to be under the thumb of a political dynasty when you've been disinherited by your own family.

The Essentials [4.3][edit]

Elizabeth: I like a good baby shower just like anybody else, but I just can't stand all the...frippery.
Nadine: Excellent word choice.

Nadine: You think Daisy likes games?
Elizabeth: Deep down, it's my conviction that nobody normal likes baby shower games.

Morejon: The fiscal year ends in a few hours. Either accept our amendments to the CR or we let the clock run out and let the American people decide who to blame for the shutdown.
Russell: You want to play that game? Fine. Our numbers may not be great, but Congress? You guys literally poll worse than a staph infection.

Daisy: Just don't let them furlough me because I'm pregnant, okay? They won't say that's why, but that'll be why.
Nadine: You should be so lucky. You could sue and never have to work again.

Shutdown [4.4][edit]

Henry: For what it's worth, I'm taking Jace to the Spy Museum tomorrow. We're still sorta dancing around his suspicions about my job, and honestly, I'm...not quite sure how to handle that one.
Elizabeth: Well, we're honest in all the ways that count. And someday, his therapist will be able to buy a boat.

Elizabeth: [to Jay] You don't have divided loyalties. You won't feel like you've been demoted, and I do not have to wonder whether or not you'll crack under pressure.
Blake: He's already been kidnapped.
Elizabeth: You've already been kidnapped! And you didn't quit. That right there -- I mean, you're either totally nuts or the most loyal person I will ever find.

Elizabeth: Why not use it as leverage? Why drag the family into it?
Russell: Because I want him *destroyed* by the same monster he created. He wanted to whip his base against immigrants and refugees, let them rip him apart. [laughs] Thought you'd appreciate the poetic justice.

Russell: What's the one thing you have that Morejon doesn't?
Elizabeth: A conscience?
Russell: An approval rating!

Persona Non Grata [4.5][edit]

Elizabeth: This is a one time offer that will expire when we end this call: reinstate the Summit on Human Trafficking and bring all signatory countries back to the table immediately. You know that Madonna song, 'Hung Up?' I am about to hang up on you.

Dalton: I've order the evacuation of all American high ranking personnel until further notice.
Elizabeth: He means bring your ass home, Henry.
Henry: Yes, honey. And Mr. President.

Henry: I assure you the threat is real..
Morejon: Well, maybe the fault lies with the Secretary of State. She's the one that executes that policy.
Henry: I'm more interested in finding solutions than assigning blame, but the Secretary can only do so much with the budget approved by this congress. Senator Morejon, you ran your campaign on a platform of national security. So I'm asking, respectfully, for you to put your money where your mouth is.

Russell: Pro tip: When you're trying to reassure, don't use a metaphor for nuclear holocaust.

Loophole [4.6][edit]

North to the Future [4.7][edit]

Elizabeth: What's this?
Matt: Just a little something to celebrate the successful launch of the Permafrost Protection Project. I thought popsicles were appropriate than champagne.
Jay: Could've gotten champagne popsicles.
Matt: Does that exist?
Jay: If it doesn't, it should.

Matt: Isn't she that crazy consultant lady who threw a chair and had some hysterical breakdown?
Elizabeth: You know, it's funny, isn't it? When...when a man reaches a certain breaking point and throws something, he's passionate, but when a woman reaches the same breaking point, she's hysterical and can't stand the pressure.

Elizabeth: Well, I think I found my exit plan.
Stevie: Yeah, you should totally write a memoir.
Elizabeth: No. Retiring on a farm. Raising animals, growing our own food.
Stevie: Mom, you do realize we already lived on a farm, right?

The Fourth Estate" [4.8][edit]

Russell: Well, it's eleven am, and we have put away a drug lord and a corrupt foreign minister. That's efficiency.
Elizabeth: You should take the rest of the day off, Russell. Maybe catch a yoga class.
Russell: That's...the funniest thing you've ever said to me.

Elizabeth: There isn't a phrase that scares me more than "something needs to be done."
Henry: Why?
Elizabeth: It means no one really knows what to do.

Henry: Well that's a hell of an accusation.
Morejon: I don't hear you denying it.
Henry: Of secret thing, I am silence.
Morejon: You always quote the bible when you're backed into a corner?
Henry: That's the Bhagavad Gita, actually.
Morejon: Go with smug. Fine.

Stevie: Do you want a drink?
Dmitri: Um, no, I don't. Just a club soda.
Stevie: A Russian who doesn't drink?
Dmitri: Yeah. That's, uh, that's why they kicked me out.

Minefield [4.9][edit]

Elizabeth: [about Morejon] You do know we hate each other?
Mike B: Yeah. It's classic D.C. jiu jitsu. He has to come, you look gracious, he feels awful, and you win. Trust me, it's perfect.

Stevie: I'm not gonna lie, it's, it's pretty stressful. Because -- here's the point of this meeting -- Mom is not helping.
Alison: Let me guess. She resents having the party, so she's doing that thing where she doesn't really engage and kind of makes you feel like a sellout for even being involved.
Stevie: Exactly.

Elizabeth: And he thinks that, just because you're a woman, of course you'd *want* to plan a party.
Stevie: I think it's more that you just can't fire me.

Elizabeth: And you're okay with this?
Stevie: Yeah. Absolutely.
Mike B: My God, it's like a hostage video.

Women Transform the World [4.10][edit]

Ellen: Madam Secretary, you can't possibly favor a plan that if it was implemented here, would have you cleaning out your desk. Oh, and that is assuming there was a man willing to chauffeur you home.

Matt: I don't want to say that parts of it are timeless, but that would not be totally inaccurate.
Daisy: Except the demographics have changed. We have a twenty percent uptick in attendance in women under thirty, who seem to think equal pay for equal work is a fine idea.

Daisy: Let me know when I'm oversharing. I've been alone with the baby for a long time.
Elizabeth: As a rule, just pull back when you find yourself wanting to share the color or texture anything.

Daisy: Wow, lot of changes since I was gone. Congratulations, Boss.
Jay: Don't be ridiculous. Blake is still the boss.

Mitya [4.11][edit]

Dmitri: I'm so sorry, Stevie.
Stevie: No, no, I am. I didn't mean to get you...exiled or whatever.
Dmitri: It's okay. Exile is a very Russian thing. It's like a rite of passage.

Blake: Ooh, this is the thing where he talks to "ordinary" Russians. I love this.
Jay: Taking canned questions and creating your own personality cult. It has a certain perverse charm.
Matt: I love how weird it is. It's like The View meets Joseph Stalin.

Russell: Hurst was the only person who could deliver us Pennsylvania. I would have sold my own mother to get those electoral votes.
Elizabeth: Does Conrad know?
Russell: I make promises so he doesn't have to.

Elizabeth: Did you tell Teresa Hurst that you would support her campaign if she ran for president?
Russsell: Teresa Hurst is a fine public servant. We just happen to like you better.

Sound and Fury [4.12][edit]

Henry: We have the best system of government the world has ever seen, but it's only as good as the people in charge.
Elizabeth: Gosh, that's reassuring.

Henry: Should I even ask how your day was?
Elizabeth: Well, the Constitution is still intact...for now.

Elizabeth: I can't feel my ears!
Henry: Maybe you should've worn a hat.
Elizabeth: I can't. I'm wearing fancy hair. Men never get that.

Reading the Signs [4.13][edit]

Ranuga: It is not my president's mind that needs to be changed. It is the spirits who have spoken, and they are at one with the universe and starts.
Hurst: I agree that money is a transitory thing, of no use to the dead, but but can we perhaps consider the idea that their descendants might like some?

Alison: I'm having roommate issues.
Henry: Lucinda? I thought you guys were tight.
Alison: We were. We are. Sometimes we're so tight, I can't breathe.

Blake: Like a psychic?
Jay: His name is Ranuga, and he prefers "metaphysical adviser."
Blake: I'm sure he does.
Jay: Let's just remember to be respectful, no matter what we personally believe.

Kat: What's going on here?
'Jay: [pouring drinks] We're saying farewell to the Sri Lanka deal. Ten months of negotiations.
Matt: You just got here, so you don't feel our pain.
Kat: Yeah, but I can empathize like nobody's business. Hit me.

Refuge [4.14][edit]

Kat: Okay, human traffickers?
Jay: You're kidding.
Kat: Yeah, of course I'm kidding. They're the most evil monsters belched from Hell the earth has ever known. Although...
Jay: Stop. We may not have any legal options, but we're not going straight up immoral.

Kat: Oh, I like that. 'Different.' Yeah, I...yeah. Yeah, I had long hair, and, uh, wore dresses and heels and makeup, and, um, sometimes it felt like me. And felt like a costume I had to wear to survive, and gain access.
Jay: So what made you...this you?
Kat: I survived and gained access.

Elizabeth: [about Jason] He's just a teenager, and we are a little less now. It's nature's way of making him leave the house when he graduates.
Henry: Yeah. That didn't work out so well with the other two.

Henry: They want to give me a commendation for some reason.
Elizabeth: Like, because you deserve it?
Henry: Yeah, or they know I was driven to quit by political BS. They didn't back me up, and now they want to make themselves feel better.
Elizabeth: Yeah, no. The CIA doesn't really do regret.

The Unnamed [4.15][edit]

Dalton: I don't think we've met before.
Russell: I generally avoid daylight.

Elizabeth: Well, for an acting president, she's suddenly reluctant to act.
Russell: Yeah, it happens when they're new to office. The reality sinks in.

Maureen: Oh, wasn't that beautiful? I felt like I just spent the morning in Paris.
Alison: Please. It was like one long celebration of the bourgeoisie, and now we have an endless array of tchotchkes to prove it.
Maureen: Who's this Piper I keep hearing about?
Alison: She's like the female Jace, but actually cool.

Kat: Donna!
Donna: I saw your email. I am late for a department meeting. Can we talk after?
Kat: Okay, okay, well, did you actually read my email? 'Cause I'm pretty sure a massacre takes precedent over a department meeting.

My Funny Valentine [4.16][edit]

Matt: Let's face it. A baby carriage ain't exactly a man magnet.
Daisy: [laughing] I hate you so much.
Matt: But you know what is? [imitates puppy whimpers]
Daisy: You're just playing on my fear of dying alone to make me get a that dog you actually want.
Matt: That doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Matt: You're single. You're lonely. What you need is a loyal, uncomplicated companion.
Daisy: I know you're not talking about you.
Matt: Again, ouch.

Alison: Wait, you actually want to break up with Piper? Wow, you're an even bigger idiot than I thought you were.
Jason: You're an idiot.
Henry: All right, let's play "Who's an idiot?" later.

Henry: There's never been a more important time for us to insist our son to treat women with respect.
Elizabeth: You are preaching to the choir. [checks the kids aren't around] But sticking your nose into teenage romance? That way lies madness.

Elizabeth: [to Blake] Henry and I are going to go eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the freezing cold park. This is what passes as a date night these days.
Henry: Don't wait up for us.

Phase Two [4.17][edit]

Mike B: Going to see that family was reckless and stupid.
Elizabeth: You know, you asked me how I did it. I wasn't trying to do anything, just what I thought was right.
Mike B: I already said, stupid.

Elizabeth: You found hard evidence?
Mike B: Sometimes it's like you don't even realize you're insulting me.

Daisy [shows Elizabeth a video] The cable shows are playing it on a loop.
Matt: With the oh-so-original title "Tackle-gate."
Elizabeth: You know, how about we just retire "blank-gate" as a construction altogether?

Daisy: Bad news, ma'am.
Elizabeth: We're trying to rise above labels now, and calling it all just "news."
Daisy: Yeah, have fun with that.

The Friendship Game [4.18][edit]

Henry: I've got good news and bad news. Um, and I'm gonna tell you the bad news first. So I don't want you to freak out, okay?
Elizabeth: That never helps.

Jay: President Tejadas is only up by two.
Blake: Over an ex-soccer player who hates America.
Matt: There is so much more to Maynor Fonsea that that. He's also semi-literate.

Elizabeth: We used to have a regular Cranium night with them!
Henry: You used to make people cry at Cranium.
Elizabeth: Look, it's not my fault I can still spell backwards after two drinks.

Thin Ice [4.19][edit]

Jason: How do I make the pain go away?
Stevie: You kinda don't. You just gotta wallow in it for as long as it takes.
Jason: Well, this sucks.

Chip: With no drilling, there's no gas. With no gas, there's no future.
Elizabeth': Your company has been saying that for thirty years, Chip, and it is as false now as it was then.
Chip: Yeah, well, the money's just as green.

Elizabeth: Chip Harding is no longer our sponsor.
Blake: Because of Bella Rossi?
Elizabeth: Because I refused to endorse Arctic drilling. And I may also have mentioned his company's long history of hiding data and denying climate change. And violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, so that probably did it.

Elizabeth: She just wanted their first time to be special and romantic, and I guess Jason went along with the plan, right down to Luther Vandross and chocolate covered strawberries
Henry: It's like they wanted to have sex in the 80s.

The Things We Get to Say [4.20][edit]

Neal: So, I wanted to ask you, uh, about the impact of the job on your family. [Elizabeth's phone buzzes]
Elizabeth: I am so sorry, I have to take this.
Alison: And there you pretty much have it. Pasta?

Blake: [to reporter] I'm Blake Moran, assistant to the Secretary and the best snacks are one flight down. I hope that's not classified.

Amina: It can't be that hard, writing a positive profile?
Neal: You can't a drawing without shadows. Not a good one.

Protocol [4.21][edit]

Russell: I don't need to ask what the meaning of life is, because I already know.
Henry: You do? Well, hey, I'm all ears.
Russell: Be good to the people you love, work hard at the things you care about.
Henry: Well, that's great, except it's killing you.

Elizabeth: [pointing at a pastry] To be clear, that's the last I wanna see of that today.
Blake: No purse muffin?!

Blake: You're still planning to fire me in six months?
Elizabeth: I fire because I love. Move up or move out, Blake.

Night Watch [4.22][edit]

Elizabeth: This whole ordeal has reminded me of the importance of civic duty. It's reaffirmed my faith in the process, you know?
Henry: I do.
Elizabeth: We got this enormous thing done, Henry, and I feel a responsibility to make sure it doesn't get undone. When the time comes...I want to run for president.
Henry: I know.

Kat: I'm just, I am staggered by your speed and persistence.
Blake: Well, they're my superpowers.

Henry: Okay, let's use the Socratic method.
Elizabeth: Oh, please, no.

Russell: Why the hell would we declassify any of it?
Elizabeth: Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Russell: Yes, and it causes cancer, too.

Gordon: I know you're the Dalton whisperer, but now you're getting into --
Elizabeth: Excuse me, what?
Gordon: Oh, come on, Elizabeth. Everybody knows you play the friend card with him.
Elizabeth: Really? I'm just trying to decide if that's more insulting to me or POTUS.

Season 5[edit]

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.

Ghosts [5.5][edit]

Eyjafjallajökull [5.6][edit]

Jay: I'm sorry, you're one of the best chess players in the world. It's ridiculous for you to even mess around with someone like me.
Chess Champion: I like messing around with you.

Russian Ambassador: Is this the time you threaten us with additional sanctions?
Elizabeth: I'm hoping it won't come to that.
Russian Ambassador: You already sanction everything but the air we breathe. That chamber is empty, Elizabeth.

Aiden: You'll be with us for a spell.
Blake: My Aunt Ida came to stay with us for a spell. 9 years, 243 days. Clarify spell, please?

Elizabeth: Is this what I think it is?
Henry: Yeah. Booty caller strikes again. You think we should talk to her?
Elizabeth: That's your funeral.

Elizabeth: I hate asking for money.
Henry: Remind me why you're running for President?
Elizabeth: I heard it comes with a chef.

Blake: Get your attention?
Daisy: Not enough. We're 5 million short. Donor fatigue is real.
Jay: Six years of war.
Daisy: If we fail here, we send the message that Syria doesn't matter.
Elizabeth: We can't fail. Search under the White House cushions for change.

Baby Steps [5.7][edit]

Jay: I wasn't giving you the look.
Elizabeth: There's a but there. I can feel it.
Jay: This is why I can't play poker.

Blake: You know, this garden is a symbol of peace after the worst bloodbath in human history and you have the audacity to use it for self-promotion. Your ego is so big I can't believe that it even fits into that tiny little car. And I'd better not see this showing up in my office again. [slams watch box into Uzuki's hand.]
Uzuki: Nobody talks to me like that!
Blake: Yeah, well, someone just did.

Elizabeth: Theresa can't be the leaker. She's too much of a political animal to sabotage her own career.
Henry: When family's involved, you'd be surprised.

Russell: According to cable news, we're running a baby mill out of the Lincoln bedroom.
Henry: Everyone knows that cable news runs towards the hyperbolic.
Russell: No kidding. That's why people watch it, Dr. McCord.

Talia: Dr. McCord, I like my life here. What's going to happen to me now?
Henry: You're going to go out the back door with these intelligence agents and answer some more questions. If your story checks out, you'll be free to go. But either way, your life is going to be under the microscope for a while.

Elizabeth: Great work, Jay!
Jay: It's not like this will stop pregnant women from being locked up during the next crackdown.
Elizabeth: The legal system isn't fair when it comes to women. No legal system is.

The Courage to Continue [5.8][edit]

Gilbart: No deal! They are criminals.
Elizabeth: Without your blessing, there will be no Haiti.

Blake: It's tragically ironic, isn't it. The thing I'm good at I can no longer do and the thing I can do I'm not good at. What do you think?
Bob: I think you're a nut job, but I also know you got what it takes or you wouldn't be here. You just need some confidence. Like my mom used to say, if you hide your light under a bushel you'll walk into walls. She also said sanitation was a good field.

Dupont: I refuse your offer.
Elizabeth: I think you're making a mistake.
Dupont: No. I'm testing your resolve. Removing me will take a lot of lives and Dalton doesn't have the stomach for that.

Blake: How about a practice interview?
Jay: I don't think you need that.
Blake: Please, it'll push me over the top.
Jay: You're already over the top.
Blake: Please, Jay, I gotta kill this. When M. Sec sits down with me she's got to think I'm the second coming of... well, me.

Elizabeth: Give me 48 hours to try to get Dupont to step down.
Dalton: And if you can't?
Elizabeth: Then send in the Marines.

Winter Garden [5.9][edit]

Henry: I don't want to be the guy who's known for blowing the whistle and getting people axed because of it.
Russell: There's only one team, and now everyone knows you're on it.

Jay: Sorry to crash your party, but this is urgent.
Scott: I doubt it's a matter of life and death.
Jay: Actually it is life and death.

Henry: Tell Didi I said no problem. But I am going to have to file a report.
Gordon: Of course. Protocol, I guess? [takes out ornaments] Didi says these are yours? It was an isolated incident, Henry.

Russell: This always happens! Four years in with no scandals, you get gravel under you wheels and think you're Moses and can part the Red Sea. You can't part anything. You're in a leaky boat with one oar.
Elizabeth: I'm not sure I follow this metaphor.

Family Separation: Part 1 [5.10][edit]

Kat: Oh my God. How is this possible?
Lopez: The great United States of America.

Henry: Lao Tzu said 'move an ant if you can't move an ox.'
Russell: What the hell does that mean?

Carlos: I know what's right, and I am staunchly against the federal government encroaching on a state's right to secure its borders.
Jay: You know there's a million reasons that the federal government must be in charge of border security!
Carlos: You want to talk states' rights?
Elizabeth: How about human rights?

Judge: I'm surprised to see you here, Mr. Jackson.
Russell: I am a licensed attorney, your Honor.
Judge: And the President's Chief of Staff. Don't think I don't recognize intimidation when I see it.

Family Separation: Part 2 [5.11][edit]

Elizabeth: It's Peter Frampton! In my house! Oh my god! I'm your biggest fan.
Peter Frampton: The feeling's mutual, Madam Secretary. And I believe I'm playing your song.

Russell: I think it's premature to decry the death of our democracy.
Henry: That's what people said in all those countries as human rights were being eroded.

Elizabeth: Christ, I guess you're used to this sort of thing. Jesus, I didn't mean - And I just said Jesus.
Priest: My mother always said never call on him unless you need him, so I'd say it's appropriate.

Strategic Ambiguity [5.12][edit]

Dalton: A good President accomplishes two, maybe three things that move the country forward. An excellent President, maybe four. I think you'll be an excellent President.
Elizabeth: Thank you, sir. But what does that have to do with Fossor?
Dalton: You can spend your Presidency fighting this. But before you do, make sure this is really what's important to you, because it will consume your entire Presidency.

Gary: For a seventh-floor type, you really have a big heart.
Blake: Too big, or so I've been told.
Gary: Listen to me. If you're gonna fight the good fight, you're gonna need a big heart, cause this job's gonna chip away at it every day.

Blake: Tell me that's ginger ale.
Gary: I appreciate the concern, I guess, but how about we take a raincheck on whatever this is?

Proxy War [5.13][edit]

Russell: You think I'm working against you. I'm not. I work for the President. It's my job to protect him.
Henry: And it's my job to not care what your job is.

Elizabeth: You okay?
Henry: Yeah, I'm just trying to wrap my head around normalizing the number of dead children that is acceptable.

Dalton: I'm not going to tolerate any more Russian expansionism. It's time we had a very tough talk with Syria.
Russell: A country with which we have no diplomatic relations.

Something Better [5.14][edit]

Dalton: Just because history repeats itself doesn't mean we have to keep making the same mistakes, not if people are willing to fight for something better. It takes time and courage to step outside our comfort zone and forge new paths.
Elizabeth: Yes sir, but the end result is always worth it.

Elizabeth: There were no easy choices then. Deaths under Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot numbered in the hundreds, whether by privation or outright murder. How could we not push back against that?
Dalton: I guess you're right, but my God we made some horrible decisions. Myself included. Sandino Junior might not have turned out be such a monster if we hadn't killed his mother.

Stevie: Do you have a few seconds to approve some more fun posts for social media?
Russell: Oh yeah. The president of Nicaragua is about to start a war and Congress is trying to kill health care for millions of children but Real Russell Jackson wants to post about his latest set of golf clubs!

Between the Seats [5.15][edit]

Elizabeth: I'm out of moves. If you have any ideas, I'm open to them.
Education Minister: You might not like it, but you did say you'd try anything.

Afghani President: The story of how the US Secretary of State has kidnapped an Afghani girl and held her in the embassy is all over the news. Until the girl is released, this deal is on hold.
Elizabeth: You don't want to do that. This deal is important for both our countries, not to mention that there's 10 billion in aid on the table.
Afghani President: The Taliban will seize the opportunity to paint my government as weak. They will take over and we will again be mired in war and terrorism.

Matt: I'm sorry, ma'am.
Elizabeth: No, don't beat yourself up. You couldn't have known.
Matt: I know the culture. And I know there are cameras everywhere now.

The New Normal [5.16][edit]

David: I don't know what to do.
Elizabeth: Declare martial law, get everyone to staging points and follow instructions.
David: I don't know what to say.
Elizabeth: The truth, even when it hurts.

Elizabeth: I'm not your puppet. If I see a chance to change the paradigm, I'm going to take it.
Mike: Why can't you trust me?
Elizabeth: Because I'm not a politician.
Mike: And that's why you're going to lose.

Daisy: The alternative is prison.
Bryce: Prison? What do you mean?
Matt: Jail.
Bryce's lawyer: You're seriously overextended, Bryce.
Bryce: You told me islands were a good investment!

The Common Defense [5.17][edit]

Doctor: Mom is all clear, but Joanna tested positive for the measles virus.
Daisy: No, that's impossible. She had the vaccine.
Doctor: The vaccine protects 93% of people. That's why we give the booster at age 4. Because she is contagious, we're going to move both of you to a quarantined location.
Daisy: But she's going to be okay, isn't she?
Doctor: We'll do everything we can to get her through it, but she's going to be very sick within the next few days.

Dalton: Measles was eradicated in the US. How did we get back here?
Woman: Because measles is being a virus. It is not as sexy as Ebola but the virus can stay in the air for 12 to 18 hours after the infected person has left the room. That's why vaccine resistance is so serious.

Jay: The United States is willing to take its share of climate migrants.
Diplomat: We're all eager to hear your version of taking your share.

Elizabeth: Okay. Disengaging in 3...2...1.
Henry: Whoa. The countdown. I haven't heard that since Jason went to summer camp.

Ready [5.18][edit]

Elizabeth: I don't know how to do this.
Alison: What?
Elizabeth: Run for President and be a wife and mother.

Elizabeth: I want to send her some flowers. Something that says...
Nina: Sorry you got shot, glad you didn't die?

Dalton: Well done.
Russell: Indeed. Now we just have to explain why we kept the leadership out of the loop, kidnapped an ally, and interfered with Polish sovereignty.

Russell: Why take her out in broad daylight?
Dalton: To send a message to other agitators. It's straight out of the autocrat's handbook.

Ready [5.19][edit]

Elizabeth: Conrad, when we were at the CIA, did you favor me?
Dalton: Of course. You were smart, diligent, and could think independently. What kind of boss would I be if I didn't favor that?

Kat: Deputy Secretary. Secretary McCord and I take these allegations seriously and I suggest you do too.
Bailey: Do you want to hear my side of the story or have you done away with due process?

Russell: I didn't realize I was crashing a party.
Mike: You're always on the guest list.
Russell: There is a story coming out in the Washington Chronicle saying that you had a relationship of an intimate nature with Conrad Dalton while you were both at the CIA.

Henry: Okay. I'll let her in.
Elizabeth: No, I'll let her in. You two have to go upstairs.
Henry: Oh right. Stevie! Time for us to go into exile.

Better Angels [5.20][edit]

Constantine: It's ironic that you decry nationalism around the world when at home -
Elizabeth: Callister's running for President. I've heard it before.
Constantine: That's the problem with your so-called free speech. It is another weapon that can be bought and sold.

Jay: The entire UN Security Council gone? What do we do now, ma'am?
Elizabeth: We go to the White House and get into a fight.

Stevie: So the world is ending and we're all screwed.
Blake: Which we've established.
Stevie: So what's the one thing you would do before it all collapses?

Callister: What would you say to the person whose job is stolen or who loses her life to one of these migrants?
Elizabeth: I'd say that you're making up hypothetical people to distract from the actual issue.

Season 6[edit]

Hail to the Chief [6.1][edit]

Elizabeth: Even Nixon managed to get big stuff done during Watergate. Opening China, creating the EPA...
Mike: And all anyone remembers is Watergate.

Mike: If it gets out that a foreign government helped topple your opponent, the legitimacy of your presidency could be in jeopardy.
Elizabeth: This is a lot bigger than me. Our democracy was interfered with.

Elizabeth: I have your short list on my desk.
Mike: I have it right here. I picked it up off the pile and dusted it off. You have to find a replacement, because the President of the United States wouldn't go back on her word.

The Strike Zone [6.2][edit]

Russell: There are protesters in the stands.
Stevie: Can't they leave the politics out of baseball?
Elizabeth: They're just exercising their First Amendment rights.

Elizabeth: Are we taking this healthy thing too far?
Henry: I wouldn't say that. It's just a lot of chewing.

Diasy: While President McCord is confident that the investigation will show that there is no truth to Hansen's accusation that her campaign colluded with the Iranian interference into the election, but she respects Congress' authority to oversee the executive branch.

Killer Robots [6.3][edit]

Russell: The President's job is to lead, not to explain or ask for support.
Elizabeth: When you put it that way, you sound like the patriarchy telling me to do things the way they've always been done.

Russell: If there were no Checkers, there would be no Nixon.
Elizabeth: Actually, that's a good argument for not getting a dog.

Elizabeth: There are reasons previous administrations have tried to pre-emptively ban this technology. Deploying it now could have consequences we're just beginning to understand. America has the finest military in the world. Let's use it.

Valor [6.4][edit]

Elizabeth: What we're doing has never been done before. First one through the wall always gets bloody.
Morejon: I don't care about bloody. I just don't want to be ineffective.

Elizabeth: The bombing was a long time ago. I feel like I should be over it. And then there's this thing where it's like, if I'm talking about it, I'm bringing it into the house. Like I can keep it at bay if I don't give it a name.
Henry: This is why we have got to educate people about this issue.

Stevie: Talia didn't tell me that -
Dmitri: That she's setting us up? Me either. She told me that she needed my approval for a new guy she is dating.
Stevie: She knew how to get you here.
Dmitri: My sister watches too many rom-coms.

Daisy [6.5][edit]

Henry: If you were in her shoes, you'd have turned that flash drive over to the FBI even if it cost you an election. If there's one thing I know about you, you are scrupulously honest.
Elizabeth: It's not directly analogous. Daisy thought she was protecting me and the country from Miller.
Henry: True. But the thing about ethics is they can't be cherry picked. Daisy convinced herself that she was doing the right thing when she wasn't. Don't you do it too.
Elizabeth: Daisy is more than an employee. She's a friend.
Henry: Then forgive her. But you're the President of the United States. You have to let her go.

Elizabeth: You could have heard a pin drop.
Henry: They sure made a lot of noise once they got outside.
Russell: Circling the wagons, whining about their freedoms. Never gets old.
Elizabeth: Except Valerie Gillian is in jail for contempt, not for something she wrote. This is about finding the truth, not about censorship.

Valerie: I got a message for your boss.
Mike: I suggest you take it up with the US attorney.
Valerie: And give that court legitimacy? Not a chance. I thought I'd skip the line and go straight to the source. Tell her that there is no way in hell that I'm revealing my source under any circumstances.
Mike: They'll hold you in contempt.
Valerie: Then I'll write from jail. I've already cleared it with my editor.

Elizabeth: You should have disclosed it.
Daisy: If it was any other candidate, I would have. But Miller is a racist and a xenophobe and a liar. I did nothing wrong. But I knew he would lie and distort and say there was collusion. And because he was a Republican candidate for President, millions of people would have believed him. And if he sunk your campaign and got elected, I wouldn't be able to look my daughter in the eye.

Deepfake [6.6][edit]

Henry: How can one fake video take down the entire trade deal?
Russell: It doesn't help that it's pinging around social media.

Korean First Lady: There is only one thing your Chief of Staff couldn't arrange. A meeting with Beyonce.
Elizabeth: Presidential powers only go so far.

Woman: U-Vid shares your concern about fake news. It was a top discussion at our annual retreat.
Russell: So take down some fake news.

Accountability [6.7][edit]

Elizabeth: You know what pioneers get to accomplish? Being first. That's it.
Henry: Some get more than that.
Elizabeth: Not anyone who matters. Susan B Anthony fought for women's suffrage but died 5 years before it came to be. Martin Luther King didn't live to see many of his dreams come true. People who light the sparks don't often get to sit by the fire.

Elizabeth: That is a partisan move for a department that is supposed to be apolitical.
Mike: On the down low, please, Olivia. Otherwise the President looks like the captain of the Good Ship Paranoia.

Henry: Reagan bailed.
Elizabeth: Because he was shot.
Henry: You're nervous because you have to tell jokes and you're not funny.

Ships and Countries [6.8][edit]

Russell: Can we discuss what you plan to offer first?
Elizabeth: We're trying to prevent a shooting war in the Middle East. Can we discuss how it plays in the press later?

Elizabeth: How is she doing?
Blake: You know in Wonder Woman when she fights off bullets with her bracelets? Like that.

Mike: I think I can be confident that I will not be convicted of the murder of a state Senator.
Elizabeth': You plant enough doubt in the public's mind and they'll believe anything.

Carpe Diem [6.9][edit]

Elizabeth: So the attack came from a rogue commander. That means that President Lee doesn't want to escalate this conflict any more than I do.
Chen: His pride will not allow him to back down. It is a matter of honor, especially because you are a woman.
Elizabeth: So he'd rather blow up the world than bow to a girl?

Elizabeth: I want to speak with President Lee.
Military advisor: With all due respect, ma'am, actions speak louder than words.
Elizabeth: I will not engage in retaliatory action without a dialogue. Until further notice, this is a rescue mission.

Henry: He who accepts injustice welcomes it into his own house.
Heeney: You can quote Scripture to me all you want, but it's not going to change my mind.
Henry: That's not Scripture. That's your father.

Leaving the Station [6.10][edit]

Elizabeth: I was thinking we go full whistle blow tour like Teddy Roosevelt.
Henry: And Eisenhower and Truman.
Elizabeth: But not Taft. What do you think?
Jay: I think it's full of character, just like the President.

Carol: What are you doing?
Russell: I'm trying to pull this wedding off.
Carol: I want you to listen to me very carefully. I am not the person you tell about your day anymore. It's over.

Carol: No. You have broken so many promises. And worse than the thousand broken promises is that you have always put me second to your job. I have never come first and I never will.
Russell: It's not a competition.
Carol: Not anymore.

Stevie: So I'd like to close with a Jane Austen quote. I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve. Thank you for making me happier than I deserve.
Dmitri: Well my vows are going to be a lot shorter. When I look at you, I see a life I never dared to dream of for myself. You and your family have done more for me than I deserve. Thank you for bringing me life. I will never leave you again. I am home.


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