The Wire

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The Wire (2002–2008) is an American television drama set and produced in Baltimore, Maryland. The creator, David Simon, has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals, and how... whether you're a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge [or] lawyer, you are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution you've committed to."


Season 1[edit]

The Target [1.1][edit]

Man On Stoop: I’m sayin’, every Friday night in an alley behind the Cut Rate, we rollin' bones, you know? I mean all them boys, we roll til late.
McNulty: Alley crap game, right?
Man On Stoop: Like every time, Snot, he'd fade a few shooters, play it out til the pot's deep. Snatch and run.
McNulty: What, every time?
Man On Stoop: Couldn’t help hisself.
McNulty: Let me understand. Every Friday night, you and your boys are shooting craps, right? And every Friday night, your pal Snot Boogie… he'd wait til there's cash on the ground and he'd grab it and run away? You let him do that?
Man On Stoop: We'd catch him and beat his ass but ain't nobody ever go past that.
McNulty: I gotta ask ya: If every time Snotboogie would grab the money and run away, why'd you even let him in the game?
Man On Stoop: What?
McNulty: If Snotboogie always stole the money, why'd you let him play?
Man On Stoop: Got to. This America, man.

McNulty: All I did was answer the guy's questions, he's a fucking judge.
Landsman: And the Deputy's the fucking Deputy, and he, not the judge, has what's left of your be-shitted career in his hot little hands.

Bunk: [to McNulty] That will teach you to give a fuck when it ain't your turn to give a fuck.

Kima: Fighting the war on drugs... one brutality case at a time.
Carver: Girl, you can't even think of calling this shit a war.
Herc: Why not?
Carver: Wars end.

Bunk: [to dead body] You moldering motherfucker don't even think about coming back a murder. Don't even think of that shit.

The Detail [1.2][edit]

Marla Daniels: You cannot lose if you do not play.

McNulty: This is just us talking right? Just you, me, my partner and... what did you say your name was?
Bodie: I didn't say shit.
McNulty: Just you, me, my partner and Mr. Shit here.

Rawls: McNulty! Where in fuck is he?
Landsman: I— uh... he's detailed, Major, to narcotics.
Rawls: I fuckin' know where he's detailed. I fuckin' already know that.

[about chicken nuggets]
Wallace: Man, these shits is right. Yo.
Poot: Mm-hmm.
Wallace: It's good with the hot sauce too, yo.
Poot: Most definite.
Wallace: Yo, D, you want some nuggets?
D’Angelo: Nah, go ahead, man.
Wallace: Man, whoever invented these, yo, he off the hook.
Poot: What?
Wallace: Mm. Motherfucker got the bone all the way out the damn chicken. ‘Til he came along, niggas be chewin' on drumsticks and shit, gettin' they fingers all greasy. He said, Later for the bone, nugget that meat up, make some real money.
Poot: You think the man got paid?
Wallace: Who?
Poot: The man who invented these.
Wallace: Shit, he richer than a motherfucker.
D’Angelo: Why? You think he get a percentage?
Wallace: Why not?
D’Angelo: Nigga, please, the man who invented them things, just some sad-ass down at the basement of McDonald's, thinkin' up some shit to make some money for the real players.
Poot: Naw, man, that ain't right.
D’Angelo: Fuck "right." It ain't about right, it's about money. Now you think Ronald McDonald gonna go down in that basement and say, "Hey, Mr. Nugget, you the bomb. We sellin' chicken faster than you can tear the bone out. So I'm gonna write my clowny-ass name on this fat-ass check for you"?
Wallace: Shit.
D’Angelo: Man, the nigga who invented them things still workin' in that basement for regular wage, thinkin' up some shit to make the fries taste better, some shit like that. Believe.
Wallace: Still had the idea though.

The Buys [1.3][edit]

McNulty: [after Sydnor comes out in disguise] Where's ya' mic?
Sydnor: Down at my dick man. I figured they ain't gonna go down there anyway right?
Carver: I don't know Sydnor, the way you twirlin' around, it might be the first place they look.

Pearlman: [after having sex] You're an asshole McNulty.
McNulty: What the fuck did I do?

Daniels: Motherfucker, why didn't you call in sick?
McNulty: I'm not sick.
Daniels: Yeah, you are. Write me up a 95 on why you are physically unable to participate in today's activities.
McNulty: You want me to lie so you can save face?
Daniels: Go on. "I can't jump off with the rest of my unit because my tummy hurts."

Pearlman: Let me understand. You're married and a date is a room at the Best Western with the blinds closed. Now you're single, and a date is you coming over unannounced to learn the legal requisites for a pager intercept.
McNulty: Pretty much.

Old Cases [1.4][edit]

Freamon: I don't wanna go to no dance unless I can rub some tit.

Poot: How can he know where the stash at? The Narcos don't know, but he do, 'cause some nigga snitchin'!
D'Angelo: Man, ain't nobody gotta be snitchin' for Omar, or one of his boys, to creep by and see where the stash at.

Wallace: [to Bodie] How you ain't courtside for bankin' a narco?

Bodie: Man, Boys Village ain't shit! I'm just too bad for that off-brand, lil' boy bullshit, man. It can't hold me.

McNulty: I'm late for soccer practice.
Bubbles: Suck what?

The Pager [1.5][edit]

D'Angelo: Yeah, but, Stringer, if you don't pay a nigga, he ain't gonna work for you.
Stringer: What, you think a nigga's gonna get a job? You think...you think it's gonna be like, 'Fuck it, let me quit this game here and go to college'? No, they're gonna buck a little, but they ain't gonna walk. And in the end, you gonna get respect.

Bubbles: [to Kima] How y'all do what y'all do every day and not wanna get high?

Kima: How complex a code can it be if these knuckleheads are usin' it? Then again, what does it say about us if we can't break it?

Omar: The cheese stands alone.

The Wire [1.6][edit]

Kima: You saw the murder?
Omar: Yeah.
Kima: You can ID this man Bird as the shooter of William Gant? And you ain't afraid to go into court downtown and testify against one of Barksdale's people?
Omar: Omar don't scare.

McNulty: On this case, we're never where we need to be.

One Arrest [1.7][edit]

[Omar sits in the back of a police car in front of the towers]
Kima: You worried about being seen?
Omar: Well if anybody got a problem with me spending time with y'all, I'd be much obliged to stick my gun straight in they mouth.

McNulty: [to Pearlman] They're gonna do me, Ronnie. I love this fucking job, and they're gonna do me.

Bunk Moreland: So, you're my eyeball witness, huh? [Omar nods] So, why'd you step up on this?
Omar: Bird triflin', basically. Kill an everyday workin' man and all. I mean, I do some dirt, too, but I ain't never put my gun on nobody that wasn't in the game.
Bunk: A man must have a code.
Omar: Oh, no doubt.

Burrell: [to Daniels] You're not wrong, Lieutenant. In this state, there's a thin line between campaign posters and photo arrays.

Lessons [1.8][edit]

Omar: Ayo, lesson here, Bey. You come at the king, you best not miss.

McNulty: Lester, are we still cops?
Freamon: Technically, I suppose so.
McNulty: OK, I was just checking.

Game Day [1.9][edit]

Herc: What the fuck was that?
Carver: That was my Korean counterman.
Herc: Sounded Chinese.
Carver: Like you can fucking tell the difference.

Avon: Ayo what's up playboy? How come you wearin' that suit, B? For real its 85 fuckin' degrees out here and you try'na be like fuckin' Pat Riley
Proposition Joe : Look the part, be the part, motherfucker.

The Cost [1.10][edit]

Proposition Joe: I'm doing like one of them marriage counselors. Charge by the hour to tell some fool he need to bring some flowers home. Then charge another hour telling the bitch she oughta suck some cock every little once in a while. You know, keep a marriage strong like that. Speaking of cocksuckers...[Omar walks up]

Walon: Look, forgiveness from other folks is good, but ain't nothin' but words comin' at you from outside. You want to kick this shit, you got to forgive your own self. Love yourself some, brother. And then drag your sorry ass to some meetings.
Bubbles: Meetings?
Walon: What the fuck do you wanna hear? That you're strong enough to do this by yourself? Gettin' clean's the easy part. And then comes life.

Judge Phelan: McNulty, I hold you in contempt.
McNulty: Who doesn't?

The Hunt [1.11][edit]

Rawls: Listen to me, you fuck. You did a lot of shit here. You played a lot of fucking cards. And you made a lot of fucking people do a lot of fucking things they didn't want to do. This is true. We both know this is true. You, McNulty, are a gaping asshole. We both know this. Fuck if everybody in CID doesn't know it. But fuck if I'm gonna stand here and say you did a single fucking thing to get a police shot. You did not do this, you fucking hear me? This is not on you. [McNulty nods] No it isn't, asshole. Believe it or not, everything isn't about you. And the motherfucker saying this, he hates your guts, McNulty. So you know if it was on you, I'd be the son of a bitch to say so. Shit went bad. She took two for the company. That's the only lesson here.

Cleaning Up [1.12][edit]

D'Angelo: If anybody asks you if in you in this game, you tell 'em you in it for life, a'ight?. You play it hard, you play it tight, and you make sure niggas know you gonn' stand by your people. No loose talk, no second thoughts and no snitching. Play it like that.

Clay: Erv, will you explain to this motherfucker just what the fuck it is he's doing here?
Burrell: Lieutenant Dan-...
Daniels: [interrupting] Excuse me, sir, but it's pretty basic. If the senator isn't involved in anything illegal, then he doesn't need to worry. I can't be any clearer than that.
Clay Davis: Fool, what do you think? That we know anything about who gives money? That we give a damn about who they are or what they want? We have no way of running down them or their stories. We don't care. We just cash the damn cheques, count the votes and move on.
Daniels: [stands] Anything else, Deputy Burrell? [leaves]

Bodie: [on killing Wallace] Look, the man gave the word, so we either step up or we step the fuck off. That's the game, yo.

D'Angelo: Where's Wallace at? ... Where's the boy, String?
Stringer: D'Angelo, shut your mouth.
D'Angelo: Where's Wallace? That's all I wanna know.
Levy: Kid, you better think...
D'Angelo: Where's Wallace? Where the fuck is Wallace? Huh? Huh? String? String? Look at me! Where the fuck is Wallace? HUH!? I don't want this Payless-wearing motherfucker representing me. I'ma get my own man. So just get back in your car and get the fuck back down south.
Stringer: A'ight, you stupid motherfucker, you made your decision.
D'Angelo: Yeah, I made my decision. Where's Wallace at? Where the fuck is Wallace? Where's Wallace, String? String! Where the fuck is Wallace? Huh? Stringer?!

Burrell: You came into a lot of money quick. You can go to jail just as quick if I start asking the right questions. This case ends, or you are done. Hell, I don't even need you to lock up Barksdale. I can have your major debrief the detectives and type the warrants himself. This case is done.
Daniels: You do what you feel. You wanna pull Avon in on half a case, you go ahead. You wanna put my shit in the street, feel free. But the Eastern had a lot of stories - mine ain't the only one. A lot of people came through that district. If you were gonna do me, I'd already be done. But there ain't nothin' you fear more than a bad headline, is there? You'd rather live in shit than let the world see you work a shovel. You can order warrants, and I'll serve 'em. But as long as I have days left on those dead wires, this case goes on.

Sentencing [1.13][edit]

Carver: [observing Bodie beat a competing dealer with a bat] See, that's why we can't win.
Herc: Why not?
Carver:They fuck up, they get beat. We fuck up, they give us pensions.

D'Angelo: All my people, man, my father, my uncles, It's just what we do. You just live with this shit, until you can't breathe no more. I swear to God, I was courtside for eight months, and I was freer in jail than I was at home.
Rhonda: What are you looking for?
D'Angelo: I want it to go away.
Rhonda: I can't...
D'Angelo: I want what Wallace wanted. I want to start over. That's what I want. I don't care where. Anywhere. I don't give a fuck. I just want to go somewhere, where I can breathe like regular folk. You give me that... And I'll give you them.

Daniels: [To Carver] Couple weeks from now, you're gonna be in some district somewhere with 11 or 12 uniforms looking to you for everything. And some of them are gonna be good police. Some of them are gonna be young and stupid. A few are gonna be pieces of shit. But all of them will take their cue from you. You show loyalty, they learn loyalty. You show them it's about the work, it'll be about the work. You show them some other kinda game, then that's the game they'll play. I came on in the Eastern, and there was a piece-of-shit lieutenant hoping to be a captain, piece-of-shit sergeants hoping to be lieutenants. Pretty soon we had piece-of-shit patrolmen trying to figure the job for themselves. And some of what happens then is hard as hell to live down. Comes a day you're gonna have to decide whether it's about you or about the work.

Rawls: [To McNulty] Great work you all did. And the number of clearances I'm looking at here? I mean, Christ, for the first time this year, we got the clearance rate up over 40%. That's on the one hand. On the other hand, I know the Deputy Ops got a call from the First Deputy U.S. Attorney this morning asking whether an asshole such as yourself really works for us. And, of course, this is the first the deputy hears his troops are creeping behind his back, trying to take a case federal when they've already been told the case is closed. You're a good detective. And I've got to admit you got some stones on you. Did you actually call the first deputy an empty suit? [Chuckles] I want to see you land okay, Jimmy. So, tell me, where don't you wanna go?

Omar: All in the game yo... [laughs] All in the game.

Season 2[edit]

Ebb Tide [2.1][edit]

Rawls: Sergeant! Your floater's come back. County boards are puttin' her on our side of the bridge.
Landsman: No fuckin' way.
Rawls: Yeah, some useless fuck in our marine unit faxed 'em a report on the early morning tides and wind currents. Shows the body went into the water west of the bridge and drifted out.
Landsman: McNulty.
Rawls: [laughs] Fuckin' Jimmy. Fuckin' with us for the fun of it. I gotta give the son of a bitch some credit for wit on this one. [laughs] Cocksucker.
Landsman: Motherfucker.

Herc: How about you come on the raids tomorrow? Take a few doors for ol' time sake.
Kima: You takin' doors?
Herc: Yeah. Two houses an' a bar on Kane Street. C'mon Kima, mount up wit' us. I know you miss it.
Kima: I'm done rollin' around the gutter. I am inside now.
Herc: Oh, you're a house cat now, huh?
Kima: I made a promise.
Herc: I gotta say Kima, if you were a guy, and actually in some ways you're better than most of the guys I know. But if you were a guy, friends would buy you a beer and let you know.
Kima: Let me know what?
Herc: You're fuckin' whipped.
Kima: Whipped?
Herc: Pussy whipped within an inch of your life. I kid you not.

Horseface: Damn, Frank.
Union Member: We just sat here and watched Nat Coxson take a shit all over you.
Horseface: And the shrivelled dick motherfucker that you are, you take it.
Sobotka: For your information, I wake up every morning with an angry blue vein diamond cutter. I was gonna enlighten the President of the local 47 on this particular point, and he chose to depart. Blue steel gentlemen. Three and a half inches of hard blue steel.

Shamrock: We done gone so far from Baltimore, we're losing the station. Yo', try a Philly station or some shit like that.
Bodie: The radio in Philly is different?
Shamrock: Nigga, please. You gotta be fucking with me, right? You ain't never heard a station outside of Baltimore?
Bodie: Yo' man, I ain't never left Baltimore except that Boys Village shit one day, and I wasn't tryin' to hear no radio up in that bitch.

Landsman: It's all about self-preservation, Jimmy. Something you never learned.

Collateral Damage [2.2][edit]

[Bunk and McNulty secretly eating crabs in the interrogation room]
Bunk: You got these off the boat?
McNulty: What, in winter? In a couple of months... fringe benefit. Can't catch crabs in homicide, right?
Bunk: Uh-uh... except maybe the occasional emergency room nurse every now and then.

Sobotka: Why the fuck didn't you tell me what was in that motherfucking can?
Spiros: Now you wanna know what's in the cans? Before you wanted to know nothing. Now you ask. Guns, OK? Drugs, whore, vodka, BMWs. Beluga caviar, or bombs, maybe? Bad terrorists with big nuclear bombs. I'm kidding you, Frank, it's a joke. But you don't ask ... because you don't wanna know.

Bunk: Jimmy, the look on Jay Landsman's face, he nearly cried!
[McNulty, Freamon and Bunk all laugh]
Lester: And Rawls! I swear to God the man stayed in his office all day! All afternoon, he just stays in his office with the door closed.
McNulty: Careful, you're giving me an erection!

McNulty: Fuck it, they chew you up, they gotta spit you back out.

Hot Shots [2.3][edit]

Lester: [to "Non-English" speaking crewman] You cannot travel halfway around the world and not speak any motherfuckin' English.

Country: Yo, uh, String, why are you so down on the phone companies, man?
Stringer: While back, I took a stroll through the pit, I saw that kid we got running things down there, uh, Poot. Now, he got the cell phone I gave him for the business, right there on his hip. But, the nigga got another cell phone that only rang when the pussy called. Now, if this no-count nigga got two cell phones, how the fuck you gonna sell any more of them motherfuckers? That's market saturation.

Landsman: There is some charm to a woman in uniform. But the fact remains we work plain clothes in Homicide. Not to say that the clothes need be plain. For you, l would suggest some pantsuits muted in colour. Something to offset Detective Moreland's pinstriped, lawyerly affectations and the brash, tweedy impertinence of Detective Freamon.

Omar: Look, Dante, what's it gonna take for you to be convinced, man? I don't bed no babies. [pauses] Huh?
Dante: What you think?
[Omar and Dante start making out]
Dante: You gonna have to do better than that.
Omar: Oh, indeed.

McNulty: You see the preliminary? Positives for oral, vaginal, anal. No IDs, no passports, no visas, no real money - and the girls are coming across the water like that.
Bunk: Yeah.
Lester: McNulty has a theory...
Bunk: Does he now?
Lester: You deductive motherfucker, you.
Bunk: So he's gonna wander in here with some johnny-come-lately bullshit about how all these girls must be coming over here as prostitutes. Talking about how if they ain't got the cash to travel better than a container ship, then they sure as shit don't got the money to pay a plastic surgeon.
Lester: Then he's gonna go past that. And say something about that one found dead in the water - being tossed off the ship after she's already dead from a beat-down?
Bunk: But why did she get beat? He's gonna ask us that like we don't know.
Lester: Then he's gonna answer his own question, and say her swabs are negative, right? Fuck or fight with all them sailor boys - and she fought.
Bunk: So, it got a little rough, she got banged around, she comes up dead. And then, somebody panics and tosses her in the harbour overnight before the ship ties up.
Beadie: But the other girls saw.
Bunk: So now the other girls, they get told to get back in that can. And our man, to cover this shit up, he gets up on top and bangs down the airpipe. [stands up, sighs dramatically] Anything else you wanna tell us?

Hard Cases [2.4][edit]

Rawls: Do you even know what this detail's about Lieutenant?
Daniels: Some kinda beef that Valchek has.
Rawls: Two fuckin' Polacks pissin' on each other's leg.

Prison Warden: Hell, if you can't win the war on drugs in a prison, where the hell you gonna win it?

Stringer: Yo', Rock.
Shamrock: Huh?
Stringer: Be subtle with it, man. You know what subtle means?
Shamrock: Laid back and shit.

Daniels: Where are the detectives who were first assigned?
Valchek: Dead. To me, anyway. I shipped them humps back to Burrell as fast as I could.

Kima: [to Daniels, about joining the new detail] I'll tell your wife if you tell mine.

Undertow [2.5][edit]

McNulty: [about Omar] He play you hard?
Bubbles: I go at him respectable. He put that goddamn shotgun in my face, man. I’m looking at two goddamn tubes of the Harbor Tunnel staring right at me. [McNulty laughs] Each one about yea-big. I damn near piss my pants.

Lester: Colonel, respectfully, did you just fuck me over without giving me half a chance to clear this case?
Rawls: Let’s be clear, Detective Freamon. When I fuck you over, you’ll know it. You’ll be so goddamn certain, you won’t need to ask the question.

Kima: Cool Lester Smooth... hey, what's happenin'?
Lester: Same fuck-ups in the same shit detail, workin’ out of the same shithouse kind of office. You people lack for personal growth, you know that?

[after the Stevedores' Union members testified in front of the Grand Jury]
Bunk: How'd we do, Charlie?
Charlie: I almost got one to swear that the docks are actually near the water.

Sobotka: What do you say, Johnny? What do you say to any question?
Johnny Fifty: I take the Fifth Commandment.

All Prologue [2.6][edit]

D'Angelo Barksdale: The past is always with us. Where we come from, what we go through, how we go through it; all this shit matters. Like at the end of the book, ya' know, boats and tides and all. It's like you can change up, right, you can say you're somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story. But, what came first is who you really are and what happened before is what really happened. It don't matter that some fool say he different 'cause the things that make you different is what you really do, what you really go through. Like, ya' know, all those books in his library. He frontin' with all them books, but if you pull one down off the shelf, none of the pages have ever been opened. He got all them books, and he hasn't read nearly one of them. Gatsby, he was who he was, and he did what he did. And 'cause he wasn't willing to get real with the story, that shit caught up to him.

[At Bird's trial]
Ilene: And what is your occupation?
Omar: Occupation?
Ilene: What exactly do you do for a living, Mr. Little?
Omar: I rip and run.
Ilene: You...
Omar: I robs drug dealers.
Ilene: And exactly how long has this been your occupation, Mr. Little?
Omar: Well, I don't know exactly. I venture to say maybe 'bout eight or nine years.
Ilene: Mr. Little, how does a man rob drug dealers for eight or nine years and live to tell about it?
Omar: Day at a time, I suppose.

Levy: You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You're stealing from those who themselves are stealing the lifeblood from our city. You are a parasite who leeches off--
Omar: Just like you, man.
Levy: --the culture of drugs... Excuse me, what?
Omar: I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game, though, right?

Omar: That wasn’t no attempted murder.
Levy: Then what was it, Mr. Little?
Omar: I shot the boy Mike-Mike in his hind parts, that all. [jury members laugh] Fixed it up so he couldn’t sit right. [Judge Phelan chuckles]
Levy: Why’d you shoot Mike-Mike in his, um... hind parts, Mr. Little?
Omar: Let’s say we had a disagreement.
Levy: A disagreement over?
Omar: Well, you see, Mike-Mike thought he should keep that cocaine he was slingin’ and the money he was makin’ from slingin’ it. I thought otherwise.

Sergei: Family cannot be helped.
Proposition Joe: Who you tellin’? I got motherfuckin’ nephews and in-laws fucking all my shit up all the time and it ain’t like I can pop a cap in their ass and not hear about it Thanksgivin’ time. For real, I’m livin’ life with some burdensome niggers.
...
Nick: Thanks for bein’ straight on this.
Proposition Joe: Fool, if it wasn’t for Sergei here, you and your cuz' both would be cadaverous motherfuckers.

Backwash [2.7][edit]

D.C. Guy: [about D'Angelo's death] But did your man Avon even knew about it? [Stringer shakes his head] You on your own here huh?
Stringer: You right, it ain't none of your business. And if I were you, I wouldn't let a word of this mess end up in Avon's ear.
D.C. Guy: Baltimore niggas off the hook, I swear. All ya'll.

Prez: What if they're not sneaking anything off this time? What then?
Lester: Ah then, tragically, you will have wasted yet another day in a life you've already misspent in the service of the City of Baltimore.

Carver: [about Herc, modeling sunglasses] His name is Head. Dick Head.

Duck and Cover [2.8][edit]

Bunk: The thing of it is, Lieutenant... Jimmy McNulty, when he ain't policing he's a picture postcard of a drunken, self-destructive fuck-up. And when he is policing... he's pretty much the same motherfucker. But on a good case, he runnin' in front of the pack. That's as close as the man comes to bein' right.

Daniels: [about McNulty] You ever see how a dog gets when he smells a bone buried in the yard?
Rawls: Yeah, and I seen one take a shit on my carpet, too. And don't give me that he's-got-that-fire-in-the-belly garbage, either. The answer is no.

Rhonda: [reading an affadavit] You all cannot spell for shit.
Bunk: Well, would we be police if we could?

Horseface: [to Frank, while looking at a porn mag] Let me ask you something important. You like fake tits? I can't decide. Thus far, I'm undecided on fake tits.

[Bunk comes into detail room wearing lacrosse sweats]
Herc: Lacrosse?
Bunk: What, a brother can't run with a stick? Jim Brown was an All-American midfielder at Syracuse.
Lester: You putting yourself beside Jim Brown?
Bunk: Lester, um, I'm, I'm just saying...
Daniels: I thought you were born in pinstripes!
Bunk: Lieutenant, I was under the impression that, uh, when detailed against his will to some backwards-ass, no-count, out-in-the-district, lost ball/tall-grass drug investigation, a veteran police of means and talent can wear whatever the fuck he damn well pleases.

Stray Rounds [2.9][edit]

Stringer: [to Bodie] This here game is more than the rep you carry, the corner you hold. You gotta be fierce, I know that, but more than that, you gotta show some flex, give and take on both sides.

Proposition Joe: [about Brother Mouzone] You don't think I'm gonna send any of my people up against Brother? Shit, That nigga got more bodies on him than a Chinese cemetery.

Valchek: Now the votes are in, and you're movin' your damn golf trophies upstairs to the Commissioner's office, now you're freezin' me out, huh? Fuckin' rat-fucker's, all of ya'. This is my case, mine! And now you're gonna tell me who the target is? Well not fuckin' likely.

[during extended surveillance detail, Herc takes a picture of Carver]
Carver: Hey, don't waste film.
Herc: We've been here so fucking long that you're startin' to look good to me.

McNulty [about the two hookers in the sting operation] There were two of them. I was outnumbered.

Storm Warnings [2.10][edit]

Brother Mouzone: Lamar, where's my Harper's?
Lamar: Say wha'?
Brother Mouzone: Harper's. The new issue.
Lamar: You didn't say that one. You said The New Republic, and Atlantic, and a new somethin' else.
Brother Mouzone: I did not forget to tell you Harper's. Every week I tell you the same shit, and every week you forget half of what I say.

Stringer: You see these east-side motherfucker's over here? I want'chu to extend to these motherfucker's all the hospitality west Baltimore is famous for.
Bodie: Yeah, you want us to fuck 'em up.

Cheese: You mean to tell me there's a west-side nigga that know how to sell shit without stickin' a pistol in a fiends face?
Bodie: Yeah dog, and you better get used it, 'cause ya'll ain't sellin shit, until we bone-ass dry!

Brother Mouzone: [to Cheese, after shooting him] Pellets in plastic. Rat shot. What you need to be concerned about is what’s seated in the chamber now: a copper-jacketed, hollow point 120-grain hot street load of my own creation. So you need to think for just a moment and ask yourself: what do I have to do before this man raise up his gun again?

Ziggy: It pays to go with the union card every time.

Bad Dreams [2.11][edit]

Amanda Reese: Name names, and come clean. You help yourself, and your union.
Sobotka: Help my union? For 25 years we've been dyin' slow down there. Dry dock's rustin', piers standin' empty. My friends and their kids like we got the cancer. No life-line got thrown all that time, nothin' from nobody, and now you wanna help us? Help me?

Spiros: [about Nick Sobotka] You don't have to worry about Nicko...
The Greek: You are fond of him Spiros. You should have had a son.
Spiros: But then I would have had a wife.

Bunk: A different look for our boy.
McNulty: Yeah, Perry Ellis, or something.
Bunk: Now, how would a just-rolled-out-of-bed-looking motherfucker like you, know the designer?
McNulty: [pauses] Okay, I'm guessing.
Bunk: It's a Joseph Abboud. He puts dark buttons instead of brass on his blazers. That's the Abboud signature.
McNulty: You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?
Bunk: Mm-hmm, a grown-up.

Sobotka: You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket.

Bunk: Boy, them Greeks and those twisted-ass names.
McNulty: Man, back off the Greeks. They invented civilization.
Bunk: Yeah? Ass-fucking, too.

Port in a Storm [2.12][edit]

Daniels: [to Major Valchek] I'll tell you the truth Major. Everyone who saw the punch wrote on it. And they've all got Prez throwing the punch, no question. They've also got you addressing a subordinate officer as uh, what was it? A shit-bird?
Valchek: Fuck you. This is the Baltimore Police Department, not the Roland Park Ladies Tea.

Nick: Seniority sucks.
La La: If you ain't a senior.

Spiros: He knows my name, but my name is not my name. And you... to them you're only "The Greek."
The Greek: And, of course, I'm not even Greek.

Beadie: World keeps turning.

Season 3[edit]

Time After Time [3.1][edit]

Burrell: What makes you think they'll promote the wrong man?
Daniels: We do it all the time.

Shamrock: Yo. Chair ain't recognized your ass.

Slim Charles: But what if they don't cop our re-up, though?
Stringer: Well, I'ma worry about that when it happen. Until then, Mr. Charles, we're going to handle this shit like businessmen, sell the shit, make the profit and later for that gangsta bullshit. [Poot raises his hand.] Yeah.
Poot: Do the chair know we gonna look like some punk-ass bitches out there?
Stringer: Motherfucker, I will punk your ass for sayin such shit!
Shamrock: Yo, String, Poot did have the floor, man.
Stringer: Shut the fuck up, this nigga too ignorant to have the fuckin' floor!

Prez: If that idiot worked for us, he'd be a deputy commissioner by now.

Herc: [cuing up the theme from "Shaft"] Carv. He's a complicated man, and the only one that understands him is his woman.
Carver: Seek therapy.

All Due Respect [3.2][edit]

Herc: Anybody I want?
Carver: Anybody.
Herc: I want more than one. I want the Olsen Twins.
Carver: You got 'em. Slaves. All they live for is to get you off. But so now who are you gonna do for 'em? One guy, one act, one time.
Herc: Right, and the minute I name a guy, you're gonna be like, "I knew you're a cocksucker from the first time I laid eyes on you. Steve McQueen? Huh, that's your fantasy? You fucking closet case motherfucker."
Carver: Steve McQueen?
Herc: Fuck you. It's a setup.
Carver: Both Olson twins. Ashley. Kate...
Herc: Mary-Kate. And yeah, I admire her body of work.
Carver: They're yours. All you gotta do is name a guy.
Herc: I'm not catching, I'm pitching.
Carver: No problem.

Valchek: So, what's my role in your little drama?
Carcetti: I thought you might broker a meeting, you know... help your fearless leader see the light about his new friend on the council.
Valchek: And I should tell him, what? Make nice or invest heavily in petroleum jelly?
Carcetti: Hey, his ass, his choice.

Colvin: Somewhere back in the beginning of time, this district had itself a civic dilemma of epic proportions. The city council had just passed a law that forbade alcoholic consumption in public areas; on the streets and on the corners. But the corner is, it was and it always will be the poorman's lounge. It's where a man wants to be on a hot summer's night. It's cheaper than a bar. Catch a nice breeze and watch the girls go on by. But the law is the law so what are the western cops gonna do? They arrest every dude for tipping back a High Life, there'd be no time for any other kind of police work. And if they look the other way, they open themselves up to all kinds of flaunting, all kinds of disrespect. Now, this is before my time but somewhere back in the 50's or the 60's, there was a moment of goddamn genius by some nameless smokehound who comes out the Cut-Rate one day and on his way to the corner he slips that just bought pint of elderberry into a paper bag. A great moment of civic compromise. That small wrinkled ass paper bag allowed the corner boys to have their drink in peace and gave us permission to go and do police work. The kind of police work that's actually worth the effort, that's actually worth taking a bullet for. Dozerman got shot last night buying three vials. Three. There has never been a paper bag for drugs. Until now.

Dead Soldiers [3.3][edit]

Burrell: If the Gods are fucking you, you find a way to fuck them back. It's Baltimore, gentlemen; the Gods will not save you.

Stringer: That's good. That's like a forty degree day. Ain't nobody got nuttin to say about a forty degree day. Fifty? Bring a smile to your face. Sixty? Shit, niggas are damn near barbecuing that mothafucka. Go down to twenty? Niggas get they bitch on. Get they blood complainin... but forty? Nobody give a FUCK about forty. Nobody remember forty, and ya'll niggas is giving me way too many forty degree days. What the fuck?!

Kima: [to McNulty] How come they know you're police when they hook up with you. And they know you're police when they move in. And they know you're police when they decide to start a family with you. And all that shit is just fine until one day it ain't no more. One day, it's 'You should have a regular job.' and 'You need to be home at five o'clock'.
McNulty: "You need to stop fucking waitresses."

Landsman: [to Bunk] Rawls and Foerster have crawled up my backside and they're gonna stay there until you find Dozerman's gun. Now, I would like it very much if I could unclench my ample ass cheeks, if you don't mind, and rid myself of that discomfort.

Bunk: [types in "Peanut" in database] 89? And that's just the ones with Westside addresses.
Vernon: Man, you got to narrow that shit down. Find some way to work with all them "Peanuts."
Bunk: Motherfucker, do I look like George Washington Carver?

Hamsterdam [3.4][edit]

Lester: From the looks of things, Stringer Bell's worse than a drug dealer.
Prez: He's a developer.

Bubbles: This pay how much?
Kima: Let's treat it like a real job. Say $5 an hour, $30 on a day, max.
Bubbles: That's less than minimum wage.
McNulty: But there's no withholding, Bubs. It's tax-free.

Cutty: Game done changed.
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.

Straight and True [3.5][edit]

McNulty: [to Stringer] I had such fuckin' hopes for us.

Proposition Joe: For a cold-ass crew of gangstaz, y'all carried it like Republicans and shit.

Stringer: Yo. Motherfucker, what is that?
Shamrock: Robert Rules say we got to have minutes for the meeting, right? These the minutes.
Stringer: Nigga, is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy? [Grabs notepad from Shamrock] What the fuck is you thinking? [Tears out minutes and crumples them]

Colvin: Middle management means that you got just enough responsibility to listen when people talk, but not so much you can't tell anybody to go fuck themselves.

Colvin: I swear to God, I have over 200 sworn personnel and I will free them all up to brutalize every one of you they can. If you're on a corner in my district, it will not be just a humble or a loitering charge. It will be some Biblical shit that happens to you on the way into that jail wagon. You understand? We will not be playing by any rules that you recognize.

Homecoming [3.6][edit]

Avon: [to Stringer] I ain't no suit-wearin' businessman like you. You know, I'm just a gangster, I suppose. And I want my corners.

Dealer: [while being thrown in the police truck] Hey, we in America!
Officer Santangelo: Nuh-uh, West Baltimore.

Omar: Shoot, the way y'all looking at things, ain't no victim to even speak on.
Bunk: Bullshit, boy. No victim? I just came from Tosha's people, remember? All this death, you don't think it ripples out? You don't even know what the fuck I'm talking about. I was a few years ahead of you at Edmondson, but I know you remember the neighborhood, how it was. We had some bad boys, for real. Wasn't about guns so much as knowing what to do with your hands. Those boys could really rack. My father had me on the straight, but like any young man, I wanted to be hard too, so I'd turn up at all the house parties where the tough boys hung. Shit, they knew I wasn't one of them. Them hard cases would come up to me and say, "Go home, schoolboy, you don't belong here." Didn't realize at the time what they were doing for me. As rough as that neighborhood could be, we had us a community. Nobody, no victim, who didn't matter. And now all we got is bodies, and predatory motherfuckers like you. And out where that girl fell, I saw kids acting like Omar, calling you by name, glorifying your ass. Makes me sick, motherfucker, how far we done fell.

Back Burners [3.7][edit]

Butchie: Conscience do cost.

Herc: It's like one of those nature shows. You mess with the environment, some species get fucked out of their habitat.
Carver: Did you just use the word 'habitat' in a sentence?
Herc: I did.

Daniels: Detective McNulty,... when the cuffs go on Stringer you need to find a new home. You're done in this unit.

Moral Midgetry [3.8][edit]

Clay: [to Stringer] Crawl, walk, and then run.

Avon: You know the difference between me and you? I bleed red and you bleed green. I look at you these days, String, you know what I see? I see a man without a country. Not hard enough for this right here and maybe, just maybe, not smart enough for them out there.

Runner: Yo, I just rolled for peanut butter. You got anything else?
Colicchio: The fuck I look like, Chef Boyardee?
Runner: Who?

Rawls: Amazing. Crime is down and no one wants to take any credit. What is wrong with this picture?

Slapstick [3.9][edit]

Lester: Tell me something, Jimmy. How exactly do you think it all ends?
McNulty: What do you mean?
Lester: A parade? A gold watch? A shining Jimmy-McNulty-day moment, when you bring in a case sooooo sweet everybody gets together and says, "Aw, shit! He was right all along. Should've listened to the man." The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
McNulty: I dunno, a good case—
Lester: Ends. They all end. The handcuffs go click and it's over. The next morning, it's just you in your room with yourself.
McNulty: Until the next case.
Lester: Boooooy, you need something else outside of this here.
McNulty: Like what, dollhouse miniatures?
Lester: Hey, hey, hey, a life. A life, Jimmy. You know what that is? It's the shit that happens while you're waiting for moments that never come.

Avon: [to Stringer] Sunday truce been there as long as the game itself ..... I mean, you can do some shit and be like what the fuck, but hey, never on no Sunday.

McNulty: We're good at this Lester. In this town, we're as good as it gets.
Lester: Natural police.
McNulty: Fuck yes. Natural police.
...
McNulty: You know something, Lester? I do believe there aren't five swinging dicks in the entire department who can do what we do.

Colvin: What I'm sayin' is, come tomorrow, if I don't have a shooter in bracelets, the Hamsterdam thing is over, finished. It's back to the corners for all of us and fuck y'all any way we can. You hear me? It was good while it lasted. For y'all it was cash on the barrel and no one needs no bail money. For me, I had clean corners damn near everywhere I looked. But that's all gone tomorrow unless y'all bring me my shooter.

Avon: [after Brianna confronts him about D'Angelo's suspicious suicide in prison] The fuck you even thinking? That I had something to do with it? That I could do that to my own kin? Is that what you think? The fuck is in your head Brie? I ain't do nothing to Dee. I ain't have shit to do with it.
Brianna: To do with what?

Reformation [3.10][edit]

Proposition Joe: [to Stringer] The feeling is it ain't right for you to be at the head of our table, when you can't call off your dog. Call it a crisis of leadership.

Stringer: Make this quick, I got a meet.
Fatface Rick: Oh, fuck your meet! You're harder to get at than my fat wife's cunt.

Stringer: You know, Avon, you gotta think about what we got in this game for, man. Huh? Was it the rep? Was it so our names could ring out on some fucking ghetto streetcorner, man? Naw, man. There's games beyond the fucking game.

Rawls: Bunny, you cocksucker, I got to give it to you, a brilliant idea. Insane and illegal, but stone fuckin' brilliant nonetheless. After all my puttin' my foot up people's asses to get the numbers down, he comes along and in one stroke, gets a 14 fuckin' percent decrease. Fuckin' shame it's gonna end our careers, but still.

McNulty: I feel like I don't even belong to any world that even fucking matters.
Kima: 'Cause you're a cop?
McNulty: Nah, it's not just that. It's like, I went to meet her once; she was in a hotel room on the top floor. I punched the button on the elevator and it doesn't even go there. You gotta have some kind of special key to even get to that special fucking floor. So I go to the front desk, some sneering fuck calls upstairs, gives me permission to go and get laid. I listen to the shit she talks about and it's the first time in my life I feel like a fucking doormat. Like anyone else with any smarts would do something else with his life, you know? Earn money, or ... get elected. Like I'm just a breathing machine for my fucking dick. I'm serious; I'm the smartest asshole in three districts and she looks at me like I'm some stupid fuck playing some stupid game for stupid penny-ante stakes. She fucking looks through me, Kima.

Middle Ground [3.11][edit]

Stringer: We don't need to dream no more.

Levy: [to Stringer] A guy says if you pay him, he can make it rain. You pay him. If and when it rains, he takes the credit. If and when it doesn't, he comes up with reasons for you to pay more. Clay Davis rainmade you ...... It's an old game in this town, and Clay Davis? That goniff was born with his hand in someone's pocket.

Slim Charles: [when Stringer asks him to kill Clay Davis] Shit, murder ain't no thing, but this here is some assassination shit!

Brother Mouzone: [to Avon, leading Avon to give up Stringer] What got you here is your word and your reputation. With that alone, you've still got an open line to New York. Without it, you're done.

[Omar and Brother Mouzone have trapped Stringer]
Stringer: I ain't strapped. I ain't involved, yo. I ain't involved in none of that gangster bullshit.
[Both gunmen are silent, Stringer is breathing hard from running]
Stringer: What y'all niggers want, man? Huh? Money?
[Silence]
Stringer: IS THAT IT? Cause if it is, I can be a better friend to y'all alive.
Omar: You still don't get it, do you? This ain't about your money, bro. Your boy gave you up. That's right. And we ain't had to torture his ass neither!
[Stringer is silent, realizing both men have come for retribution]
Stringer: [ruefully] Well it seem like... I can't say nuttin' to change y'all minds.
[long silence]
Stringer: Well, get on with it, motherfu...
[Omar and Mouzone shoot him to death]

Mission Accomplished [3.12][edit]

Slim Charles: Don't matter who did what to who at this point. Fact is, we went to war and now there ain't no goin' back. I mean, shit, it's what war is, you know? Once you in it, you in it. If it's a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight.

Witness: I saw only the one of them. He was black, big I thought. With a large weapon.
Bunk: BNBG.
Vernon: [laughing] Big Negro, Big Gun.

McNulty: [standing over Stringer's body, talking to Bunk] I caught him, Bunk. On the wire. I caught him. He doesn't fuckin' know it.

Squeak: You've got to be the stupidest motherfucker I've ever dated.
Bernard: [to crony] I can't wait to go to jail.

Season 4[edit]

Boys of Summer [4.1][edit]

Carver: Okay, so let's try this again. I say, "Have a good evening, Mr. Broadus!"
Bodie: And a good evening to you, Sgt. Carver.
Carver: See.
Bodie: And a VERY good evening to you, Officer Collichio!
Colicchio: Fuck yourself with a 40, shit-breath.

Snoop: God-dayumn.
Salesman: I see you’ve got the DeWalt cordless. [pause] Your nailgun. DeWalt four-ten.
Snoop: Yeah. Trouble is, ya leave it in the truck for a while, and need to step up and use da bitch, da battery don’t hold up, ya know?
Salesman: Yeah. Cordless'll do that. You might want to consider the powder-actuated tool. The Hilti DX460MX or the Simpson PTP. These two are my Cadillacs. Everything else on this board is second best, sorry to say. Are you contracting or just doing some work around the house?
Snoop: Nah, we work all over.
Salesman: Full time?
Snoop: Nah, we had about five jobs last month.
Salesman: At that rate, the cost of the powder actuated gun justifies itself.
Snoop: You say ‘power’?
Salesman: Powder.
Snoop: Like gunpowder.
Salesman: Yeah. The DX460 is fully automatic, with a 27 caliber charge. Wood, concrete, steel to steel, she’ll throw a fastener into anything. And for my money, she handles recoil better than the Simpson or the P3500. You understand what I mean by recoil?
Snoop: Yeah. The kickback. I’m wit cha.
Salesman: That’s right.
Snoop: 27 caliber, huh?
Salesman: Not large ballistically, but for driving nails, its enough. Any more and you’d add to the recoil.
Snoop: Aw shit, I seen a tiny ass .22 round nose drop a nigga plenty a days, man. Motherfuckers get up in ya like a pinball, rip your ass up. Big joints though? Most the time they just break a bone and they just say “fuck it.” I’ma go with this right here, man. How much do I owe you?
Salesman: Six-sixty-nine, plus tax.
[Snoop counts out money]
Salesman: No no, just pay at the register.
Snoop: No man you handle that for me, and keep the rest for your time.
Salesman: This is $800.
Snoop: So what man? You earned that bump like a motherfucker, man. Keep that shit.

Chris: We good?
Snoop: Yeah, man. Man say if you wanna shoot nails, this here the Cadillac, man. Meant Lexus but he ain’t know it.
Chris: Hold a charge better?
Snoop: Man, fuck a charge, this here’s a gun powder activated, 27 caliber, full auto, no kickback, nail-throwing mayhem man. Shit right here’s tight.
[Chris laughs]
Snoop: Word. Fuck this nailin' up boards, we could kill a couple mother fuckers with this right here.

Bodie: [to Namond] What you need school clothes for anyway? Yo ass stay suspended. If it wasn't for social promotion, yo ass would still be in Pre-k nigga...Prolly day care out this bitch.

Soft Eyes [4.2][edit]

Carcetti: I still wake up white in a city that ain't.

Bunk: Better to be lucky than to be good.

Clay: You think I have time to ask a man why he giving me money? Or where he gets his money from? I'll take any motherfucker's money if he givin' it away!

Namond: Shit, I'll take any motherfucker's money if he givin' it away!

Home Rooms [4.3][edit]

Namond: I love the first day, man. Everybody all friendly an' shit.

Omar: How you expect to run with the wolves come night, when you spend all day sparring wit' the puppies?

Omar: It ain't what you takin', it's who you takin' it from.

Slim Charles: Yeah, now, well, the thing about the old days: they the old days.

Refugees [4.4][edit]

Security Guard: You think I dream of comin' to work up in this shit on a Sunday mornin'. Tell all my friends what a good job I got. I'm workin' to support a family man. Pretend I ain't talking to you. Pretend like I ain't even on this Earth. I know what you are, and I ain't steppin' to, but I am a man, and you just clip that shit and act like you don't even know I'm there.
Marlo: I don't.
Security Guard: I'm here. [Marlo moves closer] Look, I told you I wasn't steppin' to. I ain't disrespectin' you, son.
Marlo: You want it to be one way.
Security Guard: What?
Marlo: You want it to be one way.
Security Guard: Man, I don't...
Marlo: You want it to be one way.
Security Guard: Man, STOP! Stop, sayin' that.
Marlo: But it's the other way.

Cutty: [to the Deacon] You hang around and you can see me preach on some young-uns. Solemn left and sanctified right.

The Deacon: A good church man is always up in everybody's shit. It's how we do.

Proposition Joe: Business men, such as myself, does not believe in bad blood with a man such as yourself. Disturbs the sleep.
Omar: Oh, I bet it do.

Marlo: That's my money.
Omar: Man, money ain't got no owners. Only spenders.
...
Omar: [to Marlo] I like that ring too. [pause] Boy, you got me confused with a man who repeat himself.

Alliances [4.5][edit]

Norman: I'm a devious motherfucker once I get goin'.

Chris: [to Michael] Yo' we always in the market for a good soldier. We see one we like, we take care of his situation. Take him in, school him, make him family. And if you with us, you with us. Just like we be with you, All the way.

Dukie: There ain't no special dead. There's just dead.

Lester: Remember when I was a cadet, I was up here on a cadaver search. Instructor gets on the radio to say "We're looking for one body in particular. If you go grabbing every one you see, we'll be here all day."

Margin of Error [4.6][edit]

Carcetti: Did you vote for me Norman?
Norman: [laughing] The sanctity of the voting booth is a cornerstone of American democracy.

Norman: A vote's a vote, and I never throw one back.

Clay: Politics is a good thing, partner.
Carcetti: That's a minority opinion.

Unto Others [4.7][edit]

Prez: Trick them into thinking they aren't learning, and they do.

Norris: You know what we use the polygraph for? Leverage. To get them in here and fuck with them.
Kima: No wonder this shit's inadmissible.

Omar: I've got a bounty on my head man. Five figures! If I'd known I'd be sharing quarters with all these boys - I'd probably wouldn't have robbed so many of them.
Bunk: Aww, yeah, that golden rule.

Omar: A man gotta have a code.

Omar: [in a lockup room] Come on now, when have you ever known me to out my gun on someone thats not in the game?
Bunk: [laughing] Omar...

Corner Boys [4.8][edit]

Namond: We do the same thing as y’all. ‘Cept when we do it, it’s "Oh, my God, these kids is animals!" Like it’s the end of the world comin’. Man, that’s bullshit, aight? This is like, what’s it, hypocrite--hypocritical.
Zenobia: We got our thing, but it's just part of the big thing.

Snoop: Let us pray. Here we lay a couple New York boys who came too far south for their own fuckin' good. Where ya fuckin' Yankee pride at now, fuckin' bitches? Let's get the fuck outta here.

Norman: Did you hear that naked ass appeal to racial solidarity? I'd like to kick his pale entitled ass.

Marlo: [to Herc] But you know cameras. Kinda like pigeons in the storm. You know what I'm saying? Sometimes they come back, sometimes... but I'll keep an ear out on it.

Know Your Place [4.9][edit]

Michael: Thought maybe I could get with Chris... I--I've got a problem I can't bring to no one else.

Omar: [as he is leaving prison] You my ride?
Bunk: I'm your mother fucking savior is what I am.

Carver: I like to think that until the handcuffs actually fit, there's still talking to be done.

Proposition Joe (To Andre) You know the problem with these here machines? They too cheap to begin with. Some people think for what it's worth to fix it, make the shit work right, you might as well dump 'em and get another.

Rawls: Mr. Mayor, about Ervin — if you don't mind me asking — why keep him as a puppet commissioner when you can just fire the guy?
[Carcetti & Norman look at each other]
Norman: We mind you asking.

Omar: Man gotta live what he know, right?

Misgivings [4.10][edit]

Colvin: You put a textbook in front of these kids, put a problem on the blackboard, teach them every problem in some statewide test, it won't matter. None of it. 'Cause they're not learning for our world; they're learning for theirs. They know exactly what it is they're training for and what it is everyone expects them to be. It's not about you or us or the test or the system. It's what they expect of themselves. Every single one of them know they're headed back to the corners. Their brothers and sisters, shit, their parents. They came through these same classrooms. We pretended to teach them, they pretended to learn and where'd they end up? Same damn corners. They're not fools, these kids. They don't know our world but they know their own. They see right through us.

Namond: Bunny?
Colvin: Only my friends call me Bunny.
Namond: Yeah, but why?
Colvin: You don't need to know. And if you tell anybody, I'll cut your balls off.

Snoop: [after Chris beats a man to death] Damn... you ain't even wait to get the motherfucker in the house!

Carver: The young man seems to think highly of you boss. He invoked your name with a measure of respect.
Colvin: It wasn't but a few weeks ago when I was in a room with him being called everything but a child of God. "Mr. Colvin sir. Fuck you."
Namond: Yo' at least I said mister.

Bodie: [about Marlo] He's a cold motherfucker.
Poot: It's a cold world Bodie.
Bodie: Thought you said it was getting warmer.
Poot: The world goin' one way, people another yo'.

A New Day [4.11][edit]

Omar: Now Joe, you been so busy being devious, you done messed around and got yourself caught up in a web.

Bunk: The Bunk is strictly a suit-and-tie motherfucker.

Daniels: Detective Freamon, you have carte blanche in picking your squad. In fact, you can pick your supervisor, for all I care. Motherfucker, as far as I'm concerned, you are the Major Crimes Unit. It's morning in Baltimore, Lester. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Proposition Joe: [after making a deal with Omar] Omar on the one side holding a spade. And maybe Marlo to the other holding a shovel. And just at this moment... I managed to crawl out my own damn grave. No way do I crawl back in.

Norman: A wise man does not burn his bridges until he first knows he can part the waters.

That's Got His Own [4.12][edit]

Cheese: Omar had one of them commando squads with him, man. I mean, he had this one ho' pulling guns out her pussy, unc! The shit was unseemly, man.

Landsman: [to Lester] We do not go looking for bodies. Especially moldering fucking John Does!

Carver: [about Namond] His mother... [shakes head]
Colvin: Lovely lady. What she say?
Carver: "Put that bitch in baby booking where he belong. Let him learn something."

Carver: I'm sorry, son. I'm gonna talk to Social Services. We'll get you some help. Randy.
[Carver tries to put his hand on Randy's shoulder, but Randy pushes him away]
[After sitting silently for a little while, Carver gets up and starts to walk away]
Randy: [as Carver walks away] You gonn' help, huh? You gonna look out for me? You gonna look out for me, Sergeant Carver? You mean it? You gonna look out for me? You promise?! You got my back, huh?!

Final Grades [4.13][edit]

Wee-Bey: [To De'Londa] Remember who the fuck you talking to right here. Remember who I am. My word is still my word. In here, in Baltimore, in any place you can think of calling home, it'll be my word that finds you. You still got me. We'll get by. But you gonn' let go of that boy. Bet that.

Dr David Parenti: We get the grant, we study the problem, we propose solutions. If they listen, they listen. If they don't, it still makes for great research. What we publish on this is gonna get a lot of attention.
Colvin: From who?
Dr David Parenti: From other researchers, academics.
Colvin: Academics?! What, they gonn' study your study? [chuckles and shakes head] When do this shit change?

Kima: Bubs got some problems, but insincerity ain't one of them.
Walon: Shame is some tricky shit, ain't it? Makes you feel like you want to change, and then beats you back down when you think you can't.

Bodie: Come on with it, motherfuckers! I don't give a FUCK! [shoots at Chris] I'm right here! [shoots at Snoop] You ain't puttin' me in one of those empty-ass houses neither!

Chris: [To Michael, after he kills someone for the first time] You can look him in the eye now. It don't matter who he is, or what he's done, you can look him right in the eye.

Season 5[edit]

More With Less [5.01][edit]

Bunk: He’s tellin’ it like a bitch. We even went to Mickey D’s for him because he was so motherfuckin’ helpful. Two quarterpounders. Big fries. MacDonaldland cookies. Dr. Pepper... That’s how your boy roll, right?

Bunk: The bigger the lie, the more they believe.

Daniels: So, one thieving politician trumps twenty-two bodies? Good to know.

McNulty: Wonder what it feels like to work in a real fuckin' police department.

Unconfirmed Reports [5.02][edit]

Snoop: Back to business, I say.
Chris: She ain't had any work in a few months. She's somewhat eager.
Snoop: God damn, right? Too much fuckin' talkin' around here lately, man. Niggas need to shut the fuck up, for real.

Chris: Y'all gonna pop out and pop off. Drop who you can.
O-Dog: Yo, let's go all west coast with this.
Snoop: [laughing] Say what?
O-Dog: Drive-by. That's how they do. Drop a motherfucker and not slow down. Like Boyz n the Hood. Shit was tight, remember?

Snoop: Fuck them west coast niggas. 'Cuz in B-more, we aim to hit a nigga, ya heard.

Not For Attribution [5.03][edit]

Bunk: You're going to jail behind this shit. Yes, you are. You know what they do to police in jail? Pretty police like yourself? Motherfucker, we have kids. Houses. Car payments. Furniture--Jimmy, I just bought brand new lawn chairs and a glass patio table. Now you don't buy no shit like that if you planning to lose your job and go to prison. You won't even get past the ME.
McNulty: Watch me.
Bunk: You're dumpin' murders on us that we can't solve, you're fucking the squad's clearance rate.
McNulty: Fuck the fucking numbers already! The fucking numbers destroyed this fucking department. Landsman and his clearance rate can suck a hairy asshole.
Bunk: Marlo ain't worth it, man. Nobody is.
McNulty: Marlo's an asshole. He does not get to win. WE get to win!

Norman: Daniels isn't ready. He's only been colonel for a year.
Carcetti: A year will do in a pinch. You float it with one of your bunkies on Calvert Street. See how it plays.
Norman: Burrell reads that, he'll shit melons.
Carcetti: I fucking hope so. It's Baltimore. No one lives forever.

Michael: Everything so serious now.

Proposition Joe: [on Marlo] It ain't easy civilizin' this motherfucker.

Butchie: Ain't no other way. I can see that.

Transitions [5.04][edit]

Proposition Joe: Marlo is Marlo, man. He weren't the one that put me in this trick bag. The motherfucker who snuggled up and whispered in Marlo's ear did that.

The Greek: The young man makes a point. You're right. These are volatile times. It is not unreasonable to carry insurance. Who can say what tomorrow will show us?

Burrell: You might think it'll be different... when you sit here... but it won't. You will eat their shit. Daniels, too, when he gets here.

Proposition Joe: I treated you like a son.
Marlo: I wasn't made to play the son.
...
Proposition Joe: Proposition, then--I just step out the way. You never hear from me again. I just disappear.
Marlo: Joe, you'd be up into mischief in no time. Truth is, you wouldn't be able to change up any more than me.

Omar: How you still alive yo'?
Donnie: They needed to send a message. (motions to Big Guy) Tell him.
Big Guy: They said 'Tell Omar he put his hand in the wrong pocket'.
Donnie: And you need to know, Marlo's dogs didn't let Butchie go easy.
Omar: Oh, I'm gon' work them. Sweet Jesus, I'm gon' work them.
Donnie: I want in.
Omar: Nah this one on me, yo'.
Donnie: But you don't know them people.
(Donnie tosses Omar a shotgun)

React Quotes [5.05][edit]

Marlo: Man, I don't talk on no cell phones.
Spiros: Here. To call for lunch, you can talk. To call your girl, you can talk. To call your lawyer even, you can talk--the law says that is between you and the lawyer. Alright? To find out what movie is playing down the street, you can talk. All of that is good because all of that tells them... there is nothing good to hear.

Cutty: I guess what I'm tryin' to say is... not everything comes down to how you carry it in the street. I mean, it do come down to that if you gonna be in the street. But that ain't the only way to be.
Dukie: Round here it is.
Cutty: Yeah. Round here it is. World is bigger than that, at least, that's what they tell me.
Dukie: Like... how do you get from here to the rest of the world?
Cutty: I wish I knew.

Gus: Just because they're in the street doesn't mean they lack opinions.
Templeton: Where am I going to find homeless people?
Gus: Not at home, I imagine.

Bunk: You've lost your fucking mind, Jimmy. Look at you. Half-lit every third night, dead drunk every second. Nut deep in random pussy. What little time you are sober and limp-dicked, you're working murders that don't even exist!

Walon: You're disappointed. Shit, this ain't about the bug, is it? This is you trying to make the past be everything, mean everything. You don't even want to think about the here and now. Sorry, Bubs. Shame ain't worth as much as you think. Let it go.

McNulty: Explain it to me again, because I tell ya, I think I'm a smart guy, but this shit makes my head hurt.
Freeman: They think they're up on your killer's cellphone, but they'll never catch a call because this goes nowhere. And meanwhile, using the same court authorization, I'm up on the live wire down at the detail office, listening to Marlo. Every day, you file office and court reports saying there's been no further contac with the serial killer. I file exactly nothing, but use what I hear to rig the case on our real target. - And when it goes to court -
McNulty: There's no mention of a wiretap - It's all based on a C.I.

The Dickensian Aspect [5.06][edit]

Bunk: I'm a murder police. I work murders. I don't fuck with no make-believe. I don't jerk shit around. I catch a murder, and I work it.

Freamon: When they took us off Marlo this last time, when they said they couldn't pay for further investigation... I regarded that decision as illegitimate.
Sydnor: Illegitimate?
Freamon: And so... I'm responding in kind. I'm going to press a case against Marlo Stanfield without regard to the usual rules. I'm running an illegal wiretap on Marlo Stanfield's cellphone.
Sydnor: Fuck. Lester?
Freamon: If you have a problem with this, I understand completely, and I urge you to get as far fucking away from me as you can.

Omar: Now you make sure you tell old Marlo I burned the money. 'Cause it ain't about that paper. It's about me hurtin' his people and messin' with his world. Tell that boy he ain't man enough to come down to the street with Omar. You tell him that!

Bunk: You called the reporter huh?
McNulty: No, actually. That asshole's making up his own shit. Brass called a press conference for this afternoon. They'll be shovellin' so much money at my bullshit it'll make your head spin.

Marlo: [after finding out Omar jumped from a 5th floor balcony] Don't seem possible.
Chris: It don't.
Marlo: That's some Spiderman shit there. We missed our shot. Now he goin' be at us.

Took [5.07][edit]

Rupert Bond: What the fuck just happened?
Rhonda: Whatever it is, they don't teach it in law school.

Phelan: Gets himself elected on law and order ticket, crime doesn't go down much, and then uh, couple o' weeks before he starts gearing up for Governor, some wing-nut starts killin' people, takin' photographs, sendin' 'em to the newspaper. You know something, you might wanna check up on the governor's alibi's.

Clarifications [5.08][edit]

Terry Hanning: A lie ain't a side of a story. It's just a lie.

Beadie: All the guys at the bar, Jimmy, all the girls; they don't show up at your wake. Not because they don't like you. But because, they never knew your last name. Then a month later, someone tells them, "Oh, Jimmy died." "Jimmy who?" "Jimmy the Cop." "Ohhh," they say, "him". And all the people on the job, all those people you spent all the hours in the radio cars with, the guys with their feet up on the desk, tellin' stories, who shorted you on your food runs, who signed your overtime slips. In the end, they're not gonna be there either. Family, that's it. Family, and if you're lucky, one or two friends who are the same as family. That's all the best of us get. Everything else is just...

McNulty: You start to tell the story, you think you're the hero, and then when you get done talking...

McNulty: You miss what you had though?
Kima: I still got too much dog in me to be settled like that.

Omar: You workin' a Stanfield corner, which means you workin' for a straight up punk! Ya' feel me? I'm out here in these streets every day, me and my lonesome, and where he at? Huh? A'yo, ya'll put it in his ear, Marlo Stanfield is not a man for this town, ya' digg?

Rawls: Bad news gentlemen, as we're actually gonna have to catch this motherfucker. Good news is that our Mayor finally needs a police department more than he needs a school system.

Late Editions [5.09][edit]

Landsman: [To McNulty] From everything we've given you, fire should be shootin' outta your ass. But there you sit, like a genital wart.

Carcetti: You know, I always wanted to say how sorry I am about how things turned out. There wasn't anything I could have done with your experiment in the Western District, there wasn't anything that anyone could have done with that.
Colvin: Yeah, well, I guess, Mr. Mayor, there's nothing to be done.

Bubbles: Ain't no shame in holdin' on to grief, as long as you make room for other things too.

Michael: Why? What I do wrong?
Snoop: Chris locked up behind somethin' he done for you. And you downtown wit' the police.
Michael: I ain't say a word.
Snoop: Yeah, that's what you say. But it's how you carry yourself. Always apart. Always aksin', "Why?". When you should be doin' what you're told. You was never one of us. And you never could be [...] How my hair look, Mike?
Michael: You look good girl. [gunshot]

Chris: Omar tried calling you out by name, but shit, no one --
Marlo: What he say about me?
Chris: Nothing, man. Just talking shit.
Marlo: He used my name? In the street?
[Pause]
Marlo: Talk, motherfucker!
Monk: He just, you know, say that you need to step to and that . . . I don't know. He just running his mouth some.
Marlo: He call me a punk?
Chris: It was bullshit, man. You ain't need that on your mind.
Marlo: What the fuck you know about what I need on my mind, motherfucker? My name was on the street? When we bounce from this shit here, y'all going to go down on them corners and let the people know: Word did not get back to me. Let them know Marlo step to any motherfucker -- Omar, Barksdale, whoever. My name is my name!

-30- [5.10][edit]

(NOTE to editors: This episode is an hour and a half long)

Norman: I wished I was still at the newspaper so I could write on this mess. It's too fucking good.

Prez: I can do it, if that's what you want. And I don't even care about the money. But understand I'm gonna go down to B.C.C.C. in a few days and find out if you're enrolled. And if you are, I'm gonna say, 'Great. Duquan can come past with his certificate when he gets it and we're still friends. And he can still rely on me.' But if you aren't enrolled, then... well, I imagine I'm not gonna see you again, am I?

Gus: You ever notice that the guys who do that, the Blairs, the Glasses, the Kelleys, they all start with something small, you know. Just a little quote that they clean up. And then it's a whole anecdote. And pretty soon, they're seeing some amazing shit. They're the lucky ones who just happen to be standing on the right street corner in Tel Aviv when the pizza joint blows up and the human head rolls down the street with the eyes still blinking!
Klebanow: The pictures were sent to him. The police have confirmed...
Gus: It always starts with something true, something confirmed.

Fat Face Rick: Shit, nigga, we was good when your uncle had it. You had to go ahead and put up with Marlo...
[Cheese pulls out a gun]
Cheese: See that? See now, that's just the wrong way to look at it. 'Cause Joe had his time and Omar put an end to that. Then Marlo had his time, short as it was, and the police put an end to that. And now, motherfucker, it's our time. Mines and yours. But instead of just shutting up and kicking in, you gon' stand there, crying that back in the day shit.
Fat Face Rick: Cheese...
Cheese: There ain't no back in the day, nigga! Ain't no nostalgia to this shit here. There's just the street, the game, and what happen here today.
Fat Face Rick: You right.
Cheese: When it was my uncle, I was with my uncle. When it was Marlo, I was with him. But now, nigga--
[Slim Charles shoots Cheese in the head]
Vinson: What the fuck you do that for?! Now we short the nine!
Slim Charles: That was for Joe.
Vinson: This sentimental motherfucker just cost us money.

McNulty: You lying motherfucker, you're as full of shit as I am. And you've got to live with it and play it out as far as it goes, right? Trapped in the same lie. Only difference is, I know why I did it. But fuck if I can figure out what it gets you in the end. But, hey, I'm not part of your tribe.
Templeton: You're not serious?
McNulty: No, no, I'm a fucking joke. And so are you.

Landsman: [At McNulty's "wake"] He was natural po-lice. Yes, he was. And I don't say that about many people. Even when they're out here on the felt. I don't give that one up unless it happens to be true. Natural po-lice. ... [pretends to choke up] ... But, Christ, what an asshole!
...
Landsman: Jimmy, I say this seriously. If I was laying there dead on some Baltimore street corner, I'd want you standing over me, catching the case. Because, brother, when you were good, you were the best we had.
Bunk: Shit, if you were lying there dead on some corner, it probably was Jimmy that done ya.

Daniels: I'll swallow a lie when I have to; I've swallowed a few big ones lately. But the stat games? That lie? It's what ruined this department. Shining up shit and calling it gold so majors become colonels and mayors become governors. Pretending to do policework while one generation fucking trains the next how not to do the job. And then-[catches himself, and sighs] I looked Carcetti in the eye, I shook his hand, I asked him if he was for real. Well, this is the lie I can't live with.

(final line of the series)
McNulty: Let's go home.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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