Lionel Jefferson
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Quotes for
Lionel Jefferson (Character)
from "The Jeffersons" (1975)

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"All in the Family: Gloria Has a Belly Full (#1.6)" (1971)
Archie Bunker: How do youse people manage to store things in them tiny bathrooms?
Lionel Jefferson: Well, we have this little cabinet under the table and we shove our things into it. So, Mr. Bunker, why don't you shove yours.
Archie Bunker: You know, a guy could take that two ways.
Mike Stivic: Knowing Lionel, I'm sure he only meant it one way.

Archie Bunker: [Lionel has brought over some food] Let me guess: pork chops?
Lionel Jefferson: Uh yeah, we was gonna bring some watermelon too, but they's out of season.

"The Jeffersons: Florence's Problem (#2.18)" (1976)
George Jefferson: [reading Florence's letter] Dear Mrs. Jefferson, thank you for everything. Goodbye. Love, Florence.
Lionel Jefferson: That's strange, it almost sounds like a suicide note.
George Jefferson: Get out of here, everybody knows black folks don't commit suicide.
Louise Jefferson: Suicide!

George Jefferson: We only hired you because nobody else wanted you!
Florence Johnston: You mean I only took the job because no one else would!
George Jefferson: We only let you KEEP the job because we love you!
Florence Johnston: You what?
Lionel Jefferson: Don't you see? You're more than just a maid, you're like one of the family.
Florence Johnston: Lord, I thought black people only heard that one in white homes.

"All in the Family: Lionel Steps Out (#3.5)" (1972)
Archie Bunker: Let's cut the funnies out, huh. This is very serious. You know what I'm saying to you. I'm saying, that youse guys ought to stick with yourselves.
Lionel Jefferson: You mean guys ought to stay with guys?
Archie Bunker: You know what I'm talking about Lionel. I'm saying that whites ought to stay with whites aaand, coloreds ought to stay with coloreds.
Lionel Jefferson: Look Mr. Bunker. Its been a year and a half now since we moved into this neighborhood. I was just 19 then and I got a big kick out of you and me for a long time. But I'm pushing 21 now and I'm not getting that big a kick out of it anymore.
Archie Bunker: Alright Lionel, put lid on all of that.
Lionel Jefferson: No, no, wait, I'm not finished, now... now, we've been friends and we can go on being friends. But when it comes to black and white and all the other wonderful thoughts you have in between... put a lid on that Archie.

Archie Bunker: I have you into my house, there, you break bread with me and then you go and do a thing like this, thank you very much, Lionel.
Lionel Jefferson: You mean me taking out Linda?
Archie Bunker: Yes.
Lionel Jefferson: Oh you don't have to thank me for that, Mr. Bunker. I'd do it again but she's leaving tomorrow.
Archie Bunker: Let's cut the funnies. You know what I'm saying to you. I'm saying that youse guys ought to stick with yourselves.
Lionel Jefferson: You mean guys ought to stay with guys?

"The Jeffersons: George's Skeleton (#1.6)" (1975)
George Jefferson: I never told you this before because I didn't want to lose your respect, but, when I was 15 years old, I was sent to jail.
Louise Jefferson: You mean reformatory.
George Jefferson: Reformatory, jail, what's the difference? I was sent up for robbery.
Louise Jefferson: Shoplifting.
George Jefferson: How do you know?
Louise Jefferson: Well George, I've known about it for years.
Lionel Jefferson: Yeah, me too, Pop.
George Jefferson: What? Well how did you know? Who told you?
Louise Jefferson: What's the difference? It's all in the past.
George Jefferson: Because I want to know, I want to know who the dirty stool pigeon was that told you.
Louise Jefferson: Your mother.
George Jefferson: MAMA dropped a dime on ME?
Louise Jefferson: She wanted to be sure I knew the real reason you did it, to get her a Christmas present.

"All in the Family: Lionel's Engagement (#4.20)" (1974)
Louise Jefferson: George, I thought you said you like Jenny?
George Jefferson: That's before I met him!
Lionel Jefferson: Wait now you don't even know him...
George Jefferson: I don't wanna know him! I don't want no white in-laws in my family.
Lionel Jefferson: They're gonna be my in-laws, not yours!
George Jefferson: But think son, think! What about the children, what're they gonna be?
Lionel Jefferson: Well, boys and girls I hope!

"All in the Family: The Hot Watch (#3.19)" (1973)
[repeated line]
Lionel Jefferson: Don't condemn a whole group of people, for the actions of a few.

"All in the Family: Meet the Bunkers (#1.1)" (1971)
Lionel Jefferson: [Archie comments on the three-piece suit he's wearing] I also got a yellow one with stripes and a purple one with checks for when I'm with MY people.

"All in the Family: Gloria Discovers Women's Lib (#1.11)" (1971)
Archie Bunker: Hey, do youse people believe in women's liberation?
Lionel Jefferson: Actually, we's still working on just plain liberation.

"All in the Family: Lionel Moves Into the Neighborhood (#1.8)" (1971)
Archie: [Archie is explaining to Lionel why blacks shouldn't move into the neighborhood] They ain't gonna be happy here. What are they gonna do? What are they gonna do for recreation? There ain't a crap game or a pool hall in the whole neighborhood. There ain't a chicken shack or a rib joint within miles.
Lionel Jefferson: No ribs? Lawd All Mighty, what is we gonna do?

"All in the Family: Lionel the Live-In (#5.5)" (1974)
Archie Bunker: [Archie is trying to convince Lionel to honor his father's wishes to stop seeing his girlfriend, Jenny] Lionel, I was watching an old movie on TV the other night, and it kinda put me in mind of your situation with your old man.
Lionel Jefferson: Yeah, what movie is that?
Archie Bunker: The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson. It was about this Jewish guy who always wanted to pass as colored. Did you ever see that?
Lionel Jefferson: No, but it sounds like it was way ahead of its time.
Archie Bunker: Oh, it was. It was the first talkie. But anyway, in The Jazz Singer, there, this Jolson family, see there, they're very strictly religious kind of Jews, there. They're what you call the 'off the docks' Jews. They're the kind that start prayin' to God on Friday to get a two-day jump on the rest of us.
Lionel Jefferson: [tongue-in-cheek] Does it work, Mr Bunker?
Archie Bunker: Nooooo, no way. God don't listen to nuttin' 'til Sunday... Well, anyway, in this picture, see, old man Jolson is one of them, whaddayacall, cantors. That's a singin' guy that sings in the temple, there, see, and he wants his son to folly in his footprints. But the young Jolson, he don't wanna do that, see. He wants to go on passin' as colored, so he has a big argument with the old man, and he leaves home. The old man sings a Jewish song and dies. You get the point of this story?
Lionel Jefferson: [mock-seriously] You mean I shouldn't try to pass as colored?
Archie Bunker: [Archie continues trying to get Lionel to go back home, and Lionel continues to pretend to take him seriously] Lionel, Lionel, we just had a 'man-to-man' here. I told you that whole Jolson story. Didn't you learn nuttin' from that?
Lionel Jefferson: Yeah, if Pop don't lay off Jenny, then I ain't goin' home, and he's gonna sing a Jewish song and die.

"All in the Family: Sammy's Visit (#2.21)" (1972)
Gloria: I'm sorry, Mr. Davis, sometimes my father says the wrong things.
Sammy Davis Jr.: Yeah, I've noticed that.
Lionel Jefferson: But he's not a bad guy, Mr. Davis. I mean like, he'd never burn a cross on your lawn.
Sammy Davis Jr.: No, but if he saw one burning, he's liable to toast a marshmallow on it.