Lt. Columbo: There once was an old man from Lyme who married three wives at a time. When asked "Why a third?" he replied, "One's absurd, and two of 'em, sir, is a crime."
Lt. Columbo: A rare old bird is the pelican. His bill holds more than his belly can. He can take in his beak enough food for a week. I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!
Joe Devlin: [to Columbo] Japan sends televisions. Ireland sends whiskey. D'you care for a nip?
Lt. Columbo: There once was a fella named Finnegan, who escaped from a jail so to sin again. He broke laws by the dozen, even stole from his cousin, so the jail he broke outta he's in again.
Joe Devlin: Justice for the many. Justice for the free. Let each man be paid in full. That's just enough for me.
Joe Devlin: Here's to friendship, ripe and long. Here's to voices raised in song. Here's to a long and thirsty night. Here's to the stuff that makes it right.
Joe Devlin: The limerick is furtive and mean. You must keep her in close quarantine, Or she sneaks to the slums, And promptly becomes, Disorderly, drunk and obscene.
Joe Devlin: You see, at a very early age I decided to be me own master and the servant of no one, and that left two promising possibilities: either to be a king or a poet. Now, as Ireland had her fill of kings, I clearly saw I had to educate meself to a way of words, so I took to drink immediately, fell in love at every opportunity, and avoided the schoolroom like the plague. I advise you to do the same.
Lt. Columbo: [Shocked at the high price of a book] $55 for a book? I could have my car fixed for that.
Lt. Columbo: I couldn't resist trying your pinball machine. I guess I tried a little too hard, but that's an old problem with me, sir. The way I keep steering and pushing and pulling at things, someday the whole sky is gonna light up, and it's gonna say "tilt," and that's gonna be the end of the world.
Joe Devlin: Do you know these lines, Lieutenant? They're by Lewis Carroll: "You can charge me with murder, or want of sense - we are all of us weak at times - but the slightest approach to a false pretense was never among my crimes."
Joe Devlin: A famous Irish philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once wrote that the essence of tragedy isn't the conflicts between right and wrong - it's the conflicts of right and right.