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"The West Wing" Pilot (TV Episode 1999) Poster

(TV Series)

(1999)

Quotes

Sam Seaborn: Ms. O'Brien, I understand your feelings, but please believe me when I tell you that I am a nice guy having a bad day. I just found out the Times is publishing a poll that says that a considerable portion of Americans feel that the White House has lost energy and focus. A perception that is not likely to be altered by the video footage of the President riding his bicycle into a tree. As we speak, the Coast Guard are fishing Cubans out of the Atlantic Ocean, while the governor of Florida wants to blockade the port of Miami. A good friend of mine is about to get fired for going on television and making sense. And it turns out that I accidentally slept with a prostitute last night. Now, would you please in the name of compassion tell me which one of those kids is my boss's daughter?

Mallory O'Brian: That would be me.

Sam Seaborn: You.

Mallory O'Brian: Yes.

Sam Seaborn: Leo's daughter's fourth grade class.

Mallory O'Brian: Yes.

Sam Seaborn: Well, this is bad on so many levels.

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[discussing a large group of Cubans currently floating from Havana to Miami on rafts]

Leo McGarry: How many are there?

Josh Lyman: We don't know.

Leo McGarry: What time exactly did they leave?

Josh Lyman: We don't know.

Leo McGarry: Do we know when they get here?

Josh Lyman: No.

Leo McGarry: True or false: If I were to stand on high ground in Key West with a good pair of binoculars, I'd be as informed as I am right now.

Josh Lyman: That's true.

Leo McGarry: The Intelligence budget's money well spent.

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Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.

Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend; he's my boss. It's not his name, it's his title.

Laurie: POTUS?

Sam Seaborn: President of the United States. I'll call ya.

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John Van Dyke: If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn't that too high a price to pay for free speech?

President Josiah Bartlet: No.

John Van Dyke: Really?

President Josiah Bartlet: On the other hand, I think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.

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Leo McGarry: [on the phone with the New York Times] 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how...

C.J. Cregg: Leo.

Leo McGarry: They hang up on me every time.

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Leo McGarry: Margaret, please call the editor of the New York Times crossword and tell him that Khaddafi is spelled with an H and two D's and isn't a seven-letter word for anything.

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[talking about the President's bike accident]

Donna Moss: And what was the cause of the accident?

Leo McGarry: What are you, from State Farm?

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Toby Ziegler: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle series L1011. It came off the line 20 months ago. It carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system. Are you telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

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Mallory O'Brian: I'm sorry to be rude, but are you a moron?

Sam Seaborn: In this particular area, yes.

Mallory O'Brian: The 18th president was Ulysses S. Grant and the Roosevelt Room was named for Theodore.

Sam Seaborn: Really?

Mallory O'Brian: There's like a six-foot painting on the wall of Teddy Roosevelt.

Sam Seaborn: I should have put two and two together.

Mallory O'Brian: Yes.

Sam Seaborn: The thing is while there really are a great many things on which I can speak with authority, I'm not good at talking about the White House.

Mallory O'Brian: You're the White House Deputy Communications Director and you're not good at talking about the White House?

Sam Seaborn: Ironic, isn't it?

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[after the President is injured in a bike accident]

Mrs. Landingham: Oh, Mr. McGarry, have they done an X-ray?

Leo McGarry: Yup.

Mrs. Landingham: Is anything broken?

Leo McGarry: A four-thousand-dollar "Lynex Titanium" touring bike that I swore I'd never lend anyone.

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Leo McGarry: Luther, ballpark, one year from today, where's the Dow?

Economist #1: Tremendous. Up a thousand.

Leo McGarry: Fred, one year from today?

Economist #2: Not good. Down a thousand.

Leo McGarry: A year from today at least one of you's gonna look pretty stupid.

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Toby Ziegler: You think the United States is under attack from 1,200 Cubans in rowboats?

Sam Seaborn: I'm not saying I don't like our chances.

Toby Ziegler: Mind-boggling to me we ever won an election.

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[President Bartlet's first line]

President Josiah Bartlet: "I am the Lord your God, thou shalt worship no other god before me." Boy, those were the days, huh?

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President Josiah Bartlet: Mrs. Landingham, what's next?

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Toby Ziegler: I agree with Josh and I agree with C.J. and I agree with Sam. And you know how that makes me crazy...

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President Josiah Bartlet: May I have some coffee, Mr. Louis? Al, how many times have I asked you to denounce the practices of a fringe group that calls itself the Lambs of God?

Rev. Al Caldwell: Sir, that's not up to me.

President Josiah Bartlet: Crap! It is up to you, Al. You know, my wife Abby, she never wants me to do anything when I'm upset.

[takes coffee]

President Josiah Bartlet: Thank you, Mr. Louis. Twenty-eight years ago, I came home from a very bad day at the statehouse, I tell Abby I'm going out for a drive. I get in the station wagon, put it in reverse, and pulled out of the garage full speed. Except, I forgot to open the garage door! Abby told me not to drive while I was upset, and she was right. She was right yesterday when she told me not to get on that damned bicycle while I was upset, but I did it anyway. And I guess I was just about as angry as I've ever been in my life. Seems my granddaughter Annie had given an interview to one of those teen magazines, and somewhere between movie stars and make-up tips, she talked about her feelings on a woman's right to choose. Now Annie, all of twelve, has always had a good head on her shoulders, and I like it when she uses it. So I couldn't understand it when her mother called me in tears yesterday. I said "Elizabeth, what's wrong?" She said "It's Annie." Now, I love my family, and I've read my Bible from cover to cover, so I want you to tell me, from what part of Holy Scripture do you suppose the Lambs of God drew their divine inspiration when they sent my twelve-year-old granddaughter a Raggedy Anne Doll with a knife stuck through its throat?

[Faces Al Caldwell]

President Josiah Bartlet: You'll denounce these people, Al, you'll do it publicly, and until you do, you can all get your fat asses out of my White House. C.J., show these people out.

Mary Marsh: I believe we can find the door.

President Josiah Bartlet: Find it now.

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C.J. Cregg: Is there anything I can say other than the President rode his bicycle into a tree?

Leo McGarry: He hopes never to do it again.

C.J. Cregg: Seriously, they're laughing pretty hard.

Leo McGarry: He rode his bicycle into a tree, C.J., what do you want me - the President, while riding his bicycle on his vacation in Jackson Hole, came to a sudden arboreal stop.

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Agent #1: It's a nice morning, Mr. McGarry.

Leo McGarry: We'll take care of that in a hurry, won't we, Mike?

Agent #1: Yes sir.

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Josh Lyman: Look, I already took Leo's morning beating. What do you want from me?

Toby Ziegler: I want you to keep your job.

Josh Lyman: How?

Toby Ziegler: I'm gonna make a suggestion, which might help you out, but I don't want this gesture to be mistaken for an indication that I like you.

Josh Lyman: I understand.

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John Van Dyke: The First Commandment says "Honor thy father."

Toby Ziegler: No it doesn't.

Josh Lyman: Toby...

Toby Ziegler: It doesn't!

Josh Lyman: Listen...

Toby Ziegler: No! If I'm going to make you sit through this preposterous exercise, we're going to get the names of the damn commandments right.

Mary Marsh: Okay. Here we go.

Toby Ziegler: "Honor thy father" is the Third Commandment.

John Van Dyke: Then what's the First Commandment?

President Josiah Bartlet: "I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt worship no other god before me." Boy, those were the days, huh?

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Leo McGarry: He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham, your president's a geek.

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Josh Lyman: Lady, the god you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud.

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Billy: Just tell me who to call.

Sam Seaborn: Well, you could call 1-800-BITE-ME

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[first line, offscreen]

Bartender: Two Absolut martinis up, another Dewars rocks.

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[Sam's first line]

Sam Seaborn: I don't think we're going to run the table, if that's what you're asking.

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[Leo's first line]

Leo McGarry: 17 across is wrong, it's just wrong. Do you believe that, Ruth?

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[C.J.'s first line]

C.J. Cregg: You can have a normal life. You'd be amazed at how normal I can be, See, it's all about budgeting your time. This time, this hour - this is my time. 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. I can work out, as you see. I can think about personal matters. I can... meet an interesting man. The trick is...

[C.J.'s pager goes off]

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[Josh's first line]

Josh Lyman: Yeah, this is Josh Lyman. What's going on?

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[Toby's first line]

Toby Ziegler: I'm just about done.

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[Donna's first line]

Donna Moss: Morning, Leo.

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[Mrs. Landingham's first line]

Mrs. Landingham: Oh, Mr. McGarry, have they done an X-ray?

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[Mandy's first line]

Mandy Hampton: Bruce? Bruce? Bruce? I may have just gotten back into the business this morning, but I didn't come by way of a turnip truck, you know what I'm saying?

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President Josiah Bartlet: With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And those that didn't die want a better life. And they want it here. Talk about impressive. My point is this: break's over.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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