Jack O'Donnell: If we wanted applause, we would have joined the circus.
Lester Siegel: It's got horses in it, it's a Western.
Lester Siegel: You're worried about the Ayatollah? Try the WGA.
Lester Siegel: The saying goes, "What starts in farce ends in tragedy."
John Chambers: No, it's the other way around.
Lester Siegel: Who said that exactly?
John Chambers: Marx.
Lester Siegel: Groucho said that?
Lester Siegel: Argo fuck yourself.
John Chambers: Look, if you're going to do this, you're going to do this... You can't build cover stories around a movie that doesn't exist. You need a script, you need a producer.
John Chambers: [to Tony Mendez] You need somebody who's a somebody to put their name on it. Somebody respectable. With credits. Who you can trust with classified information. Who will produce a fake movie. For free.
Jack O'Donnell: [to Tony Mendez] The whole country is watching you, they just don't know it
[repeated line]: Argo fuck yourself!
Lester Siegel: If I'm going to make a fake movies, it's going to be a fake hit.
John Chambers: [after hearing of the plan to get the hostages out] So you want to come to Hollywood, act like a big shot...
Tony Mendez: Yeah.
John Chambers: ...without actually doing anything?
Tony Mendez: Yeah.
John Chambers: [smiles] You'll fit right in!
Tony Mendez: [after quizzing the hostages on their fake bios and the one hostage paused] Shoot him, he's an American spy!
Lester Siegel: Bad news, bad news. Even when it's good news, it's bad news. John Wayne in the ground 6 months and this is what is left of America.
Tony Mendez: We are responsible for these people.
Jack O'Donnell: What we are is required to follow orders.
Jack O'Donnell: Carter said you were a great American.
Tony Mendez: A great American what?
Jack O'Donnell: He didn't say.
Jack O'Donnell: Brace yourself; it's like talking to those two old fucks from The Muppets.
Tony Mendez: This is the best bad idea we have, sir.
Lester Siegel: We're gonna need a script.
Tony Mendez: Can I come in?
Tony Mendez: You really know Warren Beatty?
Lester Siegel: Yes, I do. I took a leak next to him at a Golden Globes party once.
Jack O'Donnell: The president's shitting bricks so high he can build the pyramids himself.
Tony Mendez: Sir, exfils are like abortions. You don't wanna need one. But when you do, you don't do it yourself.
Lester Siegel: Okay, you got 6 people hiding out in a town of what, 4 million people, all of whom chant "death to America" all the livelong day. You want to set up a movie in a week. You want to lie to Hollywood, a town where everybody lies for a living. Then you're gonna sneak 007 over here into a country that wants CIA blood on their breakfast cereal, and you're gonna walk the Brady Bunch out of the most watched city in the world.
Tony Mendez: Past about a hundred militia at the airport. That's right.
Lester Siegel: Right. Look, I gotta tell you. We did suicide missions in the army that had better odds than this.
Max Klein: You want me to be honest with you, Les?
Lester Siegel: No, I would like you to bullshit me, Max.
Joe Stafford: You really believe your little story's gonna make a difference when there's a gun to our heads?
Tony Mendez: I think my story's the only thing between you and a gun to your head.
Alan B. Golacinski: Don't fucking shoot anybody. You don't wanna be the son of a bitch who started a war. They need an hour to burn the classified. I need you to hold. If you shoot one person, they're gonna kill every single one of us in here.
Landon Butler: They're claiming the embassy was a den of espionage.
Hamilton Jordan: We wish it was a fuckin' den of espionage. CI's got three people over there, they don't see a revolution coming? Call it something other than intelligence.