Tuned In

What Were the Best TV Lines of 2011?

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Continuing a tradition among TV critics on Twitter—and by “tradition,” I mean, “something we’ve done for the past two years, or three, I think”—the other day Maureen Ryan invited fellow critics and Twitter followers across the world to blow a few hours on a December afternoon recalling the best lines from TV shows in the past year. You can still find the responding tweets online, but for those of you who missed it, or do not have access to the Twitter machine, I thought I’d invite you to play here. I’ll get you started with a few of my favorites:

“I am the one who knocks.” —Walter White, to his wife Skyler, on Breaking Bad, by way of saying that he’s not the kind of guy who answers a door and gets shot in the head. (I could fill this list all day with quotes from Breaking Bad and Parks and Recreation, just to name two shows; I’m limiting myself to one apiece to save some action for you.)

“Mining company has a word for those leavings, doesn’t it? The spoil. The spoil!” —Mags Bennett, on Justified, railing against a mining company proposal at a community meeting

“Before we proceed, do any of you have any dietary restrictions? Correct! You do not.” —Ron Swanson, addressing a group of new camping recruits on Parks and Recreation

“The Moon shall join your coalition!” —April Ludgate, on Parks and Recreation, at a model UN session at which she insisted on representing the Earth’s satellite (Fine, I cheated. I just love this line too much.)

“Well, isn’t there… what about… what about Obama?” —Louis CK, on Louie, as his character’s accountant explains that he cannot afford a $17 million townhouse

“They never tell you how they all shit themselves. They don’t put that part in the songs.” —King Robert Baratheon, on Game of Thrones, describing death in combat, and pretty much summing up the show’s position vis-a-vis romanticized fantasy epics

“Rum Hammmmmmm!” —Frank, on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, mourning the loss (a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away) of his inanimate best friend, a ham soaked in rum

OK, it’s your turn. And anyone who needs me to write a note to your employer, explaining why you lost a day at work reminiscing about TV shows, just let me know.

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