Awesome: Mad Men


  • Bert Cooper, Four Words: "Mr. Campbell, who cares?"
  • In true Magnificent Bastard fashion, Bert Cooper has another CMOA that's a complete reversal of the "Who cares?" moment noted above, when he oh so subtly blackmails Don into signing the contract he'd earlier bragged about not having. "Would you say I know something about you, Don? When it comes down to it, who's really signing this contract?" Just to put that in perspective, it means that Cooper took the information Pete gave him in season one and filed it away for nearly three years, saving it for when he actually needed to use it. This is what separates the Magnificent Bastards like Bert from the Smug Snakes like Pete.
    • Not bad for a guy whose balls were cut off in an unnecessary surgery years before as we learn in ''The Suitcase".
    • Cooper had previously used this on Don in "The Gold Violin", when he wanted Don to join the board of a new museum. It was nothing like as awesome as the aforementioned moment, though.

Season 1

  • Don's "The universe is indiferent" speech. The man is not an empty suit.
  • "The cops... you can't go out there." "You can't."
  • Roger Sterling reading Pete Campbell the riot act in 1.04: "You live and die in this man's shadow, understand?"
    • Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny when Pete says, "I won't let you down, Don," and Roger immediately replies, horrified, "Jesus, Campbell. Don't ever say that."
  • Betty shooting her neighbor's pigeons in 1.10 after he threatens to kill Sally's dog.
  • Don Draper gets his in the Season 1 finale, during a sales pitch for a slide projector.

Season 2

  • Definitely a YMMV because of the damage it ends up causing, but Jimmy calling out Don on the affair he was having with his wife was still a long time coming Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Don does it again in the season 2 finale. His agency rival "Duck" has engineered the sale of Sterling-Cooper to a British ad company, a move that has left Duck as the new president of the agency. He tells Don that he has two choices now: either knuckle under to Duck, or find a job outside of advertising since he would have a non-compete clause in his contract. Don waits just a perfect beat, and drops the bomb: "Duck, I don't HAVE a contract."

Season 3

  • Campbell vs. Cosgrove, both being assigned the same position. Blue-blood vs. red-blood.
  • Betty finally shows she has balls and confronts her husband about his past life. "You know I know what's in there".
  • Pretty much the entirety of "Shut the Door, Have a Seat," with the exception of the Don and Betty scenes
    • "Well gentlemen, I suppose you're fired."
    • Don Draper once again proves he does more than act tough by kicking a door down. Badass.
    • Lane Pryce going against St. John who has pushed him around endlessly to join up with the others. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
      St. John: You're fired. You're fired for costing this company millions of pounds! You're fired for insubordination! You are FIRED FOR A COMPLETE LACK OF MORAL CHARACTER!
      Pryce: Very good. Happy Christmas!
    • "Joan. What a good idea."
    • " Hello, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, how may I help you?"
    • Don't forget, "Peggy, get me coffee." "No."
    • Peggy tells Don off when he assumes she'll leave with him for the new agency.
  • "When it comes down to it, who's really signing this contract anyway?"
  • Joan clocking her rapist husband Greg upside the head with a vase.

Season 4

  • Don's Kansas City Shuffle to get a rival ad agency to bankrupt themselves and ruin their relationship with Honda.
  • Don ripping his button down shirt off when he thinks he's having a heart attack. Ok, maybe Jon Hamm should be Superman.
  • Dr. Miller becoming one of the few women on the show to see Don for what he is and turn down one of his come-ons.
  • Peggy getting "liberated" in "Waldorf Stories" and winning a game of strip-chicken with Rizzo. Balls. Of. Steel.
  • Peggy calling out Don after his post-Clio drunken binge.
  • Don's full page letter in the New York Times, venomously condemning big tobacco for the death merchants they are, followed by listing all the agencies who will still work with them. Now that's how you change with the times.
  • Faye calling Don out on only liking "the beginnings of things."
  • Ken's refusal to use his future father-in-law to create more business for Sterling Cooper Draper Price.
    • "I'm not Campbell."
    • The agency later goes after the business anyways, but Roger personally visits Ken after-hours, lets him know that all he has to do is sit out and not interact at all, and they'll still respect his position. Oh, and Ken bargains to keep Pete Campbell off the account (which Roger wholeheartedly agrees to). "As you were."
  • Pete calling Roger out after he insults the Japanese.
  • Carla and Glen have theirs in "Tomorrowland" when Betty fires Carla for allowing Glen in the house to see Sally. Glen tells Betty she just wants to spread her unhappiness unto other people and Carla classily calls Betty out for being a bad mother.

Season 5

  • Pete closing the deal with Mohawk, and rubbing it in Roger's face after Roger had kept trying to horn in on the deal.
  • From 5x3:
    • Peggy effectively shaking Roger down for $400 in spite of the fact that he can fire her.
    • Don responding to his subconscious' attempt to get him to cheat on Megan with lethal force. It's horrifying in context though.
    • Joan telling Greg to leave and never come back, followed by her finally calling him out for raping her.
  • In "Signal 30":
    • Don giving Pete a What the Hell, Hero? speech for cheating on Trudy with a prostitute.
    • Lane beating the crap out of Pete in a fair fist fight.
    • Ken, after being warned by Roger not to keep writing, simply starts writing under a different pen name — in essence, making himself like the robot in his earlier story and refusing to allow others to dictate his life.
  • Cooper telling Don that his "love leave" is over.
    Don: It's none of your business.
    Cooper: This is my business.
  • Don and Megan saving the Heinz account at the last minute.
  • Megan's dad, Dr. Emil Calvet a Marxist professor and writer needling Pete at the awards dinner about what he does all day at SDCP. Pete then tells Calvet what a literary trailblazer he is and that the world would be better off knowing about his work and Calvet is flattered. Pete then says "That Emil, is what I do every day!" After realizing he's been fooled Calvet can't help but laugh.
  • Don and Peggy having an argument at the Cool Whip testing place and Peggy telling Don to shut up.
  • Don expertly parrying Betty's attempt to turn Sally against him with his true past, followed by Sally pointedly letting her know how much she failed.
    • Megan gets one in the same episode as well when Sally confronted her with what Betty told her. This troper found it so cool that Megan didn't badmouth Betty directly to Sally or the kids, even though she probably wanted to strangle Betty, yet told Sally "I'm your friend." More later when she stops Don from calling Betty to complain, telling him that it would be giving Betty the attention and drama she was craving.
  • Don giving a Rousing Speech to the SDCP employees to work hard during the Christmas season to get the Jaguar account.
  • After being taken for granted by Don again, Peggy quits for a higher paying job at another agency and says goodbye to him ("Don't be a stranger.") She takes one final look at the SDCP offices and smiles before stepping into the elevator as The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" plays on the soundtrack.
  • In "Fees and Commissions" Don and Roger go to Dow Chemical to meet the execs headed by Ed Baxter (Ray Wise), the same man who told him at the American Cancer Society awards that companies no longer trust Don because of the letter he wrote to the New York Times attacking tobacco companies. Don makes the case that SDCP is the ad agency that can take Dow to even greater success:
    Ed: But it doesn't change the fact that weíre happy with our agency.
    Don: Are you? Youíre happy with 50 percent? Youíre on top and you donít have enough. Youíre happy because youíre successful...for now. But what is happiness? Itís a moment before you need more happiness. I wonít settle for 50 percent of anything. I want 100 percent. Youíre happy with your agency? Youíre not happy with anything. You donít want most of itÖyou want all of it. And I wonít stop until you get all of it.
  • Toward the end of "The Phantom", Pete calls Howard out for being the horrible person that he is and attempts to beat the crap out of him. The train conductor who breaks up the fight gets one himself for not putting up with Pete's ego and throwing him off the train.
  • In "Phantom" the shot of the five SDCP partners Don, Roger, Bert, Pete, and now Joan inspecting the empty new floor they plan to lease above their current office with Joan in the center. The very same Joan who opened the season with being worried that she would be fired while on maternity leave is now in control of the agency.
  • Mrs. Pryce's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Don for giving her back a pittance of the money Lane put into the firm.
  • The season finale montage, with a preciously rare cliffhanger, in pure Mad Men style suggesting so many things without actually saying'em. The implication being that "Don Draper is back", a la James Bond, with the music from You Only Live Twice no less.
    Excuse me, my friend down there was wondering, are you alone? (Don takes an enigmatic look, fade to black)

Season 6

  • Joan encountering Herb Rennet, the man she had to sleep with to get SCDP the Jaguar account.
    Herb: I know there's a part of you that's glad to see me.
    Joan: And I know there's a part of you you haven't seen in years.
  • Trudy finally learning about Pete's adultery and finally giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Trudy: We're done, Peter. This is over.
    Pete: You want a divorce?
    Trudy: I refuse to be a failure. I don't care what you want anymore. This is how it's going to work. You will be here only when I tell you to be here. I'm drawing a 50-mile radius around this house and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you. Do you understand?
  • Roger saving the day after Don loses the Jaguar account without knowing Pete, Joan and Cooper were planning to take the company go public, by getting a meeting with General Motors.
  • Don coming up with the idea to merge with Ted Chagaugh's agency so they can have a shot at the GM account.
  • Joan's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Don after he deliberately loses the Jaguar account, which she had to prostitute herself for the agency to get, and calling him out on his selfishness.
    Don: Joan, don't worry. I will win this!
    Joan: Just once I would like you to use the word "we". Because we're all rooting for you from the sidelines hoping you'll decide whatever you think is right for our lives.
  • Danny Siegel punching Roger in the balls after one too many short jokes.
    • In the same episode, there is Joan at a lunch with an exec from Avon who is considering on taking on the agency, when the bill comes she states that she will take care of it. The Joan that started the show wanted the affluent life and the Man to financially support her has become financially independent and she loves the power.
    • Peggy's What the Hell, Hero? speech to Joan can count as one, telling Joan off for all the times she's belittled Peggy and her ambitions of becoming "more than a secretary", then later when she makes up a telegram from Avon appear to save Joan from being fired, and then right after that she tells a thankful and speechless Joan "You better hope they call". When one looks at Joan's Alpha Bitch behavior in earlier seasons and remembers that the last time Peggy saved Joan's ass that the latter called her a "humorless bitch" this feels very triumphant.
  • Peggy (temporarily) taking Don's office in the Season 6 finale. The apprentice has finally surpassed the master.

Season 7

  • Don's first appearance in the season premiere. Arriving in Los Angeles by plane Megan picks him up at the airport. The shot of her as she gets out of her new convertible, wearing a sexy blue minidress, and it goes into slo-mo to emphasize her long legs as "I'm a Man" by the Spencer Davis Group plays and cuts to Don as the chorus sings ''And I'm an man/yes I am/and I love you so" just before they kiss. A reminder from the show that no matter how bad life gets for Don, it's still great to be him sometimes.
  • Dawn gets two in "A Day's Work":
    • First, she responds to Lou implying that she gets special treatment because of her skin color by pointing out just how much of an egotistical hypocrite he is.
    • The second is when Joan promotes her to office manager. Yes, it was largely a way for Joan to get revenge on Lou, Bert, and Peggy, but Dawn's promotion is still very impressive for someone who was hired as a way to avoid fallout from one of Roger's racist jokes.
  • In "Field Trip", Roger displays more conviction than at any other point in the series when he argues vigorously to keep Don in the firm. While Joan, Bert and (especially) Jim Cutler point out how far Don has brought the firm down in the last several months, Roger points out that officially firing him would prove unprofitable (as they would be forced to buy out his shares, something that would take years to recoup), and that he's done too much for them to throw him aside.
  • After being asked to do menial work under Peggy, and failing to get Bert to consider as a potential client the firm installing the new computer in the office, Don falls off the wagon. Hard. He phones Freddie Rumsen to go to a Mets game but instead Freddie takes him back to his apartment. After he gets Don to sober up Freddie gives him a combination Rousing Speech:
    "I mean are you just going to kill yourself? Give them what you want? Or go in the bedroom, get in uniform, fix your bayonet and hit the parade? Do the work, Don."
    • And Don does, the next day.
  • After learning from Harry that Cutler and Lou are planning to drive him out of the agency for good before trying to get Phillip Morris as a client, Don crashes their secret meeting at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, essentially pitching himself to Phillip Morris. He convinces them that despite his letter to the New York Times condemning the entire Tobacco industry, he's still the best man to be working for them, given his years of experience creating campaigns for cigarettes and knowledge of the American Cancer Society's lobbying strategies. Afterwards Lou seethes "You're incredible." and after getting into a cab Cutler smirks "You think this is going to save you, don't you?" Don just shuts the door on him and he whistles for another cab.
  • After the shock of seeing the box Ginsberg gave her contains his nipple that he cut off and that he has clearly gone insane Peggy maintains her composure enough to walk out of her office and take a phone one of the secretary's desk to call an ambulance. She's come a long way from fainting when a lawnmower ran over someone's foot.
  • In "The Runaways" Betty effectively shuts down Henry's complaints about her expressing her political POVs and that she isn't acting like the repressed model wife that she usually is
    Betty: You're sorry you forgot to inform me what I'm supposed to think. Guess what, I think all by myself.
    Betty: You know what Henry? I don't know, but maybe that's a good idea!
  • Joan gracefully turning down Bob Benson when he proposes marriage to her so he can stay in the closet.
    Bob Benson: Is this what you want? To be near forty in a two bedroom apartment with a mother and a little boy? I know I am flawed, but I am offering you more than anyone else ever will.
    Joan: No, you're not, Bob. Because I want love. And I'd rather die hoping that happens than make some arrangement.
  • After all the years where he's stood by letting things just happen, it felt damned good to watch Roger muster up the backbone and cunning to stop Cutler from exploiting Bert Cooper's death to force Don out.
  • Heck, even Cutler himself gets one. When Lou comes in to complain about some of the recent actions the firm has taken, Jim immediately shuts him up before sending a ticked off Lou back to work.
  • Peggy gets her chance with the Burger Chef pitch. She gets it.
  • Bert Cooper's song and dance number. Probably the best way to say goodbye to his character.