Funny / The American President

  • The Rumson campaign tries to use a photo of Sydney burning the American flag against the Shepherd Administration, but turns out she was at a protest against Apartheid.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Let me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight was that someone I didn't know thirteen years ago when I wasn't President participated in a demonstration where no laws were being broken in protest of something that so many people were against, it doesn't exist anymore. (Beat) Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?
  • Bob Rumson's Sarcasm Failure when he says about Shepherd's re-election chances "It doesn't take a Harvard degree to see this one coming."
    President Andrew Shepherd: I went to Stanford, you blowhole.
  • When Pres. Shepherd is looking to win back Sydney.
    President Andrew Shepherd: I want a plain, ordinary, non-bullet-proof vehicle!
    A.J.: And how do you plan to [get Sydney back], sir?
    President Andrew Shepherd: Well, I haven't worked that out yet. But I suspect groveling will be involved.
  • Shepherd develops a liking for Sydney Ellen Wade when she has several foot-in-mouth moments during the first day they meet, including a The Exit Is That Way in the Oval Office, not to mention starting off with a priceless Right Behind Me moment as he comes in while she's in the midst of delivering a tirade about him:
    Sydney Ellen Wade: If he honestly thinks that the environmental community is going to whistle a happy tune, while rallying support around this pitifully lame mockery of environmental leadership, just because he's a nice guy and he's done better than his predecessors, then your boss is the Chief Executive of Fantasyland!
    President Andrew Shepherd: Well, let's take him out back and beat the shit out of him!
  • Shepherd attempts to order flowers for Sydney himself to the confusion of his staff. And fails:
    • First, his personal aide becomes rather worried that it is a reflection on her work performance that the president wants to send the flowers himself, rather than make her do it. Lewis tries to nose in on who the president is calling, for which Shepherd shoos him out of the office with this one-liner:
    Lewis Rothschild: Who're we calling, sir?
    President Andrew Shepherd: I'm calling the Organization of the United Brotherhood of It's None of Your Damn Business, Lewis. I'll be with you in a second.
    • ...And when he finally manages to make the call to the florist, he has more problems: one, the florist apparently doesn't know what the state flower of Virginia is, forcing him to go through his aides to learn it (the dogwood), then finds that they don't have the dogwood, and tries asking for roses. Then the sales person hangs up when he says that he is the President of the United States. He finally does get her flowers — from the White House Rose Garden.
    • Which becomes a Brick Joke: sometime later, Shepherd makes a personal visit to the florist and mentions that the President of the United States did make the call. The florist faints on the spot.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Yep, she remembered.
  • Sydney tries to bail out of the White House early in the morning after spending the night, but the press and staff are already in full tilt. The staff tries to figure out an exit strategy for Sydney while quickly greeting her as they barge into the President's bedroom one by one. You guessed it, Hilarity Ensues.
  • The state dinner discussion of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, leading to Shepherd slapping the table and declaring, "More beheadings at the White House!"
  • Lewis is hounding President Shepherd about the speech he gave the night before, and Shepherd tries to hold him off:
    President Shepherd: Lewis, however much coffee you drink in the morning, I want you to reduce it by half.
    Lewis: I don't drink coffee, sir.
    President Shepherd: Then hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat, would you please?
  • The Sydney Issue:
    Robin McCall: How do you want me to handle the Sydney issue?
    President Andrew Shepherd: "The Sydney issue"?
    Lewis Rothschild: We should have a consensus on how the White House is going to handle it.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Well I sure hope the Sydney issue refers in some way to a problem we're having with Australia, because if it's anything else-
  • When Sydney meets with Shepherd to break off their relationship (before she ends up doing the opposite), she gets flustered with Andrew's light-hearted snarkery and starts to raise her voice irritably, which Andrew still takes in jovial stride:
    President Andrew Shepherd: You're raising your voice to the President?
    • And then this exchange after their night together, before Sydney departs for home amidst a press frenzy:
    President Andrew Shepherd: I'm sorry, we'll do this better next time.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: I'm no expert, but I thought we did it pretty good this time.
  • Sydney is Ready for Lovemaking, and Shepherd is a bit nervous about it:
    President Andrew Shepherd: You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it's not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan. We're going to slow down, and when you're comfortable, that's when it's going to happen.
    [Sydney emerges from the bathroom wearing nothing but one of his shirts]
    President Andrew Shepherd: ...Perhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the slowdown plan.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: [feeling the bed] No, you explained it great.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Are you nervous?
    Sydney Ellen Wade: No.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Good. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...
    Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world?
    President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now... and number three...
  • Shepherd trying to get a feel for what Sydney thinks of him:
    Shepherd: She didn't say anything about me?
    A.J.: No, but I could always pass her a note before study hall.
  • Sydney meets Andy's daughter:
    Lucy Shepherd: My Dad told me to tell you that he's on the phone with his dentist, and that I should behave myself and entertain you until he gets back.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Hmm. Your father's on the phone with his dentist?
    Lucy Shepherd: No, he told me to tell you he's on the phone with his dentist. He wants you to think he's a regular guy.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh. Well, who's he on the phone with?
    Lucy Shepherd: The Prime Minister of Israel.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh. They're probably not discussing his teeth.
    Lucy Shepherd: I hope not.
    • When Shepherd comes back:
    President Andrew Shepherd: OK! Let Meatloaf Night begin! Hi.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Hi. How's everything with your teeth?
    President Andrew Shepherd: My teeth?
    Sydney Ellen Wade: The dentist.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Oh! Right, right right, yeah I got a, cavity in my upper bicuspid region.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: You have a short-range weapons system outside Tel Aviv.
    President Andrew Shepherd: [grabs Lucy playfully] I think somebody told on me!
  • Andy talks to his daughter about school. Typical dad-to-kid stuff. He starts to walk out of the room and she plays the first few bars of "Hail to the Chief" rather sarcastically on her trombone. The eye-roll Andy gives the camera sells it.
  • When Shepherd asks Sydney to the formal dinner and she can only stare in confusion:
    Shepherd: Sydney? [beat] ...Sydney, Congress doesn't take this long.
    • When she accepts it, she's so flustered that she says she's honored and won't let him down; he replies that it's just a state dinner, not espionage.
  • Sydney's phone call with Shepherd, which goes downhill when Sydney thinks she's talking to a colleague who does a Shepherd impression:
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Hello?
    President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, hi, is this Sydney?
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Leo?
    President Andrew Shepherd: No, this is Andrew Shepherd.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh! It's Andrew Shepherd! Yeah, you're hilarious, Richard, you're just a regular riot!
    President Andrew Shepherd: No, this isn't Richard, this is Andrew Shepherd.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh! Well, I'm so glad you called, because I forgot to tell you today what a nice ass you have. I'm also impressed that you were able to get my phone number given the fact that I don't have a phone. Good night, Richard.
    President Andrew Shepherd: Uh, this isn't Richard- [Sydney hangs up] This used to be easier.
    • What sells it is Shepherd's Oh, Crap! face at the "nice ass" remark. Or, once he's convinced her to contact him through the White House operator, she asks how he found out where she was:
    President Andrew Shepherd: What did you mean when you said that you didn't have a phone?
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, I just moved to Washington over the weekend, and my apartment isn't ready yet, this is my sister's apartment... come to think of it, how did you get this number?
    President Andrew Shepherd: How did I get the number, that's a good question. Um... I don't know, probably the FBI.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh the FBI. Sure! Cause... If you wanna find someone and you're the President, that's who you'd call!
    President Andrew Shepherd: You know who else is good at that.
    Sydney Ellen Wade: Uh... CIA?
    President Andrew Shepherd: Well yeah, but I was thinking of the Internal Revenue Service; they have these computer files that, uh... Well, I should stop stalling.
  • Lewis is talking on the phone with a Senator who was initially going to support the crime bill and then changed his mind. He goes into a tirade that ends with him yelling, "Just vote your conscience, you chicken-shit lame-ass!" and hanging up.
    Leon: I hope so. 'Cause, you know, if that was an "undecided" then we need to work on our people skills.
  • Right after Sydney and Andrew make up, in the Oval Office, first Lewis and then the rest of the White House staff enter, carrying right on with the President's schedule, barely flinching that the President is kissing/hugging Sydney who is wearing jeans and a hoodie.
  • Lewis attempting to dissuade Shepherd from jumping out of a convoy to get flowers for Sydney.
    President Shepherd: Hey! There it is, Carmen's House of Flowers! Cobb, pull over, I'm going to hop out for a minute.
    Cobb: You're hopping out, sir?
    Lewis: No, he's not hopping out! No- no hopping, sir!