Josh: I denied it for half an hour, they wouldn't take no for an answer!
President Bartlet: You were clear?
Josh: I was crystal clear! They said, "Do you think that, if the President has a plan to fight inflation, it's right that he keep it a secret?" I said, of course not!
President Bartlet: Are you telling me that not only did you invent a secret plan to fight inflation, but now you don't support it?
From the same episode (Season 1's Celestial Navigation):
CJ: I had woot canaw.
CJ: Be wary cawfuwl not to deswoy us.
And Toby wins the episode with:
"CJ, if you say 'bweifing' or 'Pwesident' one more time, I swear to God..."
No, I have to say that Bartlet wins the episode, summing up Josh's entire briefing room experience thusly:
"OK, first of all— CJ, if blood is gushing from the head wound you just received from a herd of stampeding bison, you'll do the press briefing."
Bartlet's entire mood during that scene wins the episode.
"Day after tomorrow?" "Yes, sir." "Is he coming in from Neptune?"
The scene where Charlie has to go and wake the president up.
*Charlie starts to poke the president; Bartlet grabs his hand*
Bartlet: Charlie, are you aware you're committing a federal crime?
Sam getting lost when he and Toby go to see Mendoza:
Sam: Let me tell you something. If we'd stayed on the Merritt Parkway instead of getting off at Exit 29 and going east to Greenwich, I don't think we'd have wound up in Bridgeport so many times.
Toby: Shut up.
Or Sam being geeky in general about road travel:
Leo: (Mendoza's) driving from Nova Scotia to Washington.
Leo: How's a person do that?
Sam: My guess is, he'll take the Trans-Canada Highway to New Brunswick, then maybe catch the 1 and take the scenic route along the coast of Maine, 95 through New Hampshire to the Mass Pike, and then cut over to the Merritt Parkway around Milford.
(the other staffers all look at Sam like he's crazy)
Toby: There's something really kinda freakish about you, you know that?
Josh, Toby and Donna get left behind on the campaign trail during the two-part episode "20 Hours in America" and spend the titular time getting back to DC. Their journey gets repeatedly derailed by Funny Moments. As the President puts it:
"Three hundred IQ points between them, they can't find their way home. I swear to God, if Donna wasn't there, they'd have to buy a house."
In this episode, Josh, Toby and Donna board a train. Josh asks the campaign volunteer who drove them to the station to assure him that everything is going to be okay. The campaign volunteer points and assures Josh on the life of his girlfriend that his problems will end 'two hundred miles down the track'. The train then starts moving. In exactly the opposite direction.
Same episode: Toby and Josh are throwing rocks at a trashcan, and wager that whoever misses first has to add "I work at the White House" every time they introduce themselves, while traveling through rural Indiana. Toby is forced to say this every time they meet someone in the episode, drawing the ire of the cavalcade of conservative hicks they encounter. The phrase gets an Ironic Echo at the end, when Toby uses it sincerely.
Bartlet: Aren't I going to get a reputation for being soft on turkeys?
C.J. explains why she wants him to pardon both turkeys: "The winner gets life at a petting zoo, the runner-up gets eaten." Bartlet: "If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch."
When the turkey delivery boy falls for the second pardon Bartlet loses it, goes on a rant about educational standards and then tells him that the President can't just pardon random turkeys and he should take it away. CJ then gives Bartlet a hurt look, causing him to give in and announce that he's drafting the turkey into federal service instead.
Bartlet: By the power vested in me as President of the United States I hereby pardon you.
Bartlet: No! It's not okay! Morton, I can't pardon a turkey; if you think I can pardon a turkey then you have got to go back to your school and insist that you be better prepared to go out in the world.
Donna: You can't pardon a turkey?
Perhaps the greatest part of this subplot is when Bartlet resolves the dispute by drafting the turkey into military service.
Toby, Josh and Sam simultaneously coming to the decision that they should land the turkeys with CJ in the first place:
Toby: And Morton, Ms. Cregg is gone for the night and her office is secure, so you should feel free to let the turkeys out of the cage and allow them to, you know, roam freely as they were meant to do.
And then there's the first draft of the Thanksgiving speech:
Sam: Over three and a half centuries ago, linked by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New World where they could worship according to their own beliefs... and solve crimes.
Sam: It'd be good. By day, they churn butter and worship according to their own beliefs, and by night they solve crimes.
Toby: Read the thing.
Sam: Pilgrim detectives.
Toby: Do you see me laughing?
Sam: I think you're laughing on the inside.
Sam: With the big hats.
Toby: Give me the speech.
Toby's reaction to Sam's confession that he accidentally slept with a prostitute (Pilot):
Toby: I don't understand, did you trip over something?
Josh combines this with a Crowning Moment Of Awesome in Season 1's Mandatory Minimums; Bartlet is about to announce a new policy initiative in a speech. Prominent Republicans have promised that, if he does, they'll force through a legislative agenda that will make him cry. As Bartlet makes the speech, everyone counsels Josh - who is about to be bombarded with threats and attacks - not to panic. On cue, as Bartlet makes the announcement, a Republican Senator irately calls Josh, who answers his phone and before the Senator can even speak, nonchalantly says:
Josh: Hey Senator? Why don't you take your legislative agenda and shove it up your ass. [Hangs up] Turns out I was fine.
Made even better by the audience bursting into wild applause at that moment (OK, it was for the President's speech, but the timing was perfect).
The part from The Stackhouse Filibuster where several members of the cast are writing letters to their parents. When Josh goes to the Hill to talk to Senator Stackhouse, you hear the voiceover, "thanks for the new shoes, Mom" at the same time as said shoes slide out from under him and land him flat on his ass in the middle of a hallway.
In Bad Moon Rising, the current White House Counsel is packing for a trip, in which his assistants mock both his large gavel and his claim that his recorder is broken. ("It's stuck on 'record'. And that's never caused trouble in a White House Counsel's office!") Five minutes later, Bartlet comes in and asks his opinion on an over-the-top legal problem. "I'd like you to tell me if I've involved sixteen people in a massive criminal conspiracy to defraud the public and win a presidential election." The White House Counsel blinks at them for a second, then...ensures that the recorder will not record this or any other conversation ever again, then looks up and says, "Okay". Cut to the credits.
From the same episode; Toby, for his own reasons, wants C.J. to interrogate everyone who might have leaked a story to a reporter. This, of course, is a thankless job, especially when:
Donna: Let me get this off my chest. It was me. I called Terry Cashin (the reporter).
Donna: I don't know. Why does anybody do anything?
C.J.: What are you talking about?
Donna: I'm a madwoman, C.J., and it doesn't stop with the leak.
C.J.: What do you mean?
Donna: Call the authorities. Send them to my parent's house in Madison.
Donna: They'll find the Lindbergh baby in the basement.
C.J.: (finally gets it) Okay.
Donna: Also some Post-Its reminding me where I put Jimmy Hoffa.
Josh: Good cop, bad cop. I'm the good cop. The four of you are the bad cops. Will, what are you?
Will: Bad cop.
Josh: Danny, what are you?
Danny: Bad cop.
Josh: Charlie, what are you?
Charlie: I love Zoey and I must have her back.
Will: That's great news about Zoey, I didn't meet her but I bet she's nice.
Charlie: Not really, but my love for her knows no bounds.
Danny: Charlie, aren't you cold without a coat?
Charlie: I took off my coat to show my love for Zoey.
Charlie: I'd take off my shirt too, but it's inappropriate with a tuxedo.
All that and you're going to leave out Danny's response?
Danny: Not if we were at Chippendale's.
At the end of the scene:
Charlie:[about Jean-Paul] Cause he may be good-looking and rich and well-schooled and French royalty, you know, and live basically in a castle, but... oh, God. Toby: This is what I've been telling you.
You both suck. While this is happening, Josh is pummeling Donna's window with snowballs.
Danny: You know, by the end of the night, I think we may have a whole new story.
Toby: * laughs* ; at this point, they're waking up the neighborhood.
Toby: * on phone* Hi, National Enquirer?
A hilarious moment while Sam is being pummelled by Ainsley Hayes on television (Season 2's In This White House):
Josh: Toby, come quick! Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!
Later in the episode she meets with Leo convinced she's going to be reprimanded for the beating she put on Sam, but she's actually being offered a job in the White House. After he says it she babbles for about 2 or 3 minutes about how it's wrong for Leo to reprimand her before she actually gets what's happening.
In a later conversation between Sam and Ainsley:
"Sam, I'm a straight republican from North Carolina, you don't think they hated me the first time around?"
In Season 2's The Leadership Breakfast, Sam and Josh light a fire in the White House, learning a little too late that this particular fireplace has had its flue closed off for decades. Cut to Charlie barging into Bartlet's bedroom: "Sir, you know how you told me never to wake you up unless the building was on fire?"
Charlie and the President's interactions are made of funny. From Season 1's Celestial Navigation: "Sir, I need you to dig in now. It wasn't a nightmare. You really are the president." "WHO IS THIS?!"
"I mean, what in the name of everything holy could you possibly want right now?"
The entire scene with the fire, really:
Josh: Could you possibly get us some dried leaves?
Donna: Yeah, I'll just run out to the forest and be right back. (She leaves)
Sam: You know what?
Josh: You think she was being sarcastic?
Sam: Yeah, I don't 9think she's getting the leaves.
Danny buying CJ a goldfish. Season 1's The Short List)("The crackers, Danny, the kind you have at a party?" "You know, I don't think I was supposed to know that.")
My favorite part of that scene is when she's holding the goldfish bowl up to look into it, and for a second her smile is magnified to the size of the half-circle of water inside the bowl.
In Bartlet's Third State of the Union, Ainsley has been terrified all episode of meeting the President for the first time. When she finally does, she's got her back to the door, is dancing and singing, holding a drink, and wearing a bathrobe. When she turns around and realizes the President has walked into the room, she screams at the top of her lungs and throws the drink over her shoulder.
Not to mention that the next time she meets him she has her skirt on backwards and is so nervous that when she has to pee, she walks into Leo's closet thinking that it's the bathroom:
Bartlet: Why is she still in there?
Sam: That's kind of hard to say, sir.
Bartlet: They won't let me smoke inside but you can pee in Leo's closet.
Josh's first meeting with Joey Lucas (Season 1's Take This Sabbath Day):
Josh: What in god's name is happening right now?
Not to mention:
Joey (through Kenny): Joshua Lyman, you have the cutest little butt in professional politics.
Josh: Kenny, that really better have been her talking.
There's a subplot from What Kind of Day Has It Been where Josh's desk chair has been removed for repairs, a fact that he keeps forgetting, and another where Charlie is arguing with Zoey about giving some advice to the President. It leads to this beautiful sight gag.
Charlie: I work with the smartest people in the world—
* WHAM* Josh attempts to sit in the missing chair and falls on his ass.
On Thanksgiving (Season 3's The Indians in the Lobby), President Bartlet calls the ButterballHotline for help with making stuffing, and they ask for his name and address. He claims to be Joe Bethersonton of Fargo, North Dakota. When he realizes that he needs the ZIP code, Toby calls Charlie for Fargo's ZIP code, and Bartlet is forced to stall by making up a ridiculously long street address until Charlie comes in in with the ZIP code. The operator comments that he has a familiar voice, and he claims that he does radio commercials ("for... products"). He then argues with her about the minutiae of turkey stuffing for several minutes while Toby patiently waits for him to finish.
Bartlet: If I cook my stuffing inside the turkey, is there a chance I might kill my guests? I'm not saying that's necessarily a deal-breaker.
The best part is Bartlet's line at the end:
Bartlet: That was excellent! We should do that once a week.
There's also the part where Bartlet finds out that his idea for a turkey hotline is something that exists:
Bartlet: [look of awe] God, I'm sorry. I love my country!
From These Crackpots and These Women, President Bartlet's basketball game with his staff:
Toby: It's not so much that you cheat sir, its how brazenly bad you are it.
Bartlet: Give me an example.
Toby: In Florida, playing mixed doubles with me and C.J., you tried to tell us your partner worked at the American Consulate in Vienna.
Bartlet: She did.
Toby: It was Steffi Graf, sir!
Bartlet: I'll admit the woman bore a striking resemblance to her.
Toby: You crazy lunatic, you think I'm not going to recognize Steffi Graf when she's serving a tennis ball at me?
From the episode (Season 1's The Short List) when Congressman Lillianfield is trying to convince the American people that one in three White House staffers use drugs:
Josh:Okay, five White House staffers in the room. I'd like to say to the one point six of you who are stoned right now, it's time to share.
The episode And It's Surely to Their Credit has this memorable scene where the First Lady (who's also a doctor) is dictating a memo to Charlie to give to the President about how he's fully recovered from the Assassination attempt:
Abbey: Just give him a message for me, would you?
Abbey: You'll want to write this down.
Charlie: Yes, ma'am.
Abbey: Your blood pressure is 120/80.
Charlie: How did you know that, ma'am?
Abbey: I'm saying his blood pressure.
Charlie: Ah... is 120/80.
Abbey: Yeah. Your EKG shows a good sinus rhythm.
Abbey: No evidence of ischemic changes.
Charlie: How are we spelling...?
Abbey: Doesn't matter. Your electrolytes and metabolic panels are within normal limits. Chest x-ray is clear, and prostate screens are fine.
Abbey: So, we can have sex now.
Charlie steps into the Oval Office; five seconds later Bartlett comes barreling out of the room like it was on fire. A little... antsy are we, Jed? Actually, horny!Bartlett in general is a Funny Moment.
Bartlet: Abbey, you have two minutes, or I swear to God I'm gonna get Mrs. Landingham drunk.
Then when Bartlet, in front of a roomful of children watching him attempt to do the radio address, remembers it's the time he and Abby scheduled for sex, jumps up, wrangles on his jacket, and says, "Kids, I am so sorry. I have to go now, to a special meeting... of the government!"
When Abbey tells Bartlet about investigative journalist Nellie Bly, emphasizing her achievement in circumnavigating the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds. Bartlett replies, "She sounds like an incredible woman, Abbey. I'm particularly impressed that she beat a fictional record. If she goes down 21,000 leagues under the sea, I'll name a damn school after her! Let's have sex."
The build-up for this joke has spanned over two seasons: The Chair of the Supreme Court is on the verge of full-blown dementia, writing statements in verse and such. He refuses to retire, because he's afraid that with a Republican Congress, Bartlet can't replace him with another left-leaning judge. The best the president can do is getting a centrist judge appointed. When in the episode The Supremes another, this time more conservative judge dies of a heart-attack, the White House is faced with a similar dilemma. Until Donna tells Josh about the two cats of her parents. Apparently, while her father preferred one cat, her mother had her heart set on another one. Therefore, they decided to compromise, and got both cats. Josh decided to do the same, by replacing the conservative judge with another conservative, and the Chair with a Democrat. When Donna finds out, she realizes what has happened:
Donna: Oh my god, you're putting my mother's cats on the Supreme Court!
The Chief Justice's poetic opinions are pretty hilarious in and of themselves:
Toby: He wrote a dissenting opinion in what I am almost certain is trochiac tetrometer.
Bartlet: (reading) "Fear of cancer from asbestos / Fuzzy science manifestos."
and Leo: (reading) "Guilty? / Or not guilty? / Past convictions frustrate / The judge who wonders should your fate / Abate." It's a cinquain.
CJ and Toby in Someone's Going to Emergency...:
CJ: You want to make out with me now, don't you?
Toby: Well, when don't I?
Sam, on the Boston Tea Party:
"We jumped out from behind bushes, while the British came down the road in their bright red jackets, but never has a war been so courteously declared. It was on parchment with calligraphy and "Your highness, we beseech you on this day in Philadelphia to bite me, if you please."
Jed Bartlet + Percocet + Vicodin = hysterical viewers (seen in its full glory here.) (From Season 1's Five Votes Down)
You mean I wasn't supposed to take them both?
I'm seriously thinking about getting a dog.
When they're discussing the mess that Toby has gotten himself into and, while listing options, Mandy brings up 'resignation'.
Bartlet: Hot damn! Now you're talkin'! Toby: I think she meant me, Mr. President.
Sam arguing with a potential Supreme Court nominee about the limits of the Constitution:
Sam:"In 1787 there was a sizable bloc of delegates who were initially opposed to the bill of rights. This is what a member of the Georgia delegation had to say by way of opposition: 'If we list a set of rights, some fools in the future are going to claim the people are entitled only to those rights enumerated and no others'."
Judge: "Son, were you just calling me a fool then?"
Sam: "I wasn't calling you a fool, sir. The brand new state of Georgia was."
The scene where Will meets Toby for the first time to talk about helping him write Bartlet's second inaugural address. Before he came in, Toby had thrown away a page of writing he wasn't happy with, but not before setting it on fire, leading the trash can to start smoldering while Will's in there. He points this out and Toby, still talking, gets up and gets a little fire extinguisher contraption full of water and puts out the fire, as if it happens all the time... oh, words don't do it justice at all, but Richard Schiff totally sells it. I love that man.
And It's Surely to Their Credit:
C.J.: Have you noticed I'm the one of the few people around here whose nose isn't bent out of shape over Ainsley Hayes? Toby: Yeah. Listen... C.J.: I'm serious! Toby: C.J., you heard the news and you slammed the door so hard it broke, okay? You heard the news and you broke the White House.
When Josh emerges from his session with Stanley Keyworth in Noel. One of the few really funny moments in a (great, but) mostly serious episode.
Leo: How'd it go? Josh: He thinks I might have an eating disorder. Leo: Josh. Josh: And a fear of rectangles. That's not weird, is it?
Most of Privateers, about Marion Coatsworth-Haye, especially when C.J. refers to her as "Helena Hodsworth Hooter-Tooter of Braintree."
"If you call any of the Joint Chiefs 'Lucy', you're on your own."
And then when Leo's told they missed the target for the new missile defense system by 100 miles:
Bartlet: The words you're looking for are "Oh, good grief." /cut to credits
In the same episode:
Leo: The missile achieved nine out of ten of its design goals!
Bartlet: And the tenth one was?
Leo: (mutters) ...hitting the target.
In The Stackhouse Filibuster, Bartlet and Abbey are planning on a romantic dinner in the residence cooked by a visiting chef, which Abbey has to cancel on at the last minute. He asks Leo to join him instead. "We'll just pretend there's no candlelight." Leo: "And that we're not paranoid homophobes."
The whole scene has them (especially Bartlet) has them start acting Like an Old Married Couple with the President complaining "We never talk anymore"
In the course of a conversation about Swiss diplomacy in "Swiss Diplomacy," Bartlet is moved to draw an analogy to the cats his kids had when they were little, Mr. Finch and Mrs. Wilberforce. At the end of the scene, as they're walking away, he declares, "Mr. Finch and Mrs. Wilberforce! There's nothing wrong with my memory... though those are stupid names, and there's something wrong with my kids."
The possible alternate Funny Moment is later on, when the President is relating the story to his wife and she points out he's confused one of the cats with their maid.
In season six, when Kate finds herself the Only Sane Man in the situation room as inexplicable tensions between the US and Canada over a couple of hunters move the nations closer to a conflict. Particularly, the scene where she is assuring the Canadians that the USA does not have a contingency plan to invade Canada, and then she sees the face on the nearest military advisor and realizes that yes, the USA does have a plan to invade Canada.
Kate: 1789, amended in 1815. The calligraphy is beautiful. And if one more deal is floated in this room, I'm gonna ask DoD to reactivate it.
Donna: This guy... there are some who would consider him handsome. I don't, personally, 'cause you're the only one I think is handsome. Josh: Uh-huh. Donna: But for the sake of appearances, here, around the office, I'd pretend I thought this guy was handsome if you hired him. Of course, all along it'd be a lie, 'cause of how handsome you are. And powerful. [lets her eyes drift onto his chest and sighs as if overwhelmed by handsomeness and power] Josh:...Your sense of humor's a bit of a high-wire act, isn't it? You're really trying to thread the needle.
The UN Secretary-General getting an earful about ambassadors not paying parking tickets:
Bartlet:There are big signs - you can't park there. They should get towed! I hope they get towed to Queens! And the Triborough is closed! And there's a big craft show at Shea! A flea market, or a tractor show!
Bartlet slams down the phone.
Charlie: (beat) Well, that was probably his secretary.
Charlie: You can bet she'll be parking in the garage tonight, though.
After C.J.'s been going on about the Dadaist surrealism of the butter Last Supper depicting butter:
C.J.: Duchamp was the father of Dadaism. Toby: I know. C.J.: The dada of Dada. Toby: ...It's like there's nothing you can do about that joke, it's coming and you just have to stand there.
Bartlet files Charlie's tax return. The President of the United States of America, who is also a Nobel-prize-winning economist... does his personal assistant's taxes... for fun. Then tries to collect the amount owed with a "gimme" hand gesture.
Margaret and Leo are generally comedy gold, but the top of the list has to be this scene from In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part II
Margaret: Can I just say something for the future?
Margaret: I can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good.
Leo: You can sign the President's name?
Leo: On a document removing him from power and giving it to someone else?
(Margaret takes one look at Leo's Death Glare and starts typing normally.)
Margaret doesn't even have to be in the room, as in the scene from Season 2's In This White House Leo offers Ainsley a job, first asking Ainsley if anyone offered her a drink:
Ainsley: The woman who works out there, who I imagine is your secretary, offered me coffee or a soft drink.
Leo: Okay, so...
Ainsley: She was also kind enough to ask for my coat.
Leo: Excellent, and...
Ainsley: She seems to be a very good secretary.
Leo: Well, she'll be happy to hear that, she's standing right outside the door. (thumps door with his fist)
Margaret: (from outside) Ow.
Bruno shows up for the first time in Leo's office without an appointment, so Margaret checks with Leo. Turns out he made the appointment himself, which he is apparently not allowed to do. Bruno meets with Leo, goes into the oval office, and comes back. When he reenters Leo's office, Margaret is STILL berating Leo about the appointment thing. Leo dismisses her to talk to Bruno, and she leaves with "I'll jot it down."
CJ spends an episode defending the urban legend that you can stand an egg on end during a solar equinox, and eventually the others look online and can't find a single website supporting it. "You really have to wonder: if no one on the Internet wants a piece of this, just how far from the pack have you strayed?"
Well, Aaron Sorkin doesn't believe in the Interenet. We don't like to talk about it.
The whole state-dinner background event in "On the Day Before," where C.J. is worried about whether she'll be able to talk to the Nobel Prize-winning chemist she's been seated next to. I particularly like when she recites what she knows about him to Toby and he says, "Well, as long as all he wants to talk about is where he's from, where he went to school and what his name is, you'll be fine."
Will's excuse for planning to take a vacation after the events of season four's election arc: "This was a pretty tough campaign, okay? A guy died of it. This campaign had fatalities."
Another Ainsley one, the scene where Leo hires her.
Ainsley: I can't believe this! You have my FBI file?
Ainsley: I *have* an FBI file?
CJ's response to learning that Josh has been sparring with the members of a website devoted to him - actually the entire Lemon-Lymon subplot of that episode, including CJ's analogy of a website to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
CJ: I'm going to assign an intern from the press office, they're gonna check it every night before they go home. If I find out you've been there, I'm gonna shove a motherboard so far up your ass- (Josh laughs) WHAT?
Josh: Uh, technically, I outrank you.
CJ: SO FAR UP YOUR ASS!
In "Galileo," Sam is forced to be at the same event as Mallory, not having talked to her since the whole photographed-with-a-prostitute incident.
Sam: What's his name? Mallory: His name is Richard Andrewchuk. Sam: There's a hockey player named Richard Andrewchuk. Mallory: Well, unless there are two of them. Sam: You're dating Richard Andrewchuk? Mallory: Yes, and we're having quite a lot of sex. Sam: I'd almost think you'd have to. Mallory: What does that mean? Sam: What the hell do you and Richard Andrewchuk talk about? Mallory: He happens to be a terribly bright guy. Sam: Well, good, because he's a really bad hockey player. Mallory: He's had injury problems this season. Sam: From falling down.
Lionel Tribbey: I will kill people today, Leo. I will kill people with this cricket bat, which was given to me by Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth Windsor, and then I will kill them again with my own hands.
And when Ainsley goes to him for advice:
Ainsley Hayes: Mr. Tribbey? I'd like to do well on this, my first assignment.Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.\\
Lionel Tribbey:Beat Well, not speaking in iambic pentameter might be a step in the right direction.
Of course, the when he interrupts the President's radio address (another Funny Moment itself):
President 'Bartlet: Well, obviously, Lionel Tribbey is a brilliant lawyer whom we cannot live without, or there would be very little reason not to put him in prison.
When Sam and Mallory first meet Pilot:
Sam: Ms. O'Brien, I understand your feelings, but please believe me when I tell you that I'm a nice guy having a bad day. I just found out the Times is publishing a poll that says a considerable portion of Americans feel the White House has lost energy and focus. A perception that's not likely to be altered by the video footage of the President riding his bicycle into a tree. As we speak, the Coast Guard is fishing Cubans out of the Atlantic Ocean while the Governor of Florida wants to blockade the Port of Miami. A good friend of mine's about to get fired for going on television and making sense, and it turns out 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: That would be me.
Sam: Leo's daughter's fourth-grade class.
Sam: Well, this is bad on so many levels.
At the beginning of Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc, Mandy laments that the staff of the West Wing will be gloating at the fact that they have prevented Senator Lloyd Russell from being any sort of threat to Bartlet for the Presidential nomination.
Russell: There are very serious men and women in the White House. A blow was struck for party unity this morning. There's no cause to gloat.
The scene where C.J. tries out the shooting range at the Secret Service gym.
Toby and Charlie getting arrested in The California 47th:
Toby: Excuse me, Officer... how long do you think this is going to be?
Officer: Assault? Six to twenty months.
Charlie: It wasn't assault. He slipped on a thing.
Officer: Yeah, one of the guys says you hit him.
Charlie: Well, that was different. That part may have been assault.
Toby: Is there any chance I could get a corner cell or anything possibly with a loft?
Officer: They're solitary.
In Red Haven's On Fire:
Sam berates Toby for borrowing a phone from a call girl to get in touch with Josh:
Sam: So on a call girl's phone bill, there's going to be a call to Air Force One?
Toby: You're really going to be teaching the seminar on call girl caution? Really?
Or, after they're bailed out and Charlie is acting all tough-guy to the guard:
Toby: Hey, Hurricane, we were in the joint for like twenty minutes.
Toby as Sam's newly-appointed campaign manager has Sam speak to some reporters on Newport Beach. As the interview takes place:
CJ: He looks youthful.
CJ: And energetic.
CJ: He looks youthful and energetic. Do we have anything he can jump over?
Leo is giving Toby a job he really doesn't want in Season 2's Galileo:
Leo:Make a recommendation by the end of the day.
Leo (turning to Josh): What are you smiling at?
Josh: Nothing, I just...(grinning) Toby got the stamp assignment.
Toby:Leo, I might need some help.
TobyThanks. (turning to Josh) Congratulations, you're choosing the next stamp.
Josh (to himself): Wow, that happened fast.
Leo, a recovering alcoholic, and VP Hoynes are meeting with the President.
Hoynes: Mr. President, I'm a recovering alcoholic.
Hoynes: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: (beat) Is there anybody left who's not?!
Leo trolls for ideas for his wedding anniversary, and is advised against hiring a violinist: "The novelty wears off after a few minutes, and then it's just a guy with a violin in your house."
The campaign suggests Leo's daughter Mallory goes on television with him to help address his past addiction issues, possibly with her baby. Bram asks if it's a photogenic baby...with Leo in the room. The look of outrage on his face is priceless, as is Bram's slightly abashed follow-up: "...hey, not all of them are."
Bruno Gianelli negotiating with Leo and then President Bartlet. He haggles with Leo and wins the compromise between 10 and 15 percent of the ad buy, getting 13 instead of 12. He then demands direct access to the President, which Leo denies, so Bruno threatens that if he talks to the President and says it's a dealbreaker, he'll say yes. Leo has Margaret show him into the Oval Office, where Bartlet immediately starts with "so we're giving you 12% of the ad buy?" and eventually cuts off Bruno's ultimatum with his own. Quoting it here wouldn't even do it justice since it's Ron Silver and Martin Sheen's dynamic that makes the negotiation hilariously one-sided.
What makes it even more beautiful is that Bartlet is just so cheerfully pleasant and (seemingly) oblivious as he just completely demolishes all of Bruno's demands one after the other... because really, what's Bruno going to do?
The beginning of Jed's talk with Abbey in the limo in Manchester:
Jed: I'm just saying, it could've been worse, I could've been an astronaut.
Abbey: You could not have been an astronaut.
Jed: I would've been a great astronaut.
Abbey: You're afraid of heights, speed, fire, and small spaces.
Jed: Yeah, but I would've overcome it to go to the moon.
Abbey' [long pause] Yeah, you would've.
Josh: Did you know that sixty-nine percent of Americans oppose legalization [of marijuana]? Only twenty-three percent support it.
Dr. Griffith: The number gets a lot higher than that if you ask people under thirty.
Josh: Well that's a shock. Did you know that the number gets even higher than that if you limit the polling sample to Bob Marley and the Wailers?
CJ's first meeting as Chief of Staff. She's barely just gotten seated at the desk when both Toby and Josh within a minute of each other pull out letters of resignation, citing that they don't feel comfortable working under her. CJ starts to protest... and then Bartlet walks into her office and bluntly announces he's uncomfortable working with a woman and that he's going to give the VP a shot at the top job, leaving CJ completely flummoxed and speechless... at which point Toby starts giggling uncontrollably.
Bartlet: You're weak. You have a weak will. You should have held it. See if she pulled out the Continuity of Government plan. Will: He cracked up at the mere suggestion of the VP... Toby:[Still giggling uncontrollably] I had a whole thing on spending time with my kids, I went up. CJ:[Having realized the prank] You are bad, bad men. Bartlet: In the service of a vengeful god.
Bartlet manages to pull one off in the middle of a scene where he's being wheeled into surgery after being shot (In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I):
Nurse: I need to ask you a couple of questions, sir. Do you have any medical conditions? This is actually an important line too, as Bartlet hasn't yet made his MS public.
Bartlet: Well... I've been shot!
The Cold Open of Let Bartlet Be Bartlet. Toby and Sam are arguing over a speech, which opens with "As I look out over this magnificent vista." Toby is worried about what happens in the event of sudden rain - if the speech will be moved inside, do they change it immediately or trust Bartlet to improvise his own opening? Sam assures him that rain isn't going to happen - he has a report from the National Weather Service. "They use satellites. They use technology." Cue a thunderclap and a downpour. Toby notes that "This is the same satellite technology we use to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles." They get interrupted by the plot for several minutes. Finally, as they stand watching the speech, Sam has an Oh Crap reaction, telling Leo "I forgot to do something."
From In This White House, when Bartlet decides to hire Ainsley Hayes (who is herself a source of several Crowning Moments of Funny) and Leo is trying to talk him out of it.
Bartlet: Charlie, there's a woman whose voice I think would fit in very nicely around here. She's a conservative Republican. Should I hire her?
Charlie: Absolutely, Mr. President, because I'm told theirs is the party of inclusion.
Leo: See? Charlie just made a joke to you in the Oval Office. That's how bad an idea this is.
Then, a few moments later:
Bartlet: Charlie, when they close the book on me and you, they will note that in this moment you were not there for me, and for that, obviously, there'll be some kind of punishment.
Charlie: Well, you could always sing Puccini for me again, sir. We'll call it even.
C.J.'s reaction is also pretty funny:
C.J.: Are you kidding?
C.J.: Are you kidding?
C.J.:Are you kidding?
C.J.: WELL, WHAT THE HELL MADE YOU THINK I WOULDN'T SCREAM WHERE THERE ARE PEOPLE?
Leo: I took a shot.
C.J. running into a door after she and Danny kiss for the first time—this was the kiss that was supposed to help her "get past it." (She didn't get past it, by the way. Neither of them did.)
Josh's comment on Sam's attorney fiancee, while asking Sam to move back to DC and be his Deputy Chief of Staff:
Josh: Gee, I wonder if she'd be able to find gainful employment in the lawyer capital of the known universe.
The running gag of the president's love for trivia which the rest of the staff hates.
Bartlet: We should organize a staff field-trip to Shenandoah. I could even act as the guide. What do you think?
Josh: Good a place as any to dump your body.
Bartlet: What was that?
Josh: Did I say that out loud?
CJ: I can hang in there with the best of them, sir, but somewhere in the discussion of anise and coriander and the other 15 spices you like to use to baste a turkey, I just lost consciousness.
This exchange between Donna and Josh after he gets back from a trip to Finland. Note that this takes place when they are both seeing other people.
Josh: Good morning!
Donna: My man!
Donna: You came back to me.
Josh: Just like I promised.
Donna: I missed you.
Josh: When did you find you missed me the most?
Donna: The nights.
Josh: Of course.
The president revealing to the first lady that he used to give their children candy.
Bartlet: You know I gave the kids candy all the time, right?
Abbey: Behind my back?
Abbey: You bought their love.
Bartlet: Well, it was for sale, and I wanted it.
Abbey: You gave the girls candy?
Bartlet: I was their dealer. Live with it.
Josh' delight at being rid of his annoying intern Pierce.
Pierce: I was hoping you'd give a toast at my going away party.
Josh: How about a plaque for best impersonation of a blue blazer?
Pierce: So you're coming to the party?
Josh: I'm having my own celebration with five cloves of garlic and the cast of "the Exorcist".
One of Josh' many Lymanisms:
Josh: You know, if I wanted your opinion I would stick you in a focus group in southern Missouri.
CJ on the Bartlet administration:
CJ: Nobody turns us down. We're like the Mob, only less violent. Ultimately responsible for more death and destruction.
The White House staff find their own ways of amusing themselves during otherwise boring social gatherings.
CJ: Here, it will take your mind off of things.
Josh: Dignitary bingo?
CJ: I've already got four across. Find the Mexican president and you're home.
Danny: I think the president's son-in-law may be banging the nanny.
CJ: Is that a euphemism?
Danny: No. Well, banging is, I guess.
CJ in the briefing room brings a lot of funny stuff along the way. Even in otherwise serious storylines.
CJ: We're confirming now that a suspect has been taken into custody and is being questioned by federal law enforcement. At this time we cannot, we are not releasing any information whatsoever about the suspect.
Steve: CJ can you tell us anything? His name? Where he's from? Ethnicity? If you guys suspect a motive?
CJ: Yes, Steve, I can tell you all those things, because when I said we weren't releasing any information whatsoever I meant except his name, his address, his ethnicity and what we think his motive was.
Bartlet: Charlie! Would you pull the first lady out of whatever it is she's doing?
Charlie: She's with the women's caucus.
Bartlet: Well put on a helmet and pads and get in there.
In "Five Votes Down", Bartlet alters one of Toby's speeches:
Bartlet: I did a little polish right up there on my feet.
Toby: Yes indeed.
Bartlet: Right in front of everybody. I looked to the side at one point, you know. I half expected to see you coming at me with a salad fork.
Toby: Well, but for the secret service agents restraining me, sir.
Recently, there has been two "reunion" clips of most of the regular cast members:
A political ad for actress Mary McCormack's sister Bridget running for Michigan's State Supreme Court in 2012. Promoting voter attention for non-partisan down-ballot votes AND making us all pine wistfully for a show cancelled six years prior...
In the last season, CJ and Will have the following exchange.
CJ: You I need. Come here.
Will: What's wrong?
CJ: Close the door.
Will: I didn't do it.
CJ: Close the door.
Will:Toby did it.
CJ: Shut up.
Ellie Bartlet sends her (rather weedy and nebbish looking) fiance to meet the father...who just happens to be sitting in the Oval Office along with all the top military brass.
Margret: Mr. President, your two o'clock is about to melt.
In Midterms, after the President give an awesome verbal beatdown to a bigoted radio host Sam adds a little insult to injury by walking right up to her while she's still looks stunned, taking a crab puff off of her plate and eating it in front of her before walking away.
CJ and Big Bird. That is all.
Matt and Helen Santos have just been blindsided by Josh Lyman:
Matt: Josh wants me to run for President.
Helen: ...of the United States?
Jed and Abbey's repeated attempts at victory sex during Election Night/Process Stories keep getting interrupted by staff members coming to talk about their own issues- when each of them steps into their bedroom, they take one look at the caviar, champagne, and what the President and First Lady are wearing, their realization of what they've stepped into is hilarious.
Toby: Good evening, Mrs. Bartlet, that's a lovely housecoat you're wearing.
Sam's reaction to Abbey's appearance is particularly hilarious.