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Funny / The Wire

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"The machine is never wrong, son."

Funny moments in The Wire. They have been divided by seasons.

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    Season 1 
  • At D'Angelo's trial, when McNulty tries to peek into Stringer's pad, Stringer responds in kind with a caricature of McNulty dressed as Superman (with a chest emblem in the shape of Africa) and a balloon that reads "Fuck you detective". McNulty's response indicates he finds this Actually Pretty Funny.
    • It becomes more Hilarious in Hindsight when Avon mentions that String was heavily into the black power movement. It's implied here that Stringer was drawing himself as an African superhero but incorporated Jimmy's face midway when McNulty caught his attention.
  • McNulty vs Rawls, round one:
    • Rawls flipping two birds at once:
      "You have my attention, Detective; my complete, undivided attention."
    • Especially in hindsight, it's quite hilarious and gratifying learning that someone is sweating Rawls, instead of Rawls doing the berating, for once.
      Let me understand something. You are having the deputy bust my balls over a prior-year case? Is this what I need from you, you insubordinate little fuck? I had to go upstairs knowing nothing and explain to the deputy why he's getting calls about murders that don't mean a shit to anybody.
    • The Bunk strikes back:
      "There you go, giving a fuck when it ain't your turn to give a fuck"
    • "Deputy loves dots"
      Jay: Fuck you and your dots.
  • While showing off his light trigger pull to Carver, Prez accidentally forgets to unload the one round in the chamber. Almost everyone jumps, but Kima just briefly looks up from her newspaper, then goes back to reading like nothing happened.
    Daniels: [to Kima] Detective?
    Kima: [not looking up from her paper] Officer Pryzbylewski shot the wall, lieutenant.
    McNulty: Why?
    Kima: [to Prez] Why did you shoot the wall, Officer Przybylewski?
    • And the whole time, as Prez tries to explain himself, Daniels has this expression of, "Damn! They saddled me with fucking humps!"
    • The others implore that Prez needs to write it up.
    Kima: You wanna write on it?
    Prez: Write on what?
    McNulty: You let one go, you gotta write. You gotta justify the use of deadly force.
    Kima: Against a plaster wall.
  • Another Hilarious in Hindsight moment, with Lester Freamon being dismissed as a hump or a cuddly house cat in the first episodes. Little do they know he's natural police.
  • The scene where Bunk and McNulty investigate a crime scene where they only say variations of the word "fuck". Better yet, despite that being the only word they say between one anothe, the scene still makes sense!
  • Herc and Carver are being compared to Batman and Robin.
    "Boy Wonder, why don't you suck my Bat-dick!"
  • An annoying telephone in the improvised "office" keeps ringing. Santangelo picks it up just to wordlessly hang up.
    Santangelo: [shrugs] It was for McNulty.
  • D'Angelo after Wallace gets paid with Bubbles' fake money.
    "This look like money, motherfucker?! Money be GREEN!"
  • Landsman is exultant after his "D" long-shot turns out to be connected with D'Angelo.
    Jay: (with his pants down) Hey McNulty! Something here needs kissin'!
  • In a nod to Homicide: Life on the Street, Landsman is seen telling the punchline of a raunchy joke about a hunter raped by a bear. Jay is funny by default, but what really makes the scene is the silent but appalled reaction to the joke of the woman among his audience. She withdraws clearly thinking that Jay is an asshole.
  • Lester Freamon's dismay that none of the detail's members ever serving in the Military.
    "A bunch of draft-dodgin' peace-freaks!"
  • Kima and Carver on the roof:
    Ellis Carver: Kima, if you don't my asking, when was it that you first figured that you liked women better than men?
    Kima Greggs: I mind you asking.
  • Sydnor's first attempt to go undercover as a dope fiend, which Bubbles tears down bit by bit.
    Sydnor: Detective Sydnor's ensemble is the latest in West Side Project wear. Torn cammies by Versace, stained sweatshirt by Ralph Lauren...
    • Later, once Bubbles has had his say:
    McNulty: He hurt your feelings?
    Sydnor: A little bit.
  • Bunk gets drunk off his ass when McNulty pressures him to let Omar off the hook for Stinkum's murder and deny Cole a clearance. McNulty leaves Bunk at the bar as he prepares to hook up with another woman across the way. Later, McNulty gets a phone call in the middle of the night from the woman because Bunk has set off her fire alarm. Twice.
    Jimmy McNulty: That good, huh?
    Bunk: [slurring] First she gives me the pussy, then she takes my shoes? That shit ain't right.
    • McNulty takes Bunk back to his place, Bunk still wearing the woman's robe. After laying Bunk down on the lower bunk of his newly installed bunk bed, McNulty asks him, incredulously, "Hey Bunk, I'll give you that burning trace evidence makes sense. But what the fuck did you plan to wear home?" Somehow, the looks they give each other are hilarious.
  • McNulty thanking Bunk for fucking him gently.
    Bunk: I knew it was your first time. I wanted that shit to be special.
    McNulty: It was, man. It fucking was.
  • The entire scene where McNulty and Bunk re-create the Deirdre murder. Essentially five straight minutes of absolutely nothing but gratuitous use of the word "fuck" and variations thereof. And it still makes sense!
  • Sure enough, Gant's status as a witness makes the paper, prompting Rawls to come out to confront McNulty.
    Bill Rawls: [throws open his door] MCNULTY! Where the fuck is he?!
    Jay Landsman: I, uh, he's detailed, Major. To Narcotics.
    Bill Rawls: I fucking know where he's detailed! I fucking already know that!
    Jay Landsman: Yes, sir.
    Bill Rawls: Where is he right now?
    Jay Landsman: Uh, I can page him.
    [Rawls takes a look at the cubicle closest to him. He promptly sweeps two stacks of bindings and a coffee cup off the desk]
    Bill Rawls: Move that fucking desk out of my unit. I do not want that fucking man's desk in my unit.
    Jay Landsman: That's Crutchfield's desk. Crutchfield's. [Rawls' expression: "I don't care"] McNulty sits here. [Landsman points to the cubicle opposite the one Rawls swept. Rawls, still fuming, walks back to his office. Cole and a few other coworkers cautiously emerge from hiding]
    Ray Cole: Fuck was that about?
    Jay Landsman: Did you see today's paper?
    Ray Cole: Just the Sports.
    Jay Landsman: [laughs] You've gotta check out the front page. [Cole looks at the front page of the Sun copy on his desk]
    Ray Cole: Whoa! What do you think they'll do to him?
    Jay Landsman: Well let me tell you something. If he gets caught with his dick up the ass of the deputy's wife, he's still gonna have more of a career than if they find out he's behind that story. [laughs]
  • Landsman thinking, "in a clear violation of the general orders" and interceding for Jimmy and his clearance before Rawls, because McNulty interferes with Jay's wordly pleasures.
    Jay Landsman: I been thinkin'. It's a clear violation of the general orders, I know, but...
    [Rawls motions for Landsman to sit]
    Bill Rawls: [chuckling] Leila Kaufman?
    Jay Landsman: Yes, sir. Uh, summer of '72. I got this saucy wench in my gunsights, so to speak, and, uh... I am dangerously close to engorged when, all of a fuckin' sudden, out of fuckin' nowhere, fuckin' Detective fuckin' Jimmy McNulty pops into my head.
    Bill Rawls: McNulty?
    Jay Landsman: Obviously, I gotta open my eyes and admit to myself that my whole night is ruined, at which point I got nothin' to do but think about the problems of Jimmy McNulty, because clearly, this guy and his fuckin' problems are standing between me and all worldly pleasure.
  • Carver imitates a Korean counterman to prank-call D'Angelo, but Herc doesn't find it convincing.
  • At the start of "Old Cases", Herc tries to move a desk through a doorway. Carver comes in and helps from the other side. Sydnor and McNulty come in and help from Herc's and Carver's side respectively, but they make no progress. Herc mutters "At this rate we're never gonna get it in." Cue a hilarious Oh, Crap! look from McNulty and Carver. "In?!"
    • And the whole time, Lester is watching and clearly knows exactly what's going on, but wants to enjoy the show a bit longer.
    • Daniels' reaction is likewise appropriate: "I'm embarrassed for you all."
  • Daniels' muted reaction to Senator Clay Davis' denial of his involvement with the Barksdales.
    Clay Davis: (Smiling) I'm not involved in drugs, Lieutenant.
    Daniels: (Shrugging)...Good.
  • Towards the end of "The Hunt," D'Angelo and Wee-Bey pay a visit to Bey's house. Bey is really insistent in getting D'Angelo into the house, leading D'Angelo and the audience to think that he's going to be killed. As Bey goes over to turn on the lights, D'Angelo is standing in the darkness, sobbing, thinking that he's about to die... and then Bey turns on the lights, revealing several aquariums, full of fish. Cue Bey grinning and bragging about his fish, before telling D'Angelo how to feed them.
    Wee-Bey: (pointing to his fish) These are my Tetras. Got Kimmy, Alex, Aubrey, and Jezebel in here somewhere. I don't know, she think she cute.
  • Herc and Carver try the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine on Bodie, who instantly sees through it and turns it against them.
    • After he provokes Carver into beating him Bodie shouts, "You're supposed to be the good cop, dumb motherfucker!"
  • Before this, Herc and Carver drive to juvenile detention to talk to Bodie, fantasizing about how he's going to break down when they tell him that Mahon is on his deathbed, and they are going to crack the case...just to drive right past him as he's hitchhiking, having immediately escaped after waking up in there.
  • Herc and Carver childishly listen to Poot having phone sex over the wiretap. Prez and McNulty object to it until, by pure chance and much to Herc and Carver's pride, the call becomes pertinent at the end.
    Ellis Carver: Pertinent now, right?
    Jimmy McNulty: It is if you can explain why we're still on the line after ten minutes of jerking off. You gotta justify that.
    Herc: Maybe "three holes" was the code for "three stash houses". [beat; Herc and Carver burst into uncomfortable laughter]
  • Omar calls Tyrell's bluff, and they throw a bag of drugs at him so he'll leave them alone.
  • When two police officers stand next to Brandon's mutilated body on the car's hood, one of them remarks:
    "This is the worst case of suicide I've ever seen."
    • McNulty has to wait for a lab unit because all the available ones are investigating the theft of patio furniture from the house of some city council hack.
  • McNulty and Bunk visit D'Angelo in the Pit about the murder of a witness who testified at D'Angelo's murder trial.
    D'Angelo Barksdale: Y'all hassling me about that shit. I thought you heard what the jury had to say.
    Bunk Moreland: Fuck the jury.
    Jimmy McNulty: Yeah fuck the jury, this is just us talking, right? It's just you, me, my partner and- [motions to Bodie] what'd you say your name was?
    Bodie Broadus: I ain't say shit.
  • Bunk's story of shooting a mouse in his wife's closet.
  • Polk and Mahon are tasked with putting a face to Avon Barksdale, only to come up with the photo of a middle-aged white man.
    Kima Greggs: Maybe he's white. (laughs)
  • Santangelo has been given an ultimatum from Rawls: spy on McNulty, clear one of his open cases, or leave the Homicide Unit altogether. Landsman approaches Santangelo and sends him to consult a psychic, Madame LaRue. The woman can't tell Italian from Irish, has questionable knowledge of the Saints, and doesn't clean up her kid's toys. She also tells him to bury a doll in the murder victim's grave. Luckily, Bunk and McNulty solve another of Santangelo's open cases for him.
  • Proposition Joe on the role of mediator:
    Joe: I'm doing like one of them marriage counsellors. Charge by the hour to tell some fool he need to bring some flowers home. Then charge another hour telling the bitch she oughta suck some cock every little once in a while. You know, keep a marriage strong like that. (Omar walks up) Speaking of cocksuckers...
  • "Fighting the war on drugs... one brutality case at a time."
  • Avon finally visits the Pit...but Santangelo misses him because he has to take a leak on the other side of the roof.
  • Avon criticizes Prop. Joe's rigging of the charity basketball game.
    Avon: Ayo what's up playboy? How come you wearin' that suit, B? For real its 85 fuckin' degrees out here and you try'na be like fuckin' Pat Riley.
    Joe : Look the part, be the part, motherfucker.
    Avon: Nigga, please. You're carrying a fake fuckin' clipboard. You can't even read a fuckin' playbook. Be real!
  • Burrell being a Smug Snake about dismantling the Barksdale Unit tells Daniels he can keep Prez and Freamon, not realizing those two are some of the best the unit has.
  • Carver's pencil lost it's point.

    Season 2 
  • McNulty's abysmal seamanship.
    Jimmy: It's a Baltimore knot [...] I dunno, but it's never the same thing twice.
    Jimmy: Here, Bubs, tie this to that thing, will ya?
    Bubbles: The cleat? [ties it off perfectly]
  • Landsman has won the bet he made back in the first episode: McNulty is riding the boat.
  • Herc and Kima joke about how incompetent the hoppers in the white neighborhoods are, and Herc suggests there should be Affirmative Action for White Gangbangers.
  • Burrell inquiring about the feud with Frank Sobotka.
    Burrell: What's he to you?
    Valchek: To me? He's an asshole! (both laugh)
  • In what could be his defining moment, McNulty sticking his former commander with 14 open homicides, and his ensuing celebration.
    "Careful, you're giving me an erection!"
    • And when the secretary begins adding the Jane Does to the whiteboard, you can see the souls of every one of the homicide detectives being crushed. Jay Landsman specifically has the kind of face you'd normally reserve for a young boy who's been told his puppy had to be put down.
    • Even better, when the 14 Jane Does are pushed onto Bunk and Freamon, when Beadie asks them if they know McNulty.
      Bunk: (deadpan) He's dead to us.
    • Later, when McNulty heads to Homicide to talk to Freamon and Bunk, he passes Rawls, and salutes him. Rawls freezes in the spot and his look of fury and incredulity is priceless, like he has seen a ghost.
  • Lester and Bunk realize that McNulty is there to smugly show off his deductive motherfucker skills, so they start explaining the case in third person for him before McNulty can say another word of his Johnny-come-lately bullshit, as they already have figured most of it by themselves.
  • Lester and Bunk interview foreign sailors who allegedly don't speak English.
    • One of the sailors kisses Bunk's hand as he's talking.
    • You can tell that Bunk's lost it when he starts talking to one of the foreign guys, and this "language" includes the phrase "yabba-dabba-daba-doo."
    • Lester has a brief Samuel L. Jackson moment:
    Lester: Mishy Gishy Gushy Gushy Mishy Meshy Mushy Motherfucker... Negro, you cannot travel halfway around the world and not speak any motherfucking English! English, motherfucker!
    • Fridge Brilliance: Most of these guys do talk English and are just pretending not to know so as not to answer their questions. Both detectives, or at least Lester, already knew. Hence the two above moments.
  • Landsman reads Crutchfield's report, but Bunk and Lester have enough in their plates to be amused.
    Jay: The victim was prostate on the floor. That's a victim alright, that hurts bad.
  • Bodie purchases flowers for D'Angelo's funeral. The flower dealer figures out fairly quickly that Bodie's a drug dealer, and assumes that he's searching for flowers for one of his friends. He leads him into the back, where we see a variety of flower arrangements made to look like weapons and hood ornaments. Eventually, he gets an arrangement made to look like Tower 221, where he and the deceased worked the drug trade.
  • The opening to "Duck and Cover". To elaborate:
    • First, McNulty is shown drunk in a bar late at night. He says, "I am looking at you in the eye Gus. I'm telling you I'm not driving a car tonight," clearly trying real hard to look sober in front of the bartender he wants another drink from.
    • The scene cuts to McNulty driving, intoxicated, and singing along to "Transmetropolitan" by The Pogues. He enters a left turn and takes it too wide, causing him to crash into a concrete pillar. He gets out, examines the path if the crash, gets back in, backs the way he came from and recreates the crash, hurting himself in the process.
    • McNulty then heads to an all night diner where, still very drunk and with a bandaged hand, he somehow picks up the waitress and the scene cuts to them having sex in her apartment.
  • When the team are monitoring the illegal cargo coming off ships.
    Prez. They're bringing them off in tandem.
    Jimmy: Eh?
    Freamon: Means one after the other, Jimmy
    Jimmy: I know what it means!
  • The team debates who to send undercover to the brothel. They rule out Herc because he's not subtle. Carver volunteers, saying "I'd march into Hell for you, Lieutenant," only for Pearlman to shut him down on the grounds that he's too handsome to look like someone who would pay for sex. Kima and Bunk dismiss themselves because of domestic issues. Fortunately, McNulty walks in, mid-conversation.
    Kima: Takes a whore to catch a whore
    (everybody laughs)
    McNulty: What the fuck did I do?
    • When presented with a choice for girls, McNulty improvises a little and asks if it would be wrong to have two. When the others in the van hear it over the wire, Bunk chuckles, while Daniels shakes his head, not that surprised. And then McNulty actually seals the deal a moment later. When Bunk and Kima catch him in flagrante delicto, his first words to them are, "You're late."
    • Made even funnier as McNulty is told to describe the incident in his report exactly as it happened. Culminating in Rhonda having an incredulous reaction to what she's actually reading.
    • When they're debriefing Rawls, Burrell and Valchek later on, Rawls asks if there were any problems on the raid, and Rhonda downplays McNulty's threesome as "a complication or two. Nothing we can't write around."
    • Bunk tells McNulty, "You're famous behind this, you know that? As a pervert, this report is gonna make you a BPD legend." In season 5, Dozerman brings it up to McNulty, to which he half way denies.
  • Landsman's description of Lester Freamon's "brash, tweedy impertinence" and Bunk's "lawyerly affectations". While he's offering fashion advice to Beadie, namely 'pantsuits in muted tones' to best counterpart the aforementioned appearance that the guys have.
  • Omar in court in general. Levy tries to paint him as a unreliable witness against Bird, but Omar just keeps his cool and gets plenty of chance to show off his sharp tongue. To wit, when Levy reads his List of Transgressions, which includes several changes on illegal possession of weapons and a change of attempted murder, Omar has this comment:
    Omar: (scoffs) That wasn't no attempted murder.
    Levy: ...What was it, Mr. Little?
    Omar: I shot the boy Mike-Mike in his hind parts, that all. (the jury laughs) Fixed it so he couldn't sit right. (Judge Phelan barely surpresses a chuckle)
    Levy: Why'd you shoot Mike-Mike in his, um... "hind parts", Mr. Little?
    Omar: Let's say we had a disagreement.
    Levy: A disagreement over...?
    Omar: Well, you see, Mike-Mike thought he should keep that cocaine he was slingin' and the money he was makin' from slingin' it. I thought otherwise.
  • When Omar gives Levy the "I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase" rebuke, some Facial Dialogue ensues. Levy turns his face to the judge demanding some call to order, Phelan responds with a shrug and a funny face of his own which basically says "Man's got a point, what do you want me to do?"
  • Judge Phelan sets Bird's sentencing.
    Judge Phelan: Mr. Hilton, are you the second coming of our savior?
    Bird: Excuse me?
    Judge Phelan: Are you Jesus Christ come back to Earth?
    Bird: Um...
    Judge Phelan: [slams gavel] See you at sentencing.
    • When Bird is being led away afterwards, he's being escorted by a black bailiff who is so large that Bird looks like a kid compared to him. Indeed, when Bird tries taunting Omar, he looks more like a kid acting out in school.
  • Bunk and McNulty on the subject of Spiros Vandopolos:
    Bunk: Boy, them Greeks and those twisted-ass names.
    McNulty: Hey, lay off the Greeks, they invented civilization.
    Bunk: Yeah, ass-fucking too.
  • The detectives staring down the FBI members when they enter their office to set up shop, complete with Bunk opening his coat to show his sidearm.
    Freamon: Aim for center mass. Make sure the man goes down.
    Bunk: No problem. I got the three on the left.
    Agent Fitz: (grins) Fuck you, assholes!
  • Carver's reaction to the listening device which is getting charged to his his credit card is thrown into traffic.
    Herc: I guess it couldn't stand up to the modern crime environment.
  • Maui punks Ziggy, effortlessly.
    Ziggy: (from the top of a container) You motherfuckers gave me bad advice!
  • McNulty doing foreplay on a mannequin.
  • McNulty taking Omar shopping for trial clothes.
    • Receives an Exact Words Brick Joke when Omar shows up to court wearing a tie...on top of his regular clothing, since he was only told that whatever he bought had to include a tie
    • And a season later, becomes even more of a Brick Joke when Bunk gives Blind Butchie a tie — implied to be the exact same one — after Butchie turns in Dozerman's gun for Omar.
  • Bunk and McNulty on fashion:
    McNulty: You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?
    Bunk: A grown-up.
  • Bodie and Shamrock lose the hip hop station while driving to Philly, look for a new one, and happen upon A Prairie Home Companion. The crowner comes later when we see Bodie is still listening to it.
  • Herc and Carver's whole misadventure trying to investigate on their own after being stuck with all the crappy mundane tasks, where they end up destroying an expensive listening device.
    Carver: His name is Head. Dick Head.
    • And in the season's final episode, they end up Locked Out of the Loop about Nick turning himself in and spend the entire night watching his house. Their faces as they realize this are priceless.
  • Sergei and Prop Joe commiserate on the pitfalls of nepotism.
    Sergei: Family cannot be helped.
    Proposition Joe: Who you telling? I got motherfucking nephews and in-laws fucking all my shit up all the time, and it ain't like I can pop a cap in their ass and not hear about it Thanksgiving time. For real, I'm living life with some burdensome niggas.
  • The normally crude Herc actually being polite and shy when asking Beadie out for coffee.
    Herc: Listen, I was gonna ask her for her panties to make some soup with, but I was afraid she'd take it the wrong way.
  • Ziggy walks into the local bar wearing blind man shades and a "seeing-eye-duck" wearing a diamond collar. He then says it's his attorney, he and the rest of the bar proceed to give the damn thing scotch, which only succeeds in killing it.
    Ziggy: Now, I may not be able to see through all the bullshit, but my feathery friend here can.
  • Some of the stevedores decide to play a prank on Ziggy. They serve him with a "paternity suit," which includes a telephone number for a lawyer. Nicky makes the phone call to "the lawyer", and Maui answers from across the room, "Shyster, shyster and shyster." The guys make sure some very apropos music plays in the background: "Love child, never meant to be"
  • Valchek's valuable district surveillance van:
    • As retaliation for Valchek's ticketing cars and setting up impromptu DUI checkpoints, the IBS has Horseface steal it from the district's parking lot, right out from under Valchek's nose. They proceed to load it into a cargo container and ship it from port to port, sending him photographs from each destination like their own traveling gnome.
    • When Kima comes asking for it, right as Valchek receives a photograph of it from California, Valchek has to invent a lie on the spot and say that the Southwest has the van on loan. His uneasiness is priceless.
    • And even better, even after Sobotka dies, Valchek gets another photograph of the van in a new locale, and even seems kind of impressed that Sobotka is still fucking with him from beyond the grave.
  • The wordless montage of Cedric and Kima eating dinner while their respective spouses react angrily to them both taking up the new case.
  • Stringer explaining the laws of the market to his challenged underlings. The confused and frustrated reaction faces make the scene, once again. And this happens with Shamrock and Country, who in theory are the "smartest" ones of what is left after Season 1 (which is not saying much).
    Country: "Yo, uh, String, why are you so down on the phone companies, man?"
    Stringer: "While back, I took a stroll through the pit, I saw that kid we got running things down there, uh, Poot. Now, he got the cell phone I gave him for the business, right there on his hip. But, the nigga got another cell phone that only rang when the pussy called. Now, if this no-account nigga got two cell phones, how the fuck you gonna sell any more of them motherfuckers? That's market saturation".
  • Stringer venting out his usual frustration by talking about the hardships of being a CEO, after Shamrock messed it up.
    "Everybody else can be ducking and hiding (Stringer does some sudden moves), doing what they fucking wanna do...No, that's a very simple thing, my nigga. You drive the guns to the water. You look around, you ain't see anybody, you throw the guns. In the water. Splash".
  • Carver grows tired of Herc's undercover tics.
    "One more time with that toothpick, and I'm gonna stab him in the fucking eye with it."
  • Daniels gets McNulty off the boat.
    Daniels: I could use someone like him.
    Rawls: And I could use three more inches of meat, it ain't gonna happen.
    Daniels: You ever see how a dog gets when he smells a bone buried in the yard?
    Rawls: Yeah, and I seen one take a shit on my carpet, too. And don't give me that he's-got-that-fire- in-the-belly garbage, either. [...] Jesus, Lieutenant. When I said "anything," I meant I'd let you have a kiss, feel my tits or something, you know? But not this.
  • Joe assures the Sobotka cousins that they would be "cadaverous motherfuckers" if they weren't connected to the Greeks.
  • Much like Rawls, Valchek can be a very funny asshole, especially during his tantrums.
    Fucking rat fuckers, all of you.
    Fuck you, this is the Baltimore Police Department, not the Roland Park Ladies' Tea.
  • When the FBI seizes a huge shipment of Colombian crack cocaine in the docks of Baltimore, Rawls, Burrell, Daniels and Valchek meet and can hardly conceal the envy of having an operation like that executed under their noses, while they have a detail that is investigating the waterfronts (or "fucking the dog", as Rawls puts it). It's clear that they are lamenting what a big hit like that would have meant to their careers, but Valchek jumps at the chance to snark about his feud.
    Valchek: Now, that, gentlemen, is a case. God forbid you two should put something like that on my friend, Frank Sobotka. I would die happy.
    • Burrell has a moment of levity.
    Burrell: You hit a (high-end) brothel? Jesus. If you find anything that looks like a list of steady customers, flush it. I mean, half the names in the Maryland Manual are probably on it!
    (Everybody is amused)
  • Amid grief, Nicky remembers some of the good old times with Ziggy.
    College kids ain't shit!
  • Valchek walking Daniels into his new unit's office.
    Daniels: What happened to the detectives who were first assigned here?
    Valchek: They're dead. [Daniels looks shocked] To me anyway. I shipped those humps back to Burrell soon as I could.
  • Frank has to be an ordinary longshoreman to stay around the docks after his connection to the Greeks was exposed, so he has to borrow an ID from Big Roy. Turns out there are two men named that. The one Frank wants was Little Big Roy.
  • The scene where Spiros guarantees Nick that Ziggy will beat the murder rap with their help. They are watching kids play lacrosse.
    Spiros: Why do they need sticks? Why can't they kick the ball with their feet?

    Season 3 
  • Bodie and Poot reminisce as the Franklin Terrace towers come down. Well. Poot tries to reminisce. Bodie just mocks him.
  • When the towers come down, everybody is cheery at the ceremony until the area is flooded with dust, a thing that wasn't anticipated. The politicians make a mess of everything. There's another jab in the scene; Royce pushes down on the fake plunger, then the camera promptly cuts to the technician behind Royce who pushes the actual detonator to trigger the explosion.
  • Major Colvin asks two rookie cops which direction is north. One points to the east, the other straight up. Colvin immediately orders them to carry compasses at all times until they know their sense of direction. The two officers leave Colvin's office, and as they do so, walk past Herc and Carver, who are sitting at Carver's desk writing up on an arrest.
    Herc: Hey Carv, where you at?
    Carver: I'm at a desk outside the roll call room on the first floor of 1034 North Mount. My feet are facing west and my dick is pointing south-southwest! [grins]
    Herc: Bunny Colvin's been giving that speech as long as you guys were sucking air.
  • Stringer attempts to run the drug gang according to Robert's Rules Of Order. Shamrock's writing something in his notepad.
    Stringer: Motherfucker, what is that?
    Shamrock: Robert Rules say we gotta have minutes for a meeting, right? These the minutes.
    Stringer: Nigga, is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?
    Poot: Do the chair know we gonna look like some punk-ass bitches out there?
    (Stringer SLAPS aside the microphone and steps down to get in Poot's face)
    Stinger: MOTHERFUCKER, I will punk your ass for sayin' some...
    Shamrock: Yo! String!
    Stringer: What?!
    Shamrock: Poot did have the floor...
    Stringer: Shut the fuck up, man! This nigga too ignorant to have the fuckin' floor!
    • Stringer's lectures about economics usually start with some reaction shots of his disgruntled underlings. He is oblivious to the fact that he's casting pearls before swine, but surprisingly, some of them are able to retort, from time to time.
    • In a subsequent meeting, Stringer checks Shamrock's notepad to make sure the nigga ain't taking notes on a criminal fuckin' conspiracy, and is pleased to discover that Shamrock is just drawing some pornography.
  • Colvin tells the Western District cops to do whatever it takes to get the dealers to move their people into Hamsterdam. They proceed to engage in all sorts of petty moves, such as throwing their shoes down the drain, or driving them out to the forest and making them have to find their way back on foot.
    Herc: Shit like this don't happen in Hamsterdam.
    • Herc tows a dealer's car. Its name is "Babycakes".
  • "I don't think any of us wants to have to get a real job.", observes Parker; after Royce, Burrell, and Demper argue over who should or shouldn't take responsibility for the out of control crime rates. After a momentary beat, everyone bursts out in tension-breaking laughter.
  • Carver posses Herc with the hypothetical of Herc having to have sex with a man for the reward of getting to sleep with the Olsen twins afterwards. Herc spends most of the day trying to negotiate with Carver down from having sex with a man to an old and ugly woman. Which finally culminates in him asking Carver, "How bout a handjob?" out of the blue whilst interviewing Poot. Poot's reaction face is what makes it.
    • Finally, that night, as they're in the parking lot, Herc makes his pick (former Baltimore Orioles catcher Gus Triandos, because Herc feels sorry for the fact he had to catch knuckleball pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm all those years). Then Dozerman walks by:
    Kenneth Dozerman: You know, I actually looked up the stats on Gus Triandos. Power hitter, right?
    Herc: Fuck the both of you. (Carver and Dozerman laugh)
    • One scene later, Dozerman drives by Herc and Carver, mimicking the act of giving head. Carver grins while Herc just gives Dozerman a middle finger.
    • When the scene was filmed (2003-2004), the Olsen twins were around 18 years old. So it's even funnier realizing that Herc is a total creep.
  • Tactical raid a stash house and with a half dozen all piling in in full armor and gear they get stuck in the small corridors leaving Kima to have to weasel her way through them with an annoyed look on her face.
  • A drug addict's reaction after Santangelo drops him off in the middle of Hamsterdam and being surrounded by dozens of eager dealers: "Da Fuck?"
    Dealer: Got that WMD right chea, right chea.
    Santangelo: I've heard that the, uh, WMD is the bomb...
  • The saga of Cheese's doggone confession.
    • To elaborate: the MCU has overheard Cheese talking on the wire about a "dawg" he killed and felt regretful about killing. They have him brought in and interrogated. Bunk and McNulty are under the impression that Cheese is confessing to killing a person named "Dawg". It's not until Cheese mentions where the body is, "unless the SPCA comes around", that they realize he was just talking about putting his dog out of its misery in a dogfight.
    • It's not helped by the little hurt swelling in Cheese's voice when he replies to Bunk's mockery of his voice with, "Man, y'all some cold ass motherfuckers". He legitimately believes they brought him in just to fuck with him about his dog.
    • What seals is when Bunk and McNulty leave the room, where Daniels and Rhonda are waiting.
    Cedric Daniels: Tell me something good.
    Bunk Moreland: We're charging him.
    Jimmy McNulty: Improper disposal of an animal. Discharging a firearm in city limits.
    Bunk Moreland: Animal cruelty. You'll want to run wild with it. [Bunk and McNulty walk off while Daniels and Rhonda display these priceless "WTF?" looks on their faces]
  • Bunk's Terrible Interviewees Montage with various prison inmates to find the whereabouts of Dozerman's gun.
  • Like a 40-degree day!
  • "Did you just use the word habitat in a sentence?"
  • Bubbles and Johnny planning, then carrying out a con, in which one of them pretends to be a mugger who tries to rob a repairman on a ladder, before the other chases him away and is given a reward by the mark.
    Bubbles: I best be the bad guy, that way [white guy] ain't confused.
  • Rawls blasts "Ride of the Valkyries" during the assault on Hamsterdam.
  • On a similar note, Herc plays the Shaft theme before a drug bust.
    Herc: He's a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman.
    Carver: Seek therapy.
  • Kima, Lester and McNulty are photographing Drac, whom Lester says is the talkingest motherfucker ever heard on a wiretap. As proof, Lester plays back a tape where Drac tries to speak in code but eventually loses patience and shouts, "Cocaine, nigga!"
    • As Prez later remarks, "If that idiot worked for us, he'd be a Deputy Commissioner by now."
    • The Major Crimes Unit sees Drac as an exploitable weakness, and comes up with an ingenious plan: they'll bust a dealer higher up the chain in hopes that Drac gets promoted and starts talking openly about Joe. When Burrell asks Daniels why he's so certain that Drac will get promoted even though he's a knucklehead, Daniels replies, "We do it all the time." Burrell can't help but chuckle.
  • Late at night, Major Colvin goes for a drive through his district, in-uniform, in an unmarked but obvious police car. Some dumbass kid named Justin still tries to sell him drugs despite the spotter's warnings. He's so stunned initially that he just responds "What?". The kid asks again, so Colvin turns up his police radio. The kid asks again, so Colvin puts on his uniform hat, at which point the kid finally figures it out and his friends start howling with laughter.
    • The commentary on this scene from the creators is just as funny:
    "When, as a police officer who is not undercover, you get offered drugs out on the streets by dealers, it is safe to say that you have officially lost the war on drugs."
  • Herc actually asks Justin, who's wearing his baseball cap sideways, where he gets hats like that.
  • Lester and McNulty having a vicious verbal fight about wasting time on other cases instead of focusing on Stringer - Freamon doesn't mind, Jimmy is furious. McNulty tells Lester how Stringer is probably laughing his ass off, since the police doesn't have a clue what happened to all the real estate he owned. They both storm out furiously after a What the Hell, Hero? speech from Freamon. Cue Lester coming back and telling Prez quietly to check that real estate.
  • Lester deconstructing McNulty with a premonitory "Get a life speech". Even McNulty finds some thing amusing.
    Lester: How do you think it all ends? A parade? A gold watch? A shining Jimmy McNulty Day moment, when you bring in a case sooooo sweet everybody gets together and says, "Aw, shit! He was right all along. Should've listened to the man."? The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won't make you whole, it won't fill your ass up.
  • McNulty picks up Theresa D'Agostino during a school presentation with his ex-wife. Halfway through, it turns out it's McNulty that got picked up. He only realizes it after they screw each other, where she tells him to leave. The look on his face is priceless.
  • McNulty begins to feel like, when it comes to D'Agostino, he's just a breathing machine for his dick.
  • McNulty acts like a racist, believing it will make a small town sheriff more amenable to helping him. Except that sheriff has a black wife. Luckily McNulty also brought Kima along and lets her take over the negotiation, after which the sheriff comments that McNulty is "Kind of an asshole." Kima's response: "For real?"
  • Deputy Commissioner Rawls' reaction to Major Colvin's admission to the existence of Hamsterdam.
    Rawls: Bunny, you cocksucker, I gotta give it to you. A brilliant idea. Insane and illegal, but stone fucking brilliant nonetheless! After all my putting my foot up people's asses to decrease the numbers, he comes in and in one stroke gets a fucking fourteen percent decrease. Fucking shame it's going to end our careers, but still...
  • Bubbles and Johnny are pushing a cart full of scrap metal down the street when they accidentally lose control of their cart, which rolls away until it slams into Marlo Stanfield's car. After being threatened by Marlo and Marlo's driver, they promise to come back with money to repair it. The scene cuts to Bubbles and Johnny pushing the cart down the street with no pants on, since Marlo took them as payment, and Bubbles mentions that they need to go to K-Mart on the way back. And then the guy at the scrap metal place asks Bubbles if he's aware that he's not wearing pants.
  • The street, always on top of current events, cashes in on the ongoing Iraq war: "WMD, WMD, we got them WMDs right here!"
  • After some Hamsterdam dealers get robbed, they complain to the police and want to file a report. The ironies of lawful crime.
    Colicchio: Call it poetic injustice.
    • Said guys use the facial reconstruction program to make a picture of the guy who robbed them. Or, they were going to, until Herc gets involved and they instead start acting like teenagers, making funny looking guys and trying to get the perfect face for a woman.
    Dealer: Yo, you got one of these does asses?
  • McNulty and Greggs go to a convenience store to track down the purchase of burners. When the man behind the register produces the receipts for the day of the sale, McNulty says "seek and you shall find." Another worker (who is very obviously a Sikh and appears to speak little English) overhears this, and the camera cuts to a shot of him wide-eyed and muttering something apprehensively.
  • Brother Mouzone and Omar having a very genial standoff - each complimenting the other on their choice of weapon and Nerves of Steel
  • "I can't wait to go to jail." and Squeak's continuous pestering of Bernard.
  • Herc and Carver, along with their dates, run into Bodie and Poot, and their dates, at the movie theater.
    Poot: And you must be the lovely Mrs. Herc!
  • While looking for Omar, Mouzone sends a reluctant Lamar to probe a gay bar.
    Brother: You're the perfect bait Lamar. They will see you as conflicted, your homophobia is so visceral.
    Lamar: See, I haven't even stepped foot in that club and you already callin me a cocksucker.
    (later, when Omar and Dante reunite)
    Lamar Gay-ass gangsters? please...
  • To general surprise (in-universe), Bodie shows his savviness by successfully alleging "contrapment" as a defense for his Hamsterdam business. McNulty is amused by it and when they meet the next season he greets Bodie as "Mr. Entrapment".
  • BNBG: "Big Negro, Big Gun." Basically, the show's version of Suspect Is Hatless.
  • Omar's audacious heist in a wheelchair, in which he plays a senile cripple who gets past through some run-of-the-mill, inept Barksdale guards. "Thank you, young man..." They discover only too late who they are obviously dealing with. "Do tell."
  • McNulty in a lesbian bar. After two rather unseemly butch ones make him twist his face in disgust, he finally scans a hot blonde.
    Kima: Please, don't embarrass yourself.
  • Due to having slept with Theresa D'Agostino, McNulty arrives late for a briefing and then moves around Daniels to take a look at the stuff on a table. Daniels is quietly uncomfortable for some reason. A moment later, Kima complains that McNulty stinks of sex.
  • Bodie coming to Stringer to explain Hamsterdam. Stringer listening skeptically, thinking Bodie was wired, and only replying with a beatiful movement of ears and the line "Yeah, well, you shouldn’t sell drugs." This is then followed by Bodie showing his stomach is bare and then when Stringer still seems skeptical, going to unbuckle his pants.
  • McNulty conceding a point, for once.
    McNulty: He's (Phelan) a piece of shit.
    Daniels: We're all pieces of shit when we're in your way. That goes with the territory.
    McNulty: Point taken.
  • Rawls does insert a lot of funny bits while demolishing his underlings.
    Bill Rawls: This is what I'm talking about: a sacrifice for the greater good. But in the Western, what do I get from a veteran commander? [chuckles] You're just having a laugh, aren't you, Bunny? You've got the real stats and projections somewhere else. Someone's just outside the door with them, right? A stripper, maybe? That would be nice! She comes in, flashes a little tit gives us a whiff of that muff and delivers my fucking stat sheets with a reduction that matches just what we promised the Mayor. That would be beautiful! That would be creme fucking brulee. But what I got instead is some half-assed "I-wish-we-were-doing-better" platitude that's, uh, meant to fool maybe a six-year-old girl into thinking you're doing your job. Well, she's left the room, Major Colvin! She's out there right now asking the stripper if she can have her job when she grows up BECAUSE SHE SURE AS SHIT DOESN'T WANT YOURS!! You know why? Because there isn't gonna be a goddamn Western District in 20 years if this shit keeps up!
  • Slim Charles chastising Gerard and Sapper with style after the fiasco of Omar's grandma.
    Slim: On a Sunday morning y'all try to hit a nigga when he takin' his wrinkled-ass grandmoms to pray? And you all don't hit the nigga, neither? All y'all kill is grandma's crown? Ain't enough that y'all violated the Sunday morning truce. No! I'm standin' here holdin' a torn-up church crown of a bona-fide colored lady. Do you know what a colored lady is? Not your mamas, for sure. 'Cause if they was that y'all would have known better better than that bullshit. Y'all triflin' with Avon Barksdale's reputation here.
  • Bunk's failed attempts to blow off the red ball on Dozerman's gun to work on other cases. One time, he tries to sneak past Landsman at Homicide, but gets busted. Another time, he's in the street interviewing Bruiser about Omar and is busted again; Landsman shows up to nag Bunk and asks Bruiser if he's related to Dozerman's gun. The courteous but sarcastic tone of Landsman and Bruiser's dumbfounded reaction are priceless.
  • McNulty gets tired of staking out Stringer and walks directly into his copyshop, only to discover that Stringer is playing it legit and charmingly attempts to sell him a condo, to which McNulty acts in a heartbroken manner.
    You disappoint me String... I had such fuckin' hopes for us.
  • Levy laughing his ass off at Stringer getting rainmade by Senator Davis.

    Season 4 
  • Snoop buys a nail gun.
  • Lester churns out subpoenas and trolls the establishment in the process.
    Lester: There's an election? Who's running?
  • Senator Davis gets served. Sydnor enjoys every moment of it because the upcoming elections make the MCU untouchable.
    Davis: Major Crimes?! Sheeeeeeit!
  • Beadie's kids call Mc Nulty... Mc Nulty. Bunk recites a litany of possible names for ol' Jimmy, and Beadie's son just repeats "Mc Nulty" while giving him a look that just screams "we just roll with it, man".
  • Pearlman is somewhat frustrated from having to put up with Lester's insistence on sending out subpoenas. When she unloads her problems on Cedric Daniels, he does a Lester Freamon imitation.
    Daniels: Did he do that thing where he stares at you over the top of his reading glasses? You know, with that look that says "I'm the father you never had and I don't want to be disappointed on you ever again".
  • The Western District is given a seminar on anti-terrorism, with a montage that equals them to school kids. Santangelo isn't too impressed by the lecturer.
    Santangelo: No disrespect to your appendix, but if them terrorists do fuck up the Western, could anybody even tell?
  • McNulty intercepts Santangelo and asks him not to throw the papers of the horseshit seminar into the bin, because he wants to reuse the binders for Beadie's kids.
  • Carcetti proclaims he wouldn't vote for himself and has a fit on his way to Middle East Baltimore.
    Tommy: Middle East? Well that's a good name for it, fucking Fallujah.
  • Carcetti is told he needs to be doing donation calls to pay for his TV spots. His response is to act like a kid throwing a tantrum. He reluctantly gets on the phone, and immediately pretends to make a fundraising call.
    Tommy Carcetti: Hey there, Jim. Tom Carcetti here, remember me? We met at your sister's house, you know, the one that's married to that Republican cunt? [laughs] I know you don't remember me, I know you don't have any use for fucking politicians and, frankly, I don't give a flying fuck about what you think or what your concerns are. But I do care about what your cute little blonde wife thinks about so many things. But, Jim, the reason I'm calling is because I want you to write me out a check for $4,000, the maximum allowed by law, and because we don't trust you to actually mail that check, we're gonna send over a couple of furloughed DPW workers to beat the check out of you.
    • He later attempts to blow off time between calls by throwing darts at a dartboard and a naked woman poster, and even makes paper airplanes. He's so stressed out that he falls asleep in the car on the way home and his aides have to help him out.
  • The Shit Platitude. After Carcetti wins his primary (which all but guarantees he'll be Mayor in a majority Democratic Baltimore, he sits down with a former mayor named Tony, who gives some poignant and blunt advice about how being the Mayor means being the person who gets shit on when things go wrong:
    "Let me tell you a story, Tommy. The first day I became mayor, they sit me down at the desk: big chair, dark wood, lots of beautiful things. I’m thinking, how much better can it get? There’s a knock at the door, in the corner of the room, and Pete comes walking in, carrying this gorgeous sieve, silver bowl, hand-chased—it was this big. It’s from the unions, he says. So I think it’s a present, something to commemorate my first day as mayor...he walks over, puts it on the desk; I look down at’s disgusting. I say, What the hell is this? he said, What the hell’s it look like? I said, it looks like shit—what do you want me to do with it? He says, eat it... Eat it? He says, Yeah, you’re the mayor. You gotta eat it. So okay, it was my first day; Pete knows more than I do...So I go at it. And just when I finish, there’s a knock on the door, and in walks Pete carrying another silver bowl. And this one from the blacks. This too? And he nods. I start eating, and when i’m finished, there’s another knock and another bowl. This one’s from the Polacks. Then after that, one from the ministers... And you know what, Tommy? That’s what it is. You’re sitting eating shit all day long. Day after day, year after year. When I realized that, I decided being a downtown lawyer and seeing my family every night made for a fine life."
  • Carcetti cannot fucking believe that Norman, his own campaign manager, is not voting for him but for one of them brothers.
  • The entire subplot of how Herc becomes a Sergeant. It's a story where every last detail must be mentioned:
    • First off, while looking around for his boss, Herc happens to open a door and accidentally sees Mayor Royce getting a blowjob from his secretary. Herc quickly closes the door and walks away.
    • Then the camera shows the faces in the portraits of mayors past "looking" at Herc as he walks down the hall. Herc looks at them, thinking, "did you guys see what i just saw?" but then it dawns on him, "Fuck it, you were probably getting your dicks sucked too."
    • Later, Herc is shown driving the Mayor's car while Royce is on the phone in the backseat talking about Carcetti. There's a very uncomfortable look on Herc's face throughout the scene.
    • Herc later recounts to Carver about what happened.
    Carver: What the hell did you say to him?
    • Carver sets up Herc for a meeting with the politically-savvy Valchek. Valchek laughs his ass off as Herc is recounting the story to him. Herc thinks he's gonna end on some boat like McNulty, while Valchek tells him he's hit the jackpot, and assures him that there's no way Herc doesn't get promoted off this (and if he gets punished for it, he is to go to the press).
    Valchek: Kid, careers have been launched on a hell of a lot less.
    • Inevitably, as Valchek predicts, Herc gets summoned by Royce. As Herc is going in for his meeting, he passes the same secretary, slurping her coffee, who looks at him like she's thinking "Yeah I know you saw me suck his dick, you lil' bald nigga. Now get goin'." Then he knocks on the door to Royce's office, and Royce shouts "Come in!" Herc pauses, not sure if he heard "Come in!" or "I'm coming!" not wanting a repeat of the past incident. So he knocks again, prompting Royce to shout "Are you coming in or what?!" So Herc says, "I'm coming in, okay?" and slowly opens the door.
      • In spite of Valchek's words about how the blowjob will be the undiscussed Elephant in the Room, Herc still manages to insert a faux pas during his brief explanation of why he took the mayoral detail:
    "If I do good here, they'll reach down to me [hand gesture pointing to his crotch area]..."
    • As predicted, Royce decides to call Burrell to get Herc promoted up. As he's waiting for Burrell to pick up:
    Herc: I don't even know what to say, Mr. Mayor. This is unexpected.
    Royce: [smiles] Don't mention it.
  • In the middle of nowhere, Rawls informs Carcetti and Norman that Odell Watkins is jumping the mayor's ship. After they part ways, the two politicians calmly wait until Rawls can't see their ecstatic reactions and then they run to the car as if their lives depend on it.
    Norman: Wait until he turns the corner... (As Rawls drives off, they rush for their car) District office for Watkins! Gilmor Street! And fuck them red lights, man!
  • Carcetti attends a meaningful sermon before the election:
    Carcetti: You're holding me to a high standard. Moses? I mean, Jesus, reverend [...] I'm sorry. I can't believe I said that.
    Reverend: Moses will do for now. We'll save Jesus for your second term.
  • "Our Lady of the re-up".
  • Omar Little is woken up one morning to the sounds of garbage men outside his window, realizing his boyfriend has eaten the last of his Honey Nut Cheerios, and going down the street in his blue satin pajamas and robe, unarmed, to buy more. He stops to light a cigarette on the way home and a group of drug dealers in a room upstairs drop him a bag of heroin to make him go away. He gets home, drops the heroin and Cheerios on the table, and his boyfriend... asks him why he bought regular Cheerios instead of Honey Nut.
  • Freamon and Bunk disbelief and puns over McNulty's domesticated state.
    Lester: World is on its hole when Jimmy McNulty is the most qualified to drive.
  • Bunk missing his old wingman in a bar, while Freamon keeps talking about the case.
    Bunk: You know what the plural of pussy is? Pussai. Jimmy told me that.
  • Vernon Holley dodges a phone call and then laughs with Bunk when Norris answers it and gets a hard case. Cue Norris a few scenes later invoking Who's Laughing Now? when the victim turns out to be a state witness, meaning a high-profile case with plenty of paid overtime. Poor Norris doesn't know he's shouting victory too early, as the red ball becomes politically dangerous and is pinballed around, with Rawls ordering Jay to detail them as uniformed chumps at the polling places so that they don't piss off the mayoral candidates.
  • Proposition Joe calls the police trying to get information on Herc.
    Operator: Baltimore City Police Department.
    Proposition Joe: Uh yes, ma'am, this is Sydney Handjerker with Handjerker, Cohen & Bromberg. I'm trying to locate a Sergeant Thomas Hauk in regards to a client I'm representing?
    Operator: Hold, please. (the operator transfers him to another line)
    Lt. Hoskins: Mayor's office. Lieutenant Hoskins.
    Proposition Joe: (ghetto accent) Uh, ye-yes, hello. This is Ervin Pepper of Pepper, Pepper & Bayleaf. I'm calling in regards to a Sergeant Thomas Hauk in regards to a-
    Lt. Hoskins: He's no longer on this detail. Hold on for a minute. (he is transferred AGAIN)
    Charles Marimow: Major Crimes. Marimow.
    Proposition Joe: (slow, measured voice) Uh, this is Dr. Jay, calling with test results for Thomas Hauk.
    Charles Marimow: He's on the street. You want to leave a message on it?
    • What sells it is how for some reason, Joe feels the need to not only change his voice in the first place, but changes it for each new department he's transferred to.
    • Even funnier is when you remember that Joe persuaded Marlo to join the co-op on the grounds that it would be a good channel for information and intelligence regarding law enforcement, and in this case Joe offered to find out about Herc for Marlo, as if it was something that required connections. Yet the way Joe found out about Herc here is something that Marlo could have done completely on his own. Sure, Joe has those deeper connections, but it's just funny how he sold the whole thing to Marlo.
  • Omar and his crew rip off the entire Baltimore drug supply. And then Omar sells his share of the drugs back to Proposition Joe for 20 cents on the dollar. Not to mention Cheese's assessment of what happened.
    Cheese: Omar had one of them commando squads with him, man. I mean, he had this one ho pullin' guns out her pussy, Unc! The shit was unseemly, man.
    • Even funnier when Joe offers to sell Marlo back his share, and without comment claims Omar was charging 30 cents on the dollar.
  • Lester goes back to the MCU and leaves homicide.
    Bunk: Was it the Bunk's cologne? (sniffs) Ohh. Pussy. [...] The Bunk is strictly a suit-and-tie motherfucker. At all hazards a man must keep up appearances. Dignity I say, dignity above all, governor. Hear, hear!
  • Randy "pissing" himself.
  • When Bubbles goes to Edward Tilghman Middle School to enroll Sherrod, he coincidentally runs into Prez. Because he never got the word that Prez quit the force, he assumes that he's working undercover as a math teacher, and assures him that he'll keep his secret. The look that Prez gives him is priceless.
  • When tasked with running the New York dealers out of Baltimore, Chris and Snoop try and devise a way of figuring out the natives from the NY dealers. Chris proposes asking questions about Baltimore soul music, which Snoop knows nothing about, kinda defeating the point of it.
    • The first dealer they asks mention New York Sonja, at which point Snoop tries to shoot him only to have Chris calm her down and inform her that Sonja was a musician and that maybe he should handle the questions from now on. All the while the thoroughly terrified dealer just stares at them.
  • Valchek relating to candidate Carcetti that Kima, "a rookie, and a broad no less", has been assigned to a red ball case in the middle of the primaries.
    Valcheck: (looking up, folded hands) St. Jude, patron of lost causes. Tell me you ain't been on bended knee whispering in his saintly ear each and every night before you close those peepers. I know you have, Tommy, catch a break like this.
  • Herc on his missing camera:
    Kima: Herc, what the fuck did you do exactly?
    Herc: I lost a surveillance camera that I took without my Lieutenant's permission and the evidence that I had found, I attributed it to a made up informant.
    Bunk: Son, they gonna beat on your white ass like it was a Rented Mule.
  • Carcetti pays a visit to Homicide. The lads pretend they are reviewing files and doing serious stuff for a while, until Carcetti tells them to relax... so they go back to their slow day routine: Kima does nothing, Lester makes dollhouse furniture and Landsman gets immersed in his porno mags.
  • Landsman's "No red on the board!" speech to Lester "Madam Curie" Freamon, tossing away one of the nails, which Lester promptly recovers.
  • After Herc searches their car, Chris and Snoop need to dump their hidden weapons to cover their tracks. They toss their guns in the river, but as they're about to leave, Chris realizes their nailgun (the one Snoop bought in the opening scene of the season) is also evidence, and tosses that too. Snoop is appalled and exclaims that he owes her 800 dollars for that.
  • Santangelo objecting when McNulty provides Omar with a phone call during his arrest.
    Sanny: You some kind of democrat or what?
  • Omar pulls an amazing One-Liner when his crew ambush Proposition Joe at his repair store to hit him up for information. In true Omar puts a broken clock in front of Joe and asks if he can fix it, Joe asks what the problem with it is, followed by Omar pulling a gun on him and declaring:
    Omar: Ran out of time!
  • The initiation pranks that Kima is subjected to.
  • Cheese praising the tight ship run by Marlo.
    Cheese: Damn, y'all some semper fi motherfuckers, ain't ya? Where Cheese go to enlist?
  • Jay arrives all cheerful and Christmassy at the office. The happiness is gone the moment he sees the board and learns it's full of red names thanks to Freamon.
    Landsman: He is a vandal. He is vandalizing the board. He is vandalizing this unit. He is a hun, a Visigoth, a barbarian at the gate clamoring for noble roman blood and what's left of our clearance rate.
  • After complaining to Norris that "everybody is on a crusade to make more murders out of bullshit", Landsman praises the detective, because Norris, unlike Lester, already has a suspect in custody for a hotshot case.
  • Carcetti does a ridealong to observe a takedown.
  • Bunk and Snoop are thinking about some pussy.
  • Chris and Snoop head to the corner to check up on business... and are briefly distracted when Donut passes by, behind the wheel of yet another stolen SUV.

    Season 5 
  • A call back to season 2 when Dozerman asks McNulty about a rumor he heard of him in a threesome during a whorehouse sting.
  • "Liar!...Black liar!"
  • "There's a B in subtle?"
  • Bunk and Landsman using a photocopier as a lie detector to break a perp.
    Christeson: So this shit actually works, huh?
    • Made even better by the fact that, like most things on the Wire, this actually happened.Elaboration 
    • The fact that Landsman is the one acting out the "professor", when he's got a lot of screentime looking at nude magazines.
    • It also delivered probably the most important line of that season.
      Bunk: The bigger the lie, the more they believe.
  • Clay Davis comes crying to Burrell. What always sells it is when Davis opens the door to leave Burrell's office, and Rawls is lurking there in the background. And it almost sounds like Rawls is stifling a chuckle as he enters the office.
    Bill Rawls: Clay crying to you?
    Ervin Burrell: Like I could put brakes on this thing.
  • Alma gets corrected on the usage of "to evacuate". Gus Haynes and another editor remind her that a building is evacuated, not a person, unless they're getting an enema. After all, God is in the details.
    • Gets a Brick Joke in "Clarifications" when McNulty and Christeson are looking at a body:
    Christeson: This fucking guy stinks.
    Jimmy McNulty: Looks like he evacuated.
    Christeson: What? He left and he came back?
    Jimmy McNulty: No, he shit himself.
  • Two police officers on patrol catch McNulty banging a random blonde in the hood of his car. McNulty just pulls out his badge, flashes it and then continues about his business. The beat cops are not surprised to learn he is from CID (Investigation Dept.) and just drive off.
  • Brian Baker's response to McNulty riding a bus to a crime scene.
    "Well now I've seen everything."
  • Two real BPD officers, former Homicide Detective Donald Worden and former Commissioner Leonard Hamm, appear in the opening of "Not for Attribution" as midnight shift homicide detectives. Hamm's typing at his desk doesn't go well with Worden, who's trying to sleep: "Type quieter, asshole."
  • While discussing secondary employment, McNulty asks Bunk what he's qualified to do. Bunk just points at his crotch, and indicates with body language signals that it was the most obvious question ever.
  • Bunk tends his daily resignation to Landsman. Jay just drops the letter in his desk drawer without even giving it a look.
  • McNulty's high regard of his peers at homicide.
    Jimmy McNulty: Who is gonna catch me? Most of the guys here couldn't catch the clap in a Mexican whorehouse!
  • His views on the legal profession are not much better
    Jimmy McNulty: Pro forma. From the Latin, meaning lawyers jacking each other off.
  • Bunk brings Lester into the "Serial Killer" loop hoping Lester will talk some sense into McNulty but after the initial hope spot when Lester says "Shit like this actually goes through your fucking brain?", Lester instead ends up encouraging McNulty and masterminding an even more sensationalized lie. Nice job breaking it, Bunko!.
  • In charge of the "serial killer", a taxed McNulty gets a taste of his own medicine.
    Jimmy: Gotta tell ya Lester, I dont want to hurt your feelings but I can see why Daniels cringed every time you opened your mouth. You're a supervisor's nightmare!
  • McNulty in the Baltimore Sun meeting after Templeton's "phone call" from the serial killer. Templeton's surprise when McNulty lies about a second phone call makes it clear to the detective that Templeton is fabricating evidence about the serial killer separately to all of McNulty's fabrications. The look of restrained incredulity that McNulty then gives Templeton is absolutely beautiful.
  • McNulty's "serial killer" manages to end up catching the FBI's attention and they do a psychological rundown. McNulty listens in silence as the agent reads a profile that sounds like a perfect description of McNulty:
    So what we conclude from a behavioral analysis of the known forensics is the following: The suspect is likely a white male, in his late twenties to late thirties. He likely is not a college graduate, but feels nonetheless superior to those with advanced education. And he is likely employed in a bureaucratic entity, possibly civil service or quasi-public service, from which he feels alienated. He has a problem with authority and a deep-seated resentment of those who he feels have impeded his progress professionally. The minimized sexual activity suggests that this is not a primary motive for the killings. In fact, the bite marks on the last found victim - lacking the D.N.A. and saliva - indicate to us possible postmortem staging. The suspect has trouble with lasting relationships and is possibly a high-functioning alcoholic, with alcohol being utilized as a trigger in the commission of these crimes. His resentment of the homeless may stem from a personal relationship with someone who is in that cohort, or his victimization of vagrants might merely present an opportunity for him to assert his superiority and intellectual prowess.
    • What makes it funnier is knowing that criminal profiling is seen by police as next to useless, barely a step above "psychics". So when it's dead-on accurate and it's being described to the very person it most resembles, it results in a downright surreal experience for McNulty.
  • McNulty explains out loud the "case" of the vagrant in order to pique Barlow's attention, who worked a similar one in the past. Barlow reacts by farting in his chair. During a second try, Barlow is just talking with his wife over the phone, only concerned with a stain in his house. Third time's a charm.
    McNulty: Hell of a catch detective, hell of a catch.
  • Landsman wanking to Jimmy's weak (bull)shit.
  • Landsman unhappiness about Jimmy's passivity:
    "From everything we've given you, fire should be shooting out your ass. But no, there you sit like a genital wart."
  • McNulty picking up the daily newspaper from the rack before the previous customer closes the box.
    Cheap motherfucker.
  • After Bunk chews McNulty out for his scheme, he realizes they locked themselves in the interrogation room. He grudgingly makes a phone call and Crutchfield comes to the rescue.
    Crutchfield: (opens the door, sees the situation and sniffs around) He fucked you?
    Bunk: He tried, but mostly he just fucks himself.
  • When the journos discuss how weird it would be to talk to a psychopath, one of them says "I interviewed Dick Cheney once."
  • Hungry Man's point of order: unlawful incursions in his territory.
    Cheese: Incursions? Ain't you the articulate motherfucker?
  • Rawls debriefs the troops on McNulty's "serial killer".
    Bill Rawls: Bad news gentlemen, is we're actually gonna have to catch this motherfucker. Good news is that our Mayor finally needs a police department more than he needs a school system.
  • In the final episode, Cheese moronically implicates himself in the murder of his uncle, Prop Joe, while delivering a rant about how it is now "his time" as head of the Co-Op, which is then quickly cut off by Slim Charles putting a bullet through his head. The ONLY reaction from the other gangsters there is tepid anger that Charles cost them the money Cheese was about to supply for a drug deal. Murder has never been so funny.
    • "This sentimental motherfucker just cost us money".
  • Vinson sets up another golden moment during the series finale when Michael becomes the new stick up boy after Omar's death:
    Vinson: "But you just a kid"
    (Michael fires his shotgun at Vinson's knee)
    Michael: "And that's just a knee."
  • McNulty's entire fake wake/retirement with Jay Landsman's fake eulogy.
    Jay Landsman: What to say about this piece of work? Fuck if I don't find myself without the right words. Me, as gifted a golden throat as any of you cocksuckers, being loosed from religion, are ever likely to hear. What can I say about the dearly departed? I mean, really... It's coming to me... Uh, he was the black sheep, the permanent pariah. He asked no quarter of the bosses and none was given. He learned no lessons, he acknowledged no mistakes. He was as stubborn a mick as ever stumbled out of the northeast parishes to take a patrolman's shield. He brooked no authority. He did what he wanted to do and he said what he wanted to say and in the end, he gave you the clearances. He's natural police! Yes, he was. And I don't say that about many people. Even when they are here on the felt, I don't give that one up unless it happens to be true. Natural poh-leece... But Christ, what an asshole. And I'm not talking about the ordinary, gaping orifice that all of us possess. I mean an all-encompassing, all-consuming, "out of proportion to every other facet of his humanity"-chasm. From whose borne, if I may quote Shakespeare, no traveler has ever returned. To conclude, I say he gave us thirteen years on the line. Not enough for a pension, but enough for us to know that he was, despite his negligible irish ancestry, his defects of personality and his inconstant sobriety and hygiene, a true murder police. Jimmy, I say this seriously. If I was laying there dead on some Baltimore street corner, I'd want it to be you standing over me, catching the case. Because, brother, when you were good, you were the best we had.
    Bunk Moreland: Shit, if you were lying there dead on some corner, it probably was Jimmy that done ya.
  • Carcetti finds out about McNulty making up the serial killer:
    Carcetti: So, um, let me just...understand this. I've been going out there for weeks, slamming the governor for his neglect of the homeless and declaring at how we will stop at nothing to find the person responsible for preying on the homeless, (Norman, who has been trying valiantly not to laugh, loses it) and all - hey, Norman, this is my ass here!
    Norman: (pulling himself together) That's true, boss. But it does have a certain charm to it. They manufactured an issue to get paid; we manufactured an issue to get you elected governor. Everybody's getting what they need behind some make-believe.
    • Even better is Norman's line at the end of the scene:
    "I wish I was still at the newspaper so I could write on this mess. This is too fuckin' good."
  • Kima's fruitless attempts to assemble her IKEA furniture, and her furious phonecall to an amused McNulty, who recommended the store in the first place.
    Kima Greggs: I don't know how the fuck did YOU of all people do this shit, huh? HOW?!
    Jimmy McNulty: You got the right allen wrench?
  • The whole interchange when Freamon lands The big one on Daniels:
    Receptionist: Deputy. A detective's outside for you, says it's urgent.
    Freamon: (to Daniels) Sydnor and I developed a source and ran fresh surveillances on Marlo Stanfield and we believe we're about to catch his people very dirty.
    Daniels: What?
    Freamon: We wrapped on that Clay Davis thing and instead of shutting major crimes down, we took a couple weeks and got back up on Marlo. With the right warrants, he's about to fall.
    Daniels: How the fuck...?
    Freamon: There's no time, Cedric. In an hour or so, i'm gonna need (gets interrupted by phone) Yeah?
    Sydnor: Lester
    Freamon: What's up?
    Sydnor: We pulled up monk. Dirty as a motherfucker. Eight keys of the raw. (after hearing a question from Freamon) No, he jersey-rolled a stop and when we tried to pull him over, he went rabbit on us. We ran him down on lafayette, by the overpass.
    Freamon: You got the phone, right?
    Sydnor: Yeah, man. I got it.
    Freamon: Good work. (hangs up and continues with Daniels) It's down. I need teams to arrest Marlo Stanfield, Chris Partlow, and "Cheese" Wagstaff. I also need someone from our SAO to get on the horn to Baltimore County for an s-and-s warrant on a Middle River warehouse... And, oh yeah! Bunk Moreland has a warrant on Partlow for a separate homicide. He held that back so we could do this business here.
    Daniels: (flabbergasted) Anything else you've neglected to tell me, detective Freamon?
    Freamon: No sir. I think you're caught up.
    (Daniels calls DA Rhonda Pearlman)
    Pearlman: (on the phone) Hello?
    Daniels: Ronnie, dear...
    Pearlman: (on the phone) Hey!
    Daniels: Are you sitting down?
    Pearlman: (on the phone) ...Why?
  • Norman assessing the threat that Rawls poses to the mayor.
    Norman: I wouldn't worry about Bill Rawls. I believe he's about to have one of those road to Damascus moments.
    (moments later, after Steintorf has sealed a deal)
    Rawls: Back channel is the way to go.
    Norman: See? The Police Commissioner done fell off his ass.
  • The Uncomfortable Elevator Moment between Jimmy "serial killer" McNulty and Deputy Daniels... "to be continued". Especially when the elevator door slowly slides open in front of McNulty to reveal a very angry looking Daniels standing there completely still.

    Unsorted by Season, or in Related Media 
  • Special mention must be given to David Simon himself, for not only producing a brilliant prank on actors Dominic West (McNulty) and Wendell Pierce (Bunk) by making them believe that yet another scene had been written up for them deep in the final season, but for making this fake scene so utterly hilarious. To read the whole thing, grab Truth Be Told, a companion book to The Wire. For now, I give you but one line:
    Bunk: We a drunkass pair of meta motherfuckers right now.
  • Clay Davis, the only man who could turn a four letter word for dung into an art form. SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.
  • The whole Running Gag of McNulty not realizing that "What the fuck did I do?" has become his Catch Phrase.
  • The fact that no one in the police knows how to spell pops out throughout the series.
  • This bit from the bloopers
    Daniels: Anything else you care to tell me?
    Freamon: Yes, I love you. All the years I was working in the pawn shop, I was hoping it'd be the porn shop.
    Daniels: I'm only into white woman.
  • The prequels:
    • Jimmy and Bunk boozing up since the moment they meet.
    • Proposition Joe already hustling his double schemes during his school years.
    • Omar reversing the mugging of a civilian
      Anthony man, your brother not cut out for this here shit.
  • The Wire: The Musical on Funny or Die.


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