A television show is only as strong as the supporting cast. Those characters that waft through the scenes and occasionally steal the show with nuggets of truth. They can offer a bit of knowledge, humor or insight that the main characters cannot always offer. Rank This! Dusts itself off to present the Top Twelve Quotes By TV’s Supporting Cast
I’m getting my cheating out of the way early on here. MASH and Scrubs are similar shows and both excel at comedic timing, their casts are superb and I couldn’t pick my favorite here.
“In the end, when Mr Foster started coughing up blood the on-call surgeon was stuck in traffic, the nursing staff was busy losing the lottery, his original doctor was thanking a garbage man, and the covering physician was incapacitated. And what was Mr Forster doing? He was dying in the hands of the Interns!” -Dr. Kelso
This quote embodies the entire premise of Scrubs by highlighting the hardships medical interns endure whilst pointing out the importance of vigilance when you are in a position of authority for someone else’s life.
“ Hear ye, Hear ye, it’s 0700 and all is hell. Incoming wounded, folks.”-PA Announcer
The PA announcer is the unsung hero of MASH. His insightful quips show that the best way to deal with the hellacious atmosphere of the Korean War is with humor. A strategy the show’s main character’s implement quite effectively.
[singing]”Bundy the no-man / He’s as bald as he can be. With hair in his nose and rot on his toes / He’s as bald as he can be; Bundy the no-man / He’s as bald as he can be/He’s into old age, making minimum wage / He’s as bald as he can be.” -Marcy, Jefferson, Kelly and Bud
Al Bundy’s world is one of sarcasm and self deprecation. All the character’s in Married with Children are equally terrible, but underneath the well timed bards they love each other. The above quote/song is my favorite because Al’s his best friend and kids join in with his nemesis, Marcy to make fun of him. We’ve all been there.
“Bill!! Bill, you have to be the stupidest man on the planet to think this is a good idea! Have you seen what you’re wearing?! That outfit makes you look like a sequined train wreck! Look at you!! You’re part of a twelve-headed Jackass! This chorus is the feces that is produced when shame eats too much stupidity! You people make me envy the deaf and the blind!”-Dale Gribble
Dale has some real gems throughout all thirteen seasons of King of The Hill. His crazed conspiracy theories and pieces of advice range from fanciful to deadly accurate. He is a buffoon, but when his long time friend Bill is making a very poor decision he delivers an honest tirade that helps him see his error.
“I’m not gonna be confused anymore just because you say I should be! My name is Butters, I’m eight years old, I’m blood type O, and I’m bicurious! And even that’s okay! Because if I’m bicurious, and I’m somehow made from God, then I think your GOD must be a little bicurious himself!” -Butters
Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park are absolutely brilliant. The way they blend satirical humor with current events is otherworldly. The above quote is near the conclusion Season 11, Episode 2 where through various misunderstanding his parents send him to a Christian camp to stop his homosexual urges.
Gunslinger Girl is supremely heartbreaking and engrossing beyond all measure. For the unfamiliar, it is about a government organization that using cyberly enhanced adolescent girls as assassins. It explores the human nature through little girls, the above quote is said by Rico after she meets a boy and is forced to kill him to follow protocol and maintain anonymity. The majority of the episode is her contemplating her new friend and developing a crush on him. The conclusion makes it all the more saddening when the audience sees the things she will be without as a member of The Social Welfare Agency.
“You’re so hot for him I could reheat this chili in your cooch, We gonna make some cooch chili, or what?” -Pam
Pam is easily my favorite character in Archer. In an environment of spycraft and secrets she is wildly inappropriate and completely honest. The characters are all horribly self centered, but they begrudgingly look out for one another. The above quote is reference to Lana and Sterling’s on again off again romance. Everyone can see their affections, but Pam is the only one bold enough to ask about their relationship directly.
“Somebody threw a snow cone at my windshield today. I thought I hit a rainbow.It was terrifying.”-Teddy
Teddy is that overly eager friend we’ve all had. Bob’s Burgers number one customer, he has a story or opinion on anything. His dimwitted attempts at wit deliver existentialism and thoughts he never intended. His good intentions are often complicate the situation in this family drama.
“I have seen what power does, and I have seen what power costs. The one is never equal to the other.” -G’Kar
The ensemble cast of this Babylon 5 make it difficult to decide between who is support players. G’Kar really steals the show as he transforms from proud warrior to humble spiritualist through the course of the series. He has many thoughtful quotes, but this one is a recurring theme for the duration of the entire show.
“Ain’t logical. Cuttin’ on his own face, rapin’ and murdering – Hell, I’ll kill a man in a fair fight… or if I think he’s gonna start a fair fight, or if he bothers me, or if there’s a woman, or if I’m gettin’ paid – mostly only when I’m gettin’ paid. But these Reavers… last ten years they show up like the bogeyman from stories. Eating people alive? Where’s that get fun?” -Jayne
Jayne is the ultimate opportunist, but his assessment of the reavers in Firefly is easily my favorite. His truthful retelling of the carnage and fear they bring is especially revealing by a character who has been know to be less than truthful. When someone who is a much of a bad ass as Jayne expresses fear, you know that author of that fear is something truly reprehensible.
“The universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn’t the search for meaning, It’s keeping yourself busy with unimportant nonsense and eventually you’ll be dead.” -Mr. Peanutbutter
Bojack Horseman is dark comedy if ever there was dark comedy. The introspection the characters show toward themselves and others is refreshing. Though it can be nihilistic, I appreciate the candor this show exhibits. Especially when it comes from the perpetually upbeat mouth of Mr. Peanutbutter.
“Because no matter how hard you try and how much we want it, there’s the people who serve the bread, and the people who eat the bread!” -Red
Orange Is The New Black is on fire right now. Just released season four, it deserves all the hype it gets. It shows the struggles of women in a penitentiary and studies human nature. The Russian head of the prison kitchen express her bleak outlook of the planet and her place on that planet. Harsh words for a harsh world that characterize the entire series.
“But I should say too that, in these rooms just this afternoon, such displeasure brought me near to murdering the sheriff and… raping Mrs. Ellsworth. I have learned through time, Mr. Tolliver, and as repeatedly seem to forget, that whatever temporary comfort relieving my displeasure brings me, my long-term interests suffer. My proper traffic is with the earth. In my dealings with… people, I ought solely have to do with niggers. And whites who obey me like dogs.” -George Hearst
It had to be Deadwood. Only a show as phenomenal as it could so accurately and completely make a villain despised. In a frontier habitat of muddled morality only a megalomaniacal and menacing figure like George Hearst could stand out. It is the greatest example I’ve ever seen of enemies uniting to snuff out the greater evil, whom they cannot conquer. For my money he is the best villain in the best TV series ever written.
Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his work here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here or download his e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.