The Greatest Quotes from ‘The Wire.’

The homie blackink12 said he was just finally getting down to watch ‘The Wire.” Better late than never, right?

Looking back at this clip got me all amped. How did this show get us to root for all the people we ended up rooting for? (Not the middle schoolers in season four; you had to root for them.) Stringer Bell? Prop Joe? Man.

My favorite quote isn’t here. When we first meet Bodie, he’s just a short-sighted, headstrong foot soldier. By the time we get to that scene with him and McNulty at the Arboretum a few seasons later, he’s just completely ground up. “I feel old,” he mutters to no one in particular. In context, it’s absolutely devastating.

What do you think is missing from this?



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • Not the best quote, but one of my favorites is when McNulty goes to a cocktail party in season 3 and asks the barman if they have any whiskey. He tells McNulty they only have Bushmills. Mcnulty responds: “Bushmills? That’s Protesant whiskey.”

  • Blackink12 and I are in the same boat. I just watched Season 2, episode 4 last night. When I saw this clip the other day via Twitter it made me excited for what I have to look forward to as the seasons go on.

    • when you get done, come back and chop it up with us about it.

  • I was ashamed to admit it. But I had to come clean to cleanse my soul. I’ll be digging in this weekend because, um, I had to catch up on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

    (Dammit. I can’t see how I’ll ever get that hood pass re-approved now)

    • lol. i can’t wait to hear what you think.

  • Now I’m all nostalgic. I loved this show! I was up on all but Season 2 but I barricaded myself in and watched it a few weeks ago. What is on TV like this now?

  • “You want it to be one way, but its the other”

    • that’s a HUGE oversight.

  • Also, the scene in the car with Mike and Snoop.

    “How my hair look, Mike?”

    “You look good, girl.”

    My confederate, Stacia, has never watched the show, instead opting to consume it in the worst possible way: in out-of-sequence clips on YouTube. But still. “I’ve decided I can’t watch this show in its entirety. It would devastate me.”

    • The Mike/Snoop scene was MAJOR. I was expecting the clip to end with that.

  • I’m in season four and someone PLEASE tell me that Omar is still alive and kicking by the end of the series. I love Omar so much.

  • My favorites that didn’t make the cut:

    Kima: “Sometimes, it’s just gotta play hard”

    Prez: “No one wins. One side just loses more slowly.”

    Colvin: “Middle management means that you got just enough responsibility to listen when people talk, but not so much you can’t tell anybody to go fuck themselves.”

    Cheese: “Omar had this one chick pullin’ guns out her pussy. That shit was unseemly”

    McNulty: “You start to tell the story, you think you’re the hero, and then when you get done talking…”

  • quadmoniker

    In general, I didn’t feel like these were all the best. I really missed this one:

    Snoop: “How my hair look, Mike?”

  • quadmoniker

    Oh, I see you already got that one, G.D. How did they miss that? It was devastating.

  • quadmoniker

    Also, Avon telling D’Angelo in the first season about his tough upbringing, and how they always had to be hard and fast. I don’t remember the exact quote but it was like, “How you ain’t never going to be hard,” or something.

    • oh, i know the quote you’re talking about. i need to find it, but it was such a great line.

  • belleisa

    “the corner is and it was and it always will be the poor man’s lounge.”
    –Bunny Colvin

    From my all time favorite paper bag speech, man I got chills…I love, love, love this show!

    • i’m finna post that whole scene.

  • YES @ “the corner is and it was and it always will be the poor man’s lounge.”–Bunny Colvin

    I wrote about that over the summer:

    And that Marlo quote, “You want it to be one way, but it’s the other” basically sums up the entire predicament, especially to the viewer. It’s David Simon’s nihilism at its finest: utterly dismissive of an end to the cycle of disadvantage.

  • quadmoniker

    Also, the scene where Bunk and McNulty just said “Fuck” over and over as they figured out that woman’s murder.

    • lol. yes! I remember my mother walking in on that scene and trying to figure out what the hell I was watching.

  • they also forgot the first great quote of the show when Mcnulty is asking about why they shot Snotboogie.

    • Exactly! “Got to. It’s America man” perfectly encapsulated the show.

  • GVG

    GD you got my line down already. That how my hair look line was the talk all day on Monday.
    Seanathan had some great ones too.

    Couple other of my favs –

    Omar: At this range? In this caliber? Even If I miss, I can’t miss. – To date my favorite scene EVER on the wire.

    I wish they showed the other half of that scene in the bar with McNulty, Freamon, and Bunk trying to figure out a way to get the city to pay for the abandoned building murders. It was the first time I heard the term misdemeanor homicide.

    “You think if 300 white people were killed in this city every year that they wouldn’t send in the 82 airborne… Negro please!”

    This was from my second favorite scene –

    “I’m out there doing the lords work for you Erv! You know it. Who got that pay raise from the council?! Just enough for you to get that new patio, but not enough for that guy from Pittsburgh to take your place.”

    “God damn it Erv! I’ve been there for you, carried water for you, and you do me like this.”

    “You think I’m going down, don’t cha? Yoouuuuu uuuuu tthiiii ttthhhiiinkkk I’m done? All ya ungrateful bitches thinking you can throw me out the boat”


    “I’m going to remember this moment Erv.”

    Fist to the chest “I’m going to hold on to this moment. Yea.”

  • GVG

    Lemu – you win! WOW! I forgot how genius and perfect an introduction to the series that scene was.