The West Wing

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (810)

  • C.J.: Good morning. Dr. Randall Haymen, H-A-Y-M-E-N, chief of orthopedics at St. John's Hospital has diagnosed the President with a mild sprain in his left ankle sustained while cycling into a large cyprus tree. (The Press Corps laughs.) Details can be found in the full report that Linda and Susanne are distributing. Along with pool photographs of the President resisting help from a Secret Service agent, then falling down again. By all means, enjoy yourselves.

  • C.J.: You can have a normal life. You’d be amazed at how normal I can be. See, it’s all about budgeting your time. This time, this hour, this is my time. Five a.m. to six a.m. I can workout, as you see. I can think about personal matters. I can meet an interesting man. Her beeper goes off The trick is...

  • Bartlet: Now I love my family and I’ve read my Bible from cover to cover so I want you to tell me from what part of Holy Scripture do you suppose the Lambs of God drew their divine inspiration when they sent my 12-year-old granddaughter a Raggedy Anne doll with a knife stuck through its throat? You’ll denounce these people, Al, you’ll do it publicly, and until you do you can all get your fat asses out of my White House. CJ, show these people out. Mary Marsh: I believe we can find the door. Bartlet: Find it now.

  • Mary: I can tell you that you don't believe in any God I pray to, Mr. Lyman. Not any God I pray to. Josh: Lady, the God you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud.

  • Sam: No. No. What I was gonna say is this: Is it possible, that in addition to being a law student and part-time bartender, that you are what I'm certain would have to be a very high-priced call girl. I, by the way, making no judgments.

  • 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 that 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 are 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.

  • Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle. Sam: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. And it's not his name, it's his title. Laurie: POTUS? Sam: President of the United States.

  • Toby: Mind-boggling to me that we ever won an election.

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Notes (370)

  • The original Josiah Barlett, a physician in New Hampshire, spelled his last name Bartlett; his direct descendant spells his name Bartlet.

  • This is the only episode of the series that does not have a teaser.

  • Music: The song playing in Mandy's car when she gets pulled over is Bif Naked's "Moment of Weakness".

  • Life imitated art when President George W. Bush had a biking accident at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

  • Awards and Nominations: This episode was a 1999 DGA Award Nominee for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night. This episode won three 2000 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. This episode was a 2000 Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. This episode was 2000 ACE Eddie Award Winner for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television. This episode won the 2000 ADG Award for Excellence in Production Design for a Television Series Episode of a Single-Camera Series. Won the 2000 Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting in Drama. Won the 2000 ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series'/Pilot. Won the 2000 Eddie Award for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television. Won the 2000 Shine Award in the scene stealing category.

  • Music: The song that Mandy is listening to in her car is "She's Lost Control."

  • Tim Matheson makes his first appearence as Vice President John Hoynes.

  • The title of this episode is a Latin phrase which means "After this, therefore because of this." This is called the theory of coincidental correlation or the "post hoc" fallacy, which holds that it's incorrect to assume that if one event follows another, the first event caused the second event to occur (if you jump up and down and it starts to rain immediately afterward, it's a fallacy to assume that your action caused the downpour).

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Trivia (327)

  • Aaron Sorkin based the character of Sam Seaborn on George Stephanopoulos, President Clinton's Communications Director and 1992 campaign adviser.

  • In the argument over the commandment "Honor thy father", it is first claimed that it is the first commandment, and Toby corrects them and says that it is the third. In fact, neither is correct, "Honor thy father and thy mother" is the *fifth* commandment (Exodus 20, verse 12). In order, up until then: 1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (Exodus 20:4). 3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain (Exodus 20:7). 4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). 5. Honour thy father and thy mother (Exodus 20:12).

  • Sam tells the fourth grade class that the Roosevelt Room was named for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Mallory corrects him, saying that it was named for Theodore Roosevelt, whose picture is on the wall behind him. In fact, the room is named in honor of both men.

  • Sam mispronounces Toby's last name when he talks to the fourth graders.

  • Josh and Donna are talking about football bets involving Central Indiana State. This is a fictitious institution. There is only an Indiana State.

  • Debbie, played by Lily Tomlin, who later becomes a regular cast member is referred to in this episode as "Miss DiLaguardia."

  • Toby: Women can't get enough of my 1993 Dodge Dart. Dodge stopped making the Dart in 1976.

  • Goof: At the party POTUS talks to Sam about how his team beat Sam's team, but Sam did not appear to be involved in the basketball game at the beginning of the episode. Toby, Josh, and Charlie were, however, playing against the President and his ringer.

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Allusions (158)

  • Toby: What to do when the Nina, the Pinta, and the Get-Me-The-Hell-Outta-Here hit Miami. Reference to the ships that Columbus took with him on the way to the New World (the Americas). There were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

  • Sam: 'Cause Alger Hiss just walked in with my secret pumpkin. Alger Hiss was imprisoned in the 1950s after being convicted of spying on Americans for the Soviet Union. The documents he allegedly recorded during his "spying" were kept in a hollowed out pumpkin. The use of this allusion is just a spy joke to reference the fact that he thinks that Laurie is spying on him in the bar.

  • C.J.: Menudo's in the building. I gotta go. Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band of the 1980s and 1990s whose member list often changed. Ricky Martin was once a member.

  • Leo: Andrew Jackson, in the main foyer of his White House had a big block of cheese. This story is true. Andrew Jackson received a 1,400-pound block of cheese from a New York dairy farmer. It remained in the Entrance Hall to the White House for two years to age, and, in 1837, Jackson invited the public to come in and eat it. It was gone within two hours.

  • Charlie: My name is Charlie Young, jackass. And if that bulge in your pocket’s an 8-ball of blow, you'll be spending Spring Break in a Federal Prison. An "8-ball of blow" is slang for an eighth of an ounce of cocaine (or about 3.5 grams). Crack cocaine was the first drug for which the first offense of simple possession can trigger a federal mandatory minimum sentence (5 years for 5 grams).

  • Willis: I think the problems that we’re going to face in the new century are far beyond the Wisdom of Solomon, let alone me. In the Bible the wisdom of Solomon was known throughout the ancient world. Solomon was a king known for his fair and sensible problem-solving abilities.

  • Episode Title: "In Excelsis Deo" A Latin phrase meaning "to God in the highest", the more usual quotation is Gloria in Excelsis Deo meaning "glory to God in the highest" which is said to be the song the angels sang announcing the birth of Jesus. Gloria in Excelsis Deo is also the title and first line of the doxology (song of praise) in the Catholic mass, as well as the recurring chorus of the classic Christmas carol "Angels We Have Heard on High".

  • Josh: A book which if I was stuck with it on a desert island, I still wouldn't read, The Adventures of James Capen Adams Mountainer and Grizzy Bear Hunter of California. I believe I would eat this book before I would read it. The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter, of California by Theodore Hittlel which was written in 1860 and illustrated by Charles Nahl. Legendary hunter and trapper Grizzly Adams collaborated with Theodore Hittell to publish a first-person narrative of his life and adventures in California and the West. It is said to be one of the first books written about California.

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