The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 10

In Excelsis Deo

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 15, 1999 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • C.J.'s fish bowl decoration: Christmas tree (this is of course the Christmas episode)

    • Goof (props/editing): In the scene where Josh gives Donna her Christmas gift (a book), there is a moment where the camera is focused on Josh's back and you can see the microphone receiver clip on his belt.

    • How does Toby know the man served in the 2/7 USMC infantry battalion? The tattoo looks like a (simple) Marine Corps insignia with 'korea' written under it.

    • Bartlet: I am the president of the Great Kingdom of Luxembourg.

      Luxembourg is not a Great Kingdom. It is a Grand Duchy, because it is ruled by a Grand Duke.

  • Quotes

    • Josh: Could you stop looking at me with the face--
      Donna: It's my face.
      Josh: --like I just killed your hamster.

    • C.J.: My Secret Service name is Flamingo.
      Danny: That's nice.
      C.J: I have to go feed my fish.

    • Donna: You haven't bought me a Christmas gift yet.
      Josh: No.
      Donna: It's because you're agonizing over how to express your affection.
      Josh: Actually, it's more how I can spend ten dollars.
      Donna: I have a list.
      Josh: Ski boots, ski hats, ski pants, ski goggles, ski gloves, ski poles... I'm assuming you already have skis.
      Donna: Page two.

    • Leo (while signing cards): Who's this for?
      Margaret (looking at list): Elizabeth.
      Leo: Who the hell is that?
      Margaret: Your sister.

    • Bartlet: You know, Zoey is starting Georgetown in two weeks. I was thinking about getting this for her: The Nature of Things. A Viviscalic Poem Translated from the Latin of Titus Lucrecius Carus.
      Charlie (with irony): Well, I think she would like that better than a new stereo, sir.

    • Margaret (presenting cards for Leo's signature): We like to spread holiday cheer.
      Leo: Who the hell is this guy, and why do I care if he has a Merry Christmas?
      Margaret: Just sign the damn thing!

    • Leo (at the bookstore): Well, nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse."

    • Toby (about the Korean War veteran who died, homeless): Took the ambulance an hour and twenty minutes to get there. A lance coproral in the U.S. Marines, Second of the Seventh. Guy got better treatment in Pan Moon Jong!

  • Notes

    • Additional Credit: Washington DC Production Services by THINKFILM INC

    • Additional Credit: Special Thanks to the Department of Defense

    • Music: The music from the montage at the end of the episode is the popular Christmas carol "Little Drummer Boy."

    • Awards and Nominations: 2000 Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Series (Bill Johnson, A.C.E.) This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in conjucnction with several other episodes from the first season. 2000 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series (Kenneth B. Ross, Len Schmitz, Dan Hiland, Gary D. Rogers) This episode was the 2000 Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Aaron Sorkin, Rick Cleveland) 2000 CAS Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Series 2000 Humanitas Prize (Aaron Sorkin, Rick Cleveland) 2001 WGA Laurel Award Nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Television Writing for Episodic Drama

  • Allusions

    • 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.