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'Veep' Gets Nasty: The 6 Best Insults from Season 3 (NSFW)

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire June 5, 2014 at 10:10AM

Readers be warned: "Veep" pulls no punches, so neither did we. What's contained inside is not for the faint of heart.
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sam Richardson in "Veep" on HBO
Paul Schiraldi/HBO Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sam Richardson in "Veep"

"Veep" has always marked its seasons not by steady character progression or even landmark events (though there have been a few). Instead, Armando Iannucci's ruthless HBO comedy is remembered for its innovative insults, continuously raising the bar for how degrading one character can be to the others. 

Season three was no different. Combative words flew faster than ever, forcing the viewer to step back from time to time and examine the best one-liners after getting through an episode filled with them. Below are the most vicious, nastiest, and most memorable insults of season three -- with more to come in Sunday night's two-part season finale. 

1) "What in the wide world of fuck do you think you're wearing?"

Selina Meyer was on the verge of an absolute conniption before she saw her daughter had worn nearly the exact same dress as she did on the day of her campaign launch. After...well, that's simply the stuff of legend. Still, the simple beauty of the moment pictured above lies in a mother's confrontation of her daughter. No one else in the world could say what Selina says and still have her child trying to help her minutes later, let alone convince Catherine to wear what she ends up wearing. It's also an excellent example of how "Veep" writers use the f-bomb -- by carefully hiding it in unsuspected areas within sentences.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep" Season 3 Quotes
Uproxx/HBO

2) "Where do you get your news? From a guy on a horse?"

For as vulgar as "Veep" can be, it's never unnecessarily so. Case in point comes from a few of the best quotes being as direct and clean as this one, which effectively tears down its receiver by paralleling its message with its construction. While he's holding a technologically advanced device, Dan is mocked by his new subordinate Amy in a fashion that dates him as far back as the days before the first phones even existed. She does this with an insult clean, clear, and to the point -- it doesn't take its time to land, but otherwise it's perfectly calibrated to reinforce her point: Dan's slow. 

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3) "Do they have a bathroom here, or do they put their turds up in the cloud?"

When Selina went to meet with the tech industry in Silicon Valley, HBO had to be drooling over a crossover opportunity with its freshman comedy. Yet fans of "Veep" knew Selina wouldn't get along with the new-age tech people whose minds weren't developed enough to understand why she was even there. There's no political games with them. Just ignorance of the real world -- kind of like the bubbled politicos of DC. Selina's off-hand comment about finding a bathroom was made more to illustrate the disconnect between coastal and cultural opposites, as well as to show the bullshit flows both ways. The techies may be crafting something useful for the modern age, and Selina is seeking the most powerful seat in the country, but neither know what the other is doing -- or why.


4) "All my orgasms have come at once."

In the season three premiere, one of the most glorious events to ever happen to the VP office occurs and provides everyone at Mike's wedding a far superior dose of joy: Jonah, who's about to be perfectly described in the next post, is fired. Dan chronicles it on his iPad and Selina gives the perfect summary of the group's feelings. Vulgar but joyous, the Veep's sincere exclamation is evidence of the writing staff seeing a big moment -- an especially ripe one for fans -- and not letting it go by without the perfect remark. They're just as effective with the major insults as the minor, with the timely as well as the unexpected. 

5) "You let that unstable piece of human scaffolding into your house?"

Sometimes a description just works. It hits the sweet spot even though you may have never thought to use it in a million years. That's really all there is to be said about Selina's summary of Jonah's humanity. Her distressed tone helps sell the insult, especially when put into the perspective of her plight: She's worried he'll break a story about her that's true. It also happens to be one of Reid Scott's favorite insults of all time

Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Human Scaffolding" Quote
HBO

6) "If men got pregnant, you could get an abortion at an ATM."

The truth hurts, and it stung a bit extra when coming hard and fast from the VP's team of handlers as they tried to solve the abortion debate in America during a single sitting. While quite a few gems were tossed around (including Selina saying she "can't identify as a woman" because "people can't know that"), this line showed how aware the writing staff is of its mission: they're skewering politics from all sides. To do this, they show how even someone who knows a hard truth is still kept at bay, too scared to say anything in public as brave and honest as Selina does during her five minute private rant. Luckily, the writers gave her satirical character the stage, and pushed the agenda the only way it can be pushed: through comedy.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on "Veep" Season 3
Uproxx/HBO


This article is related to: Veep, Veep, HBO, HBO , Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Television







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