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‘Justified’: All-time top 11 quotes: all killer, no filler

🕐 4 min read

Dialogue, that’s the thing that has given “Justified” its pop over the past six years. It was the particular gift of Elmore Leonard, the legendary novelist whose work is the basis for the show, to make crime and violence … funny.

Without trying to be. He got to be known for it. Like when you start biting people in first grade, and keep doing it, people start calling you a biter? Like that.

“Justified” has always been the down-market criminal world of low intelligence and still lower expectations, and the inhabitants sass or threaten one another with completely straight faces. Neither are there, after some great line, cutaway shots to other characters smirking, to make sure we at home get it. The joke was always already in the glass.

Also, in the pronunciations. Boyd never just called the deputy marshal by name, it was “RAYLAN Givens!” The Dixie Mafia eyebrow-challenged mid-level apparatchik was “Wynn Duffeh.” Boyd was always Ava’s “fee-anh-say.” I know y’all will agree, because the next time we have this conversation? It won’t be a conversation.

So on this, the very last day we will ever have another fresh batch of deadpan one-liners, snark, zingers, vile imprecations and roll-off-the-couch murderous backtalk, here are our Top 11 Favorite “Justified” Lines That We Can Print in a Family Newspaper. Your faves may not have made the list, but me and my dead owls don’t give a hoot.

11. “Your neck is just as red as mine.” Ava, to Raylan, calling him out on his I-came-from-here-but-I-left-so-that-makes-me-smart attitude.

10. “Bourbon is easy to understand. Tastes like a warm summer day.” Raylan, in a bar in Mexico, summing up the essence of the beverage that gives “Justified” its sour-mash heart.

9. “Keep Duffy there. I just need to get my purse.” Katherine Hale, who shot Seabass from her purse, gets a new one. Heads up, Mikey! We feel bad for you dying in the confines of a motorcoach owned by Wynn Duffeh, Katherine, but we do respect a woman who shoots straight from the pocketbook.

8. “[Expletive] woman, you only shoot people when they’re eatin’ supper?” Boyd, to Ava, after she’d shot his brother while eating dinner at her table, then drawing down on him at the same dinner table with the same rifle. It was the first episode of the first season and let us know how the rest was gonna be. When Ava finally shot (and wounded) Boyd in Season 6, it wasn’t at the dinner table. So your answer, Mistah Crowder, is, “No.”

7. “Dear Lord, before we eat this meal we ask forgiveness for our sins, especially Boyd — who blew up a black church with a rocket launcher — and afterwards he shot his associate Jared Hale in the back of the head out on Tate’s Creek Bridge. Let the image of Jared’s brain matter on that windshield not dampen our appetites, but may the knowledge of Boyd’s past sins help guide these men. May this food provide them with all the nourishment they need. But, if it does not, may they find comfort in knowing that the United States Marshal Service is offering $50,000 dollars to any individual providing information that will put Boyd back in prison. Cash or check, we can make it out to them. Or to Jesus. Whoever they want. In your name, we pray. Amen.” Raylan, after offering to bless the meal for Boyd’s batch of unwashed criminals in the woods. And, you know, sticking it to his old coal-digging partner.

6. “You stay frosty.” Constable Bob’s immortal advice to Raylan. WE (HEART) YOU, CONSTABLE BOB. Whoever cast Patton Oswalt, take the rest of the day off.

5. “Your teeth glow in the dark.” Raylan, to Boyd, explaining how he recognized him at night on the mountain.

4. “If you wanted me to shoot you in the front, you shoulda run toward me.” Raylan, to bad guy Ty Walker, whose dying complaint was that Raylan had shot him in the back.

3. “I know people like you are used to taking people like me. But there comes a point when people like me can’t take anymore taking. All the things you’ve done, the way you’ve built your fortunes, it might make you criminals. It don’t make you outlaws. I am the outlaw.” Boyd, to those halfwit white-collar criminals who tried to strongarm him. And don’t forget his Dairy Queen Franchise, halfwits!

2. “I’ve shot people I like more for less.” Raylan, to Wynn Duffeh, in one of their very first meetings. Perhpas the most Dutch Leonard line in the history of the show. Impossible-to-replicate violent poetry in dialogue.

Aaaaaannnnnnndddddd our winner:

1. “You mean I got FOUR kidneys?” Dewey Crowe. Bubba, you are gone but not forgotten.

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