TV & Movies

10 Quotes From The Thick Of It That'll Make You Miss Malcolm & The Gang

In celebration of The Thick Of It’s arrival on Netflix, we remember the best lines from BBC Two’s most cut-throat comedy.

by Alice Broster
'The Thick Of It'

The Thick Of It has been heralded as “the greatest, funniest political satire of all time.” If you think the last decade in UK politics has been hectic then Armando Iannucci’s comedy sensation may provide you with some light relief. It follows the lives and truly bizarre behaviour of cabinet ministers and their aids. All four seasons were recently made available to watch on Netflix and, in celebration of this momentous event, I’ve gathered together 10 of the funniest and most shocking Thick Of It quotes.

The Thick Of It cast was of course led by none other than Peter Capaldi, who played the nightmarish No. 10 tyrant Malcolm Turner in the part-improvised comedy. During his time as Turner, a fictionalised government enforcer, Capaldi served some of the most withering put-downs in British TV history, but he isn’t the only character in the show who’s worthy of a place on this list.

Chris Langham, Rebecca Front, and Joanna Scanlan make up the rest of the cast of political deviants and from the shameless manipulation of the press to the cut-throat comebacks during political tête-à-têtes, there’s a reason that The Thick Of It is as legendary as it is. Keep reading to remember some of your favourite lines from the show.

On having a good tidy up

Season 4, episode 7: Stewart Pearson – “You know, I’ve spent the last ten years detoxifying this party. It’s been a bit like renovating an old, old house. Oh, you can take out a sexist beam here, a callous window there, replace the odd…homophobic roof-tile, but after a while you begin to realize that this renovation is doomed. Because the foundation is built on what I can only describe as a solid bed of c*nts.”

The first world problems of Malcolm

Season 3, episode 1: Malcolm Tucker – “People don’t like their politicians to be comfortable. They don’t like you having expenses. They don’t like you being paid. They’d rather you lived in a f*cking cave.”

The rules of making policy

Season 1, episode 2: Glenn Cullen – “Look, there's no point in asking people what they think. They either don't know what they think or they think that you should bring back hanging for traffic wardens. Or they just think what every right-minded thinking person would think, and that's just common sense!”

Productivity culture

Season 3, episode 1: Malcolm Tucker – “I’ve got a to-do list here that’s longer than a f*cking Leonard Cohen song.”

Rule by force

Season 3, episode 8: Peter Mannion – “I’m sensing a change in management styles. From touchy-feely to smashy-testes.”

Comeback King Malcolm

Season 3, episode 1: Malcolm Tucker – “Do you know 90% of household dust is made of dead human skin? That’s what you are to me.”

Happy holidays

Season 3, episode 3: Nicola Murray – “Well, we wanted to go to Florida but Malcolm ‘suggested’ that we go to Suffolk. So the kids were miserable, the weather was miserable, and Malcolm phoned to shout at me for looking miserable.”

On looking calm on TV

Season 2, episode 4: Malcolm Tucker – “All these hands all over the place! You were like a sweaty octopus trying to unhook a bra.”

A force for change

Season 3, episode 1: Nicola Murray – “Fire up the turbo-chargers and set phasers to equality. It’s Murray time!”

Not a fan of #selfcare

Season 3, episode 7: Ollie Reeder – “You like bath salts, you’re basically an idiot.”