Cards on the table, David Duchovny’s Californication never held back when it came to its subject matter, diving deep into the ugly beast that is Hollywood and the city of Los Angeles, but in doing so it became one of the funniest shows to ever grace television. Despite the show’s obscenity, indecency, and utter rawness, audience members found it highly hilarious and relatable because of those reasons.
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Whether it was Hank’s witticism or self-loathing, Runkle’s complete lack of shame, or any number of the secondary characters letting the duo know how stupid they genuinely were, you’d be hard-pressed to find an episode of the seven-season series that doesn’t include at least one laugh-out-loud line. Here are 10 hilarious quotes from Californication.
10 “Well you should’ve called. I wouldn’t have answered, but you could’ve left a message, which I would have quickly erased.” – Hank
Everybody remembers Bill, the dial-tone father to Mia that Karen almost ended up marrying at the end of season 1. While his monotone and lack of sense of humor made him roughly unbearable on screen, Hank’s pure hatred for the man who was set to marry his baby mama made any scene involving the two hilarious, including this one from the season 1 episode, “LOL.”
The deadpan character informs Hank that while he generally doesn’t like interacting with him, he needs a favor, prompting Hank to reply with the line that we all felt to our core. B to the I to the double L, leave it at the tone, my nig-nog!
9 “There’s no crying in tent-pole film-making, you f****** Mary!” – Stu
One of the most underrated characters from the entire series is Stu, the film producer who ends up marrying Marcy once she and Runkle kick the bucket. While only appearing in 30 out of the show’s 84 episodes, Stu delivers some of the best lines and even has a hilarious memorable catch phrase with, “oh my word,” a line he uses just before the one listed above.
When Hank rewrites a few pages for a stunning, swept-to-the-side actress, she tries to reciprocate the favor, but is caught in the act by Stu and his director. When the whiny director throws a tantrum because he wanted to be ‘reciprocated’ by the actress, Stu steps in and tells the director in a less-friendly way to buck up.
8 “To our beautiful family, our black President, and my magnificent d*ng.” – Hank
Hank Moody made it notoriously known throughout the series how much he was repulsed by Los Angeles (despite the entire show taking place there), but one of his proudest moments was when he was able to convince Karen to adopt that same way of thinking. In the season 3 episode, “Glass House,” Hank’s baby mama returns to LA from a trip to New York (Hank’s much-preferred city) and informs him that she thinks it would be best for Becca to grow up there instead.
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Not needing much winning over, Hank agrees and gives the above toast to close out the episodes cold open, leaving the audience laughing until the credits sequence had finished.
7 “Whatever you need: I got alcohol, I got pornography, I got Pictionary.” – Runkle
Everybody has a Runkle in their life; a person who is there for you no matter what and will always have your best interests at heart… until things get a little difficult. Despite his many flaws, Runkle is a person who seemingly has just never accepted that he’s a little different, often resulting in him being embarrassed (or completely unashamed) by his own unique mannerisms.
So, naturally, when Hank’s daughter Becca asks Runkle if a couple of her friends can come over to hang out, Runkle simply lists off all of the things he would do while hanging out. Everybody may have a Runkle, but it’s yet to be determined if everybody needs one.
6 “I s*** a pint of blood this morning.” – Rick Springfield
Even with a show as vulgar as Californication, this line was something special, with the real comedy coming from Hank’s response. In the season 3 episode, “The Apartment,” the sole bubble episode of the entire series, virtually every guest star of the season (and most series regulars) find themselves traipsing through Hank’s apartment at one point or another.
After a certain altercation where Hank threatens to punch musician, Rick Springfield, the coked-up rock-star tries to intimidate Moody with the above line. Unfortunately, but hilariously, the result is a thoroughly concerned Hank, who then understandably asks, “…why?” We never found out, and we don’t want too.
5 “My homeless d*** now must seek shelter from the storm where and whence it can.” – Hank
It’s never been a question whether Hank Moody is a fan of the female gender, especially since he seems to bed a new woman in practically every episode of the series. But one particular woman Hank wooed in the season 2 episode, “In A Lonely Place,” happened to be the mother of Becca’s boyfriend, and Karen made it clear how she felt about Hank seeking refuge with any woman that would have him.
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In an attempt to defend himself, Hank utters the line, informing Karen that out of doors in the rain and the wind is no place for male genitalia. You’re not wrong, Hank, but surely a writer could’ve put it a better way than that.
4 “She likes it in the nose?” – Runkle
Who could’ve expected to hear one of the funniest lines of the series in only their second episode ever? Well, that’s what happened when Hank strolled into Runkle’s office and spotted the tattoo peeking out of his secretary’s skirt. When Hank informs Runkle that the tattoo secretly means the woman likes to perform ‘non-traditional’ sex, Runkle is genuinely surprised.
But when a different woman walks in sporting a nose ring and Hank asks Runkle if he knows what that means, Runkle responds with the hilarious retort, causing Hank to inform his manager that he’s a sick individual.
3 “I am currently accepting blame for everything: volcanoes, earthquakes, oil spills, steroids, rap music… it’s all my fault.” – Hank
Hank was never one to shy away from the obvious fact that most of the terrible events that happened to him actually occurred because of his own poor decisions. One such episode where he outright states it is in season 4, “Another Perfect Day,” which finds Hank on the precipice of a statutory rape trial and dealing with a daughter who stole and crashed his car.
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When he asks Karen how they could have possibly sunk so low, she retorts that she’s positive it’s his fault in some way, causing him to fully agree.
2 “Being a f****** feminist is not about castrating men, you kooky c***!” – Marcy
The greatest underdog of the entire show, Marcy had countless one-liners and witty, sexually-induced comments that had every fan crushing on her.
Reading this line, you would hope that she was speaking figuratively, but in the season 6 episode that found Janice-from-Friends literally trying to castrate Runkle with a pair of gardening shears, Marcy came to the rescue and informed the ‘shenis’ goddess that all of the femi-nazi’s have it ass-backward when it comes to co-existing with moronic men. Way to stand up for men’s rights, Cokey Smurf, or at least letting them keep their genitals.
1 “No man should ever have to bare witness to his own O face.” – Hank
In only the second season of the series, Runkle finds himself out of a job as an agent for, let’s say, loving himself a little too much. When his bosses show him (several) recorded instances as proof for termination, he understandably goes on a little bit of a bender with his coke-addicted wife and ends up locking himself in a bathroom while crying in the tub.
When Hank arrives at the scene and Runkle informs him of everything that’s happened, he mentions to Hank that it was “sobering” seeing those inappropriate videos of himself, prompting Hank to respond in the affirmative. We wholeheartedly agree, Charlie, now clean yourself up.
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