Don Draper was somewhere in each and every one of us. Sometimes we were desperate to be him, other times he was the man and the idea that we wanted to avoid becoming. Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on, you have to admit the man had a way with words. So, with last night’s Mad Men finale in the books and Don’s last moments burned into us, here are his most memorable lines from the pilot through to the finale.
“I don’t think about you at all.”
You never wanted to get on Don Draper’s bad side, and if you did, he was often able to shut you up or destroy you with a single sentence. And he did it a lot.
“You want to feel sh*tty. Right up until the point where I take your dress off.”
Linda Cardellini’s reaction to this line is the same reaction everyone that watched it had. Don Draper could say quite literally anything and still manage to get away with it.
“It will shock you how much it never happened.”
Don Draper was crude, rude, dishonest, and absolutely poetic. If not for this line, Peggy Olson might still be in that hospital bed.
“What is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness.”
Don Draper wasn’t successful because he took a successful identity, it was because he was smart and persuasive.
“That’s what the money is for!”
Boss of the year.
“I hate to break it to you but…the Universe is indifferent.”
Draper was quintessentially “The Man,” but had the wits to shut down the hippies who tried to criticize him. This one is either depressing or optimistic, depending on how you look at it.
Sometimes the man didn’t have to say anything at all. Still worked.
“What you call ‘love’ was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.”
This scene may have been the moment viewers realized they were watching something that had the potential to be special. Also, dayuuuuum Don.
“One great idea can win someone over.”
He was a master motivator. Even when he was on speed.
“It’s over when I say it’s over.”
When Walter White says “we’re done when I say we’re done”, it makes us have an accident in our pants. When Don Draper says this, it makes us want to take them off.
“Nostalgia… it’s delicate… and potent.”
Yeah, he was really good at his job.
If you want to learn how to say ‘what’ and sound cool watch this over and over. Then fail miserably anyway. He’s Don Draper, and you’re not.
“You weren’t raised with Jesus, you don’t know what happens to people when they believe in things.”
If Don cared about you, even though he wasn’t always there, he did find a way to show it. There was a central moral goodness to him beneath the drinking, the womanizing, the lying, and the… what was I saying?
“You can put this behind you, it’ll get easier as you move forward.”
A wonderful full-circle moment in the finale as Don tries to repurpose his line to Peggy to create another in his image without seeing what his image looks like at this point.
“I’m not the man you think I am.”
Don’s last confession was to the one who, of all the characters on the show, probably the person that cared the most about him. Something he doubtlessly realized, in that he called her in his darkest moment. But through it all, that smile kind of points to the opposite being true.