She was cold-hearted, mean-spirited, and impossible to please, but that never stopped Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) from trying to be a dutiful son to his mother, Malory (Jessica Walter). For seven seasons on FX’s Archer, Sterling has seemingly gone out of his way to prove how reckless and irresponsible he is, yet he was (almost) always there to contend with his mother, despite the fact that she abandoned him for years at a time. To commemorate their dysfunctional relationship, here are six Sterling Archer quotes to help remind you how to deal with your mother.
For When You’re Embarrassed
“No, just half of one! The other half would have really missed you.”
It’s no secret that the relationship between Sterling and Malory was… complicated. When Krenshaw (Shelly Desai), the Russian mole operating in ISIS, had his cover blown, he takes Malory as a hostage to help aid his escape. Sterling comes to the rescue, of course, but not without revealing a little more than expected. Sterling tries to save the incredibly awkward moment by reassuring his mother that the thought of her being dead is in no way appealing to him. While you’re bound to find yourself in an uncomfortable family moment (hopefully not this uncomfortable) at some point, follow Sterling’s lead here and do your best to try and salvage it.
For When You’re Trying To Sound Cool
“Cry havoc and let slip the hogs of war.”
It’s universal that pretty much everyone wants to sound cool, even when they’re in front of their parents, which is nearly impossible to do. When Sterling finds out that he’s been the victim of a counterfeit cancer drug operation, he starts getting pretty vengeful. Malory, strangely enough, voices her concern with Sterling’s plan as he stockpiles weapons for his plan. He does his best to sound confident and ready, too, even though he totally botches what would’ve been a cool-sounding quote from Julius Caesar. You might never actually be cool enough to impress your parents, but it won’t be because you misquoted Shakespeare.
For When You’re Trying To Keep Her Safe
“Jesus! You want to blow us all to sh*t, Sherlock?”
While the entire gang manages to find a way on board the maiden voyage of the Excelsior airship, it all came about because Malory phoned in a fake bomb scare. They do eventually find a real bomb on board but at first Sterling’s only concerned with how combustible the airship is, despite his lack of understanding of… well, everything. He even goes so far as to slap a man who’s trying to light a cigarette, only to be reminded by the Captain that the Excelsior is filled with non-flammable helium. Still, most mothers will more than likely appreciate the concern for safety than fret over the lack of scientific understanding.
For When You’re Trying To Get On Her Good Side:
“Like suck at stuff.”
When your mother is a cold, tyrannical, emotionally distant boss, and you’re her employee, it seems only natural to try and emulate her a bit. Sterling does it constantly, like when she chastises Cyril (Chris Parnell) in front of the staff, Sterling’s right there to lob insults alongside her like a loyal son/sycophant. It’s a great example of how shared interests can help form a common bond — though hopefully, neither of you are interested in publicly humiliating your friends and co-workers.
For When You’re Fishing For Praise
“Uhh, see… how I just let that just go by? Look at me. I am the perfect gentleman.”
Most people want their parents to be proud of what they do. Sterling, however, assumes he’ll impress his mother by what he doesn’t say, specifically, regarding a German billionaire’s almost-17-year-old-daughter, Anke (Kari Wahlgren). While most people would know better, Sterling still expects accolades for his ability to show a little common sense restraint. It’s not unreasonable to try and impress your mother by showing her what a gentleman you are but maybe do it by holding a door or calling her more often.
For When You Want Her To Know You Had Fun, Despite Everything
“Oh speaking of excellence, did you hear we met a tiger? But… he… got… murdered.”
After they’re deployed to the South American jungle to take down drug lord Armando Calzado (Joaquim de Almeida), Sterling, Cyril, and Lana (Aisha Tyler) all manage to succeed with their mission, but fail to get documented proof, which means no one gets paid. While Malory makes no effort to hide her scorn, (no surprise) Archer does his best to try and salvage the moment by bringing up the tiger they saw at Calzado’s compound — before lamenting its tragic fate. Still, most mothers would appreciate the attempt to try and put a positive spin on things, regardless of how disappointing the outcome might be.
Then again, Malory isn’t like most mothers. Here’s hoping she’s not like yours.