There are fierce women on television and then there’s Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz). The stoic, mysterious detective on Brooklyn 99 is in a league of her own when it comes to giving zero f*cks about… well, anything. She doesn’t conform to societal norms, doesn’t ascribe to social rituals, and she damn sure doesn’t care what people think of her. Detective Diaz doesn’t mind punching tubby cops in the gut for wishing her a happy birthday. She’s only told three people she loves them, and she regrets one of those times after finding out her grandfather wasn’t dying. She enjoys planning moments of spiteful vengeance to enact on her deathbed. She is, quite simply, the most badass woman on the planet.
Trying to imitate her cool, unfeeling brashness towards people and her general unimpressed attitude towards life is probably impossible — you’re born with that kind of talent or you’re not — but in case you want to give it a try, here are a few quotes you can learn from.
“I hate small talk. Let’s drink in silence.”
People throughout history have lauded the value of small talk. It’s become a staple in all human interactions and, quite frankly, we’ve developed an embarrassing reliance on it. Not Rosa Diaz. The detective has never been the kind of person who feels obligated to talk nonsense just to make others feel at ease. That’s why, when she was enjoying a beer with Detective Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) after solving a murder case and dealing with Jake Peralta’s (Andy Samberg) strange sexual adventure with a medical examiner in season one, she refused to respond to his painfully obvious colloquial initiator.
Why commiserate on a lousy work day with a co-worker or chat about the weather with a stranger when you can just enjoy the sweet sound of silence while sipping an ice cold beer and pretending to hate everyone around you? Look, it takes a special kind of confidence to endure long, stilted pauses in conversations without succumbing to the nagging need to fill said silences with inane chatter. Be that special kind of confidence-possessing person.
“Your entire life is garbage.”
Sugarcoating the truth to protect people’s feelings is one of life’s biggest time-wasters. It’s right up there with scrolling through Twitter hoping for good news and watching compilations of cake-glazing videos on Youtube. Being “nice” is not one of life’s requirements.
Even if Diaz did care about making people happy and having them like her, she still wouldn’t have time to entertain idiots like Gina’s (Chelsea Peretti) friend Carlene, a psychic with a degree in numerology from the internet who moonlighted as an assistant manager at a designer shoe store. Not only did Carlene share some vague, unhelpful “visions” with the squad, she also managed to frighten Boyle with predictions of bodily harm and unrequited love, so when Diaz told the woman her life was garbage, it wasn’t just deserved, it was true. Who knows, maybe that cutting comeback prompted Carlene to pursue a more noble career — like general manager of a designer shoe store. But that’s not the point. The point is Diaz can rest easy at night knowing she didn’t compromise her badassery for the sake of politeness.
“What kind of woman doesn’t have an axe?”
When Gina is made to feel helpless when her apartment is broken into and her homemade Joseph Gordon-Levitt nesting dolls are stolen Diaz tries to help her solve the case but runs into some difficulty when Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) asks that she put herself in the administrator’s shoes — a young woman living alone without anyway to defend herself.
For Diaz, who has an arsenal at home — throwing stars, nun chucks, an axe — imagining not being able to wield a deadly weapon to protect herself and her valuables is pretty much impossible. After all, what kind of woman doesn’t have an ax? Badass lesson #1: You don’t have to be a trained police officer to be able to handle yourself in a fight, you just need a sharp killing device at the ready.
“It’s very embarrassing having feelings.”
As human beings, having feelings is just one of those unavoidable burdens we all must bear. But just because we have them, doesn’t mean they should be talked about constantly or shared with others. In fact, whenever possible, go out of your way to sidestep all mention of them, even if it means participating in a simulated competition in which the highest murder count wins.
When Rosa has an important dinner with her parents and her boyfriend potentially interrupted by an extra shift, instead of sharing that info with Detective Santiago (Melissa Fumero) to get her to take the weekend work, Diaz competes for the day off, killing as many people as she can in a police drill in order to avoid talking about her feelings. Why? Because having feelings is embarrassing. Remember that.
“I don’t ask people out. I just tell them where we’re going.”
Reading social cues is an integral part of dating, especially in the beginning of a relationship when you’re forced to suss out whether someone’s attracted to you and looking to spend more one-on-one time. Asking someone on a date can be the single most terrifying thing a person does in their life mostly because it opens us up to a certain kind of emotional vulnerability. Rosa Diaz doesn’t do emotions and she damn sure doesn’t do vulnerable, that’s why she takes all of the guesswork out of dating by just doling out orders to potential suitors instead of inquiring into their own wants and feelings. Not only does this eliminate potential awkwardness, it also establishes a power dynamic that skews in her favor should the relationship move forward.
“You’re so good at being lame and I’m not.”
For Rosa Diaz and every strong independent woman like her, one thing will always be true: Life is about kicking ass, not kissing it. Compliments are just hollow inanities, devoid of meaning, often accompanied by self-serving intentions. Most people dish out praise to further their own goals and to make themselves feel better. If someone’s always fawning over everything you do, you never know what they truly think of you. But that’s one problem Rosa’s colleagues will never have. Even when she’s applauding a person’s strengths or talents — like she did with Boyle when he helped her craft sexy texts to her boyfriend — she’s doing it in a way that reminds people of how average they truly are. Backhanded compliments are an easy way to communicate approval without getting too sickly sweet and sentimental about it.
And now, thanks to these quotes, you can go off and live a Rosa Diaz kind of life. You’re welcome.