The Roys do not talk like a normal family.
Woefully incapable of expressing or even experiencing many human emotions, they are completely detached from reality. Instead of checking in with each other or reaching out when someone is struggling as a normal family might, their conversations are heavily laced with dismissive asides and wild profanity. The words “F*ck off” might well be on the Roy family crest.
Much of the iconic lingo from Succession is absolutely hilarious. The show is a comedy; I will die on this hill. And the hilarity stems from the fact that the Roys have absolutely no clue how to act like regular people.
Often, the characters on Succession will find themselves in situations where they have zero self-awareness beyond what’s acceptable within their billionaire social tier (read: everything). They can murder people, cover up massive sexual assault, and bully… well, everyone, but there’s no way they could make small talk with a barista at Starbucks. Ok, maybe Greg could manage it, but not before bumbling all over the place and mentioning his love for CPK eight thousand times.
Below is a list of some of the most bonkers (and fascinating) things that the Waystar/Royco fam has said throughout the course of the series so far.
All the Nicknames
The four Roy kiddos have some very curious nicknames. Kendall is “Ken,” Roman is “Rome” or “Romulus,” Connor is “Con.” and Siobahn is “Shiv” or “Pinky.” Kendall’s nickname seems innocent enough, but there’s been speculation on Reddit over whether or not it relates to a plastic Ken doll or an accessory to a flashier main attraction. Shiv’s nickname makes sense, mostly because she will absolutely shiv your good name and intentions if given the opportunity, but also because Siobahn is one nightmare of a name. Her dad calls her Pinky, obviously undermining any sort of power or status that she has within the family.
Of course, Connor turns into Con because even though he initially seemed sweet and unassuming, he will do pretty much anything to give himself a leg up. Will this dude actually become president by the time the series is over? Tune in to find out.
Last but not least, Roman also has two nicknames. He’s “Rome,” which connotes the obvious comparisons to the fall of Rome or Rome burning. But to his dad, Logan, he’s also often “Romulus,” which also has all sorts of devastating historical connotations (including some about fatally quarreling brothers). Why a man would name his son after a mythical failed emperor of Rome is beyond me, but again, the Roys aren’t really thinking things through like the rest of us.
Literally, Most Anything That Comes Out of Tom’s Mouth
Tom is not a Roy by blood, but he does say super quotable things on the reg. In the first three episodes of season 3 alone, he has already uttered the whimsical phrases “balanced love portfolio,” “King Potato,” and “clonk the trout on the head and put it in your pouch.” Tom is also the author of the classic line “you can’t make a Tomlette without cracking some Greggs,” although this statement was revealed in a Congressional hearing, not from the Tomlette himself.
Mr. Wambsgans was surely always a verbose dude, but his proximity to the Roys has clearly given him the green light to let his freak thesaurus flag fly. And we are very thankful.
No Real Person Involved
Basically, anyone with a total net worth south of ten figures doesn’t register as a person to the people in the Waystar/Royco orbit.
This term was introduced on the show when the Cruises scandal broke — if a worker with no real recourse was involved in a violent act, they were considered NRPI — but there’s evidence of this throughout the entire show. Roman is roundly dismissive of people beneath his social status, even going so far as to be casually cruel to them for his own enjoyment. In season 2, Logan tries to comfort Kendall by emphasizing that the busboy that died in the accident with him was not a real person. This mindset might not be funny, exactly, but the idea that the Roy family can just write anyone off as “not a person” whenever it suits them is absolutely ridiculous.
Even though Greg is family, he also doesn’t really count as an actual person. So, when the Roy team convenes on a yacht to decide who’s on the chopping block for Cruises (also just a really, very funny choice of venue), Roman suggests that Greg sprinkles would be a great topper to any person sitting at the table. It’s nice that Greg the Egg got upgraded from egg to colorful sprinkles, but he can only become a real boy in the eyes of the Roys family by earning his first billion.
Thank You For the Chicken
As he executes a power move for the ages, Tom Wambsgans illustrates why he’s one of the low-key most hysterical people on Succession. In the midst of deciding who will take the fall for the Cruises scandal, Tom dares to snatch a piece of chicken off of Logan’s plate, slam it down in a few caveman-like bites, and then thank him, mouth full of half-masticated poultry. It was a moment that even shocked the unflappable Logan, and delighted us all in demonstrating how too much exposure to the Roy family can scramble a seemingly normal brain.
No kink-shaming here, but the string of insults that Gerri gleefully lobs at Roman while he pleasures himself in her bathroom is not necessarily something one hears in the course of a regular day. The iconic “slime puppy” comment is even more wonderful given that actress J. Smith Cameron improved it on the spot.
L to the OG
There’s really no explanation for this surreal performance other than Kendall’s malfunctioning billionaire brain. His lengthy rap, ostensibly celebrating his father, was a display that reached cringe-comedy heights only matched by HBO sibling show Curb Your Enthusiasm. It was also one of the most memeable moments of 2019.
When Logan sends his kids a dozen gourmet donuts in season 3 during a supposedly secret meet-up between the siblings, there is a TON of discussion over whether or not the treats are safe to eat. Logan adds a simple message: “Have a nice tea party.” This dismissive yet knowing statement not only infantilizes his kids and undermines their autonomy, but it also sends a not-so-subtle threat at the same time. Even Homer Simpson would be appalled.
Boar on the Floor
One of the most yikes moments from the entire series, the boar on the floor is a game in which the only rule is that Logan Roy makes the rules. Watching grown men scramble on the floor for a cold sausage isn’t Squid Game-level horrifying, but it’s close. The difference here is that the cringe factor tips the scales so far into absurd territory that it circles back to being a comedy. Feel free to use “Boar on the Floor” in your everyday vocab to discuss people who go to insane lengths just to stoke the fires of capitalism.
We Hear For You
Again, Tom is the funniest. Tom and Greg? Total comedy gold. When it’s revealed that ATN is actually listening to viewers through their set-top boxes, Tom has to scramble to change his carefully workshopped catchphrase, “We’re listening.”
Short on time, Tom enlists Greg to help brainstorm a new tagline for the network. The two bandy some ideas about and quickly settle on “We Hear For You,” which is just the most wonderful nonsense. It feels like two middle school kids dug into their dad’s weed stash and then came up with a half-baked slogan for a class president campaign. And it’s utterly hilarious.
The thing about the Roy family is that they’re not hearing anything in any meaningful way. They’re just moving through life in egocentric bubbles, completely oblivious to almost everything around them except the perpetual power struggle that marks their existence. But, at the end of the day, they are still a warped family, and families do talk in shorthand. And we’re very lucky that we get to be in on the joke.