7 Things: Subtextiest Lines

(October 15)

Warning – There are a few small spoilers within. Only the recent one is marked.

I meant to write this on Monday, then on Tuesday, then Wednesday, but it didn’t happen. Surprised? Anyway, now I’m going to blow through this shiz, ’cause I got a long way to go to recover this week. So, here it is.

Seeing as I was NYCing on Sunday, I didn’t watch Once Upon a Time until Monday night. I had already previewed the episode, so I knew it contained one of the subtextiest lines I have ever heard. Upon viewing of said preview, I announced that I couldn’t wait for Shawna to watch the episode, because there was a line in it so incredibly subtexty that even she would be like, “Come on.”

So, at the beginning of the scene, I got giddy as I waited for it, turned to Shawna once the line was spoken, and the look on her face was the equivalent of an eye roll. Then, she said… wait for it… “Come on.” And I chuckled gleefully.

So, in honor of that beautiful line of subtext, here’s a list of seven of my favorite subtexty lines of all time.

7 – Brooke and Sam, Popular, Episode 2.2 “Baby, Don’t Do It!”

I know I’ve mentioned this line before, but as far as subtext goes, it’s pretty noteworthy. The episode is even called Baby, Don’t Do It! just to drive the point home.

BROOKE: I thought for sure that it was Josh.

SAM: Cause only someone who cared deeply for you would go to such lengths?

6 – Peter and Neal, White Collar, Episode 3.14? (maybe) “Pulling Strings”

I can’t really recall which episode it was in, and my research returns nothing, but this was one of the subtextiest moments of one of the subtextiest bromances on TV. They even did the joke once when Peter and Neal were both in tuxes where Peter’s wife Elizabeth photographed them like they were heading off to prom.

PETER: Why did you stay?

NEAL: You… (pause as long as the Grand Canyon is wide) Elizabeth…

5 – Emily and JJ, Criminal Minds, Episode 3.4 “Children of the Dark”

I’ve brought up this line before too, but, again, it’s too damn subtexty to leave off the list. So subtexty, it needs no explanation.

JJ: I think it’s a good idea, though.

EMILY: What?

JJ: You. Kids. I can see it.

4 – Lindsay and Cindy, Women’s Murder Club, Episode 1.9 “To Drag and To Hold”

Sure, there were more blatant lines between Lindsay and Cindy.

“Let me be here for you.”

“Who’s ready for a hand and foot fantasy?”

“There is no way that you are going running around in random groups of men.”

“Cindy, honey…”

But. But…

These lines may have been the subtextiest of all, because for eight and a half episodes, Cindy and Lindsay were molasses, and in half an episode of alone time, they went from “the two of us” to “we.”

CINDY: Are we supposed to answer her?

LINDSAY: It’s not necessary.

 3 – Willow and Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 4.16 “Who Are You?”

When subtext precedes main text. It’s kind of the ideal, isn’t it?

WILLOW: I just kind of like having something that’s just you know… mine.

TARA: I am you know… yours.

2 – House and Wilson, House, Episode 4.12 “Don’t Ever Change”

The only subtexty male couple that tops Peter and Neal for me, House and Wilson were practically main text, and, by the end of the series, maybe they were main text. It was open enough to interpretation. No matter how many lady-inclusive romances they went through, the House writers seemed to know very well that House and Wilson were the loves of each other’s lives.

HOUSE: This isn’t just about the sex. You like her personality. You like that she’s conniving. You like that she has no regard for consequences. You like that she can humiliate someone if it serves… Oh my God. You’re sleeping with me.

In response to which Wilson later comes back with –

WILSON: House, you’re right. Why not? Why not date you? It’s brilliant. We’ve known each other for years. We’ve put up with all kinds of crap from each other. And we keep coming back. We’re a couple.

1 – Emma and Regina, Once Upon a Time, Episode 2.3 “Lady of the Lake”

Holding the place of honor, because it is the most recent line to make me smirk my face off.

What makes this line so subtexty isn’t so much what it says, it’s in the way that it’s said. Because there were about a dozen ways the writers could have put this, nearly all of the alternatives far less leading, and they chose to write it this way. Plus, *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER* Cora later refers to Henry as her grandson, which was totally not inferrable from what Emma told her, indicating that Cora assumes Emma is her daughter’s li’l love monkey. *SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*

Plus, it’s nice to see that only three episodes into the season, Emma and Regina have already updated their Facebook relationship statuses.

CORA: Who’s Henry?

EMMA: My son. I kind of share him with Regina. It’s complicated.

You can watch it here. The money lines start at 1:29.

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