If you haven’t already indulged in the brilliant dark comedy-drama Dead to Me, this list might just change your mind. Starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, this drama is hilarious, tragic, suspenseful, and full of woman-awesomeness. The series follows Jen Harding (Applegate) after her husband is murdered in a hit-and-run. At a grief group, she meets Judy Hale (Cardellini), and the women then become each other’s rock. The show follows their growing friendship while Jen battles anger and grief, and Judy struggles with a dark and shocking secret. If you’re not already convinced, this powerful duo slays every episode with feminism, woman power, and sisterhood. These are the 10 best feminist quotes from the series – and we can’t thank creator Liz Feldman enough.
10 Well, I think it’s an actual thing. I mean, not if a Republican is asking…
“Well, I think it’s an actual thing. I mean, not if a Republican is asking; but you heard a heart beat, and you fell in love with that heartbeat.”
Jen Harding delivers this brilliant quote that practically encompasses the entirety of the pro-choice movement. After Judy confesses that she feels grief after her five miscarriages, Jen steps in to remind her that her feelings are more than valid. This quote demonstrates how pregnancy and loss are a real, emotionally-tolling experience for a woman, and she has the right to feel however she chooses. On the other hand – no one can tell a woman what to do with her body, and as far as any government official is concerned, a woman’s body and reproduction is her own damn business.
9 For protection, you know? I’m the man of the house now…
Charlie: “For protection, you know? I’m the man of the house now.”
Jen: “I don’t know where you’re getting this patriarchal sh*t from, but you are not the man of the house, you are a child.”
Jen Harding strikes again when her son asks her for his dad’s gun. When cleaning out her late husband’s study, she is disgusted by the fact that he has a gun locked in his safe (extra points for anti-gun Jen), but Charlie asks to keep it.
Jen is quick to shut down her 14-year-old son’s patriarchal belief that his father’s death means that he’s now in charge. No honey, Jen is in charge, and she’s the woman of the house.
8 And you expect me to believe that…
Charlie: “And you expect me to believe that?”
Judy: “Well, you’re playing a game where the women have watermelon boobs but can somehow run 80 miles an hour, so, I don’t know what you believe.”
Judy Hale joins this list with her dry, humorous stab at 14-year-old Charlie while he’s playing a popular video game. Although this quote is sure to make you laugh, it definitely tackles a deeper problem with popular culture, media, and society’s representation of women. Judy’s remark might make you wonder why exactly all women in video games wear almost no clothing, have huge boobs, and yet still fight like it’s no big deal? Maybe we all wish we could have watermelon boobs AND run 80 miles an hour, but the reality is, we can’t have everything.
7 There was something that Steve said that really bothered me…
Jen: “You know, there was something that Steve said that really bothered me – he said you were nuts.”
Judy: “Oh, yeah, it was practically my nickname.”
Jen: “No, but that’s not okay. Men call women nuts and crazy way too often just to undermine us.”
Steve and Judy’s relationship is perfectly written to demonstrate a man’s power and desire to undermine a woman, and Steve checks off all the boxes of a first-class douchebag. In conversing with Jen, Steve is quick to call Judy nuts, and we see this as a recurring theme throughout the series.
However, Jen is just as quick to ensure that Judy knows that this is less than acceptable. While Judy helps Jen with her grief, Jen helps Judy find her backbone and learn that Steve has nothing over her.
6 I get that you’re upset, but don’t be a woman who blames the woman
After (slight spoiler) Jen finds out that her late husband, Ted, had been sleeping with a younger woman, Jen is quick to call her names and insult her. Judy reiterates that all women are stronger together, and it is no one’s fault but her husband’s – he was in a committed relationship, not Bambi (her name makes it a bit tough, we get it). Media is more than guilty of pinning strong women against another, but Dead to Me isn’t having any of that. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, “we all know now, we all got crowns.”
5 Judy is not coming back
Jen: “Judy is not coming back. I mean, it’s not like you ever let her live in this house to begin with.”
Steve: “You don’t have a f***king clue what you’re talking about; you barely know her.”
Jen: “Maybe, but I get her.”
After Judy feels trapped in her relationship with Steve, she can’t seem to find the strength to get out. Jen steps up to lay down the law to Steve, and we’ve never seen such a more powerful display of female friendship.
Jen helps her friend when she needs her, but also stands up for Judy’s character and for their relationship. Women get women on a whole other level – and we’re loving that these two are supporting the hell out of each other.
4 Repeat after me: I am not broken
But you need to stop the self-talk that there is something wrong with you, with your body. Stop shaming yourself. Repeat after me: I am not broken.
During a group grief therapy meeting for women and men who have experienced miscarriages and infertility, this powerful quote embodies everything we want all couples struggling to know. This scene is exceptionally powerful, as the entire group joins in to chant “we are not broken!” This is a pivotal moment for Judy, where she finally regains power and confidence, and stops blaming herself for her infertility and her relationship problems. Getting pregnant can be incredibly difficult, and Dead to Me is there to show you that you aren’t alone.
3 No, that’s not what this is. Get off of me…
Andrew Peters: “God, you smell so good.”
Jen: “No, that’s not what this is. Get off of me.”
Andrew: “Relax, it’s fine.”
Jen: “Get the f*** off me!”
Andrew: “B!tch! What the f*** is wrong with you?”
Jen: “No means motherf***ing no.”
In this scene, Jen is searching for the culprit that hit her husband. While sitting in the car of a possible suspect, checking out his story, he pulls the moves on her. Jen tries to get out of the car to no avail, and this perv delivers the infamous “it’s fine” spiel. Helpless, Jen punches him in the face, to which he blames her for her actions.
Jen gets out and slams the door, reminding the dirtbag that no means exactly that: hell no. Jen’s strength and assertion is what everyone needs – to remind victims that no MEANS no, and to remind anyone who might be confused that yes, no MEANS no (and everything but a yes is also a no).
2 You won’t be a single mom, you have me.
You won’t be a single mom, you have me. We can be like a three-child mothering team.
Our two new favorite besties are at it again, supporting the hell out of one another. After Judy worries she might be pregnant, alone, and homeless, Jen reminds her that she doesn’t need a husband – all she needs is a friend. Women are often guilty of competing with one another, but Jen and Judy are here to remind you that it’s just another patriarchal ploy, and that women supporting women are pretty unbeatable. We all do better when we help each other, regardless who you are or how you identify. This sappy but hilariously uncomfortable scene will remind you of that.
1 Yeah, but it’s like, you know, I went into the house. I got into the car…
Jen: “Yeah, but it’s like, you know, I went into the house. I got into the car…
Judy: “No, stop it, you’re being like ‘I asked for it’.”
Jen: “No, I know I wasn’t asking for it. It’s just I’m pretty sure I broke his face…”
Judy: “Wow! You are a tough broad.”
This final quote on the list encompasses everything into one: friendship, women power, and ain’t-taking-no-shit badassery. We don’t have to say again that no means no, but Dead to Me will also remind you that NO victim of sexual harassment should blame themselves in any way. Not only that, but women are pretty kickass best friends, and they’ll support you even if you punch a scumbag in the face (this list is not condoning violence). However, we’re all pretty pleased that Jen broke the guy’s nose. This show is calling all women and men who want a little comedy, some dark twists, and a powerful women team that no patriarchy can stop.
NEXT: 10 Questions We Still Have After Season 1 of Dead to Me