1 of 19
Selina Meyer, Veep
As Vice-President-turned-President-turned-not-President of the United States, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a very busy, very powerful woman. And with great power comes great profanity. At least, that's the case when you're surrounded by a team of people who probably should've been fired years ago…not to mention you aren't exactly the perfect politician yourself. Bottom line: There's a lot of pressure when an entire nation is watching your every move, and sometimes, Selina has to let her frustrations out with some colorful language. Let's just hope her mic isn't on when she does.
Best f—king quote: "I'm the Vice President of the United States, you stupid little f—kers!" —Samantha Highfill
2 of 19
Jimmy Shive-Overly, You’re the Worst
He’s a part-time writer but full-time narcissist, and the dazzling pageantry of his self-absorption is always on display in Jimmy’s cutting insults, monologues, and even basic social interactions. Frankly, there’s no phrase too disrespectful or topic too taboo for Jimmy (Chris Geere) to somehow work into everyday conversation. On the one hand, he tells it like it is…but “it” just happens to be wildly insensitive.
Best f—king quote: "Do you know what I'd rather experience than long-form improv? Long-form bone cancer." —Marc Snetiker
3 of 19
Glenn Quagmire, Family Guy
Whether chatting over beers at The Drunken Clam or popping up around Quahog, Quagmire (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) speaks graphically and frequently about his desire to get down with any woman with a pulse (and even some without). Known for his signature "giggity giggity" and questionable—and sometimes illegal— means of landing ladies, Quagmire's perverted and profane behaviors include filming Meg when she's on the toilet, admitting to doing a chicken in an airport bathroom, suggesting a three-way with his mom, and multiple allusions to his enjoyment of shoving inanimate objects in a certain area (fireworks, carrots, etc.).
Best f—king quote: After hitting his golf ball into a bush: "Dammit. Come on, come on. Shit, shit, shit. Come on Glenn, get your head in the goddamn game." —Dana Rose Falcone
4 of 19
Clay Davis, The Wire
Sometimes it's not about how much you swear, but how you do it. State Senator Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) has said a lot of four-letter words, but it's his signature delivery of one word in particular that's earned him enduring fame. His comically elongated "shits" have equal parts verve and disgust, a magnificent vocal feat that has spawned a life of its own—long after the show's finale.
Best f—king quote: "Motherf---er, you need to put his ass on a pole so far out in the sticks that he's gonna see the Philadelphia cops walking towards him." —Ray Rahman
5 of 19
Al Swearengen, Deadwood
HBO isn't exactly known as a bastion of decency, but bloody western Deadwood took the network's taste for the profane to new heights. The show's crown jewel of cursing was Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), the colorfully Machiavellian saloon owner whose name, we'll note, contains the word "swear." Part of Deadwood's brilliance came from the way its writers sprinkled nearly Shakespearean dialogue with incessant "c—ts," "c—suckers," and "f—ks"—one fan site counted 2,980 "f—ks" in the show's three seasons. Al Swearengen championed that signature style with a whole lot of f—king zeal.
Best f—king quote: To a prostitute: "It's not the f—king hour. It's not the f—king vantage of the chair. It's you, that's changed the level of your suction somehow. That's the f—king sum and substance of it. You're the c—ksucker. Change the f—king angle." —Eric Renner Brown
6 of 19
Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick, South Park
It's tough to find anyone in South Park, Colorado, who doesn't liberally pepper their sentences with expletives, excluding guidance counselor Mr. Mackey. ("Instead of 'ass,' say 'buns!'") That said, nobody in town can loose a string of profanities like these two fourth graders, voiced respectively by series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Loud and brash as Cartman is, he may actually play second fiddle to Kenny here—since the latter's voice-muffling hood helps him get away with stuff Cartman could only dream of saying.
Best f—king quote: For Cartman: "F--k, shit, c--w, ass, titties, boner, bitch, muff, pussy, c--t, butthole, Barbra Streisand!" (We know, it's from the movie, not the show.) For Kenny, mumbles as translated by his friend Kyle: "He said Madonna is an old, anorexic whore who wore out her welcome years ago and that now she suddenly speaks with an British accent and she thinks she can play guitar and she should go f--k herself." —Hillary Busis
7 of 19
Pam de Beaufort, True Blood
Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) is Eric Northman’s (Alexander Skarsgard) eternally loyal right-hand and the partial business owner of vampire bar Fangtasia. She's blunt with her assessments of those vampires/werewolves/humans she's not a fan of, including Anna Paquin’s Sookie Stackhouse—and often shares those opinions in profanity-laced rants. Her tongue's as sharp as her fangs; she certainly isn't afraid to take a bite (literally) out of her enemies.
Best f--king quote: “I’m so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her unbelievably stupid name. F--k Sookie!” – Megan Daley
8 of 19
Ari Gold, Entourage
HBO may have billed Entourage as the chronicle of Vincent Chase and his childhood crew—but by the final episode Vinny was one of two main characters. Who was the other? None other than the star's foul-mouthed, over-the-top agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Sure, the other guys were likable—they had to be if an audience was going to support their crass behavior. But Ari, his liberal f-bombs, and his general chutzpah were more than liked: They were loved.
Best f---ing quote: "You need Joe-Joe the dog-faced bitch-boy? Call Josh Weinf—k, the lightweight, pen-stealing f---kface." —Madison Vain
9 of 19
Debra Morgan, Dexter
Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), a Miami police officer and Dexter's sort-of-sister, says "f--k" so much that there's a 20-minute-long supercut of her uttering variations on the f-word. Twenty minutes long. She says it when she's on a crime scene, when she's happy, when she's upset, when she's having sex, when she's drinking coffee. Basically, if Deb's talking, there's a 100 percent chance "f—k" will come out of her mouth.
Best f—king quote: "Shit a brick and f—k me with it." —Ariana Bacle
10 of 19
Frank Reynolds, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Everything Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) says is dirty. Nay, everything everyone says on It's Always Sunny is dirty. Each episode is like a competition to see which character can be the most obscene—and Frank tends to be the winner with his shameless insults ("you're just not pretty enough," he tells his daughter) and liberal use of the word "whore."
Best f—king quote: "I love boiling denim and banging whores."—AB
11 of 19
Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen
Gordon Ramsay is the chef of all chefs and the hothead of all hotheads. So what's his number-one trick for teaching new chefs to be great? Cuss at them until his face turns blue. Fun fact: Ramsay applies that same technique to customers—or more generally, anyone—who pisses him off. But you won't catch us complaining, because you can't have a kitchen in Hell without a little (or a lot of) fire.
Best f—king quote: "I'll get you more pumpkin, and I'll ram it right up your f—king ass. Would you like it whole or diced?" —SH
12 of 19
Some TV swear-meisters are arrogant, macho machers; others are rageaholics. But Louis CK's alter ego is neither. Instead, he's a middle-aged sad sack whose profane vocabulary comes from a place of resigned, weary bewilderment rather than overconfidence or anger. (Well, most of the time; see the quote below.) Thankfully, that doesn't make his color commentary any less amusing.
Best f—king quote: "Shit on my father's balls!" —HB
13 of 19
Charlie Harper, Two and a Half Men
Sure, a CBS-sanctioned character like Charlie Sheen's incorrigible lothario can't get away with pay cable-style dialogue. But in a way, that makes the sheer level of Charlie's depravity all the more impressive. This is a guy who says things like "how am I going to enjoy my honeymoon with my testicles superglued to my asscrack…" during the network TV family hour. That takes balls of Sheen.
Best f—king quote: "Alan, you're like an Alzheimer's victim in a whorehouse. You're constantly surprised when you've been screwed, and you don't want to pay for it." —HB
14 of 19
Riley Freeman, The Boondocks
Meet the only kid on the cartoon block who can compete with the South Park crew in a war of f—king words. Young Reezy, voiced by Regina King, is a third-grader who models his speech patterns and dress on the gangsta rappers he loves—which means lots of bravado, lots of swear words, lots of N-words, and lots of outsized homophobia. And they're all on display in this virtuosic speech from a Scarface-spoofing episode in season 3.
Best f—king quote: "Look... f--k you, f--k the plane you flew in on, f--k them shoes, f--k those socks with the belt on it, f--k your gay-ass fairy f----t accent, f--k them cheap-ass cigars, f--k your yuck-mouth teeth, f--k your hairpiece, f--k your chocolate, f--k Guy Ritchie, f--k Prince William, f--k the queen. This is America."
15 of 19
Alex Vause, Orange is the New Black
Piper's one-time girlfriend, Alex (Laura Prepon), isn't afraid to say what's on her mind—even though what's on her mind is usually pretty vulgar. She's especially a fan of the f-bomb, which she drops with angry emphasis about, oh, every other sentence.
Best f—king quote: "I will f--k you. Literally. I will sneak into your bunk in the middle of the night and I'll lick your pussy." —AB
16 of 19
Sterling Archer, Archer
H. Jon Benjamin's Sterling Archer, TV’s greatest and most dissolute spy, is just as expertly skilled in wordplay as he is in gunplay. And while lines like “that chick was, like, the Pele of anal” or “sorry, I was just picturing Whore Island” prove that he’s got a mouth as dirty as his martinis, it’s his ability to make seemingly innocuous statements obscene with a single word that earns his stripes. Hence…
Best f—king quote: “Phrasing!” —Keith Staskiewicz
17 of 19
Malcolm Tucker, The Thick of It
The breakout character from Veep creator Armando Iannucci's British political satire, The Thick of It, Tucker is the Prime Minister's Director of Communications and jaw-droppingly foul-mouthed enforcer. As played by future Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, Tucker is the most verbally obscene Scot ever to appear on TV—although his deputy, Jamie McDonald (Paul Higgins), is a close second. (For example: "Tom is going to get a pint glass in his f--king eye, and a pool cue up his arse, and another pool cue in his other f--king eye.")
Best f—king quote: "Come the f—k in, or f—k the f—k off." —Clark Collis
18 of 19
Susie Greene, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Seinfeld had Newman, and Larry David was burdened with Susie Greene. Unfortunately for him, his foul-mouthed nemesis is married to his best friend, Jeff, and she always suspects the two nincompoops are up to no good. Actress Susie Essman turns her bitter character into a poet of profanity, so much so that fans approach her on the street and beg her to curse at them with her trademark vitriol.
Best f—king quote: "Stop scratching your balls and tell me where it is. All right, just get me the f--king [doll's] head, alright. Get me the f--king head, all right. Both of you because I've had it, you four-eyed f--k and you fat piece of shit. Get me the head!" —Jeff Labrecque
19 of 19
Erlich, Silicon Valley
One episode of HBO's bawdy tech comedy will tell you everything you ever wanted to know—and everything you never wanted to hear—about T.J. Miller's foul-mouth f—-up of a character.
Best f—king quote: "Don't touch anything. Failure is contagious." —MS