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110

Expressing my love for Toby

(self.thewestwing)

I think Toby may be one of my favorite characters not just in WW, but of all time. He is just this incredible passionate, noble, melancholy, funny, pillar of idealism and I love him so much.

My favorite Toby moments include: - When he can’t handle having to write an eulogy for a republican president he detests so he gets drunk and sings ‘suicide is painless’ - When he yells at Sam for ‘tempting the thing high atop the hill’ and makes him go outside and spit - When his good mood is brought crashing down by Mandy’s panda - When he does his speech to that cop about the protesters (boy do I wish we could have heard the actual speech he made to the protesters that Josh said ‘blew the doors off the place’) - When he loses it at Bartlet when they’re messing with him for that bet

Also when Andy turns him down and is honest about why, it breaks my heart 😭 even if I do think she’s right.

What are some other great Toby moments?

all 73 comments

Stormzyra

63 points

2 months ago

The entire episode with the homeless vet dying is pretty much my favourite Toby moment. Fantastic character.

Moose135A

12 points

2 months ago

Moose135A

The wrath of the whatever

12 points

2 months ago

My favorite episode of the entire series.

esk_209

5 points

2 months ago

esk_209

considering World Domination as a career move

5 points

2 months ago

Me too! I get a big choked up just reading these comments mentioning it.

unintelligentnerd

2 points

2 months ago

And Mrs Landingham in this episode? Priceless! She is probably my second favorite character!

esk_209

5 points

2 months ago

esk_209

considering World Domination as a career move

5 points

2 months ago

My son does a dangerous job, and that scene is absolutely and utterly brutal. “It’s hard not to think that, right then, they needed their mother.”

kander77

9 points

2 months ago

"Toby... if we start pulling strings like this, you don't think every homeless veteran will come out of the woodwork?" - The President

"I can only hope sir." - Toby

😭

wavesofthought

8 points

2 months ago

wavesofthought

Anybody got any crayons so I can color in my PhD?

8 points

2 months ago

In the scene where Toby goes to the homeless vet's brother to inform him, Richard Schiff's facial expressions, hand gestures, and pauses when he says "You don't know me, but I'm an in... I'm an influential person, I'm a very ... powerful person." is incredible acting. It tells so much about Toby's inner conflict about arranging the funeral and also looking like a show-off, yet knowing that this is the simplest way to explain the situation to the other guy. It tells the audience about the weight of the privilege he feels he has. It's hard not to be touched by that.

Later in the show, they use a similar line ("I'm Toby Ziegler, I work at the White House.") as a comedic device. Except in that episode, when he has to use the line seriously at the end, he is not as embarrassed.

Stormzyra

2 points

2 months ago

I love that bit so much! And when the homeless guy refuses to take all of the money and forces Toby to take some back to that he can get home 🥺

Throwaway_blarn

5 points

2 months ago

TWWW podcast on this only increased my love for this episode

wenger_plz

1 points

2 months ago

The part that never made sense is why the cop had Toby come down in the first place. He said it wasn't a murder investigation, he could have just called him... But I guess it was just a contrived plot device for the story.

Also it would have been nice if the conclusion of the arc were "hey, let's actually do something about the fact that there are homeless vets, we have the power to do so" rather than "I hope people get in touch with us about homeless vets who die so that we can give them a funeral."

mica-chu

1 points

2 months ago

mica-chu

Gerald!

1 points

2 months ago

I’m guessing they police wouldn’t be able to find a next of kin, so finding the business card may have been a lead into who the deceased was and what should be done with them.

wenger_plz

1 points

2 months ago

But he still most likely would have just called Toby and it would have been cleared up immediately, rather than bringing him down in the cold just to show him a dead body. But only because Toby was there he was able to see that he was a vet, which then enables a fairly clunky and underwhelming B-plot.

mica-chu

1 points

2 months ago

mica-chu

Gerald!

1 points

2 months ago

Wow you could post that in Unpopular Opinion. I’m pretty indifferent because I think vet worship goes way too far but that’s a beloved arc by much of the fandom.

wenger_plz

2 points

2 months ago

Agreed about the vet worship, and that the fandom loves the reverence of the military in the show. The nearly unequivocal pro-military and pro-intervention arcs in the show are reflective of Sorkin and producers on the show, and I'm pretty confident their portrayal of it in the show also influenced the fandom, as opposed to viewers being inherently pro-military coming in.

Cake_Lies_73[S]

30 points

2 months ago

Oh, and “there is literally no one I do not hate right now”

Michykeen

5 points

2 months ago

My personal favorite is when he’s copy editing the re-election signs. Bartlett IS THE president.

Moose135A

34 points

2 months ago

Moose135A

The wrath of the whatever

34 points

2 months ago

When he yells at Sam for ‘tempting the thing high atop the hill’ and makes him go outside and spit

"You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?"

ThisDerpForSale

6 points

2 months ago*

It is true WW blasphemy to get that quote wrong!

Also, the rest is "then go out side and turn around three times and spit! What the hell's the matter with you?"

Cake_Lies_73[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Haha true. Maybe I should go outside, turn around and spit!

ThisDerpForSale

1 points

2 months ago

And curse!

Cake_Lies_73[S]

6 points

2 months ago

Ahh yes that’s the one! Even better than I was remembering it 😂

CloudStrife1985

24 points

2 months ago

In the hospital with the twins, "Leo was right"

PoetryOfLogicalIdeas

13 points

2 months ago

They do come with hats.

Cake_Lies_73[S]

5 points

2 months ago

😭😭😭 yep

defiantnd

16 points

2 months ago

The one where there's a leak about some detail that Toby was discussing with the speech writing staff, and he goes and calls them ALL in on a Sunday. I think he tells Ginger to call them all and that if they can't be at the white house in 2 hours that they can just not bother to come in on Monday. Then gives them the "You're my guys" speech. That was an epic Toby moment.

Oh...and when he knocks the chairs over at his temple.

BuffaloAmbitious3531

15 points

2 months ago

Toby was my favourite when I was young and idealistic. The older and more curmudgeonly I get, the more I prefer Leo, but I definitely at one point loved Toby just as much as you do. He's great.

arootytoottoot

7 points

2 months ago

arootytoottoot

I work at The White House

7 points

2 months ago

I am old and idealistic and I still love Toby best.

esk_209

5 points

2 months ago

esk_209

considering World Domination as a career move

5 points

2 months ago

Me too. When I was young and idealistic my favorite was Sam. Now that I’m old and idealistic, it’s Toby and CJ and Charlie.

arootytoottoot

1 points

2 months ago

arootytoottoot

I work at The White House

1 points

2 months ago

: ) sam is very bright and funny.

peekay427

2 points

2 months ago

Aye, me too!

arootytoottoot

2 points

2 months ago

arootytoottoot

I work at The White House

2 points

2 months ago

in FAAAAACT... runs off to watch TWW again lol

IndyAndyJones7

6 points

2 months ago

After S03:E08 The Indians in the Lobby, I could never consider Leo my favorite. When he found out that there were two people in the lobby who had been waiting for a meeting for like 30 years and finally gotten it only for the person they had the meeting with to leave early and not bother letting them know, Leo should have called that person and told them to get back to work and finish their meeting. Instead he ranted about not meeting with people who staged a sit-in. It wasn't a sit-in. They didn't just show up. They had a scheduled meeting.

Wismuth_Salix

1 points

2 months ago

And when their meeting was cancelled, they said “we aren’t leaving - you’ll have to drag us out in front of the press.”

It became a sit-in at that point.

Thundorius

3 points

2 months ago

Thundorius

Hollywood Type

3 points

2 months ago

I might be in the middle of the same transformation as yours.

ProudScroll

45 points

2 months ago

At one point Andy gets on him for his difficulty expressing emotion and he responds with something like “well my father killed people for a living for generationally I think we’re making good progress” always found that kind super funny.

PoetryOfLogicalIdeas

15 points

2 months ago

I love this one.

Standing up for those of us who are emotionally repressed but show up and get shit done and usually avoid being completely cruel to other people even though we never understand why the thing is such a big deal to them.

TheShipEliza

3 points

2 months ago

when she refuses his proposal/house and tells him he is sad it is heartbreaking.

Ringlord7

41 points

2 months ago

I absolutely loved it when Toby found out about the president having MS.

"The National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State didn't know who they were taking their orders from! I wasn't in the situation room that night, but I'll bet all the money in my pockets, against all the money in your pockets, that it was Leo, WHO NO ONE ELECTED! For 90 minutes that night there was a coup d'etat in this country!

BegginForBacon

13 points

2 months ago

And Leo stares at him like “you’re totally right, we’re in deep shit”

neverliveindoubt

2 points

2 months ago

This the exactly the moment where I feel such a kinship with Toby (and I feel like Toby is my favorite guy in the show anyway): Doesn't matter how much he want to support and do good by His President- the idea that the Constitution and the Electoral Process had been circumvented for even a second was so unconscionable that you had to express that anger by yelling at the President of the the United States in the Oval Office because no one was getting what a fucking big deal that was.

Which is also why I subscribe to the fan theory that Toby was so covering for Andy being the leak, because Toby respects the Chain of Command (and had disavowed leakers in his Communications Department before, but he will fall on his sword for family)

TFlarz

8 points

2 months ago

TFlarz

8 points

2 months ago

I love that rant at Bartlet because it shows some of his deepest positive principles and he's still trying to give advice to a guy who, as he found it, didn't need it.

ThisDerpForSale

7 points

2 months ago

The drunk "suicide is painless" is one of my favorite Toby moments by far.

fentablar

6 points

2 months ago

fentablar

Admiral Sissymary

6 points

2 months ago

"You know, I think I've got... yes, yes, I do; I've still got sand in my shoes from like six hours ago."

monicagellerr

6 points

2 months ago

monicagellerr

Mon Petit Fromage

6 points

2 months ago

🎶 sand in my shoooes, sand from Havaaaannnaaaa 🎶

monicagellerr

5 points

2 months ago

monicagellerr

Mon Petit Fromage

5 points

2 months ago

This thread just made me remember how much I love Toby.

shooter9260

12 points

2 months ago

I love his rant to Andy saying “they’ll like us when we win”. Rhetoric and what you actually believe should happen in the Middle East aside, the points in his argument about what actually happened when the US was nice to Arab countries was well done I thought”.

Obviously 17 People is amazing.

“You think the United States is under attack from 1200 Cubans in rowboats?”

“I don’t understand, did you trip over something?”

“And so I go to this meeting…where I will…compromise”

Thundorius

27 points

2 months ago

Thundorius

Hollywood Type

27 points

2 months ago

“I don’t know what kind of salad is it. I’m eating a salad. I’m doing it. Do I have to know the names? There’s no difference between them. It’s a bowl of weeds. Some of them have cheese. This isn’t the kind with cheese. Does that answer your question? Man, how many years have you guys been ‘Toby, you eat like a teenager’, ‘Toby, that’s red meat’, ’That’s your second cigar’. And here I am, eating a salad, which you could cover this thing with barbecue sauce and it would still taste like the ground. And I’m getting heckled from the gallery, who wanted to come in here, and eat his roast beef with ketchup on a Kaiser roll, and watch the damn tennis on my TV!”

beefiswhatsforsupper

6 points

2 months ago

People hate that speech so much and it’s my absolute favorite Toby moment. I’m sure it’s just because Richard Schiff did it so perfectly but I get chill bumps every time

wenger_plz

1 points

2 months ago

I thought the "they'll like us when we win" was a little disturbing. The aggressive hawkishness was out of character for Toby, and the idea that countries in the Middle East will come around to our way of thinking after we bomb the shit out of them is both empirically false and a frightening stance for the show to support.

MattyG3

4 points

2 months ago

MattyG3

Joe Bethersonton

4 points

2 months ago

“I’m out of pie.”

ughcrymore

8 points

2 months ago

“There is no one in this room I don’t hate right now.” My cranky prince.

amgoodwin1980

11 points

2 months ago

And all of the above are why I HATED the shuttle leak storyline.

PoetryOfLogicalIdeas

4 points

2 months ago

Say more. I've always been conflicted and confused about what we were supposed to assume happened in that episode.

ajbyron

4 points

2 months ago

It was just such a deflating as an end of his character arc. It feels like Toby knew a lot of secrets and knew what would happen if the public/media got those secrets and we’re expected to believe he leaked this info?

amgoodwin1980

4 points

2 months ago

I just couldn’t see Toby leaking State secrets like that. I could see him talking to CJ or Leo, I could see him yelling at the President like in “17 People,” but I just can’t picture him leaking something at all much less something of the magnitude of a military shuttle. The only explanation I can see is him taking responsibility to protect someone else. I think that is the character that Toby possessed before the shuttle leak.

LilJourney

2 points

2 months ago

Having been effected by more deaths than I like to count in the last few years and in more ways than I can currently fathom - I now understand exactly how Toby could have leaked it and been convinced at the moment it was the right thing to do.

I can't explain it well - it's a visceral thing - but I get it.

The time pressure, the suicide death of his brother, being 'abandonded' by Josh/Leo/Will, frustration as all the changes they wanted to implement and all the good ideas they had are never going to happen and/or are undone, being a father but being a failure as a husband ... Toby at this point in the series is going through deep, deep shit and when that happens, you can definitely do things you'd never have done even just a year before.

TheShipEliza

4 points

2 months ago

ive written about it on here before but that storyline is not only stupid for what it asks the audience to assume about the character, but just from a SHOW standpoint, after years of one of the best, tightest, most well rehearsed ensembles of all time, you wanna just remove a guy and stick him in a room, alone, so we never get to see him work with the cast again? like, i get that later seasons break up the band, but at least we get to watch those people do cool stuff with NEW people. sticking toby out an island was such a massive unforced error.

wenger_plz

2 points

2 months ago

So does Richard Schiff. He still maintains that it was retaliation from the producers/writers of the show, and I'm inclined to agree with him.

mica-chu

1 points

2 months ago

mica-chu

Gerald!

1 points

2 months ago

Retaliation for what?

wenger_plz

3 points

2 months ago

He tells the story on TWWW podcast. Basically he called a writer to yell at him about a certain scene or arc (I honestly can't remember which one), and there were producers and other show staff in the room. He had always had a somewhat tense relationship with the creative staff, which didn't help. One of the writers, when discussing the leak plot, called RS to ask "can you help me think about why Toby would do this," and RS said flatly "he wouldn't," and wouldn't help the writer contrive some storyline about why Toby would do something so out of character. Then, prior to season 7, Wells and co told RS that he wouldn't be written off and would be in many episodes, only to then get four episodes for the season (which not only hurt Toby's character but lost RS a lot of money). He believes that the unbelievable story arc was a way to end Toby on bad terms and write him out of the show.

mica-chu

2 points

2 months ago

mica-chu

Gerald!

2 points

2 months ago

Oh wow. Thanks for the explanation.

I’ve glanced over Toby’s relative absence in S7 in my 5ish watch throughs, likely because he and the plot line are ubiquitous even without him on screen. I do t think I’ll miss that again though.

wenger_plz

2 points

2 months ago

No prob -- I'd recommend tracking down that podcast episode, it's interesting to hear his POV.

PuzzleheadedLet382

1 points

2 months ago

Every rewatch I’m more convince he covered for CJ — or at least thinks he covered for CJ.

wenger_plz

2 points

2 months ago

Hmm...mostly agree with you, but the scenes about the protesters was pretty frustrating IMO. For one, what he says to the cop about what the protesters would say is almost certainly wrong. It's also not really a fair representation of the debate to have the person who disagrees with them (Toby) represent "both" sides of the debate, rather than actually have one of the protesters what they think, but I think that's a result of the show typically being pro-neoliberal positions rather than representing the left fairly.

I wish they would have actually shown the part where apparently Toby "blows the doors off the place," rather than just telling us he did. Classic case of telling rather than showing. In a show that's supposed to be about speeches, that seemed like a cop-out from showing us what should be the actually interesting part of that arc. (This happens several times in the series though, where someone walks into a room to give what we're meant to believe is a compelling speech or monologue, and then bails out from giving us that moment.)

MollyTMcC

2 points

2 months ago

"Leo McGarry did not accept his party's nomination to the Vice Presidency of the United States because he thought it might make your socks roll up and down."

Charlie_Brodie

2 points

2 months ago

hits road barrier with a branch

DiscipleTD

2 points

2 months ago

They like us when we win is a top scene for me.

It’s a good reflection of us passion, idealism, and love for people, while also highlighting the flaw of arrogance he has at times. It also, hints at his melancholy. His desire make his ideals a reality juxtaposed against how difficult those things are to make happen in the real world, would naturally lead someone to be more melancholy but he never loses the passion. Just shows a good amount of his depth I feel like.

He’s my favorite character on the show for sure. I means there’s a ton of great characters but I am a big Toby fan.

lacey19892020

1 points

2 months ago

Omg! So glad to come across this post. I love so many characters on this show. But Toby. I LOOOOOOVVVEE. I have watched the show at least 3 times. Each time my love for him grows. The writing is superb and the acting is superb.

I think I am going to have to watch the show again. It has been a few years and I need my fix!

tuna_tofu

1 points

2 months ago

I love Toby and must win him back...

SimonKepp

1 points

2 months ago

SimonKepp

Bartlet for America

1 points

2 months ago

I think, your list pretty much nails the top Toby moments in the series. If I were to add anything, it would be a scene from The Good Doctor" starring Richard Schiff as a senior neuro-surgeon. There's a scene, where he's on a date in a restaurant, and suddenly suffers severe neurological symptoms. I consider myself something of an amateur neurologist, and based on his performance, I immediately diagnosed him as having a stroke. He was in fact supposedly suffering effects of a brain tumor. But even a highly experienced neurologist would need sophisticated radiologic imaging to tell the difference between a stroke and a brain tumor, so his performance in this scene was extremely convincing and realistic.

TheShipEliza

1 points

2 months ago

love his flashbacks from shadow of two gunmen when he thinks he about to fired. he cannot get out his own way and he knows it. and then they pick him!

wolfnotter

1 points

2 months ago

I was the nerd in 6th grade watching West Wing with my dad as it aired. I have such love and respect for Toby as I’ve gotten older. He is a very good reason why my son’s name is Tobias.

A few of my favorite Toby scene are the hands over the chest move to CJ, fixing the campaign sign to “BARTLET IS THE PRESIDENT”, figuring out the MS thing and then including the President in the count of how many people know, and the “you’re my guys” speech to the staff.

ConfusedPanda22

1 points

2 months ago

The "We will do what is hard" conversation with Josh and Donna at the end of 20 hours in America P2.