Another week, another quote-worthy Abbott Elementary episode. We’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the inevitable Valentine’s Day episode, and this outing delivered the goods. Granine shippers had their hearts filled and ripped out of their chests in minutes. When you thought the will-they-won’t-they might resolve with a resounding “yes, they will,” Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Gregory (Tyler James Williams) quickly retreat from the prospect of a relationship.
Meanwhile, Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) and Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph) deal with their respective Valentine’s Day issues. Ava (Janelle James) observes Jacob’s (Chris Perfetti) Black history class after the parent of a student files a complaint. Ava makes a pivotal life decision to finish her schooling. Look at that character development. We love to see it.
“Valentine’s Day” doesn’t boast as many notable quotes as a typical Abbott Elementary episode. Still, the acting, storytelling and use of a popular sitcom trope take it to the next level. I love watching two characters talk about two different things while believing they’re on the same page, which happens multiple times in this outing. Everyone fires on all comedic cylinders and interacts well with the camera.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of quotes (and moments around the quotes) I loved from this week’s episode of Abbott Elementary. Class is in session!
DONNIE: Eh, they’re girls. I need a woman.
All of the Donnie scenes are pure, unadulterated gold. This line is particularly funny because Randy Perrine, who plays Donnie, turns to face the camera when he says, “a woman.” Hats off to this kid for having an inherent knack for comedic timing. Really, all the child actors on this show boast impeccable comedic timing. This introductory scene with Donnie and Janine is excellent, as is the final beat when Janine notices Donnie’s latest crush is one of her students who closely resembles her.
MELISSA: If I find out he is dipping his chip into someone else’s dip, it’ll be the last time he sells chips.
When Melissa Schemmenti says you’ll never sell chips again after crossing her, you better believe you’ll never sell chips again — figuratively and literally. I’m a sucker for a good metaphor. Her threats never fail to crack me up, and the following line about pulling the plug on him as her family did with her Aunt Denise somehow elevates the one that came before it. Couple that with Barbara’s bewildered expression upon hearing about poor Aunt Denise and it’s comedy perfection.
JANINE: Plus, we work together. So, then what would happen? We see each other during the day and at night? We’d, you know, tell each other stuff and feel comfortable together? Like, share our deepest thoughts and, you know … a life? It’s gross, honestly. Just … blegh.
Liar, liar, pants on FIRE. “Valentine’s Day” is a treasure trove of Granine moments. Scratch that — it’s a bona fide smorgasbord. Brunson’s facial expressions and delivery during this bit are equal parts hysterical and aw-inducing. She’s conveying so much during these few lines. It’s abundantly clear she carries a torch for Gregory, but she’s trying her damnedest to keep a lid on it. All of the above sounds incredible, Janine. It’s what everyone wants. We know “gross” is code for “everything I’ve ever dreamed of in life.” You can’t fool us.
JACOB: So, I didn’t mean to tell you, and I was feeling really bad about it at lunch, but then I happened to walk by and I saw that you were having a rather intense conversation, so if it went bad, don’t blame me because, again, I didn’t mean to tell you, but if it went well, give me credit.
Jacob is the Hot Mess Express in this episode. He’s a bundle of nerves and anxious energy, which resonates with me profoundly. It’s my modus operandi. This is a moment where he’s spewing rapid-fire dialogue and presenting a few different outcomes to the scenario at hand. It’s a replication of my stream of consciousness. As a Grade-A people pleaser, this also sounds like something I would say. I feel for Jacob here. Perfetti’s delivery is pitch-perfect.
AVA: No, I’m not a student, but thank you for noticing my youthful glow. Some people think I don’t even have pores. I’m just observing because I’m a very good principal.
Leave it to Ava Coleman to take practically anything someone tells her as a compliment and then compliment herself in the following line. She’s the queen of self-love. We could all stand to take a page from the hilarious and confident Principal Coleman’s book, who generously doles out clever zingers. I would love not to have pores.
What quotes did you love from “Valentine’s Day”? Sound off in the comments below!
Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on ABC, with next-day streaming on Hulu.