Another week, another quote-worthy Abbott Elementary episode. “Fire” is one of the season’s strongest outings thus far, although I feel like I say that every time. Whereas last week felt less quotable but more potent on the acting and storytelling front, this episode hysterically doles out memorable quotes and performances in equal measure. Sheryl Lee Ralph reminds us why she’s an Emmy winner, delivering nuanced and tenderhearted work as Barbara struggles with a personal issue. All hail the queen. 

Barbara inadvertently starts a fire by lighting a candle, resulting in the fire department arriving to save the day. Captain Robinson (Mike O’Malley) — no relation to Smokey Robinson — conducts a safety meeting for the school. At the same time, Barbara (Ralph) tries to persuade Miss Janet (Shalita Grant, who plays the perfect “straight man” in this episode) that she’s “fine.” Gregory (Tyler James Williams) becomes interim principal when Ava (Janelle James) disappears. Jacob (Chris Perfetti) makes carrot cookies that everyone refuses to eat despite the fact it took 57 steps to bake them. Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) channels her energy into the art of firefighting. 

Melissa stands outside the school with her students while smiling in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 15, "Fire."

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Fire” Season 2 Episode 15 – (ABC/Scott Everett White) LISA ANN WALTER

“Fire” is a delightful episode, brimming with Abbott Elementary‘s trademark charming wit, clever jokes and heartwarming hilarity. Fun fact: this episode was written by Ava Coleman. (Not to be confused with the character on the show. Although Principal Ava Coleman can do anything to which she sets her mind.)

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!

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AVA: This morning is already on my last nerve. I tried to take a picture of this woman’s crooked lace front, dropped my phone, cracked it. I asked her to pay for it, she said she’s gonna call the cops. I am one minor inconvenience from putting this whole day in rice. 

This quote is, hands down, one of my favorite Ava gems. Ava was barely in this episode, and she managed to sneak in a banger bit of dialogue. It’s one of those quotes that spirals further and further out of control the more you read it. Of course, Janelle James delivers it with panache like the comedy pro she is. Perfection. Don’t mind me; I’m just getting “I am one minor inconvenience from putting this whole day in rice” tattooed on my forehead. 

Melissa, Janine and Gregory stand with their students outside the school while watching Ava drive by in her car in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 15, "Fire."


JANINE: Oh my God, someone’s trying to use cashmere and Jesus to blackmail Barbara. 

Oh, the horror! Janine (Quinta Brunson) reflexively protects Barbara at every opportunity, and watching her defend her work mom is adorable. If anyone could frame (semantics) Barbara, it would be with cashmere and Jesus. Now I want to see an alternate plotline with Janine and the others trying to save Barbara from an unidentifiable blackmailer who attempts to bring her down solely using Jesus and the power of cashmere. It’s the thriller we all need. 

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GREGORY: I took a series of catastrophe modules in my principal training. I’m also prepared for tidal waves, Facebook crashing — that’s for the older teachers — and a lice outbreak … for the white teachers. 

Gregory cracked me up in “Fire.” He was ready to step up to the principal plate. This was his time to shine. This quote showcasing everything he prepared for in his training is hilarious. He had all his bases and demographics covered, from knowing how to handle Facebook crashes for the older folks to lice outbreaks for the white folks. Tyler James Williams knocks it out of the park with his physicality and interaction with the camera. His facial expressions — those cheeky grins to the camera, specifically — killed me. 

Jacob and a firefighter chief stand next to each other outside the school building and in front of a fire truck in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 15, "Fire."

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Fire” Season 2 Episode 15 – (ABC/Scott Everett White) MIKE O’MALLEY, CHRIS PERFETTI

MR. JOHNSON: Accident, schmaccident. I smell arson. Ask any of my exes. It’s always arson. I blame Waiting to Exhale

Our favorite resident conspiracy theorist/janitor smelled something more insidious than a mere accident regarding the fire. Just ask any of his exes (or the CIA)! Mr. Johnson (William Stanford Davis) has a few chuckle-inducing quotes in this episode, but this one made me giggle the most. Angela Bassett‘s iconic scene in Waiting to Exhale left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness and can be utilized to exact vengeance. Her power

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MELISSA: The Schemmentis have a rich history in firefighting … also fighting fighting. 

Who knew the Schemmenti family held this much sway in Philly? They’re adept at fighting fires and straight-up fighting. Melissa’s obsession with the firetruck and its contents is hilarious, especially given her vast knowledge of firefighter protocol and terminology. Redheads know how to fight fires. Always trust a redhead with a fire hose and an ax. 

What are your favorite quotes from “Fire”? Sound off in the comments below! 

Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on ABC, with next-day streaming on Hulu

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