As fans around the world mourn the passing of the talented Andre Braugher, we take a moment to celebrate his remarkable contribution to the world of comedy through his iconic portrayal of Captain Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Known for his deadpan delivery, impeccable timing, and capability to steal a scene with just a glance, Braugher breathed life into Captain Holt in a way that surpasses the typical sitcom character.
To honor his legacy, we’ve compiled a list of Captain Holt’s 15 best quotes, each one showcasing Braugher’s unmatched wit and humor. Let’s go on this nostalgic journey through the precinct, where Captain Holt’s stoic demeanor and razor-sharp one-liners left a mark on the hearts of fans everywhere.
15 “Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place. So thank you.” – S05, E10
In a standout episode, Rosa Diaz takes center stage as she bravely comes out as bisexual during a precinct briefing. As she grapples with the decision to reveal her true self, the episode unfolds into an exploration of identity and acceptance. Seeking support from her coworker and friend, Jake, he unknowingly becomes part of a complex ruse during a dinner with Rosa’s conservative parents. Captain Holt’s words to Rosa during a game night are imbued with sincerity, reflecting the gravity of the situation for Rosa while highlighting Braugher’s ability to infuse depth into his character’s comedic facade.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine excels at using humor as a vehicle to explore deeper themes, with this episode being no exception. This episode adds to the show’s broader cultural impact by addressing LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance. Captain Holt’s quote, in particular, has reverberated in discussions about inclusivity and the importance of acknowledging and celebrating one’s identity.
14 “Is there a reason you’re interrupting me mid-soup?” – S01, E18
Jake Peralta is facing a housing crisis in this episode when his grandmother’s apartment is going co-op, and he’s got to come up with a ton of money to be able to keep it. As Jake starts to explore some unconventional methods of dealing with this, Captain Holt initiates self-evaluations for the detectives, creating a cascade of stress for everyone.
Captain Holt, with his composure and stoic demeanor, finds himself in an unexpectedly disrupted moment – mid-soup at his desk. The quote captures the essence of Captain Holt’s character – a man of order and precision – being humorously thrown off balance by an intrusion that defies workplace norms.
13 “No, from now on, call me Velvet Thunder” – S02, E22
Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle find themselves entangled in a high-stakes bank robbery investigation with the unexpected support of their nemesis, Captain Wuntch. As they dive into the case, the precinct becomes a hub of comedic chaos, including a helicopter ride that adds an extra layer of absurdity. Meanwhile, Captain Holt, skeptical of Wuntch, joins the operation, leading to a series of unexpected revelations and confrontations.
The unexpected declaration adds a hilarious twist to the episode and serves as a delightful character moment for Holt. Andre Braugher’s portrayal of Captain Holt reached new heights in this episode, as he unexpectedly demands his code name to be the whimsical “Velvet Thunder.” Braugher’s comedic timing and delivery elevate the humor of the moment, leaving a lasting impression.
12 “You took the wrong fluffy boy” – S07, E12
When Captain Holt and Kevin’s beloved corgi, Cheddar, is kidnapped, chaos ensues as everyone mounts a rescue mission. Captain Holt lovingly referring to Cheddar as “fluffy boy” adds a humorous touch to the man who’s normally known for his formal language. The hilarity is heightened by the physical comedy that comes before and after the quote. Holt, in an attempt to thwart the kidnapper, who’s also grabbed Jake at this point, jumps onto the roof of his moving car. But, the kidnapper slams on the brakes, and Holt comically flies off the car.
The absurdity of Holt, a typically poised character, engaging in an action-packed fight after dramatically falling off the car contributes to the humor. The unexpected nature of the scenario, coupled with Holt’s deadpan delivery, makes it a standout line in the series.
11 “I did mean woke, but it is grammatically incoherent” – S04, E16
Captain Holt, known for his strict grammar rules, uses the term “awake” to describe people being more aware of important issues, comparing Rosa’s coming out to when he came out to his colleagues. Jake playfully asks if he means “woke,” a slang term for being socially conscious. Holt, surprisingly, admits he meant “woke” but finds it grammatically confusing. The humor here comes from Holt usually being super serious about correct language use.
Jake’s quick-witted remark adds a playful touch. This moment is funny because Holt, who normally corrects others, acknowledges the language trend. The irony is amusing, and it shows Holt’s unexpected sense of humor and ability to adapt, bringing a lighthearted moment to a serious conversation.
10 “A bold personality. We know what that’s code for. She’s a b*tch.” – S04, E07
As a devoted dog lover, Captain Holt is keenly invested in watching dog shows. The scene unfolds with Holt listening to the commentator describing a dog with a “bold personality.” Without hesitation, he “decodes” what he thinks the commentator means, and delivers his memorable line. The hilarity in the moment comes from Holt’s deadpan delivery and clever wordplay, aligning with the context of the dog show and the colloquial definition of the word “b*tch.” We get to see a funny contrast of Baugher’s ability to infuse dry humor with personality in the cheeky comment.
9 “Why is no one having a good time? I specifically requested it.” – S04, E04
When the precinct is dealing with the dreariness of working the night shift, Holt tries to raise some morale with his team by getting them to dance along to a song. The comedic brilliance lies in the stark contrast between Holt’s typically stern and composed demeanor and the absurdity of his expectations of a joyous atmosphere during the night shift. His straightforward request for a good time adds a layer of irony to the request.
The squad, accustomed to their routine and unenthused by the night shift, is taken aback by Holt’s attempt to inject some enthusiasm into the shift. This moment really captures the show’s knack for leveraging its characters’ eccentricities for comedic effect.
8 “I’m a human. I’m a human male.” – S05, E18
Amid some competitive festivities, Captain Holt finds himself grappling with modern technology and attempts to embrace social media, specifically Twitter/X, to keep the public updated about a water main break. His initial attempt to post a tweet goes awry when Twitter mistakenly flags him as a bot because he chose a hexadecimal code as his handle and tweets technical information about the situation. Holt’s declaration of his humanity is a humorous commentary on the absurdity of the situation.
The idea that he, a seasoned and accomplished human being, needs to assert his humanness adds a layer of irony and self-awareness to the joke, even though he’s often referred to as a robot by his colleagues. The line becomes a punchline as it highlights the incongruity of Holt, who is undeniably human, having to defend his humanity to an algorithm.
7 “She was such a strong female woman with nice, heavy breasts.” – S04, E01
Being an openly gay man for more than 40 years, Holt’s never lied or pretended to be someone he’s not. However, in this episode, Holt is thrown into an undercover operation in Florida as a straight, widowed man. Because of his lack of experience and understanding of straight relationships, Holt’s understanding of the male attraction to women usually comes down to one aspect: their breasts. While being highly intelligent in a lot of different areas, this is a blind spot and uncharted territory. Holt’s seriousness and confident delivery add to the comedy of the situation. Saying the line with a straight face makes it even more ridiculous.
6 “There is nothing more intoxicating than the clear absence of a penis.” – S05, E02
Still deep undercover, Captain Holt and Jake are put in the witness protection program in Florida, hoping to catch Jimmy “The Butcher” Figgis. In a hilarious moment when he’s undercover, he’s going back and forth with a prison guard about his (fictitious) love life and the love triangle he’s in to distract him. When the guard circles back to mention Holt appreciating thigh gaps in women, he asserts it’s his favorite part. As Holt’s openly gay, pretending to be straight and an awkward attempt to conform to societal norms enhance the comedic impact.
5 “Because no one will ever believe you.” – S01, E21
Captain Holt and Jake have great chemistry and dynamics in their relationship, growing since season one. They know each other pretty well at this point, and Holt loves to tease Jake when he can. When Holt shows up with a hurt wrist, the squad throws out different guesses as to what happened, but no one can figure it out. Holt decides to tell Jake what really happened. He’d hurt it during a hula-hooping class.
The reveal is both unexpected and amusing, as imagining a composed and stoic Holt engaging in such a whimsical activity is comedy in itself. What amplifies the humor is when Jake questions why Holt’s telling him this, before Holt deletes the picture, teasing Jake that no one would believe him anyway.
4 “Hot damn!” – S02, E06
When Amy is late for work, the squad gathers to speculate what could be the reason why, Captain Holt cleverly guesses there was a problem at the bank. When Amy finally arrives and confirms Holt’s prediction, the usually composed and reserved Holt breaks character and yells in a rare display of excitement from him. The sheer surprise of him being so enthusiastic adds an extra layer of hilarity, especially because Amy thinks she’s in trouble and has no idea what’s going on.
3 “Yas queen!” – S05, E01
When Jake and Rosa find themselves dealing with some challenging situations in their respective prisons, Rosa deals with the monotony by having Holt and Terry complete tasks for her during their visits; one being that she needs someone to ride her motorcycle while she’s gone. Rosa’s humorous exploitation of her friends for mundane tasks contributes to the hilarity of the situation.
As they toss the motorcycle keys back and forth, they exchange reasons for not wanting to ride it. When Terry jokingly asks if Holt is playing the “gay card,” implying that he might avoid the motorcycle for stereotypically gay reasons, Holt’s deadpan response of “yas queen” is unexpected and hilarious.
2 “Now you’ve done it. You’ve made me turn my chair.” – S02, E06
The greatness of this line lies in the clever interplay between Holt’s deadpan seriousness and the escalating office dispute he’s trying so desperately to stay out of. Holt is known for his reluctance to engage in office politics and actively tries to avoid any conversation and arguments involving Amy running for Union Representative. In a moment of humor and drama, Holt attempts to stay out of it by keeping his chair turned away from them as the girls talk about the situation.
However, it gets heated to the point where he’s got to turn his chair around and engage; showing his lack of receptiveness and wanting them to just stop the nonsense. The comedic brilliance lies in the exaggerated seriousness with which Holt approaches the situation, turning his chair around to confront them.
1 “Captain Wuntch, Good to see you. But if you’re here, who’s guarding Hades?” – S02, E02
Throughout the series, Captain Holt and Deputy Commissioner Wuntch hold a contemptuous rivalry that delivers comedic and zingy one-liners with each encounter they have. Holt’s use of “guarding Hades” is a metaphorical and exaggerated way of describing how he sees Wuntch, turning the greeting into a biting remark. It’s even more hilarious to know that Wuntch is in a higher-ranking position in the NYPD.
Throughout the series, their rivalry has been a consistent source of comedic tension, with both characters exchanging barbs and snarky comments whenever they cross paths. The unexpectedness of such a biting remark from Holt, coupled with the exaggerated metaphor, adds a layer of cleverness to the humor. It’s a moment of verbal sparring that fans of the show have come to anticipate whenever these two characters share the screen.
O Captain, My Captain
In celebrating the comedic brilliance of Captain Raymond Holt, these quotes stand as a testament to his character’s unique charm, personality, and the unparalleled talent of the late, great actor who brought him to life. Andre Braugher’s portrayal of Captain Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine has left a mark on the hearts of fans. Braugher’s portrayal of Holt transcended the traditional norms of television, offering a refreshing and genuine representation of a gay, black police captain. May Andre Braugher’s legacy endure as a testament to the power of authentic storytelling and the enduring impact of a character who transcended the screen, becoming a symbol of inspiration and inclusion for generations to come.