Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Sam Seaborn

I never have a hard time coming up with someone, or something to write about each week, but I had a really, really bad week last week. (WEEK WEEK WEEK!) I was sitting on the couch, staring at the wall, as I happened to do like a thousand times in the past few days (though this time, I wasn’t crying!), and I was like, “March 18th, huh? What should I write about?” and my roommate suggested, “something Irish?” and I blechhhhed, adding, “I hate St. Patrick’s Day.” Cause I do. I hate St. Patrick’s Day, and you know what else? I hate the month of March, and I have always hated the month of March, because it puts me in a bad mood, and I always blame the weather, or like…month long PMS, or the full moon, or the Ides of it or something, but anyway, I was thinking, you know what I don’t hate, though? That happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day?

Rob Lowe’s birthday. Because I love Rob Lowe’s birthday, because it gave to me Rob Lowe.

So, obviously, my natural conclusion was to spend the rest of my week thinking about Sam Seaborn, one of about four men I truly do not hate this month.

EINTKILF Sam Seaborn

1. Don’t sleep with hookers.
Oh, come on, like this isn’t the main thing Sam taught us? Not to mention, the most hilarious?

Donna: Um…
Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Sam and his prostitute friend.

Absolutely no offense meant to the very lovely Laurie, who is actually an amazing little bit character played by the fabulous Lisa Edelstein, who I wish could play me in a movie, but she is a lot tinier than I am, though our heads might be the same size.

2. How to fire someone.
After Ainsley Hayes begins working at the White House–gasp! A blonde! female! Republican!–she experiences a bit of harassment by some jerks by the names of Brookline and Joyce. After they leave Ainsley dead flowers and a note that says “bitch” on it, Sam storms into their office and fires them in the best way probably ever.

Sam: You know what, guys? When I write something, I sign my name. Here, I’ll show you.


Sam: Do you have any idea how big a harassment suit you just exposed us to? She just…she works here, which is more than I can say for either one of you.

Best man alive, which leads me to my next lesson:

3. How to defend someone.
If you guys should know one thing about me, it is that I have seen Titanic a lot of times. But if you should know a few things about me, one of them is that I absolutely lovvvvvvvvvvvvvve when people defend their loved ones. I love being defended, and let me tell you, I am the most defensive, protective friend in the world. You would kill to have me on your side.

Sam, in all of his adorable glory, is quite protective: of Josh, of Toby, of the President, of course, and most adorably, of Leo McGarry. When Leo is under investigation for his past drug habit, Josh and Sam have to answer questions directed at them by an enemy of the Bartlet administration by the name of Something Something Claypool. Josh, hot-headed, super sexy Josh Lyman, loses his temper when Claypool insults Leo and tries to physically attack him. Sam, a little cooler than Josh, steps in, but defends Leo regardless:

Sam: You’re a cheap hack. And if you come after Leo, I’m gonna bust you like a pinata.

Now, I think I pick Josh over Sam, but I am really into anger. It’s a thing I’m working on…kinda.

4. “An inch in length of hair can determine smugness versus casual-handsome.”
Only in quotes because it is a lesson pointed out to me by my awesome friend, Jess (look, I like people named Jess, okay?) who is a huge West Wing fan, as we all should be.


Okay, so the pictures are hard to see, but his hair in season four is pretty much telling us that he is leaving the show.

5. “There are certain things you’re sure of — like longitude and latitude.”
One of my favorite quotes, and it actually makes me feel better about life.

…even though I’m not a numbers girl, I know I can trust in latitude and longitude.

6. “The Roosevelt Room was named for our 18th President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
Sam has to give a bunch of elementary school kids a “tour” of the White House, and he tries to make up facts as he goes, even though he is supremely distracted, and clearly not quite that knowledgeable about things like the Roosevelt Room. The teacher, who happens to be the daughter of Sam’s boss, the ever-so-adorable love interest Mallory, heatedly corrects Sam, so don’t really count this as a lesson because thus far, you should have learned nothing from it.

Anyone who can properly Google knows that the 18th President of the United States was Ulysses S. Grant, and the Roosevelt Room comes from Teddy, not FDR. Thank you Mallory, and the Internet!

Speaking of Mallory…

7. Tread lightly when dating your boss’ daughter.
Though Leo is initially against Mallory and Sam going out–he even tries to keep Sam busy by assigning him silly tasks like birthday card messages–he eventually supports it, because Sam is so adorable!

Nothing really happens between Sam and Mallory, but they do have a really cute back-and-forth thing in which Sam gets jealous about her dating a hockey player.

Maybe I should date a hockey player…though the men in my life get jealous when I even talk to anyone, so I don’t think I have to take it that far. But hey, maybe I’ll fall in love! Candace Cameron married a hockey player!

8. How to play smart.
Well, in one of the best one-liners in the entirety of The West Wing, Sam claims that he isn’t all that smart, he just pretends to be.


Sam:…most of the time, I’m playing smart.

…had me fooled.

9. Education is everything.
SamMallory, education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That’s my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

And as an education lover, this makes me swoon, as Sam makes all women do.


Sam: You came by just to tell me you liked the speech?
Mallory: “This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.”? I’m weak.
Sam: Yeah. I think I stole that from Camelot.

The only thing more swoon-worthy than Sam Seaborn words is like, a good singing voice. Do you think Rob Lowe sings? I hope he doesn’t, I do not want to hear that ever. My ovaries might explode.

Sick, you guys. I went too far.

10. How to write.
Okay, well Sam didn’t actually teach me how to write, but as a writer, I sure do wish I could write half as well as Sam does, and I mean, I know it is all Aaron Sorkin at the end of the day, but his words are so powerful! I mostly just blah blah blah about how much I hate men, and/or how hot men are, so maybe one day I will just follow Sam’s advice and steal from him.

Sam: Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.

Featured image via kanyewestwing, “You’re fired” image via fyeahwestwing, “dumb and smart” images via joyluckclubbing, Sam and Mallory image via costumetheaterdarcy

newsletter illustration

Giggles in Your Inbox

!