This week, it feels like all of our timelines have been awash with Succession chatter. Whether it’s debating the comparative attractiveness of Greg versus Roman or choosing the least vile character to obsess over, no one’s Twitter is safe from the hold Succession has over our Monday nights.
In last night’s episode? Well, it got even more heated. After one particularly confusing bit of dialogue, everyone was obsessed with finding out what exactly the word ‘meretricious’ means. After grandfather Ewan called Kendall’s press conference ‘histrionic and meretricious’, it appeared that not one person viewing Succession knew what he meant. So much so, ‘meretricious meaning’ is now a breakout search term on Google.
What is the meaning of meretricious?
If you’re still confused, never fear we have the definition. According to our faithful friends at Google, meretricious means ‘apparently attractive but having no real value’. Histrionic means excessively theatrical in style, so essentially Ewan was calling Kendall shallow. He could’ve just said that, but then hey, we wouldn’t all be debating what Ewan meant on social media and causing even more people to jump on the Succession bandwagon.
And when we say ‘all’, we really mean it – so don’t worry if you too were reaching for your phone on numerous occasions throughout last night’s succession. Judging by these Twitter reactions, it seems no one had a clue what anyone was saying throughout the episode…
Of course, the convoluted language does seem to be what makes the show so great. Not only is the dialogue revered by critics, but it also inspires countless memes for entertainment long after each episode has aired. Plus, we’re learning new things, right? I mean, not only are we educated on the worst of humanity with each new character arc but we’re also given new words of the day with every episode… no wonder we’re all hooked.
Click through for 20 of the best quotes from Succession...
The 20 Best Quotes From Succession
In the second episode of season 2, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) is attempting to exert his authority as the new head of ATN news – but Greg (Nicholas Braun) isn't too comfortable with being a part of the network and their propensity for spreading fake news. As Tom reminds him, there's no time for morals if you want to get to the top, especially not in the Roy family.
Ah, Connor. Played by Alan Ruck, the eldest Roy sibling is often left out of the power moves and manipulation, mostly as he's considered too incompetent to matter. In the second episode of the first season, as Logan (Brian Cox) lays unconscious in hospital, the gang consider who to name as CEO in the meantime to avoid a stock market crash. Connor 'unsays' that he's a better candidate than Kendall (Jeremy Strong) – but, as Kendall points out, "it's not unsaid if you say it".
Though he certainly has his moments, as Shiv's (Sarah Snook) husband and permanent outsider to the family, poor Tom Wambsgans is often the lesser of many bellends. After being blindsided on his wedding night by Shiv saying she wanted an open relationship and thrown under the bus by her on several occasions, in the season 2 finale, Tom confesses how unhappy he is. Shiv looks shocked, which is shocking to us, because she never seems too fussed about having him around. Could Tom be set to make moves to leave Waystar Royco in season 3?
This one pretty much speaks for itself. As you can tell, Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Stewy (Arian Moayed) – Kendall's friend from college, Waystar investor and proxy battle instigator – do not get along.
With Logan constantly gaslighting Kendall, and Kendall trying to usurp Logan over and over again, you could say their relationship is rocky at best. At Shiv and Tom's wedding, Ken handed his father the bear hug letter, announcing the launch of a hostile takeover of the company, before ending up in a car accident that killed a waiter. Logan made it go away, with the understanding that Kendall came back to the dark side. The pair share a hug that feels poignant and menacing all at once, with Logan's whisper in Kendall's ear acting as a final power move in his most vulnerable time.
Hugo, played by Fisher Stevens, is one of Waystar Royco's top PR guys, and became a series regular in season two. In the ninth episode of the second season, the Roys are dragged to DC to give testimony regarding the cover up of sexual harassment claims and more within the company's cruise department, and Hugo is a key feature in prepping the family to face Senator Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian). Eavis is also Shiv's former boss, and though Hugo clearly doesn't think much of him, he still manages to tear Tom a new one.
Survival in the Roy family is all about punching down, and sadly, for the most part, Greg is at the bottom of the food chain. Tom takes him under his wing at work, glad to finally have a punching bag to pass on the stick he receives as a distinctly outside member of the inner circle and mocking Greg at every opportunity – including his choice of footwear on his first day.
Logan drops this humdinger of a line when he attempts to buy a package of local news stations and meets much less resistance than expected, with the seller accepting his offer straight away. Roman thinks it's a good deal if both parties get what they want, but as Gerri (J Smith Cameron) says, "It's no good if he's smiling".
Kendall's strategy to remove his father from leadership with a vote of no confidence comes to a head in the sixth episode of season one, but a last minute helicopter trip and New York traffic prevent him from being in the room when it happens and the votes are taken. Roman, previously on Kendall's side, attempts to raise his hand against Logan, but swiftly lowers it at this retort – and, as the deciding vote, causes Kendall's plan to crash and burn.
After being humiliated by Logan during a friendly game of 'boar of the floor', Roman wants to know how to earn his father's respect. Gerri suggests going back to basics, and joining the Waystar management programme – Roman needs to get grounded, and learn the price of a gallon of milk, much to his confusion.
In the third episode of the second season, the Waystar gang head to Europe for a hunting trip. Logan is in the midst of preparing to make the Pierce family an offer to buy their rival news company when he hears from financial advisor Jamie Laird (Danny Huston) that they have already caught wind, and he's not too happy about it.
Poor Greg. After being berated by Tom for his choice of shoes on his first day, he is caught helping himself to the free snacks in the canteen and stuffing them into a dog poop bag. He hastens to clarify its cleanliness, and that the inherent grossness about putting food in a bag meant for something altogether less appetising is all in our heads.
When he refused to budge on announcing Shiv as his successor, Logan lost the deal with Pierce family, much to his frustration. A tense helicopter ride home sees him hit the window in anger, before yelling this instantly iconic line to the pilot.
In the sixth episode of season 2, the Roys gather at Argestes for a tech conference, with chaos closing in from all sides regarding the scandal in cruises and their deal with the Pierces. At pre-drinks for the event, Logan spots rival Sandy Furness (Larry Pine), and lets Tom and Greg know that he's apparently been suffering with a certain STI, with Tom responding in his usual awkward fashion.
Logan and his brother Ewan (James Cromwell) aren't exactly close – Ewan once called the Roy family a "nest of vipers" – though the taller brother does stick by Logan on occasion, most notably at the vote of no confidence. In the eighth episode of the first season, the family visit their patriarch's home town of Dundee for a surprise celebration of Logan's 50th year in the business. Though Kendall's cringe-inducing "L to the O-G" rap stole the show in terms of scenes in this episode, Ewan's one of many digs at the quality of journalism at Waystar is a killer insult – literally.
It didn't take long for us to understand just how savage the Roy siblings could be with each other – just two episodes in, with Logan out of action, they bicker about who should be seen to take charge. Though clearly the most qualified for the job, Kendall was shot down by his father as an option for CEO in the previous episode, leading Roman to lash out with this stinger.
The Roys are trying to win over the Pierces at their family home Tern Haven, so as to buy out their rival news company, and it's not working. Logan gathers the gang to strategise, telling Shiv off for making jokes that don't land and Connor for rubbing a Pierce cousin up the wrong way, before chucking this zinger in Roman's direction. His response? "Thanks, Pop".
In the season 2 finale, Tom Wambsgans has had enough. He feels scapegoated after the hearing in DC, he confronts Shiv about her determination to deviate from a monogamous marriage, and then exerts a power move over Logan by stealing some of his dinner – perhaps his bravest moment yet.
On the hunting trip in the third episode of season 2, several of the Waystar team have doubts about Logan's plan to acquire PGM, the Pierce's media company. Gerri and Karl (David Rasche) need someone to bring it up, but want to avoid facing Logan's wrath, and so attempt to manipulate Tom into doing it instead. Gerri reassures him that he'll be fine - after all, he is family. With this Monte Cristo line just one of many spewed at him by Logan in the past, Tom's not convinced.
Tom and Gerri are in DC, facing questioning from Gil Eavis. Tom is already on thin ice after almost pretending he doesn't know who Greg is, when Gil asks him, "do you know what is special about the hours between 3am and 5am on the night of March 12th?". As Tom responds that he does not, Gil confirms that it was the only period that day in which Tom didn't send an email to Greg with this subject line. Pure punning gold.