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‘Veep’: Seven Times Team Selina Failed So Hard They Won

Veep Season 5 premieres April 24, giving us a genuine reason to laugh at the depressing political circus that is this election year. Incumbent President Selina Meyer finds herself in an unprecedented electoral tie and her second term now in the hands of the House of Representatives. The road to “maybe” POTUS has been lined by political fails, all of which have been hilariously and spectacularly overcome by Selina’s staff despite themselves. Here are our favorites.

Catch 44

Season 1, Episode 3 “Catherine”

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Selina finds herself in two simultaneous catch-22s when she picks an ex-oil guy to join her Clean Jobs Task Force and finds he is not oily enough for the oil lobbyists but too oily for Senator Doyle, who is backing the bill. About to be confronted by both angry sides at the dedication ceremony for the late Senator Reeves, Selina uses Mrs. Reeves and the “widow walk” as an escape, because as Dan, her deputy director of communications, points out, “People don’t shout at you when you’re standing with the dead man’s grieving widow.” Dan later masterfully manipulates both sides by giving the oil lobbyist back-channel access to the veep while convincing Doyle to keep the current candidate to avoid getting an even oilier one.

Mrs. Doubtmeyer

Season 1, Episode 5 “Nicknames”

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Selina asks her staff to get intel on whether or not the president will back her Clean Jobs bill. Dan cozies up to Jonah, the White House liaison, via a greasy diner meal and hard metal concert and soon learns just how useless of a source Jonah is. Amy, Mike, and Gary monitor the political blogs via news alerts on all of Selina’s various nicknames. Selina immediately regrets asking about the nicknames when the three effortlessly recite them off the top of their heads, including Meyer the Liar, Piss Face, Wicked Witch of the West Wing, Voldemeyer, Plunderwoman, and Viagra Prohibitor. One the team didn’t monitor, Mrs. Doubtmeyer, turns out to be the nickname tied to the news that the President is dropping Clean Jobs in favor of getting his own Fiscal Responsibility bill through. Although Dan sneaks in an amendment that takes the best parts of Clean Jobs, Selina kills the amendment — and essentially, her bill — to prove her loyalty to the president. In an effort to make her feel included, POTUS assigns Selina to an important program to oversee: obesity.

Duchess Is Down

Season 2, Episode 9 “Running”

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At a campaign donor lunch, Selina walks right through a glass door, face first. Gary gives her herbal St. John’s Wort for the pain, and it reacts poorly with her antidepressants, turning Selina into the loopiest version of herself — so loopy that she invites herself to the 40th wedding anniversary party of Gary’s parents and promises to buy Mike’s boat. Despite her injuries, Selina participates in a 10K fun run the next day. In the middle of the run, the staff needs to get the veep a statement around the president’s impeachment rumors which leads to Mike, Dan, Jonah, and Gary all chasing Selina (and a giant banana) on foot.

The Third R

Season 3, Episode 8 “Debate”

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On the eve of an important C-SPAN debate, Selina decides to rebrand herself with a new haircut, and the reactions vary from “This is a haircut that your head has always wanted but was too afraid to ask for” (Amy) to “It’s the worst use of scissors since my failed vasectomy” (Mike). Along with the new hair comes a new eye twitch. During the debate, Selina forgets the third “R” of her immigration stance and hastily comes up with Repel, as in “We must repel the enemies of America.” The audience responds surprisingly well. But the hero of the night is her uncontrollable eye twitch, which distracts candidate General Maddox so much that he answers his next question by repeatedly saying the word “hole” and effectively digging himself into one.

The New POTUS

Season 3, Episode 9 “Crate”


Selina does an interview with a journalist, and after he leaves, the staff badmouth him and “Give Us More Money, Idiot” (GUMMI) donors. They realize their entire conversation has been recorded on the phone the journalist has left behind and are unable to destroy the evidence before he comes back to retrieve it. After the incriminating story about Selina is run, she starts to accept defeat. Kent then tells Selina that FLOTUS is struggling mentally, POTUS is going to resign to spend more time with her, and Selina will become president. Selina goes to the bathroom to let this sink in, and when Gary checks in on her and learns the news, he is so excited that he gets a nosebleed. The two collapse in a fit of giggles and Selina rummages through Gary’s cavernous bag to find something to stop the nosebleed, pulling out a magnifying glass, tampons, and a bicycle book.

Amy’s Meltdown

Season 4, Episode 5 “Convention”


Selina’s running mate resigns and the staff scrambles to find a new candidate. Amy repeatedly suggests the likable Tom James but continues to be ignored, with Selina even suggesting they find a “Tom James-y type.” Amy finally reaches her breaking point, goes on an angry tirade, and quits, but not before she calls Selina “the worst thing that has happened to this country since food in buckets. And maybe slavery.” She also tells Selina her crowning achievement is that as a woman, she has been so bad at being president, there will never be another female president. Mic drop.

The Jonad Files

Season 4, Episode 9 “Testimony”

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An official investigation is launched to determine if Selina and her team deliberately sabotaged the Families First bill, and everyone is questioned. Each staffer mistakenly reveals previously undisclosed information, causing Mike to ramble about knee medicine, Sue to split hairs about the definition of a meeting, and Catherine to call off her engagement. A chain of finger pointing and scapegoating is set off until all the blame lands on Bill Erickson’s unfortunate shoulders. Also uncovered during the investigation are the Jonad Files, a list of Jonah’s nicknames that the staff has created over time, all of which are read out loud in the courtroom. Highlights include Jizzy Gillespie, Gaylien, Tinkerballs, The 60 Foot Virgin, Guyscraper, Spewbacca, and Supercalifragilisticexpealidickcheese.

Team Selina is back in full force April 24 on HBO.


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