I discovered at a very early age that if I talked long enough I could make anything wrong or right. So either I'm God, or truth is relative. In either case BOOYAH!
Jeff Winger is an impressive orator known for being persuasive and passionate in the delivery of his arguments even if he doesn't really believe what he is saying is true. This skill is what made him a formidable attorney and it's an ability which has served him well in his time at Greendale. Although he has sometimes used his way with words for manipulating others, often he will break out his patented Winger speeches to bring a meaningful resolution to a conflict involving the study group. On rare occasions, not every speech is given by Jeff and someone else in the study group or later in the Save Greendale Committee will end the episode with the lesson to be learned. The debut of these speeches was in the Season One episode "Pilot".
List of speeches
Jeff delivers the first of many Winger speeches
to the study group in the study room:
- “ALRIGHT EVERYBODY! I want to say something, sit down.”— Jeff
- “You don't have to yell, I don't appreciate your tone.”— Shirley
- “You know what makes humans different to other animals?”— Jeff
- “Feet.”— Troy
- “No, come on bears have feet.”— Pierce
- “We are the only species on Earth that observe "Shark Week". Sharks don't even observe "Shark Week", but we do. For the same reason I can pick this pencil, tell you its name is Steve and go like this (breaks pencil) and part of you dies just a little bit on the inside, because people can connect with anything. We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an academy award for Screenwriting.”— Jeff
- “Big mistake.”— Pierce
- “People can find the good in just about anything but themselves. Look at me, it's clear to all of you that I am awesome but I could never admit that because that would make me an ass but what I can do is see what makes Annie awesome. She's driven, we need driven people or the lights go out and the ice cream melts. And Pierce, we need guys like Pierce, this guy has wisdom to offer...”— Jeff
- “The Dalai Lama and I....”— Pierce
- “We should listen to him sometime, we wouldn't regret it.”— Jeff
- “And Shirley, Shirley has earned our respect, not as a wife, not as a mother, but as a woman. And don't test her on that because that thing about the jukebox was way too specific to be improvised. And Troy, who cares if Troy thinks he's all that. Maybe he is, do you think astronauts go to the moon because they hate oxygen? No. They're trying to impress their high schools prom king. And Abed, Abed's a shaman. You ask him to pass the salt and he gives you a bowl of soup, because you know what? Soup is better, Abed is better, you are all better than you think you are, you are just designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself. ”— Jeff
- “ Soup?”— Pierce
- “ I want you to look at the person to your left... Sorry look at the person sitting next to you. I want you to extend to that person the same compassion that you extend for sharks, pencils, and Ben Affleck. I want you to say to that person I forgive you.”— Jeff
- “ I forgive you.”— Annie, Shirley, Abed, Britta, Troy
- “ Little twerp... ”— Pierce
- “ Pierce I'd like you to say "I forgive you"”— Jeff
- “ He didn't say it ?”— Shirley
- “[Mumbling] I forgive you.”— Pierce
- “ You've just stopped being a study group. You've now become something unstoppable. I hereby pronounce you a COMMUNITY.”— Jeff
"Advanced Criminal Law"
Inside Borchert Hall
, Jeff delivers his closing arguments to a disciplinary tribunal formed to deal with Britta
who had cheated on her Spanish test:
- “Gentlemen, I'm sure you suspected that Ms. Perry was pretty odd before the recess but if you could have heard all the stuff she was telling me in the showers you would realize she is all the way out of her entire damn mind. She doesn't want to succeed because she doesn't think she can so she goes out of her way to fail. That's crazy! But, do we really want to make it a crime to be crazy at Greendale? I mean look at us. You two are arguing about status at a college that correspondent schools make fun of. Dean, you want so bad for this place to be Ivy League that you are putting us at risk of electrocution because everyone on this campus is nuts.”— Jeff
- “Not me!”— Leonard
- “Oh come on Leonard! If you're going to argue with me put on a bathing suit!”— Jeff
- “Busted! Hahaha!”— Leonard
- “If you want to rehabilitate your fellow inmate then you need to sentence her to staying here with us because if crazy people can't be at Greendale then where are we supposed to go?”— Jeff
Jeff tries to convince the Study Group to leave Abed alone and let him be himself instead of pushing him to meet Jenny Adams
- “All right, nobody here is Can't Buy Me Love-ing or Love Don't Cost a Thing-ing anyone. Because we've all seen enough after-school specials and Fat Albert to know that Abed only needs to be himself.”— Jeff
Later, Abed gives a speech imparting the true lesson in the episode:
- “Britta, I got self-esteem falling out of my butt. That's why I was willing to change for you, because when you really know who you are and what you like about yourself changing for other people isn't such a big deal.”— Abed
Jeff explains to the Anthropology class his theory on the class' first assignment; which tool of the nine given was the most important:
- “The tool most important to humanity's survival wasn't any of the nine in the box.”— Jeff
- “Go on.”— Professor June Bauer
- “The most important tool is respect.”— Jeff
- “Heh! GAY-U-H!”— Ben Chang
- “And the reason I know that respect is a tool is because it clearly is not a natural thing and we forget to use it all the time and then we start to compete with each other and exploiting each other and humiliating each other and controlling each other and we lose each other and without each other we'll go extinct and that's a fact.”— Jeff
- “Heh! Gay fact!”— Chang
- “That's my answer professor.”— Jeff
"Accounting for Lawyers"
Jeff's speech convinces Ted
to give Alan Connor
full partnership at Jeff's old law firm:
- “Well, I only ever really liked one person. My mom. And she liked my dad. And after all the dust and the custody was settled, the guy I really admired, not liked, admired was the lawyer leaving the courthouse in the great-looking suit and a sky-blue Mercedes SLK.”— Jeff
- “Sweet ride.”— Ted
- “Sweet job. Sweet life. He didn't care. He couldn't care. And the less he cared, the better he was. We are a special breed because we rise above the sloppy stuff and look at the bottom line. You wanna like your employees? Open a hair salon. You wanna win? Make Alan partner.”— Jeff
- “The student has become the master.”— Ted
"Basic Rocket Science"
Jeff's speech convinces the Study Group to work together to defeat City College
- “We earned the right to pick on Greendale every day by going there. Our school may be a toilet, but it's our toilet. Nobody craps in it but us.”— Jeff
After the study group ultimately fails to find Annie's pen, Jeff sheds light on Troy's solution:
- “It seems... less than... impossible. Something impossible... actually seems more likely.”— Jeff
- “Here we go. Winger speech to take us home”— Abed
- “What if a ghost took the pen?”— Jeff
- “Let him finish.”— Abed
- “I am finished. For real, honestly, seriously, why not? Why not just a ghost took the pen?”— Jeff
- “Okay, I have been saying that for hours.”— Troy
- “And we should have been listening to Troy from the beginning. Guys, look in your hearts and answer this question honestly. What's more likely?: That someone in this group doesn't belong in this group or ghosts? If we have to choose between turning on each other or pinning on some specter with unfinished pen related business, I'm sorry, but my money's on ghosts.”— Jeff
"Asian Population Studies"
Jeff presents his argument for Ben Chang's inclusion into the study group over Rich
- “I want to say some names to you. Jeffrey Dahmer. Ted Bundy. Rich. What do they have in common? We don't know them very well. What do we know about Ben Chang? We know he's nuts.”— Jeff
- “Let him finish!”— Ben Chang
- “We know he's dangerous, unpredictable, selfish, we know he uses his name to make bad puns.”— Jeff
- “Guilty as Changed.”— Chang
- “When he talks, he over and under emphasizes words seemingly at random. When he eats, he holds his fork like a murderer's knife, gnawing at its skewered payload like a deranged woodland rodent.”— Jeff
- “Bring it home!”— Chang
- “We know he smells like Band-Aids, we know he dresses like a Cuban cab driver, we know he exhibits, nay, flaunts proudly obvious symptoms of over a half dozen disorders you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy's pets.”— Jeff
- “Feel the heat!”— Chang
- “We know these things about Ben Chang and so much more than we ever wanted to know about him. Why? Because it's there. It's on the surface. What you see may be what you don't want but it's also what you get. Who is this kettle corn popping phantom? This human question mark, this number 8 scoop of vanilla tapioca with a PhD in being swell and a Masters in "Everybody loves me"? Who is it?! We may never know. I only know one thing: Nobody is this good a person...and nobody can get any worse than this.”— Jeff
Later, Jeff then runs to someones doorstep and delivers this admission:
- “Don't say anything until I've said what I've got to say. I've known you for almost two years now and I've never taken you as seriously as I should have. You are the strangest, coolest, most genuine person I've ever met and the thing that scares me about you is how good you make me wish I was. Help me Rich, help me become like you. I mean, I am so amazing but I'm not perfect...you are...give me that power...so I can abuse it.”— Jeff
"Early 21st Century Romanticism"
Jeff texts the group a speech with the reason he had a fight with them:
- “It might not shock you guys to find out the real reason we had a fight today. It wasn't about the Barenaked Ladies although I do have some unresolved issues there. Caring about a person can be scary. Caring about six people can be a horrifying, embarrassing nightmare at least for me. But if I can't say it today, when can I say it? I love you guys. Oh and Pierce, take it from an expert. These knuckle heads are right outside your heart, let them in before it's too late. Happy Valentine's Day.”— Jeff
"Paradigms of Human Memory"
A pastiche of various Winger speeches is edited together:
- “Look, we've known each other for almost two years now. And yeah, in that time, I've given a lot of speeches. But they all have one thing in common...
- “They're all different. These drug runners aren't going to execute Pierce because he's racist...”
- “...it's a locomotive that runs on us!”
- “...And the only sharks in that water...”
- “...are the emotional ghosts that I like to call fear...”
- “...and the dangers of ingesting mercury.”
- “Because the real bugs aren't the ones in those beds...”
- “And there's no such thing as a free Caesar salad, and even if there were...”
- “...The Cape still might find a second life on cable, and I'll tell you why...”
- “El corazón del agua es verdad.”
- “That water is a lie!”
- “Harrison Ford is irradiating our testicles with microwave satellite transmissions!”
- “So, maybe we are caught in an endless cycle of screw-ups and hurt feelings. But I choose to believe it's just the Universe's way of molding us into some kind of super-group.”— Jeff
- “Like the Travelling Wilburys!”— Troy
- “Yes, Troy, like the Travelling Wilburys of pain, prepared for any insane adventure life throws our way. And I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to every one of them.”— Jeff”
Jeff tries to make a heartwarming excuse why Pierce doesn't need to be in the same class as them:
- “I think we've evolved beyond reliance on a group at all. Aren't we just actual friends now no matter where we are. You know what's magic about this table? It magically keeps our books from falling on the floor. The table's for studying, but as friends we've evolved. And let us use that first breath of crisp, new, super-evolved air to declare proudly and in one voice: Pierce! We'll see ya when we'll see ya.”— Jeff
Later in that same episode, Jeff takes back what he's said about the nonexistent reliance of the table:
- “Pierce isn't crazy. The table is magic. As someone who's been on the other side, I can tell you it is been a scary, lonely, Chang-filled world out there. And sure, this group has sprouted some legs, but why are we in such a rush to leave the tide-pool when the only things waiting for us on shore are the sands of time and the hungry seagulls of slowly growing apart.”— Jeff
Jeff stands up to Pierce's dad, Cornelius Hawthorne
- “Listen up, Colonel crypt-keeper, I could live a million years, and I could spend every minute of it doing important things, but at the end of it all I would only have lived half a life if I have not raised a son. This was a gift that was handed to you. You squandered it. And the reason you have so much hatred in your heart is because you are trying to fill a hole where your kid is supposed to go. And now, it's too late. Now, you're just stomping around trying to prove you exist. Well, mission accomplished. But here's a question I'd like to pass to you from every son of every crap dad that ever lived: "So what?" I'm done with you. He's done with you. The world is done with you.”— Jeff
"Pillows and Blankets"
Jeff's speech is meant to have the pillow war continue so he can avoid homework:
- “Soldiers of Blanketsburg, we fight not because we want war. We fight that we might gain peace!”— Jeff
"Origins of Vampire Mythology"
Jeff gives a speech to Britta after finding out Blade
's secret for women:
- “I have to go to him.”— Britta
- “No, woman. We don't have to go to anybody. And the idea we do is a mental illness we contracted from breath mint commercials and Sandra Bullock. We can't keep going to each other until we learn to go to ourselves. Stop making our hatred for ourselves someone else's job and just stop hating ourselves.”— Jeff
"Basic Lupine Urology"
Jeff's speech wraps up the case of the smushed yam
- “And all this time we assumed our yam was targeted, that someone had stomped its roots maliciously. But what if what if our yam's roots were dead before they hit the ground?”— Jeff
- “Hey, that's mine!”— Magnitude
- “Look at it. Everyone look. Smushed without being stepped on. Because it didn't have to be stepped on. Because it was boiled. Someone has been pouring boiling water into our jars at night. No one noticed because the water cooled off by morning. Boiling water is the icicle stabbing of yam killing. This yam isn't boiled. Vicki?”— Jeff
"Digital Estate Planning"
Jeff's speech rallies the group in the Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne
- “Okay look. I know things seem hopeless because he's all the way to the castle with the crystal and we're starting over, but here's the thing - we're better at this game now. We've died and been reborn and that makes us heroes!”— Jeff
"Introduction to Finality"
Jeff is representing Shirley in Greendale Court over a dispute between her and Pierce regarding their new sandwich shop and is told by Alan to throw the case in order to get his old law firm job back:
- “I have no closing statement because I'm throwing the case. No, no, it's okay. It's fine...don't worry. My client, Shirley Bennett, my friend of three years- she told me it was okay. She said what I want is more important. She's right...right? I mean, guys like me will tell you there's no right or wrong, there's no real truths...and as long as we all believe that, guys like me can never lose. Because the truth is, I'm lying when I say there is no truth. The truth is- the pathetically, stupidly, inconveniently obvious truth is- helping only ourselves is bad and helping each other is good. Now, I just wanted to get out of here, pass Biology and be a lawyer again instead of helping Shirley-that was bad. And my former colleague wanted so badly to keep his rich client happy that he just asked me to roll over in exchange for my old job. So, I guess we all walked in here pretty bad. But now Shirley's gone good. Shirley's helping me. It's that easy: you just stop thinking about what's good for you and start thinking about what's good for someone else...and you can change the whole game with one move. Now if you like this idea, you can make it true by doing something good for everyone here: throw this case out of court. It's dumb. That is all.”— Jeff
Babyville Jeff and Abed TV Jeff's speech (actually in Abed's imagination) eases Abed's anxiety about the group's last school year together:
- “Hey, guys, I have something to say!”— Babyville Jeff
- “Yea, like always!”— Babyville Study Group
- “I was just outside Babyville.”— Babyville Jeff
- “There's nothing outside Babyville.”— Babyville Abed
- “You know what? There is. And it was scary, because change is always scary. But then I thought of you guys, and I wasn't so scared.”— Babyville Jeff
- “Abed, when you brought this group together, you changed our lives. But then we changed each other. And we're gonna keep changing in unexpected ways. We'll still be friends even if we don't all become professors at Greendale, open a restaurant, or move into the same apartment building after Pierce dies. And even if we go somewhere, we're not going anywhere.”— Abed TV Jeff
"Conventions of Space and Time"
Abed delivers a speech to Toby Weeks
as to why Inspector Spacetime
has a human constable:
- “Maybe all relationships are made up of logical inspectors and emotional constables, and we need both to make space and time a better place.”— Jeff
"Alternative History of the German Invasion"
Jeff Winger finally talks about finally seeing Greendale in a better light:
- “We need to make reparations. We have to start giving back because Greendale has given us so much. It gave us the study room, and that study room is our home. But our home is more than those four walls, and our family is more than the seven of us. It’s all of Greendale. And everyone deserves to have what we have.”— Jeff
"Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations"
Jeff Winger finally tells off to his father William Winger
- “I'm sorry. You should take some credit for whom I've become. So, let me tell you how I turned out just so you're crystal clear on your impact. I am not well-adjusted. More often than not, I am barely keeping it together. I'm constantly texting, and there's no one on the other end. I'm just a grown man who can't even look his own friends in the eye for too long because I'm afraid that they'll see that I'm broken. So, you get credit for that. One time, when I was in 7th grade, I told everybody at school I had appendicitis. I wanted somebody to worry about me, but when Beth Brennan asked to see the scar I didn't wanna get found out. So, I took mom's scissors, and I made one. It hurt like hell. But it was worth it because I got 17 cards, and I still keep them in a box underneath my bed 22 years later because it proves that someone at some point cared about me. Want to see the scar? So, I give you credit for that, too. This is me.”— Jeff
"Intro to Knots"
Jeff Winger talks about the reason behind the Study Group's unity:
- “But the lesson is complete. You know what you taught us tonight? That yes, empires fall, but we're no empire. We're just a bunch of flawed, selfish people. And that's not our weakness. It's our strength. The one thing we can count on at any given moment is that the six of us are paying for a mistake made by one of us. And that means, at any given moment, one of us is screwing up so badly that he or she is gonna forgive whoever screws up next. Now, I'm gonna do something that Octavian never would. Yeah, I read the book. I'm gonna say that whoever untied the professor, I don't give a crap. Because whoever it was, I know it was some flawed, selfish, weak, hopeless soul like me.”— Jeff
"Basic Human Anatomy"
Jeff talks to Troy after realizing the reason behind his "body switch" with Abed:
- “I wish I had the courage to commit to a bit like you "Abed" or to a relationship like Troy. Committing is hard cause we are all scared of what happens when we find out we committed to the wrong thing...but there's no shame in what Troy's done. He put himself out there and he really tried and that proves he cares. That said, and as hard as it may seem right now, Troy needs to show he cares. He needs to put himself out there and own how he feels. That proves he's a man.”— Jeff
"Advanced Introduction to Finality"
Jeff delivers a heartfelt speech at his graduation ceremony:
- “Three and a half years ago, when I came to Greendale, I met six very important people. … Sorry, seven. And meeting these people changed my life. Yeah. I’m sorry. I – I don’t know what to say. [study group laughs and objects] I’m so used to being the guy who can talk his way out of anything, but… what do you say when you don’t want a way out? What you all have done for me is indescribable. It’s unbelievable. And my love for you is immeasurable, even when you split it seven ways.”— Jeff
The purpose of Jeff's speech is to manipulate the group into launching a class action suit against Greendale:
- “I never lied to you. I showed you the right truth. Britta, when we met, you were an eclectic anarchist. How did you become the group's airhead?”— Jeff
- “Thank you?”— Britta
- “And Shirley, you've gone from an independent divorcee striking out on her own to a bankrupt fry cook hoping for a call from her husband. Troy, your entire identity has been consumed by your relationship with another man.”— Jeff
- “You found my Clive Owen Tumblr.”— Troy
- “And what happened to Annie the unstoppable go-getter?”— Jeff
- “Well, there was that gas leak last year.”— Annie
- “Oh, don't blame it all on the gas leak year. This was a four-year process. We went in one end as real people and out the other end as mixed-up cartoons.”— Jeff
"Introduction to Teaching"
Jeff tries to calm down a student riot over the arbitrary use of "minus grades" by teachers:
- “Everybody, calm down! Just listen! Do you think the students and teachers at Harvard are at each other's throats? No, because they're all rich. We all have something in common too. We all suck. We're all broke. We all just went through an entire week of meatball lunches without even blinking.”— Jeff
- “Oh, that's on me. I converted the lunch menu to a spreadsheet.”— Dean Pelton
- “The teachers here are teachers here because they did something wrong, same as the students. So get on the same team, because, take it from me, those of us that get to leave aren't going anywhere.”— Jeff
- “BOOOOO!!”— Students
"Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
Jeff tries to resolve the differences between Buzz Hickey
and Hank Hickey
with a speech that doesn't work:
- “You know, fathers and sons, there is a lot of power between them.”— Jeff
- “Yes.”— Dean Pelton
- “Stop it. And I spent a long time letting that power push me away from my dad, and I regret it. So what's ever between you guys will only get fixed when you're together.”— Jeff
Annie delivers the lesson to be learned to the committee although part of it is directed towards Jeff:
- “We were driven down here by sell-outs with crappy values. Since when do human beings decide which dreams are worthwhile? Look at him. He's one of us. We have to respect each other enough to let each other want what we want...no matter how transparently self-destructive or empty our desires might be.”— Annie
"Intro to Recycled Cinema"
Jeff delivers a speech to Abed encouraging brevity in his filming work and premiering it:
- “Because I'm not an artist like you but this is a kind of canvas. I work on it with equipment, but I will never really be done.”— Jeff
- “Could be if you wanted.”— Abed
- “This will never be done. Chris Pratt's never gonna stop, is he? He'll always be mocking me. So I can never stop. Just like you'll never stop making movies. But I don't stay on one treadmill my entire life staring at commercials for movies with Chris Pratt. I take my work into the world. I "premiere" it. I share it with the public. Don't stay in the gym, Abed. Get this session done, get out there and get your shirt off. Got it?”— Jeff
Later Abed returns the favour and delivers a speech back at Jeff that is an analogy of how film making is like life:
- “Jeff. You helped me learn something about film making we need to apply to life. It's okay to plan stuff, figure out what we did wrong. Plans are randomly gonna fall apart, lessons are randomly gonna be wrong. If we keep the cameras rolling and shoot a lot of crap eventually Annie is going to reach down her shirt and pull out a laser bomb. I didn't write that. We didn't plan that. God made that happen. God made this movie and it's dumb. And we're dumb for being in it. Life is a big, dumb, pointless movie with no story and an abrupt ending where the hero gets shot by Dracula in the middle of a lunch order during an outtake but somewhere, every once in a while Annie reaches down her shirt. So we keep the cameras rolling. We edit out the parts we don't like and we stop thinking about Chris Pratt so much because it is not healthy.”— Abed
"Basic RV Repair and Palmistry"
Abed delivers the meaning behind a giant hand prop:
- “I have discovered the meaning of the giant hand. A hand has two functions; to grip and to release. But without both of these powers it is useless. Like newborn infants we grab what comes near us. Hoping to control it, taste it, jam it into another child's eye. But the time we spend in control of our world is the time we spend letting go of others. Ideas, stories, pride, girls in soft sweaters, video games, buttered noodles... Grip one for too long and you lose so much that you've never held. This giant hand was sent to all of us as an invitation to increase our mastery over the power to hold on...and let go.”— Abed
Jeff tries to end the Mexican standoff with Dean Pelton and Lapari
with a speech:
- “No, we are not tobacco! We are Robert Downey Jr. He was so high he was crawling into people's windows. Now he's Iron Man. We self-destruct like this because we'd rather be heroes and villains than just kind of sucky people that need to work a lot at getting less sucky. She (Frankie) will forgive us. I know her, I like her, and if she fires either of you, I'll quit. She's not the enemy. She can help us. We just have to cool it.”— Jeff
Jeff gives the best man toast at Garret's wedding, but it's actually Chang who delivers the speech and moral:
- “Screw you guys! No, this family is so screwed up you thought you were two different families. Now that you know you're not you can't wait to leave? And you want this guy to do what? Forget he's in love? For you? You want him to take one for this crappy team?”— Chang
- “Let him finish!”— Wedding Guest
- “They were letting me finish sir.”— Chang
- “I know, I was being sarcastic.”— Wedding Guest
- “Okay, you know. Garrett, who loves you more than Stacy?”— Chang
- “Nobody.”— Garrett
- “Stacy, is it your fault Garrett's your cousin?”— Chang
- “No.”— Stacy Lambert
- “Is anyone here going to make less fun of these two or be better friends to them no matter what they do?”— Chang
- “No.”— All Wedding Guests
- “It's you against the world and you will not win, but you get to make your moves, not them.”— Chang