Sure, he might be a talented detective with an uncanny instinct for police work, but the true talent of Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is his sarcasm. For the past three seasons (and an upcoming fourth, which debuts on Tuesday, Sept, 20) on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake Peralta has become known for his barrage of sarcastic remarks, regardless of how serious, uncomfortable, or otherwise inappropriate the situation might be. Here are a few of Jake’s most cleverly scornful remarks to help you when you feel like your sarcasm simply knows no bounds.
“Oh! Hello sir, how are you today? I am Detective Right-All-The-Time, and this is my partner, Detective Terrible Detective.”
It’s made clear in the very first episode that Jake’s sarcasm is something of a reflex. While going door-to-door questioning potential witnesses, he and his partner, Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), make a bet about the kind of guy who lives in one of the top-floor apartments. Amy’s guess is a hot, young bachelor, based mostly on the copy of The Wall Street Journal laying on his doormat. After an elderly man opens the door, automatically making Jake the winner of the bet, he can’t be quietly smug about it like a normal person. Instead, Jake has to gloat. To everyone. When you really want to get the most out of being right, don’t be afraid to brag to strangers about it; the fact that they’ll have no context won’t make your victory any less sweet for you.
“Of course, totally. I mean, why would a death threat be a big deal? Oh, that’s right because it threatens death!”
Even though Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) is known for his stoic and unfeeling demeanor, he seems particularly nonchalant about a string of death threats being made against him. When Jake finds out, he dishes up a heaping serving of “pssh, whatever,” though he’s still curious why the Captain doesn’t seem the least bit concerned. On the surface, this is just Jake being Jake, but if you look a little deeper, it’s clear that he’s genuinely worried that Holt may be in danger. One of the real benefits to sarcasm is how well it can mask your true feelings about something, while still letting you express them.
“Man, I forgot how long your signature takes. Just gonna watch Braveheart on my phone real quick. Given the circumstances, I can see how that might’ve seemed like flirty teasing or something, but I was legit being critical. You have a problem. No, even that sounded like banter now. Alright, there’s only one way out of this for me. I just gotta get super cruel. Prepare to have your physical flaws pointed out, Amy. Talking about your tall butt and your weird elbows.”
Speaking of masking your true feelings; with the relationship between Jake and Amy still awkwardly stuck in neutral, Jake’s feelings for her make it difficult for him to be his casually sarcastic self. This is made worse when the two of them have to pretend to be a couple while going undercover to nab Brooklyn’s most notorious identity thief, Michael Augustine, played by Sopranos alum Ray Abruzzo. After they make the arrest, Jake tries to deal with his feelings the only way he knows how — by repressing them, which here entails Jake half-heartedly delivering a semi-coherent tirade of insults toward Amy, with varying degrees of severity. If you end up trapped in an emotional tight spot, sometimes all you can do is try and talk your way out of it. And if it doesn’t seem like it’s working, just keep talking. You’re bound to land something coherent eventually.
“It’s probably just an empty, white cube with a USB port in it for him to plug his finger in when he’s on sleep mode.”
Once the precinct gets invited to Captain Holt’s birthday party, everyone starts to wonder what the inside of Holt’s house will look like. Contrary to the Beauty and the Beast-like visions of grandeur the others have, Jake imagines something much, much more sterile and nondescript, which is more akin to the Captain’s personality. When Holt walks by and informs them of the party’s many restrictions (limited street parking, no food, no singing of “Happy Birthday”), it makes Jake’s comment not only funny, but relevant. The lesson here: Never waste an opportunity to make a sarcastic quip. You never know when real life will come along and just hand you the punchline.
“If you’re here for your $200, can I interest you in a check that will definitely bounce?”
You have to give Jake credit here. After he purposefully loses the precinct’s sacred Jimmy Jab Games so Amy can win — a move that costs him a $200 bet with Rosa Diaz (Stefanie Beatriz) — he still comes up with a quick, clever, self-deprecating remark when Rosa shows up to collect (he assumes). Even if you’re not at your best and you don’t quite have it in you to cleverly lash out at anyone, a remark made at your own expense can be surprisingly satisfying. Not to mention it lets everyone know that you’re all on a level playing field.
“We are very close, Captain. Aside from a complete absence of evidence, suspects, or leads. So in conclusion, not at all close.”
This is Jake Peralta through-and-through: in the middle of a self-described slump and reporting his progress on a case (or lack thereof) to the Captain, he still takes the time to make a perfectly-timed little quip. When this is who you are, you may as well go ahead and enjoy it — even if you’re doing it sarcastically.