Created by Andrew W. Marlowe, Castle ran on ABC from 2009 to 2016. Starring Nathan Fillion as the best-selling mystery writer Richard Castle, and Stana Katic as NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, the series followed this unusual crime-fighting duo as they worked together to catch killers.
While Castle was a pretty predictable and by-the-numbers police procedural, it had solid writing, interesting characters, and did the whole comedy-drama thing almost perfectly. Over the course of eight seasons, Richard Castle had some pretty cool, funny, and memorable lines, so today we're listing the ten best ones.
10 “THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF FOLKS WHO SIT AROUND THINKING ABOUT HOW TO KILL PEOPLE...”
If you’re a fan of the show, and odds are you are since you’re here, you can probably recite Richard Castle’s opening monologue from memory. Set to the backdrop of that catchy theme song, Castle introduces himself in a quintessential Richard Castle fashion:
"There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better."
It’s one of the show’s best quotes, not only because it’s heard in almost every single episode, but also because it’s witty and memorable. In fact, the entire opening sequence with Castle’s narration and bits of dialogue from the show is one of the coolest hallmarks of Castle.
9 “DO I LOOK LIKE A KILLER TO YOU?”
Speaking of bits of dialogue from the opening sequence, this little interaction between Castle and Beckett is a shining example of the amusing banter these two had on a regular basis. In the season two episode “Famous Last Words,” Beckett says that everyone looks like a killer to her because it’s a job requirement. When Castle asks, "Do I look like a killer to you?" Beckett replies:
"Yes. You kill my patience."
It’s no wonder this bit of dialogue made it into the opening sequence, it’s the best example of that Castle and Beckett dynamic that kept us coming back to this show week after week for eight years.
8 “MAYBE HE’S FANCY.”
In the first episode of season two, Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a man who was apparently strangled by someone who is either missing a finger or has a prosthetic one. Well, at least that’s the more reasonable explanation suggested by Laine, the medical examiner. If you ask Castle, however, he’s got a somewhat different, more sophisticated theory:
"Maybe he’s fancy. Strangled people with his pinky sticking out. Like tea."
He even mimics drinking tea with his pinky sticking out right above the victim’s neck, which makes this scene all the more hilarious. Classic Castle.
7 “IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN EVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF MAGIC, YOU'LL NEVER EVER FIND IT.”
While his quippy one-liners have brought us tons of laughs over the years, we’d be remiss not to mention some of Castle’s more profound lines. In the season three episode “He’s Dead, She’s Dead”, Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a medium who may or may not have predicted her own death, depending on whom you ask.
Beckett is certain that the woman was a charlatan since she doesn’t believe in psychics, or fate, or Santa Claus since she was three years old. When she asks Castle why this is so important to him, he says something truly beautiful: “If you don't believe in even the possibility of magic, you'll never ever find it.”
6 “SPACE COWBOY.”
When Alexis sees her father in his Halloween costume and wonders what he's supposed to be, Castle replies: “space cowboy." His daughter Alexis makes some valid points regarding his costume: “a) there are no cows in space and b) didn’t you wear that like five years ago?” The outfit, as well as Alexis’s line, are references to Firefly, the Joss Whedon show that starred Nathan Fillion starred five years ago.
When Castle still doesn’t understand the point his daughter is trying to make, Alexis adds “don’t you think you should move on?” which feels like a jab at both Fillion and fans of Firefly. Witty, meta, and adorable, this is one of our favorite Castle/Alexis moments.
5 "NAH, A TV SHOW I USED TO LOVE."
In the awesome season three episode titled “Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind”, Castle goes full X-Files when the team encounters a victim that appears to have died from fatal explosive decompression in her car and Castle starts suggesting Mulder-like explanations for what happened. The episode is chock-full of X-Files references, as expected, but there’s also a very cool reference to Firefly.
When Castle and Beckett encounter two Chinese men who don’t understand English, Castle gets to flaunt his knowledge of Chinese, saying "my partner is crazy and might start firing at any moment." Beckett asks if he had done a semester abroad, to which Castle simply replies “Nah, a TV show I used to love,” i.e. Firefly where the characters would often speak Chinese.
4 “DON'T RUIN MY STORY WITH YOUR LOGIC.”
Castle and Beckett usually take different approaches to solve cases, which works in their favor and makes them such an amazing crime-solving duo. As a trained and experienced detective, Beckett relies on facts and follows the evidence wherever it leads. As a mystery writer, Castle, on the other hand, is more prone to running wherever his imagination takes him.
In the season three episode “Last Call,” Castle gets carried away when a murder case takes them back in time to the prohibition era. But, Beckett as always acts as the voice of reason and pokes holes in Castle’s theory causing him to utter this unforgettable line: “don’t ruin my story with your logic.”
3 “I WAS AIMING FOR HIS HEAD.”
Throughout its eight-season run Castle has had a number of shout-outs to Firefly, which – if you’re a fan of both shows like us – instantly became your favorite Castle moments. In the season two episode “Boom,” Beckett loans her gun to Castle while pursuing a serial killer obsessed with Nikki Heat, aka Castle's character based on Kate Beckett.
Giving her gun to Castle turns out to be the right call when Castle manages to shoot and wound the killer. After making the arrest, Beckett turns to Castle to congratulate him on a great shot, to which he replies “I was aiming for his head,” quoting Jayne Cobb's line from Firefly.
2 "THE BUTLER DID IT!”
If you’ve read enough mystery fiction you are undoubtedly familiar with one of its best-known and overused clichés “The Butler Did It”. In a stereotypical example, there’s a murder in a wealthy man’s house during a dinner party and the butler is dramatically revealed as the culprit in a climactic gathering of all the suspects.
As a mystery writer and now a consultant for the NYPD, for the butler to actually be the killer is everything Castle has ever wanted. So when it finally happened, he excitedly and theatrically proclaimed: “I have worked a lot of cases, waiting patiently for the day that I can unequivocally exclaim… the butler did it!”
1 “WHOEVER KILLED HER ALSO MURDERED THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.”
Castle is known for making all kinds of weird remarks at crime scenes, which is part of his charm and, more importantly, surprisingly valuable most of the time. In the season two episode “The Double Down”, Castle and Beckett are investigating a murder of a woman whose killer left messages written on her face. One of the messages reads: “your out of time” which drives Castle mad, prompting him to point out that:
"Whoever killed her also murdered the English language."
Castle’s hilarious observation was deemed inappropriate by Beckett. But, little did she know that his fixation with such an elementary grammar mistake would blow the case wide open.