Sons of Anarchy ran for seven seasons from 2008-2014, and brought, well, tons of anarchy to the small screen. Following the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club in Charming, CA, the series’ main protagonist was Jackson “Jax” Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam. Jax eventually became President of the Club but found himself torn between loyalty to a club that he belonged to for all of his life, and the desire to move away and become a law-abiding husband and father.
Feeling a sense of duty to carry on the traditional of his late father, and loyalty to his friends and fellow club members, however, Jax was unable to cut ties, right up to his bitter end. Throughout the series, however, Jax delivered some terrifying lines that demonstrated that, while he certainly had a softer side, the man had been hardened from life as an outlaw. Here are 10 of his most intimidating quotes.
10 “I’m getting released. There’s nothing you can do to stop that. I’ll find out who you are and where you live, and then I’m gonna kill you.”
Don’t ever cross Jax. In one of the most shocking episodes of the series, in season 5, Opie sacrifices himself for the Club, and gets brutally beaten to death in prison by pipes. Jax, knowing he will be released, warns the head guard who arranged the fight that he will have him murdered for killing his best friend.
No one messes with a member of SAMCRO, and especially not Jax’s best friend. He did get his revenge later that season when he and other members of the Club find his home, force him to witness Tig shooting his wife in the head, then Jax beats him to death, just as he allowed to happen to Opie.
9 “The bond that holds this club together isn’t about love or brotherhood anymore. We lost that a long time ago. It’s just fear and greed now.”
In season 4, Jax begins to see the walls of SAMCRO crumbling around him and realizes that the criminal part of the enterprise has taken precedence over the brotherhood it once was. Much of this has to do with Clay and his dirty dealings, which Jax eventually catches on to. It also perfectly demonstrates why Jax has such a desire to leave.
The club isn’t what it used to be when his father was in charge, and he doesn’t think he can get it back to that. Even if he could, he’d rather simply get out and let the legacy live on without him.
8 “Every day is a new box, boys. You open it, you take a look at what’s inside. You’re the one who determines if it’s a gift…or a coffin.”
Jax was being somewhat prophetic here, turning a well-known Forrest Gump saying on its head, and making it dark. That really is what life was like at SAMCRO: you wake up one morning, open your “box” and it’s either something great, or death.
Spoken in season 5, Jax literally did open a box at one point addressed to him to find a cooler with a boob and a finger in it. But this was also in reference to having just had buried his best friend a few days prior and noting that he felt like he left a part of himself in that box.
7 "You can slap my wrists until they’re bloody, lady. I don’t give a s***."
“I’m giving you a win well above your pay grade. You get your devil and you punch your ticket out of this cesspool. So let’s not get too lost in righteousness. I’m the scumbag outlaw, and you’re the pillar of justice. And neither one of us likes looking at ourselves in the mirror. Do we have a deal?”
OK, so maybe Jax’s negotiating skills relied heavily on threats and intimidation. But that was the name of the game for SAMCRO. Here, in season 6, Jax tries to negotiate a deal for immunity of his club by promising to give up a far bigger criminal to the DA, complete with their shipment of guns. He swears he wants to make the club legit from here on in.
When she asks for assurances, Jax, well, gets a bit frustrated. And the intimidation flies. Ironically, it’s the DA who really has the power in this situation. Yet Jax always seems to get his way.
6 “Hey, Trammel. It's too late for over, man. You know all about us, and we know all about you.”
"Look, only way this relationship works is two of us together, or one of us dead."
In this first season episode, we get a quick taste of just how intimidating Jax can be once he’s forced to step up to the plate and show his leadership skills. When doing deals with SAMCRO, he suggests, you either work together, or someone ends up dead.
And typically when it comes to the Sons of Anarchy, they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that they aren’t the ones laying on (or in) the ground in the end.
5 “You guys gave it your best shot. You've got nothing on SAMCRO. And you harassing Tara, that ends here…”
"Or next time it won't be a piece-of-s*** car I'm draining fluid from."
When it comes to Jax, there are a few things that he’s fiercely loyal to: his club, his kids, and his former-flame-turned-wife Tara. And when federal agent Kohn, who also happens to be Tara’s ex, asks him if he’s threatening a federal agent in this first season episode, Jax looks him in the eye and says no, he’s just threatening him.
Federal agent or not, Jax doesn’t care. If you mess with any of those few things he cares about, he’s coming for you, and won’t be afraid to cut you open and drain you of your blood if he has to.
4 “Then I'll kill him myself.”
Clay: “You and I both love Opie. I don't want to believe this s*** either. But we gotta prepare ourselves for a truth we may not like.”
Jax: “He'd never sell out the club.”
Clay: “And what if he did?”
Jax: “Then I'll kill him myself.”
This is a really telling statement. We know how devoted Jax was to Opie. He was his best friend, after all. And Jax was devastated when Opie was killed, especially so brutally. But in the end, no single person is above the club. And if a member turned his back on them, even Opie, there are no second chances, and no forgiveness. While Jax is fiercely loyal to the club, it also means he would do anything to protect it. Yes, apparently even kill his own best friend. Would he really have done it? We’d like to think not, but it’s likely.
3 "You're done telling me anything. Now I tell you."
“You're stepping down as president. You can sit at the table. You can have a vote. But that's all. You keep the Irish happy, and you stay out of my g**d**** way. If you don't, I'll let the club read the letters.”
Clay was a terrible leader who made all the wrong moves and was in it for himself and the power. When Jax finally wised up to what and who Clay was, it was time to make him step down and take over.
And this is just what Jax did when he uttered these words in the fourth season. Despite how intimidating Clay might have been, even he wasn’t a force strong enough to scare Jax away from doing what needed to be done for the sake of the club.
2 "I’ve been waking up every day since he was born with a sick feeling. Wondering who was gonna die today."
“And it scares the s*** out of me. And then I woke up this morning, and it was gone. I think that scares me more.”
Maybe this quote isn’t so much intimidating as it is frightening. At least when Jax felt upset whenever yet another dead body made its way to him, there was an ounce of humanity left in him.
But with this statement, we see that he’s come to terms with the reality so much that it no longer bothers or impacts him. And that’s downright scary. When you stop feeling sick and disgusted at all of the crime and death that surrounds you, you know you’ve shifted far too much to the wrong side.
1 “I’m not a good man. I’m a criminal and a killer. I need my sons to grow up hating the thought of me.”
In the final episode of the series, Jax comes to terms with his reality, as is evidenced by this quote. He knows he isn’t a good person. He’s done some truly bad things in his life.
With his wife now dead and him killing his own mother for retribution, how could he possibly go on living and explain what happened to your children? Sadly, Jax decides not to. He abandons his boys and leaves them to hopefully do what this statement says – hate him and strive to be better men than he ever was.