Yellowstone's 20 Best Lines From Season 5's First Two Episodes

John Dutton in cowboy hat on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Spoilers below for the events that went down in Yellowstone’s first two episodes of Season 5, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched them in full!

As much as Yellowstone is worth watching to see the Dutton family struggling to maintain its ranch-based empire — which is good, since there’s all manner of upcoming franchise projects to look forward to — many viewers would indubitably agree that the dialogue Taylor Sheridan writes for the western drama’s characters is just as much an impetus. Any show on TV would be so lucky as to feature the myriad memorable words from John, Beth, Rip, Teeter and others. (Especially Teeter.)

As it went with Season 4, we’re pulling together the best Yellowstone lines of the week, with a smorgasbord of excellence to sort through within the turmoil and tragedies of the Season 5 premiere, which incorporated both “One Hundred Years Is Nothing” and “The Sting of Wisdom.” Since morning comes early on the ranch, let’s get to celebrating Kevin Costner & Co.’s glorious return to the small screen.

1. John: I fight for what’s right. I don’t really care who supports it.

Yellowstone has somewhat unfairly been perceived as having certain political affiliations, despite the fact that Taylor Sheridan has rather intentionally avoided depicting its issues through partisan perspectives. (Something he talked incredulously to The Atlantic about.) And it really all boils down to this declaration. Even though, technically, John’s take on what’s “right” doesn’t often stretch beyond his ranch boundaries.

2. John: Protecting you now is how Montana still looks like Montana when none of us here tonight are here to see it.

By all means, if Taylor Sheridan had access to cloning technology and was able to split himself off into also becoming a speechwriter for politicians and beyond, I feel like whoever he worked for would be astoundingly successful at getting crowds to clap in ways that didn’t perfunctorily insult the opposition. He could probably also make terrible decisions sound pleasing enough, which is what the political stage is for, amirite?

3. Caroline: We’re taking the gloves off, Ellis. I’m tired of playing with these fucking hillbillies.

Let’s be real here: the gloves should have been long gone before now, and by that metaphor’s yardstick, Caroline Warner shouldn’t even have any hands left at this point. But I do get tickled by hearing somebody call the Duttons “fucking hillbillies,” considering it’s been their savviness and wits that have mostly kept them a step ahead of their enemies. 

4. Rip: I ain’t been nowhere before.

Seeing as how Rip comes across so endlessly self-assured and cockstrong when it comes to ranch-related happenings, it can be easy to forget just how wildly sheltered his existence has been under John’s wing. The fact that John himself went decades without spending a night away from the ranch, and still seems like a worldly guy, is a reflection of just how limited in capacity Rip’s life experiences have been. Not that I think Rip would be waxing poetic about vodka martinis even if he did get around.

5. Bartender: You got your hands full, buddy.

Sure, there are probably some judgment calls to be made about this bartender — I am strongly assuming he thinks Beth is between 18-21, and not younger — but he probably also deserves the Understatement of the Century Award for this keen observation. He doesn’t know the half of the half of the half of it. 

6. Rip: You need to find somebody new to fight. Or you’re gonna sit around this house and you’re just gonna beat the shit out of yourself. 

This line isn’t necessarily as funny as Rip’s musing about it being too early for Beth’s shit, but it’s certainly more noteworthy for being a somewhat rare instance of a TV character’s self-destructive tendencies being both acknowledged and lovingly redirected at whatever unlucky schmuck would end up being her next target. Which, as we saw, just sparked a more intense aggression within her toward Jamie. 

7. Lynelle: Every time I want a bill pushed through, I’m gonna find myself in a coat closet.

I love Wendy Moniz’s Lynelle having such a regular presence this early on in Season 5, as she can always draw a smile and a pinch of mirth from John, as she did with the wry acknowledgement above about sex being a solid bargaining chip in their working relationship. I do hope that closet floor is carpeted.

8. Beth: I’m about to work you like a rented mule, brother. It’s time for your pound of flesh.

A cornerstone of any Beth and Jamie conversation involves her making it crystal-fucking-clear that her brother’s miserable life will soon exceed all known recorded measures of misery. And though they had multiple talks of that variety across the two hours, I think my favorite threat was this slice of metaphor-mixing menace. She’s going to work him stupid while also taking his flesh, which is just going to leave him too weak to work. But it’s not about progress; just misery.

9. John: Will you two just shut the fuck up and let me enjoy the last hour of quiet I’m gonna experience in the next four years?

You can bet that 9 times out of 10, when John raises his voice in Beth’s presence, whatever he says will end up in one of these lists. Even though his current governorship clearly made the end of that question specific to the moment, I’m pretty sure he’s spent most of his adult life with those first 13 words ready to fly off of his tongue at an argumentative moment’s notice. 

10. John: You make sure this is my driver every time.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, but keep a loyal and trustworthy driver closest of all, especially when there’s ample booze in the limo. It’s an adage as old as time.

11. Rip: You got a bet to settle, you settle it somewhere else. You put on a fucking dress and go to the governor’s ball tonight, and I’m gonna hang you in it.

Rip murdering someone at the party probably would have made for a bigger scandal than Jake angrily showing off his figure in a dress. But his point was not misunderstood one bit. 

12. Jake: Well, ‘scuse me for not studying government in college.

I hate to think that everyone out there has one or more friends that will somehow try to make themselves sound like the victors in any situation where they’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, but it’s probably true. At least Jake is kind of lovable about it, I guess, in his own Jake-ian way. 

13. Abby: None of ‘em are mine. Too smart to date a cowboy. Like looking at ‘em, though. 

Hard to think of a better way for country music star Lainey Wilson — recent CMA winner for Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year — to make her first mark within the Yellowstone universe than to immediately blanket-slam all of cowboy-dom. It’s virtually a medal of honor for her character Abby to survive an entire conversation with Beth without any tempers flaring. Welcome to the Y! 

14. John: You’re a living reminder of how much time I don’t have. If you grow a beard, you’re fired.

For many fans out there, the most shocking thing about Yellowstone Season 5 so far is that the actor playing Carter is the same one who had the role throughout Season 4. I think Kevin Costner’s John was speaking for all of us by noting that Finn Little’s rapid trip through pubescent maturity isn’t THAT much different from the Grim Reaper being three steps behind us at all times. 

15. Rip: God didn’t add extra daylight to Tuesday, Carter, now let’s go, man. Go get his fuckin’ saddle.

While John’s admonishments to Carter were more sardonic than sincere, Rip clearly has no such issues about bludgeoning Carter with the brunt of his irritation. Even though all the boy wanted to do was make sure he did things properly while going out on John’s horse. Not that it mattered in the end, with bones broken and the horse shot through the head. But it was a hell of a line, Rip!

16. John: For fuck’s sakes, Clara. If it has the word alliance in the name, cancel it.

Another way that Yellowstone highlighted exactly what kind of a politician John Dutton aims to be without having to spend a whole lot of words on the matter. I hope Clara is already comically accustomed to hearing “for fuck’s sakes.” 

17. Beth: That’s how you slam a door, Jamie.

This is a conversation that ends with Beth forcing Jamie to call her “ma’am” amidst some oddball psychosexual energy bubbling in the room. But nothing in that scene could have possibly topped this A+ exercise in pettiness. Threatening Jamie with prison is bad news, sure, but it’s something he expects. Shaming him for not slamming a door correctly, however, is the kind of pathological shit that’ll truly send him howling. 

18. Sarah: It’s an opportunity. You missed it.

Speaking of moments full of awkward sexual tension and dominant female energy, Sarah Atwood’s arrival at Market Equities was a winning way to play up her similarities with Beth without going overboard. Dawn Olivieri’s character looks like she’s genuinely having fun in her own skin, as opposed to Beth’s fun being derived from verbally cutting at others’ skin. Jamie better hope Sarah is indeed nicer than his sister, or we should probably start theorizing that this season is all part of a nightmare Jamie’s having.

19. Beth: Buddy, this is your one chance to leave me alone with your self-esteem intact.

Episode 502 delivered another one of Beth’s signature soapbox bar rants, this time targeting a random dipshit with clear blinders on regarding body language. Her presumably prescient spiel was a bit much, all things considered, but she TRIED to warn him. 

20. Rip: Ryan, next time, don’t shoot the ones with the GPS beacons on them.

This line, delivered in a straightforward manner by Rip, who legitimately means every word he’s saying in all sincerity, somehow still counts as “broad humor” through the Yellowstone prism, as Cole Hauser’s performance would only need to be tweaked every so much for it to ooze “why I oughta” collar-tugging Three Stooges-ness. Let’s get that aforementioned Taylor Sheridan clone to also write up a new spinoff that’s just Rip and the ranch hands. I’m thinking maybe call it…Rip and the Ranch Hands. Maybe they’re also a band?

For what it’s worth, I’ll give an honorable mention shout out to the temporarily vindicated Jamie taking a sip from his whiskey in the limo while staring daggers into the back of Beth’s head. There wasn’t a line to speak of, but so many things were said anyway.

With the first four seasons available to stream with a Peacock subscription, Yellowstone airs new Season 5 episodes on Paramount Network every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what else is coming soon, including Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren’s arrival in Taylor Sheridan’s prequel spinoff 1923, which unveiled its first teaser during the flagship’s premiere.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.