An Ode to Bobby Axelrod: Top 40

Cheers to five years of Bobby Axelrod on Billions! What an indelible character Damian has etched in our pop culture forever. I’m sure you all have heard by now that Damian has left the show after five seasons. Both the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly reported that there’s an opportunity for him to return – never say never, right – but his time as a regular on the show has come to an end. What you may not know, and the publications go on to explain, is that Damian has always had just a 5-year contract and three years ago Damian expressed the desire to spend more time with his family in England, for obvious reasons. So his departure has always been in the works. But we sure will miss him on our television screens and streaming devices each Sunday, won’t we?

As Billions season five came to an end and Axe escaped to Switzerland for cool nights next to a warm fire with fine chocolates and artisan cheeses, I thought about all the droplets of wisdom and maverick sayings I would miss hearing from this alpha-male hedge fund billionaire each Sunday. So I’ve curated some of my all-time favorite quotes, speeches and one-liners into this Casey Kasem ‘Top 40’ style post, just like the radio disc jokey I used to listen to each Saturday morning during the 80’s.

Let the countdown begin. Here is my Top 40, Axelrod style!


“Either you confront it head on, or let it go. But don’t keep giving it power over you by staying in the dark.”
A Proper Sendoff – Season 4, Episode 5

“You get one life so do it all.”
Sic Transit Imperium – Season 2, Episode 9

“Starvation, in small doses, triggers an increase in energy, clarity, aggression.”
Kompenso – Season 3, Episode 11

“Nobody leaves a negotiation happy.”
Indian Four – Season 2, Episode 6

“A man who turns on his own family, he turns on himself.”
Flaw in the Death Star – Season 3, Episode 5

“Willingness to fraternize with the depraved…powerful weapon.”
Chickentown – Season 4, Episode 3

“We don’t put out this fire by pouring water on it. But by sucking oxygen out of the room. Slowly. Invisibly. Completely.”
Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game – Season 4, Episode 1

“The vultures and the hyenas always share the carcass meal.”
Where the F*ck is Donnie? – Season 1, Episode 9

“These are my needs. Either you meet them or you can’t.”
The Wrong Maria Gonzalez – Season 3, Episode 2

“If we’re as smart as we think are. If not, the heat will melt us like an Almond Joy in the sun.”
Naming Rights – Season 1, Episode 2

“There are no holidays when it’s my money.”
New Year’s Day – Season 4, Episode 10

“The Press acts like information is a dirty word. Everyone has access to the information. We just know how to analyze it better.”
Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1

“Being early is the same as being wrong.”
Currency – Season 2, Episode 5

“If we can’t finish it, we can’t start it.”
No Direction Home – Season 5, Episode 12

“There’s a small group who can do the math. There’s an even smaller group who can explain it. But those few who can do both, they become billionaires.”
Golden Frog Time – Season 2, Episode 11

“When an enemy is down on the field, you gotta finish him.”
Risk Management – Season 2, Episode 1

“I have strings attached to all of my fingers. When I yank ’em you are going to shake, rattle and shit yourself.”
Victory Smoke – Season 5, Episode 11

“Nature didn’t select me. I selected myself by harnessing my nature.”
Beg, Bribe, Bully – Season 5, Episode 3


“Krakow, whatever cocktail party tutor you used to prep you for this panel owes you a goddamn refund.”
Dead Cat Bounce – Season 2, Episode 2

“China is a pig on LSD. You never know which way it’s going to run.”
Dead Cat Bounce – Season 2, Episode 2

“I have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and philanthropy. I employ hundreds of people directly, thousands indirectly. You’re a traffic cop hiding in Federal robes.”
The Conversation – Season 1, Episode 12

“It’s like Highlander. There can be only one.”
Naming Rights – Season 1, Episode 2

“That motherfucker just went back on my kill matrix.”
New Year’s Day – Season 4, Episode 10

“You have about as much edge as Mister Rogers.”
Tie Goes to the Runner – Season 3, Episode 1

“Lots of guys watch Bruce Lee movies. Doesn’t mean you can do karate.”
Tie Goes to the Runner – Season 3, Episode 1

“I like to celebrate a really good kill. Connects me to my spiritual side.”
Lamster – Season 4, Episode 11

“You were wrong. I’m not human. I am a machine. I’m a fucking Terminator.”
Currency – Season 2, Episode 5

“Like your wife says, hold the fucking position until I tell you I’m done.”
Short Squeeze – Season 1, Episode 4

“Hate is nature’s most perfect energy source. It’s endlessly renewable.”
Optimal Play – Season 2, Episode 3

“I’m a good friend, but a bad fucking enemy.”
Overton Window – Season 4, Episode 4

“I am the sun that warms you and the air that you fucking breathe. Don’t forget it.”
Beg, Bribe, Bully – Season 5 Episode 3

“Your read was good with the information you had. You’re new. You’ll figure it out…or you’ll be gone.”
Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1

“My cholesterol’s high enough. Don’t butter my ass, Danzig. Just get smarter.”
Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1

“Now, you see this is where we are different. I don’t pretend I’m an ordinary guy got lucky. I am a monster…a carnivorous fucking monster. You have to be one!”
The Chris Rock Test – Season 5, Episode 2

“Being a billionaire, when you walk into a room, it’s like being a woman with a perfect set of tits. Or great legs. Or eyes like yours. You know exactly what everyone’s looking at, and you know exactly what they want. You know what that’s like.”
Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1

“Here’s something they didn’t teach you at Stanford, Ben. Whenever you can, put a company in your mouth.”
YumTime – Season 1, Episode 3

Ding Doodles, Cuckoo Nutties and Scrumpets anyone?

“You know, they say that a boy never really becomes a man until he’s buried his father. Now, mine has been dead to me since the moment he walked out when I was 12 years old. I don’t remember if I cried, but I do remember that I was forced to grow the fuck up. So it always warms my heart when I see a boy who still has his father’s shoulder to lean on, his father’s contacts to deploy, his father’s balls clanking around in place of his own, which haven’t quite dropped yet.”
The Kingmaker – Season 2, Episode 8

“The greats never sacrifice the important for the urgent. They handle the immediate problem and still make sure to secure the future. You don’t think I understand what the fuck is going on? You are all playing it safe for the quarter so you have a shot of personally being up on the year. You are ALL SELFISH MOTHERFUCKERS looking to mitigate your downsides and protect your bonuses. The only currency that this firm has…that any firm has these days…is it’s winning streak. The kevlar of knowing the answer. You break that, you break the whole thing. Nobody leaves here until you hand me an idea that I can shock the world with in a few days time!” #FuckingWindowDressing
Currency – Season 2, Episode 5

“What is it you do that you’re the best in the world at? You offer a service you didn’t invent, a formula you didn’t invent, a delivery method you didn’t invent. Nothing about what you do is patentable or a unique user experience. You haven’t identified an isolated market segment, haven’t truly branded your concept. You need me to go on?”
Currency – Season 2, Episode 5

“Pretend we’re having an argument.” and “I’m gonna poke you now.” and “Come bonus time, I am gonna show you enough love, you could start a third family!” (full video of fake fight here)
Quality of Life – Season 1, Episode 10

“Everyone wants to be a lion. Most people just never get the chance. I’m offering you one now.”
The Conversation – Season 1, Episode 12

“When I pull a deal off the table, I leave Nagasaki behind.”
The Conversation – Season 1, Episode 12

“What’s the point of having fuck you money if you never say fuck you?”
Pilot – Season 1, Episode 1

Bobby Axelrod will always be our one in a billion. The End.

Author: Gingersnap

Management Analyst, part-time Adjunct Professor and Computer Software Consultant by day and Damian Lewis aficionado by night.

8 thoughts on “An Ode to Bobby Axelrod: Top 40”

  1. Thank you for this fantastic post! The number of clicks shows what a great post idea this is, and that Billions fans LOVE Bobby Axelrod. This is a brilliant celebration of an iconic antihero. I am so amazed how come you have been able to put together 40 epic quotes in such a short amount of time. Kudos!

    ps. I understand my Brody is your Bobby. But Bobby still has had a much better end than Brody 🙂 He is probably eating fondue with some expensive Bordeaux wine after a good day on ski tracks…

    1. Indeed, Bobby has a much better ending than Brody! Going to miss this guy, the man, on my screen so much. We’ve “borrowed” him from his homeland for many years, so I suppose it’s time we gave him back……for now. See what I did there? 😉

  2. This was brilliant! So many quotes that are iconic, and some I had forgotten about! The sacrifice of having to watch every episode again for this is amazing! 🙂

    Another amazing character we will never see again!

    1. Here’s hoping we see him in Wolf Hall! We can bond over that character again. 🙂 The MVP posts helped for the most part, and I remembered all of the season 1 iconic sayings. But strangely it was the middle seasons I had forgotten and needed to research. Especially season 2 and 3. And can you believe it, but I almost forgot I AM A MONSTER. What!?!? (Slaps forehead with “duh”) It was the last one I added and had to remove another in its place.

    1. You’re welcome! And hopefully we’ll have a few more to add soon since he seems to be reprising his role for the upcoming Season 7.

  3. Hi Gingersnap,

    Great post.

    I noticed that you included our image in your article (Nature didn’t select me. I selected myself by harnessing my nature.). That’s great.

    Just wondering if you could link to as the source?


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