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Voight's Greatest One-Liners On Chicago P.D.

"Chicago P.D." isn't a typical police procedural, and that's largely thanks to Jason Beghe's morally gray Sergeant Hank Voight. Despite being one of the most likable characters on "Chicago P.D." and the head of the Chicago Police Department's Intelligence Unit, Voight's method of handling criminals and cases is best described as effective madness. This earns him both respect and wariness from those closest to him. He's just upholding justice the only way he knows how: by whatever means necessary. No matter if he needs to use physical force or put a toe over the line of the law — occasionally even stepping entirely over it — he will get the job done. 

If the "Chicago P.D." protagonist and "Chicago Fire” guest star is known for anything, it's this dogged pursuit of justice. But if he's known for anything else, it's the quick quips he makes while he's doing his job. Voight's sass is nearly unmatched in the "Chicago" TV universe. Though he's gone through quite the transformation over the years he's graced fans' televisions, he's never stopped having zingers at the ready. In celebration of his sizzling wit, we've carefully collected the greatest one-liners Voight utters on "Chicago P.D." Some are inspiring, while others are downright vicious, but all of them are classic Voight.

A horrifying gift

After one of his officers is shot, Voight blatantly threatens a witness who may have a connection with the shooter in Season 6's "This City." "If I don't get a name," he says menacingly, "I'll cut your head clean off and give it to your mother." He clearly has no qualms with making violent threats. And though he's never detached a body part from a suspect, his threats aren't exactly the idle type.

As lawless as this aggressive one-liner makes the CPD sergeant seem, some fans think Voight's anti-hero characteristics are a huge highlight of the series. In a Reddit thread dedicated to fans' unpopular opinions regarding the show, one user said, "Hank Voight is at his best when he is beating the sh*** out of scumbags." This sentiment does not, in fact, seem to be an unpopular one, as many fans responded to the comment with agreement.

This line is definitely one of Voight's most extreme. But it's not just around to shock viewers: It showcases his willingness to go as far as he needs to bring justice, especially when it concerns his own people.

It's all about boundaries

Sergeant Hank Voight has a thing about lines. He's crossed enough of them himself, but he's not very tolerant of other people stepping over boundaries he's established. The series' very first episode, "Stepping Stone," makes it clear right out of the gate that he's not a cop bad guys want to play around with. After making a very literal line in the dirt, he utters a bone-chilling threat to a suspect who's landed himself on his bad side: "See that? You cross this line, it'll land you in the bottom of the river."

This is yet another example of Voight blurring the line between bad guy and justice-bringer. He clearly has no qualms about threatening those he deems worthy of an early grave. Were he to follow through on the chilling promise, it wouldn't be the first time a bad guy found himself without a pulse thanks to the scary sergeant. Voight has definitely disposed of his fair share of bodies. The threat is both exaggerated and believable, which makes it absolutely terrifying.

Hank Voight inspires fear

In the Season 10 opener "Let it Bleed," Voight explains that he's a different breed of cop who isn't afraid to play the bad guy. While most officers are in the business of appearing as morally good and uncorrupt as possible, Voight has no qualms with being seen as a villain, especially if it helps keep the criminals of Chicago on their best behavior. This leads him to deliver a sobering one-liner: "Every fear you've ever had about cops is gonna come true."

Voight isn't the sort of true monster who uses his police ties to methodically kill criminals. However, he certainly does use his hands for more than just putting bad guys in handcuffs. Voight has more than one murder under his belt, and has threatened many others. Even though he has an internal moral code he follows and always strives to do what he feels is right and just, he's far from a straight and narrow cop. He knows this, and he wants criminals to know it too. Suffice it to say, he gets his message across loud and clear, especially through one-liners like this.

Don't hurt Voight's feelings

While Hank Voight doesn't shy away from threats or acts of physical violence, he's also fully capable of simply looking menacing. Consider the moment in Season 2's "The Weigh Station" when he utters the seemingly innocent line, "That hurt my feelings," right after a suspect gets handcuffed and spits dangerously close to him. There is next to no violence in his voice when he says it, but his face has destruction written all over it — specifically, the kind of destruction he's capable of bringing upon the perpetrator, were he to soil Voight's shoes with spittle. 

With the amount of aggression Voight puts out into the universe on a regular basis, it's kind of refreshing to see that he can tone it all the way down. Even when he's saying totally normal words in a placid tone of voice, however, he still gets the message across: He is not someone to mess with. It's also always nice that Voight can throw a little humor into the mix when he's intimidating bad guys. The sassy side of his personality, which can sometimes get lost in the seriousness of his career, is one of his fans' favorite things about him.

Inspiring strength in hard times

Season 5's "Profiles," which crosses over with "Chicago Fire," is a climactic installment of "Chicago P.D." After Sergeant Platt is revealed to be among the victims of a very public bombing, Voight says, "Nothing's dead until we pronounce it." This line not only displays his steely resolve and moral code in a profound way, it also illuminates who Voight is at his core. Beyond all the menace and violence, Voight cares for his people. This one-liner is his attempt to inspire some nerve in the officers he's working with: It tells them not to quit until the very last flicker of hope has dissipated. This moving show of strength is exactly what's needed in such a dire moment. Many of Voight's best lines are cutting, scary, or just plain cool. But this one hits deep in an entirely different way, being rooted in compassionate strength. Plus, it sounds awesome in his husky, raspy voice.

Voight takes responsibility

As harsh, brash, and downright violent as Hank Voight can be, he also has many straightforwardly positive qualities. He loves hard, and would do practically anything for the ones he cares about and is responsible for. His people at the Chicago P.D. are, of course, in this select group — he would burn the world for them. Perhaps even more meaningfully, he openly demands that they come to him when they mess up or are in trouble.

Season 6's "Trust" sees Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) take the blame for a crime committed by Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), much to Voight's displeasure. After slamming Adam into a locker, Voight passionately reminds him that he overstepped, saying, "This is my unit. My unit. I take the heat, I take the bullets. Is that clear?" 

This quote is a prime example of that attitude. Voight is putting himself in the line of fire for whatever heat his unit may take for their actions. He'll absorb the consequences for his people, whether it comes from the higher-ups in the CPD or a gun-wielding criminal in the field. This is one of Voight's best characteristics, and definitely his most classically noble. He knows what his position entails, and he faces it head-on. That's how much his officers and his job mean to him.

Lying for the team

Hank Voight's dedication to his job and self-sacrificing attitude when it comes to the people he holds dear are definitely his biggest redeeming qualities. So it comes as no shock that one of his best-ever one-liners perfectly displays these traits. Notably, Voight deploys this line all the way back in the very first episode of the long-running series. It goes on to become one of his most commonly repeated quips. "Tell me the truth so I can lie for you," he says.

As one Twitter user pointed out, this line evidences how ready Voight always is to help his team. He's eternally trying to find ways to get them out of hot water — which means he's always expecting hot water in the first place. This is a stressful way to live, but one he embraces as part of his chosen career. Voight not only demands to take responsibility for his people, even when it means taking some brutal falls, he also requires them to follow his orders and tell him the full truth, so that he can handle a situation accordingly. Sometimes, that requires him to formulate a lie and cook up a complex plan. But he's ready to do that, no matter the circumstances. This line perfectly encapsulates this attitude, and the deep-seated love for his team that powers it. No matter what, Voight offers up his service in exchange for their trust.

Individuality is key

It's easy to assume Voight keeps things brief and brutal, but in fact, he gets deep on more than one occasion. He is also fully aware that the violence and aggression he puts out into the world are not completely positive things. Voight understands himself as something of a necessary evil in Chicago, capable of counteracting the massive amount of criminal activity and corruption in the city as other figures and forces can't. But even though he feels he's justified, he doesn't want those he's responsible for to follow in his morally gray footsteps.

This is why, when Antonio starts acting a little too much like Voight in Season 6's "New Normal," Voight attempts to set the record straight and stop Antonio's transition in its tracks. "The best thing you can be is you. The best thing I can be is me," Voight says to his second-in-command. He needs Antonio to focus on his individual strengths, rather than attempt to become his clone.

"There's a reason why he has a team," Jason Beghe told TV Insider, while explaining how Voight handles leading officers who are vastly different from himself. "He doesn't want a team of eight Voights." This is an excellent aspect of his personality, and good for Chicago. We're not totally sure one city could handle more than one Voight, let alone an entire team of them.

Hank Voight, criminal critic

Hank Voight can be pretty cheeky when the mood strikes him, and it would be a crime not to include the one-liners that showcase that unforgettable sass on this list. Sure, fans love listening to his ashy voice deliver blistering threats to Chicago's worst bad guys. But they also love hearing him deploy chuckle-worthy zingers that make up for their lack of violence with some seriously brutal wit.

In Season 6's "The Forgotten," Voight interrogates Tony (Tevion Lanier), a suspect who may have something to do with the murder of one of Voight's longtime informants. Tony was a less-than-talented delinquent in his youth, apparently, and, according to Voight, should probably find a new line of work. "You did three stretches for burglary," Voight chides. "You're not a very good criminal, Tony." Ouch.

As one Twitter user put it, "Voight is so sassy it's scary." This sharp wit is indeed just one more thing that makes Voight an intimidating guy. While some of his more saucy one-liners may be breaks in the seemingly never-ending string of aggressive threats he throws around, even Voight's low-key quips have bite. Telling Tony he's bad at breaking the law is funny, but it doesn't actually make him any less threatening, especially since it's delivered in a high-stress situation. If anything, it might make him a little more menacing.

Wiping the smugness off someone's face

Voight can be funny, and he can also be pretty darn horrifying to the criminals on the receiving end of his threats. When these two seemingly oppositional sides of the CPD sergeant come together, it's like a perfectly sweet and salty meal — one that the bad guys hope won't be their last.

"That smug face you're wearing, Voight says, as he stares down a suspect in the interrogation room in Season 2's "Chicken, Dynamite, Chainsaw," "it's going to come off." This suspect has just been connected to the kidnapping of his own daughter and another teenage girl, something Voight is understandably not happy with.

Fans eat up Voight's ability to mix humor with bone-chilling threats. This warning is a classic example of that approach. Voight's cheekiness is easy to love, in large part because he channels it into such cuttingly funny lines. But quips like this one, which lean more fully into outright menace, take that humor in a different direction. It lingers long after the credits roll.

Born into the storm

Voight goes head-to-head with criminals all the time, and seemingly always comes out on top. The perseverance and grit that enables his survival is reflected in one of his best lines, which arrives in Season 7's "Brother's Keeper": "I was born into the storm but it did not slow me."

This line is almost identical to a famous quote from Andrew Jackson: "I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me." This is an interesting nod to the former president, who was often described as a headstrong and combative person — sound familiar? Like Jackson, Voight is drawn to intense situations, which definitely helps him get through tough times. His pull towards conflict is so strong, one wonders if Voight could have ever done anything with his life except joining the police force. He isn't a man looking to slow down. Good thing, too — his job offers him very few opportunities to rest on his laurels.

Voight's love for Chicago

Voight sees and does a lot over the course of "Chicago P.D." Much of it is ugly. Despite all he goes through, he continues on, because he loves Chicago. "This city is always beautiful," he muses, "even when it isn't." Hearing something so loving come out of his mouth after years of brutal quips about horrific events throws fans for a loop. But it's also the engine that powers him through all that blood and misery. Voight can always find beauty in his home, even when his job puts him in close contact with the hideous things that happen there.

"Voight is full of love, and I've always said that," Jason Beghe told ONTVtoday while discussing his character's journey. "I think he's totally motivated by love, and perhaps I'm a Pollyanna, but I think all people are. They just have different ways of expressing it and processing it. Voight loves his team, and he'd give his life for any one of them. And he loves Chicago."

When you think of all the worst things Hank Voight has done, "loving" probably isn't the first descriptor that comes to mind. But it's absolutely true. All the tough and seedy acts Voight commits come from an ironclad core of love for his job, his team, and above all, Chicago as a whole. With him acting in its name, the city is made a little bit safer every day.