– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Welcome to The Top 5, where every week, we list five things for a given topic. These topics can range from “5 Things We Liked About The Power Rangers Teaser Trailer” to “5 Things We Want (Or Don’t Want) In Ben Affleck’s The Batman.”

Of course, because everyone has an opinion, there is sure to be some disagreements, which is why, despite the title “The Top 5,” very rarely are these actual “best of” articles. Instead, they’re meant to provide entertaining insight, and to stir a discussion, and give everyone a chance to speak their mind. 

If you have a suggestion for a Top 5 piece, send them my way via #TheTop5LRM on Twitter. If I choose your topic, I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout!

Now, on with today’s topic!


While I may have had relatively high hopes for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events based on the talent involved, I don’t think I quite expected to be as smart and as verbosely inclined as it ended up being. From its amazing set design to its dark sense of humor and sharp writing, it really was the event of the season. As someone with only a passing familiarity with the source material, it was a happy discovery.

There were many highlight characters of the season. Count Olaf was deliciously devious, and each of the Baudelaire guardians had their own distinctive quirks, but I found myself taken by Mr. Poe, the executor of the Baudelaire estate from Mulctuary Money Management. Ambitious, stupid, and thickheaded, Mr. Poe was not only a wonderful source of dark comedy throughout the season, but a perfect personification of the theme that adults have no idea what they’re doing.

Here are 5 hilarious quotes from Mr. Poe in A Series of Unfortunate Events!


“I’ve never been through anything like this myself, but I can imagine just how you feel.”

There are many lines at the beginning that could have been a harbinger of things to come, but I think this was the perfect indicator. In one line, we get the impression that this world is full of folks too caught up in their own lives to properly even pretend to give a damn about the kids and their well-being. Like many characters in the series, Mr. Poe only cares at the most surface of levels about whether or not the kids live or die, and is only half-assedly trying to say things he thinks someone should say under such circumstances.


“Oh, don’t be silly, children. It is quite shocking that Doctor Montgomery has died, but I am not going to simply hand you and your fortune over to his assistant. Not without some very thorough paperwork.”

This line follows the unexpected death of the Baudelaires’ second guardian, Montgomery Montgomery. The man was apparently killed one of his own snakes, and the only one there apart from the children is the shifty-eyed Stefano — who, of course, is really only Count Olaf in disguise.

This another perfect verbalization of the main theme of the story. Sure, it’d be perfectly ideal if the kids had a lovely and peaceful existence with a guardian who cares for them. But at the end of the day, the protection they’ll receive only goes so far as the paperwork allows. God forbid any sort of real logic or common sense be brought into the picture. Sadly, the fortunes rarely fall in the Baudelaires’ favor, and as children, they’re always left with the impossible task of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt why they can’t be left on the doorstep of a stranger looking to steal their inheritance.


“You can’t just start jumping to conclusions. You’ve jumped to the conclusion that this note is a forgery, and now you’re jumping to the conclusion that a villainous man who swore he’d stop at nothing until he got a hold of your parents’ enormous fortune is involved in some plot to get a hold of your parent’s enormous fortune.”

Mr. Poe spouts this gold-laden line following the apparent death of the Baudelaires’ third guardian, Aunt Josephine, who was believed to have committed suicide by jumping out of the window. Left on a nearby table was a letter written in her hand, declaring disdain for the world and passing her guardianship of the kids to Captain Sham, who she had only met the day before (as I’m sure you know, this was, once again, Count Olaf in disguise).

This is another prime example of stupid bureaucratic-type humor at work. While all common sense would dictate that the oddly-named Captain Sham should be looked upon with a critical eye, Mr. Poe’s common sense begins and ends at the length of the sheet of paper on which his contracts are written. Like many other of the numerous witty lines in the show, it lays on a thick coat irony in an over-long sentence, and the only ones smart enough to realize that are the very kids, who are too young to be taken seriously.


“Oh, come now, that won’t work either, again.”

After being consistently fooled by Count Olaf’s Captain Sham, it takes Sunny chewing down his peg leg to a splinter for Mr. Poe to realize that the captain isn’t who he says he is. Obviously, this is the third-plus time, Mr. Poe has been hoodwinked by Olaf, and rather than immediately head for the hills, Olaf tries his best to talk his way out of it — it worked before, right?

The quote above is in response to Olaf pulling out his business cards and claiming that the name “Captain Sham” on them is proof that he isn’t Count Olaf. Like most of the characters in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Mr. Poe is prone to make the same mistake not just twice, but at least a handful of times, but he assures Olaf that he won’t fall for that again. We certainly doubt that’s the case.


“I think you children will have a good home here. I hope so anyway, because I just received a promotion. Vice President of Orphan Affairs — which means I’ll be too busy to check in on you orphans.”

As we reach the end of the first season of the series, the Baudelaires once again find themselves without a guardian and without a home. Although, despite the general incompetence of Mr. Poe over the course of the story, he is, in a way, one of the only real consistencies they’ve had. Now, in another twist of ironic fate, his incompetence has led Mr. Poe to a promotion as the VP of Orphan Affairs.

This promotion is proven even more ironic when it leads Poe to care even less about the kids in their fate — as he’s now far too busy to properly take care of them. Rather than saddle them with yet another guardian, Poe has opted to send them straight to boarding school, which is sure to help them “build character.”

Once again, Mr. Poe’s stupidity and selfishness stand between the orphans and their happiness. This is quite fitting, given the tone of the source material, and as the ending song states, with this story, “there’s no happy ending, not here and not now.” We’ll have to wait around until next season to see what misfortune lies ahead for the Baudelaires.

What were some of your favorite quotes from Mr. Poe? Let us know down below!

A Series of Unfortunate Events is streaming now on Netflix!

Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.