Cookie Lyon is one sassy lady. As played by Taraji P. Henson, she has given FOX’s hit series Empire plenty of spark. And no wonder.
After spending 17 years in prison in order to protect her husband, Lucious (Terrence Howard), Cookie came back with a vengeance to get her share of what she felt was rightfully hers – Empire Entertainment.
And she got it. Well, almost.
It was quite a bumpy ride, though. The first season of Empire ended with a hostile corporate takeover in the wings and Cookie’s sons – Andre (Trai Byers), Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Jamal (Jussie Smollett) – all at odds with each other. Oh, and Lucious got carted off by the FBI on a murder charge.
Still, you just know the game ain’t over yet.
There were a lot of sassy lines coming out of Cookie’s mouth along the way. And they got better as the season went on. And so, it’s only fitting to look back and salute it all with our countdown of the 10 sassiest lines delivered by Cookie Lyon:
10: “Cookie’s comin’ home!”
From Episode 1: They’re not that sassy, but they are Cookie’s first words outside the prison gates. And you just know that, before too long, there’s going to be a lot cooking with Cookie.
9: “For a queen, you sure do keep a messy place. What you need is a good maid up in here.”
Also from Episode 1: The just-released Cookie doesn’t waste a lot of time on emotion as she reunites with her gay son, Jamal, inside his apartment. It’s not hard to see he’s her favorite.
8: “Get rid of fake-ass Halle Berry. As long as she’s around, I’m closed for business. It’s either me or her, Lucious. But if you stick with me, I’ll give you something she can’t. I will make you immortal.”
From Episode 8: After Cookie and Lucious spend the night together, she advises her ex to dump his new fiancée, Anika (Grace Gealey). But those lines are really just a setup for the real zinger that follows: “You want Cookie’s nookie, ditch the bitch!”
7: “The Lucious Lyon I knew would tell those idiots the streets ain’t made for everybody. That’s why they made sidewalks. I liked you better when you was a thug.”
From Episode 2: Cookie cuts into Lucious as he prepares to go on TV to ease growing public furor over an Empire artist who had been mired in controversy because of a shooting. Oh, and she also accuses Lucious of “growing a vagina.”
6: Another double-zinger: “Yeah, that’s my name. Take a bite!” and “Aw, come on. Take these cookies. Take ’em. I won’t tell!”
From Episode 9: A thoroughly wasted Cookie tries to get it on with her bodyguard, Malcolm (Derek Luke), as he loads her into a vehicle. Malcolm manages to resist temptation then, but he does get a heaping helping of those cookies a couple of episodes later.
5: “I tell you what. You enjoy your little playtime with my son. But my baby is a superstar. And he ain’t settlin’ for no cougar bitch who’s clearly taking advantage of his mommy issues. Have your little fun, Boo Boo.”
From Episode 8: Cookie dresses down Hakeem’s older photographer/girlfriend, Camilla (Naomi Campbell), during the Lyons’ “White Party.”
4: “She workin’ with Beretti. Yeah, while you up in here planning weddings, this bitch plannin’ how to steal everything you got, which is everything I got. And I’m not gonna let that happen. Tell him, Boo Boo Kitty!”
From Episode 9: Cookie barges in on Lucious and Anika as they meet with their wedding planner, breaking the news that Anika is actually conspiring with an archrival record mogul to ruin Lucious and Empire Records.
3: “You’re on a dark path, Lucious. You’re goin’ down. I’m not going to let you take my company with you. … Seventeen years, bitch! … Everybody’s just waiting for you to die, Lucious. You gonna die a lonely man, just like you deserve. You gonna need Cookie!”
From Episode 11: Cookie’s reaction is clear as Lucious orders security guards to remove her from the Empire building. Oh, come on! Did she really think Lucious would be OK when he found out Malcolm had nibbled on Cookie’s cookies?
2: “If you weren’t already dying, Lucious, I swear I’d kill your ass!”
Also from Episode 11: It’s not the type of, uh, “pillow talk” that you’d expect as Cookie stands over a sedated Lucious while he is sleeping. Turns out she meant it a few minutes later – after the semiconscious Lucious mumbles on about what really happened to Cookie’s cousin, Bunkie (Antoine McKay).
1: “Tell me why I shouldn’t throw this drink in your bitch-ass face.”
From Episode 12, the season finale: Yowza. It’s no surprise that Cookie and Anika would always be at odds, even as they were about to team up in a hostile-takeover plan along with Andre and Hakeem. No wonder the uneasy alliance quickly turned into a face-punching, hair-pulling catfight.
© 2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX