10 all-time classic Pete Malloy quotes from Adam-12

Martin Milner’s sarcasm and perfect delivery were some of the best things about the show.

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Though producer (and Dragnet star) Jack Webb made sure Adam-12 portrayed real police procedures as accurately as possible, that doesn’t mean the show was dull or tedious – far from it! Along with many dramatic high-stakes moments, the classic cop series showed many funny and bizarre scenes as well. 

The dynamic between Pete Malloy and Jim Reed was the heart of the show. A seasoned veteran shaping his rookie partner into one of the best officers on the force produced many great episodes. But that doesn’t mean their relationship was always problem-free.

Martin Milner captured both Malloy’s good heart and dedication to the job as well as his sarcastic wit and wry personality. 

Here are some of our favorite funny, admirable and even profound Pete Malloy quotes.

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1. “A wise man once said, ‘Great hazards accompany innovation.’”


When Reed asks who said this insightful quote, Malloy responds, "Me!"

2. “It would be a pretty dull world if everybody was the same, Mr. Reardon.”


Malloy's response to crotchety old Mr. Reardon (played by one of classic TV's best "old man" character actors, Burt Mustin) who doesn't want hippies in his neighborhood. 

3. “There’s nothing wrong with being quiet; sometimes it’s a virtue.”


Reed had a tendency to talk Malloy's ear off. This was one time Malloy assured Reed that silence inside the 1-Adam-12 patrol car was never a bad thing.

4. “I should've listened to me.”


Sometimes we go against our better instincts. This Malloy quote illustrates that feeling perfectly.

5. “No, I do not want to spend the rest of the watch trying to figure out why anybody would keep a boa constrictor as a house pet.”


Reed hadn't even asked anything yet before Malloy shot back this response. Malloy knew Reed would want to talk about the strange encounter they just had, but Malloy knew there was no point in speculating about something that, to him, was incomprehensible.

6. “The subject of marriage came up.”


The reason why part of bachelor Malloy's day off with a lady friend didn't go so well.

7. “Give him a ball of yarn and he could knit us both a sweater.”


Reed remarks that a car in front of them is weaving, which prompts Malloy to make this joke. Fun fact: the tipsy driver in this scene is played by Hal Smith, a.k.a. Mayberry's own town drunk, Otis Campbell.

8. “I know I’m not the fastest guy in the world, but today, as far as you’re concerned, I’m Olympic material. You understand?”


Sometimes Malloy had to keep his young partner in check.

9. “It’s my allowance, Mother. I can spend it on whatever I want!”


One of Malloy's most sarcastic quips, it comes after Reed chastises him for wanting to by a boat.

10. Last but certainly not least, Malloy's famous patrol car speech from the first episode:


“This black and white patrol car has an overhead valve V8 engine. It develops 325 horsepower at 4800 RPM's. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in seven seconds; it has a top speed of 120 miles an hour. It's equipped with a multi channeled DFE radio and an electronic siren capable of admitting three variables: wail, yelp, and alert. It also serves as an outside radio speaker and public address system. The automobile has two shotgun racks, one attached to the bottom portion of the front seat, one in the vehicle trunk. Attached to the middle of the dash, illuminated by a single bulb, is a hot sheet desk - fastened to which you will always make sure is the latest one off the teletype before you ever roll.”

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Bdslim 19 months ago
That's what she said...
I have the video to prove to it 😀
BrianMcNeil 20 months ago
Not bad, but my favorite is when they were dealing with the german wanna be's investigating the swastika on the lawn when Malloy stars taking notes and the head person ask him what he writing and Malloy says I'm writing an FI report and the guy asked what's a FI Foolish idiot and Malloy says in your case yes
jerrygon 24 months ago
"Strawberry fox still moves pretty good", (after Malloy catches a perp that outran Reed).
Toot1956 24 months ago
At end #10" he added it may your life one day"
jerrygon 24 months ago
Bounty hunter: You really go by the book don't you?

(Pete Malloy): "That's why they wrote it."
RichLorn 24 months ago
Here's one they missed:
"If I have to listen to one more rant from Joe Friday, I'm going to pull my gun."
RazzMatazz71 RichLorn 15 months ago
When did they say that?🤔
jerrygon 24 months ago
Martin Milner was the best thing about Adam-12. I could have come up with 50 quotes from the show right off the top of my head!
VanHalen 24 months ago
When house hunting, in FL, we went into a house to view that had a baby boa in a glass cage. Walked out immediately, if not sooner. People, in America, are getting very "unusual" to say the least.
guywriter 24 months ago
There's a typo in #9. "By" should be "buy."
MsRockford74 24 months ago
I really like Pete's ending monologue in "Elegy of a Pig." "Tonight's newspaper will report it all. Old news. From now on, she'll have to open her own doors. Carry her own troubles. And her children's. Alone. From now on, it's just the three of them, instead of just the four. And if there must be a final postscript to all of this, then let it here be noted: the coffin will soon be buried. He will be forgotten except by a very few. Out of sight, out of mind. And strangely enough, in view of current custom, no one will raise a placard to denounce his senseless murder. No one will raise indignant cries of protest at the shedding of his blood. No one will march in anger because of his death." That's a hard episode, but an important one.
JJWhorley MsRockford74 24 months ago
I had never seen this episode till a few months ago and my heart was broken. I wish everyone could see this, from the police officer's POV. What kind of person chooses this as a profession? Every day going to work, dealing with the most messed up of us, angriest of us, most evil of us, and then is attacked for doing their job? Knowing every beginning of shift might be their last day on Earth? They do the most, yet have the most thankless career in this day and age. I worked transcribing police reports a couple of decades ago and I couldn't believe the stuff these people go through every day. And yet some of the best people I've ever met. I'm glad there are people who have the right stuff it takes to choose this profession and put up with the public abuse. I couldn't do it. And I'm sorry there's so much evil in this world that we even need the police. But we need them now more than ever!
jerrygon JJWhorley 24 months ago
I couldn't agree with you more. God bless police officers.
1931msm1952 MsRockford74 23 months ago
He was the best of the best. This quote from "Elegy of a Pig" wasn't just read by Marty Milner as an actor. You could tell he was sincere in saying every word. He was a good man and won't be forgotten.
Runeshaper 24 months ago
Never watched the show, but love the quotes!
Andybandit 24 months ago
His quotes are funny. #5 is so true. I hate snakes. Pete did to on the Adam-12.
ma2lyssa 24 months ago
Numbers four and five are my favorites 😆
MrsPhilHarris 24 months ago
I haven’t seen Adam-12 for years. Not even when it ran on METV last year or whenever it was.
cheryl1725 MrsPhilHarris 24 months ago
It's still on MeTV. 5 pm eastern time.
MrsPhilHarris cheryl1725 24 months ago
Really lol! I hadn’t noticed. 🤣
ELEANOR 24 months ago
I happened to see Martin Milner on Tattletales and I have concluded that he is just a regular person.
MamaOfTheFurriez ELEANOR 24 months ago
I remember when he was in that episode of "Columbo" and he was the bookwriter.
Beta6 MamaOfTheFurriez 24 months ago
I love Columbo but somehow, though I always try to watch..I missed that one.
CaptainDunsel 24 months ago
I wonder what Pete Malloy and Lennie Briscoe would have made of each other.
cheryl1725 CaptainDunsel 24 months ago
They probably would have been besties trying to out do each other.
LoveMETV22 CaptainDunsel 24 months ago
Would have been fun if Malloy and Briscoe were paired, just for the back and forth. LOL
harlow1313 24 months ago
I like the one where that one guy, the nicotine addicted detective, said, "Just the facts, Ma'am." That was cool. "Dum - - - de - DUM - DUM"
LOL! Yeah, "Dum - - - de - DUM - DUM" is the wrong song for Adam 12. So we know they mean Dragnet! Same Jack Webb creation though!
cheduff harlow1313 24 months ago
“Just one more thing….”
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