Season 1, Episode 5
Vital statistics
Air date May 20, 2012
Written by Simon Blackwell
Armando Iannucci
Directed by Tristam Shapeero
Episode guide
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That's like trying to use a croissant as a fucking dildo! It doesn't do the job, and it makes a fucking mess!
– Selina

Nicknames is the fifth episode of the first season of the HBO original series Veep. It originally aired on May 20, 2012.


Bloggers' nicknames for Selina become her next obsession; Dan goes on a fact-finding mission after his boss is snubbed by the president; it's make-or-break time for the clean-jobs bill.

Plot Edit

At the Senate, a sleepy Veep presides over a session that will not require her tie-breaking vote. As Selina nods off live on C-Span, Amy fields the first WTF call.

The next morning, Selina's clean-jobs bill is ready for launch as Mike waits to prep her on this evening's speech for the Firefighters Association. Sulking because of the day's light schedule, the Veep walks out on Mike's pitch of fireman gags to castigate Dan for being late. Dan assumed his boss was invited to the White House fiscal-responsibility meeting. Deciding she cannot let this POTUS snub stand, Selina races bare-foot to crash the party.

Convinced that President Hughes is avoiding a confrontation with her, the Veep directs her staff to find out if his support for clean jobs is waning. Dan is the man for the job.

Trying to stop the Veep from "self-Google-ing," Amy, Gary and Mike inform their boss of nicknames bloggers have given her, sparing her the worst. Hearing the litany of derisive monikers, Selina catches a Secret Service agent choking back a guffaw.

Mike's jokes for the Firefighters Association go down in flames. The Veep and Amy work late on the draft bill for clean jobs. The Secret Service agent snickers his way out of a job. Gary's first Zumba class is ruined by the Veep's desire for crab-cakes.

Selina discovers she's not so thick-skinned after she presses for more blogger VP handles. "Viagra Prohibitor" really hurts and Selina instructs Amy to stop the nickname search.

Dan agrees to see a head-banger band with Jonah in order to pump him for information. In the mosh pit, Jonah exalts his favorite band: Dan tries to connect with Jonah's enthusiasm, "That's exactly how I feel about the clean-jobs legislation." How high on the POTUS agenda it will be is to be revealed tomorrow.

As work wraps up, Selina ponders what she would do with the tanking economy. Amy warns Selina not to put herself in the President's shoes: "It's the VP bear-trap." In the hallway, Amy and Selina make nice with oil guy Sydney Purcell who not-so-gently informs Amy that the clean jobs bill will never happen.

The next day, Dan and Mike play devil's advocate on the clean jobs bill. Dan argues that blue-collar Americans will be wiped out if the bill passes - labeling the legislation "class genocide." Mike's chief criticism is that he didn't fully understand it.

But all the prepping, re-drafting and Jonah-romancing comes to naught when Hughes decides the fiscal responsibility bill is priority #1 - dropping the clean-jobs bill.

Selina fumes at being so caught off guard. The blogger with the dirt was using a Veep nickname the staff hadn't tracked, "Mrs. Doubt-Meyer." Amy and Mike oppose Dan's idea of having a sympathetic senator add the best parts of the clean-jobs legislation to the fiscal responsibility bill. It would be disloyal. Dan claims Sen. Macauley is sponsoring the amendment anyway, so Selina wouldn't be stabbing the President in the back.

A trip to Paris is postponed when the Veep must cast the deciding vote on the Macauley Amendment. If the bill passes, the meat of the Veep's clean-jobs policy would be enacted. Selina wants to vote her conscience but doesn't know what that is. Dan hates the policy but says vote for it and back your own agenda. Amy wants her to vote against their pet project because the President doesn't want it.

A dispirited Veep wonders why she even got into politics, after having to pull the plug on her own beloved policy initiative. But her day only gets worse when President Hughes - via Jonah - puts her in charge of the obesity program. "I've got to say, ‘I'm the Vice President of the United States, put the cupcake down!' That's now my job?"


Main castEdit

Guest castEdit

Reception Edit

"Nicknames" received very positive reviews, arguably the highest of the season. The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+.

Trivia Edit

-The Nicknames subplot was originally in the Pilot script.

-Filmed November 7 - 9, 2011. This episode was filmed after the subsequent episode, Baseball.

Gallery Edit

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