For nine years Special Agent Seeley Booth has graced our screens and melted our hearts with a plethora of subtle yet affectionate gestures, furtive glances, and tender sentiments reserved exclusively for the love of his life, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan.
In their journey from partners to friends to lovers and then to parents and finally spouses, these two have irritated, influenced, challenged, nurtured, cherished, and loved each other… and we’ve had the exquisite pleasure of witnessing it all.
Critics warned that the magical Booth-Brennan allure would fade once they became lovers, and, though their intimate interactions have matured along with their relationship, that Booth-y eloquence and passion remains a staple of the Lightening-In-A-Bottle that is Bones.
From their first on-screen squabble at Dulles International (or American college, if you want to get technical) to their Jeffersonian rose garden wedding vows and beyond, we’ve laughed, wept, and held our breath alongside Booth and Brennan for nearly a decade. Come with us as we recall a smattering of the classics, and then revisit some of Booth’s more recent expressions of love for Brennan.
#43 “You’re great at what you do, Bones, but you don’t solve murders. Cops do.”
Booth: “Homicides, they’re not solved by scientists. They’re solved by guys like me asking a thousand questions, catching people telling lies every time. You’re great at what you do, but you don’t solve murders. Cops do.”
Intuitive Booth knows exactly what to say to goad a competitive Brennan into working with him to solve crime.
#42 “No, Bones, you do fight crime. It’s not a fantasy. As far as any normal person is concerned, you do have super powers.”
Brennan: “You think I’m just like him, that he hid from life by immersing himself in a fantasy world where he fought crime, and I do the same thing, only I don’t have superpowers. I have science.”
Booth: “No, Bones, you do fight crime. It’s not a fantasy. As far as any normal person is concerned, you do have superpowers.”
#41 “I know who you are.”
Brennan: “I’m Dr. Temperance Brennan. I work at the Jeffersonian Institution. I’m a forensic anthropologist. I specialize in identifying people who nobody knows who they are. My father was a science teacher and my mother was a bookkeeper. My brother… I have a brother. I’m Dr. Temperance Brennan…”
Booth: “I know who you are. Hey, I know. It’s OK. Shh. It’s gonna be all right.”
Overwhelmed with all the terrible surprises — her name having been changed, her mother’s possible affair with Vince McVicar, and her father’s alleged abuse may—Brennan breaks down.
#40 “Our perceptions are always colored by what we hope, what we fear, what we love. We do the best we can…It’s a guy hug. Take it.”
Brennan: “I sure know how to pick ’em, don’t I?”
Booth: “Well, you know, our perceptions are always colored by what we hope, what we fear, what we love. We do the best we can.”
Brennan: “I’m afraid my best isn’t good enough. I can read bones, not people.”
Booth: “Oh, you know, you had no trouble seeing through me.”
Brennan: “It’s a good thing I like being alone.”
Booth: “You know what, Bones? You’re not alone. Okay?”
Booth: “You’re my partner, ok? It’s a guy hug. Take it.”
A man Brennan went on a date with turned out to be the deranged murderer of the victim she and Booth were trying to solve. Booth offers solace.
#39 “There’s more than one kind of family.”
Booth: “You know what? I’m sorry that you had to go through it again. Watching your family drive off, you know, leaving you behind.”
Brennan: “My father is…”
Booth: “He’s your dad. And he loves you.”
Brennan: “You know, I’m just I’m just one of those people who doesn’t get to be in a family.”
Booth: “That’s Listen, Bones. Hey, there’s more than one kind of family.”
#38 “Everything happens eventually.”
Booth: “Give it time Bones, okay? Give it time. Everything happens eventually.”
Booth: “All the good stuff. And when you think it never happens, it happens. Just got to be ready for it.”
Brennan turned down Sully’s request that she take a year off and sail away with him. Sully was truly in love with Brennan, but she couldn’t leave… most likely because of her attachment to Booth.
#37 “Making. Love. That’s when two people become one.”
Booth: “Here we are. All of us, basically alone, separate creatures just circling each other. All searching for that slightest hint of a real connection. Some look in the wrong places, some they just give up hope because in their mind they’re thinking oh, there’s nobody out there for me’. But all of us, we keep trying over and over again, why? Because every once in a while, every once in a while two people meet and there’s that spark. And yes Bones, he’s handsome and she’s beautiful… And maybe that’s all they see at first… But making love? Making. Love. That’s when two people become one.”
A participant at a retreat for people who get aroused by pretending to be ponies or riders gets murdered. Afterward, Booth says those fetishists were having ‘crappy sex.’ Brennan questions his assessment, giving him the opportunity to deliver inarguably the hottest soliloquy in television history.
#36 “That’s a lot of heart, Bones.”
Booth: “That’s a lot of heart,” he says in a choked voice when compelled to answer a question, then continues, “Could Bones have killed Kirby? Temperance Brennan, I’ve worked with this woman I’ve stood over death with her I’ve faced down death down with her. Sweets he’s brilliant, he is, but he’s wrong. She could not have done this.”
#35 “There is someone for everyone, someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. All right? You just have to be open enough to see it.”
Booth: “You know what? If Mark and Jason don’t know how lucky they are, they don’t deserve you in the first place.”
Brennan: “All relationships are temporary.”
Booth: “No, that’s not true, Bones. You’re wrong. Okay, there is someone for everyone, someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. All right? You just have to be open enough to see it. That’s all.”
Brennan was dating two men: sleeping with one, going out publicly with the other. When the two men find out about each other, they both break up with her.
#34 “It is worth it. And everything around it is worth it….Every moment. Everything is worth it.”
Brennan: “I’m not convinced that loving someone is worth it.”
Booth: “I’ve got a son and it’s worth it.”
Brennan: “Even if he died?”
Booth: “Whoa! Bones don’t even say anything like that. Don’t even put that out there. It is worth it. And everything around it is worth it… Every moment. Everything is worth it.”
While solving the case of Ken Nakamura’s sister whom he was extraordinarily close to, Brennan sees Nakamura’s intense pain over the loss and questions the wisdom of love.
#33 “Would you come in there with me?”
Booth: “Would you come in there with me?”
Brennan: “No. I’ll see you in recovery. I’m not a neurologist, Booth, or a surgeon.”
Brennan: “Yeah, but you’re a genius and that’s good enough for me. Plus, you’ll know if they screw up.”
Booth anxiously waits in pre-op for his brain surgery, calmed only by resting his eyes on Brennan’s comforting face. Wanting to be with her as long as possible, and frightened out of his mind, he makes an unreasonable request. She, of course, says yes.
#32 “You know, Bones, I think your heart muscle is bigger than people give you credit for.”
Max tells Brennan that to be alone at Christmas means not having love. An innocent victim who leaves behind only his mother is killed. Booth offers to take a distraught and tearful Brennan to a burial so that the victim’s mother won’t be all alone on Christmas morning.
#31 “Bones, you are the standard.”
Brennan: “She’s easily as pretty as I am. I mean, using me as a standard.”
Booth: “Bones, you are the standard.”
After being unwilling to risk (Booth’s) heartbreak by taking their relationship to the next level, because she doesn’t think she has an open heart, Brennan comments on a potential girlfriend for Booth.
#30 “Look Bones, I love you, okay? That’s not rational. Us having a kid, that’s not rational. But here we are.”
Brennan and Booth argue heatedly over cohabitating. He wasn’t to get a home together; she wants him to move into her apartment because the real estate market is soft. Brennan reasons that the decision should be hers, severely hurting Booth’s feelings.
#29 “I was hoping for something a little more romantic, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Brennan: “I do think we should get our own place together. … I realized that this is just one of many unforeseen situations I might find myself in now that we’re starting a family and since I can always depend on you to assist when needed whether practically, emotionally, or sexually, being in close proximity would facilitate that and if the only way for that to occur is by finding another dwelling, then I’m willing to do that … even though it’s a foolish investment in this market.”
Booth: “I was hoping for something a little more romantic, but I’ll take what I can get. And just one more thin I’d like to add, if I may…”
Her center of gravity is off because of her pregnancy, Brennan falls and can’t get up. It gives her time to think while he drives over to help her.
#28 “Rub-a da belly, kiss-a da belly. Hell-o, little baby in the belly!”
Booth: “We can have whatever life we want. You know that, right?”
Brennan: “New memories, new life.”
Booth: “Belly rub. Oh, got to rub the belly. Rub-a da belly, kiss-a da belly. Hell-o, little baby in the belly!”
After discussing their new life and their future home together, Booth rubs Brennan’s burgeoning baby belly, demonstrating a wonderfully playful side rarely seen on screen up to this point.
#27 “Why? Because I’m not always going to be able to protect you and this beautiful baby, so acting like I can actually makes me feel less helpless.”
Brennan: “Does that mean you aren’t going to hover over me like a crab whose mate is about to molt?”
Booth: “I don’t actually follow that, but no, I know it’s not fair, but, I’m not.”
Booth: “Why? Because I’m not always going to be able to protect you and this beautiful baby, so acting like I can actually makes me feel less helpless.”
Booth annoys Brennan when he’s obnoxiously overprotective of her because of the pregnancy. He apologizes.
#26 “There is a mystery to life.”
Booth: “There she is right there. Look at that. There is a mystery to life.”
Booth: “Would you just look at that? You’re beautiful.”
Brennan: “Hey, it’s your dad! Look at us, we’re a family.”
Brennan and Booth deliver baby Christine all by themselves in a barn, arguing the whole time, but when she arrives, they are overwhelmed with awe and joy.
#25 “Look, I’m here for you and for her, okay? Anything you need. We’ll go slow on this.”
Brennan: “It’s not rational, I know, but … I just missed her so much.”
Booth: “Maybe this was too soon for you to go back to work. Maybe you should have taken more time, you know, for yourself.”
Brennan: “No, I can’t. I’m needed. You know, what I do is for her now, too. She should know that what I do is important.”
Booth: “I know.”
Brennan: “… And just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do it.”
Booth: “Look, I’m here for you and for her, okay? Anything you need. We’ll go slow on this.”
Brennan struggles with putting Christine back into her crib after her first day back at work during which she missed Christine desperately. Booth’s simple yet calm affirmation speaks volumes.
#24 “They don’t live with you.”
Brennan: “Are you unhappy with the way I look?”
Brennan: “There are hormonal and physiological changes that the body goes through after childbirth. It’s a fascinating process but for some men they can make them lose interest in their mates.”
Booth: “Well they don’t live with you.”
In an attempt to assure Brennan that she’s still the beautiful woman he loves, Booth purchases lingerie for her after she stresses over being able to find clothes that fit her postnatal body.
#23 “Look, I love you the way you are, Bones.”
Brennan: “Do you want me to come to Christine’s christening?”
Booth: “You don’t have to worry about that now.”
Brennan: “I don’t want Pelant to change our lives. That would be the worst.”
Booth: “Then you know what? Let’s not change. Look, you don’t have to come. Religion is my thing.”
Brennan: “You’re really okay with that?”
Booth: “Yeah, I’m fine. I appreciate you asking. Look, I love you the way you are, Bones. Okay?”
Pelant attempts to frame Brennan for the murder of her genius mathematician friend. Brennan and Booth are exasperated over the overwhelming evidence and fear Pelant is trying to control them.
#22 “We’re more than psychology.”
Brennan: “Something is wrong with me.”
Booth: “No, Bones. Nothing is wrong with you.”
Brennan: “Sweets says that I’m rebelling against that fact that my happiness is now contingent upon your happiness and Christine’s.”
Booth: “Sweets, he’s good with the psychology, okay? But we’re more than psychology.”
Brennan and Booth endure several heated arguments as they attempt to adjust to Brennan and Christine’s return from being fugitives.
#21 “It gets mysterious right? That’s exactly why we have music and poetry, Bones… I don’t have reasons.”
Brennan: “I know exactly why I love you.”
Booth: “Really? Okay, why don’t you give me the top three reasons.”
Brennan: “First, you love me. Second you love Christine. Third…”
Booth: “It gets mysterious right? That’s exactly why we have music and poetry, Bones.”
Brennan: “Third, your physicality is remarkable. Now you give me three of your top reasons for loving me.”
Booth: “I don’t have reasons.”
#20 “Well, you know what, Bones? It’s okay to be a little crazy.”
Brennan: “I saw her.”
Booth: “She talked to you?”
Brennan: “It’s crazy to think that it’s true.”
Booth: “Well, you know what, Bones? It’s okay to be a little crazy.” Brennan tells Booth she spoke with her mother while flat-lining after being shot with a blood and ice bullet. She doesn’t know if it was a dream or her mother visiting her from the ether.
#19 “I’m talking about beach and spa, sex and room service and sleeping late. Now, that is a vacation. I want to come back stupid.”
Brennan and Booth discuss their ideas about what constitutes a perfect vacation. Brennan wants to go somewhere with interesting sewage systems and archeological digs. Booth disagrees.
#18 “It was beautiful and rare, just like you.”
Brennan: “That animal was beautiful.”
Booth: “It was beautiful and rare, just like you.”
Brennan: “You should leverage the tiger buyer into ratting out whoever he bought the tiger from.”
Booth: “Sorry, did you just hear what I said? It was very Sweet.” Brennan and Booth solve the case of an animal trafficker and a man who cruelly killed a beautiful Bengal tiger because he couldn’t handle it any more.
#17 “I’m the luckiest man in the world, because I got to spend time with your mother and with you.”
Booth: “Hey there, Christine. It’s me, your father. Dad. Dada. Daddy. If you’re watching this right now, I’m dead. These are the last words that I’m going to-to speak in this world, so here goes. Okay. I like God, I really like God, and I and I think that he likes me. You know, I, um I love Canadian beer. And hockey. They kind of go hand in hand. I really love loud music and really sad music. I love this country. And I am proud to have served in the military. I’m the luckiest man in the world because I got to spend time with your mother. And with you. And that’s true, you know? It’s true whether I die today or 50 years from now. It’s true. Okay? I love you. And I want you to love life. Dive into life. Be courageous. Question things. And be happy. And don’t forget to laugh. Oh, one last favor. Um, help your mom to be happy. Because if she’s alone, she’s gonna forget. That’s it. That’s from me to you.”
After having discussed their wills at the beginning of the episode, Booth tearfully records a video for Christine to watch after he dies. Brennan stands in the background in awe.
#16 “Yeah, well, tell you what, you can kiss me at the red lights.”
Booth: “We really gotta go, we’ve got 7:30 reservations!”
Brennan: “But … I was enjoying myself (kissing you).”
Booth: “Yeah, well, tell you what, you can kiss me at the red lights.” Brennan fears she may be a mean person because of the behavior caught on tape during the making of a video to woo Jeffersonian investors. Booth assures her she’s not a mean person and tries to quiet her by surprising her with several kisses, then attempts to get up.
#15 “You know I would die for you.”
Forced to break their engagement to get married, Booth desperately attempts to assure Brennan that his feelings for her have not wavered though she is not convinced and things get rocky for a while.
#14 “I will. As soon as I can I will.”
Brennan: “I know you love me and Christine and I’m sorry I lost sight of that temporarily. You’re a good man. You have your reasons and when you can you’ll share them with me.” Booth nods, speechless.
Brennan: “We’ll be fine. But next time it’s your turn to ask me to marry you.”
Booth: “I will. As soon as I can I will.”
A tearful Brennan realizes that Booth is harboring a terrible secret and under considerable duress—which is the only reason he would put her through the heart-crushing experience of turning down her marriage proposal—and chooses to be patient rather than angry.
#13 “I think we fit pretty good in all the right places, huh?”
Shaman Little River: “You’ll be joining our introductory group. People like yourselves who are finally brave enough to confront their problems.”
Booth: “Oh, no, no, no, no. We got no problems.”
Brennan: “We got problems, Tony. Come on.”
Booth: “What are you talking about? Slow down! I think we fit pretty good in all the right places, huh?”
In a revival of their Tony and Roxie undercover personas, Brennan and Booth attend a marriage retreat.
#12 “I can’t help it. I’m drifting with the whole electronical device thing.”
Brennan: “Just let your mind drift … Booth, we are only supposed to touch the palms of our hands…”
Booth: “Mmmmm. Oh, I can’t help it.”
Brennan: “…and nothing else.”
Booth: “I’m just drifting. I’m drifting with the whole electronical device thing.”
Brennan and Booth out some of the relationship-strengthening exercises they learned at the marriage retreat while solving murder.
#11 “The Hell with the FBI.”
Brennan: “You told that doctor that I couldn’t possibly be wrong about the number of remodeled fractures I found. Why?”
Booth: “Why? Because all the time we’ve been working together, you have never been wrong about something like that.”
Brennan: “It is not possible that you are wrong about Flynn, so I’m being completely rational.” Booth grabs her in a passionate embrace and kisses her.
Brennan: “We a-agreed to avoid public displays of affection at the FBI.”
Booth: “The hell with the FBI.”
Brennan fiercely defends her rationality in accepting Booth’s gut feeling that Flynn was innocent of colluding with Pelant. Brennan explains this to Booth and he’s overwhelmed.
#10 “Bones, if I ask you to marry me … will you say yes?”
After ending Pelant’s reign of terror by shooting him in the chest, Booth is finally free to reveal the true reason for rejecting Brennan’s marriage proposal. Though this may not have been the most romantic proposal Booth could come up with, he couldn’t bear another single moment without her knowing the truth about Pelant’s blackmail.
#9 “If we weren’t waiting for a murder suspect to open up that door, I would take you in my arms…”
Brennan: “I’ve studied the ceremony. It’s beautiful. Even the superstitions.”
Booth: “You sure?”
Brennan: “It would make you happy, wouldn’t it? So, then it’ll make me happy, too.”
Booth: “Tell you what, if we weren’t waiting for a murder suspect to open up that door, I would take you in my arms…”
Brennan and Booth discuss preparations for their wedding. Brennan, an atheist, offers gladly to have a church wedding. Once again, Booth is overwhelmed with joy.
#8 “I love every day.”
Brennan: “We don’t get married everyday. Our wedding shouldn’t feel like an everyday thing.”
Booth: “I love every day.”
Brennan and Booth discuss the location for their wedding reception. Booth suggests their favorite pub, The Founding Fathers, because they have great wings. Brennan disagrees.
#7 “Bones, I would wear elephant tusks on my head and have a squirrel monkey do the wedding ceremony if that’s what you wanted.”
Brennan: “I know how important (a church wedding) is to you.”
Booth: “I didn’t ask for that. That was your idea this time around.”
Brennan: “Because of you.”
Booth: “Bones, I would wear elephant tusks on my head and have a squirrel monkey do the wedding ceremony if that’s what you wanted.”
Brennan wants to give Booth the church wedding he’s always wanted. Booth wants to give Brennan the dress, flowers, food, vows, and everything that goes along with a beautiful wedding. The church burns down and none other are available. It looks like the wedding will be canceled until Angela comes up with an unconventional solution and offers to orchestrate the whole thing.
#6 Booth’s Vows
Booth: “Do you remember the last time that we were here? Standing right around in this spot? It was, um, right in the beginning, before we really knew each other. I was trying to get away from you, because, um, you were irritating me. And, uh, you chased me down, and you caught up to me. I said to you, “Listen, I just have to get all my ducks in a row, right?” And then you said to me…”
Brennan: “I can be a duck.”
Booth: “Yeah. You know, we have been chasing each other for a long time. We’ve been chasing each other through wars and serial killers and ghosts and snakes and, you know, chasing you has been the smartest thing that I have ever done in my life. And being chased by you has been my greatest joy, but now we, uh, we don’t have to chase each other anymore because we caught each other.”
#5 “We’re married, Bones. The sun is brighter. The air, it’s crisper. The food tastes better than ever …Love, Bones, love. It changes everything.”
Booth feels completely different now that they are married. He explains.
#4 “Sometimes you just have to dance to the music that’s given to you.”
Booth: “Well, when a song isn’t good for dancing, you know, the solution is just to dance slower.”
Brennan: “That doesn’t sound true.”
Booth: “Yeah, right, well, sometimes you just have to dance to the music that’s given to you, hmm? Trust me on this one, all right?”
After learning of Wendell’s cancer and having to be the ones to tell him about it, Booth and Brennan have a quiet moment at home.
#3 “This is not for my wife; this is for my partner whom I occasionally kiss.”
Brennan: “Angela would say that traditionally a husband buys his wife flowers.”
Booth: “Yeah, that’s true, but you know what? This is not for my wife; this is for my partner whom I occasionally kiss.”
And then he does. After solving a particularly challenging case, Booth gifts Brennan with a bottle of 30-year-old Scotch.
#2 “You’re amazing, you know that.”
Booth: “You’re amazing, you know that.”
Brennan: “Yes, however I’m not sure what exemplary quality you’re referencing. My intellect or my—“
Booth: “Your support. Thanks.”
Brennan: “How could I not? You believed in me even when there was no tangible evidence that the ghost killer existed.”
Brennan tells Booth about the wonderful things she wrote in her evaluation of his skills as an FBI agent. She especially appreciates his comportment.
#1 “No matter what happens to us we’re still a team.”
Booth: “Stark is finally recommending me for that promotion. Of course, I still have to be confirmed by the House subcommittee.”
Brennan: “Congratulations, Booth! This calls for a toast … to you.”
Booth: “No, no, wait, to us, okay? Cuz I told them no matter what happens to us we’re still a team.”
The prospect of a life-changing promotion becoming more likely, Booth insists that they will always be able to work together to solve crime.
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV