It’s been an incredible 10 years since Mad Men first graced our small screens, when we first met the handsome yet troubled Don Draper and his highly compelling yet dysfunctional family and ad agency colleagues.
Ahead of the season 6 channel premiere on AMC, we take a look back at 10 of the series’ most memorable moments:
1. The opening credits
When we think of Mad Men, it’s hard not to envision the opening credits of the anonymous falling suited man. While it gained some controversy for its resemblance to the iconic “falling man” photograph of 9/11, the credits are without a doubt eerily beautiful and evoke the “mad” element of the show and of course Don’s on-going struggle to maintain his successful lifestyle in the face of his secret identity.
2. Pete and Lane’s bust up
Lane Pryce may come across as the stiff-upper-lip Brit, but he sure can swing a decent punch! This all went down when tensions reached their limits between Lane and the incredibly hateable Pete Campbell. When Pete sneers at the idea of Lane handling the Jaguar account, Lane challenges Pete to a fist fight, only to swiftly destroy a completely inept Pete.
3. The lawnmower incident
Intense, gross and yet somehow awesome. This is how we’d describe Mad Men’s infamous lawnmower incident. All is going well when the Sterling Cooper crew are celebrating signing John Deere as a client with their new British owners. This is until a new secretary decides to drunkenly ride the John Deere tractor across the office, slicing off the foot of a senior British employee in the process. Horrendous and yet hilarious, which is perhaps Mad Men’s appeal in a nutshell!
4. Betty opens fire
Another sinister yet comical moment. Don’s long suffering and bored wife Betty, cigarette hanging from her lips, takes aim at her neighbours’ pigeons with her rifle. Symbolising her entrapment and suggesting she longs to be as free as the birds, it’s gone down as one of Betty’s most memorable moments by far.
5. Roger’s wild trip
Roger has always been a bit of a silver fox playboy, but he took it to a whole new level when he dropped acid with his young wife Jane. As he descends into a bizarre drug trip, we see him experience operatic singing booze bottles, multi-coloured hair, a Don Draper hallucination – and that’s just the beginning. The end result? Roger and Jane amicably conclude that their marriage is well and truly over.
6. Peggy’s surprise pregnancy
Peggy thinks she’s just put on a little weight after an affair with the slimy Pete, but after fainting at the office, discovers she in fact heavily pregnant. She has a healthy baby boy but after a few months she decides to give him up for adoption. It is years until Pete discovers this, much to his disappointment as he and his wife Trudy have been struggling to conceive.
7. Roger throwing up
Roger really can’t handle his substances: this time he throws up in front of his most esteemed colleagues. After an intense liquid lunch, the team discover that the elevator is broken and start to climb up 23 flights of stairs. Once back in the office, while most are out of breath, no one looks quite so worse for wear as Poor Roger who proceeds to projectile vomit to the dismay and laughter of his colleagues.
8. Betty finds Don’s secret box
The magnetically charismatic Don Draper has a secret – or in fact many – and suspecting wife Betty quite literally opens Pandora’s Box when she discovers Don’s secret former life is stashed away in a secret drawer in his office. Discovering that Don is actually Dick, Betty doesn’t know what to think that her husband and father of her children is actually someone else altogether.
9. Peggy quits the agency
Don’s protégé and Mad Men staple Peggy finally decides to quit Sterling Cooper for a more lucrative and senior role at a major rival company. A shocked Don is lost for words and we see a rare paternal side to him as he begs her to stay. But Peggy moving firms adds a new competitive element to their dynamic and of course provides an incredible opportunity for Peggy – a highly capable woman trying to make it in a male-dominated 60s New York.
10. Zou Bisou Bisou
Who can forget Don’s second wife Megan’s sultry performance of Zou Bisou Bisou at Don’s 40th Birthday celebrations? Don doesn’t want to celebrate getting old and is even beginning to doubt his choice of second bride, but this all changes after Megan’s traffic-stopping performance. Roger even sulkily asks wife Jen “Why can’t you sing like that?” whom Jane dryly replies “Why don’t you look like that?!”