Thanks to Kerry Washington's portrayal of Olivia Pope, a professional fixer who is deeply in love with married President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) on ABC's Scandal, I’ve learned that in addition to having an IQ (mine is def 20 points lower due to my reality TV consumption) and an EQ (I’m at the “James Van Der Beek during the later seasons of Dawson’s Creek" stage, where he would throw a side eye at someone who was crying crocodile tears over nonsense), everyone also possesses a LQQ AKA a lip quiver quotient.

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Unfortunately, my LQ is still at minor league status as it only happens when I’m singing along to Luther Vandross’ woo-woo-wooing on his Greatest Hits album, but I’m working on it. And you should too! Because, in my opinion, Kerry’s lip quiver has officially dethroned Homeland's Claire Danes' ugly cry as the ultimate dramatic facial expression in prime-time television. I know that’s a pretty ballsy thing to say, but over the course of Scandie's two seasons, Washington has not only nailed all the emotional moments, but has also managed to punctuate them with a different variation on the lip quiver. Who else is doing that? No one.

So in honor of Scandal returning tonight at 10 p.m. after a three-week hiatus, I’m asking you to open your prayer books, or in this case, put on some shiny lip gloss, stand in front of your mirror, and start pouting like a bus boy just removed the bread basket from your table even though you still have half a piece of sweet cornbread left. And don’t worry if you’re not perfecting your LQ right away. To help you, I’ve compiled Kerry Washington’s best lip quivers for you to study. Let’s get to it, shall we:

1) Like sharp cheddar cheese in a bowl of grits, the following lip quiver is amazing, but must be used sparingly. Obvs, I’m talking about the "Don’t You Try To Play With My Vajayjay Like It’s The Casio Keyboard That You Learned Hall & Oates’ Maneater On”:

This LQ is only reserved for dire situations like when an ex thinks he can hook up with you because he sent you a text wishing your mom a happy birthday. Memo to guys: Remembering your girlfriend’s mom’s birthday will get you an all-access Six Flags pass to the inside of your gf’s Calvin Klein jeans, but remembering the mom’s b-day after you and her daughter have broken up will only get you the following response from your ex, “Thx. Hey, who is this? I just got a new phone, and I don’t recognize the number.” And even though you suspect she’s lying because cell numbers are like TV programs on DVRs (You only delete them if you don’t have enough room to record reruns of Saved by the Bell) it still hurts that she’s throwing you shade. Anyway, the bottom line is that if women are not in a situation where an ex is trying to sleep with them, then they shouldn’t do this lip quiver; instead, they ought to stay chill and react to whatever is stressing them out the way I do when I realize the “Skip Ad” button is not going to appear on the YouTube video I’m trying to watch:

2) Sometimes, you’re doing something low key like meeting Maya Angelou at a book signing. As she’s talking, some of her spittle lands on your lower lip. It’s not polite to do the Michael Jackson “Do You Remember the Time” mouth wipe in front her. That’s when the "A Cablevision Employee Has Just Notified Me That The Triple Play Option Where I Get Cable, Internet, & Phone for $100 Has Expired, So My Bill’s Going Up $70 Per Month" comes in handy:

Even though you’re sad on the outside, Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” is playing in your head, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Pose, pose, lip quiver, wipe a tear, make Maya jealous because I make sadness look hella pretty, repeat.”

3) What I like most about the "I Was Chilling At Home Alone And Got Freaked Out Because I Heard a Strange Sound, But It Turns Out That Noise Was Just My Laptop Cord Sliding Off My Desk" LQ

besides the fact that it requires heavy breathing so I can count it as cardio, it that it’s uber versatile. You can use it in when a friend of yours is showing off her brand new iPhone 5 when she knows doggone well that she owes you $37, or when you’re trying to get into an elevator and catch someone pressing the door close button on you, or because you’re insulted that the mofo at Chipotle warns you that the guacamole will be a $1 extra as if you can’t afford it. Basically, when in doubt, use this lip quiv.

4) When the realization kicks in that what we want does not line up with what we need, the "My Roommate and I Are Grocery Shopping For An Upcoming Hurricane And She Makes Me Take The Two Six-Packs of Pellegrino Limonata And Pack Of Lorna Doone Cookies Out Of The Shopping Cart Because They Don’t Count As Provisions" is used:

In the moment, you know you’re making the correct decision by focusing on what’s pertinent and not superfluous, but that doesn’t make the pain feel any less tragic than when you post a funny Facebook status and only notice there’s a typo after you’ve gotten a bunch of “likes” on it.

5) The “Oooh, I Thought My Best Friend Ignored My Text Message, But It Turns Out That Text Was Straight Up Chilling In My Drafts Folder Because I Never Pressed Send And Now I Feel Bad For Cursing Her Out In My Head”

is strictly reserved for when you make an oopsies. Preferably, the mistake is bigger than pocket dialing your boss, yet smaller than accidentally leaving your infant niece in your hot car because you wanted to go shopping at H&M real quick when you should’ve been babysitting. For reals, if you make a mistake that big then a LQ ain’t gonna save ya. You better pray to Oprah that she will send you some guidance that she keeps tucked away in her cardigans.

6) Look, we’ve all been there. We’re making out with a dude, a Sade song is playing in the background, and everything is going well until you have that "Lawd, I’m About To Hook Up With This Hot Piece And I Can’t Remember if I’m Rocking Nature’s Long Johns AKA Hairy Legs" moment:

Don’t be embarrassed! Just excuse yourself to the bathroom. Check out the leg sitch, and if it’s a Code I Need A Bic Razor, then politely end the evening with the guy with a simple


7) Lots of times in life, you’re going to feel like a contestant during a group challenge on Top Chef, AKA you’re going to be outnumbered in the decision making process on something, and that’s when you have to employ the "Who the Hell Are You To Round Everyone Up To Leave Because It’s 2 A.M. & You’re Sick of Doing Karaoke?:"

Point is you accept defeat, drunk call your sister, and tell her that reason everyone wanted to go home is because they’re jealous that you sound like Adele and Beyonce combined. But please note that even though your sis sounds supportive, she actually has you on speakerphone and her and her hubby are doing this in reaction to you saying that foolishness:


8) The “My Boyfriend & I Don’t Get Paid Until The Weekend, So After Eating Dinner, He Tells The Waiter To Take The Dessert Menu Away From Our Table:”

This lip quiver is generally used when the pain you’re feeling is self-inflicted. Like, if I hadn’t wasted my money on buying fancy stationery that I never use because I just email people, then mah boo and I probably could’ve afford to order raspberry truffle cheesecake slices. Instead, I’m leaning over the dessert case, breathing heavy on the glass, and then dragging my hand across the foggy window like Rose and Jack did in Titanic.

What’s your lip quiver quotient? Do you agree that Kerry has dethroned Claire Danes as the queen of dramatic facial expressions?

Finally, don’t miss a single moment of tonight’s new episode of Scandal by tuning into ABC at 10 p.m. EST/PST.