Downton Abbey Season Premiere: Maggie Smith's Top 5 Zingers

Entertainment Jan. 7, 2013 AT 3:49PM

Welcome back, Downton Abbey! And long live the dowager countess!

The Brit import returned Sunday night, Jan. 6 to document the soap-operatic upstairs-downstairs lives at the grand estate of the high-born Crawleys—but as usual, it was the dowager countess' zingers that stole the show.

Maggie Smith, who plays the persnickety and crotchety autocrat of the clan, served up one priceless putdown after another.

Credit: Nick Briggs

Watch our video of our favorite dowager disses of the night.

1. The dowager reveals just why she's so eager to receive the Crawley sisters' American grandmama, played with relish by Shirley MacLaine.

2. Smith is quick and ruthless as she slips in a catty remark directed at MacLaine during polite dinner conversation about summers in France.

3. The dowager uses her dry wit for the forces of good this time—to make a family "outsider" feel better about his horrid behavior at dinner the night before.

4. She shows no such niceties when dressing down her son for his inappropriate attire at the party (he should have worn white-tie instead of black-tie).

5. A bitchy diss masked as addled confusion? You be the judge.

Tell Us. What's your favorite dowager dig of the night?

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