Famous Catchphrases that Immortalized TV Shows
25th June, 2020
Netflix rollingstone.com
Catchphrases stay forever etched in our brains. Thanks to some indelible shows and iconic characters, here are some of the famous catchiest catchphrases. Call them the crown jewels of TV shows if you will; catchphrases are usually a memorable part of a TV show. They are often iconic and funny, and breed familiarity. Sometimes, these character catchphrases become so well-known that they become a part of our everyday lingo unknowingly. From silly one liners to emotionally gripping phrases, here are 18 iconic character catchphrases that not only immortalized their respective TV shows but also helped us add humor in our real life conversations.
Yadda Yadda Yadda – Seinfeld medium.com
01
Yadda Yadda Yadda – Seinfeld
The catchphrase, which meant “so on and so forth” or “on and on,” was made popular by Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld was one of the very first sitcoms that had a huge fan following since it aired for the first time in the late 1980s. Director Steven Spielberg once revealed that whenever he used to get depressed filming Schindler’s List, he used to watch reruns of Seinfeld to cheer himself up.
I’m not in the meth business, I’m in the empire business – Breaking Bad genius.com
02
I’m not in the meth business, I’m in the empire business – Breaking Bad
Walter White said this to Jesse when he asked him if he was in the meth business or the money business. The line sure did stay with the show’s large fan base, and rightfully so. Walter White’s alias Heisenberg was inspired by a real life scientist named Warner Heisenberg. And, like Walter White, real life Heisenberg also suffered from cancer.
How you doin’? – F.R.I.E.N.D.S www.refinery29.com
03
How you doin’? – F.R.I.E.N.D.S
This famous catchphrase was used by Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc) every time he tried to flirt with women. No wonder he had 17 on-screen girlfriends (ok, flings!). The catchphrase is undoubtedly iconic and is incredibly swoon-worthy when Matt Le Blanc says it even to this day. Fun fact: Le Blanc was a carpenter before he auditioned for F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
What you talkin What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? – Different Strokes Willis www.allmovie.com
04
What you talkin What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? – Different Strokes Willis
Arnold (Gary Coleman) from the hit late ‘70s show used to say this to Willis Jackson or whomever he was addressing when he got upset. Different Strokes is the story of two brothers, Arnold and William, who move from the humble neighborhood of Harlem into a posh Manhattan penthouse. Interestingly, Gary Coleman was paid around $70,000 per episode, making him one of the highest-paid comedic actors.
Giggity, Giggity – Family Guy comealy17.wordpress.com
05
Giggity, Giggity – Family Guy
The Griffins' hypersexual neighbor, Glenn Quagmire or just Quagmire, as he's known on Family Guy, uses this phrase when he's excited. The character is voiced by actor and comedian Seth McFarlane, who also voices all the main characters, including Peter, Stewie, and Brian. McFarlane became the youngest executive producer in all of network television when the show first aired in 1999.
I love it when a plan comes together – The A-Team www.mentalfloss.com
06
I love it when a plan comes together – The A-Team
John “Hannibal” Smith from The A-Team used to light his cigar, sit back, and utter this catchphrase at the point of victory with a grin. The catchphrase was so iconic that it was also used in the movie The A-Team. The character is based on Lieutenant Colonel Gordon “Bo” Gritz, who was known for his efforts for recovering soldiers after the Vietnam War.
You’re fired –The Apprentice www.nytimes.com
07
You’re fired –The Apprentice
Donald Trump said this catchphrase every time he kicked a contestant out of the show. Aired between 2004 and 2017, the reality TV revolved around ambitious candidates competing to convert their apprenticeship into a full-time job with multi-millionaire business tycoon Donald Trump. The show was produced by Donald Trump, Mark Burnett, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2016, a PC game was released that was based on the show.
That’s what she said –The Office www.imdb.com
08
That’s what she said –The Office
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) muttered this catchphrase rather boldly and made every sentence sound dirty. The Dunder Mifflin regional manager is known for his notorious and childish behavior and a tirade of bad ideas. Rainn Wilson, who played the role of Dwight Schrute, had auditioned for Carell’s role. We now know Dwight’s ambition to become the regional manager was, in fact, real!
Screw you guys, I’m going home –South Park www.imdb.com
09
Screw you guys, I’m going home –South Park
Eric Theodore Cartman, one of the four main characters of South Park, said this catchphrase every time he got frustrated. Sometimes, Cartman’s irritability made him seem like the antagonist of the show. The show's popularity can be gauged from the fact that almost every Hollywood celebrity, including Robert Smith, Jay Leno, George Clooney, and rock bands, such as Radiohead, and Korn, have appeared in the show.
Bazinga! – The Big Bang Theory www.imdb.com
10
Bazinga! – The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon Cooper said this catchphrase every time he bamboozled his friends with his famous self-proclaimed wit. Funnily enough, Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon initially thought he was auditioning for a game show because of the said phrase. Interestingly, a new species of bee and jellyfish were named after Sheldon’s iconic catchphrase. That says a lot about the impact the show has had on everyone.
Live long and prosper – Star Trek: The Original Series www.imdb.com
11
Live long and prosper – Star Trek: The Original Series
The Vulcan salute, which finds its reference in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, was immortalized by Leonard Nemoy, who played Captain Spock on the show. Star Trek: The Original Series aired between 1966 and 1969, and the show's concept was ahead of its time. Fun fact: Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory wore “Spock ears” as they monitored Mariner V spacecraft flying by Venus in 1967.
This is gonna be legen -wait for it- dary – How I met your Mother www.imdb.com
12
This is gonna be legen -wait for it- dary – How I met your Mother
Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) said the catchphrase every time he pitched one of his crazy ideas to the gang. Ironically, it was Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, who had auditioned for the role of Barney Stinson, a self-proclaimed ladies’ man. The makers later auditioned Niel Patrick Harris, and the rest is history... or as we like to say legendary!
Aaay – Happy Days www.imdb.com
13
Aaay – Happy Days
On Happy Days, Fonzie’s “Aaay” could mean just about anything. He uttered the catchphrase to express happiness, sadness, as well as anger, making it one of his most iconic lines. Happy Days is a story of a Midwestern family who had bought a new television—the only one in the neighborhood—and how their son, Richie, uses it as a “chick magnet.”
You Rang? –The Addams Family reelrundown.com
14
You Rang? –The Addams Family
Lurch, the royal butler from Addams Family, groaned this catchphrase every time he was summoned by Morticia and Gomez with a hangman’s noose bell pull. Lurch was intended to be mute, but actor Ted Cassidy tried the catchphrase, and, eventually, Lurch was given his voice. Did you know that the house shown in the opening credit was real and is located in Los Angeles?
Have Mercy – Full House www.imdb.com
15
Have Mercy – Full House
Apart from his motorcycle, band, and love for Becky, Uncle Jesse was known for this catchphrase. The early ‘90s sitcom was a huge hit among households. Uncle Jesse was originally going to be named Uncle Adam. But John Stamos (Jesse) told the makers he was much more comfortable playing “Jesse” because the name better suited the character’s personality, and it was also Elvis Presley’s twin brother’s name.
Winter is coming – Game of Thrones www.imdb.com
16
Winter is coming – Game of Thrones
The catchphrase is actually the motto of House Stark in HBO’s hit TV show. Starks used this catchphrase as a warning and constant vigilance. The catchphrase is, in fact, so popular that you may come across people using it as a reference to acknowledge the onset of winter. The phrase was used just about 11 times in the entire series.
Holy Crap! - Everybody Loves Raymond www.imdb.com
17
Holy Crap! - Everybody Loves Raymond
This was handyman Frank Barone’s catchphrase in the show. Frank was a veteran-turned-hotheaded handyman. In fact, Peter Boyle who played the character revealed that he was angry when he gave his audition to Ray Romano and the other creators of the show because he had a hard time finding a parking space near the studio. Anyway, his anger fit perfectly for the character.
I’ve made a huge mistake - Arrested Development mundosenparalelo.blogspot.com
18
I’ve made a huge mistake - Arrested Development
The recurring catchphrase was usually said by George Oscar Bluth Jr and sometimes by other Bluth family members when they made a blunder. Better known as G.O.B, George was once a highly respected magician but fell from grace when his magic tricks were revealed on air. Arrested Development has a cult following with six Primetime Emmy Awards and One Golden Award.