(Some of) The Best TV Character Catchphrases of All Time


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

A catchphrase is a clever way to make an everyday character more memorable. After all, how often do you find yourself saying something and then realize it’s because your favorites character says it All. The. Time? Though they seem to have been around since the inception of television, catchphrases are arguably most popular in comedy, with the first sitcom airing almost twenty years after regular television broadcasting began.

This is in no way a comprehensive list, just a few I’ve found to be the most unforgettable. And where better to start than with what might be the earliest catchphrase…

“Dyn-o-mite!” – JJ, Good Times

Despite the adversity he faced, JJ Evans was always enthusiastic and used his favorite exclamation to voice his approval.

“Holy (fill-in-the-blank) Batman!” – Robin, Batman

Whenever he encountered something startling, Robin was always there to let Batman know how he felt by using his signature slogan.

“How you doin’?” – Joey, Friends

Is it any wonder Joey got all the ladies with this line?

“Bazinga!” – Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon follows his jokes and classic pranks with this line, now a registered trademark of Warner Bros.

“I’ve made a huge mistake.” – Gob, Arrested Development

Gob made tons of huge mistakes over the course of the show, and fans can’t wait to see more when the show premieres its fourth season on Netflix May 26.

“Whatchu talking ’bout, Willis?” – Arnold, Diff’rent Strokes

Orphan Arnold would often express his disbelief and skepticism at his older brother by using this phrase.

“Did I do that?” – Urkel, Family Matters

Urkel always seemed to be surprised when things went wrong and lived life by this motto.

“Zoinks!” – Shaggy, Scooby-Doo

Who knew a nonsense word could articulate fear so well? Shaggy has been using this catchphrase since the show’s beginning in 1969.

“You got it, dude!” – Michelle, Full House

In a show that was full of catchphrases, no one else but Michelle could make being agreeable so cute.

“Live long and prosper.” – Spock, Star Trek

Accompanied by the Vulcan salute, Spock used this motto to say goodbye to his companions.

What are a few of your favorite television catchphrases?


  1. SteveMay 3rd, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I’m sorry,…..I’m so sorry

  2. darth martyMay 3rd, 2013 at 9:38 am

    What about ” i love it when a plan comes together” Hannibal Smith in the A Team.

  3. JuarhelaMay 3rd, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Agreed with A-Team – Hannibal Smith – I love it when a plan comes together!

    Quantum Leap – Sam Beckett – Oh boy…

    TMNT – mostly Michelangelo – Cowabunga!!

  4. MichelleMay 3rd, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    And nothing mentioned about the king comedy of catchphrases: The Simspons??

  5. JeanneMay 3rd, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Beam Me up Scotty but it was never said but why not. up your nose with A Rubber hose welcome Back Kotter.

  6. KevinMay 3rd, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    And now…for something completely different.

  7. ElMay 4th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I agree with Steve! “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…” And now I’m thinking about the (Tennant) Doctor, and now I feel sad. :'(

  8. NerditaMay 5th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon Party, cause a Liz Lemon party is MANDATORY!
    Suck it nerds!

  9. NerditaMay 5th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    It occurs to me that she says Blarg as well as Blerg, and that I should clarify, that I only like “Suck it Nerds,” because Liz Lemon is a NERD and she says it to her fellow nerds, the writers. So yes, that is a catch phrase that only NERDS can use with other NERDS.

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