Famous TV Catchphrases, Yada Yada Yada!

catchphrasesAs dedicated TV fans, my family constantly used catchphrases from shows on the box, to the extent where we almost created a new language – Teletalkish? But turns out, we were not the only ones with this penchant for repeating classic lines from TV!

A catchphrase is a word or sentence that is repeated often on a TV or radio series, and in film franchises, which gets ingrained in our culture through references in mass media and word of mouth, and often becomes the signature for a character or person.

Similar to jokes, these catchphrases have a life of their own, as they are part of a shared cultural history with peers, are often used in humorous ways, and sometimes best some up the situation when our own words fail us!

Perfect examples of this include the phrase ‘yada yada yada’, made popular by the team on Seinfeld when they needed to gloss over some of the details of a date or event. Then there’s Homer Simpson’s ‘D’oh!’ which just sums up so much, and has become such a part of everyday parlance that it is now an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. And who hasn’t put on a faux New York accent and said ‘How you doin’?’ a la Joey Tribbiani’s famous pick-up line in Friends?

I may be showing my age with some of the following catchphrases, but they’re still referenced in popular culture decades after the shows have ended – and most of them belonged to cops.

catchphrases2Kojak was as famous for his ‘Who loves ya, baby?’ line as he was for his bald dome and lollipops, Colombo couldn’t go a whole show without saying ‘Just one more thing…’, Danny did all the hard work at the end of Hawaii Five-O as McGarrett always told him to ‘book 'em, Danno’, and we got warm fuzzies when Sergeant Esterhaus reminded his Hill Street Blue’s team ‘hey, hey, and let’s be careful out there’.

Homer’s not the only cartoon or comic character to have his own catchphrase. Batman and Robin conjured up quite a few of their own including ‘to the bat mobile’ and Robin’s ‘Holy ____(pretty much anything)’. It was always a good time to scarper when David Banner said ‘Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry’ just before he turns green, rips his shirt, and turns into The Incredible Hulk. You knew the game was up when the baddie was revealed on Scooby Doo and uttered the classic line ‘if it weren’t for you meddling kids’. The best baritone in town had the best line around when Lurch said ‘You rang?’ in The Addams Family, and Fred Flintstone’s immortal cry of ‘Yabba dabba do!’ has outlived hand-drawn animation!

Most of these catchphrases have been etched in our brains over years of repetition, dedication, and loyalty, but more recent examples are making their mark too. Miranda’sBear with’ and ‘Such fun’ are heard regularly in public places these days, Quagmire’s ‘Giggity Giggity’ from Family Guy can give anyone the creeps, and the show responsible for keeping alive many cultural references, The Big Bang Theory, has one of their own with Sheldon’s ‘Bazinga’ available for all those times you play a clever prank on someone!

So let’s sign off with some famous final words: ‘Good night John Boy’, 'It's goodnight from me and it's goodnight from him' and ‘Good night, and good luck’.