A sitcom, which is short for “situational comedy”, is a TV show that follows the same group of characters around as they more or less attempt to “do life”. They are often funny in nature, and because they rely on an ingrained story structure and breed familiarity, it is easy for certain characters to develop recognizable catchphrases. Sometimes, a TV catchphrase will become popular and well-known enough to transfer over into the real world – perhaps even becoming a part of our everyday language. So without further ado, we present to you 20 of the most memorable TV sitcom catchphrases of all time.
The 20 Most Memorable TV Sitcom Catchphrases
1. “D’oh!” Homer, The Simpsons
Muttered by Homer when he gets hurt or when things don’t go his way.
2. “Yada, yada, yada.” Elaine, Seinfeld
A phrase spoken by Elaine when telling a story about a relationship she was in that allowed her to gloss over the intimate, personal part of the narrative.
3. “Yabba dabba doo!” Fred, The Flintstones
Spoken when Fred was happy.
4. “Well, isn’t that special?” The Church Lady, Saturday Night Live
A passive-aggressive phrase used by this character to call out the sins of the famous people on her fictional Church Chat talk show.
5. “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” Mission Impossible
Spoken after instructions for the latest mission were given. It was a safety feature that let the characters know the information wouldn’t be repeated so they (hopefully) got it the first time around.
6. “Book ‘em, Danno.” McGarrett, Hawaii Five-O
Spoken after the main character gave the criminals a rundown of their crimes right before they were going to jail.
7. “Dy-no-mite!” J.J., Good Times
Spoken on every episode of the show.
8. “Nanu-nanu.” Mork, Mork & Mindy
How Mork said hello and goodbye in his native alien language.
9. “Danger, Will Robinson!” Robot, Lost in Space
Spoken by the Robot to warn Will about something dangerous or unintelligent that he was about to embark on.
10. “Did I do that?” Steve Urkel, Family Matters
Steve was always damaging something in some form, and he was always surprised to find out he was the culprit, so he would utter this phrase.
11. “No soup for you!” The Soup Nazi, Seinfeld
This was often uttered by a restaurant owner who would randomly decide who got soup and who didn’t by the way they behaved in the line or what they said when they were at the counter to pay for their food.
12. “Good grief.” Charlie Brown, Peanuts
While not technically a sitcom, Peanuts television specials consistently rank among the top cartoons of all time. Charlie Brown’s life was full of disappointment and frustration, and his emotions were often summed up in this phrase.
13. “Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!” Stan and Kyle, South Park
Kenny was a character on South Park who often ended up dying in every single episode. When he did, his friends uttered this phrase.
14. “Aaay!” Fonzie, Happy Days
A phrase uttered by Fonzie when entering a room or to answer questions.
15. “Hey hey hey!” Fat Albert, Fat Albert
Fat Albert’s greeting for when he saw his friends or to start the show.
16. “If it weren’t for you meddling kids!” Numerous villains, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
This phrase was uttered by a lot of different villains throughout the series when they were caught by Scooby Doo and his human companions after solving whatever mystery needed to be solved.
17. “Live long and prosper.” Spock, Star Trek
This was the traditional Vulcan greeting of Spock and his people, but he also said it to a variety of other characters on the show.
18. “Bazinga!” Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon uses this phrase when he has one-upped another character either by pulling a prank or telling a joke. As the series continued, it became an expression of joy.
19. “What’s up, doc?” Bugs Bunny, Looney Tunes
Bugs Bunny usually uttered this phrase to the various hunters who were after him for food. It was usually accompanied by him chomping down on a carrot.
20. “You eeeediot!” Ren, The Ren & Stimpy Show
Ren uttered this phrase to Stimpy a lot on this show because Stimpy was always doing something stupid, which incensed Ren, so he responded with this phrase.
Did you agree with our list of memorable TV sitcom catchphrases? What should, or should not, be included? Let us know in the comment section, and make sure to check out Sporcle.com to find thousands of fun TV quizzes, like the one below!