The 16 Greatest TV Catchphrases - Featured

Now that The Donald is back on the air giving us our weekly dose of "You're fired!" on The Celebrity Apprentice (Sundays, 9 pm/ET, NBC), we decided to count down our favorite one-liners. For brevity's sake, we ruled out any one-word catchphrases (including "Blerg," "D'oh!," and "Aaaayyyy"), but feel free to tell us how stupid we are mention those and all your other favorites in the comments below.

16. "Eat my shorts!"

Who says it: Bart Simpson, The Simpsons

Why we love it: It's to the point, insulting, and irreverent, just like the show at its best.

15. "Book 'em, Danno."

Who says it: Jack Lord, Hawaii Five-O

Why we love it: The best procedurals produce great catchphrases (Hill Street Blues' "Let's be careful out there," for example), and this weekly signature has entered the American lexicon. The case was never closed until you heard those famous words - it was the Law & Order banging gavel of its day.

14. "How rude!"

Who says it: Stephanie Tanner, Full House

Why we love it: This one is all about the delivery. Taken on its own, it's little more than just another middle child whining. But with Stephanie's pursed lips, raised eyebrows and "harumph" attitude, it becomes instantly memorable.

13. "Make it work!"

Who says it: Tim Gunn, Project Runway

Why we love it: Because Tim Gunn is the man, that's why. Carry on.

12. "Son of a bitch!"

Who says it: Sawyer, Lost

Why we love it: It's tough to own a phrase this common, but nobody says it quite like the surly one, Hoss.

11. "That's what she said."

Who says it: Michael Scott, The Office

Why we love it: Sure, the writers of The Office didn't invent this versatile zinger, but we can thank them for making it OK to use it in our own office. You know, because we're 13-year-olds at heart, just like Michael.

10. "Jane, you ignorant slut..."

Who says it: Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live

Why we love it: Aykroyd brilliantly lampooned right-wing rhetoric 30 years before Stephen Colbert with this sexist jab.

9. "Legen- - wait for it - -dary"

Who says it: Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

Why we love it: We just can't get enough of Barney's awesomeness. His blustery bravado hits at a universal truth: You either know a Barney or are a Barney. Check yo' self, people.

8. "...for me to poop on!"

Who says it: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Why we love it: Robert Smigel's off-color, cigar-smoking talking dog was just weird enough to work. Just when he got people to start talking to a puppet, he'd lay this gem on them - prompting hilarious shock value.

7. "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!"

Who says it: Kyle and Stan, among others, South Park

Why we love it: In a show that satirizes our culture's love affair with extreme violence, this catchphrase punctuates one of the show's funniest recurring jokes: They mercilessly off Kenny in nearly every episode for the first five seasons.

6. "Let's hug it out, bitch."

Who says it: Ari Gold, Entourage

Why we love it: In the venal shark tank that is Hollywood, it's as close to touchy-feely as these macho men have gotten.

5. "Holy _____, Batman!"

Who says it: Robin, Batman

Why we love it: The Boy Wonder's aw-shucks exclamation dovetailed nicely with the show's campy tone. Plus: It helps us write headlines.

4. "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

Who says it: Arnold Jackson, Diff'rent Strokes

Why we love it: This giggle-inducing question underscored the white man-adopts-black-boys show's inherent message about learning to accept differences.

Read the full list on

The 16 Greatest TV Catchphrases


1 comment

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Apr 1, 2009 12:23AM EDT

Joey's How You Doin' and Barney's Legend..wait for it..dary = the best. They simply win.

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