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Best Sitcom Catchphrases

The 20 Best Sitcom Catchphrases in TV History


With their reliance on familiarity and ingrained story structure, sitcoms are the perfect breeding ground for catchphrases. If a character can be defined by one or two memorable lines, then it’s easy to introduce that person to new viewers each week. Catchphrases can be crutches, then, but they can also be funny or memorable, or at least take on a life of their own. Here’s a look at the 20 best sitcom catchphrases.

“Bang, zoom, to the moon, Alice!” –Ralph Kramden, 'The Honeymooners'

The Honeymooners
Getty Images/Paramount Pictures
Working-class husband Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) threatened his wife Alice (Audrey Meadows) all the time, although it was all just empty bluster. Ralph had a few different ways to express his frustration, but his desire to shoot Alice into space is the most memorable.

“How YOU doin’?” –Joey Tribbiani, 'Friends'

Matt LeBlanc
Getty Images

It doesn’t read like much, but when you hear Friends ladies’ man Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) utter this innocuous greeting, you’ll understand why he scores with more women than all of his friends combined.

“Hello, Newman.” –Jerry Seinfeld, 'Seinfeld'

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The contempt that dripped from Jerry’s voice on Seinfeld every time he encountered unctuous neighbor Newman (Wayne Knight) turned this simple pleasantry into an expression of deep hatred.

“Kiss my grits.” –Flo Castleberry, 'Alice'

Image courtesy of PriceGrabber

Earthy waitress Flo (Polly Holliday) wasn’t interested in taking any grief from customers or co-workers, and especially not from her boss Mel, owner of Mel’s Diner. She’d tell him off with this colorful phrase whenever he got out of line.

“Dyn-o-mite!” –J.J. Evans, 'Good Times'

Good Times
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The fast-talking J.J. (Jimmie Walker) was always exuberant, even when facing his family’s poverty and his friends’ struggles with addiction. His favorite exclamation was used for anything that deserved his stamp of approval.

“I know nothing!” –Sgt. Schultz, 'Hogan’s Heroes'

Hogan's Heroes
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Making Nazis into harmless buffoons was what Hogan’s Heroes did best, and Sgt. Schultz (John Banner) was perhaps the most benign of all, always uttering this phrase while turning a blind eye to his Allied prisoners’ schemes.

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” –Jan Brady, 'The Brady Bunch'

The Brady Bunch
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Poor Jan (Eve Plumb) was always living in the shadow of her more popular older sister Marcia, and her whining about it only made things worse. Her lament was actually used more often in The Brady Bunch Movie and Saturday Night Live parodies than on the show itself.

“Nip it in the bud.” –Barney Fife, 'The Andy Griffith Show'

The Andy Griffith Show
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hyperactive deputy sheriff Barney Fife (Don Knotts) was a little overly sensitive to innocent shenanigans, and would sputter this phrase whenever he felt that hooligan-like behavior was about to get out of hand.

“Suit up!” –Barney Stinson, 'How I Met Your Mother'

Neil Patrick Harris
Photo courtesy of CBS

How I Met Your Mother’s champion womanizer Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) is always impeccably dressed, and whenever he’s getting ready for an important outing, he uses this phrase to get himself (and his friends, if he can) in the right frame of mind.

“Up your nose with a rubber hose.” –Vinnie Barbarino, 'Welcome Back, Kotter'

Welcome Back Kotter
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Brooklyn high school student Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) was a master of the ridiculous insult, and this particular kiss-off was his favorite.

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