Does anyone understand the sociological appeal of television catchphrases? What is it about them that we’re so inordinately fond of? Seriously: Someone should write their graduate school thesis on the appeal of television catchphrases. I want to understand what it is about the repetition of a certain phrase over the course of a television series that appeals to us.
The sad reality, I suspect, is that it has something to do with a catchphrases ability to unite like-minded people, in some way. It’s not so much the television show’s use of the catch phrase, as it is our own use of it as a means of labeling ourselves a fan of that particular show. It’s some sort of cultural cachet by association. Unfortunately, the sort of people that generally abuse these catchphrases are precisely the kind of people who you don’t want to associate with. It’s shorthand for: “My God, I’m pathetic. Please like me!”
Anyway, here are ten catchphrases that are completely played out — people who continue to use them in an unironic sense are either trying too hard, culturally oblivious, or funny only to themselves. It’s not a knock, necessarily, against the catchphrases themselves — they once had some value, and some still do in the context of the show. Unfortunately, that value has been completely exhausted outside of it.
10. “It’s going to be legendary,” from “How I Met Your Mother”
9. “Oh my God, they killed Kenny,” from “South Park.”
8. “We were on a break,” from “Friends”
7. “I’m Rick James, Bitch,” from “The Chappelle Show”
6. “Hello, Newman,” from “Seinfeld”
5. “That’s what she said,” from “The Office”
4. “Let’s Hug It Out,” from “Entourage”
3. “D’oh,” from “The Simpsons”
2. “Frak,” from “Battlestar Gallactica
1. “Is that your final answer,” from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”