Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

"How you doin? I love it when a plan comes together. Is that your final answer? Yeah, that’s the ticket. D’oh!"

Cable network TV Land is counting down the Top 100 Greatest Catchphrases in December, but put out its list so we could all bicker and reminisce over their choices and presumably tune in and watch. OK, I’ll bite. Reading over their collection, I could picture so many of them, not just from the episodes, but from friends repeating them, t-shirts and parodies. Some of them were real monsters, but they have all lost their impact when stripped of context.

TV catchphrases really don’t add up to a whole lot of conversation, but they do tend to stick in your head. They also age poorly, being unable to escape the moment in time when they captured the elusive pop culture zeitgeist. I’m sure many of these phrases were a mixed blessing – helping to catapult a series and a star into the limelight and forcing them to repeat it for the rest of their lives. Just ask Gary Coleman. (Ok, not anymore: RIP.)

But with that being said, here’s my Top 10, chosen on the basis that I repeated these phrases at some point in my life, over and over and over again:
  • D'oh! (Homer Simpson, The Simpsons)
  • De plane! De plane! (Tattoo, Fantasy Island)
  • Good night, John Boy. (The Waltons)
  • Holy ______, Batman! (Robin, Batman)
  • No soup for you! (Soup Nazi, Seinfeld)
  • Oh my God! They killed Kenny! (Stan and Kyle, South Park)
  • Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids! (Trix Cereal)
  • Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? (Arnold Drummond, Diff'rent Strokes)
  • Yada, yada, yada... (Seinfeld)
  • Yeah, that's the ticket. (Jon Lovitz, Saturday Night Live)
And now as a cheap ploy to fill an incredible amount of space, here is the full list:

- ... if it weren't for you meddling kids! (Various villains, Scooby Doo, Where Are You?)
- Aaay! (Fonzie, Happy Days)
- And that's the way it is. (Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News)
- Ask not what your country can do for you ... (John F. Kennedy)
- Baby, you're the greatest. (Ralph Kramden, The Honeymooners)
- Bam! (Emeril Lagasse, Emeril Live)
- Book 'em, Danno. (Steve McGarrett, Hawaii Five-O)
- Come on down! (Johnny Olson, et al, The Price is Right)
- Danger, Will Robinson! (Robot, Lost in Space)
- De plane! De plane! (Tattoo, Fantasy Island)
- Denny Crane. (Denny Crane, Boston Legal)
- Do you believe in miracles? (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)
- D'oh! (Homer Simpson, The Simpsons)
- Don't make me angry... (David Banner, The Incredible Hulk)
- Dynomite! (J.J., Good Times)
- Elizabeth, I'm coming! (Fred Sanford, Sanford and Son)
- Gee, Mrs. Cleaver... (Eddie Haskell, Leave it to Beaver)
- God'll get you for that. (Maude, Maude)
- Good grief. (Charlie Brown, Peanuts Specials)
- Good night and good luck. (Edward R. Murrow, See It Now)
- Good night, John Boy. (The Waltons)
- Have you no sense of decency? (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)
- Heh heh... (Beavis & Butthead, Beavis and Butthead)
- Here it is, your moment of Zen. (Jon Stewart, The Daily Show)
- Here's Johnny! (Ed McMahon, The Tonight Show)
- Hey now! (Hank Kingsley, The Larry Sanders Show)
- Hey, hey, hey! (Dwayne Nelson, What's Happening!!)
- Hey, hey, hey! (Fat Albert, Fat Albert)
- Holy ______, Batman! (Robin, Batman)
- Holy crap! (Frank Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond)
- Homey don't play that! (Homey the Clown, In Living Color)
- How sweet it is! (Jackie Gleason, The Jackie Gleason Show)
- How you doin'? (Joey Tribbiani, Friends)
- I can't believe I ate that whole thing. (Alka Seltzer)
- I know nothing! (Sgt. Schultz, Hogan's Heroes)
- I love it when a plan comes together. (Hannibal, The A-Team)
- I want my MTV! (MTV)
- I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl... (Larry, Newhart)
- I'm not a crook. (Richard Nixon)
- I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV. (Vicks Formula 44)
- I'm Rick James, bitch! (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, Chappelle's Show)
- Is that your final answer? (Regis Philbin, Who Wants to be a Millionaire)
- It keeps going and going and going... (Energizer Batteries)
- It takes a licking... (Timex)
- Jane, you ignorant slut. (Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live)
- Just one more thing... (Columbo, Columbo)
- Let's be careful out there. (Sgt. Esterhaus, Hill Street Blues)
- Let's get ready to rumble! (Michael Buffer, Various sporting events)
- Live long and prosper. (Spock, Star Trek)
- Making whoopie! (Bob Eubanks, The Newlywed Game)
- Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! (Jan Brady, The Brady Bunch)
- Mom always liked you best. (Tommy Smothers, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour)
- Never assume... (Felix Unger, The Odd Couple)
- Nip it! (Barney Fife, The Andy Griffith Show)
- No soup for you! (Soup Nazi, Seinfeld)
- Norm! (Cheers)
- Now cut that out! (Jack Benny, The Jack Benny Program)
- Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You bastards! (Stan and Kyle, South Park)
- Oh, my nose! (Marcia Brady, The Brady Bunch)
- One small step for man... (Neil Armstrong)
- Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon? (Grey Poupon)
- Read my lips: No new taxes! (George H.W. Bush)
- Resistance is futile. (Picard as Borg, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
- Say good night, Gracie. (George Burns, The Burns & Allen Show)
- Schwing! (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, Saturday Night Live)
- Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy. (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)
- Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids! (Trix Cereal)
- Smile, you're on Candid Camera! (Candid Camera)
- Sock it to me. (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In)
- Space, the final frontier... (Capt. Kirk, Star Trek)
- Stifle! (Archie Bunker, All in the Family)
- Suit up! (Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother)
- Tastes great! Less filling! (Miller Lite Beer)
- Tell me what you don't like about yourself. (Dr. McNamara & Dr. Troy, Nip/Tuck)
- That's hot. (Paris Hilton, The Simple Life)
- The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. (Jim McKay, ABC's Wide World of Sports)
- The tribe has spoken. (Jeff Probst, Survivor)
- The truth is out there. (Fox Mulder, The X-Files)
- This is the city... (Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet)
- Time to make the donuts. (Dunkin' Donuts)
- Two thumbs up! (Siskel & Ebert / Ebert & Roeper)
- Up your nose with a rubber hose. (Vinnie Barbarino, Welcome Back, Kotter)
- We are two wild and crazy guys! (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd, Saturday Night Live)
- Welcome to the O.C., bitch. (Luke, The O.C.)
- Well, isn't that special? (Dana Carvey as The Church Lady, Saturday Night Live)
- We've got a really big show! (Ed Sullivan, The Ed Sullivan Show)
- Whassup? (Budweiser)
- What you see is what you get! (Geraldine, The Flip Wilson Show)
- Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? (Arnold Drummond, Diff'rent Strokes)
- Where's the beef? (Wendy's)
- Who loves you, baby? (Kojak, Kojak)
- Would you believe? (Maxwell Smart, Get Smart)
- Yabba dabba do! (Fred Flintstone, The Flintstones)
- Yada, yada, yada... (Seinfeld)
- Yeah, that's the ticket. (Jon Lovitz, Saturday Night Live)
- You eeeediot! (Ren, Ren & Stimpy)
- You look mahvelous! (Billy Crystal as Fernando, Saturday Night Live)
- You rang? (Lurch, The Addams Family)
- You're fired! (Donald Trump, The Apprentice)
- You've got spunk... (Mr. Grant, Mary Tyler Moore)

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    1. Somebody got paid to tally that up.
      Now, why can't I get a job like that?

    2. This makes me think of the horror conventions I've gone to where there's a guest "celebrity" speaker and they'll get asked over and over to quote a famous line by their character. And the audience goes nuts. I just wanted to share that. :)

      Also, update your link http://pulpsushi.typepad.com no more Blogger for me (except for leaving comments).

    3. I have to admit that I have always loved television catchphrases, and I really can't take much issue with TVLand's list with a few noticeable omissions. When it comes to Star Trek, I don't tend to think of Spock's "Live long and prosper," but rather his constant use of the word "Fascinating" and "(Fill in the blank) would be illogical." I'm also surprised that two of my favourite quotes from Get Smart failed to make the list--"Missed it by that much" and "Sorry about that, chief." I also think Jack Benny's exasperated "Wwweeellllll (of which Johnny Carson also had a variation)" should have made the list as well.

      At any rate a lot of them have aged poorly. I have to wonder that a lot of youngsters probably look at the phrases on the list and think, "Huh? What was the big deal?"

    4. I agree with your choices, with the exception of the "you killed Kenny" one. I like South Park, but the whole "you bastard!" bit got tired fast.

    5. There is so much missing from that list!

      How about 24?


      "How about that?" Mel Allen, This Week in Baseball

      "Did I do that?" Steve Urkel

      I could go on all day!

      Plus, my m all-time favorite quote from a very, very, very short lived FOX show, Skin that was drilled into my head one year in promos during the baseball playoffs...it was a character played by Ron Silver yelling: "HIS FATHER IS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY!"

    6. d. prince - I've had that kind of job. They are out there, theu just may not pay you all that much.

      phibesbee - consider the link changed and my bad that I hadn't noticed.

      mercurie - well I admit I get caught up in the rush of a new catchphrase, that's not what I remember about the show years later. Catchphrases = puppy love

      paul - I guess that's just my potty mouth. I'm going to have to watch that these days.

      dr. - the issue I have with the list is the inclusion of political statements. Well they mave have been memorable, I don't think it is accurate to characterize them as "TV catchphrases." That's just too cynical, even for me.

    7. Soup Nazi, as opposed to 'Nazi nazi' Micheal Richards