Words and phrases – They’re powerful aren’t they? From a simple please, to a rallying war cry, words mean a lot to people, whether you want to admit it or not. But some words and phrases linger with us, some stick through the fandoms and get mixed into the real world. Although you can never beat the original context, there’s so many words and phrases we use thanks to our favourite fandoms, that today we’re going to celebrate our Top 10 of them.
10) For The Horde/For The Alliance – World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is well known for having one of the most incredible life spans of any MMORPG. It’s arguable that the whole genre really took off when WoW happened. Part of the joy of the game was the fact there’s so many likable elements. From Player vs Player combat, to Player vs Environment (raids and instances), you were able to build your character up (with helpful guides put together by websites like WoWhead) and take on your opposition.
It didn’t matter which side of the war you were on, you were passionate about your side and you would fight in PvP and PvE for the chance to prove that your side was the dominant side. Now, so many years later, the lines between the Horde and the Alliance have been blurred to near obscurity for some… But to others, it’s still a strong reminder of which side of the war you sat on. Personally, I’m going to admit… Lok’tar Ogar – FOR THE HORDE!
9) It’s Over 9,000!!! – DragonBall Z
Funnily enough, in the original, the number wasn’t 9,000 but bigger numbers really do just sound good, don’t they? I mean 9,000 is nine times more than 1,000… So that’s pretty big! It’s not absurd like 100,000, yet 9,000 is still pretty big. But it doesn’t matter what you think about the numbers, no. Instead, what matters is Goku’s power level when he returns to fight the mighty Saiyan prince, Vegeta, has actually got a power level higher than 9,000.
One of the most memeable phrases on this list – It’s been used in countless jokes and parodies. When Nappa asks what Goku’s power level is and Vegeta is angry about it, he takes his scouter off his face, screams “It’s over 9,000!!!” and Nappa immediately responds with the most emphatic “WHAT, 9,000?! There’s no way that can be right!” It was pretty powerful… Er, y’know… For an anime from the 90’s.
8) Would You Kindly – Bioshock
Arguably one of the more powerful phrases on this list is one of the most spine-tingling, as it’s disgustingly polite. Yet, the connotations of listening and indeed sticking to these words are severe. It’s a simple phrase which really shows that you are committed to being helpful, which is nice but the person saying the words couldn’t care less if you survived or not. Unless he can use you to meet his own objectives, then you can stay alive of course.
Uttered by the villainous Frank Fontaine, “would you kindly” is a programmed trigger in the brain of Jack, the main protagonist of Bioshock. Frank wants to see Andrew Ryan slain, making him seem like the antagonist of the game, but the reveal of said trigger is honestly one of those video game moments that makes your jaw drop. It’s not even an obvious plot twist, but it’s logical, well thought out and calculated.
Would you kindly read on, dear reader?
7) Roll Initiative – D&D
It should not be possible for two words to instill terror on a near primal level. It’s a signal that diplomatic procedures have irrevocably broken down, that all other options have been taken away, that bloodshed is the only way forward, or worst of all, that you’ve all failed your perception checks miserably. Initiative order determines how prepared you are to fight and how quickly you react to the situation suddenly becoming hostile, and while there are those who may have found better ways of determining combat order, there’s no questioning how iconic these words have become.
The Dungeon Master has incredible power, catalogues stacked upon tomes, augmented, empowered and expanded, but sometimes monsters and nemeses are not the best ways to offer adversity to your campaigns. Still, it’s fun to have the occasional scrap to break the tension. I mean, why even buy a monster manual?
6) Live Long and Prosper – Star Trek
Probably one of the most well known across many fandoms here, “live long and prosper” is something of a cultural calling card of the Vulcan people, a cool, logical, but generally well wishing greeting, wonderfully non-specific in intent, but hoping for something that everyone wants regardless of creed or species.
It’s a phrase that Leonard Nimoy took to his grave, and commendably managed both. LLAP became a part of his signature. Lesser known is the traditional response “peace and long life” which is not uttered with anything like the same frequency. Vulcans must find us impossibly rude, but hey, not everyone wants peace!
5) Fus Ro Dah – Skyrim
Oh Dovahkiin, are you not the most mighty warrior the land of Skyrim has to offer? Are you not going to take the mantle of the dragonborn and use your mighty Thu’um to help take the dragons out of the sky. What’s that? You’ve got three words for me? I’d really like to hear them…
FUS RO DAH!
Oh, right, thanks a lot. This powerful as hell Thu’um you’ve just thrown at me has done nothing more than throw my crockery around my house. You’ve walked in, you’ve stepped on my table and knocked my dinner everywhere, now you’re shouting at the books on my bookshelf and away they go around my house. You’re no dragonborn, you’re just some bully who walks into houses and shouts at things until the fly around the place.
Fus Ro Dah indeed!
4) Frack/Frell/Smeg – Scifi Swear Words
For when you need to keep the bad language out but also want your dialogue to sound realistic, like real people are talking. Ask a nerd to give you a made up swear word over in Britain they’ll likely call you a smeghead, where I tend to hear frack more frequently from America, testament to the cultural impact of Red Dwarf and Battlestar Galactica, but I’ve included Farscape’s Frell for the sake of completion.
The use of artificial swearing in sci-fi has been mocked, but when it’s for comedy then there’s nothing wrong with it, or when you can use it so fluently and effortlessly that the viewer buys into it as thoroughly as the rest of the dialogue, then you have succeeded.
See also – Belgium, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Barbra Streisand, South Park
3) Avada Kedavra – Harry Potter
Avada Kedavra is known simply as The Killing Curse – It’s one of the most forbidden magics to use on another wizard or indeed a muggle, ending the lives of so many of Harry’s closest friends and companions. It doesn’t matter who you use it on, if it hits, you’re as good as dead. It didn’t get that reputation by being a soft and cuddly move… Well, except for the fact that if someone loves you very much and jumps in the way, they might be protected from it.
It’s used by only the most sinister of people… So Voldemort. When the Killing Curse words are uttered, you know someone’s going to be in trouble. The best way to handle the situation is to quickly cast out the Disarming Charm, Expelliarmus. But ultimately, Avada Kedavra the most chill-sending thought in the back of all wizards and witches minds: At any point, anyone with enough magical know-how could easily cast that in the back of your head… And then you’re going for an eternal slumber.
2) Valar Morghulis – Game of Thrones
Talk about an appropriate catchphrase, from the Old Valyrian tongue Valar Morghulis means “All Men Must Die”.
You don’t say. Now kudos to Game of Thrones for making it abundantly… almost excessively clear that death is rarely a glorious spectacle, rarely poignant, expected, or an earth shattering moment that changes everything. Sometimes people die suddenly, ignobly and in all manner of grisly and unpleasant ways.
As an ethos however, it seems the Valerians take Valar Morghulis to heart, making the most of their lives under the constant knowledge that they will come to an end. If they’re lucky, they won’t be a main character, and they can delay the inevitable a little longer.
1) May The Force Be With You – Star Wars
Not many of these words and phrases have escaped their respective properties and leaked into the real world but this one most certainly has. The force is the basis of a religion that people around the world have accepted into their hearts, and the backbone of Star Wars mythology. To wish the force be with someone is to bid them good fortune and strong will against all the trials that lie ahead of them.
The phrase is also why May the 4th is Star Wars Day, because even a cultural phenomenon this big is not immune to a bad pun.
Though it may seem nebulous and unclear what powers the Force bestows on its users, telekinesis is popular, as is lightning hands, but the ability to avoid or deflect projectiles with preternatural accuracy is one of the less obvious gifts of the force. That’d be why lightsabers are so popular, harder to deflect something when an equally strong force user is on the other end.
I am sure some of you will now have the plentiful voices from the above list in your head, but don’t worry! We have two more voices to add to that everflowing chalice you call your imagination. Oh and to make it better… these last two are ridiculous. So ridiculous that we had to include them!
I’m BATMAN – How it Should Have Ended
Aheheh, ok, this one’s kind of cheating. In fact Bruce Wayne doesn’t say “I’m Batman” all that often, not so much that it’d be an iconic catchphrase were it not for the fact that comic-book culture seems to have seized upon it as a running gag. And here we bring in the team from How It Should Have Ended.
Living a semi-independent existence, the HISHE parody of the Dark Knight has a superpower that even his best buddy Supes can’t top. How does he survive apocalyptic explosions? Why is willing sacrifice himself for a city, and yet he’s still able to survive and make it to a foreign coffee shop? Well I’ll tell you. How come he’s always right?
Because he’s Batman.
IMMA FIRIN MA LAZAAR – The Internet
Oh internet, if we didn’t know better then we might assume that you’re really just some kid who sits in the corner and makes little in-jokes. Wait, that is you, isn’t it? You created some of the funniest in-jokes that the world over knows about, but only if you are on the internet, man! This particular in-joke was one of the earliest most well known memes around, which featured a face with giant lips say out the words “I’mma firin’ ma lazor”, followed by a loud “Bwah” noise and a laser emitting from said mouth.
It’s rather genius, when you think about it.
Okay it isn’t, shut up and stop picking on me.
Verbose and often vulgar, we’ve besmirched you all with these words and phrases from some of our favourite fandoms. It doesn’t matter if you are shouting your Thu’um everywhere, or if you are trying to live long and prosper, just remember that we’re here to tell you that the force is with you, you smeghead. Ah I take it back, come back here, would you kindly vote on next week’s choice of Top 10?
I have spoken far too much, it’s time to let my tongue rest for the night. But please let us know what you thought of our list this week, we love to hear what words and phrases you have about our articles. Did you think Star Wars deserved the top slot? Did our sci-fi swears intrigue you? How many if these did you know about? As always, share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Hey, you there, I see you like our Top 10’s! That’s great, but we need your help now. We are thinking of writing up our Top 10’s as an eBook. Interested? Let us know what you would like to see in our Top 10 eBook!