Can you feel it? We’re going to get catchy in this week’s article. There’s no doubt you’ll have heard a lot of the phrases spoken today, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Catchphrases. Our caveats are simple:
- Single Word catchphrases aren’t included – These could be considered for a future list!
- The catchphrase had to be a genuinely recognisable trait of the character; not something said just once.
10) The Rock vs John Cena
If our Honourable Mentions are anything to go by, we try not to include non-geeky subjects. However the world of professional wrestling is filled with catchphrases, which were just too good to pass up. Here are two legends of the industry with their catchphrases – Who is the catchiest catchphrase of them all? Old era vs New era!
If You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking? – The Rock
Starting with good old Rocky Maivia, The Rock was a staple of WWE from when he joined the industry in 1995. It wasn’t until he hit his stride did he change from smiling Rocky Maivia to the sassy bad man of the industry that we all came to love. With a few catchphrases as memorable as one another, he wasn’t truly complete until he started screaming down the microphone about his culinary proficiency.
You Can’t See Me! – John Cena
Professional internet troll, John Cena, is one hell of a polarising figure in sports entertainment. With many people comparing him to being The Rock of the current generation, Big Match John has been around the industry since the Ruthless Aggression era, which started just at the end of The Rock’s time in the business. Cena walked in and was immediately a charismatic star, one that was sorely needed once The Rock went on to Hollywood. Now that Cena’s heading that way too, I wonder who the next charismatic superstar is going to be?
Let’s grapple our way through this one and headlock our way to victory, as only one of these stars can suplex their catchphrase to the top. And your winner is…
9) Smoke Me A Kipper, I’ll Be Back For Breakfast – Ace Rimmer
Across multiple dimensions there are multiple Arnold Rimmers, and the vast majority are sadsacks with authority problems, delusions of adequacy, and one immediate subordinate who makes their life… actually better, imagine how tragic a Rimmer would be on his own. But among the trackless cosmos, a name is whispered, cursed, drank to, and sung. Ace Rimmer, test pilot and action hero! Amazing what a difference a single decision can make.
And he’s a man with a taste for fish breakfast? Didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s one hell of a sign-off as you close up your cockpit ready to launch yourself into the cosmos in pursuit of a life of daring-do, ready to face death at a moment’s notice because, well it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve died. “Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast” is an announcement of confidence, intent, and weird breakfast decisions.
8) It’s-a Me, Mario! – Mario
Let’s be honest, if Mario didn’t get on this list, it’d be a bit of a crime – But at the same time, some people may be questioning why he didn’t score as high as they might have thought. The reason is pretty simple – It’s not his catchphrase that is so memorable. Whilst we all quote the catchphrase, when you think of Mario, you probably get that opening jingle stuck in your head for a moment, before you then say his catchphrase.
Mario is indeed a great example of a gaming mascot whose catchphrase is simple, easy to remember and effective… But he’s not the best video game character with a catchphrase. Arguably one of the most iconic characters of our time, Mario definitely deserved to make his way onto this list, but his catchphrase is number two to his incredibly catchy jingle. Now, help me write out that tune!
Da da da dada da — da.
7) Hulk Smash – Hulk
He’s mean, he’s green and most importantly he has an easy to remember catchphrase. Out of all superheroes, he arguably has one of, if not the most iconic catchphrase. When you think of The Hulk, it’s often that you think of his classic line, ‘Hulk Smash’. Oh sure, ‘Puny God’ in The Avengers was a great line, but it pales in comparison to the raw power of having a large brute threatening to smash.
A catchphrase really needn’t be elegant, so long as it’s effective. ‘Hulk Smash’ flows so easily, fits the character to a tee and is such a hard thing to argue. Indeed, Hulk’s whole purpose in life is to be destructive (to a point). Why waste time with fanciful words, when really all it takes is two incredibly simple, but ultimately painful sounding words?
6) Stay Awhile and Listen – Deckard Cain
Diablo fans are probably now screaming at me, shouting ‘why would you bring this here?!’ But Deckard Cain is one of the most iconic parts of Blizzard’s legendary overhead hack ‘n slash series, Diablo. With his first appearance in Diablo II cementing his place in the games lore, there was no doubt that Deckard Cain was a character we would need to see again and again.
Blizzard seemingly addressed the point that “Stay Awhile and Listen” is his catchphrase. They introduced the character to their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm – and indeed, his ultimate ability is named after this seemingly innocuous catchphrase. Don’t get this twisted however, there are plenty of people out there who would rather not hear this phrase ever again. But, alas, that’s not the Deckard Cain way.
Now, put on your best old man voice and tell me a tale of the Horadric Cube.
5) Bite My Shiny Metal Ass – Bender
Pretty much at the pinnacle of catchphraseology, the term “Bite me” has often been laden with implications that Bender is content to lay completely on the line, and if some humans break off some teeth while they’re getting fresh with his baseplate… well that’s just hilarious! Maybe smash some teeth in just to be sure.
Choice of adjectives vary, golden, frozen, tiny, colossal, 8-bit, red hot and glowing. Circumstances change, and catchphrases should adapt with them, and Bender is nothing if not flexible. A key component of his in-your-face interface, the term has been varied and changed up, and even been part of a plot to assassinate the leaders of ball planet Spheron 1.
4) Get Over Here – Scorpion
If this list was the Top 10 Video Game Catchphrases, I think there’d be a strong argument for this to be the number one pick. Mortal Kombat is a franchise that’s been in our arcades and consoles since the early 90’s. It took the admittedly relatively fledgling fighting game genre and turned it into something bigger – Something more brutal and something violent to the point where the ESRB was born out of necessity to regulate it.
Mortal Kombat has its share of iconic characters, that big gaming fans will recognise the iconic sound of Scorpion screaming at his enemies. A huge hook chain rushes out at the victim, screaming at them to “Get Over Here!” before pulling them viciously to him, so he can continue the assault with devastating punches and kicks. Believe me, this guy is rough, he’s violent and he’s everything you’d want out of Mortal Kombat. Hearing this catchphrase is more than a Fatality!
3) I’m Batman
I am vengeance! I am the night! I am one of the most spoofed catchphrases ever. One of the biggest super-heroes of our time, little wonder that he’s wormed his way so deeply into pop culture that to spontaneously announce that you are Batman is to profess some self-proclaimed sense of mystery, badassness, and a throat problem.
The caped crusader himself doesn’t say the phrase all that much, often enough that it’s an important part of assuming the cowl for any new Batman, and delivery of the line is a pretty solid indicator of how well the actor is going to do in the job (looking at you Clooney, “Hi Freeze, I’m Batman”?). If anything, it’s more a catchphrase for the HISHE Superhero Cafe version these days.
2) Make It So – Jean-Luc Picard
A slight variation on basic command format, it certainly lends a uniqueness to Picard’s authority. It’s simple, concise, a little empowering too, as it lends agency to the party being given a command, makes them feel heard, as often “Make It So” is in response to someone else’s idea, an invitation to bring their idea to life. Rarely does a catchphrase inform so much about a character’s philosophy.
Despite the many possible origins of the phrase (military terms, writers, Stewart himself), in the series it’s uniquely Picard’s, Janeway infamously used “Do it”, far more urgent; Sisko and Kirk had their styles but never really had the phrase to back it up. But Picard’s famous sign off was turned into a christmas carol! And that’s why Picard is the best captain. I will debate you in the comments.
1) What’s Up, Doc? – Bugs Bunny
The number one slot on this list had to be super iconic. It had to represent something that we, as geeks, could get behind. It couldn’t be a video game, as there’s a limit to the appeal for video games. It couldn’t be a normal TV series, as again there’s a limited appeal. So what could we choose? After weighing everything up, we figured Bugs Bunny with his infinite wit had to be our top spot.
Sure, he might be a stinker, but Bugs has been on our TV screens since April 30, 1938. In that time, his design has been updated a little, but nothing too extreme. Indeed, Bugs is a character that has stood the test of time – And is one of the pioneers that cartoons could be more than just child’s play. With subtle adult humour and a personality that’s lasted through generations, Bugs is a character with attitude who, I’m sure, you’ve at least once imitated.
Now that we’ve got our Top 10 list out of the way with, there are a couple more catchphrases that we couldn’t help but put in this list. We could have gone really obvious and put the show Catchphrase in the list, but we decided we’d stick good and stick to some form of media. The next two examples aren’t particularly geeky, but they certainly stuck out!
I Have A Cunning Plan – Baldrick
Is there anything scarier to consider than a fool and his plan? Astonishingly, Baldrick’s plans are occasionally sensible, or at least obey some kind of basic logic. Too often they’re hampered by optimism, a severe disconnection from the facts, or for the most part, outright stupidity. His master, Edmund Blackadder, is the real cunning one here.
Past plans have included replacing the King’s head with a carved pumpkin, keeping the bullet with your name on it to hand so no one else has got it, drowning as a method of remembering important information, and one unknown plan to save yourself from getting shot to death by Germans. Points given for always being ready and for creative and innovative thinking. Points are deducted for a stupidity that defies generations and centuries to persevere into the far distant future.
How you doin’? – Joey
We pushed this into honourable mentions for not having the Geek-Cred we prefer to see in our list entries, but it may be one of the best known sitcom catchphrases in television history, certainly it remains firmly in the social consciousness decades later. “How you doin’?” was the ‘opening move’ for serial – well let’s not say womaniser here, Joey had a romantic streak that looked more like a stripe, he just had a blunt appreciation for surface beauty too.
But of course, it was every bit the attitude rather than the words spoken, faux-suave, all confidence, and very little by way of pretext. Apparently it worked often enough to stick with. Worth mentioning here is Joey Tribbiani tribute act Barney Stinson, a straight forward parody with more catchphrases than could fit in a single list. Joey only had one, plenty of great moments and punchlines, but there’s no questioning how effective the line is.
Take a breather, as all of these oh so quirky words are spreading everywhere. Forget memes, catchphrases of characters are more meme-y than any Pepe ever could be (I’m sorry, Pepe). But yet, just because we’re done with this week’s list, doesn’t mean the fun is over. Before we go on to say our signature closing line, it’s time for you to help us choose what our next week’s Top 10 list is.
These catchphrases have been exerted of their use and now they’re overstaying their welcome. So It’s-a-Me, I’m Batman saying it’s time to Hulk Smash. So Stay Awhile and Listen and Make It So. Now, Get Over Here and let us know what you thought about this week’s list. Did you enjoy our choices, or did we forget an important one? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.