How Well Do You Know These 1980s Catchphrases?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Dima Viunnyk / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

With the rise of television and an increase in advertisements, the '80s sure were a fun time for pop culture. Sitcoms were at their height, cartoons were becoming more and more creative, and hairdos were growing through the roof. The '80s had something for everyone, as people adapted to the changing times, but most importantly, the decade had catchphrases. Can you remember the most popular catchphrases from the '80s? Here's your chance to find out!

Catchphrases in the '80s came from a variety of sources from television shows to wrestling to toys and commercials. Kids ran around quoting movies like "The Goonies" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." Teens found comedy in making fun of their friends with wrestling promos from stars like Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Adults tried to copy television parents like the Seavers from "Growing Pains" and the Arnolds from "The Wonder Years." Needless to say, '80s culture was a catchy time for everyone. 

Are you into '80s pop culture? Do you think you can pull out some of the best catchphrases that defined the era, phrases that are still remembered today? If you are up for the challenge, get started with this quiz and see just how well you caught on to catchphrases in the '80s!

Which actor from the movie "Terminator" said, "I'll be back"?

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a body builder before becoming an actor. His former training helped earn him roles in action movies.


Who is known for saying "I pity the fool"?

Mr. T spent some time as a professional wrestler. His most famous match was fighting alongside Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania I.


Which product is controlled by the Clapper in its commercials?

The Clapper wasn't the perfect product when it was released. It was known to activate due to other noises such as coughing and laughter.


Which horror movie coined the phrase "Never feed him after midnight"?

"Gremlins" helped establish the PG-13 rating system. The movie was too violent to be a PG movie, but it didn't have some of the illicit​ material found in a rated R movie.


Which "Family Matters" character says "Did I do that?"

"Family Matters" was a spinoff series of "Perfect Strangers." However, the spinoff was more popular and ran longer than the parent show.


Where did the phrase "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" come from?

The Hulk's character on "The Incredible Hulk" was divided between two actors. Bill Bixby played the everyday persona of the Hulk, David Banner, while Lou Ferrigno played the actual Hulk.


Where did the phrase "Who ya gonna call?" come from?

"Ghostbusters" could have been very different if the original choices for roles had chosen to get on board. Offers were made to actors like Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and John Candy.


Which commercial is known for "I've fallen and can't get up"?

Partly due to this commercial, Lifecall became more of a joke than a solution to a problem. Luckily, the negative stigma surrounding medical alert systems has decimated some since the release of Lifecall.


What movie is, "Say hello to my little friend" from?

Al Pacino got his big break in "The Godfather" series. The series would help launch his career in the '80s and '90s.


In "Dirty Dancing," who says "Nobody puts baby in the corner"?

Johnny was played by Patrick Swayze who also starred in movies like "Road House" and "Point Break." Swayze acted up until his death in 2009 from cancer.


Which cartoon is known for "This message will self-destruct​"?

All detectives wish they could be Inspector Gadget. His body is literally a tool for solving crime. What more could you want?


Which cartoon popularized the phrase "Cowabunga"?

The turtles on "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" are named after Italian Renaissance painters. Their names are Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo.


In "Diff'rent Strokes," Gary Coleman is known for saying "Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Willis" as which character?

After a successful career as a child star, Gary Coleman's career took a turn for the worse. He was forced to file bankruptcy in 1999 after financial instability took its toll.


Which superhero says "The power is yours"?

Barbara Pyle, one of the creators of "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," started a charity based off of the principals of the show. The charity is known as the Captain Planet Foundation.


Which company's commercial is known for "Where's the beef?"

Wendy's is known for their famous Frosty. The delicious milkshake has been part of the Wendy's menu since the first store opened.


Which cartoon character is known for "Meep-meep"?

The roadrunner is an actual bird species of the cuckoo family. These birds are famous for running upward of 20 mph.


Which political figure said "Just say no"?

Nancy Reagan was one of the leaders of the war on drugs that characterized the Reagan administration. The war has since been proven to be ineffective and costly in both lives and money.


A popular '80s cartoon, who says "By the power of Greyskull"?

He-Man started as an action figure when Mattel, a toy manufacturer, decided they needed a toy lineup to compete with Star Wars. Some of the original concepts of He-Man would have made him a Viking​.


Which game show coined the phrase "Come on down"?

"The Price is Right" is the longest running game show of all time. The show started in black and white in 1956, though it was canceled for a time and picked up later.


Which game show is known for "I'd like to buy a vowel, please"?

"Wheel of Fortune," of course, is known for its wheel which the game is centered around. That wheel weighs 2,400 pounds.


Which character from "Dukes of Hazard" says "I'm in hot pursuit"?

The car in the show, known as the General Lee, was a 1969 Dodge Charger. The car got more attention from fans than many of the star actors with thousands of letters coming in each year asking about the car.


Who in "Full House" said, "You got it, dude"?

Producers decided to cast twins for the role of Michelle because child labor laws only allowed them to work so many hours a day. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were chosen for the role, launching their​ careers.


What show is the phrase "I kill me" from?

ALF stands for Alien Life Form. The actual name of the character, however, is Gordon Shumway.


Which wrestler said, "Say your prayers, take your vitamins"?

Hulk Hogan was at the forefront of wrestling in the 1980s. His match against Andre the Giant helped launch the sport to the national level.


Which cartoon character says "Oh, bother"?

Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh were based on an interaction between a bear at the London Zoological Garden and the son of author A.A. Milne. Milne's son was named Christopher, and the bear was named Winnipeg​.


In which sitcom did the father say "I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out"?

"The Cosby Show" developed because Bill Cosby despised family sitcoms on the air at the time. He wanted a show where adults were in charge and kids knew their place.


Which "Cheers" character said, "Afternoon everybody"?

Norm never actually drank real beer in the show. The beer he was given had a lower alcohol content with salt added to keep it foamy.


Which comedy show is known for "Talk amongst yourselves"?

"Saturday Night Live" first aired in 1975 on NBC. The show has launched the careers of stars like Adam Sandler, Tina Fey and Eddie Murphy.


Which transformer used the phrase "Transform and roll out"?

Transformers was turned into a movie series beginning in 2007. The first film was directed by Michael Bay and included stars like Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.


Which beer commercial ran the slogan "Tastes great, less filling"?

Miller Lite hit shelves in the 1970s as an alternative to heavier beer options. It quickly became popular among Americans who were looking for a low-calorie​ diet.


Which "Scooby-Doo" character is known for the expression "Jinkies"?

Scooby Doo is a Great Dane. However, his design was created to mock the characteristics of a Great Dane, such as a straight back and a small chin, neither of which Scooby has.


Which wrestler gave the promo "Limousine ridin', jet flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin', son of a gun"?

Ric Flair is one of the most iconic wrestlers to ever take to the squared circle. He was famous not only for his talent but also for putting over wrestlers who were considered below him.


Which food commercial is known for "I'm not Herb"?

The Whopper, the signature burger of Burger King, was created in 1957. The idea came after the franchise was purchased by James McLamore and David Edgerton.


Which cartoon villain said, "This I command"?

Serpentor was a popular villain from the "G.I. Joe" series. The character made his first appearance in 1986 as the Cobra Emperor.


In which children's program did the host say "The word of the day is..."?

"Pee Wee's Playhouse" started as a stage show in 1980. HBO aired one of the performances which helped launch what would become the popular children's show.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!