TV Talk: Catchphrase Quiz



By: Staff

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

"Holy catchphrase, Batman!" Our language is peppered with famous buzzwords and catchphrases that we've picked up from television. Perhaps a character always reacts with a particular phrase, or there's a long-running joke in the series.  

Sometimes, we even mythologize lines that have never been said by a character! We bet you didn't know that Captain Kirk never said the exact phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty." Just like Humphrey Bogart's character in the movie, "Casablanca," never actually said, "Play it again, Sam."  Despite the reality of the scripts, we still know exactly what show you're talking about when you mention either of these!

Catchphrases are more than just part of the script. They became part of the character. What would Homer Simpson be without his "D'oh?" And how would we know that Arthur Fonzarelli had fixed the jukebox (again) without his famous "Eyyy!" mixed with a thumbs up?

If you think you have an encyclopedic knowledge of American television pop culture, and all the catchphrases that go with it, take this quiz to see whether or not you are the weakest link! Kidding! You'll do great!

"Eh, what’s up, doc?"

The "Looney Tunes" rabbit with the Brooklyn accent had a number of catchphrases including, "Eh, what's up doc?" and "Of course, you realize this means war." Bugs routinely got lost by not taking that left turn at Albuquerque.



With his hand smacking his forehead and uttering a hearty "d'oh," Homer Simpson is constantly realizing his mistakes when he uses this buzzword. Homer is voiced by Dan Castellaneta.


"Gentleman, we can rebuild him. We have the technology."

This particular catchphrase came at the beginning of the show, said by the character, Oscar Goldman. The television show, "The Bionic Woman," was a spin-off.


"Book 'em, Danno"

Actor Jack Lord made this catchphrase famous during the original "Hawaii Five-O" TV series. The original series aired from 1968-1980.


"Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"

No one can ever understand what Kenny says on "South Park." But when he dies unexpectedly, time after time after time, someone in the animated cast inevitably says, "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"


"Say the secret word and win $100."

After successful careers in vaudeville and in the movies, Groucho Marx's career got a huge boost with the quiz show, "You Bet Your Life." If a contestant said the secret word, they won $100. That was big bucks in the 1950s.


"Kiss my grits!"

Based on the 1974 film, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," the television show, "Alice," ran on TV from 1976 to 1985. "Kiss my grits!" was Flo's catchphrase.


"Just the facts, ma'am."

Joe Friday in "Dragnet" was a stickler for the facts. "Dragnet" was on the radio, television and a movie franchise that lasted for decades.


"Yadda, yadda, yadda"

"Yadda, yadda, yadda," is probably one of the most famous catchphrases in TV history thanks to Jerry Seinfeld. But is he "spongeworthy?" The show was on the air for nine seasons.


"Beam me up, Scotty."

Captain Kirk would say this to his chief engineer, Scotty, whenever he wanted to be brought back to the Starship. Surprisingly, Captain Kirk never actually said this exact phrase, but rather variations of it.


"And a one…and a two…"

From 1955 to 1982, "The Lawrence Welk Show" showcased singing, dancing, music and bubbles. Each week had a different theme.


"Here's Johnny!"

Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson's sidekick on "The Tonight Show" from 1962 to 1992. The oft-heard phrase "Here's Johnny" was also the title of McMahon's memoir.



Sheldon, from "The Big Bang Theory," exclaims the made-up word "bazinga" just after he makes a joke. He is played by Jim Parsons.


"Wocka wocka wocka!"

Fozzie Bear is a character on "The Muppets." He tries to be funny, but his jokes fall flat. Fozzie says this catchphrase when trying to indicate to others that he just told a joke.


"Aye caramba!"

Bart Simpson is the master of the catchphrase, including "Aye caramba," "Eat my shorts!" and "Don't have a cow, man!" Bart is voiced by Nancy Cartwright.


"How you doin'?"

Matt LeBlanc, the womanizing Joey Tribbiani, often used this catchphrase when he was on the prowl in the hit comedy "Friends." There were 236 episodes of "Friends."



Don't open the door if you get a Candygram from a Land Shark. The character, voiced by Chevy Chase, was a regular on "Saturday Night Live." It was a spoof on the movie "Jaws."


"Two thumbs up."

Movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert began "At the Movies" in 1986. The phrase is actually trademarked, and the copyright is held be their families.


"What'chu talkin' 'about Willis?"

"Diff'rent Strokes'" star, Gary Coleman played Arnold Jackson who made, "What'chu talkin' 'about Willis?" one of the best-known catchphrases in the 1970s and 1980s. The show aired for eight seasons.


"It's handled."

Olivia Pope announces all the problems on "Scandal" are fixed with her sharp catchphrase. Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope, a crisis manager.


"Here I come to save the day."

Mighty Mouse was a superhero mouse that was fashioned after Superman. The character has had multiple revivals throughout the decades.


"You are the weakest link. Goodbye!"

Anne Robinson was the prim British voice on "The Weakest Link" who sent contestants packing. "The Weakest Link" is a quiz show.


"That's what she said."

Steve Carell's Michael Scott in the American version of "The Office" can't resist using this joke wherever he can; and not necessarily when he should. "The Office" was originally a British show.


"Time out!"

Zack Morris stops the action in "Saved By the Bell" to give asides using this phrase, and a ref's "time out" hand signal. Zack was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar.


"Pretty good. Pretty, pretty pretty good."

Larry David uses this phrase often in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The show is largely improvised except for a general outline.


"The devil made me do it."

On "The Flip Wilson Show," Wilson's character, Geraldine Jones, always had a (satanic) scapegoat. Flip Wilson played Geraldine Jones, among other characters.


"Nanu nanu."

Robin Williams used this phrase in "Mork and Mindy" to say hello and goodbye in Mork's native language from Ork, another planet. It aired from 1978-1982.


"Where's the beef?"

Fun fact! 1984 presidential hopeful Walter Mondale used the "Where's the beef" catchphrase from a Wendy's commercial to show how his opponent Senator Gary Hart's policies lacked any substance.


"Homey don't play that."

Damon Wayans' 'Homey D. Clown' was really not one for fun and games. The character was an ex-con that worked as clown, but didn't want to do typical clown things.


"Cut it out."

The phrase, spoken by Uncle Joey, actually came from the actor's friend, director Mark Cendrowski. The original series was one for eight seasons.


"You know nothing, Jon Snow."

In "Game of Thrones," Jon Snow is constantly reminded he's clueless by the Wildling, Ygritte. Ygritte is played by Rose Leslie. In real life, she is married to Kit Harington who plays Jon Snow.



Based on the hit movie "American Graffiti," "Happy Days" made a star out Henry Winkler, who played the ultra-cool Fonzi. His trademark "Eyyy!" always came with a thumbs up.


"I am the Great Cornholio."

The character, Cornholio, is Beavis' alter ego. The first episode of "Beavis and Butt-head" with this character was called, "The Great Cornholio."


"Make it work."

Fashion reality show. "Project Runway," features Tim Gunn encouraging designers with his signature phrase. He's worked in a variety of capacities in the field of fashion, from educator to consultant.


"I've made a huge mistake."

Gob makes a lot of mistakes, giving him ample opportunity to use this phrase in "Arrested Development." Gob is played by Will Arnett, who also voices Bojack Horseman in the series of the same name.


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!