Sure, there are TV phrases that have been used with incredible regularity: South Park's "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" and Cheers' "Norm!" for instance. But sometimes, the test of a classic catchphrase is whether it gets used in real life. So here, we salute the Top 15 TV quotes that have crept their way into the American vernacular over the years.
15. "The plane, the plane!" -- Tattoo, Fantasy Island
Oh, Tattoo. This phrase is pretty much the only memory we have of this program. But it is burned into our minds -- and TV history -- for the remainder of our lives.
Idea for use: After being delayed because of weather, your best friend's plane finally arrives at the airport.
14. "How you doin'?" -- Joey Tribbiani, Friends
It's a common salutation that's been around since, oh, the beginning of time. But Joey Tribbiani's trademark "dumb-guy" enunciation made the phrase seem brand new. Which, subsequently, got a little bit old after hearing everyone say it during the show's heyday.
Idea for use: Anytime. It's an all-purpose greeting.
For nine to 12 months after this episode of Chappelle's show ran, this phrase was uttered mostly by 20-something men in bars, in malls and in colleges non-stop. It finally died down, but if you said it today, most people would immediately know to what you were referring.
Idea for use: Unless you are Rick James, which you are not because he's dead, there's really no reason use this phrase -- which is why we were so floored it caught on.
12. "Aaaay!" - Fonzie, Happy Days
A motorcycle-riding, ex-gang member, The Fonz was the cool, womanizing bad boy of this 1950s-based sitcom. His cool-guy remarks were never uttered without using the double thumbs-up sign and were absolutely huge when the show was on air.
Idea for use: Prop yourself up against your new ride, feather your hair, and then let it rip.
11. "Homey don't play that!" -- Damon Wayans as Homey D. Clown, In Living Color
Many times, the actions that accompany a catchphrase are what make it so funny and memorable. Homey D. Clown, an ex-con who worked as a clown, entertained children and adults. But when something made him angry, he also violently struck out at people using the phrase, while simultaneously clipping them over the head with a tennis ball-filled sock.
Idea for use: Your sister steals the baby name you've been planning to use since you were 20. (A makeshift weapon can also be used in this instance.)
10. "Hell to the no!" -- Whitney Houston, Being Bobby Brown
Made popular by Houston before she got smart enough to dump Brown for good, this phrase was so much better and definitive than the standard "hell no." It's become a standard way to express disbelief.
Idea for use: A friend asks if you'd like to attend a Celine Dion concert.
9. "Let's hug it out, bitch." -- Ari Gold, Entourage
Approximately 30 seconds after slimy agent Ari Gold uttered this phrase on Entourage, we estimate that at least 50 percent of the viewing population used it in conversation within 24 hours.
Idea for use: After a Super Bowl game, during which you were at odds with friends.
Runway mentor Gunn usually doesn't totally shoot down someone's clothing designs. But he does offer advice, then tell contestants to "make it work." If you see a story about Runway that doesn't include this term, we'll be amazed.
Idea for use: Your boss gives you an impossible amount of work to do in 40 hours time. "Don't worry," you snarl. "I'll make it work."
Whether or not you said this with a crooked mouth like The Church Lady, chances are you sarcastically uttered it many times during the 1980s.
Idea for use: A friend buys the shoes you've been coveting and saving up for.
It's the last thing ousted Survivor contestants hear before leaving the game -- and a final way to end any real-life vote.
Idea for use: Your daughter wants to watch Hannah Montana episodes for five hours straight. The rest of the family doesn't.
It's hard to forget this hallmark SNL character, mostly because of his trademark catchphrase -- and the hilarious video that eventually accompanied it. "I've got to tell you something. And I don't say this to everyone. You. Look. Mahvelous," he said. "It's better to look good than to feel good." Word.
Idea for use: When your mom arrives for Mother's Day dinner.
4. "Yada, yada, yada ..." -- Marcy, Seinfeld
While this phrase was already popular, the "yada yada" episode became one of the most famous in the Seinfeld series. In the ep, George's girlfriend uses the term to gloss over important details of her day. Jerry doesn't see much problem with it, saying that she's succinct, "like dating USA Today." But it turns out she was leaving out things like possibly sleeping with an ex, and shoplifting.
Idea for use: "Hi honey. I went to the mall today, yada yada yada, then I came home."
3. "Whachu talking about, Willis?" -- Arnold Jackson, Diff'rent Strokes
It's been 24 years since this sitcom ended, but Arnold's trademark statement still lives on. Not only do people still use it in conversation, I've seen teenage girls at the mall wearing t-shirts proclaiming "I'm What Willis Was Talking About," even though they were never alive during Diff'rent Stokes' days of glory.
Idea for use: Your husband wants to spend $4,000 on a Breitling watch.
2. "Heeeere's Johnny!" -- Ed McMahon, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
The standard announcement that announced Carson's stage entrance has been used in other TV shows, newspaper headlines, and perhaps most notably, in The Shining just after Jack Nicholson plunges off the deep end.
Idea for use: For guest arrivals. You can pretty much replace Johnny with any name, as long as you draw out "heeeere's."
1. "D'oh!" -- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
Uttered by Homer almost every time he makes some kind of foible (read: all the time), this simple grunting sound has become so entrenched in popular culture that it made its way into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 1993, and into the New Oxford Dictionary of English in 1998. That's quite an accomplishment, especially for Homer, who has likely never used a dictionary.
Idea for use: Stubbing your toe, closing your hand in the door, spilling your beer.