Bazinga! How You Doin'? and 9 Other Classic TV Show Catchphrases

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—television shows are like a fine wine. They amplify relaxation (and sometimes waistlines if enjoyed in excess), delight the senses and bring people together. When you coo “How you doin’?” to the six-month-old next to you at mommy-and-me class and his mom laughs, you know you’ve made a friend for life. From The Big Bang Theory’s satisfactory exclamation “Bazinga!” to The Office’s not-at-all-work-appropriate “That’s what she said,” TV phrases have become an integral part of our everyday vernacular and social interactions. Refresh your one-liner repertoire with these 11 classic TV show catchphrases.

best tv show catchphrases how i met your mother
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‘legen—wait For It—dary!’ From ‘how I Met Your Mother’

How I Met Your Mother revolved around five main characters, but it was Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) who coined the most famous catchphrase of the show’s nine-season run. Although the Stinson’s “Bro Code,” “Suit up” and the ol’ get-out-of-a-date Lemon Law loophole are deserving of honorable mention, his delightful quip “It's going to be legen—wait for it–dary! Legendary!” takes the cake.

best tv show catchphrases the office
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‘that’s What She Said’ From ‘the Office’

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) was the unpredictable, naïve and sometimes always immature regional manager of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch on The Office. But, despite his seasoned position, Michael had a tendency to blurt out, “That’s what she said,” whenever someone said anything that could be construed in a sexual manner…literally anything.

best tv show catchphrases big bang theory1
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‘bazinga!’ From ‘the Big Bang Theory’

The Big Bang Theory tells the story of a genius physicist, Sheldon (Jim Parsons), who seriously struggles with making even the slightest human interaction seem, well, human. On the occasion that Sheldon actually sees it fit to crack a joke, he always follows it up with his trademark “Bazinga!” so his friends can know he’s being comical.

best tv show catchphrases cheers
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‘norm!’ From ‘cheers’

He may not have been the show’s star, but Norm Peterson (George Wendt) was a staple character on each and every one of Cheers’ 271 episodes. Norm frequented the bar and, upon entry, always received a collective and resounding greeting of “Norm!” from his fellow patrons. Cheers, where everybody really does know your name.

best tv show catchphrases friends
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‘how You Doin’?’ From ‘friends’

Dr. Drake Ramoray aka Joey Tribbiani from Friends was practically incapable of passing up an opportunity to approach a beautiful woman. Luckily, his confidence, good looks and defining catch phrase—“How you doin’?”—were always there to back him up.

best tv show catchphrases i love lucy
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‘lucy, I’m Home!’ From ‘i Love Lucy’

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) held her own on I Love Lucy, but her on-screen and IRL husband, Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), became just as famous for calling out “Lucy, I’m home,” every time he entered their New York apartment. Ahhh, classic.

best tv show catchphrases family matters
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‘did I Do That?’ From ‘family Matters’

In 1989, ABC’s Family Matters introduced us to one of the most memorable (and nerdy) characters in TV history—Steve Urkel (Jaleel White). From eating cereal like a dog to falling into the Winslows’ coffee table, we could always count on Urkel to make us chuckle with a poorly timed “Did I do that?” Stefan, on the other hand...

best tv show catchphrases brady bunch
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‘marcia, Marcia, Marcia’ From ‘the Brady Bunch’

With six kids under one roof, there’s bound to be some sibling rivalry. Whenever Jan (Eve Plumb) grew frustrated with Marcia (Maureen McCormick) on The Brady Bunch, she simply repeated her big sister’s name three times with exasperation. It was calming for Jan and annoying for Marcia. Win-win!

best tv show catchphrases arrested development

‘i’ve Made A Huge Mistake’ From ‘arrested Development’

Although Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) was the (stair car) driving force of this Fox sitcom, his sleazy brother Gob (Will Arnett) was responsible for many a laugh. Delusional and desperate to impress his father, more often than not Gob’s harebrained schemes took a turn for the worse and resulted in an “I’ve made a huge mistake” moment.

best tv show catchphrases diff rent strokes
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‘what’choo Talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’ From ‘diff’rent Strokes’

Gary Coleman will always be remembered as the adorable and persistent eight-year-old Arnold Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes. Though he often changed the end moniker, listening to little Arnie remark “What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” always fills our hearts with glee.

best tv show catchphrases full house
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‘have Mercy,’ ‘you Got It, Dude,’ ‘oh My Lanta’ & ‘cut. It. Out.’ From ‘full House’

Full House ran for eight successful seasons, introduced us to the functional yet dysfunctional Tanner family and brought us countless one-liners. From Uncle Jesse’s (John Stamos) “Have mercy” and Joey’s (Dave Coulier) “Cut. It. Out.” to DJ’s (Candace Cameron Bure) “Oh my lanta” and Michelle’s (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) “You got it, dude,” the ABC sitcom was practically an incubator for some of the most memorable catchphrases.

Greta Heggeness

Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...
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