The Boob Tube #24: The Top 20 TV Catch Phrases of the 70's

Of late, we've had "Bam!" (Emeril) and "No soup for you" (Seinfeld), but there's been precious few catch phrases compared to the 1970's - the Golden Era of TV catch phrases.  Anyone growing up in that decade at some point exclaimed "Kiss my grits!" - it was just a part of the day to day lexicon.  What was it about the seventies that made audiences erupt into laughter and applause every time J.J. said "Dy-no-mite"? Sounds like a good idea for a sociology term paper.  What were the top TV catch phrases of the seventies? Sounds like a good idea for a post, so here goes.
  1. Dy-No-Mite! (Good Times)
  2. Up your nose with a rubber hose (Welcome Back, Kotter)
  3. Whachu-talkin'-bout, Willis? (Diff'rent Strokes)
  4. Hey, hey, hey (What's Happening?)
  5. Stifle! (All in the Family)
  6. Sit on it! (Happy Days)
  7. Ayyyyyy. (Happy Days)
  8. You big dummy (Sanford & Son)
  9. Book 'em Danno (Hawaii 5-0)
  10. De plane! De plane! (Fantasy Island)
  11. Nanu, Nanu (Mork & Mindy)
  12. Shazbot! (Mork & Mindy)
  13. Good night, John Boy (The Waltons)
  14. Jane, you ignorant slut (Saturday Night Live)
  15. Who loves you, baby (Kojak)
  16. Kiss my grits! (Alice)
  17. Lookin' good (Chico and the Man)
  18. Hello... how are ya? (Welcome Back, Kotter)
  19. Elizabeth, I'm comin' to join you (Sanford & Son)
  20. Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry (The Incredible Hulk)
Note 1: I did not include "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" or other Brady quotes, because these actually didn't become popularized until the 1990s.
Note 2: This list is in no particular order - ranking them would just be silly.
Note 3: Please submit any glaring omissions, I'd love to read them. Before you comment, know that "God'll get you for that, Walter" would've made the list if this was the top 21 catch phrases.


  1. Can't think of any others... Great list, though!

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  3. What about the eponymous,

    "Gilligan!!" (hat smack)

    edit: I guess technically that's from the 60s. But Gilligan's island played so often on repeats it's really of multiple decades...

  4. You forgot "Hey, wha' happen?" and "I got a real red wagon" and "I don't THINK SO!!"


  5. +1 @CraigF!

    I still use a lot of these in everyday conversation!

    I'm also actively trying to get Chachi's often overlooked catchphrase, "Wah Wah Wah!" introduced into the wild. It never quite caught on but is quite deserving.

  6. Very good... those take me back. Great memories.

  7. "Don't squeeze the Charmin."

  8. I off-handedly said "Jane, you ignorant slut" during a class lecture recently to make a point about something and my college students just stared blankly back at me. I suddenly felt old. I also told them that their homework was to watch old SNL Weekend Updates (I don't think any of them did, though).

  9. Another thing from Happy Days was whenever Richy would get excited about a date or a girl, he'd start singing "I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill". I also remember the greeting "Hey Hey Hey" from What's Happening.

    I remember Florence and George from the Jeffersons were always calling each other names and putting each other down, but I don't remember any specific phrases. Their theme song "movin on up" is still quoted quite a bit today.

  10. I wasn't around in the 70s, but I'd say one catchphrase that's survived till the present is Columbo's 'one more thing', though I guess it's never been that widely used and maybe was hardly used at all back in the day.

  11. Beam me Up Scotty
    Sorry about that chief

    We are two wild and crazy guys!
    The devil made me do it!

    Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert)

    The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

  12. These weren't from tv shows, but I remember seeing a lot of t-shirts with "Keep on Truckin'" & "Hang in there, Baby!" (remember, the kitty dangling from the tree??)

  13. I don't know if "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar." from The Odd Couple qualifies, but I've used it often enough over the years.

  14. "Just one more thing...."

  15. "I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

  16. "That's a spicy meatball!"

  17. How about "I love it when a plan comes together" from A-Team.

    1. The A-Team wasn't from the 70's...

  18. Heeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!

  19. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." Mission Impossible, late 60s, early 70s.

    "Meathead!" "Edith you dingbat." All in the Family

  20. Edit, get me a beer, heh? - Archie Bunker

  21. Ancient Chinese secret, huh!

  22. "A Mr. Richard Feder, from Fort Lee, New Jersey, writes in and says: "Dear Roseanne Rosannadanna..."

  23. Why are people suggesting catch phrases from commercials? Gilligan's list is obviously TV shows.

    Roseanne Rosannadanna also had "nevermind."

  24. Rev Cheez: "It just goes to show you, it's always something - if it's not one thing it's another".

  25. Armpit..."nevermind" was actually Emily Litella which was another Gilda Radnor character from Saturday Night Live.

    Excellent List! I always crack up whenever I hear someone use one of those phrases!

  26. Ack, that's right. Thanks for the correction, Suzy. I'd say excuuuuuse me, but Ron already did.

  27. I always like to slaughter what Bones would say on Star Trek: "Dammit Jim! I'm a doctor, not a cheezboiger chef!"

    Insert whatever is happening at the moment. Geeky. Geeky. I know.

  28. "Dumb Dora is SOOO DUMB..."
    "How dumb was she?"

    "Have it your way" and "It takes two hands to handle a Whopper".

    "May the force be with you" (maybe movies could be a whole new post?)

  29. "It's not my job" (Chico and the Man)

    I actually remember hearing and using this one...surprised no one else mentioned it.

  30. I just had another one of my brilliant ideas

  31. Sock it to me

  32. Oh, Gilligan, doesn't "Make it so" count as a catchphrase from the late 80s to the early 90s? I mean, Picard was DA MAN.

    And how about "You da man"? Although I don't know the origins...

  33. "Pretty sneaky, sis." (Connect 4 game commercial)

    "Enos, you DIPSTICK!" (Dukes of Hazard, 70's - 80's)

    "Was that the Boogeyman?" "As a matter of fact...it was." (Halloween).

  34. funny thing is I knew a girl named Sarah that looked exactly like the girl in the mini-skirt and I told her to "sit on it", and she did.