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Top 10 TV Cartoon Catchphrases

VO: Rebecca Brayton
It wasn’t so long ago that cartoons were exclusively for kids. But thanks to characters like Fred Flintstone, adults could join in on the fun! And part of the fun with these shows was their seemingly endless parade of catchphrases. Some were hilarious, some were annoying, and some have become an iconic part of pop culture – but chances are you’ve heard them all. From Fred’s end-of-the-day yell to Bugs Bunny’s sly salutation, to Homer Simpson’s annoyed grunt, to Charlie Brown’s depressing saying, there are countless recognizable cartoon slogans. In this video, lists ten of the most memorable TV cartoon catchphrases. 

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You’ve heard these phrases over and over, but somehow they never get old. Welcome to, and today we’ll be taking a look at a few of the most memorable TV cartoon catchphrases.

Top Sad Slogan: “Good grief.” – Charlie Brown: “Peanuts”

Charlie Brown is such a blockhead, and boy does he have bad luck with football. His lifelong case of misfortune has led him to coin this miserable catchphrase, which he uses when his dog is being too cool for school, when he tries to talk to a girl, or when Lucy the pseudo-psychiatrist gives him a diagnosis he doesn’t like. Sure, “good grief” is kind of an oxymoron, but Peanuts’ creator Charles Schultz was keen on the saying, so we’ll let it slide.

Top Tubular Term: “Cowabunga, dudes!” – Michelangelo: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

The heroes in a half shell are basically surfer dudes in disguise, especially our bodacious bro with the nunchuks, Michelangelo. So of course, Mikey uses a lot of surfer speak, but we love when he uses this as his battle cry. Or to say he wants pizza. Whatever. T.U.R.T.L.E. Power!

Top Random Noise: “Pika! Pika!” – Pikachu: “Pokemon”

Pikachu is by far the most widely known Pokemon, probably because it’s pretty cute. And borderline annoying. Pikachu’s name is a combination of the Japanese words for the noise a spark makes and the noise a mouse makes, so it’s pretty appropriate that that’s all this Electric-type Pokemon can say. Watch out, or it’ll shoot lightning at you. Gotta catch ‘em all!

Top Insulting Idiom: “You eediot” – Ren: “Ren & Stimpy”

Stimpy may be an eediot, but Ren is a jerk for never letting him forget it. In fact, Ren is constantly lashing out at his slobbering best friend with violence or rude names. Like many of the entries on this list, Ren was inspired by a real-life actor for his signature sentence and speaking style: actor Peter Lorre may have influenced his voice, but not the love-hate relationship between Ren and Stimpy. But hey, for a dog and a cat they’ve got a pretty good friendship.

Top Excited Expression: “Yabba-Dabba-Do!” – Fred Flintstone: “The Flintstones”

When the workday at the quarry is done, this is what you hear. Fred’s iconic catchphrase was developed based on a Brylcreem commercial, and Bedrock just wouldn’t be the same without it. Fred Flintstone made it okay for adults to love cartoons, with a little help from his friends and family of course – and thank Dino he did.

Top Sexy Saying: “Giggity” – Glenn Quagmire: “Family Guy”

Quagmire is quite the character: he’s kinda creepy and always horny. He’s also full of catchphrases, and you know if you hear him say “giggity” you should watch out, because he’s coming for you. His slogan was actually modeled after a Jerry Lewis impersonation, but with added “yuck” factor. And now his famous catchphrase is used by horn dogs around the world. Allllright.

Top Criminal Lament: “And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” – The bad guys: “Scooby Doo”

So this is one of those quotes that rarely ever appeared in the original series. But it became so connected to Scooby and his buddies that the creators jammed it into as many episodes as they could. Also, “Wayne’s World.” We’ll give a shout out to another great catchphrase from this show: there’s a special place in our hearts for Velma and her “jinkies.”

Top Recurring Gag: “Oh my god, they killed Kenny! You bastards!” – Stan and Kyle: “South Park”

Poor Kenny. The kid’s dirt poor, can’t get a word in edgewise, and is getting killed on pretty much a weekly basis. At least he’s got friends like these to get pissed off about him getting slaughtered all the time. “South Park” is all about lampooning pop culture, and one of their most beloved jokes pokes fun at intense violence in the media. Okay, admit it: you were pretty surprised when they stopped killing Kenny.

Top Silly Salutation: “What’s up, Doc?” – Bugs Bunny: “Looney Tunes”

So, Bugs has a lot of catchphrases, but munching on a carrot while casually greeting his enemy is probably his finest. This rascally rabbit takes his catchphrase cues from old Hollywood star Clark Gable, of all people, carrot-chomping and all. We’re guilty of using this line once or twice when we wanted to be smart-alecky, just like our favorite cartoon bunny.

Top Annoyed Grunt: “D’oh!” – Homer Simpson: “The Simpsons”

There is perhaps no other catchphrase as recognizable as this. Invented as a replacement for the word “damn,” Homer utters his go-to groan when he’s done something stupid, has hurt himself or is otherwise annoyed. So, he says it a lot. This word has made such an impact on pop culture, it’s been in the dictionary since 2001. Plus, it is by no means the only catchphrase from the show.

There are so many memorable mottos from animation, we’re sure we’ve missed a few: subscribe to tell us what your favorite cartoon catchphrase is.

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