are a great and simple way to help a character's image. But sometimes, catchphrases don't stick. Perhaps the writers were experimenting character will have one early on, only for the writers to decide. Or perhaps a catchphrase was done to death and is no longer funny. Or sometimes, a character simply evolves and the catchphrase no longer fits the character
Whatever the reason, this trope is whenever an early catchphrase is dropped or becomes used seldom. See Early Installment Weirdness
and Characterization Marches On
- Victor Meldrew's pained cry of "I don't believe it!" in One Foot in the Grave was extremely popular with the audience but the writers and the actor who played Meldrew, David Renwick, where sick of it and so its use was toned down. Not completely abandoned however as it did still pop up in later episode.
- On Sesame Street, Mr. Snuffleupagus used to always say "Oh, dear" in a worried voice. Big Bird even lampshaded it once; when Snuffy went missing in one episode and BB called the police (an Anything Muppet) to take a report, part of his description was that he said "Oh dear" a lot.
- The Second Doctor in Doctor Who had "I would like a hat like that" as a catchphrase for the first two or three stories. Then they dropped it.
- TimeSplitters 2 & Timesplitters:Future Perfect might qualify. The Hero Cortez had a catchphrase, 'Time to Split' which he always loudly exclaims before shifting to another time. Viciously played upon in the third game, where this is met with blank stares and disbelief by his partners in time, sometimes causing Cortez to falter and just give up.
- Could be an example of Characterization Marches On, since the characters in Timesplitters 2 were pretty one-dimensional, until Future Perfect, in which the characters actually have personalities and dialogue.
- "I am already in my pajamas," was Professor Farnsworth's catchphrase for the first two episodes of Futurama. It was never said again.
- There are several examples from The Simpsons, most notably Bart's "Don't have a cow, man!", "Ay Carumba!", and "Eat My Shorts!"
- Back before Stewie Griffin's Character Development in Family Guy, he would frequently shout: "Victory is mine!"
- South Park's "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" used to happen Once an Episode, but was dropped after Kenny died (semi)permanently, and is now used only on occasion.
- Sergeant Yates kept exclaiming "Jesus Christ Monkeyballs!" in his debut episode, but never in his subsequent appearances.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) series, "Cowabunga!" has been replaced with "Booyakasha!"