Ascended to Catch Phrase YKTTW Discussion

Ascended to Catch Phrase
When a one-shot reference becomes a recurring catch phrase
(permanent link) added: 2011-12-02 08:07:00 sponsor: the29thtman edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-04-25 23:26:24)

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Some catch phrases were designed to be basic, fitting recurring situations. Others are based on a single line that the fans really liked. Writers hoping to please their audience may turn that line into a catch phrase for the show or character no matter how little sense it makes in context.

This is about the catch phrases that made sense in context the first time, but got repeated in situations where it didn't make as much sense. Compare to Ascended Meme, where it was an unofficial catchphrase first. Inverse of Beam Me Up, Scotty!, where the memetic Catch Phrase was never used in the original work.

Happens often in Fan Fiction, as fans reuse their favorite lines.

Too often to mention, advertisements repeat a line from a film or TV show so often viewers assume it is a catch phrase.

To avoid this becoming the same as Catch Phrase, please include how the original quote was specifically relevant to what was going on in your example. I removed examples that did not explain a relevant origin.


Anime and Manga
  • Haruhi Suzumiya. Tsuruya's "nyoro~n" inspired the doujin 4Koma "Nyoro~n Churuya-san" where Churuya, Tsuruya's smoked-cheese loving, fun-sized counterpart mutters the expression every time something goes wrong. Kyoto Animation actually made it official by animating the strip, in what is a doubly Ascended Meme.

  • Die Hard's "Yippie-kay-ay, motherfucker" was a reference to him being a "cowboy" in the original. It was so quotable that an irrelevant variation was used in each film.

  • A Christmas Carol has Ebenezer Scrooge say "Bah, humbug!" to express his belief that Christmas and the shows of generosity and charity that those around him show around this time of year are a sham and that he is the only one being truthful in that he is being stingy and miserly as he is for the rest of the year. However, almost every adaptation of that story has had Scrooge say "Bah, humbug" at least twice.

Live Action TV
  • Dinosaurs had the baby say "Not the Mama!" to his father (Earl) in an episode where 'Mama' was gone. This was repeated as a generic insult to Earl in many later episodes.
  • The phrase 'You're surrounded by armed bastards!' is used once in the first series of Life on Mars. It's probably the most famous line of dialogue in the entire series, and was used with utter relish in subsequent series.

Professional Wrestling
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's most famous catchphrase came out of the same type of thing. He was spouting off about Jake "The Snake" Roberts and it took off.
    You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!

Western Animation
  • BeetleJuice's single reference to himself as "the ghost with the most" in the film became a catchphrase in the cartoon adaptation. His other catchphrase in the cartoon, "It's Showtime!" was used twice in the film and so is a more justifiable example.
  • On Madagascar, King Julien warns Mort "Do not touch the royal feet" on two occasions, both justified by Mort being scared. On the spin-off series The Penguins Of Madagascar, this has become a major element in the two characters' relationship, with Mort having a full-blown Foot Fetish and Julien not wanting anyone to touch his feet.

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