A character reuses another character's Catch Phrase
, possibly as an Ironic
or Meaningful Echo
. Often has a tendency to be mangled
If the catch phrase is a Verbal Tic
, this is Got Me Doing It
If the catch phrase is less "borrowed" than "stolen out of the other character's mouth", it's Hey, That's My Line!
. See also One-Liner Echo
and Phrase Catcher
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Anime and Manga
Live Action TV
- In Happy Endings, Brad tries to make the term 'chicksand' catch on. Max thinks its stupid until the end.
Max: You drowned, bro, in chicksand. I like it and I'm taking credit for it.
- This is a Characteristic Trope on Arrested Development:
- "I've made a huge mistake", GOB's catchphrase (and motto, practically), is also used by Marta (when she realises she likes Michael, not GOB), Michael (when he realises that "hermano" is Spanish for "brother" and the one Marta likes is him), George (when he regrets his affair with Kitty in Mexico), Steve Holt (when he realises he slept with Maeby, his cousin (he didn't actually sleep with her)), and Lucille (when she realises that her grand plan is about to fall apart in the finale).
- Michael's reaction of "Her?" to his son's bland girlfriend, Ann is shared with the rest of the family.
- After Gob fails his fire trick in front of the mentally retarded Rita, her response is an astonished "But wherever did [the lighter fluid] come from?"
- Maeby's standard deflection of "Marry me!" was borrowed by Michael (to use on a woman he suspected to be his long-lost sister), and GOB (when Ann agrees to give GOB some space in Season 4. Unluckily, she takes it literally).
- Oscar's "...dot com" following his cries of "I'm Oscar!" was later borrowed by the Saddam Hussein impersonator sent to trial in his place with "I'm No-Scar! ...dot com!".
- Steve Holt's catchphrase of "STEVE HOLT!" was apparently borrowed from his mother, "EVE HOLT!"
- "The very fact that you call it that tells me you're not ready" in response to the phrase "Pop-pop" was used approximately once a season.
- LOST: After Ben Linus is clubbed with an oar:
Frank Lapidus: I thought you said you trusted that guy!
Sun: I lied.
- In season 6, after Jack and Desmond bring back the light:
Desmond: "But what about you, Jack?"
Jack: "I'll see you in another life, brother."
- In Pushing Daisies, both Olive and the Narrator have said Emerson Cod's catchphrase of "Oh, hell no!"
- And at another point, an incidental character borrows the catch phrase of the Narrator:
Rob Wright: I know how it must sound, but the facts were these...
Rob Wright: These were the facts...
- Seinfeld. When Kramer and Jerry trade apartments, Jerry started talking about "Bob Sacamano" as Kramer usually does.
- In another episode, Jerry dates a woman who is essentially a female version of himself. He starts getting creeped out when she uses his catchphrases "What's the deal with...?" and "That's a shame".
- Mrs. Cunningham would, very occasionally and when she really thought he was in the wrong, tell Fonzie to "sit on it." (Normally, the catchphrase was used by all the teen characters on the show, but not by the parents and NEVER to Fonzie)
- There was a scene where someone brought an embarrassing document (an old yearbook photo, or something) to the dinner table. Marion put it on her seat, sits down, and continues eating. Husband Howard says "That's right, Marion. Sit on it."
- In House, Tritter uses House's Catchphrase "Everybody lies". Possibly done in order to emphasise that Tritter and House are Not So Different.
- The A-Team: Other characters occasionally use Hannibal's "I love it when a plan comes together."
- Dr. McCoy's "I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder" has been used by other characters throughout the Star Trek franchise, especially the Emergency Medical Hologram.
McCoy: To coin a phrase... fascinating.
- Friends: Rachel (and a few others) have borrowed Joey's pickup line, "How you doin'?" upon occasion. In one episode, Monica says Rachel's "Nooooooooo" catchphrase, immediately followed by Rachel saying Monica's "I knowwwww!" catchphrase. Chandler's habit of enunciating incorrectly "Could that report BE any later?" is more commonly used by his friends to tease him than by Chandler himself. Also, Ross's sullen "Hi" was said by Chandler when he and Ross were miserable after being bullied.
- SG-1 seems to trade catch phrases more often than a group of elementary schoolers trade Pokémon cards. Notably, an alien boy who latches on to Jack complains "Oh, for crying out loud!" at least once, as does pretty much everyone else. Sam apparently picked up her early catchphrase "Holy Hannah" from her father. The final scene of season ten has the whole team (except Teal'c) ending a conversation with exclaiming Teal'c's catchphrase "Indeed". This makes this trope the second to last line in the series.
- When James May does his first track test on Top Gear, they send him out in the Pagani Zonda F Roadster, a supercar that is insane by even supercar standards. He borrows Clarkson's catchphrase for the occasion:
May : [voiceover] I think I know what to do at this point. [amidst engine noises] POWEEERRRRRRR!
- Ashes to Ashes: The catchphrase "You are surrounded by armed bastards!" belongs to Gene Hunt, but Jackie Queen, upon leveling in badass borrows it in 2.04.
- In Kamen Rider Decade: Final Chapter, Decade activates the Final Form Ride — All Riders, allowing the rest of the Riders to transform into their Final Form Rides (basically, a good guy version of One-Winged Angel). To do so, however, the Riders have to line up behind each other and activate the transformation of the one in front of them. They all say one of Decade's catchphrase throughout the whole sequence: "This will tickle a bit." Hilarity Ensues.
- In the TV series (specifically, the Hibiki arc), Diend performs the requisite "World of Cardboard" Speech, usually given by Decade. When Decade comments on the theft, Diend completes it by taking another of his catchphrases:
"I was a passing-through Kamen Rider long before you came along! Remember that!"
- How I Met Your Mother: Mildly lampshaded:
Ted: Permission to say "Lawyered"?
Marshall: I'll allow it.
- In something of an inversion, Rio in Juken Sentai Gekiranger borrows Jan's Verbal Tic during his Heel-Face Turn, to which Jan only chuckles.
- In What I Like About You, Ben very hilariously uses Gary's "oh my damn".
- Doctor Who:
- Both Martha and Rose use the Tenth Doctor's "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" at least once apiece.
- Played one hell of a lot more darkly in "Midnight". The alien stealing the Doctor's voice, and with it his habit of saying, "Molto bene!" is all that gives it away and saves him from a horrible death. When Donna quotes it back at him at the end, his "No...no, don't do that" is less "Running Gag" and more "PTSD symptom."
- When Capt. Jack returns in Series 3, he uses the Ninth Doctor's "Fantastic!" when talking to the Tenth Doctor, who grins fondly.
- The Sontaran's last words in "A Good Man Goes To War" are "I'm a nurse". Said to Rory.
- When River meets the Doctor early/late on, she introduces him to "Spoilers!". Later/earlier:
Melody/River: Who's River Song?
- This exchange in "Asylum of the Daleks":
Doctor: Don't be scared, Amy.
Amy: Who's scared? Geronimo.
- When Amy kills Madam Kovarian she says "River didn't get it all from you, sweetie," borrowing River's Verbal Tic.
- The Eleventh Doctor borrows Ten's "Allons-y" while struggling with the Cybermen taking over his head in "Nightmare in Silver".
- In True Jackson VP every main character borrows True's "You said what now?!" catchphrase at least once.
- On Angel, after making a violent prison escape, Faith asks if Wesley's okay. His response: "Five by five."
- In Buffy, this is also how the audience realises Faith and Buffy have swapped bodies when Buffy says "Five by five".
- In Season 8 of Buffy, the titular character calls Twilight an ass clown.
- In an episode of Community when Jeff has to move into Abed's dorm. After awhile living there, Jeff borrows Abed's catchphrase "Cool, cool, cool".
- This happens to Abed again when Annie pretends to be him in the Dreamatorium.
- Played With in Hogan's Heroes, when at one point Newkirk says "Formidable" while LeBeau says "Ruddy marvelous". Next second, they're both looking at the other with funny looks on their faces.
- A TV Land commercial for Get Smart promoted the "Catchphrase Redistribution Service", showing a montage of scenes of other characters saying Max's catchphrases.
- In the One Foot in the Grave episode "The Futility of the Fly", the West End backer looking at a play based on the Meldrews complained about the string of Contrived Coincidences and unexplained incidents. His final verdict was "I don't believe it."
- Everyone on the Leverage has repeated Hardison's "Seriously?!" at some point.
- Nearly every catchphrase gets borrowed repeatedly, mostly because the writers loved seeing the actors make it their own (with Seriously?! being their favorite)
- In Fawlty Towers, "He's from Barcelona" is Basil's catch-all way of explaining Manuel's shortcomings. In the final episode, it's Sybil who says it.
- In The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, the head of Sunshine Desserts has two yes-men: hip groovy Tony who constantly says "Great!", and neurotic David who constantly says "Super!". After Sunshine crumbles, they react thus to being reunited at Grot:
David (dismayed): Great.
Tony (dismayed): Super.
- Late in the run of Classic Concentration, contestants would say "I'd like to solve the puzzle."
- Arrow plays this for drama in the first season finale, as Moira uses Oliver's Catch Phrase to describe herself when opening the press conference exposing Malcolm's plans:
- The Mexican sitcom El Chavo del ocho would sometimes have a musical number near the end of the episode. In "Oyelo, Escuchalo", at one point Quico says "Eso, eso, eso, eso", one of El Chavo's catchphrases.
- House of Anubis had many characters borrow Victor's famous pin-drop speech. Fabian did it once in the school play (where he was playing Victor, of course) and he did it again with Patricia and Alfie when they became sinners. The result was a Funny Moment:
Fabian: It is ten o'clock!
Patricia: You have five minutes...
Alfie: And then I want to hear you all drop.
- In Red Dwarf, Rimmer adopts Ace Rimmer's catchphrase 'Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast' when he has to take over Ace's life. He says it when leaving the ship, and mangles it completely.
- Subverted when Lister fails to teach Kryten to call Rimmer his catchphrase of smeghead. He says 'smee hee' instead because of his built-in censorship. It's later played straight when he eventually breaks it.
- Lister has also used Rimmer's catchphrases to make fun of him, such as 'up the ziggurat, lickety-split'.
- In Mr. Young, Mrs. Byrne borrows Dang's "You called?" in "Mr. Alligator" when Derby says he's looking for a scaly, leathery, prehistoric beast.
- Castle: in "The Final Nail" when Beckett tells Castle that a suspect's alibi checks out, Castle replies with Beckett's usual phrase, "Shut the front door!"
- In The Adventures of Superman, Jimmy Olsen, after being appointed editor for a day, uses Perry White's Catch Phrase "Don't call me Chief!" on Perry.
- A common trope in wrestling for heel wrestlers to steal, emulate or parody their babyface opponent's catchphrase in order to get under their [or the fans'] skin. Vice versa (face towards heel) is even not that uncommon.
- Be wary of stealing The Rock's catchphrase in his presence, or he will let you know about it.
- When CM Punk temporarily took Michael Cole's duties as relayer of the Raw GM's messages. "Sorry, I'm a little nervous, I've always really wanted to do this. I HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL!"
- In Little Busters!, Kyousuke has a Catch Phrase of 'Mission start!' whenever he's declaring the beginning of some sort of over-the-top, ridiculous adventure he's organised for the other charactes. In Refrain, as Riki starts taking over Kyousuke's role to re-form the Little Busters and to grow into a more self-sufficient person he sets up a mission of his own and ends up saying the phrase himself.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Joey says that summoning Copycat lets him copy Bandit Keith's Catch Phrase "...in America!" When Bandit Keith protests that it's his line, Joey claims he was "too busy being American" to be listening. This leads to quite possibly the best use of the line, ever:
: You're not American! You're not even Wearing a Flag on Your Head
: You're right! I must have left it back home...in America!
Why, Melvin? Why are you doing this to us?
- Derek the Bard often borrows Linkara's "because poor literacy is ~*KEWL*~" catchphrase during the books he's reviewing.
- Team Kimba of the Whateley Universe has Phase, whose Catch Phrase 'of course!' just makes him more pompous and smug, so the rest of the team borrow the phrase primarily to tease him.
- Todd in the Shadows has borrowed from The Nostalgia Critic at least twice:
Todd: HELLO, I'M TODD IN THE SHADOWS! I LISTEN TO IT CAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO!
- TOME has Whyti frequently borrowing Nylocke's "Whoosh~!" catchphrase, to show the Ship Tease between them.
- In 'The Camping Webisode' of DSBT InsaniT, Cody uses a variation of Andy's "Tee-hee, ice puns." and Andy uses Martha's "Shut up and fight!" The second one is particularly amusing, since Martha usually says that in response to Andy's antics in a dire situation.
- When Midnight Screenings discussed Gravity, they borrowed "SYMBOLISM!" from Bad Movie Beatdown.
- In the Vaguely Recalling JoJo series, Polnareff's Oh, Crap reaction face is borrowed by Steely Dan and Telence D'Arby when they realize that things aren't going their way.
- In Two Best Friends Play Persona 4, Matt points out when Pat borrows one of his catchphrases.
Matt: You're saying "See you fuckers" a lot.
Pat: It's a really versatile phrase!
- Many Looney Tunes and Tex Avery cartoons have familiar catchphrases that were actually intended as references to once well known, but as Time Marches On more obscure film actors, radio shows, songs, and commercials that were very popular in the United States during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Examples are:
- "Turn off that light!" (reference to air raid wardens during World War II)
- "Was this/that trip really necessary?" (reference to a slogan used to encourage people not to take unnecessary trips to free up gas and rubber for the war effort and to free up space on trains to ferry troops to their duty locations. )
- "It's a possibility!" (reference to Artie Auerbach's catchphrase as Mr. Kitzle during Al Pearce's radio shows)
- "Nobody home, I hope, I hope, I hope" - Al Pearce
- "That ain't the way I heard it!" (reference to The Old Timer character from the radio series Fibber McGee and Molly)
- "'T ain't funny, McGee!" (reference to the character Molly, addressing McGee in Fibber McGee and Molly)
- "I love that man!" - (reference to the character Beulah (Marlin Hurt) on Fibber McGee and Molly.)
- "Operator, give me number 32O.. ooh, is that you, Myrt? How's every little thing, Myrt? What say, Myrt?" - (reference to the character Fibber, whenever the operator connecting his calls turned out to be his friend Myrt, Fibber McGee and Molly. )
- "Well now, I wouldn't say THAT!" - (reference to the character Peavey (Richard Le Grand) in the radioshow The Great Gildersleeve)
- "Don't you believe it!" (reference to a 1947 similarly titled radio show in which popular legends, myths or old wives' tales were debunked with this quote.)
- "Aha! Something new has been added!" and "So round, so firm, so fully-packed. So free and easy on the draw." (reference to Lucky Strike cigarettes)
- "B.OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" (reference to a commercial for Lifebuoy soap against B.O. (body odor))
- "Ain't I a stinker?" (Lou Costello from Abbott and Costello)
- "I'm only three and a half years old!" - From a character named Martha (Billy Gray) on the Abbot & Costello radio show.
- "Ah, yes! (Insert statement here), isn't it?", "Yehudi?", "Don't work, do they?" and "Greetings, Gate! Lets osculate!" (Jerry Colonna, sidekick on Bob Hope 's radio show.)
- "I dood it!", "He don't know me very well, do he?" and "You bwoke my widdle arm!" (reference to Red Skelton's radio comedy character Junior, aka "Mean Widdle Kid")
- "Of course you realize this means war!" (Groucho Marx)
- "Ain't I a devil?" - Ralph Edwards in "Truth or Consequences".
- "Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?" and "I'm going to hug him and pet him and hug him and pet him..." (reference to John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men)
- Several dimwitted characters were based on Mortimer Snerd, who was created in 1938.
- "Henry! Heeeeeeeeeeen-RY!" "Coming, Mother!" (reference to The Aldritch Family, a radio sitcom)
- The NBC Chime
- "Monkeys is the cwaziest peoples." - A catch phrase from Lew Lehr. In parody the word "monkeys" was often replaced by other animals or people.
- "Ah say! I'm from the South, son!", "That's a joke, son!", "Pay attention now, boy!" - Kenny Delmar as Senator Claghorn in "The Fred Allen Show". The Looney Tunes character Foghorn Leghorn was entirely based on this radio personality.
- "See?" - A verbal tic actor Edward G. Robinson used. When characters in Looney Tunes use it, it's usually in a police or gangster context.
- "I'll moida da bum." - A reference to boxer Tony Galento.
- "I have a problem, Mr. Anthony!" - Reference to John J. Anthony, who presented the daily radio advice program "The Goodwill Hour".
- "Train leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cuuuu-ca-mon-gaaa!" - Mel Blanc usually said this, as it was a reference to a character he played on "The Jack Benny Show".
- "Come with me to the casbah" - Reference to Charles Boyer as Pépé le Moko in the 1937 film Algiers. Interesting detail: the line was prominent in the trailer, but not in the movie itself.
- In a couple of Looney Tunes shorts Daffy Duck uses Sylvester's catchphrase "Sufferin' Succotash!".
- On a episode of the game show Press Your Luck, one of the questions was which character used that catchphrase. The show had Daffy as the correct answer, which was incorrect. All three contestants were invited to come back on the show because of this, and in the next episode Mel Blanc called in as Sylvester and complained that Daffy was always stealing from him.
- At the end of '"Rabbit Transit'', when Cecil Turtle's trick on Bugs causes Bugs to get arrested for speeding, Cecil is the one who says "Ain't I a stinker?".
- As the show went on, other Beast Wars characters started picking up Megatron's "yesssssss" when referring to him. Ditto for Primal's "That's just prime."
- This occurs at the end of Turtles Forever, as the 1988 and 2003 turtles say goodbye to each other by trading catchphrases. Another example occurs in the TMNT 2003 episode "Turtle X-Tinction", where Serling uses the phrase "It's Serling time" — borrowed from the turtles' own "It's ninja time!" — before embarking on his mad dash to save Cody.
- Penny from Inspector Gadget uses her uncle's "Wowsers" once or twice, thought it's usually not Played for Laughs when she does it.
- The Phineas and Ferb episode "Hail, Doofania!" does a role reversal for the title characters and Dr. Doofenschmirtz, so Phineas delivers Doof's "...the ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA!" and "Bless you, Perry the Platypus!", while Doofenschmirtz does Phineas's "I know what we're going to do today!", "Aren't you a little old to be..." "No. No I'm not". His daughter also takes on Candace's role, including her outfit and catchphrase "Mom! Mom! You gotta see this!"
- Vanessa also adapts her father's catchphrase in another episode when she says "Thank you, Perry the Platypus!"
- Also, Isabella's catchphrase "Whatcha doooin'?" is borrowed by a few other characters, but she's very protective of it. She elbows Buford in the ribs when he starts to say it in one episode, she acts visibly irritated when Suzy and Candace use it to Phineas in "Suddenly Suzy", and she can sense it being used across town in "Phineas and Ferb's Christmas Vacation". (However, she doesn't mind when Phineas says it to her.)
- The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan episode "The Eye of the Idol" has Scooter and later Anne borrowing Stanley's "Wham bam, we're in a jam!". Two episodes later, Henry uses it to make fun of Stanley when he fails at doing a magic trick with the stocks, and Flip says it in the following episode.
- Charlie himself used it on one episode, which is lampshaded.
- In Rocko's Modern Life, while laying in bed during a nervous breakdown in "She's the Toad", Ed Bighead says "Garbage day is a very dangerous day".
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Prince Zuko normally had a monopoly on honor related phrases (to the point where in the play version of the show, just about every line play!Zuko used had the word honor in there somewhere). This changes in the third season when both Aang and Sokka say that they need to restore their honor.
- This is somewhat lampshaded when Aang says, "I need my honor back," and it directly cuts to Zuko.
- The sequel The Legend of Korra has Zhu Li using Varrick's phrase "Do the thing" against him when he gets arrested.
- Throughout The Simpsons, when things go south, members of the title family tend to borrow their patriarch's "D'oh!" Rare occasions have other characters, such as Krusty and Mr. Burns, use it.
- In the episode "Lisa the Simpson", Lisa worries that her genetics will lead to her becoming as dumb as Homer. When she learns that it's only male Simpsons who carry the dumb gene, and subsequently solves the puzzle she's been stuck on all episode, she lets out a Homeresque "Woo-hoo!" before catching herself.
- Homer Simpson's "D'oh" in itself was borrowed from somebody else, namely actor James Finlayson from the Laurel and Hardy series, who used to say it in a very long outstretched way, more like "D'oooooooooooooooooooh". It was shortened because things have to go a lot quicker in animation.
- In "Natural Born Kissers", Moe borrowed Helen's "Won't someone think of the children?" line.
- South Park:
- A couple of times Stan and Kenny have said Cartman's "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"
- On a few occasions someone else like Cartman or Grandpa Marsh have said Stan and Kyle's "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"
- In "Going Native", Cartman borrows Butters' "Fellas! FELLAS!"
- In the Dastardly & Muttley episode "Who's Who?," Dastardly gets amnesia, leaving Klunk to run the Vulture Squadron. After yet another operation fails, Klunk says Dastardly's line of "Drat and double drat!"
- Danger Mouse lampshades this in an episode of his show:
Penfold: Good grief!
D.M.: Penfold! That's my line!
- In "The Strange Case Of The Ghost Bus," DM invokes James Bond's "Shaken...not stirred."
- Normally, when Johnny Test does a parody, Johnny's the one to catch on with a "Now where have I seen this before?", but in the The Cat in the Hat parody, when Bling-2 shows up, Dukey delivers the line.
- Yogi Bear makes a swipe using his signature rhyming in Yogi's Treasure Hunt, with apologies to Mr. B. Bunny:
Yogi: At the risk of stealing a line most appealing: "What's up, Doc?"
- In the King of the Hill episode "Lucky See, Monkey Do", when Bobby sees how ridiculous lives the kids of Lucky's sister live, he says "Those boys ain't right."
- From the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode "Return of the Spider-Slayers":
Spider-Man: I hate to borrow someone else's line, but... it's clobberin' time!
- Jabberjaw considered it plagiarism when someone other than him complained about lack of respect, which is ironic since it was a borrowed catchphrase to begin with
- On Young Justice, M'Gann's "Hello, Megan!" line is revealed to be from an old, forgotten sitcom that she watched growing up. Wally, in turn, borrows it twice: as playful ribbing in "Image" and legitimately in "Failsafe." (The latter turns out to be Fridge Brilliance when you find out that the Team are unknowingly mind-linked and that M'Gann's Psychic Powers are accidentally brainwashing them all).
- In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Hard Knocks", Ben borrows Hulk's: "Thing smash!" In "Bait and Switch", Reed comments, "I always wanted to say this — it's clobbering time!"
- On The Flintstones Fred and Barney once yelled their wives' "Charge it!".
- Once in Futurama when Leela was explaining what Bender was doing, leaving Fry to be the one to utter "Oh lord!"
- Another episode had a moment where Bender exploded; after he put himself back together, he walked in with a triumphant "Good news, everyone!" The Professor was thrown for a loop.
- During the fourth movie, Fry tells Bender he can bite his shiny metal hat.
- In the episode "A Friend In Need" in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit once borrowed Christopher Robin's "Silly old bear." And yes, he used it with the same amount of endearance.
- Benson once used a particularly long "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!"
- Kim Possible asserts that Yoko won't be a problem after all the other villains that had been smacked down. Funny given she isn't a wrestling fan.
- Though Ron is, so she probably cribbed it from him.
- In a few episodes of "Jackie Chan Adventures" Tohru said Uncle's "Aieeya!" when something went wrong for him.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated:
- During an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, Butt-head goes "Boi-oi-oi-oi-oing" in a matter similar to Beavis.
- Borrowed (and altered) catchphrase as a show title: Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down?