Lisa: Don't have a cow, man!
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
- In "Astérix And The Olympic Games" Asterix' village decides to participate with the Olympic Games since they could technically be considered to be "Romans", as being part of the Roman Empire. They celebrate this by shouting "Hurray! We are Romans!". A Roman legionary who spies upon them is flabbergasted and then borrows Obelix' catchphrase: "These Romans are crazy!"
- The Thing is known for "It's clobberin' time!" (Apostrophe required) but other characters use this phrase from time to time nearly always stating "Borrowing a phrase of a good friend of mine...". Spider-Man is a prime offender.
- Paperinik occasionally borrowed his ally Xadhoom's catchphrase "Let's dance!" It never happened when she was near, however.
- In her initial confrontation with Twilight Buffy the Vampire Slayer calls him an ass clown. Chris Jericho would be so proud. Or maybe she had been watching Office Space.
- Xavier often says "To me, my X-Men" when he was summoning the team. But, since mid-2000s, Cyclops, once he took Xavier's place as headmaster and Big Good of the team, took to using it now-and-again, usually before doing something awesome. Kitty Pryde has also used it once or twice too, since she can.
- His son, Legion borrowed it, when X-Men came to aid him against monstrous version of his father.
- Wolverine has special catchphrase "two words, bub," whenever he and somebody with Super Strength perform Fastball Special. Victor Mancha of Runaways borrowed it when he and Molly performed that maneuver.
- In Star Trek: First Contact, Data tells the Borg Queen "Resistance... is futile."
- In (of all things) the 1936 film of Little Lord Fauntleroy, Mr. Hobbs, the previously bigoted anti-English-aristocratic grocer, ends a speech with "By Jove!", provoking uppah-uppah crust Englishwoman Lady Costanzia Lorridale erupts into his previous signature line, "Well, I'll be jiggered!"
- Back to the Future: In part 3, Marty and Doc Brown trade Catch Phrases once. ("Great Scott!" "This is heavy.")
- Blondie's Moment Of Awesome in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is him doing this to Tuco. ("There Are Two Kinds of People in the World, my friend...")
- Hans Gruber in Die Hard, borrows John McClane's "Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker" as Evil Gloating (and attempting One-Liner Echo).
- This happens in Duets when ex-convict Reggie Kane, who always responds to questions of what he went to prison for with "I made an error in judgement", has his Catch Phrase borrowed by ex-salesman Todd Woods after Todd's attempted robbery of a gas station ended with the attendant shot and killed by Reggie.
Reggie: What were you thinking?
Todd: I guess I made an error in judgement.
- The Avengers used it brilliantly, with Cap's order:
- From ''Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer:
Johnny Storm: To quote a friend of mine... It's clobberin' time.
- In The Expendables 2:
- In Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix shouts Ralph's catch phrase "I'm gonna wreck it!" while trying to break out of a prison cell. Unfortunately, he finds the hard way that his magic hammer can only be used to fix things.
- In Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet, "Always on alert!" is detective Nick Carter's Catch Phrase. When he receives a mysterious letter, it reveals two tickets. His sidekick, police commissioner Ledvina, is not too keen on going anywhere as it's fairly late and he's tired, and he asks where they are going this time. When he hears that their destination is a night club, he grabs his hat and sausages (he always eats), and very eagerly says: "Always on alert!"
- During the iconic "falling with style" scene in Toy Story, Woody cries "To infinity, and beyond!"
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:
- 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!"
- 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".
- Both Martha and Rose use the Tenth Doctor's "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" at least once apiece in Doctor Who.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds Faith will end up in a bank vault, as Buffy sets about rescuing her she will say "Bored now," Willow's evil Catch Phrase, however she doesn't try and kill Buffy this time.
- One mission in Saints Row The Third might have the Boss say "I love it when a plan comes together." That mission is when he/she is at the controls of a tank, falling through the sky, after the plane it was on blows up.
- In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Charlotte teases Jonathan a couple of times by turning his catchphrase, "No problem", back on him.
- In Metroid: Other M, this trope coincides with Moment Of Awesome: "Any objections, Adam?"
- After being royally defeated by Ezio in Assassin's Creed II, Cesare Borgia of all people borrows his nemesis's secondary catchphrase (take back Roma) when trying to win himself support.
- Quite a few Super Mario Bros. characters have copied Mario's "Let's-a go" and "Mamma mia!" Luigi's been using them less in recent games, however.
- In Summon Night: Swordcraft Story Varil explains his presence in one scene by that Sakuro told him about the situation and told him to not "underestimate the ability of a Craftlord to gather information", a play on Varil's regular claims about the Gold Guild's (headed by his father) ability to gather information when asked how he knows about events he wasn't involved in. The significance of this line is easily lost because Varil's use of the statement is restricted to walks at night, when most players spending this time with the girls.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, recovering Sten's sword will give you the option of turning Sten's "Pashaara" around on him as a dialogue choice. His response is a simple "Exactly."
- In Tales of Symphonia, Raine uses Lloyd's "Give me your name and I'll give you mine." Lloyd then realizes how cheesy it sounds, and never uses it again.
- In Danganronpa, Kirigiri borrows Naegi's "You've got that wrong!" during a trial.
- In Metal Gear Rising Revengance, Raiden uses Jetstream Sam's catchphrase, "Let's dance!" against the final boss. In a DLC episode, Sam used the same quote against the same character.
- Happens twice to Shepard in Mass Effect 3: once done by Conrad Verner, who's making fun of Shepard's tendency to Talk to Everyone and repeat already asked questions, and once in the Citadel DLC by the Shepard clone.
- 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.
- 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: "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's 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.
- 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 think of the children?" line.
- 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.
- Bugs Bunny's catch phrase "Of course you know This Means War!" was directly borrowed from Groucho Marx, something that director Chuck Jones openly admitted.
- 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?".
- 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.
- 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.
- In a few episodes of "Jackie Chan Adventures" Tohru said Uncle's "Aieeya!" when something went wrong for him.
- A variant shows up in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "The Wild Brood, when the Gang unmasks that episode's Monster of the Week and finds that it's someone they don't recognize. The episode's supporting characters (who do recognize the guy under the mask) end up delivering the Gang's trademark synchronized announcement of the villain's identity.