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  • In-Universe in Revolutionary War drama Turn. George Washington himself admits that Nathan Hale's famous line, "I regret that I have but one live to give for my country", was an invention of Patriot propagandists. (In Real Life it's true that nobody bothered to write down what Hale said before he was hanged.)
  • In The Addams Family, Morticia Addams is often associated with the proverb, "Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." Not once does she speak these words in the TV show or the films. She says it in the stage play, but it was clearly inspired by the meme.
  • Entertainer Arthur Godfrey, who hosted three different shows on CBS Radio & TV throughout the 1950s, was often quoted as saying "How are you, how are you, how are you," pronouncing it "Ha-why-ya ha-why-ya ha-why-ya!" People who imitated him for years, including Ralph Malph on Happy Days, used that quote. However, Godfrey apparently only used it once, in a recorded 1979 radio PSA (for Social Security Direct Deposit) in which he actually says it to make the point that he'd never said it in the past.
    • Godfrey's other lasting bit of notoriety, firing singer Julius LaRosa on-air during his variety show, didn't actually involve Godfrey confronting LaRosa or saying "you're fired". After LaRosa performed a song, Godfrey announced that it would be his "swan song" with Godfrey and that he'd go on to star in his own show. When reporters asked LaRosa about his plans after the show, LaRosa revealed that he never told Godfrey he was leaving, making it obvious that Godfrey had just launched a masterful bit of cold-blooded Passive Aggression against a man who committed the infraction of becoming just as popular as his boss.
    That's very good advice
    'Cause you just can't tell
    If they're good or bad,
    Even though they may seem nice
  • Batman (1966) has a mild example. While Robin's infamous "Holy [relevant phrase]!" Catchphrase did appear constantly, he usually ended it at that—he rarely ever said "Holy [relevant phrase], Batman!", as most people quote him. This one's a justified case, though, since "Holy [noun]!" is such a generic phrase in Western culture that people might not otherwise associate it with Batman.
    • However, 'Batman Forever' does pay homage to this with the following:
      • Robin: Holey rusted metal, Batman!
      • Batman: Huh?
      • Robin: The ground, it's all metal. It's full of holes. You know, holey.
      • Batman: Oh
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  • The Trope Namer gets discussed during a second season episode of Better Late Than Never. William Shatner runs through a few of the lines he genuinely said in the show but he and Henry Winkler correctly point out that "Beam me up, Scotty" was not one of them. Bill also talks about other misused and misquoted lines.
  • Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory never said "She's a girl and she's my friend, but she's not my girlfriend." The actual quote was "Yes, I have a friend named Amy Farrah Fowler. Yes, she is female. Yes, we communicate on a daily basis, but no, She Is Not My Girlfriend." People may be confusing this with a similar line from The Adventures of Pete & Pete where big Pete says (of Ellen) "She's a girl, and she's a friend, but she's not my girlfriend."
  • The premise of this trope was the answer to one question in one of the Big Fat Quiz Of Everything specials. Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade were the only ones to get it right.
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  • Jan Brady said "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!" once (season 3, "Her Sister's Shadow"), through the entire series of The Brady Bunch. It entered pop culture through SNL parodies and The Brady Bunch Movie. Parodied in a Nick @ Nite promo where Bobby points out that Carol always tells him and his brothers "Don't play ball in the house." They took random voice bits and strung them together into the phrase to make it look like she said it.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • "Yeah! Science, bitch!" was never said on the show. Although "bitch" is practically Jesse Pinkman's Catchphrase, the scene in question (ironically) is one of the few times where he doesn't say it. Instead it's "Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!"
    • Nor did Hank ever say "Jesus Christ, Marie" when he started collecting minerals but he does say it after the Schraders watch Walt's "confession" video implicating Hank in his crimes.
    • "Jesse, we have to cook!" perhaps the phrase even more associated with Breaking Bad than the above two, but Walt never says it.note 
    • "Jesse, get the beans" was a popular meme for a while, believed to be related to Walter and Jesse plotting to poison Tuco with castor beans, which contain the extremely toxic ricin. However, there was never a scene where Walter requested Jesse to retrieve beans of any kind for him.
    • Walt never said "Jesse, what the fuck are you talking about?" in the diner scene in "Box Cutter."
  • Jim Bowen, of Bullseye, never once said "Super, Smashing, Great" on the programme- he said "Super", he said "Smashing", he said "Great". But never all three in one go. The catchphrase seems to have come from Spitting Image, and after it became established Bowen did say it himself in a beer commercial.
  • "That's the beauty of it; it doesn't do anything!" or "It doesn't do anything; that's the beauty of it!" This line has the distinction of not only being a misquote, but for the longest time nobody could remember where it even came from! It was finally traced to an episode of Burke's Law, in which an inventor, Harold Harold, is questioned about the unusual contraption he's just demonstrated. The exact quote:
    Captain Burke: What is it?
    Harold Harold: Well it's my therapy. I'm still perfecting it.
    Burke: What does it do?
    Harold: Do??
    Burke: What's it for?
    Harold: Well, nothing, nothing. I mean, that's the beauty of it! Every machine in the world does something but not mine. This is my rebellion against efficiency! I also work puzzles.
    • The Everything2 entry on the subject ended with an insightful post about the nature of such misquotes: "Over time, I believe the best versions of the quotes are the ones that get passed on and into popular culture. If you look at the original quote, exactly as delivered by the actor, in any of these cases, you'll find they don't stand alone very well. They depend on the context of the scene and make for better dialogue than a one-liner. The mangled quote becomes self-contained, still recognizable but rearranged or including enough bits from the rest of the dialogue to stand alone."
    • This website lists another possible source, a play called Apocalyptic Butterfiles, and goes on to say this doesn't completely solve the mystery since most people have never heard of either.
  • Although it sounds like something she would say, on The Burns and Allen Show Gracie Allen's Signing-Off Catchphrase is not "Good night, Gracie" to George Burns' "Say good night, Gracie". It's just "Good night". (Anyway, Burns more often phrased it "Gracie, say good night" - so Gracie couldn't have said "Good night, Gracie" in response.)
    Wesley: Say goodbye, Data!
    Data: Goodbye, Data.
    <<general laughter>>
    Data: Accessing... Ah! Burns and Allen: Roxy Theatre, New York City, 1932. It still works.
  • Carl Sagan's TV appearances were famous for his distinctive pronunciation of the word "billions" — but the phrase "billions and billions" so commonly associated with him actually came from a Johnny Carson parody on The Tonight Show. He actually named one of his books "Billions and Billions" after this quote, and explained where it came from. (He also noted that the pronunciation of "billions" came from a desire to avoid confusion with "millions".)
  • In addition to not being very good neuroscience, the "buffalo and brain cells" Internet meme that is supposedly quoted from Cliff on Cheers never actually happened on any episode.
  • A 1996 promo for the TV-series adaptation of Clueless had Cher, Dionne, and Amber looking at the camera one at a time and each spouting a Valspeak catchphrase: "As if!"; "Whatever!"; "Yeah, right!" While "As if!" is used repeatedly throughout the 1995 film, "Whatever!" is uttered only once (and is done so ironically) And none of the characters ever says "Yeah, right!" - an expression that long predates the Val era in any case.
  • The Trope Namer is subject to Conversational Troping (naturally, by Reid, the show's usual source of random trivia) in the Criminal Minds episode "What Happens At Home".
  • While the Quip to Black trope is fairly common in crime shows in general, only Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami would almost always say the quip with a big pause before the punchline for emphasis (E.G seeing someone who burned to death and saying "Looks like he got (pause) fired!"). Parodies of crime shows often act as if all of them do this.
  • (In)famous Doctor Phil guest Danielle Bregoli didn't say "Cash me outside, howbowdah?" — she clearly pronounces it "Catch me outside, how bout dat?"
  • The German crime series Derrick often has Derrick send his assistant Harry to get the car to drive him somewhere. Thus, the phrase "Harry, hol schon mal den Wagen" ("Harry, go get the car in the meantime") was coined, though none of the 281 episodes of the legendary show actually featured the renowned phrase. The line was finally included in a tongue-in-cheek animated special made after the live action version had been cancelled.
  • Australian talk show host Derryn Hynch never actually used the line "Shame, shame." he is often associated with, it comes from Steve Vizard's recurring impersonation of him on sketch comedy Fast Forward.
  • The phrase "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!" , despite being seen as a Techno Babble Catchphrase of the Third Doctor in Doctor Who, was never used in that form in his era of the show, with, aside from an instance in The Daemons ("Reverse the polarity!" [of the electrical power in general]), the closest thing to it being his warning to the Master in The Sea Devils that "I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow", and that things were thus about to get explosive (although he reversed the polarity of other things quite a bit, and once "fused the controls to the neutron flow"). He repeated it when he reappeared in the 20th anniversary special. Ironically, the line was used by the Fifth Doctor more than the Third Doctor, and has been used a number of times by other Doctors, because it was seen as a Catchphrase.
    • More recently, the Tenth has lamented losing his touch at reversing polarities. Even more recently, the Twelfth has stated outright that the phrase is actually meaningless, though that doesn't top his Distaff Counterpart, Clara, from "reversing the polarity" of his sonic glasses in a later episode.
    • The book Match of the Day contrives a situation in which the (Fourth) Doctor finds himself saying "Maybe I can reverse the polarity using the Sonic Screwdriver". His internal monologue reveals he's mildly disgusted with himself for saying such a Cliché Storm while having no memory of ever saying that before, even though it feels like he has.
    • Tegan's fake swear word "Rabbits!" is a similar case. She only said it twice in the 19 serials featuring her as a companion, yet it's remembered by viewers as her Catchphrase and included in nearly every novel and short story she appears in (all written over a decade after she left the show).
    • "It's bigger on the inside!" really isn't uttered all that much. Just about the only times it is used is when it is pointed out that people say it. There are many similar reactions (the first being Ian's "But it was just a telephone box!") but one of the first times (if not THE first) times the actual quote is said it is by the Doctor in The Three Doctors. The 10th Anniversary episode.
    • There's a widespread belief that the catsuit Zoe wore in "The Mind Robber" was purple, and it's frequently drawn like this in fanart. This seems to have originated from fan colourizations of black and white screenshots; there are colour photos on the DVD showing it was actually silver.
    • The Fourth Doctor never told anyone to "spack off". Tom Baker got mixed up when delivering the line and there was no retake. The line as scripted was "Now back off"; Baker says "Now" and then he clearly holds an "s" sound (presumably because he was going to say something like "stay back"), realises as he's saying it that it's wrong and turns it into "back off" without pausing. The inevitable result is that it sounds like "Now ssssback off". Nevertheless, "spack" sees some use in Expanded Universe stories, especially the books.
  • "Just the facts, ma'am" came not from Dragnet, but from the various Stan Freberg parodies of the show. The phrase Jack "Joe Friday" Webb actually used on the show was "All we want are the facts, ma'am" (and sometimes "All we know are the facts, ma'am"). Became something of an Ascended Meme in the 1987 film, where Dan Aykroyd's Joe Friday (the nephew of Webb's) says it.
  • "Nil points!" never appears in the Eurovision Song Contest. It's actually "nul points". And, anyway, it was never mentioned by the host(s) until 2016 (more on that below).
    • The misunderstanding probably comes about from the fact that some songs which score very badly have zero points (translated into pidgin French as "nil points") through most of the show (possibly to the end) leading to people (quite possibly only those at home and/or the commentator(s)) mentioning that such-and-such a song has "nil points" as a riff on the way the judges' scoring is read out in English and French. This probably lead to people thinking that the "nil points" thing was a quote from the national judging panels even though, as mentioned above, they only mention the scores when they are handing out one or more points to a song - scores of zero are never mentioned.
    • The changes to the voting system in 2016 meant that countries with no points from the public vote do get announced. However, the presenters have so far used the term "zero points" as opposed to "nul points".
  • "Suits you, sir!" was never ever said in The Fast Show. The line was always "Suit you, sir!" It was actually said by one of The Offroaders, prompting the other to correct him.
  • A popular quote being spread on the internet is Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers allegedly saying "For someone called Manuel, you’re looking terribly ill…". Said line is not in any episodes, and an attempt to track down the source of the quote has only led to an article in The Metro claiming it as a quote from the show.
  • Friends has two actual occasions where Chandler uses any variant of the phrase "Could I be more (blank)?" without it being a parody of said speaking pattern. The idea of this expression as a catchphrase originated in story, with the rest of the group making fun of it. This means the character could have said it hundreds of times off screen.
    Joey: Could I be wearing any more clothes?
  • Many fans of Full House remember Dave Coulier's character as "Uncle Joey." However, he was almost never referred to by that name on the show; the Tanner girls simply called him "Joey," and the few times he was called "Uncle" on the show were by Jesse and Becky when they spoke to their twins in the last two seasons.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The words of House Stark are "Winter is Coming", and Eddard Stark himself (as well as several members of his house) issue this dire warning many times in both the books and the TV series. An image of Lord Stark standing dramatically with his sword was used for a meme intending to warn about real-life winter, using the words "Brace yourself, winter is coming", adding the "Brace yourself" for the meme, not suggesting Lord Stark actually said that. However, the meme went viral and led to numerous other "Brace yourself, X is coming" memes, all using the image of Eddard Stark. This has led many to believe that Eddard actually spoke the words "brace yourself" on screen at some point, when he never did.
    • Many fans refer to Robb Stark as the King of the North, rather than the King IN the North.
    • Robert Baratheon never used the phrase "Dothraki hordes on an open field, Ned!" when talking about the threat of Khal Drogo. He does say "There's a war coming, Ned..." but his discussion of tactics for fighting the Dothraki comes from a different conversation entirely, with Cersei. Even then, he remains calm throughout the discussion, with the closest thing to the meme being "only a fool would fight a Dothraki horde on an open field."
  • No Game Show has ever used the phrase "Johnny, tell them what they've won!" There have been several announcers named Johnny (most notably Johnny Gilbert, Johnny Olson, Johnny Jacobs, John Harlan, John Cramer), and they have told countless contestants about the prizes, but never in this form. Probably the closest would be Bob Barker on The Price Is Right after a contestant comes up from Contestant's Row, but before the pricing game is announced would often say to Johnny Olson, "Johnny, tell ( him or her ) what they could win."
  • Speaking of game shows, the catch phrase on Family Feud is "(our) survey said," not "says" (although sometimes John O'Hurley and Steve Harvey have slipped). And it's only ever used in the Fast Money Bonus Round, never in the main game (where most commonly the host will simply repeat the answer or sometimes add "Show me..." before it). Ricki Lake got the latter wrong on Gameshow Marathon.
    • "Our survey said" has been used since 1980 in the final round of the British version, called Family Fortunes. It's used to build tension before each survey answer is revealed. It was originated by the first host Bob Monkhouse, and every host since has used it because it became so intrinsically associated with the show. It's also used occasionally in the main game.
  • Double-subverted in the case of a notorious answer from a contestant on The Newlywed Game. Host Bob Eubanks asked a female newlywed the question "Where, specifically, is the weirdest place that you personally, girls, have ever gotten the urge to make whoopee?", to which she was said to have responded with either "In the butt, Bob", or some Ebonics-laden variation such as "It be the butt, Bob." Bob asserted that no exchange like this happened at all, and even made up shirts saying "She never said 'in the butt, Bob'." But in the beginning of the 21st century, the episode happened to air on Game Show Network and footage swiftly hit the Internet. This footage revealed that the actual answer to the question was "in the ass", said hesitantly (and beeped out) by an ordinary looking housewife named Olga Perez. Bob admitted that he had forgotten about it and convinced himself that it never happened at all, although the rampant misquoting may have clouded his memory.
  • One review of the The Goldbergs episode "Mini Murray" quoted the grandpa as saying "Okay, where the fuck is the mouse?" after being tricked into watching Poltergeist, thinking it was The Great Mouse Detective. He really said "Okay, where's the mouse?". Also, anyone who watches the show knows that most swears are replaced with a censor beep.
  • Ralph Kramden never actually said "Bang-zoom, to the moon!" on The Honeymooners — it's actually a blend of two different catchphrases, "One of these days, one of these days. Bang! Zoom!" and "To the moon, Alice, to the moon!" Similarly, many other catch phrases associated with that show and Jackie Gleason are mixes-and-matches of bits of actual catch phrases. Also, "Pow, right in the kisser!" was allegedly a Kramden Catchphrase in the (now lost) early variety show sketches, but did not actually appear in the regular series. The very first Pinky and the Brain segment of Animaniacs misquotes it as "Bang! Zoom! Right in the kisser!"
    • In one episode, Ralph tries (with little success, given the context of the episode in question) to maintain his stress levels by saying, "Pins and needles, needles and pins, it's a happy man that grins." He actually said it wrong; the way it's supposed to go (and how Ed and Alice say it) is "Pins and needles, needles and pins, a happy man is a man that grins."
  • Hunter S. Thompson didn't say "The TV business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."; it was
    The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
  • Ricky used the word "'splain" a couple times on I Love Lucy, but never the phrase "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin' to do."
  • The first two verses of the closing song from Lamb Chop's Play-Along are often quoted as "This is the song that never ends/And it goes on and on my friends". In the actual show, it's "This is the song that doesn't end/Yes it goes on and on my friend". It's often sung this way in other shows that reference the song.
  • There is not a single episode of Lassie in which Timmy falls down a well. He fell down just about everything else, yes, but Lassie never had to get help for Timmy falling down a well. In fact, Lassie herself has fallen down a well at least once.
  • The (in)famous Bishop and the Nightie" affair on The Late Late Show never had a woman say she was "naked" on her wedding night. In February 1966, there was a segment on the show where a Mr and Mrs Fox had to answer questions about their marriage; Mrs Fox was asked what colour nightdress she wore on her wedding night; she said "Transparent," then admitted "I didn't wear any!"; after the audience stopped laughing, she changed her answer to "white." There was no outcry — only three phone complaints, and one telegram from Thomas Ryan, Catholic Bishop of Clonfert ("Disgusted with disgraceful performance."), who later offered extreme criticism of the show, calling on "all decent Irish Catholics" to protest. They didn't.
  • Tonto on The Lone Ranger never said "What you mean we, white man?" (sometimes changed to "What you mean we, Kemosabe?" to make the reference clearer, making it an example on top of an example) That was from a popular joke about the show. Some people attribute the quote to this Weetabix commercial featuring the characters, but in that ad Tonto actually says "What's this "we" business, paleface?"
  • The Robot from Lost in Space never said "Danger, danger, Will Robinson." That's because the catch phrase has only one "danger". It was said once in the series, episode 11 of season 3 ("The Deadliest of the Species").
  • M*A*S*H has an in-universe example: in the episode "Movie Night", the gang entertain themselves with Father Mulcahy impersonations, one of which involves the use and over-use of the word "jocularity". The thing is, Mulcahy has never used this exclamation—at least not yet. He does so once, but in a later episode.
    • In the short story "The Van on Atlantic Street" by Desmond Warzel, one character does an imitation of the Mulcahy imitation, upon which he is told that Mulcahy never said "jocularity." The Star Trek Trope Namer and "Play it again, Sam" are also referenced by way of explanation.
    • A straight example is in the finale. Hawkeye does not actually say "It wasn't a chicken!"
  • The Madam Secretary episode "Waiting for Taleju" gives us an In-Universe example after Henry's on-air rant at a talk show caller goes memetic on the Internet (possibly the first time that C-SPAN has ever produced a meme). Alison even discovers a GIF of it, subtitled with phrases that didn't actually appear in the rant, but would certainly have fit Henry's point.
  • Film star Michael Caine never said "And not a lot of people know that" at the end of a story. At least, not before Mike Yarwood's scriptwriters wrote it as a hook for Yarwood's Saturday night show in the 1970's. Yarwoodnote  regularly pulled in TV audiences of fifteen million for his shows. Caine realised Yarwood's take on him was doing his profile a lot of favours, and retro-adopted the catch-phrase attributed to him in the impression. He reasoned as nobody would ever believe he'd never said it, he might as well adopt the phrase and use it to his advantage.
    • It was actually Peter Sellers who originated the phrase, as "There's not many people know that", in his own Michael Caine impression. It was inspired by Caine talking about his fascination with trivia on the BBC chat show "Parkinson" in 1974.
  • While Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is the Trope Namer for Recruit Teenagers with Attitude, Zordon actually only says this in the opening credits. (In the first episode, what he asks Alpha 5 for is to find "five overbearing and over-emotional humans" in the area; Alpha facepalms and exclaims, "Oh no, not that! Not... teenagers!" to which Zordon replies in the affirmative.)
    • Also, the first line of the show's opening theme song is "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. It is often misquoted as " the neighborhood", and is even sung that way in the theme to the spinoff Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
    • Wheel of Fortune correctly used "it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood" as a puzzle on an episode that also happened to feature a cameo from Fred Rogers.
  • Many of the phrases commonly associated with the Muppets were not originally used on The Muppet Show, or were hardly ever used. We remember them from the later movies and from Muppet Babies. Fozzie Bear didn't say "Waka-waka-waka!" on The Muppet Show, for example; he said "Hiya-hiya-hiya!" or simply "Nyaaah!" Also, Gonzo never said "Piggy, my sweet!" on The Muppet Show (and he wouldn't have, because Camilla the chicken was his love interest on that show). On the other hand, Miss Piggy did say "Hai-yah!" on the original show, and quite often. Kermit also did say "Heigh-ho" - but not "Heigh-ho, Kermit T. Frog here!" He did in fact say something like that, just not on that show.
    • Brian Henson's introductions for the Odyssey Channel reruns and Time-Life home video releases spawned a minor meme: "Hi, I'm Brian Henson. See if you can spot/find X in this episode of The Muppet Show". Only two of the introductions had him say something remotely similar to that: one where he talks about Jim Henson's characters ("See if you can tell which characters are my father's voices in this next episode of The Muppet Show") and one created specifically for the Liza Minnelli/murder mystery episode ("Here is The Muppet Show starring Liza Minnelli; see if you can figure out who done it").
    • Memetic Mutation strikes again: A popular image set of The Muppet Christmas Carol shows a scene featuring Kermit from the end of the song "One More Sleep Til Christmas" with the text "There's one more sleep 'til...Christmas", followed by the text "[internal screaming]". The quote is actually "There's one more sleep 'til Christmas Day", and there's no screaming (internal or otherwise) to be heard after this line, just complete silence.
  • Referenced and lampshaded in NUMB3RS by guest character Ian Edgerton, specifically referring to the Dragnet example, in order to make a point about how a lie can take on a life of its own.
    Edgerton: You know, Joe Friday never actually said that line? But enough people repeat something, and soon enough, it becomes the truth. It doesn't mean it's right.
    • This does not, however, stop him and Granger from quoting that line at each other later on, as they prepare for a critical moment.
  • Paul Hogan's infamous Australian tourism ads didn't say "Throw another shrimp on the barbie" but "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you." An ad campaign in Australia made a point of overturning this stereotype, insisting that the more accurate stereotype was throwing a steak on the barbie. About halfway down this page is a list of misquotes of this exact ad. Apparently, everyone remembers it differently.note 
  • At absolutely no point in Peep Show does Mark (or anyone else for that matter) say "Are we the baddies?" That line actually comes from That Mitchell and Webb Look, Mitchell and Webb's other show that aired around the same time.
  • The Memetic Mutation "Yo/sup dawg, I heard you like..." is an exaggeration. Generally, the actual examples on Pimp My Ride were merely "Since you like..." or "We know you like...", since at that time Xzibit would already know the client's likes and dislikes.
  • QI:
    • "You dirty rat", "play it again, Sam" and "Me Tarzan, you Jane" are all referenced to in one episode:
      David Mitchell: Why do these films always forget to put their most famous line in?
    • In fact, James Cagney addressed the first line in his AFI Life Achievement Award speech in 1974.
      Cagney: I never said "ooooh, you dirty rat!" What I actually said was "Judy, Judy, Judy!"
    • Although it became a Running Gag, the first time Alan Davies was asked "What is the longest animal in the world?", he did not immediately buzz in and say "Blue whale!". In fact, he didn't even mention any type of whale. What he actually said was "Now, the first thing that came to mind would be a really long snake, but I think that even the longest snake, it wouldn't be as long as a really really long sea animal, like a whale or something like that." The screens then flashed up "BLUE WHALE" in response, even though Alan didn't specifically say "blue whale".note 
  • Ronald Reagan never once said, "The driver is either missing, or he's dead" in Death Valley Days; this is a misunderstood meme in Mystery Science Theater 3000. The line was typically exclaimed during a scenic shot that resembled Death Valley, which led the many audience members to believe it was indeed a Reagan quote. In fact, it ties back to an earlier MST3K episode where someone on screen who sounds almost exactly like Reagan says, "The driver is gone, or he's hiding;" an audience member then capitalized on his voice by saying, "Welcome to Death Valley Days!" From then on, it became Running Gag, but the quote was slightly misremembered.
  • In the Mr. Bill sketches from Saturday Night Live the phrase is just, "Oh nooooooo!" and not "Oh no, Mr. Bill!". It's pretty strange how this misquote was started seeing as how it's said by Mr. Bill himself. This is possibly Memetic Mutation melding the "Oh no!" from an earlier catchphrase, "Look out, Mr. Bill!" which was reportedly spawned by a radio show in the 1940's or 50's. Or the quote came from Mr. Bill merchandise, which often featured both the catchphrase and the name of the character, in that order, without quotation marks. The phrase WAS sometimes said by Mr. Hands, who was the narrator in the shorts.
    (In a short with Mr Bill driving a car) Mr Hands: Oh no, Mr Bill! Looks like you have a flat! Good thing Mr Sluggo has a jack....
  • "What's the deal with (topic)?" was never Jerry's Catchphrase on Seinfeld. It was only ever said in five episodes and actually comes from a 1992 Saturday Night Live sketch.
  • A minor example from Smallville: there is one notorious episode where Lana is accepted into a sorority of vampires (yeah, it's exactly how it sounds) and when she reacts with surprise, they rave about how awesome Lana supposedly is. One of the vampire girls exclaims "C'mon, Lana! You're amazing!" However, the line has often been quoted as "Face it, Lana, you're amazing!", including on the page for Character Shilling as the page quote, until it was corrected to the actual quote. The reason the misquote is so widespread in the fandom is actually because it was misquoted by Neal Bailey's highly popular episode review column on Superman Homepage.note  Either way, the correct quote is still a perfect example of the show's attempts to shill Lana.
  • A milder version in The Sopranos: the characters rarely, if ever, spoke of a person getting "whacked"; the preferred term was "clipped".
  • From Star Trek (apart from the Trope Namer):
    • While we're talking Scotty, he has likely never said "She canna' take much more of this!" onscreen. It's in the theatrical trailer of Star Trek VI but was cut from the version seen in theaters.
      • It actually was used by Malcolm Reed, the tactical officer (who was from the UK like Scotty, but was English instead of Scottish), on Enterprise, in reference to this non-existent catch phrase.
    • Another Star Trek example: The Borg are oft quoted as saying "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated." While they arrange those sentences in any number of ways in their various appearances (sometimes in the midst of a full paragraph or two), they never use that one. The closest they come is in the Next Generation episode "I, Borg", where the Borg, "Hugh", says, "We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Make it "we are the Borg" and you have an oft-heard standard Borg greeting, but it's always in that order. Ironically, the story treatment for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiere calls the Borg's line "immortal words," even though the construction they used had yet to be spoken in any form of Star Trek.
    • Bones never said "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a —" He did frequently say, "I'm a doctor, not a --" and similar phrases very often (see here), but the "dammit, Jim" was not a part of this Catchphrase.
      • Also, it would be awfully unlikely for them to get away with saying "dammit" on '60s television, especially on a regular basis. This was the era in which Kirk used "hell" to make a Precision F-Strike at the end of "The City on the Edge of Forever". And that was the only instance of swearing in three seasons.
      • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan he actually did say "Damn it, Jim," but that was followed up with a complaint about Kirk's birthday feeling like a funeral - he made no mention of being a doctor.
      • The original timeline's Bones may never have said "dammit", but it became an Ascended Meme in the Alternate Timeline new movie series - at least the Obligatory Swearing. In Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness, McCoy gets close, but in both cases, he begins the phrase with, "Dammit, man...", since neither statement is directed at Kirk. In Star Trek Beyond, he finally actually says, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a —" only for the line to be cut off as he's beamed away before he can say what he isn't on this occasion.
      • When Star Trek: The Motion Picture first played in theaters, McCoy got to say "god damn" soon after he beamed aboard. This has been cut down to "damn" in subsequent releases.
      • The phrase likely originated from the Saturday Night Live skit Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise in which McCoy drops the line, "I'm a doctor, not a tailor, dammit!"
    • McCoy also never says "I'm just a plain old country doctor." The closest he comes is in "The Alternative Factor" where he says "This is a big ship, I'm just a country doctor", and in "The Deadly Years" where he says ""I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor."
    • The most famous line associated with Doctor Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation is, "Jean-Luc, I have something to tell you," always spoken when one or both of them are facing imminent death. Then they are, of course, immediately interrupted before she can say anything else. However, while that general scenario happened several times during the series, she never addressed Picard with those exact words. The closest version came in the episode The High Ground, where she says, "Jean-Luc, there are some things I want to tell you in case we don't get out of this."
    • Spock never directly says the line "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it," which is used repeatedly in the parody song "Star Trekkin'." He does say similar lines a couple of times though, like in "The Devil in the Dark" and when describing the Organians in "Errand of Mercy":
      Within range of our sensors, there is no life, other than the accountable human residents of this colony beneath the surface. At least, no life as we know it.

      Fascinating, Pure Energy, pure thought, totally incorporeal. Not life as we know it at all...
    • The opening narration is occasionally misquoted as "These are the voyages of the Star Trek Enterprise," which doesn't even make sense. The phrase "Star Trek" is in fact never used in the movies or television series, outside of the Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics, until spoken in Star Trek: First Contact by Zefram Cochrane. "And you people, you're all ... astronauts ... on ... some kind of star trek." Prior to this, the closest phrasing was "your trek through the stars," said by Q in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series finale "All Good Things..."
    • A small scale Star Trek Beam Me Up, Scotty! occurred among the cast and crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Apparently they were under the impression that the Original Series episode "This Side Of Paradise" contained the line "I'm not going back, Jim". The line became an in joke and they even used it in the riffing on Touch of Satan. However, they later rented the episode and realized that no such line appears.
    • People talking about the episode "Shore Leave" often remember the character Finnegan repeatedly saying, "Fight me, Jimmy!" While he goads Kirk to fight him repeatedly, he doesn't use those exact words, and refers to Kirk as "Jimmy, m'boy".
    • While McCoy does say, "S/he's dead, Jim", he never proceeds it with, "It's worse than that." This line is often misquoted as a McCoy line, most famously in a song about the show. This in turn may have been paraphrased from a line in "Spock's Brain", when Bones famously (and ironically) says "He was worse than dead".
  • A popular trend in Stargate SG-1 fanfiction is to have O'Neill call artifacts "rocks" while Daniel insists that they are "artifacts". However, such an exchange never occurs in the show itself. It should also be noted that no chevrons were engaged on Stargate SG-1 until around season 3. Even after that, they were "encoded" most of the time.
  • People doing impressions of Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em will always go for the phrase "Ooh, Betty, the cat's done a whoopsie on the carpet!" After the birth of Frank and Betty's daughter it was sometimes "the baby's done a whoopsie on the carpet!" He never said either of them. In a 2016 charity sketch where Michael Crawford returned to the role, this gets lampshaded when the adult Jessica refers to doing a whoopsie on the carpet when she was a baby, and Frank says he doesn't remember that happening.
  • Mr Moesby never said "No running in my lobby!" on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. He did say the line "No running in my hallway!" in his cameo appearance in Jessie, but that was in 2015, well after the "Suite" series was over, and the seeds of this trope had been sown.
  • Star Trek wasn't the first show William Shatner was involved in that led to this phenomenon. In the famous Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", at no point were the famous words "there's someone on the wing, some...thing!" ever uttered. He did say "There's a man out there", but nothing closer to the more famously known line.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race:
    • RuPaul has never said "No one will love you if you don't love yourself." A lot of people on social media will attack this quote even though it is a completely different and far more malicious message than his actual proverb, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"
    • Invoked in Season 4 with Cher impersonator Chad Michaels, who talks about how he likes to inject reality into his act and that he doesn't flip his hair and click his tongue like most other impersonators, because the real Cher doesn't do that.
    • Also invoked in the Season 12 reunion episode. Contestant Nicky Doll, who's French, talks about getting messages from American fans saying "Sacré bleu,” "hon hon hon," and other stereotypical French phrases. She simply laughs at them because French people don't actually say those things.
  • Most parodies of Dateline seem to think that Chris Hansen does the whole "To Catch a Predator" thing by popping up out of nowhere at the predator's current spot, however most of the episodes had the predator going to a sting house where Chris would do the whole thing after the predator talked to a decoy. Also, most parodies assume he starts the confrontation by saying "I am Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC..." but he actually starts the confrontation by saying "Hi!" followed by either "Why don't you take a seat over there?" or a variation of it, and doesn't say the "I am Chris Hansen" line until the confrontation is over.
  • Two memetic lines from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • The actual line is "Anyway, I started blasting". People will often add "So" to the beginning, add an s to "anyway", or have "start" in place of "started".
    • "Can I offer you a nice egg in this trying time?" is often misquoted without the "nice", or as "...these trying times".
  • Schitt's Creek: Alexis's "Ew, David!" is one of the show's most-memed lines and is perceived as a Catchphrase of hers. It's actually only ever said twice in the entire show. There are several variations of "[exclamation] + David", eg. "Ugh, David!", however.
  • Bridgerton: "I burn for you" during Simon and Daphne's Love Confession was incorrectly attached to Simon by many viewers. His actor Regé-Jean Page even had to disclaim that it's Daphne who says the line, not Simon, and his actual line is "When one burns for someone who doesn’t feel the same". It probably didn't help that he did say the line as part of his host monologue on Saturday Night Live.
  • Two famous kids' show "bloopers" were never said, despite millions of people saying they were watching and/or listening: "That oughtta hold the little bastards" as attributed mainly to radio host Uncle Don, and "Cram it, Clownie!" as attributed mainly to a disgruntled kid on The Bozo Show. Not only were they never uttered, but there isn't even agreement on how they were never uttered. Depending on whom you ask, the two above speakers apocryphally said "That oughtta hold the little S.O.B.'s for another week!" and "Cram it, Clown!" Don't believe the Kermit Schaefer blooper records on the Uncle Don thing... it's one of his many dramatized recordings, in this case of something that never happened.
  • B.A. Baracus does not say, "I pity the fool!" on The A-Team. Entertainment Legends Revealed has a post on the phrase (Mr. T, who portrayed B.A., indeed uttered that phrase, but in Rocky III instead of The A-Team).
  • A number of folks (usually haters who wish to add another black mark to the series) believed that Barney the Dinosaur said the line, "A stranger is a friend you haven't met" in the episode Playing It Safenote . He never actually said that! Not once. In said episode, Derek is the one who brings up the subject and notes that "Strangers are people you don't know, and they could be bad people!" In traditional Barney fashion, a song is sung a little while afterwards reinforcing the message.
    That's very good advice
    'Cause you just can't tell
    If they're good or bad,
    Even though they may seem nice
  • A Real Life example gets a Lampshade Hanging by Horrible Histories, whose portrayal of Richard III would like to let us know that not only did he not do some of the evil deeds he’s accused of, he never said “A horse, my kingdom for a horse!”
  • Inverted with Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and the phrase he's somehow famous for saying, "Can you say ____?" The line appears in several parodies but it was assumed thanks to a book called The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers that he never said it on the show, though he did in fact believe the phrase would be an insult to the intelligence of even his very young audience. However, he does use the phrase on a few episodes, but always used words that would be genuinely challenging, such as "radamacue" (featured in an episode of the week called "Mister Rogers Goes to School"). The most notable parody of Mister Rogers to do this is one that appears on the National Lampoon album, That's Not Funny, That's Sick. In two tracks on the album, Mister Roberts is constantly asking the audience, and his guests, if they can say some given word.
    • Also, the first line of the show's opening theme song is "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. It is often misquoted as " the neighborhood", and is even sung that way in the theme to the spinoff Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
    • Wheel of Fortune correctly used "it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood" as a puzzle on an episode that also happened to feature a cameo from Fred Rogers.
  • "Oh no, not the goblins!" was not said Once per Episode on The Noddy Shop, despite most reviews of the show claiming it was. The actual line, "Not the goblins!" was only said in one episode, and it was sung by the Ruby Reds, who always sing their lines.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Most people who spoof it have two characters (usually a human and a Muppet) talking directly to the viewers in a fairly condescending way ("Hi, boys and girls! We're talking about the letter A today!"). While the characters do talk directly to the viewers a lot, they never call them "kids" specifically, and most Sesame episodes actually have, y'know, a plot.
    • At one point, a photo of Oscar circulated social media sites with the caption "Just because you're trash doesn't mean you can't do great things. It's called garbage can, not garbage cannot." This caused many to believe that Oscar himself said this quote. There is no evidence at all that he ever said something like that (nevermind that it's too positive to come from his mouth).
    • Most parodies of the Baker sketches usually involve "TEN! BANANA CREAM! PIES!" except for the fact that not only were banana cream pies not associated with 10 (it was chocolate layer cakes), but they were never in any baker sketch. In fact, the closest might be the two chocolate cream pies (in which the baker only fell because he was trying to show off) or maybe the nine coconut custard pies. This may have arisen from the fact that banana cream pies are associated with cartoon slapstick and thus people remember them better than the less "funny" desserts. Family Guy reinforced the myth with their baker parody where he's carrying ten banana cream pies.
    • Cookie Monster never sings, "C is for cookie and cookie is for me", despite what Diary of a Wimpy Kid would have you believe. He does sing a song about "C" being for "cookie", but the real lyric is "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me."
  • In-universe example in Mr. Meaty, where Parker says this line while paying tribute to a skunk.


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