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Clash of the Catchphrases!

Robin: Holy cow!
Batgirl: You just had to say that.
The New Batman Adventures, "Critters"


An expression used by a character numerous times in a work. Merely uttering this phrase in the office will clue others in to the character you're referring to.

To be a Catchphrase, the phrase must be repeated multiple times in an identifiable way — what is simply the most memorable line of a movie is not a Catchphrase unless it is repeated by the same in-universe character. When it's the audience that adopts a character's line as a Catchphrase, it's a Memetic Mutation.

If the character has a Badass Creed, it will probably double as a Catchphrase. Beam Me Up, Scotty! is a false or oft-misquoted Catchphrase. Compare Arc Words, One-Liner, Other Stock Phrases, Word Power. Contrast with Author Catchphrase, which is when a phrase is recycled across unrelated works by the same author/actor/creator.


Not to be confused with the gameshow Catchphrase, which was just named for this trope.




Hank Hill: I'll Kick Your Ass

Hank Hill saying his signature threat, along with a timestamp of what seasons and episodes he said it in.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / CatchPhrase

Media sources:

Main / CatchPhrase