We all know that a Catchphrase is something one character says a lot and you might also know about the Share Phrase (which is when multiple characters share the same catchphrase) and Arc Words (a mysterious phrase that's repeated). Most of these cover the whole work or at least a big chunk of it, but this is a repeated line (could be a Catchphrase, Share Phrase, Arc Words, or a combination) that only lasts one episode/book/etc.
This could be played as an episode-specific Running Gag, to highlight the moral of the episode, because a character wants to do something and keeps mentioning it, or because of a one-shot character with a catchphrase or who causes others to say something. Sometimes it might be a question that the character keeps asking because they never get an answer.
If Played for Laughs, someone might say, "Why do you/does everyone keep saying that?!", get bored of people say it, or become able to finish their sentence, or a combination, or it might end with several characters saying it in unison or one character shouting it. People will often remember the episode as "The one where they say, 'XYZ'." It might also be played for a mystery of why people keep saying it. Compare Tagline.
- Happy Heroes: Season 6 episode 43 is based around the Planet Guling town's mayor gauging how many times his citizens say the phrase "Darn it, we failed again!", which is typically Big M.'s Defeat Catchphrase.
- Simple Samosa:
- The episode "Chhote Rajaji" features its own title as one. The words are shouted by the various inhabitants of Chatpata Nagar as they contract and suffer great pain from a spiciness epidemic spreading across the town.
- In the episode "Tufaan", Samosa keeps saying the phrase "do it yourself" when he rejects the townspeople's requests for his help in favor of riding his new bicycle some more, saying that those words are written on the back of the bike's box in bold letters.
- In "Kheer", whenever one of the townspeople eats the magic pudding that Samosa gives them, they respond by telling him that one day, "you will be king".
- The Asterix book Asterix the Legionary features an Egyptian guy named Ptennisnet who says in his language (rendered as hieroglyphs), "Old hairy [rhyming body part]" as a response to questions.
- Scootertrix the Abridged: In Episode 16, the cast gets obsessed with a movie that just came out, The Snack. Conversations between ponies who've already seen the movie invariably degenerate into them just shouting "The Snack!" back and forth.
- The Berenstain Bears:
- In "Go to the Doctor", Papa Bear often says, "I never get sick", but he gets sick anyway.
- In "Get the 'Don't Hafta's", Sister Bear replies, "I don't hafta" when asked to go to the bathroom several times.
- In the book about the environment, Papa Bear often says, "Piffle!" about his family's environmentalism.
- The Dirty Bertie story "Bum!" involves baby Molly learning her first word "bum" from Bertie and she says it twice. She also says the nonsense phrases "Bee bee" and "Da da da" several times.
- Little Princess: The book "I Want My Potty" has the Princess saying the title a lot but it also has "the potty's the place", which highlights the fact that it's about her learning to use the potty.
- In the Mog book "Mog the Forgetful Cat", Mog keeps getting scolded with the phrase "Bother that cat!", but they decide to stop when she scares away a burglar.
- Roys Bedoys:
- Roys exclaims, “Owwy!” frequently in “That’s Dangerous, Roys Bedoys!”.
- In “Too Much Drama, Roys Bedoys!”, Roys keeps threatening his friends with “I won’t be your friend anymore”.
- In “Y is Not for Why, Roys Bedoys!”, Roys keeps singing, “Why, why, tell me why”.
- In “Where Are You, Roys Bedoys?”, Roys says, “Oooooh!” whenever he thinks about space.
- Interview with the Vampire (2022):
- In "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self", Louis de Pointe du Lac says "He had a way about him" thrice to underline to Daniel Molloy how he was very much under Lestat de Lioncourt's power in their Lover and Beloved romance.
- "Like Angels Put in Hell by God" features the word "endure" no less than six times.
Lestat: I have a capacity for enduring.
Claudia: I'm enduring.
Louis: And so I endured my way home.
Lestat: We endure each other for Louis' happiness.
Louis: You threaten a life which will endure 'til the end of the world.
Claudia: I am done enduring.
- Legion: In "Chapter 26", it's "You should never have come."
- In the Round the Twist episode "Without My Pants", one of the characters is cursed to say, "without my pants" at the end of his sentences.
- In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, O'Brien becomes temporarily very good at darts (and in case anyone is wondering, no, aliens or technology weren't involved; it was a fluke). Throughout the episode, references are made to him being in "the zone".
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: The episode "Darmok" is about several aliens who speak in metaphors (usually allusions to their myths). Three of the most repeated ones are "Darmok and Jilahd at Tenagra" (bond forged by facing a common enemy), "Temba, his arms wide" (offering something), and "Shaka when the walls fell" (failure).
- Star Trek: Voyager: In one episode, an evil Bajoran possesses Tuvok and says this phrase in Bajoran (along with "It's a holy time!") that leads to Tuvok saying it as well.
- The X-Files:
- "Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"": Several, including "How the hell should I know?"
- "Kaddish": "Just words."
- "Syzygy": "Sure. Fine. Whatever"
- Donkey Hodie:
- "A Lot Of Hot!" has the line "Stanley hot update!" repeated constantly.
- "Squibbit" involves a penguin who won't stop saying the epynomous word.
- "Spooky Shadow Swamp" constantly has Donkey and Panda shout "Spooky-ooky!" multiple times.
- "Potato Pirates" has the word "Avast!" repeated throughout the story. It was even the subject of the episode's song.
- In "A Donkey Hodie Halloween", the phrase "Halloweenarific" is repeated multiple times.
- Sesame Street:
- In one episode, Baby Bear keeps saying the title of his story, "The three bears in outer space" with an inexplicable echo on that last word which disappears at the end.
- In the episode where Gabi gets the flu on her birthday, everyone tells her, "It's OK to be sad if you're sick on your birthday" to the point where she gets, well, sick of it.
- One episode involves trying to find out why Natasha keeps saying, "Hoongie". It turns out that's what she calls her doll.
- Every episode has a "word of the day".
- In TheOdd1sOut, the video "Boy, Were They Wrong!" is about James pointing out historical inaccuracies and noting, "Boy, were they wrong!".
James: And yes, I am gonna say that every time.
- The Arthur episode "D.W. and Dr. Whosit" has a lot of people quote the line from the Show Within a Show parody of Doctor Who: "Egad! The doctor has flibbered!".
- The Berenstain Bears:
- Just like the book, in "Go to the Doctor", Papa Bear says, "I never get sick" only to get sick anyway.
- In "The New Neighbours", Mama Bear repeatedly tells her husband and cubs that "the best way to have a good neighbour is to be a good neighbour."
- In one episode, both parents tell their cubs to "instead of spending today wishing it was yesterday, go out and see what today has to offer."
- In "Too Much Car Trip", Mama Bear keeps saying, "Keep an open mind" to the point where the cubs get bored of it.
- In "The Hiccup Cure", the opening rhyme (when eating your food remember to chew; it's not just good manners, it's healthy for you) becomes the Episode Tagline, with everyone saying it to Papa Bear.
- Blaze and the Monster Machines has catchphrases according to the theme of each episode, though some are meaningful:
- In "Race to the Top of the World", Blaze keeps giving this reminder: "Monster Machines never give up. We just keep on rolling."
- For the Christmas Episode, Santa Clause has these words: "Everyone should feel special on Christmas."
- In the Blue's Clues episode "The Baby's Here", Steve says the title several times.
- The Caillou episode "Caillou's Cross Word" is all about the word "stupid" and how it's not a nice way to describe someone.
- Every episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood had the first line of the episode's song as the tagline said by everyone when invoking the episode's moral.
- In an episode of Dora the Explorer, Boots keeps mentioning that he'll be getting his "first hit ever" at baseball.
- DuckTales (1987): The sentence "Real heroes just do their jobs!" appears multiple times in "Where No Duck Has Gone Before".
- Franklin: One episode involves Franklin and Harriet learning that saying the word "stupid" is impolite— apparently, even when not talking about people (e.g. "Stupid pencil!").
- In the Henry Hugglemonster episode "Huggle Whaa?", some kids have fun chanting this made up word that sounds like "hugga" followed by Blowing a Raspberry, without realising that it's actually profane.
- In the Let's Go Luna! episode "Honey in Paris", the kids and Luna hear Carmen's pet hamster Honey constantly repeating the French phrase "mon amour" ("my love") and follow her around to learn more about "him", thinking the phrase is the name of a person.
- The Loud House:
- In "Lincoln Loud: Girl Guru", Lincoln and his best friend Clyde say, "How hard could it be?" several times before realising that it can actually be pretty hard.
- In "Not a Loud", Lincoln and Clyde say, "Field test!" before testing to see if Lincoln has strange powers or was swapped at birth.
- In "Potty Mouth", Lily keeps saying, "Dannit" which is thought to be a mispronunciation of "Dammit". It turns out to actually be a mispronunciation of "Doughnut".
- In "Racing Hearts", whenever Luna or Sam fails at something she's not interested in, she describes it as "not really my thing".
- In "Attention Deficit", both the Loud parents and Clyde's dads tell the Loud children to wait for specifically five minutes several times.
- In "Linc or Swim", whenever the Loud family gets banned from the pool, someone says, "Loud family, out!" to which they reply, "We were just having fun", to which the person replies, "[Infraction] is/are not fun!". The phrase "fecal incident" (referring to Lily pooping in the pool) is also used several times.
- In "Washed Up", the Loud family is marooned on an uninhabited island and they frequently say, "Louds never quit!". This is relatively true, since the Loud family has displayed Determinator tendencies in past episodes.
- In "Candy Crushed", Lola goes on a bet to avoid sweets for a week, leading to her frequently saying, "You're either with me or against me!" to anyone who dares to eat sweets near her.
- Milly, Molly:
- "Monday", which deals with how the girls met, has everyone say "It's surprising how a cat can fill its day", which accumulates with the girls' cats having kittens together.
- "Ride to School Day" has Mr. Limpy keep repeating "Believe in yourself", the episode's moral.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "A Flurry of Emotions", Twilight keeps talking about how she'll be the "best aunt ever" when babysitting her baby niece.
- In "The Cart Before the Ponies" Rarity repeats the phrase "bigger, and bolder!" often throughout the episode.
- In Nina Needs to Go!, the episode "Mall" has Nina say, "Can't wait!" so much that some viewers have mistaken it as her catchphrase.
- Peg + Cat: In "The Mega Mall Problem", Peg keeps talking about how if she's late to the dance, she'll "never be able to do this!" followed by doing a little dance.
- In the Postman Pat episode "A Spotty Situation", the townspeople get chicken pox one by one and Pat tells them "Don't forget to gargle", repeating what one girl told him earlier. At the end, they all gargle, so loudly that they can be heard from the street.
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: In the episode "Scooby Dude", Scooby's catchphrase becomes "Drugs?! Yuck! P'tooey!".
- Rolie Polie Olie: The episode "Dingliedangliedoodle" is about Zowie (pronounced 'Zoe') saying, "Dingliedangliedoodle" after hearing her dad say it, but being told to stop because apparently it's a cuss word.
- In Rugrats: The episode "Grandpa's Bad Bug" has Stu say: "If a promise you don't keep, it will haunt you in your sleep, and as you lie beneath your quilt, you'll have a conscience full of guilt." and then repeat it several times in Grandpa Lou's imagination because Grandpa Lou broke his promise to not stay up late.
- The Simpsons: "See Homer Run" has Homer mention, three times, his efforts to "win back his daughter's love" after destroying her Father's Day gift.
- The Teen Titans Go! episode "Waffles" involves saying the word 'waffles' over and over as part of a competition to see who can go the longest saying only the word 'waffles'.
- In the What's with Andy? episode "Busting", Andy says a rhyme, "Hold it in, do a dance, that's the way to keep dry pants" over and over because he needs to pee.
- Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Each episode's tagline is the mantra taught by the historical figure encountered in the episode. For example, the Cleopatra episode's tagline is "Ask for things the right way".