Showing posts with label Catch Phrases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catch Phrases. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It's tough to gauge the implications for 90s pop culture when one of the decade's most popular sitcom had a premise entirely devoted to "nothing." What exactly does it mean that we in the 90s openly embraced nihilistic entertainment that indulged the minutiae of everyday life. At a time when most sitcoms focused on learning valuable and ultimately heartwarming family-friendly lessons, Seinfeld held its own stubbornly dedicated to a principle Jerry Seinfeld referred to as "no hugging, no learning." That is, there don't have to be happy endings; in fact, it's much funnier without them.

Seinfeld ran on NBC from 1989-1998, though much of its enduring popularity stems from widespread syndication. As children, many of us may have missed the subtle (read: not child-friendly) nuances of the show, but as grownups we have plentiful opportunities to reconnect with Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer--the show still airs two or three times a day in most US markets. It's a testament to the show's longevity that it still enjoys moderate rating popularity in syndication over a decade after the series finale.

While many shows fail to stand the test of time, the humor of Seinfeld transcends current cultural references. Its absurdity and complete lack of moral compass make it an enduring favorite. Apparently sociopathic neuroses never go out of style. Good to know, huh?

As a sitcom, Seinfeld had a unique skill for coinage and infiltration of popular culture. While the show's writers claim they did not generally set out to create memorable catchphrases, many popular episodes launched witty one-liners and phrases into our lexicon. There is something so eminently quotable about the show, it's tough to keep even the now-most overused of phrases from slipping into our everyday conversation. In fact, just the other day, I shook a woman's hand and immediately realized she had the definitive man-hands: I could practically see her tearing those lobster claws with those burly paws of hers. It just goes to show: without the handy aid of Seinfeld, we may never have morphed into the nit-picking, easily irritated mentally maladjusted individuals we are today.

While this single post can by no means offer a comprehensive list of Seinfeld catchphrase, below are a random sampling of Seinfeldisms. You're welcome to drop your own favorites in the comments section. If you're ever desperately in need of an overly fault-seeking critique or assessment of a trivial situation, look no further than these helpful words and phrases.

"Yada, Yada, Yada"

"Yada, Yada, Yada" serves as a handy means of glossing over potentially incriminating details in a story. In the case of a long and boring anecdote, yada-ing can also help get to the point before your audience loses all interest.

"Master of Your Domain"

In the Seinfeld episode "The Contest," George's mother catches him in a rather indelicate situation, prompting the group to speculate on who can last the longest without becoming, er, master of their domain. Allegedly the story is based on an actual experience of writer Larry David, which is either very funny or very disturbing depending on how you look at it.

"Low Talker" "Close Talker" "High Talker"

These unfortunate speech habits can lead to some pretty awkward situations--a "low talker," for example, might so quietly ask you to wear a puffy pirate shirt on network television that you fail to comprehend the request. Totally humiliating.

"No Soup for You!"

Possibly one of the most-quoted Seinfeld language, the so-called "Soup Nazi" was actually inspired by real New York soup shop owner Al Yegeneh, who was justifiably less than pleased with his portrayal on the show. True story notwithstanding, actor Larry Thomas plays a delightfully deadpan version of the temperamental soup vendor, expelling customers from his shop for the most minor indiscretions.

"These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty!"

After landing a bit part in a Woody Allen film, Kramer delivers his totally unnecessary one-liner, "These pretzels are making me thirsty!" The line popped up in several subsequent episodes, serving as an interchangeable expression of annoyance and irritation.


Poor George just can't catch a break; he seems forever destined to endure one soul-crushingly humiliating situation after another. Following a dip in the chilly water, George's female Hamptons housemate catches him changes and makes some rather cruel digs at what she saw, leading George to defend himself with the airtight "I was in the pool!" To get revenge, he tricks her to disobey religious dietary laws by eating lobster. Not a perfect revenge, but a satisfying one nonetheless.

"Double Dip"

Want to cause a scene at your girlfriend's aunt's funeral reception? Here's a foolproof trick: disgust everyone in attendance by dipping a chip, taking a bite, and then redipping the chip after mouth contact. Worked for George.


In "The Voice," Jerry is faced with a crucial dilemma: he must choose between his attractive girlfriend and his oddly deep-voiced impression of what he imagines her stomach would sound like if it could talk. Truly a problem for the ages. To be fair, the voice is hilarious, but Jerry's girlfriend didn't see it that way. You've got to really love an impression to sacrifice love and affection for the privilege of bellowing, "HELLOOOOO!"

Art Vandalay

It's usually pretty helpful to have a fake name on hand for all situations that warrant it--a person you're meeting in a random office lobby, the employer you claim to be interviewing with, or an imaginary boyfriend or client. Just don't be upset if this pseudonym turns out to be not only a real person, but the judge in your controversial series finale trial. Believe me, it happens.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Children of the 90s' Top 10 Highly Recommended Daria Episodes

Don't forget to enter Children of the 90s $60 CSN Store Gift Certificate Giveaway! You have until next Friday to qualify for the prize, so put your entry in today!

In honor of this week's long-awaited Daria DVD release, Children of the 90s is counting down 10 favorite Daria episodes. While we're not licensed to officially prescribe you anything, we can highly recommend that you spend the requisite time emerged in fully focused Daria viewership. Really, you won't regret it. If nothing else, it will remind you of a time when MTV was so much more than just The Hills and World's Strictest Parents. Oh, the memories.

Daria fans have been calling for the release of all five seasons on DVDs for years, so it's with great pleasure that devoted Daria-heads embrace the 8-disc full series DVD release from MTV/Paramount. Truthfully, all of the episodes are worth watching; Daria gave us some the wittiest, cleverest, smartest humor ever seen on MTV to date. That's not exactly the top litmus test for intelligent, TV, of course; Date my Mom doesn't exactly register in the same tier.

Something must be right in the world. My digital cable's MTV on Demand is even offering the Daria! Musical as a free promotional feature. Verizon Fios must have known I needed some background inspiration on the big screen to write to. Oh, glorious day! The stars have aligned at last. For those of us with a penchant for sarcastic humor, we can now freely celebrate our 90s quipping idol without violating important copyright laws. Well, except for the clips I've posted here. To be fair, I didn't post them and I totally recommend you buy the series for your own collection.

When you do, here are ten of my favorites to check out. I'm obviously leaving out a horde of great material, so share your own favorites in the comments section. If you don't have any favorites, you've got a lot of make-up work to do. Let's get started:

The Invitation

Even in the second episode of the first season, the Daria writers were well on their way to establishing complex and well-fleshed out adolescent characters. They aptly captured the high school social hierarchy with a tongue-in-cheek commentary on its de facto caste system. Popular cheerleader Brittany invites outcast Daria to her weekend soiree, which Daria takes as a prime opportunity to humiliate social cliber younger sister Quinn. We also get a good look at Quinn's ubiquitous suitors, Jamie, Jeffie, and Joey, whom she tries to date simultaneously.

Quinn the Brain

As Daria muses, "Only Quinn could turn having brains into a fad." After Mr. O'Neill reads Quinn's "Academic Imprisonment" aloud in class and publishes it in the school paper, Quinn adopts a pseudo-intellectual persona whose main features are a black turtleneck and a beret. She also writes stellar poems like, "The greasy fry/it does not lie/the truth is written/on your thigh." Brilliant.


To fulfill their English class assignment of creating a short film, Daria and Jane settle on the perfect subject: Quinn. They set out to capture her vapidness and superficiality and capture some pretty solid material. Quinn tries to stage the whole thing to make herself look better, but when she asks Daria, "Don't you want to shoot me?" The only appropriate response is, "Yes. I want to shoot you." A guilt trip from mom Helen turns the whole project from an expose into a soft focus ode. Quinn emerges from the whole ordeal more popular than before, but we do get to see a softer side of Daria.


Daria's Trent-induced anxiety at a Mystik Spiral gig leads to a mysterious rash that lands in her the hospital. Between her mystery illness, an attractive young doctor, and Brittany's desperate attempts to cover up the fact that she too was at that gig incognito as an alternative chick, this episode is pure gold.

Arts n' Crass

Trust Daria and Jane to turn a benign district-wide arts contest into a social commentary on the skewed values of teen society. To fit the contest theme of "Student Life at the Dawn of the New Millennium," Jane draws a beautiful girl gazing into the mirror. Daria adds the wittily dark poem, "She knows she's a winner. She couldn't be thinner. Now she goes to the bathroom and vomits up dinner." Not exactly Pulitzer-worthy, but it does make a statement. The girls fight the school's censorship of their work and embark on an undercover mission to save their poster. Awesomeness ensues.


What if the town blew away? It's a legitimate question. As Jane says, "Being a post-apocalyptic town will be cool. Other towns will be scared of us." Sounds like a pretty good deal.

This musical episode is chock full of earworms, so watch with caution. You'll be singing along all day, particularly with gems like "God God Dammit" and "They Must be Worried." You've been warned.


What can I say? I'm a sucker for the sappy stuff. I have a soft spots for episodes where Daria and Quinn work as a team. Daria finally gets her driver's license, but she doesn't have much of a chance to enjoy it; Jane and the guys from Mystik Spiral land in jail on traffic charges and need Daria to come bail them out. Quinn's not one to miss out on an adventure, sweeping Daria into her schemes. "Face it, Daria," she says. "You're already accessorizing." Daria asks, dumbfounded, "Do you mean I'm an accessory?" How can you not love the banter between these two? It's just so on.

The Lost Girls

This episode is just pure brilliant commentary on the skewed and underhanded tactics adults use to market alleged youth culture at young girls. Mr. O'Neill enters Daria's essay in a contest for teen magazine Val. Daria lands the prize in the "Win a Day with Val" contest, meaning a self-obsessed name-dropping celebrity hanger-on dressed ten years too young for her true age shadows Daria around at school for the day. In the ever-wise words of Val, things get "jiggy" and "edgy" pretty quickly. Whatever that means.

Write Where it Hurts

Like I said, I go for the sappy stuff. This episode is sharp and funny and places our favorite characters in unfamiliar literary situations as pawns in Daria's story writing attempts, but it also ultimately heartwarming. After many failed tries at writing something good, Daria settles for writing something honest, giving us a peek into the Morgendorfer's future. Daria's parents are astoundingly relaxed, Daria's a famous journalist with an intellectual husband, and Qunn is hilariously a homemaker and mother to several small children. It's touching and sweet, without too much schmaltz.

Boxing Daria

Possibly the darkest episode of the series, "Boxing Daria" gets to the heart of some of Daria's more serious emotional issues. It's the last regular episode of the series before the final TV movie Is it College Yet? In "Boxing Daria," Daria is forced to come to terms with her different-ness and social isolation, recalling a fight her parents had when she was young that culminated in her hiding in a giant refrigerator box to avoid dealing with the situation. The reappearance of a large box in her house coupled with her anxiety about her impending graduation unleashes a Pandora's Box of emotions, culminating in one of the most honest and heartbreaking series conclusions.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

90s Slang--Catch Phrase Mash-Up, Volume 2

Slang and colloquial expressions have a certain way of dating things. At the time, these phrases seemed so unspeakably fresh and modern, but in retrospect it's clear that these slangy expressions are laughable at best. When we look back at the way we spoke just 10 or 15 years ago, it's easy to cringe at the ridiculous words and phrases we peppered into our daily conversation to feel hip and cool. I'll raise the roof to that.

Whether you were a frequent user and abuser of the day's trendiest terminology or simply dabbled in them recreationally, you can't deny their ubiquitousness in the 90s. Much as we may like to bury it away in our past, most of us were guilty of using these expressions at one point or another. I say, embrace your cheesy slang-dropping former self and revel in the wonder that is 90s slang--part two*:


Definition: (noun) Nonsensical noise to be used in situations where one emerges victorious over others and wishes to rub it in. The preferred exclamation of sore winners everywhere.

See also: In your face, BAM!

Example: I just got Jimmy in the face with my Super Soaker. Boo-ya!

Yo Mama

Definition: (noun) Your mother. While this seemingly innocuous phrase may not hold an inherent insult, its context usually suggests a derogatory connotation. In many cases followed by "so fat" or "so ugly" and an expository joke at your innocent mother's expense. As your mother is generally not directly involved in the back-and-forth trading of insults, its use suggests that your inherent familial stock resides at a Depression-era low. Plus, it's just mean.

Example: Yo mama's so fat that when she sits around the house, she sits around the house.

Note: You could probably throw in a boo-ya at the end of that for good measure.

Who's Your Daddy?

The pop culture reference may not be 90s, but it is pretty funny...if I were just a hair nerdier I would be sporting this t-shirt

Definition: (question, inquiry) Literally, who is your father? Maury Povich has spent countless television episodes examining this very topic, but this single phrase allows a similar impact with significantly less DNA sampling. The expression signifies your dominance over a competitor, implying you have embarrassed him to the extent that you have ascended to the rank of his father. Usually not accompanied by an outright spanking, but the phrase elicits a verbal one.

Example: Oh, I just schooled you in French verb conjugation! Who's your daddy?
Also acceptable in above example: Qui est votre pere?

Open Up a Can of Whoop-Ass

Definition: (verb) A generally empty threat of physical harm to another.

Process: Hold the can of whoop-ass perpendicular to a flat surface. Using a can opener or sharp knife, carefully pierce the outer edge of the lid. Peel lid from can. Discard. Proceed to beat the crap out of someone.

Example: I'm about to open up a can of whoop-ass on whoever graffiti-ed obscenities all over my Trapper Keeper.


Definition: (question, inquiry) What is up. Not meant to be taken literally, though true pains in the butt may gleefully respond, "The sky." Best received in delivered into the phone at an irritating decibel level with an incessant lengthening of each letter.

More: Budweiser popularized this pronunciation in an incredibly catchy but undeniably irritating 1999 ad campaign.

See also: How are you, what's new, what's (up arrow)

Example: I'm probably going to do something I'll regret if I have to watch that Whasssssuuuuppp?? commercial one more time. I'm warning you.

Raise the Roof

Definition: (verb) To delight in one's success. An outward expression of one's prideful joy.

Process: Bend arms upward, palms facing above you. Pump flat palms upwards several times in succession. Enjoy.

We would also accept: Remove roof from house. Raise skywards.

Example: This party is kickin'--raise the roof!

Word (to your Mother)

Definition: (interjection) A salutation or indication of agreement. The "to your mother" part is optional, but reflects firmer agreement.

See also: I concur, well said sir

Example: Yo man, let's get out of here. Word to your mother.

Note: That example has been shamelessly lifted from the song "Ice Ice Baby"

As If
Definition: (exclamation, interjection) A comical expression of exaggerated outrage. Popularized by Clueless's Cher Horowitz, the phrase indicates one's speculation on the unlikeliness of a situational outcome.

Example: Ugh, get off of me! As if!


Definition: (adverb) An alternative pronunciation of "all right"; an indication of agreement with an inexplicable aversion to l-r connectivity.

Example: "You up for going out tonight?" "Aiiiiight."


Definition: (exclamation, interjection) Of course, certainly. A reactive response to stupidity and obviousness. Grated on the nerves of a generation of parents who did not appreciate the sass.

Example: "Did you clean your room?" "Duh!"

My Bad

Definition: (interjection) Assumption of guilt or blame; admission of a mistake.

Example: (Nearly kills man on bicycle in out-of-control, poorly driven Jeep) "Oops! My bad!"
Note: Yes, that's a scene from Clueless. Cher's coinage is legendary.

Definition: (adjective) According to slang lore, an acronym for "Pretty Hot and Tempting." An urban word adopted by suburban poseurs in typical filter-down slang fashion. Experienced extreme overuse and outwearing of welcome in the late 90s. For clarification purposes, may need qualifying statement regarding the "P-H" spelling.

See also: Cool, Jiggy...yes, Jiggy.

Example: "Man, that girl is phat. With a p-h. Also, kind of with an f."

*Find part 1 of the Children of the 90s Catch Phrase Mash-Up here

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spice Girls

If I were to ask you to tell me what you want, what you really really want, I have a feeling most of you would instinctively issue the same reply. What more could we possibly really really want than the elusive and suspiciously made-up sounding zig-a-zig-ah? The best part is, we had no idea of the zig-a-zig-ah shaped void in our respective lives until the Spice Girls handily brought it to our attention. When you think about it, it was really a pretty thoughtful gesture.

Spice Girls - Wannabe
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The Spice Girls didn't need meaningfully discernible lyrics or a roster of musically significant songs: they built their empire largely on image and public persona. What they needed, it seemed, was a healthy dose of Girl Power, some sparkly Union Jack dresses, and a line of delicious ice-cream flavored licensed Chupa Chup lollipops. The group was a marketing phenomenon. Each member was so well branded and commidified. Young boys found them appealing, young girls wanted to be them, and everybody loved those lollipops. No, really. They were completely delicious. I could really go for one right about now.

Aside from their marketing prowess, the girls had a fair amount of talent. As with most burgeoning pop groups of the time, they were chosen not only for their looks but for their vocal ability. The Spice Girls were far from an organically formed musical group. Their path to fame was tightly managed and preconceived by a team of industry professionals. If you're questioning my sources on that one, look no further than the handy timeline on the Spice Girls' still-active homepage. That thing is a gold mine. Just look at all I learned:

1) Heart Management LTD (which is apparently a music management team and not a cardiac coaching facility as I'd originally theorized) held an open audition in London in 1993 for their newly-conceived girl group. The magazine ad they ran began with, "R U 18-23 with the ability to sing and dance? Are you streetwise, outgoing, ambitious, and dedicated?" For some reason, I just love that they threw "streetwise" in there. It really conjures an effective visual of a line of girls at the audition each armed with a switchblade.

2) For their audition numbers, Mel C sang I'm So Excited, Mel B sang The Greatest Love of All, and Victoria sang Mein Herr. Now that they mention it, I'd love to see Posh in her current severe unsmiling state break out into a showstopping rendition of the Cabaret classic. She'd have to let her hair down, if she still had any remaining length on it.

3) The site does a great manager-approved job of glossing over the booting of an earlier group member, slickly stating, "It soon became clear that Michelle doesn't fit in, so she leaves to care for her sick mum and then to go on to university. She is replaced by Emma Bunton." Don't you just love that? Because she didn't fit in, she had to run off and care for her ailing mother. Somehow, I don't think the exchange went quite like that.

4) In 1994 the girls eventually take charge of the project, citing Chris Herbert's terrible, god-awful ideas as reasoning. This guy thought they should wear matching outfits and sing cover songs. What is this, Labelle does karaoke? Well done, girls.

The gripping fact list goes on and on, I seriously recommend you check it out. Until you've completed you solo assignment, though, let's get back to basics. The girls each assumed an alter-ego performance persona, giving girls everywhere a questionable "type" to aspire to depending on their penchant for sneakers or 7-inch platform heels:


Thusly named because of her flaming red hair, Geri Haliwell was Ginger Spice. It's rumored that she was originally christened "Sexy Spice" but the music managers were afraid it wasn't kid-friendly. You know, like micro-mini dresses and exposed knickers. Thank goodness for the swap.


You've got to wonder how many Americans were familiar with the word "posh" before Victoria Beckham (then Adams) assumed the title in her Spice Girl role. It's a pretty distinctly British concept of upper class, usually having something to do with accents and manners, though I'm sure her designer clothes helped pave the way for her title.


Emma Bunton was the youngest of the group, so she assumed the role of "Baby Spice". She was the baby-faced girly-girl of the group and because of her, I wore my hair in sky-high pigtails for years. She was the one I most aspired to be, even though the press gave her some flack for not being model thin.


Apparently wearing a sportsbra or a track suit with an athletic-style ponytail is grounds for dubbing yourself "the sporty one". To be fair, Mel C was actually fairly athletic. She always threw in some fun gymnast moves at the shows.


Mel B was Scary Spice on account of her leopard print wardrobe, pierced tongue, and unruly hair. She was supposed to be the crazy one of the group, speaking her mind and getting in people's faces. Mel certainly proved herself as outspoken and headline-grabbing with the Maury-style paternity suit she launched on Eddie Murphy. Looks like she's still got it.

Spice Girls - Two Become One
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Catchy, isn't it? You know you want to sing along...

The Spice Girls emitted an aura of Girl Power, launching the concept into one of the most major catch phrase-inspired ideological mindsets of the decade. The concept stressed female solidarity and embracing empowerment. There arguable wasn't much substance behind the phrase, though it did give us a great sparkly slogan to pin to our backpacks.

Whatever the strength of their alleged message, the Spice Girls were irrefutably a cultural phenomenon. They quickly became the best-selling girl group of all time, moving over 40 million albums over the years. They held major influence over fashion choices for young girls, leaving many of us to classify ourselves by our wardrobes as a Sporty or a Posh. The Spice Girls also had oodles of lucrative marketing deals, including a Pepsi spokes-group gig and a host of officially licensed merchandise. If memory serves correctly, Target once had an all-Spice Girls aisle. Not too shabby.

Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life
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Their success wasn't limited to music, though it's disputable whether they should have ventured into the feature film arena. Regardless of your feelings on Spice World, you must admit it was a spectacular financial success. For years Spice World boasted the highest-grossing debut on Super Bowl weekend. In the movie, the girls play themselves in a light comedy modeled off of the Beatles' successful films. It had all sorts of cutesy cameos and zany madcap scenarios. It's delightfully fluffy and cheesy and precisely what you'd expect from a Spice Girls movie.

Love them or hate them, there's no denying their enduring influence over a generation of young girls. Once upon a time, they were the reigning queens of Brit pop. Their recent reunion tour showcased their staying power, selling out shows all over the world. The verdict is in: we just can't get enough. So don't be embarrassed. Slip in the earbuds and blast Wannabe. You know you want to.Oh, and if you happen to know what a zig-a-zig-ah is, please enlighten me. I've been agonizing over that one for years.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ubiquitous 80s and 90s Advertising Slogans

An effective and memorable advertising campaign can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, a phrase associated with your product will be forever embedded in your consumers' minds. On the other, they will probably find this mentally inextricable campaign to fall somewhere between mildly irritating and hair-tearingly unbearable. So to review, yes, they'll remember it, but they'll also grow to hate it. Sort of a mixed bag if I ever saw one.

Adhering to the age-old adage of "all publicity is good publicity", these advertising agencies pushed forward with these catchy campaigns that with repeated viewing came to resemble nails on a chalkboard. Regardless, if we're still remembering them a decade later, it must be a testament to their effectiveness. Here are just a few of the ads that populated our favorite TV blocks and haunted our dreams throughout the 80s and 90s:

Where's the Beef? (Wendy's)

There must be something to be said for repetition. By my count, the old broad on the right croaks, "Where's the beef?" three times in a thirty second spot. No wonder we all remember it so well: they were essentially drilling it into our consciousness with these ads.

The ad served to showcase the perceived poor ratio of bun-to-burger we find at most fast food restaurants. Not at Wendy's, though, according to our elderly spokesfriend Clara Peller. She's not sold on that all bun/mini burger combo and is quick to question the relative location of her cow byproducts, and with good reason. Nice going, Clara. You tell it like it is.

"Where's the Beef?" became such a popular slogan that 1984 presidential candidate Walter Mondale actually adopted it for his campaign, accusing fellow Democrat-in-the-running Gary Hart of being all show and little substance. Admittedly, Mondale didn't ascend to the presidency either, but you have to admire his cajones for adopting a fast food slogan as a debate point.

Got Milk? (Milk)

The Got Milk? ads are still circulating, but they premiered and reached their peak popularity in the 90s. Above is the first television spot in which an Aaron Burr fanatic fails to win the $10,000 radio call-in prize about, you guessed, it, Aaron Burr. And why, do you ask, were his noble Burr-loving efforts thwarted? Why, a peanut butter sandwich of course. With no milk to wash it down. All sandwich and no milk makes a very sad boy. Or at least one out $10,000. It seems the message here was fail to drink milk, miss out on valuable contest prize opportunities. You don't have to tell me twice.

The ads featuring the trademark mustache ran in many popular magazines, showcasing milk mustachioed celebrities with a blurb about their calcium-rich lifetstyles. We'll just ignore that many of the young starlets featured in these ads went on to lead drug-addled, eating-disordered, generally troubled lives and chalk their resilience up to milk-related bone strength.

To read the full article about the Got Milk? campaign, click here

Wassup? (Budweiser)

This ad is proof that more irritating your ad, the more likely it is to catch on as a general societal phenomenon. These Budweisers commercials feature a group of beer-drinkin', football watchin' fellas greet each other on the phone with the phrase, "Whasssssup?" There was a certain inflection and accompanying head-shaking movement that made the phrase distinctive from its less idiotic counterpart, "What's Up?"

The ad was actually based on a short film entitled True, which was basically the "Whassssup?"-loving premise we see here only with less direct product placement. That film caught the attention of someone over at Anheuser-Busch, and the rest was irritating catch phrase-spewing history. This ad was shown so often and parodied so frequently that it was quickly woven into the fabric of our daily speech patterns. I will admit, I did like the international version of the ad Budweiser put out. When that Japanese guy bellows, "Konichiwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?" I just melt a little inside.

Yo Quiero Taco Bell (Taco Bell)

There's nothing like good old fashioned animal ethnic stereotyping to bring something fresh and fun to the fast food advertising table. Thanks to Taco Bell, I can't imagine any of my friend's chihuahuas speaking in anything other than a Mexican accent. Granted, they don't really speak so much as yip, but I'd prefer to not feel guilty over my racial profiling-style translation of their yips into requests for cheesy gorditas.

Taco Bell's chihuahua became a very popular advertising icon, and his trademark phrase, "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" quickly rose to catch phrase status. All this dog did was walk down the street, proclaim his desire for Taco Bell in Spanish, and everyone loved him. It seems the second you throw another language into the mix, the ad suddenly becomes exotic and interesting to the general public. I can't imagine we'd have reacted the same to a Staten Island Taco Bell Dog.

I Want to Be Like Mike (Gatorade)

In 1992, who didn't want to be like Mike? We were all in awe of the basketball star's incredible prowess on the courts, and if Gatorade promised to make us just a little more Mike-like, well, then we were going to take them at their word. I drank hundreds of Gatorades and have yet to make a jump shot. How do you explain that one, Gatorade? Huh?

Keeps Going and Going and Going (Energizer)

Though most of us 90s kids wouldn't know it from our own respective childhoods, the Energizer Bunny actually started as a parody of their battery-producing rival Duracell's trademark Duracell Bunny. I know, right? A Duracell bunny? Who knew? The popularity and resonance of Energizer's mascot far outlived its competition, and its Energizer Bunny soon became a highly recognizable character. I mean, he wears wayfarer sunglasses and plays a marching band-style drum. What's not to like?

What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar? (Klondike)

The people at Good Humor-Breyers just knew that we were all gaga for the rich chocolatey ice-creamy taste of their trademark Klondike Bars. So they posed us a simple question: What would you do for a Klondike Bar? According to their commercials, it seemed we'd do quite a bit. The ads were definitely memorable, but they also made me seriously question my candy-coated ice cream intervention. I'm still working on my 12 step program. I'm just about to apologize to my dog in the above ad for mocking him just to get my fix. Sorry, Fido.

Just Do It (Nike)

What exactly is this mysterious "it"? We may never know, but at least Nike dropped us all some helpful hints in the slogan's premiere ad spot in 1988. "It" must be some sort of athletic ball, though its exact specifications are never clarified. I guess we'll just have to keep buying Nike products till we find out. I have a feeling that Swoosh will eventually point us in the right direction, though I can't be sure.

Once You Pop, You Can't Stop (Pringles)

Yes, that's right: not only did this decade's advertising campaigns encourage us to embrace our addiction to Klondike Bars, we were supposed to take on the Pringle fix as well. I'm not exactly sure what all of these addiction-themed ads are trying to tell us about the relationship between advertising and susceptibility to addiction, but I don't think I want to know. I can't even look at a duck anymore without picturing myself in full on Pringle duck-bill mode. That's how far this has gone. Are you happy now, Pringles? Well? Are you?

Pardon Me, Would You Have any Grey Poupon? (Grey Poupon)

When I think class and upper crustiness, the first place my mind usually goes is mustard. I can't help it. I know they must eat caviar and filet mignon also, but my childhood advertising never exposed that side of wealthy living to me. No, all I got was the Grey Poupon angle. Apparently, if you're classy and you drive a Rolls Royce, people are bound to trouble you for some Grey Poupon so you sure as hell better have some on hand. I mean, can you imagine the humiliation if another Rolls pulls up alongside yours and you don't even have any mustard to offer? For shame.

I've Fallen, and I Can't Get Up! (LifeAlert)

Okay, okay. I admit it. This one is such an easy target. It just oozes a corniness and poor reenactment quality that rivals any grainy black and white fake footage I've seen in those Discovery documentaries about unknowing pregnancies. And let me tell you, that's no easy feat.

Despite the fact that our narrator informs us that she was allegedly "deathly ill", she still summoned the mental wherewithal to press her LifeAlert button. Now that's a powerful system. Death doesn't stand a chance against it. Whether it's Mr. Miller's poorly acted chest pains or Mrs. Fletcher's trademark falling/inability to get up, this commercial was really asking to be mocked. If you're trying to convince children to respect the elderly, I'd advise never showing them this commercial. Even after the laughter eventually dies down, they're doomed to forever think of the old as both helpless and in desperate need of acting classes. Not exactly the respectable combination they may have hoped for.

To read the full post on the I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up! campaign, click here

Whether or not you'd like to admit it at this juncture in your life, most of us shamelessly repeated these refrains as if we'd discovered the golden ticket to comedic exceptionality. At one point or another, you probably pretended to be a Rolls Royce patron in desperate need of spiced mustard or a Chihuahua seeking his favored cheesy sour cream chalupas. It's time to embrace your embarrassing youthful slogan parroting and remember these campaigns for what they were: brilliant forays into the realm of eternal memory. Someday we may be old and senile, but we will probably still quip from our adjustable hospital beds about the addictive qualities of Pringles or the basketball skill-affirming powers of Gatorade. Now that's good advertising.

Friday, November 13, 2009

90s Catch Phrase Mash-Up: Movie Edition

We all know those people whose daily utterings are littered with movie quotes. It's almost as if these folks can't think in any terms outside of the predetermined language of film. While those people may be endlessly irritating, we've all been guilty at one point or another--especially in our younger years--of parroting unforgettable movie lines at whatever we considered to be an opportune time. Behold, some of the most quoted movie catch phrases of the 1990s:

"Show Me the Money"/"You had me at Hello"/"You Complete Me" (Jerry Maguire)

Talk about wide-ranging quotability. Jerry Maguire was the kind of movie men and women could see together and both enjoy. Rather than grumbling at being dragged along for the millionth time to some tearjerker romance or inspiring football story, we could go see both elements squeezed into a single movie. Now that's efficiency.

These lines encompassed both the tear-jerkingly sentimental and big beefy tacklingly manly sides of Jerry Maguire. It was a simpler time, a time before Cuba Gooding Jr. was starring in hot messes about accidental gay cruise vacations and Tom Cruise wasn't accusing Matt Lauer of glibness. Back in 1996, there were no two people we'd rather quote.

"I'm the King of the World!" (Titanic)

To this day, I can't watch Titanic without feeling like I'm cheating a little bit. How dare I let these characters romp freely and happily, leaving steamy handprints on antique car windows and proclaiming their royal rulership over the world when I know what's in store for them? No one went into theaters thinking, "Hey, maybe they'll make it out okay this time," not just from our robust knowledge of nautical history but by the fact that most teen girls cried their eyes out at this one in theaters at least twice.

Jack's proclamation while written no doubt with good intention was just a tad over the top, and I'm not just talking about his physical placement on the boat. The line was actually voted the cheesiest movie moment ever, just edging out Dirty Dancing's "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" Let me just say, if you're coming in ahead of that one, you should probably be concerned.

"You Can't Handle the Truth!" (A Few Good Men)

Many a time have I wished for Jack Nicholson's indescribable coolness. He has a certain je ne sais quoi that allows him to frolick on beaches with his oversized gut exposed, balding head glinting in the sunlight, still inexplicably making you wish you could bottle just a fraction of his suaveness. His performance in A Few Good Men is no exception, as he makes all of us wish we'd all been the first to pound the courtroom table forcefully and accuse our underlings of overstepping their roles. Better yet, Nicholson nailed the scene in one take, meaning he got that right on the first try. Some people have all the luck. And the best sunglasses, too.

"Allllrighty Then" (Ace Ventura)

If you grew up during the 90s anywhere near the general proximity of a movie theater, it's pretty certain you quoted Ace Ventura nonstop from 1994 to 1995. While he's mellowed with age and taken more grown-up roles in recent years, in the 90s Jim Carrey was like catnip to children. We just couldn't get enough. If he talked through his butt, we would talk through our butts. If he christened bald bespectacled men "the Monopoly guy" we'd no doubt follow suit. Or in this case, Hawaiian shirt.

"Hasta Lavista, Baby" (The Terminator)

You may not know, but once upon a time Arnold Schwarzenegger was not just a mild-mannered California gubernatorial force, but a bad to the metal core ass-kicking name-taking robot. If only all of our politicians had gotten their start this way, maybe our senate chambers wouldn't be packed with flabby girlymen. If this line doesn't have you shaking in your robot-combative boots, don't worry. He'll be back.

"There's No Crying in Baseball!" (A League of Their Own)

Coach Jimmy Dugan obviously has a questionable understanding of women when they bring in the former major leaguer as a coach for the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League. For God's sake, his team is called the Peaches. How can he be shocked when they're so thin-skinned?

"Houston, We Have a Problem" (Apollo 13)

In this true-story account of the plague-ridden Apollo 13 space mission, astronaut John Lovell (played again by Tom Hanks) utters this famous line. I'm sorry to be the ones to break this to you, but Lovell didn't actually say, "Houston, we have a problem." He actually said, "I believe we've had a problem here" followed by "Houston, we've had a problem." I know, it's sort of hair-splitting, but screenwriters really really wanted to push this line into the present tense to augment the action. Poor Lovell's going to be misquoted for life.

"Momma Always Said Life is Like a Box of Chocolates. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get" (Forrest Gump)

Were there any movies in the 90s that Tom Hanks wasn't in? Forrest Gump was the story of a simple Alabama man, and Hanks as Gump taught us to suspend our judgment by giving us little gems of wisdom issued by his mother (played by Sally Field." She said some other things, but I always liked this one best. If you can compare anything to chocolate, it will instantly become about two hundred times more relatable for me. Mmm, chocolate.

"Ya, You Betcha" (Fargo)

As a native Minnesotan, I feel the need to take a stand. Yes, Fargo is amusing, but it's also opened the floodgates of Minnesotan-directed mocking, namely at our alleged accents. We don't really talk like that. Uff-da, we're really just a bunch of normal people eating hotdish and complaining about our cars not starting in the winter, dontcha know?

"Whatever!"/"As if!" (Clueless)

Clueless brought us an entirely new teen lexicon based on the vacuous prattle of superficial young girls. Following in the footsteps of other great teen movies, it introduced a set of teen-specific vocabulary that quickly filtered into youth culture. You can even find Clueless slang glossaries online. So here's the 411 on speaking Clueless: all you Bettys and Baldwins need to stop buggin' and haul ass to your loca lvideo store (if any still exist) and check out this movie. It's like way famous. At least put it in your Netflix queue.

"Yeah, Baby!" (Austin Powers)

Mike Myers as Sir Austin Danger Powers poked fun at the dashing action heroes of the 60s and 70s, transporting a (literally) frozen-in-time spy into the 90s. Everyone knows you can't thwart an evil villain bent on world takeover without a fun-loving attitude and some signature catch phrases. For years to come--and through all of the subsequent sequels--moviegoers everywhere spouted off these signature lines at every turn. If I never hear another person ask, "Do I make you horny, baby? Do I?" it'll be too soon.

"Schwing!"/"We're Not Worthy!" (Wayne's World)

Schwing is still an awesome euphemism for a bodily reaction we have yet to name otherwise. When Wayne and Garth saw a hot chick or even discussed one on their show...schwing! If you're still at a loss, you either need to watch the movie or visit Urban Dictionary. Really, though, this is probably something you should have picked up on in the 90s. You're clearly not worthy.

Whether you loved or hated these lines, it's irrefutable that they were everywhere in the 90s. We may as well embrace it. They complete us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


All of us have that movie for which we know every line of dialogue word-for-word. The movie that makes us abrasively irritating to friends and neighbors who just want to watch the damn movie and less-than-kindly demand for us to shut up already. The movie we can watch again and again without becoming bored, reveling in noticing delightful little touches we may have missed in our previous 364 viewings.

For me, Clueless is that movie.

I'll let you in on a little secret, just between us. Even though I loved this movie unconditionally from the first viewing, I will be forthcoming in my admission that I had no clue whatsoever what was going on. You might say, in fact, that I myself was clueless when it came to Clueless. Well, I might say that. You probably would spare yourself the embarrassment of making such a lame, hackneyed attempt of a joke. I, on the other hand, will shamelessly go for it.

The movie came out when I was in fourth grade, and I immediately and devoutly worshiped Cher Horowitz with ever fiber of my being. In the mid-90s, we were all about voyeurism in observing how the other half lived. Or, perhaps more accurately, how the media portrayed the wildly wealthy. Shows like Beverly Hills 90210 ruled the airwaves, with preteens and adolescents desperately coveting the undeniable coolness their privileged lifestyle commanded.

How can you not smile at that delivery? In the debate scene, Alicia Silverstone unintentionally pronounced Haitians as Haiti-ans, but it was so perfect for the role of Cher that no one bothered to correct her. Really, could she have been a more perfect casting choice?

That trailer is filled with some seriously credible 90s nostalgic goodness. That scene at the end in gym class, where Amber claims to be excused because her plastic surgeon doesn't want her doing anything where balls fly at her nose? And Dionne says, "There goes your social life"? That line alone took me about 5 years until I had my "ohhhhhh" moment of facepalming realization and retrospective blushing that I'd watched the move so many times with my parents.

Amy Heckerling, the teen-genre genius behind 80s classic Fast Times at Ridgemount High, took a smarter route to exposing and humanizing the teenage children of the rich and the famous. Clueless's dialogue may have sounded vapid and substance free, but beneath the veneer of superficiality and teenage drama lay a truly smart, well-conceived film. Heckerling loosely based the screenplay on Jane Austen's Emma, updating both the setting and characters to star the gum-snapping, credit-card wielding teens of Beverly Hills.

Like her Austen counterpart, Cher is utterly self-absorbed and spoiled but with generally good intentions to her scheming. She is undeniably likable as a character. She's sweet, she's funny, and she singlehandedly managed to bring knee-high socks back into vogue. What's not to like?

The film opens with The Muff's song "Kids in America" blaring, as well-groomed attractive teenagers cruise carefreely down the streets of Beverly Hills, go shopping, party, and frolic by a waterfall-type pool that would make the Playboy Mansion's grotto blush.

Cher is quick to cut the moment, though. Her voice-over muses, "So okay, you're probably thinking, is this, like a Noxema commercial, or what? But seriously, I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl. I mean I get up, I brush my teeth, and I pick out my school clothes." For Cher, however, picking out her school clothes entails using an enviable and no doubt advanced for its time wardrobe matching computer program and the best remote controlled scrolling closet this side of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

In a seriously condensed period of time, we learn a lot about Cher Horowitz and her lavish lifestyle. We meet her best friend Dionne, to whom she relates because a) they both know what it's like to have people be jealous of them and b) they were both named for singing superstars of the past who now do late-night infomercials. At school, we get to see a veritable range of 90s social groups, though of course grungy flannel is a popular theme. Cher learns she got a C in debate, dragging down her academic average. We also meet Josh, the ever-hunky Paul Rudd as Cher's ex-step brother and initial pain-in-the-ass granola-munching housemate.

Cher and her gang have a fabulous way of coining their entire own system of teen-centric terminology. Indeed, after the movie's sleeper hit status was confirmed, you could hardly enter the hallowed halls of any high school without hearing at least an occasional "Whatever!" or "As if!" Alicia Silverstone nails the doe-eyed tongue-in-cheek delivery of her airhead lines. She plays the part to perfection, letting us as the audience know that no, she's not really an airhead, she just plays one in high school. In actuality, Cher's no dummy. She manages to successfully trail in her father's litigator (the scariest kind of lawyer) footsteps by renegotiating most of her undesirable grades. Talk about results.

Dionne and Cher are well-meaning meddlers, as we see them trying to fix up two lonely single teachers at their school early in the movie. They also come upon an ugly duckling of a fish-out-of-water new student (sorry, I ran out of pond creature idioms) Tai, whose less-than-stellar appearance prompts them to do a major overhauling makeover to secure Tai's social standing at school.

Tai initially is warm to the form of slacker skateboarder Travis, but Cher vetoes that route as she's certain that if Tai starts dating the social climbing cretin Elton she'll no doubt claim a place in the A-crowd. This plan, however, goes awry when Elton expresses his feelings for Cher, to which she responds by storming out of his car in the middle of God knows where. She not only gets robbed, but is forced to lay on the ground in an Alaia for heaven's sake. An Alaia! I can't even fathom.*

I have distinct memories of seriously coveting that outfit of Tai's to biblical proportions. Now, well, not so much.

Cher, meanwhile, has fallen for new student Christian in a big way. She sends herself chocolate and flowers and wears revealing clothing in an attempt to win his affection. Her efforts, unfortunately, seem to be for naught as she's completely oblivious to the otherwise obvious fact that Christian is gay. If that weren't enough, Tai's supposedly traumatizing near-death experience at the mall suddenly makes her the toast of the school's social scene, leaving Cher to contemplate if she's perhaps created a well-coiffed monster. On top of it all, Cher also fails her driving test in the one moment of her life she can't seem to talk or charm her way out of.

In an effort to clear her head, she heads out shopping and comes to the Celine Dion and lit-fountain punctuated moment of realization that she is actually in love with her step-brother Josh. Okay, ex-step brother, but still. I mean, yeah, they're not blood related, but their parents were once matrimonially bound. It's a bit on the skeevy side.

It gets a little awkward around home as she suddenly is unsure of how to act in his once-maligned presence. Cher throws herself into the goal of becoming a better person in her attempt to distract herself from her crumbling personal life. It's all really kind of sweet in a completely out-of-touch with reality way. Like donating your expensive skis to a disaster relief aid collection? Probably not at the top of their list. Oh well. It's the thought that counts.

All's well that ends well, luckily, as Cher and Josh eventually confess their mutual if awkwardly familial feelings toward one another, and the two lonelyhearts teachers from the initial set-up are wed in a sweet concluding ceremony. Tai and Travis finally get together, Dionne makes at least temporary peace with her boyfriend Murray, and Josh and Cher are finally together after a long and painfully tense period of anticipation.

Alright, so maybe it's not real life. But that's the real fun of it. Clueless was more than just a modern reuptake on a classic. It was a film that briefly defined a fledgling generation teetering on the brink of a shift from grunge flannel and heroin chic to mainstream preppy teenybopperyism.** It was better than real life. The people were better looking and better attired, the setting was covetable, and the money was free flowing. It was a well-grounded fantasy that spurned a thousand Cher wannabes.

And of course, I just can't give you a full in-depth post on Clueless without posting (well, reposting) one of my personal faves: a Golden Girls Clueless spoof from the 1996 MTV Video Awards. I just can't in good conscience let you off the hook without enjoying some good old fashioned satire with jokes at the expense of some very comically talented elderly ladies. Enjoy responsibly.

*For those of you who don't know, she's like a totally important designer
**This is not a word. Just deal with it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

90s Catch Phrase Mash-Up Part Deux: TV Edition

90s TV was nothing if not quotable. In some cases, overly so, as the decade unleashed a maelstrom of oft-repeated phrases that surreptitiously wound their way into our vernacular. One night you heard it on TV, the next you found yourself saying it at dinner. We just couldn't help ourselves from inserting these television phrases into our conversations. Though over time they may have lost their original humorous luster, you've got to give these shows credit for these enduring and timeless little contributions to society.


Seinfeld was a whole world unto itself, so it was no surprise that it spawned innumerable quotable lines. Famous for its self-proclaimed status as a show about nothing, the series frequently took the most minuscule and mundane of daily experiences and turned it into a half-hour of quirky entertainment. Though Seinfeld's memorable lines are numerous, there were two in particular that wormed their way onto everyone's lips.
No Soup for You!

The tyrannical Soup Nazi, based on an actual immigrant soup chef in New York City, was famous for arbitrarily admonishing customers and denying them the coveted opportunity to purchase his delicious soups. One minor misstep in soup-line courtesy could lead the dreaded excommunication, demarcated by the chef bellowing, "No soup for you!" and subsequent refusal to sell to the patron. Both his trademark phrase and his alleged title of Soup Nazi crept into our vocabularies, though you can bet the 251st time you heard some shmoe exclaim, "No soup for you!" it had long since lost its humor.

Yada, Yada, Yada

In the eponymous episode ("The Yada Yada"), George is a smidgen concerned over his current girlfriend's overuse of the filler phrase, "yada, yada, yada." While admittedly brief and concise, he's forced to wonder what heinousness she may be glossing over. In an instant, this phrase skyrocketed in popularity, both for its Seinfeld fame and its forgiving nature to unscrupulous details.


Friends was a veritable 90s empire, both in its longevity and sustained popularity. While all of the characters had their quirks and habits, perhaps none was more memorable than lovable simpleton Joey's trademark pick-up line:

How YOU doin'?

You have to admit, the phrase did prove pretty successful on the shoe, as Joey was typically quite the ladies' man. "How YOU doin'?" quickly spread to pick-up scenes everywhere, with a notably lower success rate for real life use. We can't all be Tribbianis.

Full House

Full House was fun for the whole family, with clean humor and an unblemished record of "cue-sappy-music-and-dad's-words-of-wisdom-speech" at each show's 25-minute mark. The show's characters were incredibly one-dimensional, allowing both awesome stereotyping and extreme repetition in behavior. In no time at all, many characters latched onto a trademark phrase that highlighted their unwaveringly constant personalities.

Have Mercy!

Though the above clip highlights a rare Danny Tanner version, the line was usually uttered by my longtime childhood crush, a one Uncle Jesse Kastopolis. The phrase generally expressed Jesse's inevitable good luck, in the first few seasons generally pertaining to his luck with the ladies. For the record, if given the opportunity I would agree in an instant to becoming a Jesse and the Rippers groupie. Have mercy.

How Rude! You got it, dude!

See how irritating that gets after just a few minutes of repetition? Now multiply that times every child tuned in to Full House every week. It's a frightening volume of catch-phrases. Yes, Stephanie and Michelle were adorable children, but good God did they they say those phrases a lot. I'll concede that it was pretty cute the first few times, though. That's just common sense.

Family Matters

Steve Urkel of Family Matters was the quintessential nerd, from his high water pants to his over-sized glasses. His distinctive nasal tone of voice was unmistakable. As he was famous for his klutziness and general zaniness, it's no doubt the show's writer branded him with a trademark catch phrase to absolve him of blame.

Did I Do That?

Find the audio here. ...I warned you.


Joey Lawrence played Joey Russo, Blossom's slow-witted jock brother. While Joey may not have been particularly adept at schoolwork, he was skilled in extreme repetition of the word, "Whoa!" It really worked for him, considering he was relatively shocked and surprised at everything. Before you knew it, we were all whoa-ing right along with him. By the way, have you seen a recent photo of Joey? I'm pretty sure you have, considering he danced with the stars, but really, it's enough to make you say, well, whoa.



Southpark was not particularly revered for its subtlety. It's humor was more along the lines of crass and juvenile than nuanced and sophisticated. Co-creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone's juvenile humor is well-suited to their third grade subjects, though the level of appropriateness is probably a bit beyond elementary. In each episode of the first five or so seasons, major character Kenny McCormick was brutally killed in some unspeakable way. With each coming death, one of his friends would inevitably exclaim, "Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You bastards!" While the gag has since been largely abandoned, it was a predominant theme in early seasons. In typical cartoon fashion, by the time the next episode aired there was Kenny, alive and well without explanation.

Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You bastards!

The Simpsons

The Simpsons' cultural impact is so immense that they actually managed to impact the gold standard of language: the dictionary. That's right, the Oxford English Dictionary actually began including the phrase is its 2001 edition. Though originally billed simply as "annoyed grunt" in production scripts, voice actor Dan Castallanetta did his magic and left and lasting impact on our language.


Homer isn't the only Simpson to infiltrate our language: son Bart has left quite the indentation himself. Bart's recognizable phrases are vast, though they were far more prevalent in early seasons. Here's a light smattering of these once-delightful but now decidedly overused Bart-isms:

Don't Have a Cow, Man!

¡Ay, caramba!


Eat my Shorts


Baby Dinosaur was right, you know. Who doesn't love babies? Especially baby dinosaur puppets? You'd have to have a heart of steel to not aww just ever so slightly at his misshapen-headed appearance. Baby was rather lovable, and sought to remind us of it at every turn. My all time favorite incarnation of Baby's catch phrase is in his inexplicably entertaining music video:

I'm the baby, gotta love me!

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

Who doesn't love a good dose of suspense? I certainly imagine Regis Philbin and the producers of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? were pretty partial to it. Hence all of the hemming and hawing and dun-dun-dun music. It's all enough stress to give you a heart attack, even if you're just playing along at home. Perhaps the most suspenseful moment was in Regis's poker-faced delivery of, "Is that your final answer?" The question was enough to make even the most confident of contestants hesitant to commit. The show's immense popularity meant this phrase was everywhere, from coffee mugs to t-shirts, leaving most of us wishing that he'd just let the contestant decide for himself already.

Is that your final answer?

Naturally this list is far from complete, but it does represent some of the most overused and over-repeated television catch phrases of the 1990s. While now it is safe to reminsce on them from a safe chronological distance, at the time the casual insertion of these phrases into everyday conversation led to inevitable moans and groans. Remember folks, don't try this at home. Just because it's funny when someone making a million dollars per episode says it does not guarantee it will have a similar effect coming out of your mouth. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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