The Top Ten Most Recognisable Catchphrases of the 1980s

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The most memorable sayings and catchphrases transcend from their origins into pop culture. The 80s were ripe for such catchphrases.


Many of these catchphrases have remained in popular culture even today. Anyone living through the 1980s will get a rush of nostalgia revisiting these popular sayings.

Here are our top ten catchphrases of the 1980s.

10. “Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?”

This was an advert for mustard. Two Rolls Royces pull up to each other. One passenger asks the other if they have any Grey Poupon. The other responds with “but of course.”

This slogan was used for Grey Poupon for many years to follows. It penetrated pop culture by becoming a joke of the upper class.

9. “You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry.”

The originated from The Incredible Hulk TV series. It featured David Banner, Hulk’s alter-ego, telling people that they wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. Of course they wouldn’t, he turns into a raging green monster.

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8. “Hey You Guys!”

This was used by The Electric Company in the ’70s, though it became popularised in the ’80s thanks to The Goonies. Chunk and Sloth use the catch phrase to get everyone’s attention when rescuing the Goonies.

 

Sloth was forced to watch old Electric Company reruns whilst chained in the basement.

It was often used to get the attention of a large group of people.

7. “I Want My MTV.”

This was an original slogan for MTV to convince audiences to demand that their cable companies pick up the channel. It was a call to musical action for an entire generation.

People would say it in sitcoms, real life and young people to give them a voice through their TV channel.

6. “Where’s The Beef?”

This was a tagline for Wendy’s fast food commercials during the 1980s. It was posited to highlight the lack of beef in competing restaurant’s burgers. This was used any time you wanted to question the substance of something.

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5. “Watchu Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis? 

This catchphrase was said in almost every episode of Diff’rnt Strokes by Gary Coleman’s character, “Arnold.” It penetrated pop culture in a way that others haven’t managed to do. People still use it as a way to ask what someone is talking about.

 

4. “I Pity The Fool.”

This came from the A-Team, and was the catchphrase of B.A Baracus. He would often say it when someone was messing with him or the team. It can be used in reference to anyone who is about to get their ass handed to them.

3.  “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up.”

This was a TV adverts where an old woman falls over and…funnily enough…can’t get back up again. The line is delivered so ridiculously that it actually became quite comical (even though the subject matter is serious.)

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This was used when anyone fell over.

2. “Say Hello To My Little Friend.”

This catchphrase originated in Scarface. Tony Montanu unleashes a Tommy Gun from under his coat and tells the people he’s shooting to “say hello to my little friend.”

 

This is used when brandishing anything of power or importance by surprise.

And taking the number one spot…

1. “I’ll Be Back.”

Of course, it had to be the famous Terminator line, uttered by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator is at a police station and is told to wait for something. He tells the officer calmly ‘I’ll be back.’ He then drives a car through the police station.

It has been parodied hundreds of time in pop culture and is the most memorable like from the Terminator franchise behind “Come with me if you want to live.”

We’ll argue that it’s probably the most recognisable catchphrase in a film of all time.

What do you think? Are there any that haven’t made the list that you’re surprised about? Let us know.