12 Instantly Recognizable Quotes From Popular TV Shows

TV has an amazing ability to cement itself into pop culture. That goes both for popular TV shows and ones that find their way into the culture zeitgeist regardless of whether you’ve seen it or not. Here are 12 instantly recognizable quotes from popular TV shows – can you name them all?

When possible, I also included when each quote was originally said in the show. You can never have too much trivia to impress your friends with!

“Live Long and Prosper.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Image Credit: CBS.

If you answered Star Trek, you’d be correct! You don’t need to know anything about the series to recognize this iconic Captain Spock quote.

While “Live Long and Prosper” might be a series tagline now, you’d be surprised to hear this Vulcan salute wasn’t introduced until Season 2 of the original Star Trek series.

“Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?”

MONTREAL CANADA DEC 02: Street art Montreal on dec 02 2014 in Montreal Canada. Montreal. is the perfect place to walk in the back alleys and abandoned areas, looking street art..
Image Credit: meunierd/Shutterstock,

SpongeBob Square Pants! While some older folks might not recognize this mega-catchy TV theme song, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone under the age of 30 who won’t sing the SpongeBob theme with you.


Neil Fanning in Scooby-Doo (2002).
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Jinkies! This quote makes me want to eat an obscenely tall sandwich. On the subject of Scooby Doo,  “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!” was a solid runner up too.

“Yabba Dabba Doo!”

John Goodman and Rick Moranis in The Flintstones (1994).
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Can’t have iconic quotes without Fred Flintstone’s catchphrase! What’s crazy about this one is there were actually people who didn’t know what series this is from. Maybe I’m old?


Image Credit: Fox.

Another great cartoon quote, Homer Simpson just wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t utter this phrase from time to time. The Simpsons is so quotable that I could easily round up a dozen just from that series, but “doh” is definitely the most universally known.

Fun fact: Homer’s been saying d’oh! since the very first episode of The Simpsons!

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”

Pokémon Master Journeys Part 3. (L to R) Cherami Leigh as Chloe, Grookey, Zeno Robinson as Goh, Sarah Natochenny as Ash, and Pikachu in Pokémon Master Journeys Part 3.

This slogan is instantly recognizable as Pokémon by anyone who’s come even remotely close to the series over the past 25 years.

Before you say, “that’s a slogan, not a quote” – yes, I agree. But thankfully it was uttered twice in the dubbed anime. Once by Brock who was gathering hot dogs, and later by Meowth. So there.

“Winter Is Coming.”

Emilia Clarke HBO Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 4.
Image Credit: Photograph by Helen Sloan/HBO.

I live in a city famous for being colder than Mars so this is a line I quote way more often than I’d like. Almost everyone watched the first season of Game of Thrones (even if they didn’t continue with all 8 seasons) which has made this House Stark motto instantly recognizable in the mainstream.

“It’s a Banana Michael, What Could It Cost, $10?”

Tony Hale in Arrested Development
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

There’s always money in the banana stand! You may only know this Arrested Development quote from the meme, and that’s OK… But you should definitely check out this hilarious, extremely quotable show to see where this iconic line originates. (Season 1, episode 6, to be exact.)

“Dwight, you Ignorant!”

Steve Carell in The Office (2005).
Image Credit: NBC.

I actually thought the most popular quote from The Office would be “Bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica” but I stand corrected. At least this one involves Dwight too! While we all love this quote, a lot of folks don’t realize it’s a reference to a 1979 SNL Point/Counterpoint skit.

If you haven’t seen it, go watch the whole “Safety Training” episode. It’s even funnier with context!

“How You Doin’?”

Central Perk cafe set from “Friends” TV show at Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles, California.
Image Credit: Mariia Illiashevych/Shutterstock.

I think this was all of our catchphrases back in the late 90s. What I was surprised to learn, though, is that Joey didn’t actually utter it until season 4 of Friends. On top of that, he didn’t even say it often! Just one of those lines that really stuck with us, I guess.

“No Soup for You!”

Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

I grew up in a family of Seinfeld fans so I was quoting the Soup Nazi long before I understood what was going on in that episode. That’s really what makes this quote so iconic, though; you don’t need to have seen it to instantly recognize this quote and character.

“Well Darn, Jackie! I Can’t Control the Weather!”

That ‘90s Show. Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman in episode 101 of That ‘90s Show
Image Credit: NETFLIX.

Yes, That 70s Show was super popular when it came out, but part of what makes this quote so instantly recognizable is that it’s resurfaced as a meme. I chose it for that reason, and because all the other popular quotes are Red’s catchphrases… And we all know what kind of words Red Forman likes to use.

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Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC.

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Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

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Outer Banks. Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 303 of Outer Banks

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Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Sarma Melngailis in Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

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Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 205 of Bridgerton

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Everett has been writing about media, technology, and parenting since 2014. His work has been featured on MIT Technology Review, HuffPost, and various blogs. When not writing or binge watching TV shows, you'll find him playing video games or spending with with his kids.