Top 50 iconic TV catchphrases, and who said them – take the quiz

Can you recognise the most iconic TV catchphrases, and identify who said them? Test your knowledge with this quiz to find out.

The top 50 most used catchphrases include quotes from Blue Peter, Blackadder, Family Fortunes and even The X Factor – but do you know who uttered each of the now-famous words?

The quiz was created after a survey revealed the TV catchphrases people use most in everyday life, with Victor Meldrew’s “I don’t believe it” coming out on top – more than 30 years after it was first aired.

A poll of 2,000 adults saw the iconic line, first spoken in 1990 by Richard Wilson in One Foot in the Grave, top the list of the 50 TV sayings which have become part of daily conversations.

Little Britain’s “Computer says no” took second place, followed by Del Boy’s classic line from Only Fools and Horses, “Lovely jubbly”.

And a second line from the hit comedy, “You plonker”, also made it into the top 10.

Other popular phrases used in real-life conversations included Homer Simpson’s “D’oh”, Catherine Tate’s “Am I bovvered”, and Joey’s “how you doin’?” from Friends.

It also emerged 80% of adults use TV catchphrases in everyday conversation – and three-quarters (76%) of those even use sayings from shows they’ve not actually watched.

Following the findings, a quiz has been created to test viewers' knowledge of who said what.

Michelle Wilding-Baker, spokeswoman for Freesat, which commissioned the study and quiz, said: “TV has a huge influence on our lives, and what at first seems like a fairly basic line can very quickly become part of everyday language.

“It’s great to see that UK shows have done so well, while comedy also seems to be very successful at introducing lines into people’s language.

“It just goes to show how important it is for a catchphrase to make us laugh in order to make it memorable.

“We’re also pleased to see the mix of shows – some older quotes as well as more modern lines have made it into the top 50.”

The study also found those who repeat lines from a TV show do so an average of twice a week.

More than seven in ten of those (71%) use them when talking to friends and family, while 28% get them into conversation with colleagues or even their boss.

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Others utter the iconic phrases in text messages (24%), on social media (18%), and even in work emails (9%).

And more than one in 20 (7%) have managed to use them in a job interview.

Of the parents who use TV catchphrases in everyday life, 37% admit their children also now use the same sayings – despite some of the youngsters not even watching the shows themselves.

But it doesn’t always go to plan, as more than a quarter (27%) of the adults polled have had someone use a TV quote on them that they didn’t understand.

And 30% have felt old when using or hearing a line from a show – because they, or the other person, didn’t understand the reference due to the generation difference.

More than one in ten (12%) of those polled, via OnePoll, have even ended up rowing with someone, about what show a quote was from (55%) or whether it was used in the right context (52%).

Other ways people weave TV into their lives include visiting a TV location (20%), and buying merchandise (18%) or an item of clothing they have seen a character wear (14%).

And 14% have also named a pet after their favourite show or character, while 9% have done the same with their children.

Michelle Wilding-Baker, from Freesat, added: “A TV show can not only provide a talking point, but can stay with us and impact our lives in so many ways.

“It is a huge part of our culture and as the number of channels and shows grow, it is something that is only going to have more influence on us.”


  1. I don't believe it – One Foot In The Grave
  2. Computer says no – Little Britain
  3. Lovely jubbly – Only Fools And Horses
  4. Here's one I made earlier – Blue Peter
  5. D'oh – The Simpsons
  6. Am I bovvered? – The Catherine Tate Show
  7. You plonker – Only Fools And Horses
  8. I have a cunning plan – Blackadder
  9. Just like that – Tommy Cooper
  10. I've started so I'll finish – Mastermind
  11. How you doin'? – Friends
  12. Is that your final answer? – Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
  13. How very dare you – The Catherine Tate Show
  14. Nice to see you, to see you nice – The Generation Game
  15. You havin' a laugh? – Extras
  16. Goodnight John Boy – The Waltons
  17. Okely Dokely – The Simpsons
  18. It's a no from me – Simon Cowell, The X Factor/Britain's Got Talent
  19. What's occurin'? – Gavin and Stacey
  20. Listen, I will say zis only wunce – Allo Allo
  21. Suits you sir – The Fast Show
  22. Say what you see – Catchphrase
  23. Can I have a P please, Bob – Blockbusters
  24. No no no no no no yes – The Vicar of Dibley
  25. Our survey says – Family Fortunes
  26. You're fired! – The Apprentice
  27. Winter is coming – Game Of Thrones
  28. What you talkin' 'bout, Willis? – Diff'rent Strokes
  29. Yabba-Dabba-Doo – The Flintstones
  30. Hi Di Hi Campers – Hi Di Hi
  31. Get outta my pub – EastEnders
  32. That's what she said – The Office
  33. It's goodnight from me, and goodnight from him – The Two Ronnies
  34. Back of the net – Alan Partridge
  35. Mother of God – Line of Duty
  36. The truth is out there – The X Files
  37. Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey – Line of Duty
  38. Pivot – Friends
  39. Oooh I could crush a grape! – Crackerjack
  40. Could I *be*… – Friends
  41. Bazinga! – The Big Bang Theory
  42. Pity the fool – Mr T, The A Team
  43. Yada, yada, yada – Seinfeld
  44. I've got a text! – Love Island
  45. Boyakasha – Ali G
  46. Excuuuuse me! – Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live
  47. Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast – Red Dwarf
  48. Oh my Christ! – Gavin and Stacey
  49. What a sad little life, Jane – Come Dine With Me
  50. You should wash your hands, you detty pig – Sex Education

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