“It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” It’s a classic TV quote! Television has provided dozens of memorable lines that have become part of everyday language. They’re a kind of shorthand, understood by the millions of people who grew up watching everything from Saturday morning cartoons to nightly news shows.
Stacker collected 50 classic television quotes that have become part of everyday vocabulary, consulting surveys, reviews, reference materials, dictionaries, fan websites, media reports, and celebrity interviews.
Some are utterly silly syllables like Homer Simpson’s “d’oh” and Seinfeld’s “yada, yada, yada,” while others really do have a thoughtful meaning like “Let’s be careful out there” from “Hill Street Blues,” and the inspirational “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” from “Friday Night Lights.”
Game shows and competitions contributed a fair share, from “Is that your final answer?” of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” to the “Come on down!” invitation to contestants on “The Price is Right.” So did superhero sagas like Superman and Batman and mere mortal talk shows with Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson. News shows gave us “Good night, and good luck” and “That’s the way it is.”
Peppering our language the most have been cartoons, dating back to their most rudimentary black-and-white incarnations starring Bugs Bunny and his nemesis Elmer Fudd, Tweety Pie and his nemesis Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote and his nemesis the Roadrunner, Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone, Scooby-Doo, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to name just a few.
A few lines that were funny at the time are still in the lexicon, but the humor has faded as public awareness and sensitivity has changed and grown. Take a look. See how many you use, and where they originated.
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