Catch phrases have been a part of pop culture for decades.
Having grown up in the 1980s and ’90s, I remember and still use a lot of phrases from movies and TV. One of my favorite phrases stems from a popular Molly Ringwald movie in 1986, “Pretty in Pink.” I don’t know why but the phrase, “Let’s plow” has stayed with me. So, whenever I take my dog outside to do her business or go for a ride, I can’t help but say, “Let’s plow,” which was coined by the lovable character Duckie played by Jon Cryer. It’s funny how I can forget where I put my keys but I can always remember this line. There are worse things in life I suppose.
Another one of my favorite catch phrases is “Let’s blow this popsicle stand.” Now, I’m not sure why, but I find this one kind of funny to say. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I heard this or when I even started saying it. I’m sure its origin is buried somewhere in my subconscious.
When I searched the Internet the other day, I found a site that listed the top 20 catch phrases of the 1980s. Some of the highlights were: “I pity the fool,” Mr. T; “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up; “Hey you guys!” from one of my favorite movies, “The Goonies;” and my all-time favorite, “Where’s the beef?”
Nothing says American pop culture like “Where’s the beef?” I can still remember those Wendy’s commercials like it was yesterday. Now come on, who could forget Clara Peller, who at the age of 81 in 1984 started asking fast-food chains for more delicious lip smacking meat? Clara taught me at a very young age that I shouldn’t just settle for any old thin hamburger in my Happy Meal.
Even though I grew up in the 1980s and ’90s, I have garnered a lot of sayings from one of my favorite sitcoms, “The Donna Reed Show,” which ran on ABC from 1958 to 1966. For those who know me this probably comes as a real shocker. Since I’ve watched eight seasons of “The Donna Reed Show” over and over again for the past 20 years since I first discovered them on Nick at Nite, its no wonder some of the phrases stuck in my head.
One of my favorite phrases is “no words can describe my emotions.” If I had a quarter for as many times as I’ve said those words, I would be a rich woman. My other favorite is “How about a bikini and long white gloves?” Now, I used to say that a lot in high school when my friends would discuss what they were going to wear to a dance, etc. I thought I was really clever because I usually got a laugh or two after I said that. Thank you, Donna.
Since I hung around my cousins a lot growing up, my cousin Lisa got me hooked on saying “Oh my land,” which I still say today — a lot. I’ve received a few weird looks over the years, but I don’t care. It definitely beats swearing.
When Lisa was in grade school, one of her favorite sayings was “Isn’t that special?” from Dana Carvey’s church lady skit on “Saturday Night Live.” I’m sure you remember that catch phrase. It was pretty popular back in the day too.
Lately, I’ve garnered a lot of catch phrases from “Grumpy Old Men” and “Grumpier Old Men.” You certainly can’t beat John Gustafson and Max Goldman when it comes to memorable sayings. I really like saying “Holy Moly” and “Eat my shorts.” I don’t get a chance to use the latter very often, but when I do I make it worthwhile. My favorite saying, however, came from Sophia Loren’s character, Maria, in “Grumpier Old Men.” I just love to say, “I’d rather kiss a dead moose’s butt.” I don’t know why but I laugh hysterically every time I hear her say that. Unfortunately, I don’t get an opportunity to say that one very much. But when I do, I enjoy it like sipping a fine wine.
No matter how you slice it, catch phrases are a large part of our daily vocabulary. Whether we like it or not, TV and movies affect us from the time we leave our mother’s womb. I have a feeling Frank Barone would echo my sentiments when I say, “Holy crap.”
Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.