The Greatest 80s Catch Phrases Quotations
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The Greatest 80s Catch Phrases

List of the greatest, most memorable, and most popular catch phrases from 80s. Sayings and catch phrases are a fixture in pop culture, and the generation that came of age during the 1980s should get a rush of nostalgia from revisiting these "pre-Internet memes" and jokes from 30 years ago or more.

A number of these catch phrases have remained popular, or have undergone a renaissance in recent years. Mr. T's memorable quote, "I pity the fool" has remained his most recognizable routine, and figured in to the recent big screen adaptation of the show "The A-Team." Al Pacino's delivery of the key line from Brian De Palma's "Scarface" remains a frequently parodied and iconic movie moment. This just goes to show that 80s quotes are more easily remembered if they are regularly repeated and resurfaced... so, by all means, feel free!

Though catch phrases are often depicted as hacky or mocked as a low-brow form of comedy, no matter how witty they are, it's undeniable that they have the power to connect millions of people around a humorous phrase or observation. What are the best catch phrases from the 80s? Tell us: what's your favorite 80s saying? Below are 20 of our favorite examples. Vote for your favorite catch phrases from the 80s and leave other funny suggestions in the comments!

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  1. 7
    + 50
    - 27

    Pardon me, do you have any grey poupon?

    ORIGIN:
    An 80s advertisement for mustard, as seen in the video to the left. Two Rolls Royces pull up next to each other, one passenger asks the other if they have any Grey Poupon, and the other says "but of course".

    USE:
    A slogan that was used for Grey Poupon for MANY years to follow, it also penetrated pop culture by becoming a staple joke of the upper class. 

  2. 8
    + 47
    - 39

    By the power of greyskull!

    ORIGIN:
    The He-Man series, Masters of the Universe, features the main character (He-Man) declaring the phrase during the credits. It is one of the most memorable lines from any 80s cartoon show.

    USE:
    In the show, it's as a declaration of power. It's since been used in many comedy movies and spoofs as an exclamation or as a nerdy showing of a newly found power.

  3. 9
    + 38
    - 31

    Gag me with a spoon!

    ORIGIN:
    From Moon Unit Zappa's Valley Girl

    USE:
    Basically, something is gross. This was used regularly in the 80s, and still occasionally, when someone finds something disgusting. It's often said (in comedy) when someone does something overly mushy or when something romantically undesirable is proposed.

  4. 10
    + 42
    - 36

    I want my mtv

    ORIGIN:
    An original slogan for  MTV to convince audiences to demand their cable companies to pick up the channel. The edgy music video channel launched a new era of music videos, VJ's, and "live" music news (and remember when MTV actually played music?).

    USE:
    It was a call to musical action for an entire generation. The same way the campaign in the video to the left said it, people would say it in sitcoms, in real life, and in various places in pop culture to give young people a voice through their TV channel.

    That concept is now moot.

  5. 11
    + 38
    - 35

    Hey you guys!

    ORIGIN:
    The Electric Company in the '70s, though it became popularized in the '80s thanks to the Goonies. Chunk and Sloth use this catch phrase to get everyone's attention when rescuing the beloved Goonies. Poor Sloth was forced to watch old Electric Company reruns while chained in a basement.

    USE:
    This phrase may be used when tryin to get the attention of a large group of people.

  6. 12
    + 33
    - 31

    Pump *clap* you up!

    ORIGIN:
    Hans and Franz - two Austrian weight-lifting gurus lampooning Arnold Schwarzenegger's drive to make people fitter in America. At the time, Arnold was known primarily as the Terminator and for being really, ridiculously buff. As part of the Saturday Night Live sketch, Hans and Franz would say the catchphrase as part of their workout videos (the primary purpose of the sketches, as they always addressed the audience).

    USE:
    It was the catchphrase of the sketch, but was later used by Arnold himself in a few foundations he started for fitness, and more recently used while he was campaigning for governorship of California in reference to the budget crisis.

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