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The Greatest '80s Catch Phrases

Updated November 5, 2019 5.1k votes 1.4k voters 779.3k views20 items

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? What's your favorite 80s saying? Below are 20 of our favorite examples. Vote for your favorite catch phrases from the 80s below.

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  • 5

    I Pity The Fool...

    Video: YouTube

    ORIGIN:
    The A-Team. B.A. BARACUS would often say it in reference to someone who would mess with him/the team.

    USE:
    This is basically what Mr. T is known for. It probably doesn't help that he still dresses, speaks, and acts exactly like the character that coined the phrase.

    This phrase may also be used in reference to absolutely anyone who is about to get their ass kicked.
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  • 6

    Say Hello To My Little Friend

    Video: YouTube

    ORIGIN:
    Scarface. The main character (Tony Montana) unleashes a Tommy Gun from under his coat and exclaims to the people he's shooting to "say hello to [his] little friend". It's such a ridiculous, funny, yet violent part of the movie that it really stuck with everyone.

    USE:
    Whenever you brandish pretty much anything of power or importance by surprise, you can use this phrase. It's been so overdone in pop culture at this point that a lot of people don't even know where it's from.

    It's often been used to brandish literal "little friends" from under coats (little people, fictional characters, penises).
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  • 7

    I Want My MTV

    Video: YouTube

    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.
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  • 8

    Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?

    Video: YouTube

    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. 

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