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Television Catch Phrases of the 1970’s

Updated on August 7, 2013

The 1970’s had a gold mine of catch phrases in television and gave us lines that are still remembered today. Let us step back in a time machine for a moment and relive the phrases that were on everyone’s lips. This article brings all the best catch phrases of television shows.

KOJAK-Telly Salvas played a New York City Police Detective who was charming with the ladies, tough with his co- workers and even tougher on the bad guys. Each week he hit the streets keeping the city safe. He was known for his love of lollipops and for his phrase of “Who Loves Ya Baby?” Telly said it with a smile and with a charm that made the world love him.

GOOD TIMES-A poor Chicago family in the bad section of town, but living together with a lot of love America enjoyed spending time with the Evans. The most popular of the group was oldest son J.J. Evans played by Jimmie Walker. Each week a situation came up and J.J. would find a reason to use his catch phrase of Dyno-MITE! It was guaranteed to bring a laugh to the audience every week.

ALICE- Usually the main character is the one that gets to utter a catch phrase, but that wasn’t so in Alice. It was Alice’s friend and co-worker Flo who got to use the phrase “Kiss my grits”. 9 times out of 10 it was Mel she was telling it to. It never got old and was always funny anytime she said it.

HAPPY DAYS- “Sit on it” was a phrase that was used by almost all the characters on Happy Days. Ritchie used it, Mrs. Cunningham, and even Fonzie said it. This show was unusual because it had two catch phrases on it. Fonzie had the other catch phrase which was “Aaay” which meant things were pretty cool. He liked to do it after combing his hair. Nobody said that but Fonzie it was a line that was his and his alone.

LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY-a spin off of Happy Days Laverne and Shirley had a catch phrase but it went to two of the sidekicks of the series Lenny and Squiggy. They were like Kramer , in Seinfeld, always bursting into the door to see Laverne and Shirley with their phrase of “Hello”. Who knew one word could be so funny and so memorable.

BARETTA-in the days when Robert Blake was kind of cool he was in the show Baretta. He had a cockatoo and he had that swag. He was also known for a couple of catch phrases of his own. One was “That’s the name of that tune.” The other phrase he was heard to say frequently was “You can take that to the bank.” Cop shows abounded in the 70’s, and Baretta made his mark in the memory of the viewers.

DIFFERENT STROKES-a show that had an older white gentleman with a daughter who adopted two black brothers Arnold and Willis. They say never star with kids and animals and that saying is very true in this case because the biggest draw on the show was Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson. He was a little scene stealer and his line of “What’u talkin about Willis?” is still be uttered today which is a testament to its popularity.

FANTASY ISLAND- who didn’t want to go to this island where you could live out your fantasies. Mr. Roake was played by a suave Ricardo Montalban and his assistant the midget Herve Villechaize who played Tattoo. Each week Tattoo would see the guests flying in and it was his duty to announce their arrival by saying “de plane, de plane”. Utter this phrase to anyone and they will know exactly what you are talking about.

WELCOME BACK KOTTER-this show about a teacher returning to teach In his hometown is best known for creating the star of John Travolta. He and his group of lovable Sweat Hogs entertained America with their comedy. This show was known for its catch phrases of “Up your nose with a rubber”. Another line was “Ooh-ooh” when trying to get Mr. Kotter’s attention. This show had a cast of memorable characters that made the classroom fun.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS-Three female detectives working for a man they never see named Charlie. Each week the ladies would gather together to hear what case they had that week. Charlie would always greet them with “Good morning, angels.” This show made Farrah Fawcett , Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson household names.

ALL IN THE FAMILY-The Bunkers were quite the characters but the biggest character of the show was Archie head of the household. He was always counted on to deliver the funniest lines and he is known for two lines that are embedded in our brains. The first line was “Meathead” it was meant for his son in law Michael (whom he never saw eye to eye with), the second line was reserved for his wife Edith and it was “Stifle Edith” when he wanted her to be quiet and “Dingbat” his special name for Edith it could be a form of endearment or an insult depending on his mood.

CHICO AND THE MAN- Freddie Prinze starred in this show as a Latino looking for work in an auto repair shop with Jack Albertson the owner of the shop. This show had the phrase “Looking good.” Freddie was a great comedic actor whose life ended way too soon.

As you can see the 1970’s brought us a wealth of memorable catch phrases that have stayed in minds of all who have heard them. It was truly a golden age for the catch phrase and to hear them now makes them as special as the first time they were spoken. Years from now they will still be remembered.


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