Catch Phrase/Literature

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Books have catch phrases too, and you can get that in writing.

Examples of Catch Phrase/Literature include:
  • A Christmas Carol: Averted; a case of Beam Me Up, Scotty and Memetic Mutation has resulted in "bah, humbug!" becoming the Catch Phrase of Ebenezer Scrooge. "Bah, humbug" is only spoken twice in the novel, though "humbug" comes up a few more times by itself. At that time, "humbug" meant "hoax" or "jest", so Scrooge was just dismissing Christmas as a fraud in the lingo of the day.
  • Sherlock Holmes' Beam Me Up, Scotty is: "Elementary, my dear Watson", a line never found in the entire novel series.
    • He does, however, like to address Watson as "my dear Watson".
  • Tarzan: Averted by way of Beam Me Up, Scotty; "Me Tarzan, you Jane" is not found the Tarzan novels.
  • Garion's catchphrase in David Eddings' The Belgariad, which the other characters quickly become tired of, is "Why me?" Eventually answered as "Would you have trusted anyone else to do it?", but not before various other characters have taken it up briefly. In one scene Belgarath (who's The Obi-Wan, and usually the one being asked and not answering), says it, much to everyone's amusement.
  • A handful of Discworld characters have catchphrases:
    • Rincewind: "OhshitohshitohshitI'mgoingtodie!"
      • Bonus points because this one was also uttered, on request, in "Wizard Language".
    • Granny Weatherwax: "If you ain't got respect, you ain't got a thing," "I can't be havin' with this," "Blessings be upon this house", and of course written, rather than spoken: I ATEN'T DEAD.
    • Death: There's no justice. There's just me. Which in Mort became There's no justice. There's just us.
    • And, of course, Dibbler's "That's cutting me own throat", along with the variants used by his counterparts.
    • And Vimes subverts this by asking "What's the thing I always repeat to you?".
    • Captain Carrot: "As Mister Vimes Says... "
    • Lord Vetinari: "Don't let me detain you..."
    • Lampshaded with Moist von Lipwig:

"Trust me."
"You use that phrase an awful lot, Mr. Lipwig."

    • Foul Ole Ron's "Millenium Hand and Shrimp."
  • Animorphs:
    • Everyone, in narration: "My name is [name.]"
    • Rachel: "Let's do it."
    • Marco: "This is insane."/"Are you insane?!"
    • "That was exciting/fun/really cool." "Let's never, ever do it again."
    • Ax: "We have x of your minutes left."
      • Marco: "They're everyone's minutes!"
    • And the Running Gag:

Ax: "Yes, Prince Jake."
Jake: "Don't call me prince."
Ax: "Yes, Prince Jake."

Daenerys: It is true that I am only a young girl, and do not know the ways of war.
Ygritte: You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Ned Stark: Winter is coming.
Arya Stark: Fear cuts deeper than swords.
The Lannister: A Lannister always pays his/her debts.
Ser Boros Blount: You speak to me thus? You?

Shagga, son of Dolf: I will chop off your manhood and feed it to the goats.

The Dothraki in general: It is known.

Hodor: Hodor.

  • In Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, Gurgi mentioned "munchings and crunchings" often enough for them to almost count as a catchphrase, while Fflewdur Fflam used "Great Belin!" as his trademark Unusual Euphemism (Belin is an ancient Welsh sun god), and Princess Eilonwy would often cry "Taran of Caer Dallben, I'm not speaking to you!" or some variation of the same.
    • Not to mention Eilonwy's constant habit of talking in similes and metaphors. For example, "It's silly to worry because you can't do something you simply can't do. That's worse than trying to make yourself taller by standing on your head," or "I don't like being called 'a girl' and 'this girl' as if I didn't have a name at all. It's like having your head put in a sack."
    • Also with the Gurgi example, close to every noun he ends with a sentence turns into something similar, like "Smitings and bitings" or "Sneakings and peekings." This form of talking is his "catch phrase", more or less.
    • Don't forget Gurgi's Poor Tender Head.
    • We never give anything away.
      • Did any of these appear in the Disney movie The Black Cauldron?
      • Yes actually, Gurgi's catchphrases all got in, as did Flewdder's "great Belin!" and the Witches' never give anything away line. Only Eilonwy's idiosyncrasies were dropped, in fact.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, as author/narrator of Slaughterhouse-Five, punctuates everything involving death with the phrase "So it goes."
  • In the |M*A*S*H novels, Hawkeye has "Finest kind!" as a Catch Phrase. This made it to the movie, and appeared in some of the earliest episodes of the TV series, but was eventually forgotten or abandoned. Hawkeye and Duke together share the Catch Phrase "We're the Pros from Dover".
  • Characters in Stephen King novels often have catchphrases shared between each other as in-jokes or references to past experience. For example:
    • Dreamcatcher: "SSDD", "No bounce no play".
    • IT: "Beep-beep, Richie."
    • The short story Riding the Bullet had the slightly philosophical phrase "Fun is fun, and done is done."
    • In The Stand, Tom Culleen has "My laws!" and "M-O-O-N, that spells (any word)".
    • In The Dark Tower Roland's use of "Ka" to describe virtually any event beyond his control. Becomes a form of running gag between him & Eddie Dean in the later novels in the series.

Eddie: Ka?
Roland: Ka.
Eddie: Ka-ka.

  • The Harry Potter series has Hermione's catchphrase "I read about it in Hogwarts: A History."
    • Harry's trademarked "Expelliarmus!" could also count (but also doubles as a Signature Move)
    • Constant Vigilance!
    • And there's Ron with "Bloody hell!"
  • Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind fame has "Fiddle-dee-dee!", "Great balls of fire!" and (in the book) "God's nightgown!"
  • Gollum's "My prrrecious..." from The Lord of the Rings.
  • Honor Harrington has the phrase 'Let's be about it', which she adopted from her first Captain, and which several of her subordinates have begun using.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Beltayn, Gaunt's adjunctant and vox officer, says "Something's awry" to report any kind of problem. Up to and including imminent disaster that could kill them all -- a fact Lampshaded in the books.
    • Abnett also uses this with Aemos in Eisenhorn whose favourite phrase is 'Most perturbatory'. It's even his last words.
  • From Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time -
    • Mat: "It's time to roll the dice." Also, "Blood and bloody ashes!" and "I am not a bloody lord!" (This last leading to wonderful Irony when Mat finally marries Tuon and becomes the Prince of Ravens.
    • Perrin: "I'm just a blacksmith." (More Irony,as of Book 13, Perrin is officially recognized by the monarchy of Andor as the Lord of the Two Rivers.
    • Moirain & Siuan (and to a lesser extent, all Aes Sedai): "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills"
    • Lan: ...
    • The Aiel get a few: "I have toh" and "Sleep well and wake" are the most common, though the "to spit in Sightblinder's eye" speech and "Wash the Spears" come up on occasion.
      • Also, anything to do with 'water and shade' or 'shade of my heart'.
    • Borderlanders: "Peace!"
    • Woolhead... EVERYBODY.
  • The Three Musketeers:
  • From the Vorkosigan Saga: Emperor Gregor Vorbarra has "Let's see what happens," used after making unconventional decisions.
    • And Ivan Vorpatril often protests, "It's not my fault."
    • Miles Vorkosigan's motto is "Forward momentum."
      • Also, "If I can do it, you can do it." The scary part is how often that ends up being true.
  • The titular character in John Brunner's Traveller in Black: "I have many names, but a single nature"; "You may call me Mazda, or anything you please"; and, of course, "As you wish, so be it".
  • "Shut up, Loiosh."
  • The Dresden Files has Harry's "Hell's bells!" and "Stars and stones!"
    • As well as Thomas Raith's "Empty night!"
      • Furthermore, Word Of God has said that those three phrases will also be the titles of the Apocalyptic Trilogy that ends the series. In Butcher's own words, "there's a reason those are curses."
  • 7th Son has:

Kilroy 2.0: "Kilroy 2.0 is here. Kilroy 2.0 is everywhere."

  • Into the Darkness, King Swemmel of Unkerlant is inordinately fond of 'efficiency' in all things.
  • Ciaphas Cain: "If I had known (X) was going to happen, I would have shot (Y) myself."
  • Lieutenant Villian Dance has a strong tendency to think or say "Never happen!", as in "it will never", when he considers failing in his duty or being shot down.
  • The Secret Series has Max-Ernest. How 'bout that?
  • Apart from a few false ones, Sherlock Holmes does also have at least one genuine catchphrase: "You know my methods. Apply them!" This exact phrase only appears twice in the books, but slight variations on it occur at least six or seven times.
  • Rumo, a minor character in The Thirteen and A Half Lives of Captain Bluebear, at one point tells the eponymous character that he's not good with words when trying (and failing) to explain a situation. When he becomes the main character in the following book, Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures, "I'm not good with words" has become his catchphrase, said whenever he's asked to explain or elaborate on something.
  • Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener practically never says anything other than "I would prefer not to."
  • Warrior Cats: "Mouse dung!" as an exclamation of frustration.
  • Dinotopia: "Breath deep, seek peace" or the Skybax riders' variant. "Breath deep, fly high, seek peace" or simply "Fly high, seek peace".
  • Jeeves and Wooster has plenty:
    • Bertie is practically a catch phrase arsenal. "This is a bit thick!" "Rally round!" "Right-o!" "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party", etc.
    • Jeeves has "Very good, sir" and "I endeavor to be of assistance."
    • Bingo Little: "We were at school together!" (As a way to get Bertie to cave in and help him yet again. It always works.)
  • There are a few in the web-novel Domina, which cross over into Hold Your Hippogriffs.
    • Derek and Laura swear "silver and gold."
      • In chapter 29, Laura's father swears "silver moon and golden sun," which might be the source of the above phrase.
    • Akane uses "Musashi's ___", such as "Musashi's sword" and "Musashi's gravestone." Almost certainly a reference to Miyamoto Musashi.
    • Ling uses "Tezuka" in place of God, lending new meaning to Creator Worship.
    • Seena and Simon swear "nine hells."
    • Kelly swears "blood and shadow."
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: "Bother!"
    • Christopher Robin: "Silly old Bear!"
  • Matteo of Someone Elses War has "Inshallah" and "God is good."
  • TRA-LA-LA!

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