10 Popular Phrases Coined by TV Shows

There are many popular phrases in the English language, but have you ever wondered where they came from? While many slang terms have roots in various traditions, literature and even movies, there are quite a few that come from TV shows. It makes sense, after all — with so many people tuning into the same series, a few phrases were bound to enter the American lexicon.

We have these TV shows to thank for giving us common words like “remarriage” and “friend zone.” You might have assumed that these words were floating around long before the 1990s, but that was first Seinfeld and Friends that they became common. Have you ever called someone a “Poindexter” or a “Debbie Downer?” Yes, you can thank TV for them too.

While some shows take a word and give it a new meaning, others can actually be credited with inventing a whole new word. Take for example “cowabunga” – the phrase commonly used by surfers in the 1960s was actually coined for the children’s show Hi Doody a decade earlier. Then, in the late 1980s, it would see a resurgence when it was used in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Who knew such a funny, meaningless word could be traced back to two different children’s television shows?

Below, learn more about the various TV shows that inspired these familiar expressions. You might even be surprised to learn that some of these phrases originally debuted on a TV show—you’ll never think of them the same way again.

10 Popular Phrases Coined by TV Shows

These everyday phrases have their roots in lines of dialogue from TV shows.

10 movie titles that became common phrases

How many of these expressions do you use in conversation?

Related Posts