Only Fools and Horses tops popular catchphrases poll

Brits’ favourite catchphrases mainly come from classic sitcoms the findings have revealed.

The UK’s favourite TV catchphrases have been revealed, and despite a large number of successful new comedies and reality TV, it’s the classics that viewers love the most.

The study, commissioned by slots and online games brand, Gala Spins, found that Delboy’s ‘Lovely jubbly’ catchphrase from the BBC One comedy classic, Only Fools and Horses, is the nation’s favourite, with over a third (34%) of Brits remembering it fondly.

In fact, the comedy is so iconic that it featured twice in the top three, with ‘You plonker’ in third place – the preferred quote of nearly a quarter (23%) of viewers. Fellow BBC One sitcom, One Foot in the Grave came second, with Victor Meldrew’s ‘I don’t believe it’ loved by 29% of Brits.


Brit’s top 15 favourite catchphrases 

1 Lovely Jubbly Only Fools and Horses, BBC One
2 I don’t believe it One Foot In The Grave, BBC One
3 You Plonker Only Fools and Horses, BBC One
4 Am I bovvered? The Catherine Tate Show, BBC One
5 How you doin’? Friends, Channel 4
6 Yeh but, no but yeah but Little Britain, BBC Three
7 What’s occurrin’? Gavin and Stacey, BBC One
8 Nice to see you, to see you nice Bruce Forsyth, various programmes
9 Is that your final answer? Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, ITV
10 No, no, no, no, yes The Vicar of Dibley, BBC One
11 I’ve started, so I’ll finish Mastermind, BBC One
12 You’re fired! The Apprentice, BBC One
13 D’oh! The Simpsons, Sky One / Channel 4
14 Exterminate Doctor Who, BBC One
15 Deal, or no deal? Deal or No Deal, Channel 4

US sitcom Friends was the highest-ranked international show, with Joey’s chat-up line ‘How you doin’?’ favoured by nearly one in five (18%).

In terms of gameshows Bruce Forsyth’s famous catchphrase, ‘Nice to see you, to see you nice!’ a feature of LWT’s Play Your Cards Right, The BBC’s Generation Game, Yorkshire TV’s The Price Is Right and most recently BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing was remembered slightly more fondly than the fellow reality TV show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and the daunting line, ‘Is that your final answer?’ They both received votes by more than one in ten (12%) Brits.

Older shows tended to be remembered more fondly than their newer counterparts, with Gavin and Stacey, which first aired in 2007, is the newest show in the top ten. Nearly a sixth (15%) of people voted for Nessa’s classic greeting, ‘What’s occurin’?’

Nessa’s line was actually the most popular of all the catchphrases amongst young Brits, with nearly three in ten (28%) 18–24-year-olds choosing it as their favourite. All other age groups voted for Delboy’s catchphrase as their favourite.

Similarly, ‘Lovely jubbly’ was the favoured line in most regions across the country. The only exception is Scotland, where a third of Scots (33%) prefer ‘I don’t believe it’.

“Brits love their TV, so it’s no surprise to see some iconic sitcoms and reality TV shows remembered so fondly by the public.

“It’s incredible to see how many of these classic shows have remained so popular after they first aired, which in some cases was decades ago.” – Karina Adrian, Head of Brand Marketing and Partnerships at Gala Spins

ATV Today favourites include ‘Oooh Percy’ from Phyllis Pearce in Coronation Street (ITV), ‘I’m Freeeee’ from Mr Humpfrey’s in Are You Being Served? (BBC), ‘Think of them poor babbies, Gail’ via Ivy Tilsley in Corrie, ‘Scorchio’ from The Fast Show (BBC), ‘Go on, go on, go on, go on’ from Mrs Doyle in Father Ted (Channel 4) and of course ‘You stupid boy’ and ‘They don’t like it up ’em, they do not like it up ’em’ from Dad’s Army (BBC).

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