The Top Five Catch Phrases From the 90’s

This post was born out my desire to do a post about the 90’s and my intention to have this week be a top five week.

Without further ado, here are the top five catch phrases from the 90’s:

Honorable Mentions:

“It’s on like Donkey Kong”

  • I am not sure of this phrase’s origin or how it made it into my lexicon, but it did. What exactly was Donkey Kong “on” that warranted this simile? Not all questions have answers, but I’m leaning toward the phrase’s sing song like melody as to way it was so popular. And sadly, I have one friend who uses this phrase for anything. “You ready to go to the movies?” “Yeah man. It’s on like Donkey Kong.” Why? Let it go.



  • Now this word right here was powerful, especially on the school playground. “Can I play basketball with you? “Sure…sike.” Talk about crushed feelings. This was the ultimate okie doke. I must have made a mistake not including it in the top five. Sike!

“Da Bomb”

  • This phrase is one that everyone and their grandparents were saying…about everything. “Girl, you da bomb” was a lame pickup line but somehow worked. “Dude, that show/those shoes/my jumper/those McDonalds’ fries was/were da bomb.” You can place any object, event, or even person in that sentence and it would make total, complete sense…in the 90’s. Utter those words, especially in a airport, and yeah…just don’t do it.

5. “It’s all about the Benjamins”

  • Puff Daddy, his 90’s moniker, and his crew made sure that everyone understood that it, dangling modifier that can represent anything, was about the paper, scrilla, chesse, greenbacks, duckets, and the CREAM. Everyone clearly agreed because this became a huge catchphrase in the 90’s.

4. “Who let the dogs out?”

  • Woof! Sorry I couldn’t help myself. While the Baha Men, where are they now, made this phrase popular, many people forget that their song was on the soundtrack to…wait for it…Rugrats in Paris. Google it, if you don’t believe me. This track blared from car sound systems to stadium speakers. You know you made it when Regis uses your phrase on his show, and that he did with this one.

3. “You go, girl”

  • Martin Lawerence is responsible for this catch phrase. He constantly encouraged his love interest on the show, Martin, with the phrase. A true phrase of endearment and support. Oddly, when people tried to support their male counterparts the opposite saying of “You go, boy” did not carry the same heft.

2. “Raise the roof”

  • Even though congress and others tried to ban Uncle Luke and his 2Live Crew from recording and performing Miami bass music due to their vulgar language and raucous booty shaking that accompanied it, Uncle Luke taught America how to raise the roof. EVERYONE did, at some point in their life, the pantomime of literally raising the roof. Look at you doing it now. Classic. Thanks Uncle Luke for this catch phrase and party rocking anthem.

1. “Talk to the hand.”

  • Martin makes a second appearance in the top five; this time he grabs the number one spot with the obnoxious and sarcastic gesture and phrase. This combined movement and saying was the ultimate way to convey “Shut up!” The phrase was so widely popular that it spawned numerous variations, including but not limited to: Jamie Foxx’s screeching gesture that he put in Braxton’s snooty face, “talk to the elbow cause it’s not worth the extension,” and “talk to the hand cause the face ain’t listening” (the latter two said with all the attitude and neck bobbing you could muster).

As always, what do you think? Please share any catch phrases from the 90’s that you think should have made the list.


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