Have you ever caught yourself saying the same two or three phrases over and over again? It’s human nature; we develop a lexicon of familiar phrases and then fill in gaps in conversation with stock, go-to turns of phrase from our built-in word-bank of the week. Some days, after the fourth or fifth time I’ve repeated “I know right?!” or “duuuuuude” in a single conversation, I’m ready to leap over my own arm and punch myself in the face.
Luckily, we’re the only ones who’ll ever pick up on these repeating patterns in our speech for the most part. For though we have to hear them each and every time they fly out of our mouths, no one else is following us around keeping tabs.
Except… when you record someone talking for that length of time… and play it back for an eager audience… patterns may start to emerge.
OH HEY, WELCOME TO TELEVISION! Writers and actors, when your powers combine – well, you still kind of say the same things a lot, just like the rest of us.
Breaking Bad | Jesse Pinkman loves to say “bitch.”
Serenade us with the sweet, sweet drug-addled chanting of, “Where’s my money, bitch. I love hotdogs, bitch.” Sail me down your chocolately river of bitch, bitch. (Halfway through it switches from Jesse montage to random clip montage. Heads up? You can tune out for that part. Maybe take a nap.)
Mad Men | Don Draper loves to say “what?”
I never noticed this little quirk before seeing them all piled up in one place. Huh. He does kind of do that, doesn’t he? I hereby nominate Jon Hamm for a lifetime achievement award for widest variety of emotions conveyed through a single word.
Deadwood | Everybody loves to say “cocksucker.”
There’s no earmuffs-for-kids party like a Deadwood party ’cause the people saying ‘cocksucker’ don’t stop. Ever. Special note: This video, which includes every instance of the phrase ever uttered on the show, is almost EIGHT GLORIOUS MINUTES LONG. (RIP Deadwood, we’ll never forget you. True love lasts a lifetime.)
True Blood | Bill Compton loves to say “Sookie.”
‘Sookie’ is a somewhat unusual name but it’s not that weird… until Bill Compton says it in his Southern smarmy slime voice 40 timesmk per hour. SOOOOOKEH. SOOOOOKEH. SOOOOOKEH.
The Wire | Senator Clay Davis loves to say “sheeeeeeit”
And he says it with such style and verve, doesn’t he?
Dexter | Debra Morgan loves to say “fuck.”
She’s pretty much got every nuanced variation and possible combination covered if you need some pointers for the next time you drop something heavy on your toe. Maybe take notes, you could learn a thing or two. I might also suggest an anger management class, but then again my brother isn’t a serial murder.
Duck Dynasty | Si loves to say “Hey”
So it shall be written; so it shall be done, Jack. Hey.
What other shows or characters have are repeat word offenders? What phrases constantly make you crazy?