101 Pop Culture References From A Gen-X Childhood

by Cary McNeal
Originally Published: 

This is more than a list of 101 TV, movie and music quotes from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. It is 101 pieces of happy: small strings of words that remind us so vividly of special people and places and moments in our pasts. It is also the shared common ground of our generation, the pop culture that helped define us and ties us forever to each other.

How many of these do you remember?

1. Thanks for the gumball, Mickey!

2. Kowabunga!

3. Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says, he does.


5. Pret-ty sneaky, sis.

6. Tonight what heights we’ll hit! On with the show, this is it!

7. Say that you’ll never, never, never, need it. One headline, why believe it?

8. And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!

9. We’re on a mission from God.

10. Schwing!

11. Meanwhile, back at stately Wayne Manor…

12. I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man, ’cause I’m a woman…Enjoli!

13. You sank my battleship!

14. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

15. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team.

16. By the power of Greyskull!

17. As if.

18. Surely you can’t be serious…I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

19. I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh and sing a song. Seems we just get started and, before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.

20. Why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here?

21. I’m really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

22. Tin roof! Rusted!

23. I bet you never smelled a real bus before.

24. Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.

25. Come to the HoneyComb Hideout.

26. What’s happening, hot stuff?

27. Let’s do it for Johnny!

28. Don’t mess with the bull, young man, you’ll get the horns.

29. Say hello to my little friend!

30. Ooey, gooey, rich and chewy inside. Golden, flaky, tender, cakey outside. Wrap the inside in the outside, is it good? Darn tootin’! Doin’ the big Fig Newton.

31. I pity the fool!

32. Yippee-ki-yay, motherf****r!

33. She told me that I’m her forever lover, don’t you remember?/Well, after loving me she said she could never love another.

34. We’re going to need a bigger boat.

35. Yow! That’s not fair, giving a guy a shot down there!

36. I’m your huckleberry.

37. I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

38. Clap on! Clap off! The Clapper!


40. Lay down the boogie and play that funky music ’til you die.

41. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

42. Where’s the beef?

43. Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.

44. It’s not a tumor!

45. Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats HOOOO!

46. Sweep the leg.

47. Hey good lookin’, we’ll be back to pick you up later!

48. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

49. Sloth love Chunk!

50. Stop! Hammer time!

51. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?

52. If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.

53. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

54. You’re too shy, shy, hush hush, eye to eye.

55. Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

56. I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!

57. Psycho killer. Qu’est-ce que c’est? Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa fa.

58. Real cola taste, just one calorie—Tab!

59. Book ’em, Dano.

60. If you’re on a highway and Road Runner goes “Beep-beep,” just step aside or you might end up in a heap.

61. Steve Austin—a man barely alive. We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

62. In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife!

63. The price is wrong, bitch!

64. Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.

65. Release the hounds.

66. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

67. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

68. I’m getting input here that I’m reading as relatively hostile.

69. Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

70. Tell the driver that you’re going to a Double Dutch affair.

71. I’ll be back.

72. Did I do that?

73. I’m Gumby, damn it!

74. Games, Jake. Silly torturous games.

75. What’s your damage?

76. Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?

77. Care Bear stare!

78. Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now about to become the Masters champion.

79. You have died of dysentery.

80. Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose.

81. Take my hand and we’ll make it, I swear.

82. You’re killing me, Smalls.

83. Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on. Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone.

84. I am the great Cornholio!

85. I’ll be takin’ these Huggies and whatever cash you got.

86. With refills you can make Bugs Bunny or Bozo The Clown.

87. They call me Yuck Mouth, cuz I don’t brush. How’s about a little kiss?

88. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

89. To you from me, Pinky Lee!

90. There upon a rainbow is the answer to a never-ending story.

91. I want my two dollars!

92. Aloha, Mr. Hand.

93. He was a hairy bear, he was a scary bear, we beat a hasty retreat from his lair.

94. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

95. We fuss and we fight and delight in the tears that we cry until dawn.

96. Oh my God, they killed Kenny!

97. Homey don’t play that.

98. You eeediot!

99. Jane, you ignorant slut.

100. She’s got eyes of the bluest skies, as if they thought of rain. I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain.

101. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!


1. Mickey Mouse Gumball Bank commercial. 2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 3. Schoolhouse Rock: “The Tale Of Mr. Morton”. 4. The Electric Company and/or The Goonies. 5. Connect Four commercial. 6. The Bugs Bunny Show. 7. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. 8. Scooby-Doo. 9. The Blues Brothers. 10. Wayne’s World. 11. Batman TV series. 12. Enjoli perfume commercial. 13. Battleship commercial. 14. National Lampoon’s Animal House. 15. The A-Team. 16. He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe. 17. Clueless. 18. Airplane. 19. The Carol Burnett Show. 20. Back To The Future. 21. Better Off Dead. 22. “Love Shack” by The B-52s. 23. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 24. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. 25. Honeycomb commercial. 26. Sixteen Candles. 27. The Outsiders. 28. The Breakfast Club. 29. Scarface. 30. Fig Newton commercial. 31. Mr. T. 32. Die Hard. 33. “The Girl Is Mine” by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. 34. Jaws. 35. Schoolhouse Rock: “Interjection”. 36. Tombstone. 37. The Princess Bride. 38. The Clapper commercial. 39. Good Times. 40. “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” by Wild Cherry. 41. Star Wars. 42. Wendy’s commercial. 43. “Sing” by The Carpenters. 44. Kindergarten Cop. 45. Thundercats. 46. The Karate Kid. 47. Mr. Microphone commercial. 48. Chiffon margarine commercial. 49. The Goonies. 50. “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer. 51. Dr. Pepper commercial. 52. Grease. 53. Alka Seltzer commercial. 54. “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo. 55. Seinfeld. 56. Life Alert commercial. 57. “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads. 58. Tab commercial. 59. Hawaii Five-O. 60. The Bugs Bunny Show/Road Runner. 61. The Six Million Dollar Man. 62. Ginsu knife commercial. 63. Happy Gilmore. 64. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. 65. The Simpsons. 66. The Outsiders. 67. National Lampoon’s Animal House. 68. Sixteen Candles. 69. Dirty Dancing. 70. “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith. 71. The Terminator. 72. Family Matters . 73. Saturday Night Live . 74. Sixteen Candles. 75. Heathers. 76. Grey Poupon commercial. 77. The Care Bears. 78. Caddyshack. 79. Oregon Trail computer game. 80. Beetlejuice. 81. “Living’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi. 82. The Sandlot. 83. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard. 84. Beavis & Butt-Head. 85. Raising Arizona. 86. Lite-Brite commercial. 87. “Don’t Be A Yuck Mouth” PSA. 88. Star Wars. 89. Grease. 90. “The Neverending Story” (movie theme) by Limahl. 91. Better Off Dead. 92. Fast Times At Ridgemont High. 93. Schoolhouse Rock: “Unpack Your Adjectives”. 94. The Empire Strikes Back. 95. “Hold Me Now” by The Thompson Twins. 96. South Park. 97. In Living Color. 98. Ren & Stimpy. 99. Saturday Night Live. 100. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N Roses. 101. The Bugs Bunny Show.

This article was originally published on