The 11 Best Sci-Fi Series Catchphrases & One-Liners, aka Trivia You Didn’t Know You Knew
Fans of science fiction love the genre’s shows for many reasons: the mythologies, the different worlds and cultures, the infinite awesomeness of space…and the dialogue. Over the years, many sci-fi series’ catchphrases and one-liners have slipped into our daily conversations. One might even say, “This is the way.” (That’s from Disney+’s The Mandalorian, for the uninitiated.)
Here, we pick 11 of the best one-liners, mantras, and catchphrases from some of our favorite sci-fi shows.
Who?: Pretty much every character on Battlestar Galactica.
Say, What?: When you want to curse, but can’t drop an f-bomb, just do what Battlestar Galactica did to get past the censors. “Frak,” which was first used in the 1978 original and then heard quite frequently in the 2000s reboot, is so close to the word you-know-what. It was a brilliant move on the writers’ part to come up with something that wouldn’t require incessant bleeping but also conveyed that these characters were adults. Having them say, “Oh, fiddlesticks!” when their ship was on fire wasn’t going to cut it.
Where to Watch: All four seasons are available on Peacock.
“This is the way.”
Who?: Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), The Mandalorian
Say, What?: Okay, it was a little cooler before we knew these words are the mantra for an extremist cult — but to be fair, Din didn’t know he was raised by a Death Watch splinter group! Regardless of its origins, “this is the way” has worked its way up the list of best Star Wars quotes.
Where to Watch: Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on Disney+.
“May we meet again.”
Who?: Pretty much every character on The 100
Say, What?: This phrase is part of a longer prayer called “The Traveler’s Blessing,” which is engrained in The 100’s mythology. It serves at once as a goodbye, last words at a funeral and even an expression of hope.
Where to Watch: All seven seasons are available on Netflix.
“Doesn’t look like anything to me.”
Say, What?: We still get chills remembering the moment in Season 1 where it’s revealed that Bernard is a host. How do we find out? After he sees the sketches of his true mechanical self in creator Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) office, he says they, “don’t look like anything to him,” which is the phrase hosts are programmed to say upon seeing something that might alert them to their true nature.
Where to Watch: Seasons 1-3 are available on HBO Max.
“I am that guy.”
Who?: Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), The Expanse
Say, What?: In a list of The Expanse’s most epic moments, this would have to be in the top five. When kindhearted scientist Prax (Terry Chen) is ready to kill the scientist who experimented on his daughter, Amos steps in. He tells Prax he’s “not that guy,” and the scientist breathes a sigh of relief… only for Amos to declare, “I am that guy.” Mic. Dropped.
Where to Watch: All five seasons are available on Prime Video.
“The truth is out there.”
Who?: Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), The X-Files
Say, What?: Has there ever been a quote that better sums up what a show is about? There’s a good reason these five words, and the series that gave them to sci-fi fans, is popular almost 20 years after it ended.
Where to Watch: All 11 seasons are available on Hulu.
“We have to go back!”
Who?: Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), Lost
Say, What?: This is possibly the most memorable quote from Lost, but it has some competition. Lost also gave us hit phrases like “Not Penny’s boat,” “if we don’t live together, we’re going to die alone,” and “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
Where to Watch: All six seasons are available on Prime Video.
“Live long and prosper.”
Who?: Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Star Trek
Say, What?: It’s one of the most iconic quotes in science fiction, and it’d be impossible to have this list without it. The greeting is a shortened version of a Jewish blessing. And for Trekkers, you can pair it with a Vulcan salute.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Who?: The Doctor (David Tennant)
Say, What?: The phrase that graced many a Doctor Who T-shirt in the late 2000s is still around — and still one of the best-known quotes from the long-running program. It refers to the sinister weeping angels, which are statue-like when looked at, but which, when your back is turned (or when you close your eyes), can zap you into the past and steal the energy of the life you had.
Where to Watch: HBO Max
“Danger, Will Robinson.”
Who?: Will Robinson’s trusty robot pal, aptly named The Robot, in the original Lost in Space.
Say, What?: While this line was said in a single episode of the show, which premiered in 1965, it made enough of a mark on sci-fi culture to survive more than half a century (and a Netflix reboot). The meaning is self-explanatory: Whenever young Will was about to get in trouble, The Robot would warn him with this line.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime (to buy individual episodes); The Roku Channel
“Make it So.”
Who?: Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)
Say, What?: You probably know this is one of Picard’s iconic phrases. What you might not know is that a version of this phrase exists to the tune of “Let it Snow,” which features cleverly edited clips of characters from the show “singing” to the classic holiday tune. Guess you could say this YouTuber… made it so. You’re welcome!
Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video