Doctor Who Catchphrases


Catchphrases aren’t new to Doctor Who, but since the series’ revival in 2005 there’s been a noticeable increase. Well, that’s only fair. Kids need something written on their Doctor Who lunch boxes other than Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart shouting “Five rounds rapid!” (although that’d be a great bit of merchandise).

Anyway, we all love a good catchphrase. Catchphrases are cool. Here are the show’s 10 best…

“Well…” / “I’m sorry…”

How many times does the 10th Doctor say “Well…”? Well, almost as many times as he says he’s sorry. And yet he never says “Well… I’m sorry.” Check out this brilliant video of all 10’s ‘Well’s, and feel your brain turn to mush as the word loses all meaning to you, then enjoy The Doctor apologising over and over again for it.


‘Farting aliens? Fantastic! Zombie Blitz child? Fantastic! Oh wait, I’m regenerating? Fantastic!’ Yes, 9th Doctor, you and your catchphrase truly were… good.

“Would you like a jelly baby?”

The Doctor doesn’t hand out enough free sweets anymore, which is a terrible shame. Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor gave them away to friend or foe like a deranged confectioner. Come on 11, there’s enough space in that Harris Tweed jacket for a bag of Minstrels surely?


You can actually count on one hand the number of times the Eleventh Doctor has said “Geronimo!”, but it’s frightfully catchy and suits the derring-do personality of the bow-tied maniac down to the ground.


The 10th Doctor’s rallying cry of ‘Allons-y!’ appears out of nowhere in Army of Ghosts and then just sticks around, popping up occasionally when ‘Let’s go!’ clearly isn’t fancy enough for him.


You get the feeling that whenever River scolds you with “Spoilers!” it’s actually The Moff himself, reminding the more information hungry fans not to take a peek behind the show’s curtain of secrecy. Except in a much sexier voice of course.


Shouted by all three Doctors in nu-Who on more than one occasion, as well as being the first word that the Doctor says in the series revival, Rose, “Run!” isn’t just a catchphrase; it encapsulates the theme of the whole show.

“Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.”

The 3rd Doctor’s favourite bit of technobabble is only heard in full twice (during The Sea Devils and The Five Doctors) but is repeated with some variation throughout Jon Pertwee’s tenure, as Pertwee himself was a big fan of the line.

“(insert items) are cool…”

dr who return march 2013

With a catchphrase responsible for boosting the struggling bow tie and fez industries overnight, the 11th Doctor has become the intergalactic equivalent of the September issue of Vogue: anything he says ‘is cool’ instantly becomes so. And that’s fine by us.


50 years on and still going strong. The Daleks’ battle-cry has rung through the living rooms and childhood nightmares of the nation for nigh on half a century now, and no matter how often we hear it, it never gets old.


Honorable mention: Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

Doctor Who

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