10 most memorable anime catchphrases, ranked

A fanmade Collage of the Straw Hats reaffirming Luffy's catchphrase of becoming pirate king (Image via SagaB/Twitter)
A fanmade Collage of the Straw Hats reaffirming Luffy's catchphrase of becoming pirate king (Image via SagaB/Twitter)

A catchphrase is a phrase or motto usually stated repeatedly. There are a metric ton of anime catchphrases that have caught on, from simple ones like "Believe it!" in Naruto to narcissistic ones like proclaiming one is "the prince of all Saiyans!"

Some tend to be more memorable thanks to memes or just being absorbed into popular culture at large. To that end, this article will explore, list, and rank ten of the most memorable catchphrases in anime.

Note 1: There are rules — catchphrases must be oft-repeated, cannot be an episode ending line, and one example per series.

Note 2: These will be spoilers for all the anime discussed, and the whole article is only the author's opinion.

Note 3: Consider this a top 10 list, as even the tenth catchphrase is memorable.


Ten awesome anime catchphrases ranked

10) "Nico Nico Ni!" - Love Live! School Idol Project

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The Love Live! School Idol Project anime is about a group of schoolgirls attempting to save their school from shutting down via the titular Love Live idol competition. The catchphrase comes from the aggressive and self-confident character Nico Yazawa, who performs the phrase and the accompanying movements to demonstrate what idols should be like.

The phrase has been translated to mean "smiling in your heart" or "Nico loves you!" depending on the translation.

Idol anime are extremely popular in Japan, plus this phrase has been used in so many memes that it's no wonder it made this list. It typifies moe (cute and adorable) behavior and went viral around 2013 when episode five, "Nico Strikes," premiered.

Even though the anime itself ended around 2014, the manga and a follow-up manga are still going strong. The cute and adorable phrase isn't leaving anytime soon.


9) "Omae wa mo shindeiru/You are already dead" - Fist of the North Star

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Fist of the North Star was an incredibly popular anime and manga from the 1980s, the tale of a martial artist-turned-savior named Kenshiro's journey through a ravaged post-nuclear war Earth. The catchphrase spawns from Kenshiro's fighting style, making opponents explode from the inside out after striking critical points on the body.

While the series itself is considered one of the most influential of all time, the actual catchphrase is much like Nico Nico Ni! in that it lives on in memes throughout the internet that usually involve some form of violence. It's pretty memorable due to the suddenness of the death involved and the casual way Kenshiro says it.

There were also songs based on it, like Omae Wa Mou by music producer Deadman/Noah Ryan Murphy, which went viral on TikTok in 2019.


8) I mustn't run away!" - Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Neon Genesis Evangelion and its reboot Rebuild of Evangelion chronicle the struggle of humanity to survive against godlike giant beings dubbed Angels by piloting massive robots called Evangelion's or EVA. This particular catchphrase is a traumatic mantra by Shinji Ikari, owing to his fragile psychological state, to try keeping himself steady, still, and in the moment, whether in battle or from running away from everyone like he does multiple times.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a majorly depressing anime, and this catchphrase of Shinji's is no exception. Unfortunately, many people did not get the point of it all during the original anime's airing.

The phrase was used mockingly to say Shinji was the worst. Nowadays, it gets more respect as a reflection of author Hideki Anno's depression.


7) "Who the hell do you think I am?!" - Gurren Lagaan

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Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the story of humanity being oppressed by the beast men and eventually fighting back to overthrow them. At the center of this story is hotblooded Kamina and his younger brother Simon, as they discover a robot called Gurren Lagann that enables them to fight back.

The phrase itself is a battle cry and defiant word against the beast men who look down upon humanity, particularly Kamina and Simon.

This one gained a ton of popularity from its inception. Since it's a battle cry, it's not a surprise. Memes, shirts, and references in other anime were all part of its popularity.

It hasn't been forgotten despite the series having ended with compilation movies giving it a proper epilogue released in 2014.


6) "I'm gonna be king of the pirates!" - One Piece

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One Piece is the story of Monkey D. Luffy, who dreams of becoming the pirate king. The phrase has been oft-repeated by Luffy as his journey has continued, usually at villains and even when he was a kid.

This goal hasn't changed, even from when he barely started with Zoro as a crewmate.

The phrase is unique to One Piece and its fandom. It usually shows up alongside Naruto's declaration of becoming Hokage or Goku's on becoming stronger. It's a lofy goal, but a memorable phrase nonetheless.

As an aside, these next few entries are repeated so often it'd be surprising if they ever went out of fashion.


5) "I am Vegeta, prince of all Saiyans!" - Dragon Ball Z

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Dragon Ball Z is normally the story of Goku's fight against constantly stronger and more alien opponents, Vegeta being one of them! The narcissistic Prince of all Saiyans doesn't hesitate to say this to everyone, but usually enemies.

It's technically accurate that he was next in line for the Saiyan throne before his father was assassinated. It has since become a personal boast of his.

One cannot look up Vegeta without having this phrase in mind, he's said it so often! It's also memorable for who he is and is his character's path for a long time, as the selfish and narcissistic person he was.

It's also been quoted and used as memes, usually mocking Vegeta. Even as late as the Super manga and anime, he still uses it!


4)"In the name of the moon, I'll punish you!" - Sailor Moon

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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, or simply Sailor Moon, recounts the tale of Usagi Tsukino as she navigates high school, romance, and saving the world as the reincarnation of the legendary princess and guardian of love Sailor Moon. The catchphrase in question is often repeated after she transforms and warns the evil beings she fights. It's repeated and modified by the rest of the Senshi and Chibi Moon.

If it wasn't a Pokemon or Dragon Ball special attack, and until Naruto's "Believe it!", one couldn't go without hearing or at least seeing this phrase repeated in the 1990s when Sailor Moon premiered. It's since been referenced, memed, parodied, and generally spouted by fans and cosplayers.

It helps that the pose itself is iconic.


3) "Yare Yare Daze/Good Grief" - Jojo

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Stardust Crusaders is a journey across Egypt during Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, as a band of six races towards and across the desert to end the threat of reborn vampire lord DIO. Among their band is the often quiet Jotaro Kujo, owner of the Stand Star Platinum, who generally doesn't like to be bothered with things.

This catchphrase is his way of expressing displeasure or disgust, depending on how he uses it.

Jojo's Bizarre Bizarre Adventure has a whole list of catchphrases that could've made this list, from Useless x amount of times by Dio to anything Joesph Joestar says. This one is casual enough to say in conversation but is memorable for how Jotaro uses it as a form of displeasure or as "give me a break," as it's sometimes translated as.

It's been seen as his staple catchphrase alongside Star Platinum yelling "ORA ORA ORA!" when it attacks.

Many years after the events of Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro's daughter Jolyne would use this as her own form of displeasure and distaste. Father and daughter aren't so different after all.


2) "Datebayo/Believe it!" - Naruto

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Naruto is about the title character's journey to becoming a village leader, or Hokage, and everything and everyone involved along that way. The catchphrase was Naruto's declaration of intent and his own declaration to anyone who doubted him. He dropped it after a while, but it's been tied to his character since day one.

Though mocked, this phrase has gained more respect as Naruto grew to become Hokage as of Boruto. The boyhood dream came true, and fans poured in support.

It also became very much attached to many anime fans' vernaculars, especially those that grew up with the English dub of the series. It's a staple catchphrase for a reason, after all.


1)"Go beyond, plus ultra!" - My Hero Academia

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My Hero Academia is generally about the emerging superhero community in Japan, specifically on a quirkless boy named Izuku Midoriya until a chance encounter with Number One Hero All Might changed everything.

This phrase was coined when All Might when up against the villainous Nomu. He delivered over 300 blows to drive the fiend out of the UA training grounds!

Why not "I am Here!"? Simply put, this phrase is too epic not to be number one. The fight that it premiered in and the usage after conveying maximum effort being given to any task (though mostly heroic affairs) ensured its place in the top spot.

It proves sheer awesome can make an effective catchphrase, and it helps that it sells well in merch and has been spread around as a declaration of motivation!