Being able to write a funny line is a requirement to get into a sitcom writers' room. If a show can’t deliver a new gag every fifteen seconds, then odds are that show won’t last long. The great shows, however, produce lines that are hilarious out of context. They can be shouted out in a classroom or a crowded bar and elicit fits of laughter from all in earshot. Lines like this aren’t necessarily the funniest, but they resonate in a way that few jokes can.
Some characters are built to deliver lines like these. On Cheers, Norm was a legendary joke machine. George Wendt popped off a new one-liner every time he ordered a beer. Other characters like Homer Simpson develop their one-liner (or should we say “one-worder”) into a versatile catchphrase that works for every situation. Short or long, sharp or broad, witty or crass, these lines have wedged themselves into our cultural subconscious. When we hear them, have no choice but to laugh. Here are The 25 Best One-Liners in Sitcom History.
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