Should A Character Be Allowed To Take His/Her "Catchphrase" With Him/Her?

OK it’s probably a really dumb argument but it got me to wondering…

Over on the board Sitcomsonline there was a discussion of Polly Holliday and her spin off show Flo.

For those who might not know, Flo was a character on the TV show Alice. Her catchphrase was “Kiss My Grits” said in a Texas drawl.

On the spin off show called Flo, the character of Flo never said her catchphrase “Kiss My Grits,” except once when Mel guest starred on it. Flo said it to Mel.

So my question is should a character take his/her catchphrase with her? Or is it, new show, new catchphrase? Or drop it together?

Why didn’t she use it on the new show? Was it a creative decision? Or did the phrase belong to Alice’s writers or producers and Flow wasn’t allowed to say it on her show?

It’s a catchphrase for the character, not the character/series combination. If it’s supposed to be the same character, then of course she should have the same personality, same mannerisms, and yes, same catchphrase. Why wouldn’t she?

It’s the (partial) continuity that makes it a spinoff. It’s basically the same character, but in a different environment, with a focus on her, rather than the star of the original series. It would have been out of character for her never to say that phrase. But I applaud their saving it for a special occasion.

Apparently Polly Holliday said she was tired of saying it. As you can imagine fans of hers would come up to her and ask her to tell them to “Kiss My Grits.”

If I ever get my spin-off, I will most definitely be bringing my catch phrase – “Aye-chi-wa-wa! Here we go again!”-- with me. It’s what everyone loves most about me, and it gets the biggest laughs and most applause.

Of COURSE the catch phrase goes with the character. It’s the character’s catch phrase.

Unless the new show starts as a spin-off, then ends up being re-written to be completely unconnected to the other, there’s no reason not to bring it over.

And, unless the new show, after being rewritten goes to a different production company and doesn’t take whoever owned the original program with it, it’s not at all an issue of ‘allowed’.