What is the line between catchy and annoying?

There’s a fine line between something being catchy and something becoming downright annoying.

There’s a fine line between something being catchy and something becoming downright annoying. What starts off being funny and amusing can so easily end up becoming the bane of our very existence.

Yet, here in Britain we continue to lap up every annoying ad campaign, every terrible novelty chart entry and every shitty catchphrase for all they’re worth. Why do we do it to ourselves? For some bizarre reason, as a nation we just love a good fad don’t we? It’s madness when you think about it.

When you look back in retrospect, can you believe that any of us brought into the whole crazy frog phenomenon? Or the fact that not only did we fall for the ringtone but we then fell hook line and sinker for the subsequent number one song as well? And that was in the days prior to iTunes being invented, so many of you out there not only went out and brought it but you probably paid circa £3.79 for a hard copy as well. For those that did, slap yourself in the face now, hard. You deserve it. 

Thankfully the days of the novelty ringtone are long dead. In fact, no self-respecting Briton would allow their phone to even ring in public nowadays let alone ring with a stupid ringtone. If you’ve got any ounce of class, you’ll stick that contraption on vibrate. No one wants to hear your favourite song blaring out every time someone calls you, it’s crass.

And while I’m at it, anyone who sets the Star Wars “Da da da da dadaaa” theme tune to blare out every time their girlfriend calls needs shooting as well. It was funny for all of ten minutes, then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and it suddenly became very, very annoying.

Besides, you’re writing your own death warrant by doing this anyway. You’re 100% guaranteed to lose your phone down the back of the sofa at some point and say to your unsuspecting sweetheart, “Darling, can you ring my phone…? Oh fuck, hang on…”

TOO LATE! Queue no sex for a month and you sleeping on that sofa. 

Thankfully yes we’ve done away with shit ringtones, and the equally shit three minute TV ads that went with them (remember those?! Did anyone actually subscribe for £6 a month to that??) However we do still continue to buy into terrible films.

First came Austin Powers, then Ali G, and finally, Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen has a lot to answer for. Not only is he somehow banging Isla Fisher (teenage crush) but he’s also responsible for not one, but two massively annoying film personalities—personalities that drunken wankers usually adopt in bars and occasionally at dinner parties when trying to be funny.

But let’s start with Mike Myers and Austin Powers. This film franchise comprised of no fewer than FOUR shit films and countless annoying catchphrases. One moment we were all contented mother fuckers, the next we had dick heads repeatedly chanting “GROOVY BABY” and “SHAGADELIC!” in our ears.

ARRRRGGGHHHH!!! I guess this was trendy and amusing for at least a nanosecond at the time but when it crossed the line, boy did it cross the line. FOUR films?! Honestly??? Powers should have been locked up after two and tried under the terrorism act for crimes against banter.

Powers paved the way for many more on screen monstrosities. It was Ali G who truly took the biscuit though. He took the whole packet in my eyes, because still to this day people continue to do that infuriating hand flick gesture. For YEARS people spoke in that infuriating accent, many of which even chose to adopt the PVC tracksuit fashion he coined. WHY?!

Nowadays thankfully people only seem to adopt this look at fancy dress parties but even then you have to say the moment has passed right? The same goes for the Austin Powers fancy dress look, why do you do it to yourselves when you could dress up as something else, anything else, instead? A Tellytubby even, Dipsy, La La or Po, at least they didn’t speak. Oh hang on….

You can’t knock the Teletubbies. I don’t have kids but I know full well the mere sight of one can silence a screaming toddler at fifty paces. Powerful stuff indeed. Plus they lived in underground bunkers with antennas growing out of their heads, so if anything they were a cult not a fad. For the record I think all children’s TV characters should be omitted from this debate as they all make for hilarious adolescent conversations later on. We loathe the crazy frog, but we still cherish Kermit the frog (despite the fact he married a pig closely resembling Sharon off EastEnders). 

I’m going to finish on ad campaigns. Christ, where do I begin though? That stuck up Russian mere cat? Or the opera singer guy who gets randomly blown up by Sue Ryder, yet keeps on coming back for more?

I can’t blame you for buying into a lot of this crap—having worked in advertising I know many of you will simply have been brainwashed. We watch so much TV that it’s no real surprise when people start dropping the word “simples” into their everyday conversation. It’s no excuse though, saying this phrase in any context is a straight red in my book. Especially if you lean onto your tiptoes and twitch your head as you do it.

The real “Colins” of the world will even lift their hands to their chest in a feral motion as they do this, completing what is in my eyes a 360 degree faux pas. Compare yourself to the next moron doing this and you’ll soon see what a knob you are. Amazingly though people still choose the mere cat option when it comes to insuring their car.

Why? Because it means they get a stuffed mere cat in the post. Which just about sums up our love affair with fads doesn’t it? We don’t just settle for the “SIMPLES” catchphrases that litter our lexicon, we have to own that shit whilst embodying it in a cuddly toy as well.

Somebody save us from ourselves!

What do you think? Where do you draw the line between catchy and annoying? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.