Robin's 20 Oddest "Holy" Exclamations From the Batman TV Series

Robin
20th Century Fox Television

On the Batman TV series (which ran for 120 episodes between 1966 and 1968), Batman's sidekick, Robin (played by Burt Ward), was well known for his catchphrase, which was to make an exclamation that would always begin with the word "Holy." The second part of the exclamation would always involve something related to what Robin was shouting about. For instance, if there was a bunch of smoke, he would shout "Holy Smoke!" However, the exclamations often got a lot odder than just phrases as simple as that. Here, then, are the twenty oddest "Holy" exclamations Robin did during the series. 

"Holy Oleo!"

In season 2's "Hot Off the Griddle," Catwoman captures Batman and Robin and straps them to two giant aluminum grills, smears them with margarine and places two giant magnifying glasses above them, with the intent to roast them with the hot sun. Robin shouts, "Holy Oleo!" to which Catwoman humorously retorts, "I didn't know you could yodel." Oleo is a term that was a lot more common in 1966 than it is today. When margarine was first invented in France in the 1860s, the creator, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès, originally dubbed the artificial butter substitute "oleomargarine." Although it was most commonly sold as simply "margarine," the "oleomargarine" name was used enough that "oleo" became slang for margarine. It's very outdated slang today, with the existence of the word mostly being confined to crossword puzzles (it is a very common crossword puzzle answer because of its shortness and having three out of its four letters be vowels). 

"Holy Graf Zeppelin!"

These first few are all references that are amusingly outdated (some of which were outdated even at the time, like this one). In the Season 2 episode, "The Puzzles are Coming," the Puzzler traps Batman and Robin aboard a hot air balloon rigged to release its basket at 20,000 feet in the air. Robin remarks, "Holy Graf Zeppelin," a reference to the popular German passenger zeppelin of that name, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. Just "zeppelin" probably would have done the trick, Boy Wonder!

"Holy IT&T!"

When you realize that Robin is referencing a telecommunications company that was founded as International Telephone & Telegraph in this Season 2 episode, you know the reference is an outdated one. IT&T got out of the telecommunications game in 1986. It has been reformed a number of times into its current state, ITT Corporation. Amusingly, at the time Robin made the reference, IT&T and ABC (which aired Batman) nearly merged with each other. 

"Holy Pianola!"

In the Season 2 episode "The Devil's Fingers," the evil piano player Chandell (played by Liberace), tries to kill Batman and Robin by feeding them into a machine that punches out the cards for Pianolas, or player pianos, which most of the world is now long unfamiliar with. 

"Holy Rheostat!"

In the season 1 episode, "Ma Parker," Batman and Robin are trapped in electric chairs. Robin shouts out a reference to a device that controls electrical current with a variable resistance. However, said device is no longer called a rheostat. It is now referred to as a potentiometer.

"Holy Tintinnabulation!"

Tintinnabulation means the ringing or sound of bells, but boy, you don't often hear it used period, let along as an exclamation like Robin here!

"Holy Bunions!"

In Season 2's "Hot off the Griddle," Catwoman captures Batman and Robin in a room where the floor is red hot. So they hop up and down while trying to figure out a plan and Robin shouts out, "Holy Bunions!" Just the sight of the two of them hopping up and down while Robin is shouting out nonsense is delightful. 

"Holy Nightmare!"

In the Season 1 episode, "Not Yet, He Ain't," Batman and Robin go back to the Batcave to relax with some nice cool milk after surviving an attempt on their lives by the Penguin. What's to love about this exclamation is that Robin is so enraged and yet he's carrying a glass of milk and it just looks adorable instead. 

"Holy Uncanny Photographic Mental Processes!"

In the Season 2 episode, "Batman's Satisfaction," Batman notices that three distinct letters are missing from a bowl of alphabet soup and Robin is so impressed with Batman's mental acuity that he lets him know it via his "Holy Uncanny Photographic Mental Processes" statement. 

"Holy Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors!"

In the Season 1 episode, "The Londinium Larcenies," Lady Prudence remarks to Robin that she received an MS in finishing school. He wonders what an MS is, and she says that it is a Mistresses of Shoplifting, to which Robin remarks, "Holy contributing to the delinquency of minors!"

"Holy Knit One, Purl Two!"

In the Season 3 episode, "Nora Clavicle and the Ladies' Crime Club," Batman, Robin, and Batgirl are forced to intertwine themselves into a giant human knot. Robin responds to this idea by referencing the instructions to basic stitch patterns

"Holy Cinderella!"

In the Season 1 episode, "When the Bookworm Turns," the evil Bookworm's Gal Friday is named Lydia. Batman and Robin discover her tied up and left behind by the Bookworm. Robin's response when he sees her is to shout, "Holy Cinderella!" Which, of course, has nothing to do with the situation at hand at all. Or perhaps Batman read Robin a different Cinderella than others. 

"Holy Bouncy Boiler Plate!"

In the Season 1 episode, "True or False Face," when Batman and Robin figure out that False Face's next robbery target is the Ladd Armored Car Company, Robin shouts out "Holy Bouncy Boiler Plate!" Yes, you are correct, that does, indeed, not make any sense. 

"Holy Reshevsky!"

 Now we reach the point in the countdown where Robin references obscure figures from history! Here, while playing chess with Batman in their secret identities of Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, Dick remarks "Holy Reshevsky!," a reference to the great Polish-born American chess grandmaster of the early 20th Century, Samuel Reshevsky

"Holy Paderewski!"

During another one of their piano-related misadventures, Robin name-checks another Polish great, the famous pianist (and later Prime Minister of Poland), Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

"Holy Luther Burbank!"

In the Season 3 episode, "Louie the Lilac," the villain of that same name tries to feed Batman and Robin to his man-eating lilacs. Robin then name-checks the noted pioneer in the field of agricultural science in the late 19th Century (and early 20th Century) the botanist Luther Burbank. Because what kid watching Batman doesn't know who Luther Burbank is, right?

"Holy d'Artagnan!"

Referencing d'Artagnan, one of the famed Musketeers of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel, The Three Musketeers, might not sound like all that weird of a reference for Robin to make. However, it ranks this high because it is actually a reference to Catwoman having just shot Robin and Batman with tranquilizer darts. How punderfully droll. 

"Holy Priceless Collection of Etruscan Snoods!"

In the Season 3 episode, "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill," Catwoman is taking the fashion industry by storm. Etruscans are people from an area of Italy now known as Tuscany. Snoods are decorative helmets or mesh hoods.  

"Holy Hole in a Doughnut!"

In the Season 1 episode, "Zelda the Great," Batman is about to capture a magician after she stole some priceless jewelry, but she escapes using sleight-of-hand. Robin is right after Batman and remarks, "Holy Hole in a Doughnut!" Which makes no sense in this situation. Oddly enough, a track on the Batman soundtrack was titled "Holy Hole in a Doughnut." 

"Holy Astringent Plum-Like Fruit!"

It only took the entire run of the series, but in literally the last episode of the show, Season 3's "Minerva, Mayhem, and Millionaires," we got the most amazing Robin exclamation ever. There's a real chance that this was just so perfect that the producers realized that there was nowhere else to go after this, so they just canceled the show. 

The conceit of the episode is that Minerva (played by Zsa Zsa Gabor) runs a spa where she uses a special piece of equipment to get her rich clients to tell her their deepest secrets (mostly money-related). 

Batman and Robin travel to the spa, where they are escorted by her goons, leading to the following amazing exchange:

Batman: Yes, I'm looking forward to Minerva's famous eggplant-jelly vitamin scalp massage.
Goon: Minerva thought you might pop into the Persimmon Pressurizer first.
Robin: Persimmon Pressurizer? Holy astringent plum-like fruit!
Batman: Only astringent until ripe, Robin.

Just outstandingly bizarre.