The 13 Best Phone Moments In Pop Culture History


By Claire Biggs + McKenna Ronquillo

Phones are like, super-hot right now, but it doesn’t matter if you have the latest technology or a phone that can barely dial the pizza place. Thanks to, your phone can help change lives. Just donate your old cellphone to the organization, and you’ll be helping survivors of domestic violence.

Today isn’t the only time phones have been culturally relevant, though. Here are the 13 biggest phone moments in pop culture history.

Also, if you want to hold a piece of that history for yourself, be sure to enter our Cell Phones For Survivors contest for a chance to win a duck phone autographed by the cast of “Jersey Shore!”

+ E.T. Phones Home

ETphoneHome1-insertPhoto: (Amblin Entertainment)

This phone was just minding its own business in baby Drew Barrymore’s closet when it was launched in movie history, thanks to a homesick extra-terrestrial. The phone’s stint on “E.T.” proves that even non-human moms want you to call and check in all the time. The next time you need to “phone home,” consider ditching the latest technology and go hunting for your favorite vintage toy as an homage to this classic flick . We may be biased, but hey — it was good enough for Spielberg.

+ Hillary Clinton Sends Some Texts (LOL)

HillaryClinton-byKevinLamarque-AP-insertPhoto: (Tumblr/TextsFromHillary)

You know what’s hard? Running around with the Secretary of State AND trying to maintain the status of Internet celebrity. Hillary’s Blackberry was just hanging out in her purse, when all of the sudden it became Tumblr-famous! Now it gets to text with Ryan Gosling, President Obama and Anna Wintour? Texts from Hillary proves that a woman can handle it all, no matter what “all” means.

+ “Gossip Girl” Goes Global

gossipgirlphone2-insertPhoto: (The CW)

Spotted: a phone going from total social obscurity to international fame after a few scandalous texts from some über-privileged youths on the Upper East Side. People say they had no idea just how big “Gossip Girl” would be, but let’s not kid ourselves, shall we? All other phone moments are invalid. XOXO.

+ “Pretty Little Liars” Get Terrifying Texts

PLLphone1-insertPhoto: (ABC Family)

Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, but it only takes one text from this phone to send four girls in Rosewood running scared. This phone only has to come out of that black hoodie or red coat pocket for a second, and it’s sending shivers down your spine.

+ Gaga “Telephones” Beyoncé

GagaPhonePhoto: (Interscope Records)

Ra ra-ah-ah-ah, Roma Roma-ma, Gaga, “Oh la-la,” I want your “Bad Romance,” Beyoncé. Scratch that, that’s just my “Poker Face.” After all, how could there be any bad blood between two of the greatest pop stars of all time when they are calling each other on a not-yet invented “Video Phone?” There are no Fame Monsters here, so when Gaga used this phone to call up Queen B, it’s place in pop culture history was solidified. Go ahead, clap for it. It lives for the “Applause.”

+ Kanye Criticizes Bush Over Katrina (NBC/Red Cross)

Imma let you finish, Gaga, but Kanye’s phone had the best pop culture moment of all time. There we were, helping to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, when Yeezus decided to spit political fire at former President Bush.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think anything beats a world-famous rapper using a telethon to call out the leader of the free world on live television.

+ Call Us, Maybe?

CallMaybe-InsertPhoto: (School Boy Records)

I threw a wish in the well — don’t ask me, I’ll never tell — and here is this phone moment, having a cameo in what was THE song of 2012. First, Justin Bieber uses this phone to call Carly Rae Jepsen to sign her to his label, then flash-forward to the best summer ever, and everyone is singing it. K Thnx Bai.

+ “Can You Hear Me Now?” Commercial (Verizon)

Verizon’s famous “Test Man” popped out of cubicles, fields, mountain tops — you name it — saying “Can you hear me now? Good!”  between 2001 and 2011 in tons of ads. And in 2011 IRL, “Test Man” Paul Marcarelli also popped out of our favorite location to leave — the closet. Read Paul’s coming-out story here.

+ “Clueless” Chatter

cluelessPhonesPhoto: (Paramount)

Cher + Dionne weren’t “clueless” about one thing — talking on the phone. The duo mastered the art of chatting it up in “Clueless,” even talking on the phone when they were right next to each other!  We have a feeling Ke$ha’s “Blah, Blah, Blah” may have been written about them.

+ The “Jersey Shore” Duck Phone

SnookiDuck1-insertPhoto: (MTV)

Quack, quack, quack … the cast of “Jersey Shore” had us all heading to eBay to pick one up. Want one? Donate an old phone to’s Cell Phone for Survivors campaign, tweet or Instagram your photo and reason for donating to @MTVAct + @dosomething and you’ll be entered to win a duck phone signed by the cast!

+ The Zoolander Mini Cellphone

zoolander-VillageRoadshowPictures-insertPhoto: (Village Row Pictures)

We’re down with mini cupcakes and mini iPads but a mini cellphone? Not so much. That didn’t stop Ben Stiller in his classic “Zoolander,” from showing all of us how outrageously tiny all of our phones where getting (and how silly we looked on them!)


TommyTuTone-insertPhoto: (Getty)

You mean that’s not J-Biebs number? Tommy Tutone’s famous one-hit wonder “867-5309/Jenny” may have been released in 1981, but that didn’t stop us from giving those digits a ring just in case J-Biebs picked up!  

+ Thanks, Alexander Graham Bell!

AlexanderGB-insertPhoto: (Getty)

Dust off your History textbooks! Way back in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell dialed the first phone call, saying, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Sounds like maybe the first booty/buddy text to us? Thnx to Mr. Bell for making our iPhone dreams come true and all of these amazing phone moments possible!

Even if your throwback phone isn’t going to star in one of pop culture’s most buzz-worthy moments, it can still change lives. Head over to Do Something now to find out how you can give your cell phone to help survivors of domestic violence. For more ways you can get involved, check out the action links below.

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Learn more about how you can help survivors of domestic violence with Cell Phones For Survivors