The Story Behind Jim Cramer's Famous 'Booyah' Catchphrase

Jim Cramer is a man of extremes. Catchphrases, contradictions, and cash register sound effects: the "Mad Money" maestro doesn't do any of it by half measure. "Mad Money," Cramer's financial advice TV show, has been on the air on CNBC since 2005. While the focus of its programming has evolved from stock-pick predictions to overall investment education, the ethos of the show remains the same: Cramer wants to bring insider information to market outsiders, with as many sound effects, swaying camera moves, and excited shouts of "Booyah!" as possible.

Much like the overall style of "Mad Money," Jim Cramer's pet catchphrase feels like a relic from another time. "Booyah!" captures the optimism of everyday day traders and the general economic hopefulness of the'90s in a nutshell. The exclamation embodies Cramer's trademark (and usually unflagging) optimism in the market, as well as his aggressive, hoot-and-holler approach to investing. Just like Cramer says at the end of every episode of "Mad Money": "There's always a bull market somewhere." The heavy implication being that Cramer will help his fellow Cramericans keep the financial faith needed to find it.

"Booyah!" is shouted now mostly on a by-request basis, with fans asking him to bless them with a "Booyah!" when they call in to share stock wins and pick questions during "Mad Money"'s lightning-round segment. But what does "Booyah!" mean? Where did "Booyah" come from? Read on for the story behind Jim Cramer's famous "Booyah!" catchphrase.

Building to 'Booyah'

The CNBC-watching world has been disagreeing with, or devouring, financial advice from Jim Cramer since 2005 — but the roots of Cramerica go back much further than that. Cramer's current-day career as a sort of shock-jock for the stock world is due to his decades-long evolution from middle- class journalist to millionaire market pundit. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was known as an excellent reporter and writer. Still, he's said he struggled to make a living as a reporter. He even told Bucknell University's class of 2018 in a commencement speech (via Yahoo! Finance) that he once lived in his car. Eventually, Jim Cramer returned to his college alma mater for law school, and started trading stocks to cover his tuition.

Cramer began working as a trader for Goldman Sachs in 1984 and started his own hedge fund in 1987, which he retired from in 2001. He then shifted his focus to writing for and helming various investment-related publications, including SmartMoney and, and he also worked as a commentator for CNBC. Cramer enjoyed success and scandal during this era, including charges of market manipulation. He also started a radio show after leaving his hedge fund, which would truly launch his career as today's audiences know it; the radio show would also bring his catchphrase "Booyah!" to the financial fore.

Cramer's catchphrase is born

Manic theatrics are part of what's made Jim Cramer a household name. His show "Mad Money" is a jarring symphony of sound effects and screaming, with sometimes the odd tossed chair thrown in for good measure. Cramer also enjoys making jokes, as well as references to history and pop culture to entertain himself and to make the show participatory for his audience, which makes sense given the show's start in radio.

In the early 2000s, Cramer started "Jim Cramer's Real Money," a radio show that would turn into TV's "Mad Money." Cramer would dispense advice and take calls from the audience. "I had a radio show, and one of my affiliates was in New Orleans," Cramer says in a Facebook video shared on World Radio Day in 2019, continuing, "I had a particularly good call [advising a pick]... and a guy listened to it, and caught a double. And he said [after calling in], I don't know what you call it up there, but down here, we call it 'Booyah.'" (See a roundup of Jim Cramer's worst financial advice.)

Cramer and his producer then encouraged callers from then on to call a winning trade a "Booyah." Cramer added with a laugh, "I had felt that we had left it behind when we had moved to TV. But there were too many people who listened to the radio show, it was a very popular radio show, that it became part of the TV show." And lo, Jim Cramer's "Booyah!" catchphrase was born.