I have come across it in the 23rd episode of the 5th season of Friends. Here is the context:

Joey: This is Vegas man! People will pay to see freaky stuff! Okay, how much would you pay to see this hand (Holds up his left hand) twice? Huh?

Chandler: (Pause) Y'know, I-I can't really put a price on that Joe.

Joey: Hey, are you unsupporting me again?

Chandler: No! No! I support you 100%! I just didn't, I didn't get it right away. Y'know now I'm caught up! Identical hand twins! It's a million-dollar idea!

At first I thought he said I caught on, which after listening again and checking the transcripts he actually didn't. That would make sense to me as catch on means to understand.


It is indeed used to mean "now I understand" in this case. There are a bunch of metaphors that treat the learning or understanding process as a sort of journey, where one person is leading and the other is following. For example, if Joey is telling Chandler something:

  • Joey might say, "Are you following me?" which means, "are you understanding everything I say?"
  • Chandler might say, "I'm not following," or even, "I'm lost," which means he is not understanding.
  • Chandler might also say, "I fell behind for a while there, but now I'm caught up," which means he wasn't understanding at first, but now he is.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .