For all of 2010 and most of 2011, Dassalo would begin the show with a high-pitched and drawn-out "Heyyy maaaate!" In more recent episodes, it has taken a more regular tone with an added plural - "Hey, mates!" Because of this, at least a variation on the phrase has appeared in every episode to date. Another variation has been "Thaaaanks, maaate!" mostly used by Dassalo.
Its counterpart, "seeya mate!," is normally said by both Dassalo and Chandler at the end of the episode. Occasionally, the other guests will join in. It is said in the similarly drawn-out, high-pitched style that "Hey mate!" was originally given in.
The origins of the phrase were explained by Chandler in the ninth episode of the show, featuring Celia Pacquola. His explanation is reposted verbatim below:
- I had two friends that were out bike-riding on their BMXs. They were riding home, and one of them decided to get more serious than the other one. Without a word being spoken, one of them just started going faster than the other one. The other one was like, "Why is he... oh, okay." He started going a bit faster, and when he caught up to the other guy, he started speeding up again... All of a sudden, they're both just going flat out for no good reason, with no words said to one another. 'The second guy is now just trying to catch up to the first guy, who's just decided he really wants to get home on time.
- All of a sudden, the first guy arcs onto this little dirt track shortcut before the other guy can get to it. He's started going down this second track, which was still parallel to the first track. All of a sudden, the offshoot track just comes to a dead end, so the first guy has got to do a massive skid and turn the bike around. As that's happening, the second guy just sort of dawdles past on the bike, going "seeeeya maaaate!"
The phrase was eventually put on the front of the Little Dum Dum Club's official t-shirt, which is available in navy (Karl's favourite) or grey (Tommy's favourite).