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The Story Behind Dave Hester's Signature Storage Wars Catchphrase

Amid the massive sea of reality TV competition shows across numerous networks, A&E's "Storage Wars" stands out as one of the more recognizable names in the business. With its imaginative premise of conducting semi-blind auctions for abandoned storage units and subsequently discovering the treasures (or lack thereof) that lie within, there's nothing else out there quite like the show. It may also hold the unique distinction of being the only reality series that fans could identify based on one single word of dialogue alone: series star Dave Hester's trademark "Yuuuup!"

That enthusiastic, drawn out "Yup!" that Hester so often says during auctions (and in plenty of other situations, honestly) has become an integral piece of both the star and the show's identity, to the point where the contestant can frequently be seen in later seasons wearing apparel adorned with the catchphrase. But while the quote may be most associated with this particular series, the story of where it came from in the first place actually dates back to a time before Hester was influenced to live the "Storage Wars" life.

It's a remnant of Hester's old job

Dave Hester may be among the most iconic buyers to ever contend for the contents of abandoned storage units, notably once taking a "Storage Wars" gamble that scored him $155k. However, his signature "Yup!" catchphrase actually owes to an experience the star had prior to his first appearance on the show. As it happens, one of Hester's jobs prior to "Storage Wars" actually put him on the other side of the fence — working alongside auctioneers to assist buyers, rather than being one himself. It was here, as Hester explained in an interview on "Anderson," that the line was born.

"I used to be a bid catcher for years in the auction facility," Hester said. "I would catch the bids from the audience, I would just yell, 'Yup, yup, yup,' because the auctioneer can't hear everything and see everything that's going on, so he relies on his bid catchers."

What started as an innocuous part of Hester's job became a matter of habit and quickly transformed into his trademark line when he became a TV star. It's paid off for his public brand, too, as even casual fans of "Storage Wars" who can't quite remember Hester's name will at least recognize him as the "Yup!" guy.

"The other cast members can't even tie their shoes let alone brand themselves," Hester said in an interview with Online Storage Auctions.