A really annoying catchphrase from the late 80's/early 90's that originated from a commercial for a paramedical emergency radio for the elderly. During the commercial, and old lady falls off her walker and in the most pathetic tone of voice possible, utters this phrase into the advertised device.
Before everyone and their mom was screaming "I'm Rick James, bitch
" they were screaming "I've fallen and I can't get up" in a sad attempt to be funny and witty.
A twist on the well known scenario made popular in the early 90s by a home security system commercial in which an elderly woman falls and is unable to get up. The new television series, Hoarders, gives a whole new meaning to this ubiquitous expression. In honor of the popular series, one may say "I've fallen and I can't get up' when one is swallowed up by garbage and are unable to remove oneself from the overwhelming mass of debris that overwhelms one's home. Can also be found when one has a burning desire to pay tribute to one's pet with shrines of pet hair displayed throughout one's home.
T-dawg: bc she got like swallowed by garbage and she couldnt get up
Me: omg that gives a whole new meaning to 'i've fallen and i can''t get up!'
T-dawg: mb that's where it came from