I was out with friends last weekend when somebody uttered a harmless remark that carried an unintended sexual innuendo.
Upon him saying it, something familiar stirred inside me. It wasn’t an instinctive reaction, but I thought about it for a second, and before I knew what was happening, I said the four magic words: That’s what she said.
As soon as the words left my mouth, it was like reuniting with an old friend. One that I used to be extremely close with, but had not seen in a long time. It brought back a nice sense of nostalgia.
With that, however, also came the realization that I had not said those four words in succession in quite a while. And that night, I decided, “That’s what she said” is dead.
It had a good run. Popularized by Steve Carell’s fictional boss character Michael Scott on the NBC sitcom, “The Office,” the phrase became the operative punch line — mostly among men — in all different types of contexts: at the bar, at work, at home, it didn’t matter.
But its time has passed. And who knows, maybe’s it not dead. Perhaps now that I’m getting older, I’ve finally just matured and realized it’s not very becoming for someone who is nearing their 30s to say in public.
Nah. Who am I kidding. That’s definitely not it.
Perhaps it was so popular for so long, that the people who did say it with regularity have, at this point, literally heard every possible innuendo in every possible situation that it’s not even worth saying anymore. At least, I think that’s the case with me.
I first devoted a blog post to it on Sept. 29, 2011. I remember it well. It was a cloudy day and the seas were raging. Actually, that’s a lie. I have no idea what the weather was, I just feel like that’s the way you’re supposed to begin every story when you’re remembering a specific day in the past.
Ironically, I began that post more than four years ago by saying, “Does this phrase ever get old? Like, ever? The answer is no.”
Hey, it turns out I can be wrong sometimes. I also probably never believed I’d still be blogging almost five years later to actually prove myself wrong.
So allow me to say farewell to arguably the most stupid, immature, overdone joke that’s existed in the last 10 years.
But one that brought me — and many others who spent their 20s stuck in a perpetual state of adolescence — a lot of pleasure.
That’s what she said.