That’s What She Said

Made popular by The Office, that’s what she said is something I can’t escape. It comes up in everyday conversation at the most inopportune moments, often provokes a laugh, and unleashes a moment of embarrassment upon the individual who just so happened to utter the sexual innuendo. The popularity has spread to Facebook and created a few Twitter hashtags.

While I enjoy a few gabs now and then, I think the phrase may sometimes be overdone. When hanging out with a group of friends, posting a Facebook status update, or sending out a tweet I often find myself double checking my words to make sure they don’t contain anything that could be construed as a “that’s what she said” phrase.

A few months ago, I was hanging out with a friend sharing a story about my day and what I thought was a serious conversation quickly turned into a “that’s what she said” moment. I can’t even remember what I said to cause that reaction but I couldn’t help but wonder if the individual in question was paying attention to my story or just looking for me to inadvertently slip up.

That moment leads me to wonder if maybe we’re abusing this phrase. When is it appropriate to call out “that’s what she said” and when should we keep our mouths shut and be patient listeners? Surely, there must be some guidelines. I don’t like having to mentally alter or edit myself before I say something and having to worry about the context of my words and if they’ll be mistaken somehow. An errant “that’s what she said” even catches me off guard sometimes or makes me feel silly if I don’t understand what I said. Has this gone too far or maybe I should just accept it and move on? Who knows?

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  • Salman

    Besides having a good laugh it is ultimately impossible to control one’s timing of dropping the magic 4 words. Each person is different in reacting to conversations…accept it and move on

  • http://twitter.com/staceysoleil Stacey Soleil ☀

    I can’t resist. “That’s what she said”

  • http://blog.goswire.com Zack Swire

    Love the cartoon. Totally get what you’re saying. I think it’s hilarious most of the time (when done at the right time). But, I’ve surely been in awkward moments where someone said it and the other person didn’t get it. 

  • http://twitter.com/loganryan44 Ryan goldhar

    Great piece Suki.  Love it.  

  • http://twitter.com/PowerSellingMom Danna Crawford

    Now, what did you say? ;)

  • http://DeniseSonnenberg.com Denise Sonnenberg

    There are some people who can just not resist the urge to turn a conversation over to their control. Others just like to make wise-cracks whenever they can to bring a little humor into our lives. Most of the people I know who do this have good intentions. 

  • http://DeniseSonnenberg.com Denise Sonnenberg

    There are some people who can just not resist the urge to turn a conversation over to their control. Others just like to make wise-cracks whenever they can to bring a little humor into our lives. Most of the people I know who do this have good intentions. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZUZA67VJUC5RX4O7T7AVL2OKI Des Daughter Diethylstilbestro

    Very glad to have met you on Empire Avenue. All the best!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand it, but I never watched the office.

  • http://www.briantemba.com Mandisa Makalima

    I don’t get it but don’t worry, I might be slow but eventually I will… I am here to learn… thanks

  • http://twitter.com/MingleMediaTV MingleMedia TV

    You know… “That’s what she said”… LOL

  • Anonymous

    Nicely designed site. Easy to navigate and post a comment!

  • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

    I say it all the time and I’ve never intended it in an ill or offensive way, nor to in any way monopolize a conversation. It’s always just an attempt to provide a laugh. Of the people I can think of that say it (or similar commentary) pretty regularly, I’ve never heard of anyone that actively sits through conversations hoping/waiting for another person to say something just to trigger it. I think some (including myself) simply just reach a point where it becomes a second-nature response (when something is said to which the thought applies).

  • http://twitter.com/VibeRevStudios Jason Grant-Henrique

    I’m guilty!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!! I use “That’s What She Said” so much that it inspired a mature web-series where i said that once an episode! I have since expanded the phrase to “That’s What He Said” “That’s What You Said” “That’s What They Said” etc…. my friends can’t stand me sometimes! LOL but its all part of the fun!  

  • http://twitter.com/VibeRevStudios Jason Grant-Henrique

    I’m guilty!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!! I use “That’s What She Said” so much that it inspired a mature web-series where i said that once an episode! I have since expanded the phrase to “That’s What He Said” “That’s What You Said” “That’s What They Said” etc…. my friends can’t stand me sometimes! LOL but its all part of the fun!  

  • http://www.live-audio.com Craig Galway

       Call me a wet blanket if you will.  This same thing caught on when I was in junior high back in the 70s.  I thought it was rude and annoying then, and that’s when I was a teenager.  So far I can’t say I’ve heard it from any adults I know, and I’m glad of that.  It’s not really a witticism, just poor adolescent humor. 
       If I were in the habit of saying it, I’d certainly make a conscious effort to break that habit. 
       If you’re using it and people are laughing (and you’re not in 7th grade), I have to wonder if they are really finding it funny, or if they just don’t know what else to do.

  • Sable@SquatLikeALady

    I just found your blog — I read your story on CNN and I couldn’t resist googling your name. :) I wish you the very, very, VERY best of luck — hang in there. Your windfall from all this effort is coming.

  • Sumanreddivari

    read your cnn i report. so proud of u. losers r only those whose quit.

  • Underwood760

    try walmart corp in bentonville arkansas ? they are running the walmart india management from there , and they do a lot of markeing stuff ! lol also they are always looking  for bright people and the  cost of living is much lower here! moved here from washing state seattle area and do not regret it at all . good luck !