Everyone should know by now the joke “that’s what she said,” used in retort to any type of sexual double entendre. Importantly, “that’s what she said” is used when the phrase immediately prior could be construed as something a woman would say in a sexual context. The following are some examples of statements that can properly be followed with “that’s what she said.”
- You really think you could go all day long?
- Why is this so hard?
- You already did me.
- I can’t stay on top of you twenty-four seven.
What these have in common is that each phrase can conceivably be said by a woman in a typical heterosexual context. They are double entendres, phrases that could be construed in more than one meaning, often with a risque, inappropriate or ironic secondary meaning.
Given its spread to popular culture, everyone think they are Steve Carrell and overuse the joke. “That’s what she said” certainly lends itself to many situations considering numerous euphemisms for sex and sexual situations. However, this doesn’t mean “that’s what she said” can be used in every instance of something sexual. Keep in mind what it actually means. It has to be a spoken phrase that a female partner could conceivably say in a sexual encounter. Therefore, not every semi-sexual phrase can be followed by “that’s what she said.” Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. Examples of improper use of “that’s what she said” are as follows:
- This sucks.
- They did it on the roof.
- You’re all a bunch of dicks.
You get the picture. They just aren’t things that “she” would say. So don’t use an already-played out joke improperly.