It Is What It Is

I watched a video the other day from, which was her top 10 video list of things that people should stop saying. Her list was cool, but she left off what I feel is the most overused and irritating phrase of the past 3 years. The single most annoying 5 words in the English Language when put together in this sequence:

“It is what it is.”

Technically, that phrase is only three words, since “it” and “is” are repeated…but to Hell with a damn technicality. I am extremely tired of hearing people say “it is what it is.” To me, the words just express the fact that whatever it is that you are talking about has rendered you totally helpless. It also says that you lack a proper vocabulary and the ability to fully express yourself. You’re also a trend whore, since that’s been the unofficial in phrase for the last couple of years.

It is what it is has run it’s course. Time to take that horse out to pasture. Time to drop that pit bull off at Bad Newz Kennels. Time to sail that ship into a giant iceberg and watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen or heard from again. Basically, KILL THE PHRASE ALREADY!

If you’re saying it to sound cool, it’s not going to work. I would rather hear people using old country sayings like “I’ll be John Brown” or Great day in the morning!”

I’d prefer to hear people saying phrases from episodes of Martin, like “Don’t you know no good”  and “What’s the matter? YOU CAN’T CALL NO-BODY?” 

I could even deal with people saying lyrics from 80’s Wham songs, like “Guilty feet have GOT no rhythm!” or “Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, a-ha-a, a-ha-a, do-do-do-la-la-la-a-a!”

See what y’all made me do? I had to take it back to the days when the world was naive enough to think that George Michael was straight, just to get my point across. Please. Please…PLEASE, stop saying “It is what it is.” Next time you catch yourself about to say it, think of this entry, smile, then come up with other words to express what’s on your mind. For real. Watch your mouth around me. Get your little thick-ass tossed up!

See! Martin quotes actually do work!

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This post was written by who has written 1743 posts on Yeah…I said it.

Comedian, writer and Patron Saint of High Yellow.

43 Responses to “It Is What It Is”

  1. Khaleela 15. Nov, 2007 at 1:58 am #

    Guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm…I actually said then sang that yesterday. Does that kick me out of the black people club? I know I’m treading on thin ice.

  2. Hustleman 15. Nov, 2007 at 2:17 am #

    You’re good. George Michael has soul.

  3. TJ 15. Nov, 2007 at 2:21 am #

    Sorry dude but I can’t let it go because “It is what it is”! lol

  4. Hustleman 15. Nov, 2007 at 2:26 am #

    My God. I’ve created a monster!

  5. CHEVON 15. Nov, 2007 at 4:46 am #

    i agree. i hate that phrase too. when people say that it just means basically eff you get over it. nothing’s gonna change – i ain’t changing so deal.

    glad you spoke the words. modern day classic indeed.

  6. leoninatl 15. Nov, 2007 at 5:03 am #

    I am one to overuse that phrase too. Basically, it’s my polite southern way of saying “Tough Shit”, “Oh well”, or “Deal With it”. I’m a fucking gentleman, you know. It helped me get through my call center job when people would call me about bullshit. It REALLY pisses my dad and brother off too, they’ll say, “That just means you stand for bullshit!”

    My response?

    “It is what it is”

  7. Passion 15. Nov, 2007 at 8:56 am #

    Ok, so I should probably stop saying….”You ain’t got ta lie Craig”, I promise I only use it when its appropriate. LOL

  8. KraZy34th 15. Nov, 2007 at 9:17 am #

    LOL @ Passion, I LOVE that quote LOL!

    In any case, my cousin says that crap a lot. It pisses me off cause you cant really argue that point if their admitting to it.

  9. suicide_blond 15. Nov, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    i want your sex… oh DONT want to hear 80’s George Mike lyrics..ok … nevermind..

  10. Hostess 15. Nov, 2007 at 10:20 am #

    ‘Real talk’

    ‘It’s wahtever’

    I mean…

    ‘It is what it is’

    What? I could help it.

  11. Wonderlove 15. Nov, 2007 at 10:23 am #

    I love Wham! Wake me up, before you go-oh!

  12. Wonderlove 15. Nov, 2007 at 10:29 am #


  13. Hustleman 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:10 am #

    @ Chevon, thank you

    @ LeoninATL, that’s funny

    @ Passion, that one is acceptible again since people aren’t getting beaten over the head with it anymore.

    @ Krazy, if someone says that in an argument, assume that they have given up! :)

    @ Suicide, you can sing THAT song to me anytime you want ;)

    @ Hostess, this is revenge for announcing the blogger meetup with 3 hours notice, isn’t it?

    @ Wonderlove, they used to play this every Wednesday at this nightspot out here called Sake when they had their 80’s party! I used to love “Wake me up before you go-go” when I was a little kid.

  14. TQB 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:13 am #

    Damn, Leon, you took it back with that Wham joint!!

    And yeah, my lil sis moved to the DC area last year and she’s been “it is what is”-ing ever since! UGH!

    AND- Passion! “Friday” is the BEST movie to steal quotes from so don’t stop using it. I always come with “Why you gotta be bringing up old shit?” myself…

  15. Candy 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    I hate that damn saying to. That and “What it do”.

  16. Hustleman 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:36 am #

    Like Hostess said, you can add “Real talk” to that list, too!

  17. Ms. SarKastic 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:36 am #

    it is what it is….i’ve always hated that phrase yet people wont let it die

  18. Ms. SarKastic 15. Nov, 2007 at 11:39 am #

    “nah mean? belee dat”……. what kind of sentence? smh

  19. leoninatl 15. Nov, 2007 at 2:05 pm #

    Yeah, “What it do” is getting kind of old too. And, “That’s What’s up.” as a qualifier.

    Oh, I can’t stand this one:

    “Be that as it may”

    My DC folks say that one a lot.

  20. Mahogany 15. Nov, 2007 at 2:12 pm #

    *___________________________* DEAD, flatlined at approximately 1:11pm upon reading “Time to drop that pit bull off at Bad Newz Kennels.” LMAO, Thanks Leon for giving my coworkers another reason to wonder what’s going on in my office, lol!

  21. jirzygurl 15. Nov, 2007 at 3:23 pm #

    sorry but I think “I feel as though…” beats “it is what it is”… but maybe that is just me… but real talk (lol), I use “I’m not beat” more than any other phrase. i need to retire that one immediately

  22. jirzygurl 15. Nov, 2007 at 3:26 pm #

    ok to prove my point i just went back to my myspace page and i have had “not beat” as my status for the past few days… i think i’ll change it to “it is what it is”… muahahaha

  23. Khaleela 15. Nov, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    So I didn’t listen to the music until Wonderlove started passing drinks. This is my jam! I’m losing my damn mind over here. Somebody teeeeell me ohhhhhhhh!!!!! Why I work so hard for yooooooou. Yes Yes Yes!!!!!

  24. KraZy34th 16. Nov, 2007 at 8:52 am #

    OHH!!! I HATE when somebody says “what it do”.. WHAT DOES WHAT DO?!?! SHUT THE EFF UP! Ohh, I wish Paul Wall was aborted!!!!!!!!!!! Then we wouldnt have heard that stupid ignorant sentence! Does it even qualify as a sentence?! Ignorant wording!

  25. Gandi Duke 16. Nov, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    I think some people use that phrase so much, they don’t even realize they’re saying it. It’s equivalent to people saying, “Now what I mean.”

    I hate it! All it takes is one rapper to say it and boom, the whole world says it now!

  26. Hustleman 16. Nov, 2007 at 12:18 pm #

    True @ Gandi. I almost said it myself the other day, mainly because people have been ICONSTANTLY saying it around me, thinking they’re funny!

    @ Krazy34th, go easy on Paul Wall. I like some of his music, even though he sounds the same on just about every song. Besides, I still catch myself saying “I’m’ll make it do what it do” sometimes, like I’m posessed by the ghost of Ray Charles.

  27. lola gets 17. Nov, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    The funny thing is, folks think theyre being deep when they say “it is what it is.” One of my favorite phrases, I think its from the ’90s though, is

    “cant trust the big butts when they smile.”
    So true! Ah ha!

    • Stevo 18. Jun, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      I’m from the early 80s and I really haven’t started hearing that phrase until like late 2007.

  28. Baby Please 17. Nov, 2007 at 9:42 pm #


    To me, the words just express the fact that whatever it is that you are talking about has rendered you totally helpless. It also says that you lack a proper vocabulary and the ability to fully express yourself.

    This is sooo true!

    So be it. :)

  29. dee 19. Nov, 2007 at 9:59 pm #

    wow, I say this all the time…but I think I do it out of laziness…some days I just don’t have much to say. Reading all the comments here, I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next big phrase of the moment ….

  30. Allawishis 01. Jan, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    You called this one on the money and close to 2 months ahead of this phrase actually being banned. Check the link.

    • ListenToLeon 22. Sep, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      I’m late seeing this, but it makes me VERY happy!

      • Stevo 18. Jun, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

        I really Appreciate that you posted this. I’m so fed up with that phrase. Can you make this topic on Facebook? lol

  31. MissJay 06. May, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Ok I normally don’t post a response on the “greatest hits” section because I look all kindsa late, but I had to comment on this quote:

    “I could even deal with people saying lyrics from 80’s Wham songs, like “Guilty feet have GOT no rhythm!” or “Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, a-ha-a, a-ha-a, do-do-do-la-la-la-a-a!””

    So you made me choke on my laughter RIGHT as my pphone at work rang. Too much, just too much!

    • ListenToLeon 22. Sep, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      LOL Sorry to hear that you choked on your laugher, but I’m glad you enjoyed this.

  32. Seymour Wedderspoon 02. Jan, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    The internet site looks essential!!! Thanx so much for all you’ve placed into it. Just when I imagine the grouping couldn’t get greater, you find means to make it encounter!

  33. David 21. Sep, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    I like to punish the person who says this by forcing them to think. A few times I have responded: It is what it is – until it’s not what it was and if it will be what it’s not then is it what it is?

  34. Stevo 18. Jun, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    I’m Black and I’m really been Fed up with “It is What it Is” , To me it’s like a Black on Black Drama phrase. Also the reason what’s the problem with Black people who can’t talk proper english or get along with. That’s why I don’t even hang out with my own kind much because of it. I mean, that phrase is just gotten out of control far from irritating.

  35. Stevo 18. Jun, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    You can also add:



    “Cuz / Cuzo”

    Black Ignorant gangster nickname called “Black”


  36. Stevo 18. Jun, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    I also getting fed up with BLACK MEN keep saying “You Know What I’m saying” in every sentences. That one needs to be also put on list.


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