|Seriously. It's an epidemic.|
Getting the picture? Yeah...
In an effort to dispel the abuse of our beloved joke, here's The Office-isms' tips for producing a proper and hilarious That's What She Said joke that would make Michael Scott proud.
|Well duh, but that doesn't mean we can't still rock a TWSS|
First, a history lesson. Did you know the first known TWSS did not actually appear on The Office? In fact, the first instance of the joke we all came to know as Michael Scott's signature punchline and something even non-fans associate with The Office, initially appeared in the Saturday Night Live spinoff movie Wayne's World.
While it might have been the 1992 brainchild of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, we all know that it was Michael G. Scott who put TWSS on the map. From Season 2's episode "Sexual Harrassment" on, TWSS became a regular and recurring joke on the series. It was infrequently used by other cast members, but appeared in the series more than 40 times.
|Our glorious leader|
We're kinda experts on The Office over here, obv. And while we understand the urge to pull a Michael and make everyone laugh with an awesome TWSS, we think it's time -someone- lay down some guidelines, based on years of obsessively watching the show that gave this joke a household name. Onward to the tips!
RULE # 1: Wait for the right moment, it will come.
"That's what she said." appeared, roughly on average, about six times in each season in which it was featured (Seasons 1 & 8 did not contain any). It did not appear in every episode, and the only episode it was used more than 3 times (on different jokes) was it's launch episode, "Sexual Harassment". And it took eight episodes for it to show up again in season two. Which means, as The Office writers knew all too well, timing is the most important key to a TWSS smackdown. Don't waste a TWSS on a meh mild comment that gets a slight chuckle out of everyone, when instead you can patiently wait for someone to say something more risque, completely unaware of the double meaning, and slam everyone into rolling laughter with a well timed TWSS.
RULE # 2: The more you use it, the less fun it is.
The joke loses it's hilarity if it's overused to the point of eye-rolling. Don't ever let your friends think: "Oh yay, another TWSS from that guy." Don't be that guy. As awkward and attention-seeking as the great Michael Scott might have been, even he knew that a proper TWSS comes in ebbs and flows. There are going to be nights when you won't have a great opportunity for one, and that's OK, because one day, some day, the perfect opportunity will come along and you'll be happy you didn't lessen it's effect.
RULE # 3: Don't force it in, let it come naturally.
For the love of PB&J, please, PLEASE don't use a TWSS when the preceding comment had no double meaning, or did, but the TWSS was vaguely applicable, at best. Jokes aren't funny when you have to explain them, and they're even less funny when you can't explain them. (Here's lookin' at you, Uncle Joe.)
RULE # 4: Oral is always best.
Facebook comments can be hysterically funny, sure, sometimes. And a nicely timed text TWSS usually produces a satisfactory "lolz". But nothing, and we mean nothing, beats an in-person, quickly caught, and quickly spoken "That's what she said." And besides, what's the fun of a joke if you can't actually hear your audience laugh?
Would you like to add to our list of tips? Have a friend or relative who abuses TWSS jokes? Sound off about all things TWSS in the comments below.
And thanks for reading, it feels so good to get this out of my mouth and off my chest.
Watch our -ISMS exclusive compilation video of every TWSS from The Office