Who Doesn’t Love a Good Cliche?

Addendum added 2/15/2011:

“90% of life is just showing up” – Woody Allen quote, not so much a cliche, but I love this and think it’s relatively true.  I’m going to be hammering this home to Andie, even if it feels like a pointless endeavor, you have more opportunity to learn by being there in-person.  Don’t assume it’s pointless, find out!


Did you know that 14% of all statistics are made up on the spot? I mean 98%, or is it 37%…Regardless, when using a cliché, it’s important to reference statistics (please keep that in mind).

Man I love clichés, seriously, I can’t get enough of them.  The reason the cliché is a cliché is that they work great for many situations and perfectly encapsulate what we’re trying to get across.  Or… are they are a “necessary evil”, or perhaps a “cost of doin’ business”.  Regardless, cliché’s are the best.

I'm from California, so naturally this is how I used to get to school everyday... it was gnarly bra. (FYI - everyone does surf in California, we surfed to the pharmacy, the vet.... everywhere!)

Or maybe it’s platitude’s, those are pretty cool too.  I’ve been working in sales for a while now and if you don’t love clichés and platitudes in sales (or at the very least excel at faking it), then you can’t be very good at it.  Did you know that over 92% of those searching for something online are searching for exactly what you want them to be searching for?

Some of my favorite clichés are:

It’s better to be lucky than good…

Seriously, isn’t it?  I for one would much rather be lucky than good at something.  Being good at something takes a whole helluva lotta work, whereas being lucky at something is easy!  It’s easy to be easier.

Easier said than done…

Speaking of easy, it is way easier to just say you’re going to do something than to actually do it.  Much more efficient use of time.

Remember to never say sorry…

This is a great one, remember even if you completely messed something up, never, ever, ever, say “I’m sorry” – instead, say, “I’m sorry YOU feel that way.”  Culpability is something to avoid, so you want to go ahead and make sure not to have said something that could be potentially damning later.

This guy really should have been more careful and obviously has had to say a lot of sorry's (instead of "sorry YOU feel that way") - then again, he is a jerk.

That being said, not all clichés are good ones, here are a couple I strongly disagree with…

Revenge is a dish best served cold…

I’d have to say, when I do my revenges, I want to look that person in the eye as I’m revenging up on them.  I’m proactive like that…

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

This doesn’t take frenemies into consideration at all, which in our modern, media-drenched world, is not right.  Just not right.  My best frenemy stole my boyfriend, but I love her to death.  I’m going to kill her, but she’s my best friend after all and I love her to death !?!?!?!

I hated her sooooooo much when she stole my boyfriend, but she's my best friend and I love her to death!?!?!?!?! Frenemies are a b$tch


Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite cliche, that’d be much appreciated.  I’m compiling a book, kinda like a book of quotes, except without the value.

Thanks!  I’d appreciate it….  leave a comment with your favorite cliche!


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23 thoughts on “Who Doesn’t Love a Good Cliche?

  1. Melissa BV Wilkes December 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm Reply

    “We’re off like a herd of turtles” is my favorite saying or cliche 😉

    • seattlekungfoolery December 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm Reply

      I like that one MBVW, but not sure I’ve ever heard that one, I look forward to using it. Dave, I thank you for this out of the box comment, I agree its awesome, although I’ve started co-opting the great interpretation given to us by the good folks at Taco Bell, I like to “think outside the bun” when I do my big thinkin’ @Travis and Jess, thanks for your love of these, I’d never heard the economic analysis of that egg-commodity-trader-speak… as the neighbor of an urbanfarmer I will say their is a lotta money in eggs right now. Strike while the iron’s hot.

  2. Dave December 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Some cliches are so cliched that even pointing out their cliche status, is now itself, a cliche.

    “Think outside the box”

    • Jesse December 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm Reply

      I friggin love clichés and their ridiculousness — I ll give 110% and strike while the iron is hot to think of some more.

  3. Travis Lyon December 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm Reply

    “Six one way, half a dozen the other…” This obviously doesn’t take the baker’s version of a dozen. Bakers always take the half dozen and cackle all the way to the bank with their extra half unit.

  4. Heidi December 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm Reply

    My fav has always been “To give someone a taste of their own medicine” which could be coupled with “To take someone down a peg”
    Some people just deserve it

  5. Eric Burgess December 2, 2010 at 7:59 pm Reply

    I don’t think this is a cliche but I had a kooky boss when I worked retail that used to say to us as he left for the night:

    “If I don’t see you in the future, I’ll see you in the pasture.”

  6. Apop December 3, 2010 at 12:24 am Reply

    I think cliches are the best because they make for such a loaded comment and they can shut people up in the sense that they sum everything up and conclude a conversation.
    My favorite is “Beating around the bush”. Where did that one originate? Who is beating whom or what is being beaten. Does this cliche have anything to do with our comrade Dubba? I sure hope it does, because he deserves a stiff whoopin. What ever happened to Andy Roonye? I’ll leave on this quote, made by Mr. Rooney himself. “When it comes to speeches that are dragged out and made too long with the inclusion of meaningless clichés, I’m a naysayer.” Panties in a bunch?

    • seattlekungfoolery December 3, 2010 at 9:50 am Reply

      Alina you are so correct and am glad you didn’t get your panties all in a bunch about it! EB, never heard that one, leave it to MCDM to have kooky cliches no one has ever heard of! HB, I agree people are stupid and I’d love to take ’em down a peg…. or two

  7. sarah b December 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm Reply

    I am an optimist so I frequently use “everything happens for a reason”

    My dad just told me this one about someone leaving a company..”You take your finger out of a glass of water and there is still the same amount of water left.”

    • seattlekungfoolery December 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm Reply

      Hi Sarah – that’s my mom’s favorite too, it’s definitely a helpful way to think about things. Compartmentalize your life is another good one that I find helps put things in perspective and helps me not get hung up too much on small stuff.

  8. Sally Howard December 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Hmm, James, there are so many cliches! How about, “time flies when you’re having fun”. Or “takes one to know one”. I don’t like “killing two birds wiith one stone”. Too violent. The one I can never remember is something about half a dozen eggs is the same as 6. Do you know that one?
    xo, Sal

    • seattlekungfoolery December 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm Reply

      Hi Sal – see Travis’ below, he’s got that six dozen half way or the other thing goin’ on…. obviously i can’t remember it even 3 seconds after I scroll down to look at it…

  9. graham December 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm Reply

    “can’t judge a book by its cover” nice, except that is what everyone does, all of the time, in just about every situation, even with people they know are good (or bad). that might be a whole genre of cliches, those cliches that everyone knows aren’t really true, but we use them as some sort of crutch so that we can seem better than we actually are. or maybe it’s a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, that we are using cliches in order to better ourselves, that cliches provide a guidebook to better behavior, or right behavior. cliche as mind control. or maybe that is the whole definition of cliche. shorter and funnnier graham

    • seattlekungfoolery December 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm Reply

      Absolutely dead on balls accurate with that goob, shorter and funnier is a underutilized cliche and is The key to being a good conversationalist, unfortunately, we werent given the brevity gene… It’s so damn hard not to judge a book by it’s cover, but you’re rewarded when u do.

  10. Steve K December 6, 2010 at 9:04 am Reply

    Hey James,
    It’s All Good!

    • seattlekungfoolery December 6, 2010 at 10:15 am Reply

      Steve, that’s one of your favorites and true to your northern california/marin co. roots… which is all good. thank you

  11. Alannah December 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm Reply

    “Silence is golden” is lame, because we all know people love to hear me talk. Also I’m terrible at being quiet so it just doesn’t work for me.

    I personally love “time is money”. As a city dweller, I find that this is often the case when it comes to transportation. I could spend $2 to take the bus somewhere, but it might take me 1 hour + to get to my destination or I could fork over $10-$20 and get there in 5-10 minutes. I would much rather do the latter.

    The Taylor family apparently doesn’t know how to be succinct.

    • seattlekungfoolery December 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm Reply

      Girl, I’m like you in that I hate public transportation, buses are a great place for homeless people to go to the bathroom in – not for me to get from place to place! High speed trains, now that’s public transportation I could get behind…. I always wanted to be an engineer

  12. Emily Taylor December 9, 2010 at 11:09 am Reply

    It’s better to look good than feel good…
    Need I say more?

    Hindsight is 20 20…
    I shouda, shouda, shouda.

    You’re only as happy as your least happy child…
    no really, it’s true.

  13. […] love cliche’s.  As I’ve said countless times here on Kung-Foolery, they are super effective at hammering home any point you are trying to make and […]

  14. […] as a catchall for anything and everything.  Not only did I write about my overall love of cliches SEE I can write stuff! but I also wrote about my new favorite type and use case for cliches, the military jargon for […]

  15. […] ² In fact, 73% of the billions of adults between the ages of 25 and 45 wish on a daily basis that they could …. […]

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