174: That's What SHE Said

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That's What SHE Said
Yes, I mean she said that during sex. Yes, it was a little weird.
Title text: Yes, I mean she said that during sex. Yes, it was a little weird.


This is another comic in the My Hobby series. "That's what she said!" is a phrase used in the US in response to an unintended sexual innuendo, similar to the UK phrase "said the actress to the bishop." An example usage might look like the following:

A: (while putting together some furniture) I think this is too big.
B: That's what she said!

In this example, the innuendo is that A was referring to a furniture component (say, a bolt too large to fit into the hole that was drilled in the factory), but the phrase might also refer to a human penis. While popular for a while, the phrase is considered puerile and cliché nowadays, so it isn't often used except in mockery.

In this case, no sexual innuendo is intended; instead, the phrase is used to maximize the ambiguity of the statement. Ambiguity is when a statement could mean more than one thing. In English, it is often created as a result of pronouns like "he" and "they," which might potentially refer to many different things in context. Here, "that's what she said!" could mean several things, because "that" and "she" could refer to multiple parts of the sentence:

  • Some woman said the entire statement.
  • Some woman said "I could've done what they claimed I did."
  • Some woman is part of the "they" that claimed something about some other woman.
  • Some woman reported that some unknown man doubts that another woman did something that other people claimed that the other woman (or yet another woman) did.

Another explanation would be that the intense grammatical ambiguity of the situation allows for any type of interpretation of the situation... even a more "perverted" interpretation. Taken more literally, the "she" in "that's what she said!" could be a hypothetical woman who is known for saying crazy things, thus the grammatically ambiguous statement reminds the speaker of this hypothetical woman.

The title text turns this back around, saying that there is actually a sexual innuendo in the statement: apparently the girl in question said this during sex. Since all of these possibilities are highly unusual things to say during sex,[citation needed] the observation in the second sentence is accurate.


My Hobby: Using "that's what she said" only in the most grammatically ambiguous situations.
Friend: He doubts she could've done what they claimed she did.
Cueball: That's what she said!

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Okay, the example is seriously flawed. The basic origin of "that's what she said" is sexual bragging on the part of the man. Which excludes "too small". It would have to be "this is too big". And yes, of course we of manly self-confidence will say it in response to "that is too small", but only as an intentional, ironic departure from the norms of the joke. — Kazvorpal (talk) 04:21, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

I don't think that's the case in most usages -- generally, it can be any prurient intentional misinterpretation. If someone were to express their love of raw seafood by saying 'I love slurping clams', that would be a `that's what she said`-able statement (to use a contrived example). 05:26, 7 January 2022 (UTC)