|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
To take a perfectly innocent phrase That Came Out Wrong said by one person and then irk that person by turning it into an innuendo. It's also interesting to note that it pretty specifically kept to what she said with its uses leaning towards things a woman would say in response to a man's actions or physical attributes. So if it is been used in disparagement of someone, that someone is most likely a man.
Whoever "she" is, the use of the phrase as a stock expression is Newer Than They Think. Any use at all before 1992 and most uses before about 2005 can be considered instances of Have a Gay Old Time. Not to say that a similar sentiments weren't expressed with different wording, of course; the phrase "as the actress said to the bishop", the punchline to a joke lost to the mists of time, is a notable older version.
Compare Can't Believe I Said That.
- Starman used the older "as the actress said to the bishop" version, pulling it on himself after noting that "my rod feels good in my hand".
- One of the drabbles in the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Serendipity is about Ryoko's confusion regarding this trope.
- The Draco Trilogy has this in a Have a Gay Old Time sort of way -- back when it was written, the sentence hadn't quite acquired this meaning...
- In Fullmetal Lol, The Situation  has this as his Catch Phrase.
Garth: Okay, are you done yet? Because I'm tired of holding this thing.
Wayne: That's what she said.
- This 1929 sound test for Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail has an amusing variant, courtesy Hitch himself.
Alfred: You must stand in your place, or it will not come out right: as the girl said to the soldier.
- The one true catchphrase of Necroscope.
- "Throughout history, the Tall Man has been terrorising anyone who harms his wood".
- Witches Abroad has Nanny thinking to herself, "Just grab the first thing you see, said the High Priest to the Vestal Virgin" (a take on the antecedent to "That's what she said," "...said the Actress to the Bishop"). A footnote indicates that this is the punchline to a joke that everyone on the Disc has forgotten.
- In a book called A Play of Knaves, one character is getting grief from all the others about sleeping around, to the point where he's fed up with everything they say, even if it's to mock someone else, and we get this:
Ellis snapped, "Leave off with the Hewwwgo, too, will you?" "That was probably the other thing Titha said," Joliffe grinned, and added in a shrill girl's voice, "'Leave off, Ellis.'"
- It's worth pointing out that this book series takes place largely in the 1430s.
- The Saint, at least in the original books, loves this. He quips "as the actress said to the bishop" or "as the bishop said to the actress" with very little provocation.
- I kid you not, folks, this is real.
Live Action TV
- The Office: Michael Scott is almost incapable of resisting an opportunity to use this joke. Even in the midst of a legal deposition.
- In an episode when Michael is being forced by his boss to not tell inappropriate jokes around the office, Jim deliberately starts saying things that could have double meanings until he finally gives in.
- Occasionally, someone else will make the joke before Michael can. This always annoys him.
- In fact, the very last words Michael Scott says on the show (after he has removed his mic, so we don't actually hear them) are "That's what she said."
- One of the DVD box-sets is titled "The Office Ultimate Package (that's what she said)".
- On Saturday Night Live Amy Poehler's recurring character Amber (with one leg, etc.) used it as a Catch Phrase. For example, when she was on America's Next Top Model:
Tyra: Amber, it was very hard for us to find a good picture of you.
Amber: I bet it was hard.
Tyra: But we did our best.
Amber: That's what she said.
Tyra: You're not using that right.
Amber: That's what she said.
- On the season 35 episode of SNL hosted by Tina Fey, during a sketch about Tiger Woods's first game back from his sex scandal, Tina Fey plays a hooker named Ashlyn St. Cloud who says, "That's what Tiger said," after one of the commentators says, "Let's take a look at the hole through the aerial cam."
- In an episode of Rules of Engagement, Russel is dating a woman who speaks in almost nothing but unintentional Double Entendre. Adam suggests that she might be the 'she' who actually says all those 'that's what she said' remarks.
- How I Met Your Mother also had a woman like that in one episode.
- How I Met Your Mother: "Top 10 Things Marshall said on his wedding night"
- NCIS. Gibbs (not DiNozzo for once) says this line when Kate is thrown against him during a submarine's emergency surfacing. Cue a smirk from a watching crewman and a Death Glare from Kate.
- In Bottom
Richie: Wait a minute. You were in love with Harry Belafonte?
Eddie: Well, that's what she told me her name was -- well, she sort of shouted it over her shoulder as she ran away into the night.
Richie: (sigh) Oh look, let's just forget it shall we?
Eddie: That's what she said!
Richie: Look, let's just drop it.
Eddie: She said that as well!
Richie: EDWARD HITLER, I'M REALLY NOT INTERESTED.
Eddie: This is uncanny! Were you there?
- In an episode of Corner Gas, Hank uses this line repeatedly (completely missing the point of the phrase in the process), only to be confronted with the perfect opportunity -- only to decide that 'she' wouldn't say that, because 'she' is not that kind of girl.
- News Radio has this when Dave & Lisa broke up, the rest unaware:
Dave: I know it's a crummy story but someone has to do a piece on the Williamsburg Bridge renovation.
Lisa: Give it to me, Dave. I'll take it.
Joe: That's not the first time Dave's heard Lisa say that.
Dave: Give it a rest.
Bill: I'll bet that's not the first time Lisa's heard Dave say that.
Lisa: Look you really don't want to get into this.
Catherine: I bet Dave's never heard that one before.
Dave: Seriously, this is a very sensitive area.
Beth: That's what she said.
Lisa: Okay, I'm telling them.
Bill: And I'll bet that's not... Actually that doesn't really work, does it?
- In the Married... with Children episode "Wedding Show":
Bud: I had sex! With a girl! And I did it good!
Kelly: Oh, my God.
Bud: That's what she said. Twice.
- At the 2010 Country Music Association awards, hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood had this exchange about Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert's engagement ring:
Carrie: Right after they got engaged, she sent me a picture of it. And I have to say, it is beautiful and big and just perfect.
Brad: OK, I'm sorry, I have to do it... That's what she said!
- This exchange from House when he was describing a recent case to a class of fifth-graders:
House: My current patient is a college student. He's actually in the hospital right now. And, yes, he really did cough up a large portion of dead lung tissue.
Sophie: How's that even possible?
House: That's what she said! (Beat) No, she did literally say that.
Masters: How's that even possible?
- Mr. Mash in Are You Being Served indulges in a bit of this with the perfume salesgirl in "His and Hers".
(Holding an extension cord) "Here we are the are, then. Let's hope we don't get a short-circuit when we plug it in...as Mae West said when she picked up the midget. I suppose it'll take a few moments to warm up...as Mae West said to the Eskimo."
- On Gilmore Girls Sookie say this when they look up at a gigantic house that Luke and Lorelai were contemplating buying. Lorelai repeats it not even ten seconds later.
- On Morecambe and Wise, Eric Morecambe's version of this was, after anyone said anything that could be misconstrued as an Unusual Euphemism, to give an Aside Glance to the audience and say "There's no answer to that!"
- Subverted in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle when Syaoron says it- and means exactly that, that is what she said! The fact that the 'She' is Yuuko didn't hurt much.
- Easily missed on the DVD, but during the commentary of a match featuring Los Ice Creams, Ultramantis Black says this to Chris Hero, after a fan calls out "Watch the cherry!" to the Ice Creams' opponent.
- Hello Cheeky often used the phrase "Your private life's your own concern!", and less commonly "There's no answer to that" to note that an innuendo had just passed by.
John: Do you believe in fortune telling?
Barry: I've got a crystal ball.
John: ...Your private life's your own concern.
- In a Jára Cimrman play Hospoda na mýtince:
Prisoner: ... she told me, a stranger: "Drink!"
Count: That's what she said?!
- The surprise ending of this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip.
- An Xkcd strip parodies the overeager use of the phrase here when somebody uses it in response to a something said by a woman in a highly sexualized context.
- Used here in Order of the Stick, with a huge amount of (F)oYay.
- "She" shows up herself in this Cyanide and Happiness comic.
- The Nostalgia Chick review of Labyrinth (already famed for its kind of creepy sexual under(and sometimes over-, around- and totally-enveloping-)tones) uses this phrase enough times to keep both hands busy... for counting. The only problem is that the little gag running across the screen didn't turn up when she pulls one off.
- Used in a comic on Gaia Online when Cindy comments about the size of a very, very tall tower, and Edmund responds with this line while looking at the reader. Was considered a Crowning Moment of Funny for a short period of time on the forums.
- Wayne Grayson completely owned Little Kuriboh using this comeback at Youmacon 2009.
LK: Well, it's good to know that Joey is loved in various areas. *Beat* Wait a minu--
Wayne: That's what she said!
- This trope was spoofed in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Movie. Joey's standing in the way of Yugi, who says "Joey, get your butt out of my face!" Joey comes back with "Yeah, that's what she said." Doesn't quite work, does it?
- This same style is also in the Christmas special, where the first 'ghost' to visit Kaiba is Yugi. Kaiba eventually gets pissed off and tells Yugi to "get the hell out of my bedroom." Yugi responds with an incredibly witty: "Yeah, that's what she said."
- And again in a Depraved Bisexual moment in What Would Yugi Do:
Yami: "Silence, slave!! Or do you want me to yank on your leash again?"
Yugi: "Ouch! Not so tight, Pharoah!"
Yami: "That's what she said. Or he, I could go either way, really. And that is also what she said!"
Burter: Oh, you can't beat my speed. I'm the fastest in the universe!
Krillin: (offscreen) That's what she said!
- Plinkett of Red Letter Media said some lines in his reviews that got some girls going "That's what he said!", much to his annoyance.
- Maria Theresa was discussing Sword Fights in Rose of Versailles Abridged abridged, and a title card read this in response to something she said.
- Ask That Guy revealed that the "she" in "That's what she said" is in fact Obscurus Lupa.
- From Cracked's If Pop Culture's Greatest Characters Wrote Tell-All Books: I have never Said ANY of these things! The story of SHE.
- Xanauzumaki's Legend of Zelda the Abridged Series have all of Darunia's dialogue rely on this trope (and even adding a "That's what he said" variant)
- Futurama - Spanish Fry - Lrr from Omicron Persei 8 is threatening to remove certain appendages from Fry to be used as an alien aphrodisiac. Of course it used this phrase:
Fry: But in this case, I just don't think it's going to work.
Bender: That's what she said. Whooooo!
- In an episode of King of the Hill, a new co-worker at Strickland Propane, voiced by Ben Stiller, says this ad nauseum, until Hank washes his mouth out with soap. The episode's title? "That's What She Said", of course.
- In Chowder, Gazpacho says this once, followed by "She didn't say that."
- One of Terry Gilliam's animated segments in Monty Python's Flying Circus contained a variant on this theme.
"Charles Fatless": Then let me have your puny, scrawny little body for just fifteen minutes a day!
Camp Gay Man: Mmmm, I've heard that one before, ducky! [Is punched squarely in the jaw]
- In an episode of Family Guy, Peter and Brian are putting together a crib and Brian reads the instructions to "insert rod A into hole B." When Peter laughs, Brian threatens to hit him if he says "that's what she said" one more time.
All finished now. Please come again.
That's what she said!