Tag Archives: inside joke

Cheese & Rice

AP is a 20-year-old student from Austin, Texas. Her mom is a Mexican immigrant and her father is white, but she primarily has lived with her mother and many older siblings.

 ‘Cheese and rice’

AP- Whenever I was a kid my mom’s English wasn’t as good as it is now because she was born in Mexico, so she couldn’t pronounce Jesus Christ. So, instead she would say Cheese and Rice. As a kid, I obviously thought that was the funniest thing in the world, and I have continued to use it as an exclamation ever since.

ANALYSIS: Many sayings and phrases stem from a joke or memory, and it is spread far and wide until the origins are unfamiliar. Most people on the planet probably have jokes about words that their friends or family mispronounced. AP’s mom being an immigrant raising multiple children on a single income was stressful, and there were often probably many miscommunications and issues conversing. While this can be irritating, the best way to change the mood is by lighting it up with a laugh. Cheese and rice was a way for AP to make these communication issues lighter. All kinds of people struggle with miscommunication and mispronunciations, and from those moments hundreds of inside jokes and sayings were created. While using cheese and rice as an exclamation may not make sense to someone unfamiliar with AP’s story, it does not mean that they wouldn’t find the same humor in it or continue to use it on their own. Even without the context, exclaiming ‘Cheese and rice’ when you are upset over something is inherently funny and would help break the tension. Despite never having heard the original context, the people around AP began using cheese and rice as well, because they heard AP use it and thought it was funny or intriguing. Before one knows it, they may be exclaiming cheese and rice without ever knowing what it means or where it came from, because its simple nature makes it a universal comedic button. Simple jokes that come from lighthearted fun can permeate all levels of time and space.

Coincidence? I think not!

“70% of the earth is water and 70% of the body is water. Is that a coincidence? I think not!”

Context: The informant is originally from Illinois and is now a junior at USC. According to her, on the first day back from winter break, her freshman year Spanish teacher asked the class if any of them knew what the second longest river in South America was. He pulled down one of those roll-up maps of South America and instead of explaining what the second longest river was, proceeded to go on a very long philosophical rant about astrology, during which the above quote was said. He continued talking (going wildly off topic), until eventually, he returned to his desk without telling them anything about the river, leaving the class very confused.

Now, with a subset of the informant’s friends who took the class, the phrase is used whenever anyone mentions anything related to a body, water, coincidence, or the phrase “i think not”. Despite the context of the conversation, this has developed into an inside joke, partially as a continuous mockery of the teacher, and partially as a remembrance of what the informant referred to as “the good old days”.

Analysis: Honestly, nothing brings a group together better than a common enemy. The inside joke created provides a reminder of shared experiences, moving beyond the context of the class to become a reminder of high school entirely.

However, the real value of this collection comes from the use of, “Coincidence? I think not!” which seems to be a traditional phrase consistently appended to the end of other sentences. The true relevance comes from the consistent use of this with no real knowledge of its origin. From quick research, the internet marks its origin as a quote from the 2004 movie “The Incredibles”, but from conversation with others and further research, it seems as if it has been used long before this (another internet forum notes that it was used in a movie from 1984). Attempts to date the phrase result in a terminus ante quem situation, in which it seems as if had to have been said before 2005, but nobody knows where it was originated or how it was popularized.