Survival of the Thickest: Favourite One-liners and Words

Survival of the Thickest is a comedy-drama television series co-created by Michelle Buteau and Danielle Sanchez Witzel for Netflix.

Aside from her stand-up comedy, you may also know Michelle Buteau from Always Be My Maybe, First Wives Club, Someone Great, Russian Doll and Tales of the City. Survival of the Thickest is based on a memoir of the same title.


When complimenting your friend on their new digs which are very small: “At least there’s no place for the killer to hide.”

When complimenting your friend on her style choices: “You put the hо in desperad-ho” or “This is a unique interpretation” or “That is the work of a madwoman” or “How are you indoors but still look homeless?”

When your friend is down on herself: “Do not breathe life into that silly-ass narrative.”

When defending your own artwork: “What you’re seeing in this piece is my chaotic week.”

Never explain yourself, except to say this: “You know I’m too cute for a public toilet.”

When your friend tells you she got a new job and doesn’t mention what kind of job: “Girl, what club you dancin at cause you know the good strip clubs got chicken wings, bitch.”

When explaining how poor you are: “I’m broke. Credit card didn’t go through for bananas.”

When someone gives you a compliment, any compliment: “Yes, I am amazing. You better start that rumour. Okay?”

When someone tells you she is a bit nervous and overcompensating: “I can slap you if you want?”

When someone pulls some sexist crap on you: “I am not about to explain fourth-wave feminism to you, okay?”

When people talk in a foreign language right in front of you and you want to know what’s happening: “What in the Rosetta Stone is going on?”

When someone tell you to “just breathe”: “I’m breathing! How do you think I’m still alive?”

To your friend or flatmate who busts out with random things: “Stop saying things that make me wanna ask more questions!”

Maybe say this to a guy who needs to be told a thing or two? “Did you know that a pen¡s shaft is actually just an inverted uterus?”

After someone just says something you don’t like and it happens to rhyme: “Excuse me, ma’am. I do not have time for your nursery rhyme.”

When receiving a compliment on your painting or something: “I knew it was good. I just didn’t wanna seem like an a$$hole.”

When you feel you shouldn’t be in the room for the drama: “This is really hard to watch but I will do it.”

When someone is taking a photo of you: “My good side is all my sides.”

When you’re searching for something nice to say at a wedding and you want the cheesiest thing possible: “Love is a very brief film and love its orchestral score.”

When your invitation to come inside is genuine for real: “I just cleaned up my bathroom. You wanna come in?”


Allen-wrench master: someone really good at putting flatpack furniture together

amuse-bouche: a small savoury item of food served as an appetizer before a meal. “So, after our little amuse-bouche, we’re gonna head back to your place?”

baby carrot: “Mavis, aren’t you gonna introduce me to this baby carrot so I can put him in my hummus?”

bing-bonged: “No one’s getting a rose or finger bing-bonged in a hot tub.”

cad: “Doll, I can’t believe the nerve of that cad for dumping you.”

chip clip: A bag clip is a small clamp used to reseal snacks, thus preventing them from going stale. The first line we hear from Mavis in the pilot episode: “Ooh! Nothing like a chip clip to save the day, honey. Taken right from my Cheeto bag.”

dine and dash: To eat at a restaurant and run out without paying the bill. As an extension, in sex terms it means to have sex with a woman and then leave right after you finish. In the more niche usage in episode three, it probably means to go on a date to a restaurant when the real motive is to have sex, so the eating first is just a formality.

dizay: “I went to a foam party here back in the dizay.”

drumstick emoji physique: After receiving a compliment about how much the camera loves her, Mavis replies, “Well, it must be my drumstick-emoji physique. It’s meaty on top, nubby at the bottom. Delicious.”

exposed brick and white roses: a description of a run-of-the-mill, basic bougie wedding.

feng-shui: a verb when used by white people e.g. “I feng-shuied your new room and everything”.

flat-top: a man’s hairstyle in which the hair is cropped short so that it bristles up into a flat surface. “You know you love the flat tops at the Sapphire Club, so don’t play.” This hairstyle first came into style in the 1950s, military inspired. (Short back and sides doesn’t transfer nits.)

friendly ghosting: In dating culture, ghosting is simply disappearing from someone’s radar without calling anything off. In episode four of Survival of the Thickest, Khalil finds himself falling in love with a woman from his art class and because romantic feelings are new to him, he makes a mess of showing her how he feels. He starts doing ‘romantic things’ and steps back the sexual parts of the relationship, kissing her on the forehead for example. When he finally just tells her how he feels, the love interest says, “I thought you friendly-ghosted me.”

hampagne party: A get-together with friends which involves plates of cold cuts and champagne (and friends). The champagne must be cheap.

keeping your plants watered: a metaphor for looking after your own basic needs

investment banker: the worst kind of human. “… who could be a serial killer, or worse, an investment banker”.

liquid concrete: beauty filler. “Women from all over the country are flying down to South Florida and literally putting liquid concrete in their bodies just to look like you.”

living wake: “one of them rich-people birthday parties where they pretend they dead”

mo-ment: “Don’t you always be the one saying thick girls having a moment?” Mavis explains how it’s correctly pronounced: “Mo” like Monique but “meant” like “mo-ment”.

paper-chasing: Being only interested in money. “Look, my art is my joy, and every time I do something practical with it, I feel like a piece of that joy is taken away. … I ain’t out here paper-chasin’ like that.”

peach’s pum-pum: “By the way, if you’re at the bar, please try our new cocktail. It’s called “Mavis Killed.” Tastes like a, um… peach’s pum-pum.” Pum-pum is a Spanish language colloquial word for what English speakers can fully guess from the ‘peach’.

pop-tart: “Don’t put the chocolate Pop-Tarts on the top shelf unless you wanna see my chocolate Pop-tart, okay?”

raggedy-ass: “Nobody like them raggedy-ass parties anyway”.

representational framework: “Let’s talk about representational frameworks. You grew up with hetero parents during a time where most of the couples you saw in the world and on TV were hetero. And, culturally, hetero sеx is centered around male pleasure.” Marley’s psychologist is talking about social representations: values, ideas, metaphors and beliefs in a society which serve to establish social order. What does a society consider “common sense”? What happens when such “common sense” is challenged by transgressing (sexually or otherwise)?

Rhonda rat: On The Animal Show, the Muppet Show spin-off for kids in the format of a talk-show, Rhonda Rat served as the “rodent reporter” during its third season, replacing Tizzy the Bee.

Rumspringa: “Oh my God. I feel like an Amish teenager on Rumspringa.” It is widely believed that Amish youth routinely leave their communities to experience life among the non-Amish before deciding whether to continue their lives in Amish tradition or not. In reality, the majority of Amish sixteen-year-olds never leave their community as the majority of Amish parents don’t practice or encourage it. However, the idea of ‘Amish teens gone wild’ holds entertainment value for reality TV shows and the like.

sister-wife: The girlfriend/partner of your male best friend. When Khalil calls Mavis to ask for her opinion on what couch to buy, Mavis responds with: “What, in the 25 years of friendship of sitting on the floor you made me do, is going on? Am I getting a sister wife?”

stan: “I stan the gall” (of taking social media pictures at your ex-husband’s open casket funeral while insulting his next wife and dropping an… intimate item into the casket).

turkey-hand: A drawing of a turkey created by young children making Thanksgiving art in the USA. You trace the outline of your non-dominant splayed hand. The fingers represent the turkey’s back feathers and the thumb are its head and neck. Of course, when Mavis tells Khalil she hasn’t done art since preschool but she can draw a really great turkey hand, she may also be boasting about her prowess regarding a certain sexual manoeuvre, also known as the ‘turkey-hand’. In the American South, turkey hand can refer to a person or thing of little appeal; dud; loser.

yikes-y: “Painting is one of the few things that relaxes me when I’m feeling yikes-y.”


On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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