There’s little quite so off-putting in a comedy as the cliché. That’s why Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holme and Kyle Newacheck, creators of TV sitcom (sort of) Workaholics, developed a sprawling board of rules. Specifically, prohibitions on the use of certain pop-culturally over-exposed phrases.

Workaholics Dont's

The team had a show in mind free from convention (if not constraints) that would fulfil the mould of a Comedy Central half-hour office-based sitcom. It’s doubtful that they wound up using so much as one or any of the terms laid out below. For fun while reading, imagine each remark being passed from a newly introduced character to the prior, then sit back and wait for the police to find you:

Sorry (not sorry).

  ?  More like ___.

Can You Not?


… I Can Explain!

Let’s Not And Say We Did

I didn’t not ___

Wait for it…


Just threw up in my mouth.


Good talk.

And by ‘X’ I mean ‘Y’

Check please!

Gonna leave a mark


Sooooo… That just happened.

Shushushush (puts finger to mouth)



Bag of dicks

Say what now?

… On steroids!

Shut the front door!

Lady Boner


Note to self:

What the what?!

Hey, don’t help.


I think that came out wrong.

Uh… Define __.

White People Problems.

No? Just me.

Why are we whispering?

That went well…

Stay classy.

I’m a hot mess!

Who are you and what are you doing here?

That’s not a thing.

It’s science.

Cool bananas.



Real talk


#Nailed It

Awesome Sauce

Thanks, I guess.

Little help?

Laughy McLaughterson

__Dot Com

I love lamp.

OH hellll naw!

Epic Fail

Did I just say that out loud?

Food Baby

Douche (-nozzle)

I can’t unsee that.

Here’s the line. Here’s you.

That just happened.

I could tell you but I’d have to kill you.

See what I did there?

I’ll show myself out.

Squad Goals

I just peed a little.

Too soon?

Spoiler alert

Um… in English please?

Note to self (sic)

Life Hack

Best/Worst. ___. Ever.

It’s giving me all the feels.

Garbage people

That happened one time!

Well played.

I’m right here!

Dumpster Fire

Hard Pass

Are you having a stroke?

Go Sports!

Zero Fuck Given

We have fun.

Who hurt you?

I absorbed my twin in the womb.

I’ll take ___ for $500, Alex.

Thanks Obama

This is why we can’t have nice things.

I think we’re done here.

Wait, what?

Shots Fired

A cliché is dangerous because it slips easily by without detection when written, but absolutely clambers for acknowledgement from the audience. That’s why some of these (‘This is why we can’t have nice things’) are still pretty commonplace. Think on how many of these you’ve spotted this year so far. Have they mutated since they were set in stone by the Comedy Central alumni? How many of these lines have been written for Akwafina? And if you use any of these in your writing (and aren’t giving them to deeply uncharismatic weirdos), now is the second best time for self-reflection. The best time was 2011, when these lists were compiled. See what I did there?

The Comedy Don’ts of Workaholics
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