Best Of 2002

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Best Break-Up Line 


"It's not you, it's me"

Remember the Seinfeld episode when George has a fit when girlfriend Gwen tries to dump him, using his own time-perfected brush-off? Here's their exchange, from the episode, "The Lip-Reader."

George: "You're giving me the 'It's not you, it's me' routine? I invented 'It's not you, it's me.' Nobody tells me it's not them, it's me. If it's anybody, it's me."

Gwen: "Alright, George, it's you."

George: "You're damn right it's me."

It's easy to see why George gets so indignant. Everyone thinks they invented "it's not you, it's me." It turns out that this oh-so-sensitive way to say "get lost" came straight out of the '70s and has over the years achieved a sort of cult status. Maybe it's because there's no really good way to explain to someone who once made your heart race and your head fill with unprintable thoughts that now the very sight of them makes you itch. And there's something to be said for a phrase that both provides you with an escape hatch and preserves the other person's shreds of dignity. We found that "it's not you, it's me" even has quite a few variations out there, as some of you pointed out, including "I'm no good for you," or conversely, "you're too good for me." And while "it's not you, it's me" was the clear winner here, we enjoyed some of the other ways our readers say "buh-bye," including the obscure "It's Wed., baby!" the medical "I forgot my Valtrex," the passive-aggressive "I'm not giving you the attention you need," and the charmingly blunt "Gotta kick you to the curb."

2nd: "Let's be friends"; 3rd: "I'm gay"

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)
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