there’s no crying in X!

This snowclone was popularized by Tom Hanks’ diatribe in the 1992 film A League of Their Own:

Jimmy Dugan: Evelyn, could you come here for a second? Which team do you play for?
Evelyn Gardner: Well, I’m a Peach.
Jimmy Dugan: Well I was just wonderin’ why you would throw home when we got a two-run lead. You let the tying run get on second base and we lost the lead because of you. Start using your head. That’s the lump that’s three feet above your ass.
[Evelyn starts to cry]
Jimmy Dugan: Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!
Doris Murphy: Why don’t you give her a break, Jimmy…
Jimmy Dugan: Oh, you zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigshit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?
Evelyn Gardner: No, no, no.
Jimmy Dugan: Yeah! NO. And do you know why?
Evelyn Gardner: No…
Jimmy Dugan: Because there’s no crying in baseball. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying!

(See the scene on YouTube.)

The “man’s world” metaphor implied by the original usage constrains what can occur in the X slot, at least popularly: it includes football, politics, the war room, poker, Survivor, jail, the boardroom, bodybuilding. (Non-manly variants are acceptable, just less common.) Emphasis following Hanks’ in the original quote is obligatory, and is usually minimally designated with an exclamation point.

A case can be made for a more general form of this snowclone, “there’s no Xing in Y!” Thus a defining characteristic of world Y is its lack of quality/behavior X: There’s no name-calling in debate! Instances of this form are more difficult to cite as snowclones: “there’s no touching the ball with your hands in soccer” would technically match the form, but is only a statement of the rules, not a reference to the indignity of ball-handling on the football field.

3 responses to “there’s no crying in X!

  1. I initially thought that Dr. Strangelove contained the more general form of this snowclone with X = fight and Y = war room, but according to IMDB, the actual quote is, “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”

  2. There’s another snowclone in here, though: “There’s no X in baseball.” A quick Google search has Xes like lesbians, Congress, riot police, kissing, and cannibalism.

  3. I agree that the “there’s no X in baseball” snowclone also exists, but when I did my search for it, I got dubious results, so I was hesitant to record it. I should have tried Google, though! (This is the problem with being rushed in posting these things.)

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