English Idiom – That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Meaning – That’s just the way things happen, and there’s nothing we can do to change it. This phrase is often used to express acceptance of an undesirable situation or outcome. It is a way of acknowledging that something unpleasant or unexpected has occurred, but that it cannot be changed.

While British people refer to cookies as biscuits, the idiom “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” is still widely recognized and used in its original form by English speakers around the world.

Similar Expressions:

There are many ways to express this sentiment in English (and other languages). Some common variations include:

  • C’est la vie – a French expression that means “that’s life
  • It is what it is – a phrase that expresses acceptance of a situation or circumstance
  • Life goes on – a phrase that acknowledges that even though something has happened, life will continue
  • Que sera, sera – a phrase that means “what will be, will be
  • Such is life – an expression that acknowledges the ups and downs of life
  • That’s life – an expression that acknowledges the reality of life’s challenges and disappointments
  • That’s the breaks – a phrase that means “that’s just how things go
  • You win some, you lose some – a phrase that acknowledges that not everything will go your way


When could you use this idiom?

  • When something doesn’t go as planned, for example you’ve missed a flight due to bad weather.
  • If you experience a setback or disappointment, you can use this phrase to acknowledge the situation and move on.
  • You’ve just lost a game of cards.
  • If you have an accident and break your favourite glass.


  • “You can’t always get what you want. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”

In The News:

That’s the way the cookie crumbles: Cowboys’ big W brings extra treat to the Big D


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

What is FunkyEnglish?

FunkyEnglish is a website that helps you improve your English. We offer quick lessons that teach idiomsslangphrasal verbs and more. Visit our homepage to see our latest articles, or use the menu to find specific content!