Have you ever been out with your friends or your family, enjoying your evening, and when you’re finally ready to go home, you or someone else might gather everyone up to leave by saying “let’s blow this popsicle stand.” But you weren’t even eating ice cream!
This phrase is pretty common in modern society, and you might have heard it or even used it in the past without ever really knowing what you’re saying or where it comes from.
Well no more! This article will explain everything about the meaning, origin, and usage of “Let’s blow this popsicle stand”.
The Meaning of Let’s Blow This Popsicle Stand
The phrase “let’s blow this popsicle stand” doesn’t mean literally blow up the ice cream parlour, but instead is an idiomatic expression that just means “let’s leave”. It’s meant as a quirky statement to let everyone know that you’re ready to leave whatever venue you’re at and want to exit as a group.
You might also hear people use the word “joint” instead of “popsicle stand”, but the meaning remains the same.
The “popsicle stand” in question refers to wherever you are at the time. It could be a restaurant, cinema, venue – wherever you go with a group could be a popsicle stand. And don’t worry, the phrase is never used in a negative or derogatory way. It doesn’t mean “a place we don’t like and want to get away from” it literally just means “a place”.
Examples of Let’s Blow This Popsicle Stand
“Right, we’ve finished eating and paid the bill, so let’s blow this popsicle stand!”
“Are you ready to leave?”
“Yeah, let’s blow this popsicle stand”
“Should we blow this popsicle stand and go somewhere else?”
Other Ways to Say Let’s Blow This Popsicle Stand
Because this phrase literally just means “let’s leave”, there are many different ways to express the same thought. You could say the very similar “let’s blow this joint” which is more popular in modern parlance and means the exact same thing.
Another way to say this could be “let’s make a move”, which doesn’t have the specific connotations to leave quickly that “let’s blow this popsicle stand” has, but is essentially the same.
On the other hand, you could say “let’s book it” which actually has more of a connotation of urgency, and suggests the need to leave wherever you are very quickly.
“Let’s blow this popsicle stand” is intentionally quirky and meant to be somewhat funny in a way that I don’t think the other phrases are. So if you want to convey a jovial tone and keep the mood light, stick with the ice cream.
Origins of Let’s Blow This Popsicle Stand
There’s no way that you’d be able to guess the origins of “let’s blow this popsicle stand”, or at least, the legend behind it. There is no official record of this happening other than hearsay, however the popular story goes like this:
Back in the 1940s, a Jamaican named Antoine Cleo wanted to wage biological warfare against countries (no seriously, I swear this is connected). His plan was to create a “popsicle-sized” area with radiation, which he believed would be sufficient to brainwash people exposed. It’s said that he wanted to place these radioactive popsicles at popsicle stands. And he would have gotten away with it! If it wasn’t for the Kindred Spirits. They were a strange cult that foiled Cleo’s plans by bombing all of the popsicle stands in major cities, eventually killing Cleo in one of the attacks.
From there, “let’s blow this popsicle stand” started as an inside joke between just four teenagers that ended up spreading throughout the USA.
Now, I don’t expect you to believe this, as it appears to be little more than an urban legend, though it is a pretty well-documented legend. So instead here are a few other possible origins:
Some people attribute the phrase to an old Humphrey Bogart movie in which he is being ejected from a speak-easy, and yells “let’s blow this pop stand”, pop here implying that the liquor on sale there might as well be soda. However, it is also credited to an episode of Mork and Mindy, perhaps a play on the Bogart quote.
There are a few instances of this phrase popping up prior to these things, such as in an issue of Sports Illustrated. However, I don’t think we will ever know exactly where the expression came from. Maybe it really did come from a teenage joke based on a power-hungry radioactive Jamaican scientist, who knows?