In Defense of ‘Dope Sauce’

By 12.11.12

[Pic via]

A little background-I have been saying the phrase “dope sauce” for probably over a year now. It's a go-to phrase that I feel gets the job done immensely, acting as both an acceptable affirmative and a confident assertion of my individuality, which in turn enhances what we toolbags like to call our #personalbrand. 

This past spring, my dope sauce usage was off the charts. Real 1998 baseball shit, if you're looking for an accompanying hashtaggish metaphor. I was living in the  fantasy land known as the American University System at the time, playing out a semester that included one class once a week and a thesis documentary that featured “Bert the Broker,” Meaning, there wasn't exactly much keeping me in check, save for the snarky “sick, Bro” response that likely formed in your head following that sentence. 

But the working world does what the working world tends to do, and brought my dope sauce usage back to reality. I started writing for BroBible in June, and meeting a bunch of superiors in a professional setting isn't exactly the time and place to start droppin' the d-sauce left and right. Due to human interactional laws that mandate you must establish an acceptable degree of familiarity and understanding before exhibiting your weird tendencies (everyone is weird and fucked up, it's just that you're not allowed to tell anyone this initially), I held off on spreading the dope sauce for the time being. 

Fast-forward* to the next few months, during which myself and Andy Moore's laptop became increasingly comfortable and more open/willing to speak our minds within the BroBible office. I began peppering the chat room that us editors use to communicate with the occasional dope sauce. Peppering then turned to heavier sprinkling, which then turned to moderate and consistent lathering.

Eventually, the sauce became noticeable enough that it was called out by Andy Moore and the Gang (the name of my piano-jazz band if I ever start one), and morphed into somewhat of a running joke. Naturally I took this as a cue to acceptable drop the sauce in a headline or two, a trend that was awesomely picked up by arguably THE premier dope sauce ambassador, Brandon Wenerd

Fast forward* to last week, when we received a tip from a reader who identified himself as Brian/Admiral Ackbar. This happened on Thursday night, so it was “Sent from iPhone” galore on this shit, creating a nice web of that strange strain drunken virtual camaraderie we've become accustomed to in 2012: 

I genuinely really like what your captions say–I've even noted to myself before “wow, he writes really funny, well-written captions and articles about things” but stop saying “Dope Sauce.”  Dope Sauce is what I used to say in 6th grade because I couldn't think of anything cooler to say. Stop saying it. Admiral Ackbar out.

I took two things away from this. 

  • A fan! What's gooooooooood.
  • You have no idea what you started, Ackbar. 

The next day, I emailed the following:

Admiral Ackbar,

I appreciate your concern. The fact that you emailed and weren't all like “fuck shit fuck” leads me to believed you've given serious and extensive thought to this matter.

The recent BroBible proliferation of sauce, specifically of the dope variety, is an inevitable manifestation of Bro-speak evolution. To elaborate:

1. When people tell you do shit, the basic laws of human interaction mandate you have to acknowledge them in some manner.

2. The easiest way to do this is to say “ok”

3. However, “ok” is dangerously devoid of personality.

4. People are obsessed with having a personality. All the cool kids have personalities. This explains why you wanted something cooler to say in 6th grade.

5. Because you want to say something cooler, your response must transcend that of the ok. It must ascribe to the values you hold as an individual who is awesome.

6. Bros, all of whom are convinced of their own awesome, have dabbled in a strange underbelly of the english vernacular when faced with the “ok” dilemma. Common manifestations include “sick,” “dope,” “solid,” “word,” and “no doubt.”

7. These words, now our conditioned responses, become heavily incorporated into our basic go-to vocab. This makes words like “dope” and “righteous” a perfect fit for reacting to something that's perceived as positive–“Ok,” in the sense of “yes, i got it, or i will do that” is essentially a positive reaction in itself.

8. In the world we live in, it's no longer enough to be dope. It's unoriginal, firmly entrenched in the boring box. Things can no longer be “sick.” They must be MAD sick. Angry sick, even. So just as every awesome has its wicked, every dope has its sauce. It goes without saying, of course, that every teardrop has its waterfall.

9. I used to always say “word.” I still do. But you gotta change shit up. I explored “righteous” for a bit, but it simply didn't do it for me. Dope sauce clicks.

10. If I'm making a list, it'd be pretty unforgivable if I didn't round it out with an even number that's widely accepted within numbered-list protocol.


Lance (Robb Stark)

My intention was for him to respond, me to respond back, and somehow parlay this into an article in which we decide whether or not we should continue spreading the dope sauce. Unfortunately, it seems he was too overcome by my thorough justification, as did I not receive such rebuttal. Instead, I forwarded my pride and joy to a small number of friends who would get the inside joke, and let it stew in Gmail purgatory for which I assumed would be eternity.

*Fast-forward to last night, when Brandon and I were ripping mad shots  working in the office, firing the somewhat unfiltered back and forths that generally come with working in the evening hours. He mentioned the infamous dope sauce tipster, so I felt inclined to inform him that I did in fact send him a response, which I then promptly forwarded him. Brandon the Dope Sauce Ambassador seemingly enjoyed said email, and declared that this must be posted in some form. 

In conclusion, we have the illuminating story of dope sauce. I will not be asking your permission to use said catch-phrase, mostly because “Bros say whatever the f*ck they want, Bro.” Rather, I'll utilize the word carefully and effectively, respecting the institution through proper preservation and responsible exhibition.

That is all. 

If you're a fan of that which is dope sauce, follow me on twitter

*People who send in hookup heroes stories, stop starting all your paragraphs with “fast-forward.” You are not a VCR.  


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