You’re Killing Me Smalls – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Anyone that grew up in the late 1990s to the early 2000s has likely seen the well-known movie, The Sandlot. Whether you chose to watch it on your own, or a parent made you, we’ve all seen it. From that movie comes the iconic phrase “you’re killing me, smalls” that many people still quote to this day.

But what does this phrase really mean? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The phrase “you’re killing me, smalls” (also commonly seen as “you’re killin’ me, smalls”) is a term that expresses exasperation or frustration toward someone else. Typically, you would say this to someone else who has a certain sense of ineptitude or who is general ly clueless.

This is a term of frustration you may direct toward someone else when you are frustrated with how they are acting in a certain situation, the fact that they may not know how to do something, or if they are not listening to something you are telling them.

This phrase is very casual, and most commonly used by young adults that grew up with the movie, or their middle-aged parents that made them watch it in the first place. It has quickly become commonplace in modern Internet culture. More information can be found in the video (here).

Example Usage

“You’ve never seen The Lion King? You’re killing me, smalls!”

“How have you never driven a car, and you’re 20? You’re killing me, smalls!”

“Didn’t I ask you to take out the trash this morning? You’re killing me, smalls.”

“You’re killing me, smalls. You should know how to do this by now.”


This phrase is from the movie, The Sandlot, which was released in 1993. One of the children asks another if he wants a s’more, then quickly becomes frustrated when the other child (whose last name is Smalls) acts like he doesn’t know what a s’more is. That is when the iconic line, “you’re killing me, Smalls”, is heard for the first time.

This phrase quickly grew to have a life of its own, and people that had never even seen the movie before began using it. The actor who said it, Patrick Renna, says the line has followed him through his life, even decades after the movie’s release. The phrase was eventually added to the official English lexicon, and definitions for it can even be found on, where it was added in 2018.

Phrases Similar to You’re Killing Me Smalls

  • Oh, my god.
  • I can’t believe this/you.
  • Are you serious?
  • You’re driving me crazy.

Phrases Opposite to You’re Killing Me Smalls

  • Good job!
  • I’m proud of you!
  • Good idea!
  • You’re right!

What is the Correct Saying?

  • “You’re killing me Smalls” is, in itself, the correct saying.

Ways People May Incorrectly Say You’re Killing Me Smalls

Saying “you’re killing me, smalls” is a way to express general frustration or exasperation toward someone else for a variety of reasons. Keeping that definition in mind, attempting to use this phrase toward someone who hasn’t frustrated you in any way would be incorrect. Some ways that “you’re killing me, smalls” is used incorrectly are:

  • I love that outfit! You’re killing me, smalls!
  • That joke made me laugh way too hard. You’re killing me, smalls!
  • Thanks for the amazing haircut, Andy! You’re killing me, smalls!

Acceptable Ways to Phrase You’re Killing Me Smalls

  • You don’t know what Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is? You’re killing me, smalls!
  • You’ve never used a wrench before? You’re killing me, smalls.
  • There is no excuses for leaving the car on while we are in the store, you’re killing me, smalls!
  • I can’t believe you didn’t know how to work the TV remote. You’re killing me, smalls.
  • You’re 25, and you don’t know how to cook? You’re killing me, smalls!
  • I can’t believe you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, you’re killing me, smalls!

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