Don't even think about it!

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"Don't even think about it!" is an emphatic prohibition[1] popularized by a 1993 Pepsi commercial featuring Shaquille O'Neal, a famous basketball player.

History[edit]

A "Don't even THINK of parking here" sign in New York City

The catchphrase as used by the Pepsi ad was based upon a similar phrase, "Don't even THINK of parking here", which came into use on no parking signs in major cities such as New York City and Chicago.[2][3] The signs first appeared in New York in 1982 during Ed Koch's mayoral administration.[4][5]

Popularization[edit]

The 1993 commercial featuring O'Neal begins with him playing hoops at a street basketball court. A little kid notices him, and exclaims O'Neal's nickname, "Shaq". O'Neal, noticing that the kid has a Pepsi in his hand, walks over and says "Hey, can I have it?" He bends over, supposing that his admirer will give him the soda, but the kid refuses, saying: "Don't even think about it!" Suddenly, a sound simulating that of a scratched record is heard, and the commercial ends with the Pepsi logo and slogan.

The commercial is actually a parody of another famous one from the 1970s produced by Pepsi's rival, Coca-Cola, in which a young boy meets football player "Mean" Joe Greene as he is leaving the field after a game. The boy gives his hero a bottle of Coke and, in exchange for the drink, the football player throws his jersey to the boy, who excitedly catches the souvenir.

Cultural references[edit]

The phrase also appears in series 4, episode 5 of Men Behaving Badly, when a drunken Gary climbs into bed intent on having sex with the sleeping Dorothy; it is revealed that she is wearing a T-shirt with "Don't even think about it!" written on it in large letters. The phrase was also used as the title of a 2004 book by Lauren Henderson.[6] In games, the phrase is seen in Need for Speed: Undercover, where the player can see billboards for all the city saying "Don't even THINK about speeding - A public service message brought to you by the Tri City Bay Police Department".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce K. Waltke. "The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 15-31". p. 265. 
  2. ^ E.J. Dionne (August 16, 1998). No Go. The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "13 Ways to Get Message on Parking". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. March 5, 1987. p. 4. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Ari L. Goldman (June 15, 1982). "Bus-Only Lanes to be Increased to Speed Travel". The New York Times. section A, p. 1. 
  5. ^ Clyde Haberman and Laurie Johnston (September 4, 1982). "New York Day by Day". The New York Times. section 1, p. 24. 
  6. ^ Lauren Henderson (2004). Don't Even Think About It. Downtown Press. ISBN 0-7434-6469-9. 

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]