What does rat race mean?


Idiom Meaning:

an exhausting and competitive routine


Examples of this Idiom in Movies & TV Shows:


Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

Time of Scene: ~01:18:30

Sue Ellen “Swell” Crandell: I appreciate you.

Kenny Crandell: Eat shit!

Sue Ellen “Swell” Crandell: I don’t believe this! I have to get up at 5:30 every morning so I can beat rush hour traffic into the city and go sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and miss Oprah Winfrey everyday on my summer vacation. And then, I get to drive home in gridlock in a Volvo with no air conditioning just so I can take care of you guys and put food on the damn table! It’s a rat race and it sucks, Kenny. So what do you want? A medal?

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Love Nest (1951)

Time of Scene: ~01:02:10

Jim Scott: How did I ever get into this rat race anyway? There I was, a happy guy, money in the bank, planning a second honeymoon. Now look at me… a hounded creature facing bankruptcy. And for what? To support a broken-down house in its old age.

Connie Scott: Well, you make it sounds as though I deliberately set out to ruin you.

Jim Scott: Trouble is you didn’t deliberate enough.


Storm Warning (1951)

Time of Scene: ~00:44:40

Faulkner: Let’s not fool ourselves, Charlie. You know the boys. Without those white hoods to hide in, they’re no heroes. That’s why they need the hoods in the first place. Put them under fire, legal fire, and you’ll see a rat race like you never seen before! They’ll squeal. They’ll cry. They’ll run like rabbits!



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Rat Race Idiom


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