Terminology Explained: “Garbage Time”

LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh laugh on from the bench as they watch their scrubs grind out the rest of garbage time.



It’s the New England Patriots versus the Cleveland Browns. The Miami Heat versus the Charlotte Bobcats. It’s the fourth quarter, starters on the bench. The game has been decided since halftime. It’s garbage time.

Garbage time? A term widely known by sports enthusiasts all over the world as the time that ticks away at the end of any blow-out victory. The time where LeBron and D-Wade are teaching everyone on the bench how to dougie while Juwan Howard is throwing down dunks from the free throw line. Garbage time is the best time.

Why is garbage time so goddamn awesome? Because, contrary to the inadequate Wikipedia definition, it doesn’t apply to just sports–there is garbage time in every facet of daily life. Every blue-collar, salary non-exempt, hourly waged worker knows what garbage time is. The fact that you’re reading this post probably means you are currently functioning in some form of garbage time.

If I were to put garbage time in a dictionary, it would look something like this:

Gar·bage Time
/gärbij tīm/

1. temporary chronological period characterized primarily by its expectation-free nature; actions performed by persons during the period are typically free from scrutiny and unquestionably excusable
2. opportunity for the emergence of unsung heroes
3. utter lack of reason and cognizant decision-making

Here’s an example for you students: you’re sitting in a classroom taking a rather simple exam, surrounded by a group of average-minded plebians, and of course you finished 30 minutes early. You zone out for a few minutes, and when you snap back into reality you realize that you’ve already drawn FOUR dicks on the back of your test–FOUR fucking DICKS! You must have blacked out for a few seconds. You start erasing the dicks on your test but immediately become distracted by the thong that’s mysteriously appeared from the unsuspecting female sitting in front of you. Poor girl! But man, I can’t stop staring… it looks so uncomfortable. Welcome to garbage time my friend.

An example for you boozers: your friend is throwing a party on Friday night and everyone you know is going to be there–it’s going to be a wonderfully hammered night. Eventually 2:00 AM rolls around and the vast majority of drinkers have either passed out in an open box of pizza or stumbled home. All of a sudden, your buddies stumble upon a half-drank handle of [insert plastic handle vodka] hiding behind a box of cereal. This sneaky little misplaced vodka bottle is a dangerous shade of pink–probably from the Hawaiian Punch backwash that has been marinating in it all night. In your inebriated stupor, you convince your bonehead friends to play last-one-standing, kill-the-handle, death-circle, or whatever the fuck people call it nowadays. By 3:30 AM everyone’s blacked out, pissing on doors, pissing on each other, and eventually pissing themselves. Garbage-motherfucking-time.

One more example for everyone: you sit down to take a shit in a public restroom and pull out your handy iPhone and open Candy Crush (you’re smiling to yourself right now). You’ve just combined another disco-ball candy with a stripes candy (a boner-worthy candy crush combination), giggling maniacally as the screen is getting devastated with candy mayhem, when you realize that you actually finished shitting 30 minutes ago. You’ve actually already beaten 14 levels on Candy Crush with your asshole chillin’ in the open air. You’re also at work still and your boss has texted you 3 times while you were in the bathroom. Sorry boss, family emergency. Garbage time–all day, errday.

Garbage time is a very real thing. People’s find their true selves during GT. If you or anyone you know have a great garbage time story to tell, please leave them in the comments section below for our reading pleasure.

#GT away my friends,




2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    ^^ Ted, don’t feel too bad. I know someone who did the exact same thing. Then his brother came to visit and they found out that they BOTH wu-tang. It was a truly beautiful moment of Brotherly Love.

  2. Ted says

    One time I was garbage timing and got talked into woo-tanging 4 roaches in a night