Pop Culture dictionary

Case of the Mondays

[keys uhv th uh v th uh muhn-deyz]

What does Case of the Mondays mean?

A doctor can’t cure this one. A Case of the Mondays is an especially bad mood brought on by the onset of the workweek or the school week–which, for most of us, begins on Mondays.

Related words

Debbie Downer, on the clock, 😩 Weary Face emoji

Where does Case of the Mondays come from?

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In the United States, the five-day workweek (starting on Monday) goes back to New England factories in 1908. In most American businesses, the 9-5, Monday-Friday workweek is still the norm over 100 years later.

This was certainly the case in the 1999 comedy film Office Space. This film satirized US corporate/work culture and middle management. At one point in the film, the character Peter (played by Ron Livingston) complains to his coworkers that he wants to get out of the office. In response, a female employee (Jennifer Jane Emerson) states as condescendingly and annoyingly as possible that Peter has “a Case of the Mondays.” Case, here, is an “incident of a disease,” here imagined as the Mondays, the gloomy or sour mood brought by the responsibilities and obligations of a new week.

Especially due to Emerson’s delivery of the line, Case of the Mondays became one of several quotable lines from the film and helped popularize the phrase.

Before the release of Office SpaceCase of the Mondays appears rarely in the written record. It was used just twice in Usenet groups prior to the release of the movie to express hatred of Mondays, for instanceand once as case of the “Mondays” in a 1976 edition of the magazine Black Enterprise, which suggests the phrase has had some, likely spoken currency before Office Space.  Still, after the film’s release, use of Case of the Mondays increased dramatically, very often in reference to Office Space.

Examples of Case of the Mondays

I've got a case of the Mondays today and I don't like it can I exchange it for a case of chocolate or something?

@ErikaHarlacher, November 2018
Have a case of the Mondays? This is sure to help! Disney-Pixar released a teaser trailer for “Toy Story 4” Monday morning.
WNEP, November 2018
A reporter, who has worked his way up to a top-level and high pressured position with a large metropolitan daily, suffers from a chronic case of "the Mondays."
Diane Weathers, Black Enterprise, February 1976

Who uses Case of the Mondays?

Case of the Mondays has been used in countless memes, forum posts, tweets, content published on Mondays, and, of course, feet-dragging or snarky comments around the water cooler to express that bad mood we feel on having to begin the work or school week on Monday. It’s what causes those Sunday scaries, after all.

Case of the Mondays is also often used in direct reference to the film Office Space.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Case of the Mondays like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Case of the Mondays that will help our users expand their word mastery.