Yogi Berra Museum via Facebook
Yogi Berra Museum via Facebook

8 Pop Culture References to Yogi Berra's "It Ain't Over Till It's Over"

Yogi Berra Museum via Facebook
Yogi Berra Museum via Facebook

Baseball giant Yogi Berra died yesterday at age 90, and beyond his legacy as a Hall of Famer, he left behind a number of Yogi-isms that long ago seeped into the cultural lexicon. One of them, "It ain't over till it's over," was an offhanded remark made during the 1973 season when the Mets were in last place during the pennant race. Against all odds, Berra helped manage the team back to the top, and the Mets won that year's division title. The never-say-never optimism of Berra's words resonated, and the phrase was—to put it in baseball terms—a home run.

Here are eight examples, in honor of Berra's retired number '8' Yankees jersey, of pop culture pep talks based on Berra's famous phrase.


Lenny Kravtiz’s soulful ballad from 1991 took Yogi’s words from the ball field and applied them to the bedroom—he and his amour might be “playing games with love” and crying over it, but did they give up? No. Here they are, still together. 'Cause baby, it ain’t over till it’s over.


“You’ve seen the films, kiddo,” Liam Neeson’s character tells his lovesick son in Love Actually, urging him to go after his Mariah Carey-belting crush, Joanna. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” The pep talk worked. “OK, dad,” young Sam replies, his hopes renewed. “Let’s do it. Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.” Attaboy!


You know who doesn’t know when to quit? Rocky. That’s why he came out of retirement for a sixth movie and the chance to fight the current heavyweight champion. When the younger boxer—the unfortunately named Mason “The Line” Dixon—lets him know, pre-fight, that he doesn’t stand a chance, Rocky espouses some Yogi wisdom on him. “What’s that from, the '80s?” Dixon asks. “That’s probably the '70s,” Rocky smirks. Kids these days.


“Snap out of it!” might be the most famous line from this 1987 romantic comedy about a woman looking for love, but the better advice came from—where else?— the Italian mother. When Loretta goes moping to her hard-nosed mother about being 37 and making plans for her marriage of convenience, it wasn’t going to fly. “I didn’t have [your brother] until after I was 37,” her ma replies. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Turns out she was right. Loretta meets the equally high-strung Ronny (Nicolas Cage) later that day, they end up together after a rom-com full of missteps, and Cher and Olympia Dukakis won Oscars for their roles. Salute!


In 2011, the Miami DJ recruited Mary J. Blige to sing the chorus for his ode to resilience and moving on. “Just when I thought I said all there was to say,” she croons, “I get the last word—It ain’t over till it’s over.”


In 2010, 12 years after the original StarCraft video game, Blizzard Entertainment released this three-installment sequel. The real-time sci-fi strategy game follows mercenary captain Jim Raynor as he comes back to save the day against the emperor Arcturus Mengsk, who has declared him an “unscrupulous, lawless revolutionary.” Raynor will have none of that. “It ain’t over till it’s over, you son of a …” he growls as he shoots his monitor. Them’s fightin’ words.


John Belushi’s terribly inaccurate motivational speech is riddled with clichés, but “It ain’t over” is a hard rallying cry from which to back down, especially when you’re a frat full of recently suspended, hungover college kids. And you know what, he’s right! “Psychotic, but absolutely right.” The tough get going!


In the 1993 episode “If Wishes Were Horses,” the crew’s thoughts suddenly manipulate themselves into manifestations, such as a Rumpelstiltskin and, fittingly, a long-dead baseball player named Buck Bokai. Apparently the universe has done away with the game, but the switch-hitting third baseman hasn’t given up on connecting with the Commander who imagined him into existence. “It ain’t over till it’s over,” he tells the other manifestations, affecting Yogi’s deep drawl.

Fox Sports, YouTube
Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

Great Big Story, Youtube
Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
Great Big Story, Youtube
Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:


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