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Ways To Reply To “Thank You,” Ranked

Dan McQuade/Defector

Recently, I was forced to examine my relationship with the phrase "thank you." I saw a TikTok made by an Australian complaining that Americans never say "you're welcome." I scoffed at my screen. Of course we say "you're welcome," I thought. But then for the next few days, I walked around contemplating it, and I noticed she was right. I don't say "you're welcome." Later, I watched another video in which someone explained a hypothesis for why "you're welcome" is disappearing, at least for Americans. The gist of it is that saying "you're welcome" feels passive-aggressive to us.

Hear me out. Were I, for example, to save someone's dog from oncoming traffic, and that person then said "thank you," I would say "you're welcome" back with all the gratitude in my heart. But usually, the thing that I am doing is not historic, or brave, or even really more than a common courtesy and yet it elicits a "thank you." When we say "thank you," for everything, why would we say "you're welcome"?

So, according to me, here are responses to "thank you," ranked:

  1. Of course
  2. Sure
  3. Anytime
  4. For sure
  5. My pleasure
  6. No, thank you!
  7. No problem!
  8. No worries
  9. Absolutely
  10. Yep!
  11. You're good
  12. Mhm
  13. Totally
  14. It's my job
  15. Duh
  16. Stepping in front of a bus before you can respond
  17. You're welcome

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