17:07, Sat 5 Oct
Definitely a bad thing.
“Well that’s a bit of show stopper isn’t it”.
Heard that phrase loads of times when someone is referring to something bad that has happened.
Its something that will prevent or derail implementation
17:13, Sat 5 Oct
Always been something bad and ‘stops the show’ for me.

Sorry, can't agree ... if someone produces a "showstopping performance" then that means a brilliant performance
17:14, Sat 5 Oct
in the world of projects its a problem that means the project can't continue until its resolved.

Surely that's "a game stopper" .. the exact opposite of a "show stopper"
17:19, Sat 5 Oct
Haircut1000
I had only ever heard it as something bad. I've heard it used loads at work - are there any showstopppers out there? Potential problems that one would like to be aware of before they might make the shit hit the fan or cause inordinate delays and problems.

That would proper wind me up if someone said that in a meeting.
18:43, Sat 5 Oct
In the 19th century and early 20th "a showstopper" was a song. Artists would vie to get a tnew une that literally stopped the show as the audience demanded an encore. Sometimes singers would do three or four encores of the new song before the show could resume.
18:49, Sat 5 Oct
Out of interest, can anyone point me towards a professional publication using the word "showstopper" or "showstopping" to mean "bad?"

I'd never heard it used that way before this thread and having searched around online, I can only find examples of it being used to mean "good."
It's a common business or IT term, showstoppers are things that would prevent a new project being rolled out or change to a process implemented

The project being the show

Usually used when something hasn't gone to plan but not serious enough to put a stop to it. 'theres a problem with xyz but it's not a showstopper'
This is one that always winds me up. It’s from musical theatre, so it’s supposed to be a blinding performance that stops the show for applause or whatever. But it gets used in the opposite way all the time in my line of work.

It’s one of those expressions people use when they generally don’t know what it means or comes from - e.g. ‘on tenderhooks’ when they mean ‘tenterhooks’ (a tenter being a frame for stretching fabric - also where tent comes from). If you understood where it comes it comes from, you wouldn’t get it wrong.


I see that dictionary definition has the ‘bad’ version as one of the uses - a good example of how dictionaries have to keep pace with people’s ‘wrong’ usage.
Definitely means a good thing.
22:35, Sat 5 Oct
Definitely an amazing event or piece of artistry.

Fantastically performed song, brilliant strike, dance routine on strictly come dancing on ice, that sort of thing.
That was liquid football!
23:55, Sat 5 Oct
BromsgroveBlues
Shawn Michaels

Close thread
I got the horses in the back
14:19, Sun 6 Oct
They use it in “Bake Off” to mean a great or extravagant piece of work.
14:28, Sun 6 Oct
No one has ever used it in a negative way to me.
Even GBBO uses it as a positive!
And if GBBO has it as a good thing, it MUST be right.