Go Ballistic


What does Go Ballistic mean?

The phrase Go Ballistic refers to a person becoming extremely angry, agitated, or out of control – basically, they go Batshit Crazy.

When someone “Goes Ballistic,” they are no longer able to maintain their composure and respond in a calm or rational manner. The term evokes imagery of a ballistic missile, which is known for its explosive and unpredictable path.

In a similar vein, when someone “Goes Ballistic,” their emotions and actions become erratic and explosive. This slang is often used to describe situations where someone’s anger or frustration escalates rapidly and unexpectedly.

Alternatively, “Go Ballistic” is also a popular phrase, expressing excitement and hype, either around a long-awaited release, or a party.


When Jenny found out that someone had eaten her last slice of pizza without asking, she went ballistic and began yelling at everyone in the room.


What's the origin of Go Ballistic?

The origin of the phrase “Go Ballistic” is unclear, but it became widely popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

While its exact etymology remains contested, some theories suggest that the term draws from the military field, where “ballistic” refers to objects that are moving under the influence of only gravity and air resistance.

This concept of uncontrolled motion mirrors the explosive anger associated with someone “Going Ballistic.”

Another theory suggests that the phrase emerged from the world of sports, specifically basketball. When a player would become agitated and uncontrollable, they were said to “Go Ballistic” with their energy and aggressive actions on the court.

Spread & Usage

How did Go Ballistic spread?

In Daily Life:

In everyday conversations, you may hear the phrase “Go Ballistic” used in various situations.

It often describes someone’s explosive anger when faced with unexpected or infuriating circumstances.

Whether it’s a boss yelling at an employee for a major mistake or a parent losing their temper when their child breaks a valuable item, the phrase “Go Ballistic” effectively conveys the severity and intensity of the emotional response.

In Pop Culture:

“Go Ballistic” has also become a favorite expression within popular culture.

From action movies where heroes exclaim they are “Going Ballistic” before wreaking havoc on their enemies, to comedies where characters hilariously overreact to minor inconveniences, the phrase has gained traction as a memorable and relatable way to depict extreme emotions.

Its usage in music lyrics, particularly in the genres of rap and rock, further solidifies its place in contemporary slang vocabulary.

Internet Memes:

As with many slang phrases, “Go Ballistic” has found its way into internet memes.

Memes often feature exaggerated or humorous situations, with accompanying text reflecting the meme’s theme.

One common meme format based on “Go Ballistic” might show a character or animal experiencing a minor annoyance, followed by an explosion and the caption “They went ballistic over this!”

Memes have played a significant role in cementing this slang phrase’s popularity and ensuring its continued relevance in online communities.

External resources

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