can't win them all

(you) can't win them all

A phrase said, often as an attempt at consolation, when one has lost or failed to achieve a desired result, especially after previous success. "Them" is sometimes abbreviated as "'em." I know you're disappointed to have the lost the game, but you can't win them all, honey. A: "I'm sorry, I know you worked really hard and were expecting an A+." B: "Eh, can't win 'em all."
See also: all, win

(You) can't win them all.

 and (You) can't win 'em all.
Inf. a catch phrase said when someone, including the speaker, has lost in a contest or failed at something. (The you is impersonal, meaning one, anyone. The apostrophe on 'em is not always used.) Mary: Gee, I came in last again! Jane: Oh, well. You can't win them all. "Can't win 'em all," muttered Alice as she left the boss's office with nothing accomplished.
See also: all, win
References in periodicals archive ?
I was hyped and ready to go to overtime, but can't win them all,'' Holt said.
With the first win of the season under his belt, David jokes, "You can't win them all if you don't win the first
This comes under the heading `You Can't Win Them All,' '' said Raymond Katz, an entertainment industry analyst at Bear Stearns & Co.