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that's how the cookie crumbles

There is nothing we can do about the way things have unfolded, especially bad ones, so there is no reason to be upset about it. (A variant of the more common "That's the way the cookie crumbles.") I'm pretty gutted about not getting into the grad school program I wanted, but hey, that's just how the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, how

crumble away

to break away in little pieces. The marble pillar was crumbling away because of the acidic rain. One of my teeth is just crumbling away.
See also: away, crumble

crumble into something

to break apart and fall down into bits and pieces. The base of the pillar suddenly crumbled into dust. The bones crumbled into dust as the body was lifted from the box.
See also: crumble

crumble something up (into something)

to crunch up or break up something into pieces. Now, crumble the dried bread up into crumbs. Crumble up the bread into crumbs.
See also: crumble, up

crumble up

to break up into little pieces. The cake, which was very dry, crumbled up when I tried to cut it. The paper of the old book crumbled up when I turned the pages.
See also: crumble, up

That's the way the ball bounces.

 and That's the way the cookie crumbles.; That's the way the mop flops.
Prov. You cannot control everything that happens to you.; You should accept the bad things that happen. Bill: I bought a hundred lottery tickets this week, but I still didn't win! Alan: That's the way the ball bounces. I was planning to have fun on my vacation, but I've been sick the whole time. I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. That's tough, but that's the way the mop flops.
See also: ball, bounce, way

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

  (British, American & Australian informal) also That's the way the ball bounces. (American informal)
something that you say which means that bad things sometimes happen and there is nothing you can do to prevent it, so it is not worth becoming upset about it I can't believe they chose Sam for the job and not me. Ah well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
See be laughing all the way to the bank, one way or the other, There's more than one way to skin a cat, claw your way back from, know which way to turn, open the way for, pave the way for, pay its way, pay way, point the way, see which way the cat jumps, see your way to, smooth the way for, wing way, see which way the wind is blowing
See also: cookie, crumble, way

that's how the ball bounces

Also, that's the way the ball bounces or the cookie crumbles . That is the way matters have worked out and nothing can be done about it. For example, I'm sorry you got fired but that's how the ball bounces, or They wanted a baby girl but got a third boy-that's the way the cookie crumbles. These phrases allude to an odd bounce or a crumbled cookie that cannot be put back together. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: ball, bounce, how

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

sent. That is life.; That is typical of the unequal share of things you are likely to get in life. I lost my job. Oh, well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, way
References in classic literature ?
Unused were these to the ways of the jungle, since seldom did any venture forth from behind Opar's crumbling walls, yet their very numbers protected them and so they came without fatalities far along the trail of Tarzan and Werper.
The little boy was filled with awe and his childish imagination ran riot as they approached the crumbling barbican on foot, leading the horse after them.
We swarmed out of our holes, examining the marks his claws had made on the crumbling rock of the bluff, all of us talking at once.
I felt the structure of our time-honored militaristic arguments crumbling about me.
Here rose in crumbling grandeur the first evidences I had seen of the ancient civilization which once had graced fair Albion--a single, time-worn arch of masonry.
Then the party rose, and dragging me to the crumbling arch, made me fast to a huge, corroded, copper ring which was dangling from an eyebolt imbedded in the masonry.
It seemed impossible to believe that in this peaceful woodland setting the frightful thing was to occur which must come with the passing of the next lion who chanced within sight or smell of the crumbling arch.
When the visitor has mounted the crumbling steps of this ancient donjon, he reaches a little plateau where, in the seventeenth century, Georges Philibert de Sequigny, Lord of the Glandier, Maisons-Neuves and other places, built the existing town in an abominably rococo style of architecture.
It was a practised eye that travelled up the slope to the crumbling canyon-wall and back and down again to the edge of the pool.
He attacked the crumbling quartz with the pick, bursting the disintegrating rock asunder with every stroke.
Swaying rhythmically with the ambling paces of his good little cob, drinking in the warm yet fresh scent of the snow and the air, as he rode through his forest over the crumbling, wasted snow, still left in parts, and covered with dissolving tracks, he rejoiced over every tree, with the moss reviving on its bark and the buds swelling on its shoots.
Billy went slowly, displaying extreme caution; but twice she saw him slip, the weather-eaten stone crumbling away in his hand and rattling beneath him into the cove.
Even so, the unaccustomed height, the crumbling surface, and the fierce buffets of the wind tried her nerve.
On this week's TribCast, Emily talks with Evan, Ross and Jay about crumbling infrastructure at state agencies, the candidates to be the next UT-Austin president, and - what else - state Rep.
MANAMA: A warning has gone out amid claims one of Bahrain's most popular seafronts has been literally crumbling into the sea.