Where's the beef?

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Where's the beef?

1. What is the problem? This meaning uses "beef" in the sense of a conflict, complaint, grudge, feud, etc. So, he borrowed your sweater and then he returned it. Where's the beef?
2. Where is the most substantive or the important part (of something)? This usage originated with a popular catchphrase introduced in a 1984 commercial for the Wendy's fast food chain in which a woman humorously questioned the purported lack of meat in competitors' hamburgers. The phrase was further popularized that year when US presidential candidate Walter Mondale used it to question the substance of the policy proposals of his primary opponent, Gary Hart. The writing is good, but where's the beef? You need evidence to back up your claims. The program looks good on paper, but how do we know it will really work? Has any research been done? Where's the beef?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Where's the beef?

Inf. Where is the substance?; Where is the important content? That's really clever and appealing, but where's the beef? Where's the beef? There's no substance in this proposal.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

where's the beef?

1. Also, what's the beef? What is the source of a complaint, as in Where's the beef? No one was hurt in the accident. This usage employs beef in the sense of a "complaint" or "grudge," also appearing in the phrase have no beef with, meaning "have no quarrel with." [Slang; late 1800s]
2. Where is the content or substance, as in That was a very articulate speech, but where's the beef? This usage was originally the slogan for a television commercial for a hamburger chain attacking the poor quality of rival chains. (1984) The phrase was almost immediately transferred to other kinds of substance, especially in politics.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

where's the beef?

used to complain that something is too insubstantial. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

where's the beef?

Where is the substance to this issue? This expression began life as an advertising slogan for Wendy’s, the third-largest American hamburger chain. In a 1984 television commercial, three elderly women are given a small hamburger on a huge bun, a competitor’s product. They admire the bun, but one of them, a retired manicurist named Clara Peller, asks, “Where’s the beef?” The slogan caught on, and Walter Mondale, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, used it to attack his opponents’ stands and policies. The phrase echoes another, much older slang expression, what’s the beef?, meaning what’s the complaint. The use of the noun beef for gripe or complaint dates from the late 1800s. George V. Higgins used it in Deke Hunter (1976), “I agree with you . . . so what’s the beef?”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Where's the beef and vegetables I sent home, and the pudding you promised?" cried John, rushing to the larder.
Hurtado is asking "Where's the beef?" Where is the historical evidence to substantiate that Paul invented Jesus as the Son of God and Lord?
His claim to be cutting down on meat greeted him with cries of "Where's the beef, you vegan?" in a protest outside Cork City Hall earlier this month.
In the spot, Peller inspected a competing chain's oversized bun and bleated: "Where's the beef?" The phrase saw Wendy's sales jump 31 percent and fast became part of the American vernacular.
And if there was any stereotyped question like "Where's the beef?" Well, the beef was well taken care of, gone, by a bunch of Hungry Apes..
Where's the beef? It might be between the East Coast's Ryan Hickey and Ricky Oyola, scrapping on the 'Gram about who was the king of what back when.
A recent blog published by SMA's Mark Breading recognized the lack of tangible traction for InsurTech startups within the incumbent insurer community, asking, "(https://strategymeetsaction.com/news-and-events/sma-blog/insurtech-wheres-the-beef/) Where's the Beef?"
Where's the beef? The French called our soldiers "les rosbifs" because they ate so much red meat, possibly with blood running down their jowls.
The company's sales results were again "mixed" with cloud revenue near the lower end of constant currency guidance, Reback tells investors in a research note partially titled "Where's The Beef?" He notes Oracle's Q4 cloud and total revenue guidance missed consensus expectations.
As the old woman in the classic Wendy's commercials from the 1980s used to ask: "Where's the beef?"
"The phrase from the 1980 US presidential campaign of 'Where's the beef?' applies in spades to the SNP.
Pretty good for a baseball batting average - but, seriously, where's the beef?
His cooking is not about finding substitutes for meat, but about creating exciting vegetable-centric dishes that will never elicit an exasperated "Where's the beef?" Ronnen's recipes are not quick fixes, but they are truly worth the extra time and thought.
Notes from some EHRs remind us of the Wendy's commercial from the 1980s: They force us to ask, "Where's the beef?"
Notes from some EHRs remind us of the Wendy's slogan from the 1980s: "Where's the beef"