that's the way the cookie crumbles

that's the way 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. I'm pretty gutted about not getting into the grad school program I wanted, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

that's the way the cookie crumbles

or

that's how the cookie crumbles

If you say that's the way the cookie crumbles or that's how the cookie crumbles you mean that you have to accept the way things happen or develop, even if it is not what you wanted. You're not always on peak performance, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. I had some bad luck with injuries — that's how the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, way
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the way (or how) the cookie crumbles

how things turn out (often used of an undesirable but unalterable situation). informal, chiefly North American
See also: cookie, crumble, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

that’s the way the cookie ˈcrumbles

(also that’s the way it ˈgoes) (informal) that is the situation and we cannot change it, so we must accept it: She met somebody else and left me. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose.
See also: cookie, crumble, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

that's how (the way) the ball bounces/cookie crumbles

This is the way things have turned out and nothing can be done about it; that’s fate. These expressions became current in America in the mid-twentieth century and quickly spread to the rest of the English-speaking world. Both are enhanced by alliteration, and neither has a totally clear meaning. The bounce of a ball on an uneven surface can affect the outcome of a game, and a cookie disintegrating into crumbs is difficult to consume neatly. Edward Albee used the latter in his play, The Zoo Story (1960): “‘Well . . . naturally every man wants a son, but . . .’—‘But that’s the way the cookie crumbles?’”
See also: ball, bounce, cookie, crumble, how
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"When it came to the important time I ended up messing up, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
The Rocket said: "He probably thought he had chances to win but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
He lay down and burped a giant burp, while Catalina happily met her family with hugs and a fresh batch of her favorite cookies, saying "That's the way the cookie crumbles!" Delicious, edible looking illustrations with sly images of little Russian nesting dolls decorate the pages of this modern fable of "Catalina and the King's Wall," a homily warning against greed and separatism that speaks to today's children and adults as well.
"But that's the way the cookie crumbles. We are fourth so we can't grumble.
Over the next few weeks workshops entitled Pukka Picnics, That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles, and Pizza & Pasta, will help children boost their culinary know-how.
That's the way the cookie crumbles for a country on the rise.