Idiom: Couch Potato

Cartoon of a potato sitting on a couch eating chips: My dad is a couch potato. He eats chips and watches "90-Day Fiance" and "Keeping up with the Kardashian's" every day.

Idiom:  Couch Potato (meaning)

Can you guess the meaning of the couch potato idiom just by looking at the picture? A couch potato is a popular expression in American English so it's worth learning.

Couch potato:  A very lazy person who sits on a couch watching television all day.


This idiom is informal and uses humor to describe someone who tries to avoid physical activity or being outdoors.

couch is another word for sofa. Both words mean the same thing, a piece of furniture that seats a few people.

A potato is a big, round, solid food. It's heavy, not light, so it's easy to imagine a potato not being able to move very easily.

Very important:  The plural of potato is potatoes (not potatos)! 

Couch potatoes barely move, unless they are reaching for the remote control to change the tv channel. Couch potatoes also often eat unhealthy foods (e.g., chips or sweets) while watching television. They are often considered unhealthy and overweight as a result of being lazy and not moving around.

Being a couch potato can be a temporary state and not necessarily a character trait. Often people choose to be a couch potato for a night or weekend because as a way to relax and not do very much. But, yes, some people are couch potatoes most of the time and this idiom can be used as a more polite way to say the person is lazy.

Please note that we do not use this phrase to talk about people sitting at the computer. It's specifically used for people sitting in a comfortable chair or couch watching television for long periods of time.

Sentence examples

These sentences will help you better understand how to use this expression into your everyday conversations:

—  Our son has become a real couch potato this summer; all he does is sit in front of the tv watching reruns of old sitcoms and baseball games.

—  The reason she never invites you over to her house is because her mother is a couch potato and she's so embarrassed about it.

—  It doesn't bother me that my dad is a couch potato but it's so embarrassing that he watches the Real Housewives series and the Kardashians.

—  Get up and do your homework!  There will be no couch potatoes in this house!

—  I never thought I'd become a couch potato but I'm so tired after work that once I sit down I can hardly get back up!

—  Jim thought a pricey gym membership might help motivate him to stop being a couch potato since most of the gym equipment is connected to televisions. Unfortunately, now he's both out of shape and broke.

—  Ever since my sister got a new gaming console she has turned into a complete couch potato.

—  Don't be a couch potato! Get up and join us for a jog in the park.

—  Is your brother going to be a couch potato spending hours playing video games the entire summer?

A couch potato idiom: A cartoon potato holding a tv remote control sits on a couch. "They say being a couch potato is unhealthy, but I argue that it's a great workout for your fingers and thumbs."

—  I dated a really cute guy but soon discovered he was a couch potato I suggested many different activities we could do together but all he wanted to do was sit and watch TV.

—  If you start smoking pot you'll soon be a couch potato  and fat from eating snacks all day.

—  We're looking forward to going back to work actually. We were couch potatoes over the holidays and feel disgusting.

—  My wife has been a couch potato since her mother passed away and I think she may need help for depression.

— I used to be a couch potato but getting outside and doing some gardening has really helped me feel happier and healthier.

— I can't believe you decided to be a couch potato and binge-watch Netflix even though the weather was perfect outside this afternoon.

— My sister is a couch potato on weekends. She's practically glued to the couch with her popcorn bowl.

— My dog has turned into a couch potato. He has also mastered the art of hogging the entire couch!

— I used to be a couch potato, but then I discovered the joy of outdoor activities.

— My daughter should list couch potato as a past time on her applications since all she does is watch television.

— After a long day at work, I unwind by being a couch potato. Indulging in silly reality TV shows is one of my guilty pleasures.

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