I've heard a guy saying "What is your deal?" when hitting up on a girl two times on a TV show.

According to the Free Dictionary:

What's the deal? (informal) something that you say in order to ask someone to explain what they have been doing or what they are planning to do:

So, what's the deal - are we going out to dinner?

On GirlsAskGuys, someone says that "What's your deal" is a way of asking "what's up".

The latter seems more plausible, though after having looked it up on the Internet it appears that it's just one man's opinion. So, which meaning of this question is right in this case?

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    Aduku, you're confusing several things. Most clearly, "What is your deal?" isn't a variant of the well-recognised "What's the deal?" at all. Does the definition you quote seem adult, or more childish? I've only been listening for 60 years and in my experience "What's the deal?" might mean "What are you planning" but never means "What have you been doing?" Either might mean "What's going down?" but again, that's not the same thing. I remember no instance of "What's your deal?" in person or in print, on film or stage or TV; never. Mar 1, 2018 at 23:51
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    @RobbieGoodwin “What is your deal?” is not that uncommon, though it does strike me as entirely American. It means “What is your problem?” and should be said in an aggressive, confrontational way for maximum authenticity. Mar 7, 2018 at 21:30
  • You're right about the American part, though it's been said purely flirtatiously, no aggression there. Nonetheless, I think I got it know, but thanks!
    – Aduku
    Mar 7, 2018 at 22:03
  • Wow… we learn somthing new every day, eh? Mar 9, 2018 at 0:55

4 Answers 4


I think in this context, it's inquiring about her relationship status. It's also sometimes used when someone is asking about someone else and not talking directly to them. "So your friend Julia seems nice. What's her deal?" Generally meaning "is she dating anyone?"


Typically, if an offense is given, the response is what is your deal?; aka what is wrong with you! you are offensive.


What's the deal is a slang phrase in English to normally ask what's going on (with a plan or a situation).

It does, however, have other uses with generally the same meaning with a slight change in meaning based on context:

The literal:
Inquiring about a deal
What's the deal the gentleman proposed to you about that loan?

When asking about someone:
Inquiring about someone's actions, reactions, attitude, or demeanor
What's the deal with that guy? He doesn't look okay.

When asking about a situation (as in your example sentence):
Inquiring about a "next step" in a process or outcome
So, what's the deal - are we going out to dinner?

There's a few more usages of this phrase however they all approximate a question about the state of something.


OK, so now I know that the phrase "what is your deal?" means "what's up". It suddenly hit me as I was coming back to this question.

So, just to clarify why I think so, the phrase comes from the Parks and Rec, so we're talking American English. As I have said before, it's been said only two times on the show, and each time, the context was that the guy was hitting on a girl. Also, asking this wasn't preceded by any other comment. Besides, I was trying to recall what was the answer to it. So, once there was no respond, and the second time someone described their life, basically. Well, it's a comedy, so the answers aren't real clues...

But anyway, now that I think about it is pretty obvious that it's just another variation of what's up?

Thanks everyone for your effort and time!

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