I'm a Brit since birth so a native English speaker but I heard the expression "dog on the sofa moment" whilst listening to the radio and I have no idea what it means. I could have mis-heard but I don't think so. The context was the presenter saying how she had the opportunity to interview a certain celebrity and it was a real "dog on the sofa moment".

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    A predicament: on the one hand, there are no recorded instances of usage of this phrase anywhere (I looked at google books, COCA, and BNC). As a consequence, the answers to this question will necessarily be 'opinion-based', and so the question should be closed as off-topic. However, it is an interesting question, and I wouldn't be surprised if we actually managed to reach a consensus on what the expression probably means. What to do? Should we close the question as off-topic because answers to it will be primarily opinion-based, or leave it be? Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 22:26
  • I'm new to this site, so I can't comment with any authority on whether the question should be closed. Nevertheless, I would be very sorry to see it closed. While I often tend to resist linguistic evolution, I find this expression inventive and really charming. The presenter put thought into it and probably made many people smile. If a discussion here brought consensus and many of us began using the expression, it might enter common usage. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 10:12
  • Being hard to answer doesn’t make it off-topic.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


Her dog clearly really enjoys being on the sofa (like most dogs), even if he doesn’t have any right to be there. I don’t think it’s a common idiom, but the meaning seems clear to me. She’s comparing her emotions to her dog's, using both anthropomorphism and metaphor. It gives a sense of her enjoyment at interviewing this person along with her mild "imposter syndrome".

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    Alternatively, it just means it’s a really special treat – interviewing this celebrity made the presenter so excited she felt like a dog who’d been allowed to sit on the sofa with its owner. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 22:09
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I think you're right, post an answer and I'll mark as such. Sorry late, reply did not get notifications
    – Enilorac
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 11:28

This expression conjures up the image of a dog sitting on a sofa looking not only happy, but very pleased with itself, in a good way. In addition to joy, a dog might also feel the kind of thrill, and maybe even the sense of accomplishment, that comes with access to forbidden territory. The dog in question could be saying, "Wow, I did it!"

  • Pam has essentially said very much the same thing. But the answer wasn't heavily upvoted, probably because it has no supporting references. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 11:41
  • It’s the kind of thing that can be made up on the spot, so no references anywhere. Many dog owners (those with dogs that love to sit on the sofa but usually aren’t allowed to) would figure out what it is supposed to mean.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 11:57
  • Any supporting reference to what dogs on sofas are thinking would have to be anthropomorphic and therefore speculative. The initial comment on this post acknowledged that answers here would be necessarily opinion-based. It would, however, be possible to find out what the presenter was thinking if we knew who she was and someone could ask her. But @enilorac may not have heard her name, as that kind of thing is easy to miss with radio broadcasts. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 12:36

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