I've watched Grace and Frankie, SE1 EP7. I liked that but I don't understand this sentence.

She flat-tired on some junior varsity bullshit.

Frankie answered her phone while she'd been watching 'The Spelling Bee'.
Here's the part of the script for context.

Frankie: Hi, Mike.

Mike: Is this a good time?

Frankie: It's always a good time to talk to you.

Mike: So how is everything going?

Frankie: Well, you just missed Marinda just before. She flat-tired on some junior varsity bullshit. Her parents are going to kill her!

Mike:- And now... I'm sorry? What?

Frankie: Well, you know, the spelling bee!

I think that means Marinda did something wrong. I would really appreciate it if you explain it.

  • Rather than simply quoting the script, it might help to explain the plot/situation. Are these people college students, teachers, what? What has Marinda done earlier in the episode? Etc.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 10, 2021 at 10:40
  • Thank you for your advice!!
    – qq q
    Nov 11, 2021 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


It means "she failed at an easy task".

"To flat-tire on something" probably means to fail, evoking an image of a race or progress coming to a halt.

"Junior varsity" is a secondary team of younger and less experienced players at a competition.

It was an easy question that even a junior player should have gotten right but she got it wrong.

  • Thank you so much!!
    – qq q
    Nov 10, 2021 at 9:58
  • Google returns just 20 hits for the collocation "he flat-tired", and none of them seem to match the cited context. It's obvious to me the intended meaning is flunked, failed disastrously, but it's also obvious that the cited usage has little or no currency. Nov 10, 2021 at 18:15
  • That's why Mike didn't understand, either. Thank you, FumbleFingers!!
    – qq q
    Nov 11, 2021 at 14:49

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