From A Tribe Called Quest 's Butter, I STILL use this line almost every day (in bold)
Phife this, Phife that, where you going, where you at These girls don't know me from jack, yet I feel like the Mack You didn't want me then, so yo hon, don't want me now Here, Here - take the towel, wipe off your brow And take the contact out your eye, you're far from looking fly You get an E for effort, and T for nice try
Usually I say 'E for effort and T for nice try' when someone is doing something half-ass or they say they are doing something which they are not. Or I use it to refer to myself when I am clearly treading water in the deep end of procrastination.
Then there is the word T-Effort from Awkward Black Girl. In one episode her new bosses have a pep talk about getting the team to work together ....showing some team effort.... T-Effort!
That is definitely one of mine and François' words. We used it this weekend when his parents were expected at noon for lunch. When he called (just by chance), we learned that they would arrive at 11am - a whole hour early. AAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! The chicken was in the oven but our place was a hot mess. We had 10 minutes. We looked around, we looked at each other and both said in unison T-EFFORT! (Yes, we are dorks). He cleaned the bathroom and grabbed the vacuum. I cleared the table of the paper piles and put everything I could see in our bedroom.
As soon as they arrived, I ran into the shower, because I too, was a hot mess. Literally.
So there you have it. We could have had an E for Effort and T for nice try but we rallied, did some T-Effort and got her done. Whew!