What Does Serious As a Heart Attack Mean?

As Serious as a Heart Attack Meaning

Definition: Extremely serious; not funny or joking.

Origin of As Serious as a Heart Attack

This expression comes from the medical condition of suffering a heart attack. Because this is a horrible, dangerous, and life-threatening event, it is not funny at all. It epitomizes something serious.

This expression became popular in the 1960s. People often say this in response to a statement such as You must be joking in order to emphasize that they aren’t joking whatsoever.

-You must be joking.

-No way! I’m as serious as a heart attack.

Examples of As Serious as a Heart Attack

serious as a heart attack lyrics This example dialogue involves a husband and wife that are discussing what to do for their vacation.

Bobby: What do you think we should do on our vacation?

Jennie: I think we should volunteer to help refugees.

Bobby: Ha! Yeah, right. Wait, are you serious?

Jennie: Of course I’m serious! I’m as serious as a heart attack. We are so blessed to have this much; I think it’s important that we give something back. And those people have had such terrible stuff happen to them. They really need help.

define serious as a heart attack Two friends are camping and one of them is making a fire.

Andrew: Do you want to come sit by this fire?

Aaron: No way! I just saw you throw plastic in there.

Andrew: So what?

Aaron: So burning plastic releases carcinogens in the air. It can give you cancer!

Andrew: You’re joking.

Aaron: No, I’m as serious as a heart attack!

More Examples

This excerpt is about a hiring investigator who told a prospective employee that he needed to give him his social media password.

  • “I said, ‘you can’t be serious,'” Collins testified. “He said, ‘I am as serious as a heart attack.’ I did not want to do it, but because I really needed my job and he implied that this was a condition of recertification, I reluctantly gave him my password.” –USA Today

The second excerpt is about a man who fathered many children in different places, with different mothers. Five of the children met each other, and now joke about the fact that they might have many more siblings that they don’t even know about. However, despite joking about it, it is still a serious issue.

  • Burkes has four brothers, counting the two she grew up with and the two she’s found along the way. “I’m the only girl, evidently,” she says, riffing on a running family gag. “We talk about all the cities Daddy played in and it’s sort of a joke, who else might be out there. But at the same time it’s serious as a heart attack.”–USA Today


The phrase as serious as a heart attack is an expression that emphasizes how sincere someone is, or how important something is.