What Does It’s a Jeep Thing Mean, and Why Can’t You Understand?

What Does It’s a Jeep Thing Mean, and Why Can’t You Understand?

Last Updated February 21, 2022 | Andrew Boyle

“It’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t understand.” This refrain has surely popped up around you at some point. Even on the shortest drives, any Jeep that pulls up beside you is liable to have this phrase stuck on it somewhere. It appears on t-shirts, bumper stickers, tire covers, and places we probably haven't yet imagined.

If you don’t own a Jeep, this saying may seem cryptic. What don’t you understand? While it’s not necessarily difficult to comprehend, this phrase is almost a verbal handshake amongst Jeep enthusiasts, another rite of passage akin to the infamous Jeep Wave.

Driving on rocks: It’s a Jeep Thing

What Is a Jeep Thing?

“A Jeep Thing,” as it is described, can be any aspect of the Jeep owning experience. A Jeep thing may include:

  • Ignoring curbs almost entirely when driving in a city
  • Leaving mud from their last adventure where it landed
  • Fording flooded roads like they’re crossing the Oregon trail
  • Parking on the opposite side of the parking lot just in order to be beside another Jeep
  • Missing an exit on the highway because of an overly enthusiastic Jeep wave
  • Proving that barrel rolls are not just for planes
  • Struggling to remember why cars have doors in the first place

What’s There Not to Understand?

While these points may seem like marks of an enthusiastic fandom, Jeep culture runs a bit deeper than just a few phrases and a wave. Many Jeep owners describe the community of other Jeep owners as a welcoming culture that transcends the simple ownership of a vehicle. Sure, to outsiders it does seem a bit ridiculous, and in fact, it kinda is. As far as we know, the only other car-related wave is the Pontiac Wave, and that’s far less interesting. For non-Jeep owners, “it’s a Jeep thing, you wouldn’t understand” is treated like a meme targeted at the baffling zeal of Jeep owners. In other words, they are haters.

Offroading here? You wouldn’t understand...

Jeep Pride

Say whatever you will about Jeeps, but there is something legitimate to their fandom. The Jeep Wrangler's history ranks among the most interesting of any vehicles' and even the name Jeep promises a story.

Jeeps are some of the best off-roaders on the market, and there's no limit of fascinating places to go off-roading. The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular off-roading vehicles on the market, and any off-road enthusiast intimately understands the importance of this popular Jeep saying. In fact, a Jeep is the only vehicle to have been awarded a purple heart. It’s surprising how general the purpose of a Jeep can be. Even without any of the impressive number of Jeep mods, a stock Jeep can accomplish many driving tasks. At the end of the day, a Jeep thing can be pretty much anything. While it’s possible to spot Jeep things, you can’t fully understand this Jeep saying unless there’s a key to a Jeep in your pocket right now.

Andrew Author Photo

About the Author

Andrew is a Jeep TJ owner and car industry aficionado with over 150 articles under his belt. Read full bio →

Newsletter Sign-Up

What Does It’s a Jeep Thing Mean, and Why Can’t You Understand?

If you’ve ever driven behind a Jeep before, then odds are that you’ve seen the cryptic phrase: “It’s a Jeep Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand." This saying functions like a secret handshake amongst Jeep owners and espouses the core tenants of Jeep ownership.