Pop Culture



National Sorry Charlie Day on April 6th each year encourages us to view rejection from a different perspective. It’s a day to think about the times we have been rejected. Whether we’ve been rejected by a sweetheart or a college, a prospective employer or the bank for a loan, we’ve all been refused. The day also gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we survived the rejection and what we learned from it.  

Breakups can be some of the hardest to overcome. When we’re young, this type of rejection seems to cut deeply and take the longest to heal, too. However, the person doing the rejecting may be doing you a favor if they’re honest and forthright. The quicker and more direct they are, the easier it may be for you to move on. It may hurt, their words may cut like a knife. Words like, “It’s as if you never existed,” are brutal, but they leave no lingering doubt about their feelings. 

Dismissal from a job should always be looked at as an opportunity. While it may be hard to see it that way, sometimes it’s the shove we’ve been waiting for. Even though others may take the leap on their own, many are stuck in jobs dreaming of a different career. It just takes downsizing, layoffs or outright firing for someone to see the light. 

Do you remember Charlie the Tuna?  He was often rejected but would keep going with a smile. “Sorry, Charlie” became closely associated with StarKist and was also a successful American catchphrase. Charlie never let rejection stop him. Do not let it stop you!

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSorryCharlieDay

  • Make a list of the times you’ve been turned down.
  • Each time you may have taken a different path or learned something new. How did you overcome the rebuff?
  • Share your best rejection stories using #NationalSorryCharlieDay to post on social media.


Cathy Runyan-Svacina of Kansas City, Missouri founded the Sorry Charlie, No-Fan-Club-for-You Club, and National Sorry Charlie Day.

Sorry Charlie FAQ

Q. When did Charlie the Tuna become StarKist’s mascot?
A. Charlie, the blue StarKist tuna mascot, first appeared in 1961. He was created by artist Tom Rogers.

Q. Are there other ways to tell someone, “Sorry, Charlie”?
A. Yes, there are a variety of ways to tell someone that they were not the one, though these phrases are kind of flip.

  • Better luck next time
  • Tough luck
  • That’s the way the cookie crumbles
  • Too bad, so sad

However, there are kinder ways to say this. A simple, “I’m sorry” may be the best approach.