How Charlie the Tuna Became One of the Best-Known Brand Mascots in American History

StarKist’s 58-year-old talking fish was the original hipster

Let the record reflect: “Sorry, Charlie” all began with a talking tuna. Courtesy of Starkist

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the phrase (and it can’t be many), “Sorry, Charlie” roughly translates to: Tough luck, bro. Urban Dictionary defines it as: “A lack of sympathy. A form of ‘get over it.’” Today’s kids might not trot out “Sorry, Charlie” as much as the youth of the 1960s did, but the mock-pity phrase has made enough of a cultural impact to have resulted in an official “Sorry Charlie Day” (April 6), created to recognize “that everyone gets rejected sometimes.”

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.