"Not Today, Satan": Who first said it?

Unveiling the Origins of "Not Today Satan, Not Today" - Discover the surprising history behind this popular phrase and its empowering message.

Last Updated:
March 9, 2024
8 Minutes

Table of Contents

Who first said 'Not Today, Satan'?

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' is largely recognized as having entered the modern vernacular through a significant event in popular culture. It was Bianca Del Rio, the sharp-tongued queen and winner of RuPaul's Drag Race sixth Season, who brought the phrase to contemporary prominence in 2014. Del Rio used it comically, rebuffing unforeseen challenges during the competition.

In theological terms, the phrase can be viewed as a verbal assertion of one's refusal to succumb to evil or temptation, as personified by the figure of Satan in Christian tradition. This strategic utterance serves not only as a dismissal of immediate negativity but also as a spiritual armor against malevolent spirits or morally compromising situations. The usage seeks to embody the biblical principle of resisting the devil, encapsulated in the Book of James (4:7): "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

However, it's worth noting that the origins of the quote may be traced back even further. The phrase is believed to be from the 1975 film "The Devil's Rain," where actor William Shatner said it during a confrontation with the devil. Despite its classic roots, the contemporary relevance and widespread usage of 'Not Today, Satan' is largely driven by Bianca Del Rio's popularizing influence.


  • The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' was popularized by Bianca Del Rio in RuPaul's Drag Race in 2014, but its roots may date back to the 1975 film "The Devil's Rain."
  • In theological context, the phrase can be understood as an expression of resisting temptation or evil impulses, personified by Satan.
  • This phrase serves as a verbal enforcement of the biblical principle found in the Book of James (4:7): "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
  • Despite its classic origins, the phrase is widely used in modern vernacular due to popular culture, mainly credited to Bianca Del Rio.

What is the cultural significance of 'Not Today, Satan'?

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' has permeated modern discourse from its roots in Christian theology to become an iconic cultural signal. Traditionally, in the Christian faith, Satan is regarded as the source of temptation, evil and disorder. With this axiom in mind, the phrase functions to reject Satan's influence and create spiritual barriers against dark forces. This stems from a consistent pattern of denial and rejection of evil characterised in many religious texts.

The usage of 'Not Today, Satan' has been instrumental in invigorating contemporary dialogues with theological undertones. Though originally confined to the realm of religion, the phrase has transgressed boundaries to become a rallying cry of resilience and self-affirmation. Its popularity attests to the adaptability of religious expressions to echo sentiments of strength and determination.

The phrase's journey from a biblical context to a broader cultural milieu further illustrates the fluidity between the religious and secular spheres in modern society. These shared expressions engender a sense of cultural unity, with theological idioms, such as 'Not Today, Satan', providing a link between religious tradition and contemporary discourse.

The phrase's ironic usage in modern pop culture taps into an ambivalence towards religious themes, both embracing and humorously subverting them. While comedically undermining the profound nature of the phrase, it also prominently acknowledges the illegitimacy of evil, reinforcing the strength and resilience of the human spirit. It is thus a beacon of empowerment, used as a powerful mantra to confront negativity, obstacles and challenges.


  • Derived from Christian theology, 'Not Today, Satan' is conventionally used to reject Satan's influence and to shield oneself from perilous forces.
  • The phrase has transcended religious contexts to become a mantra of self-affirmation and a declaration of defiance in contemporary discourse.
  • Such theological expressions bridge the gap between religious tradition and modernity, fostering cultural unity.
  • Often used ironically in pop culture, the phrase simultaneously subverts and acknowledges the profound nature of theological concepts, ultimately reinforcing human resilience and empowerment.

Is 'Not Today, Satan' a religious phrase?

While 'Not Today, Satan' may have been coined in a secular setting and has been adopted widely in pop culture, the phrase could be deemed to have a theological perspective.

From a Judeo-Christian standpoint, the entity of 'Satan' embodies evil, the antagonist to benevolent divinity, and is portrayed as a relentless tempter luring humanity towards negativity and sin. In this context, the phrase 'Not Today, Satan' could be construed as a verbal shield, a self-affirmation rebuffing the advances of evil or temptation. By invoking this phrase, the user symbolically chooses to reject negativity and moral corruption associated with the 'Satan' figure and to align themselves with moral goodness.

While this interpretation brings about a strong theological undertone, it is crucial to note that its usage in everyday speech is more often than not secular and is used metaphorically rather than in religious discourse. The vocative phrase, hence, serves as a vernacular talisman assisting individuals in warding off pessimism and embracing positivity and resilience, despite its origin from a non-religious platform. This coincides with common religious teachings promoting virtuous living and resisting malicious influences.


  • 'Not Today, Satan', although initially emerging within a non-religious framework, assumes a theological resonance when analyzed through the lens of Judeo-Christian ideology. The 'Satan' represents an embodiment of evil and moral corruption, and rejecting 'him' signifies an alignment with good and virtuous living.
  • The commonly metaphorical use of the phrase in daily parlance could be seen as highlighting the universal theme of resilience in the face of adversity, echoed in many religious and spiritual traditions.
  • Despite its religious connotations, the phrase is predominantly used in a secular context and serves as a tool for individuals to assert inner strength and repel negativity, functioning as a vernacular talisman.

What is the context in which 'Not Today, Satan' is often used?

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' tends to be utilized in a wide range of contexts that bear common connotations of overcoming adversity or rejecting negative influences. In this respect, it functions as an emphatic linguistic mechanism to convey resilience, perseverance, and personal fortitude.

Religiously or theologically, the phrase carries the weight of biblical traditions and narratives that portray Satan as a symbol of temptation, falsehood, and moral evil. Therefore, uttering 'Not Today, Satan' serves as a potent form of verbal resistance to diabolic allurements and moral misdirection. Herein lies a closely related, yet subtly distinct theological dimension—the phrase as a manifestation of one's steadfast faith and resolute spiritual commitment when besieged by challenges or temptations.

However, the phrase isn't exclusively confined to religious or spiritual contexts. In daily communication, it is often employed to rebuff various forms of negativity, from petty squabbles and unnecessary drama to more profound life adversities and personal doubts. In this secular sense, 'Not Today, Satan' translates as a rallying cry for self-affirmation and empowerment.


  • The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' is utilized widely in contexts implying the overcoming of adversity or rejection of negative influences, embodying resilience and personal grit.
  • Theologically, the utterance serves as a powerful form of verbal resistance against diabolic temptations, reflecting the speaker's unwavering faith and spiritual commitment.
  • The usage of the phrase isn't limited to religious domains—it is frequently employed in everyday conversations as a means to push back against various forms of negativity, symbolizing self-reaffirmation and empowerment.

What impact has 'Not Today, Satan' had on pop culture?

The expansive influence of the phrase 'Not Today, Satan' on popular culture is evidenced not only by its frequent usage in movies and television shows, but also by music, literature, fashion, and social media, where it has gained notable traction. What was once primarily a religious invocation used in spiritual warfare against perceived evil has evolved into a popular expression of resistance in contemporary culture. Even while retaining its original spiritual connotations, the phrase has adapted to a secularized medium, serving as a universal symbol of defiance against hardship, negativity, and adversity.

Renowned as an iconic catchphrase from the television show "RuPaul's Drag Race," 'Not Today, Satan' has expanded beyond its original television environment. It has permeated music genres, being referenced in song lyrics and album titles, reflecting the universal notion it embodies. Lending itself to #nottodaysatan, a widely shared hashtag on social media platforms, this phrase has also caught the attention of the fashion industry, with its inscription on clothing and accessories. While the phrase still represents a spiritual sentiment, the theology behind it is less potent in the secular realm of popular culture where it now exists.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that the phrase not merely illustrates a cultural shift, but also reinforces individual's narratives and experiences. It empowers individuals to resist villainous influences, offering a form of psychological self-affirmation and resilience during trying times.


  • The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' has expanded beyond its religious origins, impacting popular culture in areas such as television, music, literature, fashion, and social media.
  • Despite the securalization of the phrase, it retains its theological definition as a symbol of defiance against negativity and adversity.
  • The phrase's impact on popular culture is not only reflective of a cultural shift but also serves as a form of self-affirmation and resilience.

The Religious Undertones: Can "Not Today, Satan" be seen in a Christian Context?

The phrase "Not today, Satan" possesses pervasive presence not only in modern pop culture but also showcases strong religious undertones. Conventionally, in Christian theology, Satan is believed to be a figure that represents evil, frequently trying to lead individuals off the path of righteousness. The phrase "Not Today, Satan," therefore, can be interpreted as a direct counter to his attempts and an assertion of defiance, a steadfast refusal to succumb to his temptations.

One can also see the emergence of this phrase from a Biblical context, specifically from the book of James 4:7, which states, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The act of verbalizing the phrase "Not Today, Satan" echoes this sentiment of resistance, verbalizing one's refusal to be swayed by negative or destructive influences. It is, however, worth noting that while the phrase has clear ties to Christian doctrine and beliefs, its evolution in modern use and its reference in pop culture usually do not connote strictly religious denotations.

In colloquial usage, the term usually signifies an individual's determination to ward off negativity or problematic situations. It signifies an attempt to exert control over the occurrences of life, a bear witness to one's proactiveness to severe ties with negative influences and distractions.


  • The phrase "Not today, Satan" is steeped in Christian theology, representing a refusal to succumb to the temptations assumed to be led by Satan.
  • The phrase echoes the sentiment expressed in the Biblical verse James 4:7, encouraging resistance to negativity and destructive forces in life.
  • While possessing religious connotations, the phrase in contemporary usage is more associated with the commitment to ward off overall negativity rather than only religious temptations.

What is the psychological impact of saying 'Not Today, Satan'?

The phrase "Not Today, Satan" serves dual purposes. It is not only dismissive of negative thoughts and influences in an individual's immediate environment, but also a form of self-affirmation. This conforms to the broader psychological concept of self-talk – the ongoing internal dialogue with oneself, which can influence one's perception of self and environment. In this internal dialogue, consciously or unconsciously, participants shape their perceptions and mental state, thereby mediating their psychological health.

Owing to its popular culture origin and resonant humor, "Not Today, Satan" might not necessarily be utilized with a deep awareness of its potential theological implications. However, within a broader Christian context, it might be viewed as a shunning of symbolic forces of evil, and an affirmation of the individual's control and autonomy in resisting temptation or negative influences. The assertion of "Not Today, Satan" also gives individuals a succinct and potent reminder of their capacity to prevail over personal adversities.

It hence fits within the psychological construct of resilience and self-efficacy. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, self-efficacy refers to an individual's belief in their ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. Hence, assertively stating "Not Today, Satan" is a means of fostering this belief, and thereby empowering the individual.

This resonant phrase is therefore potent in the context of positive psychology – a subfield dedicated to human flourishing, focusing on strengths, optimism, and individual and community well-being. To dismiss a potential source of negativity and replace it with a humorous, assertive affirmation, is a strategy that aligns with positive psychology’s emphasis on the importance of optimism, resilience and personal agency.


  • Utilizing "Not Today, Satan" can serve as a form of positive self-talk, potentially helping to shape one's perception of self and environment.
  • In a broader Christian context, "Not Today, Satan" might affirm the individual's control and autonomy in resisting symbolic forces of evil.
  • The phrase affirms an individual's resilience and self-efficacy, enhancing their belief in their ability to prevail over adversity.
  • Assertive statements such as "Not Today, Satan" align with positive psychology principles, which emphasize optimism, resilience, and personal agency.

Fun Facts

'Not Today, Satan' has been used in over 1 million posts on Instagram.

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' has been printed on over 10,000 different merchandise items on Etsy.

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' was searched on Google over 100,000 times in the past year.

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' has been used in over 500,000 tweets on Twitter.

The phrase 'Not Today, Satan' has been used in over 50 songs on Spotify.

Frequently asked questions

How has the phrase "Not today Satan, not today" gained popularity outside of the drag community?

  • The phrase 'not today Satan, not today' has become widely popular beyond the drag community through cultural appropriation of drag slang.
  • The phrase quickly spread through social media, resonating with a wide audience due to its empowering and sassy nature.
  • People often use it to resist difficult situations, avoid drama, or celebrate their victories.
  • It has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring and motivating many people.
  • The phrase is a powerful reminder to stay strong and fight for what you believe in.

Are there any variations or alternative phrases that convey a similar meaning?

  • 'Not today Satan!' is a phrase of defiance and resistance against challenges and negativity.
  • It was popularized by Bianca Del Rio on RuPaul's Drag Race in 2014.
  • Alternative phrases to convey the same meaning include 'not today, devil!' and 'not today, evil!'
  • These phrases are a way to embrace inner strength and confidence.
  • Declare these phrases with pride to stand up to challenges and negativity.

What are some examples of popular culture references or memes that have used the phrase?

-The phrase 'not today Satan, not today' is an empowering and motivational catchphrase.

-It was first used by Bianca Del Rio on RuPaul's Drag Race in 2014 and has since become a popular meme and reference in popular culture.

-The phrase has been embraced by various communities, including Christians, as a sign of victory over challenges.

-Its versatility and ability to convey resilience make it a favorite in meme culture.

-The phrase has come to symbolize resilience, strength, and courage in the face of adversity.

Has the phrase been used in any political or social movements as a form of resistance or empowerment?

  • Language can be a powerful tool of resistance and empowerment in political and social movements.
  • The phrase 'not today Satan, not today' is one such example of language being used to reject and resist negative forces.
  • It is a reminder that we have the capacity to overcome challenges and hardships.
  • It encourages individuals to stand strong and make a positive difference in the world.
  • Reclaiming and redefining words and phrases can be an effective way to empower communities.

Are there any other phrases or expressions that have a similar impact or convey a similar message?

  • Expressions like 'You got this!' and 'Believe in yourself' have the power to ignite determination and confidence.
  • Such phrases remind us of our inner strength and help us to overcome obstacles.
  • Empowering phrases can boost cultural identity and inspire greatness.
  • They can help us to stay motivated on our journey to success.
  • Uplifting expressions can help us to reach our goals.

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