Dr. Phil's 'Big Knife' and 'Small Wife' Are Both False

The caption on this photo on Getty refers to Dr. Phil as “Dr. him,” which rules.
The caption on this photo on Getty refers to Dr. Phil as “Dr. him,” which rules.
Photo: Getty

Maybe I’m alone here, but almost two months later, I’m still thinking about a truly haunting tweet from America’s favorite unlicensed counselor, Dr. Phil McGraw. If you’ve forgotten it—as I have tried to, repeatedly, with no success—the tweet simply stated, “BIG KNIFE! SMALL WIFE!”

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The overly white smile, the single contorted glove, the morsel of food so clearly too big for her mouth, the uncomfortable juxtaposition of a spouse and a potential murder weapon: It’s all there!

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You’ll also notice that this message, which has never been fully explained by McGraw or his wife, was sent on March 25th and it is now, in fact, mid-May. Nothing about Phil, his knife, or his wife has changed (to my knowledge), but the tweet still wormed its way back into my brain sometime around 2 a.m. last night. I just had to know: How small was this wife, really?

To my surprise, FamousPeopleToday.com (and a glut of similar websites that crop up when you type in the name of a famous person and then the word “height”) lists Robin McGraw (neé Jameson) as 5 feet, 6 inches tall. Not only is this wife not small, she’s above average—at least according to aggregated data from the CDC, which found the average height of an adult woman in the United States to be 5'3.7".

The true Phil Heads reading this are likely one step ahead here, but the (non-practicing, non-medical) doctor is over 6 feet tall. One could argue that the supposed smallness of the wife is not a reflection of her absolute size, but a relative assessment of the (5'6") wife by her towering (6'3") husband. I must say, I was saddened to learn Dr. Phil was taller than me (by a hair), but there are things bigger than my ego that need tending to. What, for instance, is happening in the photo to make this height disparity non-obvious? Is Phil kneeling/squatting? Is Robin on some sort of step stool? It’s impossible to determine. What is possible to determine is the size of this allegedly “BIG” knife.

In the photo, Phil helpfully holds the knife in such a way that the maker’s mark is facing the camera, making the word “knuckle” barely legible near the object’s spine. This points towards Guy Fieri’s line of Knuckle Sandwich cutlery, although the mark and handle colors on both the newer Japanese steel versions and the older German steel versions do not match the knife depicted above. The black ABS plastic handle with a white swoop pattern, however, is a dead giveaway that Phil treated himself to the (now-discontinued) Guy Fieri Midnight Series Knuckle Sandwich knife set, first released in 2011 according to a Fans of Guy Fieri blogspot post.

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The largest knife in that set, the “Big Stick Chef’s Knife with Crisscross Crusher,” is 8 inches, which is on the smaller side of average for a home cook. Anyone claiming that Robin can be called a “SMALL WIFE” relative to Phil himself will thus have trouble defending the other half of the tweet. Logically, that same comparison would invalidate—or at the very least seriously undermine—any assertions about the bigness of the “BIG KNIFE.”

To recap, in inches:

  • Phil McGraw: 75"
  • Robin McGraw: 66"
  • Average American Woman: 63.7”
  • A Big Knife: 14"
  • Midnight Series Big Stick Chef’s Knife with Crisscross Crusher: 8"

Having gained this knowledge, I am no closer to happiness.

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Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bgmwrites@gmail.com Keybase: keybase.io/bryangm Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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DISCUSSION

I thought he was struggling with the idea that things further away from the camera appear smaller.