ça passe crème


Senior Member
Hi everybody,

Today, I remembered an expression that I learned from my Parisian* friends a few years back. The expression is « ça passe crème ». We use this expression to mean « ça passe bien », meaning that something fits perfectly or that something comes at a right/perfect time.
For example:

- Ah cette cigarette, elle passe crème. J'en avais vraiment besoin.


- Cette chanson, elle passe toujours crème quand je suis déprimé.


- Ma grand-mère m'a envoyé 200 euros pour mon anniversaire : ça passe crème !

I wondered how you would say that in English? In the example of the cigarette, what would you say? I'm afraid I can't come up with anything... :(

* I think most people who are not from Paris would not understand this expression. At least that's what I think because I only heard it from Parisians. Also, it's a slang expression usually (if not exclusively) used by teens.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Last edited:
  • rien ne passe crème pour nous anglais sous nos cieux gris donc nous n'avons pas besoin d'une locution ... :(
    I lived in Paris for 15 years and never heard that phrase, even if my students did their best to improve my French :D
    There are threads that may help . Tomber à pic, tomber à point... But they are not slang enough.
    Such phrases (passer crème) usually sound outdated/ cheesy? after a few years, anyway. I'll try to use it / try it with my friends and will let you know.

    Well, there's an FB page with the phrase. :D
    Last edited:
    Un point de vue très parisien. ;)

    Je n'ai rien de très folichon à proposer, juste un sweet. Qu'en dites-vous ?

    Je ne suis pas parisien du tout ! Je dis juste ça car deux des mes amies parisiennes avaient utilisé cette expression que je n'avais jamais entendue. Elles ont ajouté que c'était typiquement parisien. ;)

    J'aime votre proposition. Je l'ai en effet déjà entendu et je trouve que dans beaucoup de cas, ça passerait crème :D
    I agree in AE with "that hits the spot," for some of your original examples but not all. I've heard "hit the spot" primarily for food or drink. For example, every time my father guzzled down a cold drink on a hot day he would say, "ah, that really hit the spot."

    It feels like a perfect expression to me for your cigarette example since it's a sensory pleasure. For the song, "hit the spot" is possible to me but not ideal. I would say there "it's just the thing" as in, "that song is always just the thing to cheer me up when I'm depressed."

    I personally wouldn't use it in the example of your grandmother's gift. I would tend to say "it was perfect" or "it was just what I needed."

    FYI, on "hit the spot," my parents and my older relatives use this expression a lot, but I haven't heard it much or at all from folks in my generation or younger. I'm 48. I like the expression and use it occasionally but when I do I feel just a little bit ringarde!