It is what it is

Meaning: Circumstances are what they are and cannot be changed.

Earliest attestation: J.E. Lawrence in The Nebraska State Journal (1949)

The saying “it is what it is” is a tautology used to express acceptance of or resignation to a situation, particularly one that is unpleasant but cannot be changed. It acknowledges the reality of the situation being what the situation is and suggests that there is nothing that can be done to alter it. Therefore, it is pointless to dwell on the circumstances, and it is better to simply accept them as they are, so that you can refocus your energy.

Rather than trying to deny something unpleasant, you should find contentment with it and do your best in light of it. Note that accepting a negative situation does not mean that you you cannot work to improve it in the future. It simply means that you should not waste time and energy trying to change the past/present.

This simple phrase also suggests that further discussion or analysis of the situation is unnecessary, as it is a simple and self-evident fact. Such a statement is often used to end a conversation. Sometimes, this can be used to avoid personal responsibility for a situation. However, it often is just used to express a desire to move on from a difficult or belabored topic.