IT: What Pennywise’s “You’ll Float Too” Means


IT’s Pennywise is already a terrifying creature, but its most famous line, “you’ll float too”, only makes it more horrifying. Here’s what it means.

IT’s most famous shape is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and in addition to its unmistakable appearance, Pennywise has a signature line: “you’ll float too”, and here’s what it means. For decades, Stephen King has terrorized generations of readers with a variety of horror stories with different characters, creatures, settings, and exploring different fears, and one of his most popular and beloved works is IT. Published in 1986, IT received mostly positive reviews, becoming one of King’s most famous stories, and one that has gotten different adaptations: a miniseries in 1990, a TV series in India, and a two-part movie.

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Set in Derry, Maine, IT tells the story of a group of kids self-named “The Losers Club”, who in 1957 come across an evil entity living in the sewers, to which they refer as “IT”. This creature wakes up every 27 years to feed, and it does so off the fear of its victims, achieving this through its shapeshifting abilities and thus taking the form of its victim’s biggest fears. Although IT can take any form it desires, its preferred shape is that of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, and even during its return in 1985, IT continued to terrorize the now-adult Losers as this nightmarish clown.

Related: IT: How The Losers Defeat Pennywise In The Book & The Movie


Although clowns can be terrifying to many, Pennywise was especially horrifying as it has the ability to lure children and change from a seemingly harmless clown to a murderous creature in less than a second, leaving its victims unable to escape. To add to Pennywise’s evil and terrifying image, the clown has a signature phrase that, especially in the movies IT and IT: Chapter Two, is repeated quite often: “They all float down here. You’ll float too”. Although the phrase is represented differently in the book and the movies, it has the same meaning in both, as it’s Pennywise’s way of subtly telling its victims (mostly young children) that they will die.



IT - Pennywise in Sewer With Blue Eyes

As mentioned above, IT lives in the sewers of Derry, and that’s where it takes most of the bodies of its victims. In the novel, “you’ll float too” takes a very tragic and sinister meaning as it’s literally a reference to how dead bodies float in the water in the sewers. The line is first found in the opening chapter of IT, when Georgie is talking to Pennywise, who is hidden in a storm drain. Pennywise offers Georgie a balloon and the young boy asks if they float, to which the clown replies that they do, and so will he when he’s down there with him. In the movie, however, “float” is represented differently though also literally. The Losers get to IT’s underground lair in the third act of IT, where they find a bunch of decayed circus props, the belongings of its victims and their bodies, with those of its child victims floating around.


Pennywise’s “you’ll float too” line has also been interpreted differently, mostly due to the creature’s supernatural origin and mysterious species. A common interpretation of this phrase is that it refers to where the souls of IT’s victims go after they die, as they wouldn’t go to heaven nor hell, staying instead in the “deadlights”, which would be a sort of limbo, thus “floating” in that middle point for eternity. This would also allow IT to use the souls of its victims as it pleases, which is why Georgie was seen as a separate manifestation of IT. “You’ll float too” is one of the most memorable lines from Stephen King’s IT, and its meaning only makes the title character and the story even more terrifying.


Next: Stephen King’s IT Theory: Pennywise Is Also The Crimson King

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