A frequent utterance of Bart Simpson, "Don't have a cow" dismisses the other person's feelings as overreactive to the situation. The person who expresses anger, shock, disgust, or any of several other negative feelings towards an action or person is seen as having a cow. The person who induces bovine delivery, either through doing it or telling of the activity, often tries to minimize the activity as something not so bad. Saying don't have a cow minimizes both the activity itself *and* the person's feelings who is having the cow.
Jimmy Joe had a cow when he learned that his best friend, John Jay, had bought a term paper online and passed it off as his own writing.
Billy Ray laughed at Jimmy Joe's shock that he could do such a thing. He sneered, "Don't have a cow, man! Professors never read those papers anyway."
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