It's to show either that you don't care if people are in the shit, or how they get out of it.

It can also be used to show that you don’t understand much about people’s shitty situation.

Both meanings can be used together, to mean that you don’t understand much about their shitty situation, you don’t care to understand it, and you don’t care how they get out of it either.

Where this came from:

A French writer called Rousseau wrote that a great princess once said, more or less, that if you have no bread, there's always cake instead.

When she says "cake", don't think birthday cake. Think pastries and cakes that come in squares that you can slice, which a basically just sweet bread.

Think of a posh French princess in a carriage that's going through peasant land in order to get to the castle. They have to stop for a minute, so the peasants start to approach, carrying bread baskets. The princess asks what they want. She's told they need bread, because they don't have any. And this is where she says the line. But you can interpret it in several ways:

1. She's never seen poor people before, and she's ditzy:

"Well, what I would do is just have cake instead, so why don't they just do that?"

2. She's never seen poor people before, and she doesn't care (whilst applying makeup):

"Oh well. Can't they just have cake instead?"

3. She knows they are poor, and she's being a complete bitch, almost making a joke (staring out the window):

"Oh well, there's always cake."
The insurance companies will suffer? Good. Let them eat cake.

Profits are down? Well, err... Let them eat cake?
by ExpertContributor February 6, 2018
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A quote that has long been attributed to Marie Antoinette, although historians have generally concluded that she never said that.
Rousseau published in his work "Confessions" (1770) a story of a "great princess" who asked why the peasants were so upset; when told that they had no bread, the princess flippantly said "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche". Marie Antoinette was only fourteen at the time, unknown to the world, and was not even in France at the time.
The story of the ignorant, callous princess uttering "Let them eat cake" was around for a century before Marie Antoinette was even born. Contrary to saying such a statement, Marie Antoinette once wrote to her family: "It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness. The King seems to understand this truth."
by Lorelili January 26, 2011
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An Idiom that history attributes to Marie Antoinette the wife of King Louis XVI of France. Although, in actuality most scholars do believe that designation is a misnomer, the phrase is catchy.

The uneducated masses abuse the term: " wow, your team did a great job, "let them eat cake"! ( buys the team members a cake.)

The educated masses are aware of the mass inflation that was ravaging the French people at the time of the French Revolution, therefore the ingredients to purchase the items needed to make a cake would have cost a fortune. The idiom let them eat cake means "Screw them"
"You can't eat that! It's the last piece of cake!"
"Sure I can, I'm a Doctor, HaHaHa. Now, Let them eat cake!"
by SnarkyHistorian April 5, 2016
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It is a common misconception that Queen Marie Antoinette spoke the words "Let them eat cake."

Instead Little Debbie, that little girl on the box of snack cakes, uttered these words.
Don: I'm pretty sure Marie Antoinette said "let them eat cake."

Bob: Yea, well what cake did she make? Little Debbie has tons of different cakes!
by Orthonormal May 18, 2010
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A quote attributed to Marie Antoinette, who allegedly spoke it in regard to her peasants having no bread to eat. Regardless of whether that actually happened, it is still the snobbiest way of saying "fuck them and what they want."
Marie Antoinette: "Let them eat cake."

Snooty French Guy: "They don't have cake either."

Marie Antoinette: "Did I fucking stutter?"
by Alfonsie November 19, 2013
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