'As good as it gets' means 'the thing's not going to get any better because it's the best' right? But my non-native grammar sense strongly gives a question that why you don't say like

It's as good as it could get.


It's as good as it has gotten.

Searched some other posts about it, and there's this guy said that the phrase, 'it gets', means 'it has reached at some point' or something. Then, why do you still use present tense?


Simple present gets there refers to the way things are, to regular practice or the normal state of affairs. That is "how it is". It does not get any better. It is at its best, but it may not be the best.

That's one big elephant!
-- Yes, it is. It's as big as they come.

Simple present, "they come", refers to what can be expected of the species, its norm. Elephants do not get bigger than this.

Can you turn the lights up?
-- That's as bright as they get.

The norm for these lights is to be no brighter than they are now. These lights get no brighter. These lights become no brighter.

The simple present is often used to state a general or normative truth.

In your example, it refers to "existence" or "life" or "living" or "things in general", so a paraphrase would be an affirmation that "This is certainly the best life has to offer!"


It's just an idiom. We have heard it stated that way, and we repeat it the same way. "As good as it could get", or "... can get" have the same meaning also.

However, FYI: "As good as it has gotten", ... maybe isn't exactly the same thing. First of all, it doesn't sound quite natural, and it also seems to imply that it could be a whole lot better, but it just hasn't ever gotten there (yet).

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