Murphy's Laws

If anything can go wrong, it will

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base. It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.
  • Primary Laws: "If anything can go wrong, it will"
    1. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong
    2. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway
    3. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop
    4. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse
    5. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something
    6. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw

  • Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics
    1. Things get worse under pressure.

  • The Murphy Philosophy
    1. Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse.

  • Quantization Revision of Murphy's Laws
    1. Everything goes wrong all at once.

  • Murphy's Constant
    1. Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

  • Murphy's Law of Research
    1. Enough research will tend to support whatever theory.
    2. Research supports a specific theory depending on the amount of funds dedicated to it.

  • Murphy's golden rule
    1. Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

  • More Laws of Selective Gravitation.
    1. A falling object will always land where it can do the most damage.
    2. A shatterproof object will always fall on the only surface hard enough to crack or break it.
    3. A paint drip will always find the hole in the newspaper and land on the carpet underneath (and will not be discovered until it has dried).
    4. A dropped power tool will always land on the concrete instead of the soft ground (if outdoors) or the carpet (if indoors) - unless it is running, in which case it will fall on something it can damage (like your foot).
    5. If a dish is dropped while removing it from the cupboard, it will hit the sink, breaking the dish and chipping or denting the sink in the process.
    6. A valuable dropped item will always fall into an inaccessible place (a diamond ring down the drain, for example) - or into the garbage disposal while it is running.
    7. If you use a pole saw to saw a limb while standing on an aluminum ladder borrowed from your neighbor, the limb will fall in such a way as to bend the ladder before it knocks you to the ground.
    8. If you pick up a chunk of broken concrete and try to pitch it into an adjacent lot, it will hit a tree limb and come down right on the driver's side of your car windshield.
    9. The greater the value of the rug, the greater the probability that the cat will throw up on it.
    10. You will always find something in the last place you look.
    11. If your looking for more than one thing, you'll find the most important one last.
    12. It is never in the last place you look. It is in the first place you look, but never discovered on the first attempt.
    13. After you bought a replacement for something you've lost and searched for everywhere, you'll find the original.
    14. You have to look where you lost it.
    15. No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.
    16. Anything dropped in the bathroom will fall in the toilet.
    17. The chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
    18. The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

  • Additions to Murphy's Laws
    1. In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right ... something is wrong.
    2. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
    3. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
    4. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
    5. Rule of Accuracy
    6. When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.
    7. Corollary: Provided, of course, that you know there is a problem.
    8. Nothing is as easy as it looks.
    9. Everything takes longer than you think.
    10. Everything takes longer than it takes.
    11. If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
    12. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
    13. Every solution breeds new problems.
    14. The legibility of a copy is inversely proportional to its importance.
    15. No matter how perfect things are made to appear, Murphy's law will take effect and screw it up.
    16. You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
    17. The other line always moves faster.
    18. In order to get a personal loan, you must first prove you don't need it.
    19. Anything you try to fix will take longer and cost you more than you thought.
    20. If you fool around with a thing for very long you will screw it up.
    21. If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
    22. When a broken appliance is demonstrated for the repairman, it will work perfectly.
    23. Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will use it.
    24. Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.
    25. In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.
    26. There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.
    27. When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble, delegate.
    28. Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
    29. A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.
    30. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
    31. Never argue with a fool, people might not know the difference.
    32. Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
    33. No good deed goes unpunished.
    34. Where patience fails, force prevails.
    35. The better you know the amount of ill luck that will strike you,
    36. The worse you know when this will happen, and vice-versa.

  • Relativistic correction of Murphy's law:
    1. Whether things can go wrong or not, it depends on your frame of reference.
    2. Corollary (otherwise said: ill luck is actually absolute):
    3. Regardless of your frame of reference, things will go wrong anyway.
    4. If you want something bad enough, chances are you won't get it.
    5. If you think you are doing the right thing, chances are it will back-fire in your face.
    6. When waiting for traffic, chances are that when one lane clears the other is congested.
    7. Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will.
    8. Remember the "Boomer-rang" effect; Whatever you do will always come back.
    9. If you re-act to actions, you've acted on actions.
    10. He who angers you controls you, there-fore you have no control over your anger.
    11. Any time you put an item in a "safe place", it will never be seen again.
    12. Your best golf shots always occur when playing alone.
    13. The worst golf shots always occur when playing with someone you are trying to impress.
    14. No matter how hard you try, you cannot push a string.
    15. The fish are always biting....yesterday!
    16. You will never leave a parking space without someone in an adjacent space leaving at the same time.
    17. The cost of the hair do is directly related to the strength of the wind.
    18. Great ideas are never remembered and dumb statements are never forgotten.
    19. The clothes washer/dryer will only eat one of each pair of socks.
    20. When you see light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel will cave in.
    21. The light at the end of the tunnel is a train
    22. Being dead right, won't make you any less dead.
    23. Having the right of way, won't make you any less dead.
    24. Whatever you want, you can't have, what you can have, you don't want.
    25. Whatever you want to do, is Not possible, what ever is possible for you to do, you don't want to do it.
    26. Traffic is inversely proportional to how late you are, or are going to be.
    27. The complexity and frustration factor is inversely proportional to how much time you have left to finish, and how important it is.
    28. The probability of being observed is in direct proportion to the stupidity of ones actions
    29. A knowledge of Murphy's Law is no help in any situation.
    30. If you apply Murphy's Law, it will no longer be applicable.
    31. If you say something, and stake your reputation on it, you will lose your reputation.
    32. Where patience fails, force prevails.
    33. Murphy's Law Current Revision
    34. Any thing that can go wrong, HAS Already Gone Wrong!
    35. The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."
    36. If many things can go wrong, they will all go wrong at the same time.
    37. If anything can go wrong, it will happen to the crankiest person.
    38. Everything tastes more or less like chicken.
    39. You will never find any more loose change than you have already lost.
    40. Those who know the least will always know it the loudest.
    41. No degree of acceptance can ever change the facts.
    42. Translation: You may come to terms with being screwed, but nevertheless you're still screwed.
    43. An expert is someone with an opinion and a word processor.
    44. A person without values or standards can never be a hypocrite.
    45. "We can give you a diploma, but we can't give you a brain."
    46. Don't get into a pissing contest with a skunk.
    47. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    48. Garbage abhors a vacuum. It will grow to fill available space.
    49. The more space you have, the more junk you'll have.
    50. Paper is always strongest at the perforation.
    51. Things are never as good as they are bad.
    52. Chaos always wins, because it's better organized.
    53. Don't let go of something until you have a hold on something else.
    54. A bird in the hand is messy.
    55. The mud that won't come off on the doormat immediately adheres to the carpet.
    56. When you wear new shoes for the first time, everyone will step on them.
    57. If Murphy's law is correct, everything East of the San Andreas Fault will slide into the Atlantic - Steven Wright
    58. Cheer up, the worst is yet to come...
    59. If at first you don't succeed destroy all evidence that you ever tried.
    60. If anything can go wrong it will go wrong when Mr. Murphy is out of town....
    61. If all else fails, hit it with a big hammer.
    62. You cannot force Murphy's Law to happen and you can't use it in reverse.
    63. When something goes wrong, you cannot find the solution in the instruction booklet, but someone else always does.
    64. It takes forever to learn the rules and once you've learned them they change again.
    65. You will find an easy way to do it, after you've finished doing it.
    66. In Las Vegas, wherever you want to go in a casino, it's as far as possible from where you are, no matter where you are.
    67. The wind will always blow opposite to your hairdo
    68. Wind velocity increases in proportion to the cost of the hairdo.
    69. Laundry Math: 1 Washer + 1 Dryer + 2 Socks = 1 Sock
    70. Window polishing: It's always on the other side.
    71. Anyone who isn't paranoid simply isn't paying attention.
    72. A valuable falling in a hard to reach place will be exactly at the distance of the tip of your fingers.
    73. If a valuable falls in a hard to reach place at a distance shorter than the tip of your finger, as soon as you try to reach it you'll push it to that distance.
    74. If it looks good, and it taste good, and it feels good, there has got to be something wrong some where,
    75. Two heads are better than one, even if one is a sheep head.
    76. The probability of rain is inversely proportional to the size of the umbrella you carry around with you all day.
    77. No matter how hard you try, every once in a while, something is going right.
    78. Behind every little problem there's a larger problem, waiting for the little problem to get out of the way.
    79. When you really need something, its either not available, or can't be found. When you don't need it, its either available, or lays around in plain sight.
    80. Whenever you cut your finger nails, you find a need for them an hour later.
    81. The file you are looking for is always at the bottom of the largest pile.
    82. Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
    83. The likelihood of something happening is in inverse proportion to the desirability of it happening.
    84. Two wrongs don't make a right. It usually takes three or four.
    85. If the truth is in your favor no one will believe you.
    86. When things go from bad to worse, the cycle repeats.
    87. The two most abundant things in all the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
    88. The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen, stupidity and opinions.
    89. Stupidity is the fundamental driving force of the Universe, which explains why stupid people always go wrong.
    90. Every rule has an exception except the Rule of Exceptions.
    91. If your action has a 50% possibility of being correct, you will be wrong 75% of the time.
    92. If you plan for something to go wrong, and it doesn't go wrong, it would have been ultimately profitable for it to go wrong.
    93. The difference between Stupidity and Genius is that Genius has its limits.
    94. The universe is great enough for all possibilities to exist.
    95. Those who don't take decisions never make mistakes.
    96. Anything that can't possibly in a million years go wrong, will go wrong.
    97. Anything that seems right, is putting you into a false sense of security.
    98. If everything seems great, its already gone wrong.
    99. The only time you're right, is when its about being wrong.
    100. The only time something's right, is when everyone agrees its wrong.
    101. If for some reason Murphy's Law fails to operate, it is building up for something big.
    102. In any particular situation, if three things can go wrong, they usually do in sequence, each facilitating the occurrence of the next
    103. If anything can go wrong it will, and when it does, the woman will get the blame
    104. The person ahead of you in the queue, will have the most complex transaction possible
    105. The more important it is to get to a website, the greater the chance the server is down.
    106. The road to success is always under construction
    107. Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you.
    108. You cant reason with the stupid
    109. If you lose something that is replaceable (textbooks, clothing etc) as soon as you buy a replacement the original will surface.
    110. Better to be a pessimist than an optimist because when you say the glass is half empty it will have to be refilled
    111. A spoon placed in the sink will locate to maximize splash from the faucet
    112. The harder you work the more people there will be to claim credit except when it backfires.
    113. Murphy was an optimist!