Murphy’s Law

MURPHY’S LAW COLLECTION

Murphy’s Laws

Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Everything takes longer than you think.

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.

If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Mother nature is a bitch.

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

Every solution breeds new problems.

Murphy’s Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Murphy’s Law of Copiers
The legibility of a copy is inversely proportional to its importance.

Murphy’s Law of Thermodynamics
Things get worse under pressure.

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

Quantization Revision of Murphy’s Laws
Everything goes wrong all at once.

Murphy’s Constant
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

Murphy’s Laws of love

All the good ones are taken.

If the person isn’t taken, there’s a reason. (corr. to 1)

The nicer someone is, the farther away (s)he is from you.

Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.

The amount of love someone feels for you is inversely proportional to how much you love them.

Money can’t buy love, but it sure gets you a great bargaining position.

The best things in the world are free — and worth every penny of it.

Every kind action has a not-so-kind reaction.

Nice guys(girls) finish last.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Availability is a function of time. The minute you get interested is the minute they find someone else.

Murphy’s Laws of sex

The more beautiful the woman is who loves you, the easier it is to leave her with no hard feelings.

Nothing improves with age.

No matter how many times you’ve had it, if it’s offered take it, because it’ll never be quite the same again.

Sex has no calories.

Sex takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble.

There is no remedy for sex but more sex.

Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got.

No sex with anyone in the same office.

Sex is like snow; you never know how many inches you are going to get or how long it is going to last.

A man in the house is worth two in the street.

If you get them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

Virginity can be cured.

When a man’s wife learns to understand him, she usually stops listening to him.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

The qualities that most attract a woman to a man are usually the same ones she can’t stand years later.

Sex is dirty only if it’s done right.

It is always the wrong time of month.

The best way to hold a man is in your arms.

When the lights are out, all women are beautiful.

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won’t either.

Sow your wild oats on Saturday night — Then on Sunday pray for crop failure.
The younger the better.

The game of love is never called off on account of darkness.

It was not the apple on the tree but the pair on the ground that caused the trouble in the garden.

Sex discriminates against the shy and the ugly.

Before you find your handsome prince, you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs.

There may be some things better than sex, and some things worse than sex. But there is nothing exactly like it.

Love your neighbor, but don’t get caught.

Love is a hole in the heart.

If the effort that went in research on the female bosom had gone into our space program, we would now be running hot-dog stands on the moon.

Love is a matter of chemistry, sex is a matter of physics.

Do it only with the best.

Sex is a three-letter word which needs some old-fashioned four-letter words to convey its full meaning.

One good turn gets most of the blankets.

You cannot produce a baby in one month by impregnating nine women.

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Thou shalt not commit adultery…..unless in the mood.

Never lie down with a woman who’s got more troubles than you.

Abstain from wine, women, and song; mostly song.

Never argue with a women when she’s tired — or rested.

A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he couldn’t.

What matters is not the length of the wand, but the magic in the stick.

It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

Never say no.

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he doesn’t love her.

Folks playing leapfrog must complete all jumps.

Beauty is skin deep; ugly goes right to the bone.

Never stand between a fire hydrant and a dog.

A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

Love comes in spurts.

The world does not revolve on an axis.

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation; the other eight are unimportant.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.

Don’t do it if you can’t keep it up.

There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in love.

Never go to bed mad, stay up and fight.

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.

“This won’t hurt, I promise.”

Murphy’s Laws of Technology

You can never tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

The opulence of the front office decor varies inversely with the fundamentalsolvency of the firm.

The attention span of a computer is only as long as it electrical cord.

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you.
Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he’ll have to touch to be sure.

All great discoveries are made by mistake.

Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.

Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

All’s well that ends.

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.

The first myth of management is that it exists.

A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.

New systems generate new problems.

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.

We don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years make.

Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day’s work.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don’t know who wrote the book or even what book.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.

To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

Any circuit design must contain at least one part which is obsolete, two parts which are unobtainable and three parts which are still under development.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.

If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try multiplying by the page number.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

Give all orders verbally. Never write anything down that might go into a “Pearl Harbor File.”

Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables the organism will do as it damn well pleases.

If you can’t understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

The more cordial the buyer’s secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totalled correctly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The correct total will become self-evident at 8:15 a.m. on Monday.

Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches.

All things are possible except skiing through a revolving door.

The only perfect science is hind-sight.

Work smarder and not harder and be careful of yor speling.

If it’s not in the computer, it doesn’t exist.

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

If there is a possibility of several things going wrong the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

Everything that goes up must come down.

Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible corner.

Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.

Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.

The degree of technical competence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

Murphy’s Laws of Mathematics

Any error that can creep in, will. It will be in the direction that will do the most damage to the calculation.

All constants are variables.

In any given computation the figure that is most obviously correct will be the source of error.

A decimal will always be misplaced.

Murphy’s Laws of Engineering

The more innocuous a design change appears, the further its influence will extend.

The firmness of delivery dates is inversely proportional to the tightness of the schedule.

Dimensions will always be expressed in the least useable term, velocity for example, will be expressed in furlongs per fortnight.

An important instruction manual or operating manual will have been discarded by the receiving department.

Murphy’s Laws of Prototyping

Any wire cut to length will be be too short.

Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of assembly.

Identical units tested under identical conditions will not be identical in the field.

The availability of a component is inversely proportional to the need for that component.

If a project requires ‘N’ components, there will be ‘N-1’ units in stock.

If a particular resistance is required, that value will be unavailable.
Further, it cannot be developed with any available series or parallel combination.

A dropped tools will land where it can do must damage.

A device selected at random from a group having 99% reliability will be a member of the 1% group.

When one connects a 3-phase line, the phase sequence will be wrong.

A motor will rotate in the wrong direction.

The probability of a dimension being omitted from a plan or drawing will be directly proportional to its importance.

Interchangeable parts won’t.

Probability of failure of a component, assembly, sub-system or system is inversely proportional to ease of repair or replacement.

If a prototype functions perfectly, subsequent production units will malfunction.

Components that must not and cannot be assembled improperly will be.

A DC meter will be used on an overly sensitive range and will be wired in backwards.

Murphy’s Laws For Frequent Flyers

No flight ever leaves on time unless you are running late and need the delay to make the flight.

If you are running late for a flight, it will depart from the farthest gate within the terminal.

If you arrive very early for a flight, it inevitably will be delayed.

Flights never leave from Gate #1 at any terminal in the world.

If you must work on your flight, you will experience turbulence as soon as you touch pen to paper.

If you are assigned a middle seat, you can determine who has the seats on the aisle and the window while you are still in the boarding area. Just look for the two largest passengers.

Only passengers seated in window seats ever have to get up to go to the lavatory.

The crying baby on board your flight is always seated next to you.

The best-looking woman on your flight is never seated next to you.

The less carry-on luggage space available on an aircraft, the more carry-on luggage passengers will bring aboard.

Murphy’s Laws For BBS’ing

The day after you buy the fastest new modem, they will change the standard so that your modem can only talk to modems of the same brand (only 100 of which were ever sold).

The factory will ship the wrong manual with your modem and you will spend hours finding and setting dip switches that aren’t even on your modem.

However the modem comes set from the factory, it will be the WRONG way to work on your machine.

No matter what solution you devise to fix a problem with your modem, it will lead to the creation of at least four other problems.

Whenever a caller has problems using the BBS, the user will insist the problem is on the sysop’s side and the sysop will insist the problem is on the caller’s side.

If you fail to follow the advice of more experienced modemers and use the same password on every BBS you call, someone will steal your password and make lewd comments about the sysop’s mother on the boards you WERE on.

If you DO follow the advice of more experienced modemers and use a totally different password on every BBS you call, you will forget the password of the board where your date has left a message telling you where to meet them tonight.

Your spouse, who rarely visits you at your computer, will stop by at the exact moment you’ve receive a flirtatious page from another user…You REALLY have never chatted with them before!

You will always forget to disable call waiting when connected to a pay-by-the-minute BBS.

A truely great BBS is either illegal, immoral, or long distance from you.

If a file takes more than 30 minutes to download, someone in your house will pick up the phone within the last 15 seconds.

No matter how neutral the topic, your message will offend SOMEONE.

The first time you forget to scan your file downloads for viruses will be the first time in your life you’ll actually get a virus.

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations

Friendly fire – isn’t.

Recoilless rifles – aren’t.

Suppressive fires – won’t.

You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note.

A sucking chest wound is Nature’s way of telling you to slow down.

If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.

Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.

If at first you don’t succeed, call in an airstrike.

If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.

Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.

Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.

The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is their main attack.

The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
when they’re ready.
when you’re not.

No OPLAN ever survives initial contact.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.

Five second fuzes always burn three seconds.

There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.

A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.

The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.

The easy way is always mined.

Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

Don’t look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets.

Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.

If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.

When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.

No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.

If the enemy is within range, so are you.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t.

Things that must work together, can’t be carried to the field that way.

Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support.

Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both.)

Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.

Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out.

Tracers work both ways.

If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.

When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both right.

Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.

Military Intelligence is a contradiction.

Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up.

Weather ain’t neutral.

If you can’t remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you.

Air defense motto: shoot ’em down; sort ’em out on the ground.

‘Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it’ll go.

The Cavalry doesn’t always come to the rescue.

Napalm is an area support weapon.

Mines are equal opportunity weapons.

B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon.

Sniper’s motto: reach out and touch someone.

Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.

The one item you need is always in short supply.

Interchangeable parts aren’t.

It’s not the one with your name on it; it’s the one addressed “to whom it may concern” you’ve got to think about.

When in doubt, empty your magazine.

The side with the simplest uniforms wins.

Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.

If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.

The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass.

Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.

Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel’s HQ.

The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.

One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.

A clean (and dry) set of BDU’s is a magnet for mud and rain.

The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.

Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can’t hit the broad side of a barn.

The more a weapon costs,the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.

The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator.

Field experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.

If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)

Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.

When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.

Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.

The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don’t know what they want, but they know for certain what they don’t want.

To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.

The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.

The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.

When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.

The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.

A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.

Murphy was a grunt.

Beer Math — 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.

Body count Math — 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.

The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.

All-weather close air support doesn’t work in bad weather.

The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance.

The crucial round is a dud.

Every command which can be misunderstood, will be.

There is no such place as a convenient foxhole.

Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.

If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you.

If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won’t walk into it.

If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.

Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.

Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one.

The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out.

The self-importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness).

There is always a way, and it usually doesn’t work.

Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching.

The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel.

Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire-fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest away, and your canteen always lands at your feet.

As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.

Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.

The seriousness of a wound (in a fire-fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover.

Walking point = sniper bait.

Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day.

If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution.

All or any of the above combined

More of Murphy’s Laws

A clean tie attracts the soup of the day.

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

A free agent is anything but.

As soon as the stewardess serves the coffee, the airline encounters turbulence.

Exceptions always outnumber rules. Exceptions prove the rule … and wreck the budget.

Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

He who hesitates is probably right.

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

If enough data is collected, anything may be proven by statistical methods.

If it says “one size fits all,” it doesn’t fit anyone.

If only one price can be obtained for a quotation, the price will be unreasonable.

If something is confidential, it will be left in the copier machine.

Interchangeable parts won’t.

Life can be only understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

Love letters, business contracts and money due you always arrive three weeks late, whereas junk mail arrives the day it was sent.

Never ask the barber if you need a haircut or a salesman if his is a good price.

Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.

No matter which way you go, it’s uphill and against the wind.

No one is listening until you make a mistake.

One child is not enough, but two children are far too many.

Quality assurance doesn’t.

Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

The bag that breaks is the one with the eggs.

The book you spent $20.95 for today will come out in paperback tomorrow.

The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.

The hardness of the butter is in direct proportion to the softness of the butter.

The hidden flaw never remains hidden.

The ideal resume will turn up one day after the position is filled.

The least experienced fisherman always catches the biggest fish.

The more an item costs, the farther you have to send it for repairs.

The one item you want is never the one on sale.

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

The telephone will ring when you are outside the door, fumbling for your keys.

The tough part of a Data Processing Manager’s job is that users don’t really know what they want, but they know for certain what they don’t want.

To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.

Trust everybody … then cut the cards.

Two wrongs are only the beginning.

When reviewing your notes for a test, the most important ones will be illegible.

When there are sufficient funds in the checking account, checks take two weeks to clear. When there are insufficient funds, checks clear overnight.

When you drop change at a vending machine, the pennies will fall nearby, while all other coins will roll out of sight.

Work is accomplished by those employees who have not reached their level of incompetence.

You never want the one you can afford.

O’Toole’s Commentary:
“Murphy was an optimist.”