Murphy's Laws

Murphy's Laws

The Complete Set Of Murphy's Laws

Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.

The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a
septic tank -- the really big chunks always rise to the top.

If you don't throw it, they can't hit it.

There are some things that are impossible to know -- but it
is impossible to know these things.

Never make a decision you can get someone else to make.

Anything in parentheses can be ignored.

Nobody really cares or understands what anybody else is doing.

If you hit two keys in a typewriter, the one you don't want
hits the paper.

Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do
it himself.

Nothing is ever done for the right reasons.

Only God can make a random selection.

Expenditures rise to meet income.

If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel of sewage, you get
sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel of wine,
you get sewage.

Smile....tomorrow will be worse.

The other line moves faster.

You can't push on a rope.

Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to
catch up.

Nature abhors people.

Changing things is central to leadership, and changing them
before anyone else does is creative leadership.

The less work an organization produces, the more frequently
it reorganizes.

Whatever happens, look as if you intended it to happen.

At any particular time, there are more horses' asses in the
world than there are horses.

Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else.

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

You can make something foolproof, but you can't make it

Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked.

Assumption is the mother of all screwups.

No real problem has a solution.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from
many is research.

Almost anything is easier to get into than to get out of.

Authority tends to assign jobs to those least able to do them.

Celibacy is not hereditary.

The one friend or relative for whom you didn't buy a gift
will arrive with one for you.

The toughest thing in business is minding your own.
Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

The sum of the intelligence of the planet is constant; the
population is growing.

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while
sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Any system which relies on human reliability is unreliable.

Work expands to fill the time for its completion; the things
to be done swell in perceived importance and complexity in a
direct ratio with the time to be spent in their completion.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

The person you're most attracted to never shows up until the
day before the vacation ends.

The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom
door you are on.

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

There is nothing so small that it cannot be blown out of

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

Doing it the hard way is always easier.

If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Never leave hold of what you've got until you've got hold of
something else.

The first myth of management is that it exists.

A mediocre player will sink to the level of the competition.

All things being equal, you lose.

Inside every small problem is a larger problem struggling to
get out.

The person who can smile when things are going wrong has
thought of someone else to blame it on.

People and nations will act rationally when all other
possibilities have been exhausted.

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Those who are most moral are farthest from the problem.

When working toward the solution of a problem, it always
helps if you know the answer.

In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

Everything takes longer than you think.

In every organization, there is always one person who knows
what is going on. This person must be fired.

You can always find what you're not looking for.

Nice people don't finish nice.

Strive to look tremendously important.

Falling in love is awfully simple. Falling out of love is
simply awful.

If you explain something so clearly that nobody can
misunderstand, somebody will.

When leaving work late, you will go unnoticed. When leaving
work early, you will meet your boss in the parking lot.

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will
begin to itch.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Never make a decision you can get someone else to make.

Nothing is as temporary as that which is called permanent.

Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you if things
go wrong.

People specialize in their area of greatest weakness.

Cleanliness is next to impossible.

The length of a progress report is inversely proportional to
the amount of progress.

You get the most of what you need the least.

Any bureaucracy reorganized to enhance its efficiency is
immediately indistinguishable from its predecessor.

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean down to the bone.

It's the dead wood that holds up the tree.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of
the bread to butter.

If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

All the good ones are taken.

Virtue is its own punishment.

No matter how much you do, you never do enough from the
boss's point of view. (Corollary:  What you don't do is
always more important than what you do do.)

The farther away the future is, the better it looks.

Whatever is in short supply will be in great demand.
 1. There is no demand once the new supply arrives.
 2. After selling the new supply at a loss, demand resumes.

Only someone who understands something completely can
explain it so that no one else can understand it.

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from
bad judgment.

The most heavily traveled streets spend the most time under

Every solution breeds new and bigger problems.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Nothing looks as good close-up as it does from far away.

In any given set of circumstances, the correct course of
action is dictated by subsequent events.

Baseball's law for life: They can't hit it if you stand
there and hold it!

The only imperfect thing in nature is the human race.

Good times end too quickly. Bad times go on forever.

Anything is edible if it is chopped finely enough.

Nothing ever goes away.

A fool and your money are soon partners.

Things get worse under pressure.

If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the
worst possible way.

After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will
repeat itself.

The person with the least expertise has the most options.

In a surplus labor economy, the squeaking wheel does not get
the grease, it gets replaced.

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived
Law a.)  Everything depends.  Law b.)  Nothing is always.
Law c.) Everything is sometimes.

People who love sausage and respect the law should never
watch either one being made.

Anything is easier to take apart than to put together.

If you take something apart and put it back together enough
times, eventually you will have two of them.

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

Money can't buy you happiness -- but neither can poverty!

When packing for a vacation, take half as much clothing and
twice as much money.

If you leave the meeting room, you're either volunteered or

An optimist thinks we are living in the best of all possible
worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.

A crisis is when you can't say, "Let's forget the whole

If in the course of several months only three worthwhile
social events take place, they will all fall on the same

Two monologues do not form a dialogue.

Eighty per cent of all people consider themselves to be
above average drivers.

Trust everybody, but cut the cards.

The Principle of Individualism. Everybody wants to peel his
or her own banana.

Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

When storing something for future use, it is useful to
remember exactly where you put it.

If it's good, they discontinue it.

He who hesitates is probably right.

If you don't want to be lonely, stay single.

Any change looks terrible at first.

Good enough never is.

There is no job so simple that it cannot be done wrong.

Nobody notices the big errors.

The three major precepts of life:
 1.  Never be first.
 2.  Never be last.
 3.  Never volunteer for anything.

Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

Never invest in anything that eats.

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

Never ask a salesperson if it is a good price.

Logic can never decide what is possible or impossible.

If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost.

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

Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough
conferences are held to discuss it.

Far-away talent always seems better than home-developed

To err is human, but it feels divine.

Every organization has an allotted number of positions to be
filled by misfits. (Corollary: If a misfit leaves, another 
will be recruited.)

There is nothing wrong with sex on television, just as long
as you don't fall off.

The difference between the Laws of Nature and Murphy's Laws
is that with the Laws of Nature you can count on things
screwing up the same way each time.

The only real errors are human errors.

If several things that could have gone wrong have not gone
wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial for them to
have gone wrong.

An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

A fool and his money are soon elected.

Thou shalt not committee.

If people listened to themselves more often, they would 
talk less.

In politics, it pays to stay in with the outs.

Always leave yourself enough room to add an explanation if
things don't work out.

Any horizontal surface is soon piled up.

Hindsight is an exact science.

The most interesting paper at a conference will be scheduled
for delivery simultaneously with the second most interesting

It is difficult to fly with eagles if you work with turkeys.

Say no, then negotiate.

For every "10" there are 10 "1's."

If your facts are wrong but your logic is perfect, then your
conclusions are inevitably false. Therefore, by making
mistakes in your logic, you have at least a random chance of
coming to the correct conclusion.

Most well-trodden paths lead nowhere.

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

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

Anything that begins well, ends badly. Anything that begins
badly, ends worse.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from
bad judgement.

A committee is the only life form with 12 stomachs and no brain.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the
time he will pick himself up and continue on.

A dandelion from a true love means more than a red rose from
a friend.

As soon as you're doing what you want to be doing, you want
to be doing something else.

The degree of guilt is directly proportional to the intensity
of denial.

Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

The quickest way to find something is to start looking for
something else.

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to one's
ability to reach it.

The most interesting results happen only once.

You never want the one you can afford.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

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

If you play with something long enough, you will surely 
break it.

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

If you see 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.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Mother Nature is a bitch.

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

If a great deal of time has been expended seeking the answer
to a problem with the only result being failure, the answer 
will be immediately obvious to the first unqualified person.

In any field of scientific endeavor, anything that can go 
wrong will go wrong.

If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

Schmidt's Observation: All things being equal, a fat person  
uses more soap than a thin person.

Nick the Greek's Law of Life: All things considered, life 
is 9 to 5 against.

Nowlan's Theory: He who hesitates is not only lost, but
several miles from the next freeway exit.

Van Roy's  Law:  Honesty is the best policy - there's less

Van Roy's Truism: Life is a whole series of circumstances 
beyond your control.

Agnes' Law: Almost everything in life is easier to get into  
than out of.

Clarke's Conclusion: Never let your sense of morals 
interfere with doing the right thing.

Goda's Truism: By the time you get to the point where you
can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

Johnny Carson's Definition: The smallest interval of time  
known to  man  is  that  which  occurs in Manhattan between 
the traffic signal turning green and the taxi driver behind 
you blowing his horn.

Wilner's Observation: All conversations with a potato  
should be conducted in private.

The Phone Booth Rule: A lone dime always gets the number  
nearly right.

Zall's Laws: (1) Any time you get a mouthful of hot soup, 
the next thing you do will be wrong. (2) How long a minute 
is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.

Ettore's Observation: The other line moves faster.

Griffin's Thought: When you starve with a tiger, the tiger
starves last.

Manly's Maxim: Logic is a systematic method of coming to
the wrong conclusion with confidence.

Cann's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.

Macaluso's Doctrine: You've never been as sick as just 
before you stop breathing.

Knebel's Law: It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking 
is one of the leading causes of statistics.

The Law of Selective Gravity, or the Buttered-Side Down Law:
An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Stale's Law: No matter how careful one is in resealing the  
inner liner in a cereal box, it will tear where it is glued 
to the box.

William's Law: There is no mechanical problem so difficult 
that it cannot be solved by brute strength and ignorance.

Rap's Law of Inanimate Reproduction: If you take something 
apart and put it back together enough times, eventually you 
will have two of them.

Phillips' Law: Four-wheel-drive just means getting stuck in 
more inaccessible places.

First Law of Employee Benefits: The illness you come down 
with is the one ailment your group insurance doesn't cover.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; 
to steal from many is research.

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

Goldenstern's Rules:
 1. Always hire a rich attorney
 2. Never buy from a rich salesman.

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