Up for Grabs Possible titles:
- 'Underwater Basket Weaving' Skill
- Expert In Underwater Basket Weaving (5 votes)
- Utterly Useless Talent (3 votes)
ExamplesAnime & Manga
- In Sket Dance, the other characters mercilessly admit how boring Bossun's special ability to "concentrate really well" is.
- The mailman in Fantastic Four, Willie Lumpkin, jokingly suggests that he should join the Fantastic Four because of his special ability to wiggle his ears.
- In one Donald Duck comic, Donald is put in a machine meant to determine his greatest aptitude, and it turns out that he has the innate gift for snake charming. He spends the rest of the stories moping about this trick of fate, only for the skill to be useful when he gets attacked by a giant snake.
- The Breakfast Club:
- Claire demonstrates her ability to apply lip color by tucking into her bra and rubbing her mouth against it.
- Without ever demonstrating it, Allison claims that she can write, eat, and play "Heart and Soul" on the piano with her toes.
- In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, they meet a girl in a sanitarium who spends all day reciting letters and numbers. Her doctors have figured out that she's accurately reciting the New York Stock Exchange daily trades in chronological order. However, she does it 24 hours after it happens, so the doctors there think it's useless — unlike if she were doing it 24 hours in advance. Thus, they don't really care why she's doing it. They even suspect that she's really faking it by somehow getting her hands on the numbers and memorizing them to repeat the next day.
- The rulebook of the 6th edition of Hero System specifically asks GMs not to ask players to spend points on useless skills and abilities.
- Dungeons & Dragons characters can invest in "Craft" and "Profession" skills, some of which are so specific and so orthogonal to the adventuring trade that they're usually only of use to NPCs and as prerequisites for certain obscure Prestige Classes. For example, the Archdevil Mammon, Lord of the Third Circle of Hell, happens to be a fantastically skilled bookkeeper.
- Major-General Stanley from The Pirates of Penzance introduces himself with the iconic Major General Song in which he lists such useless and/or absurd talents like humming a fugue, writing a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform or telling at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin. At the end of the song he just admits he doesn't have much knowledge a military man should have.
- In Pokémon, Magikarp is infamous for starting out with only one ability, which has no effect whatsoever, called Splash. It takes considerable patience to train it to the point where it can learn a useful move like Tackle.
- In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , the Succubus And Incubus Academy has several courses that seem to specifically teach useless skills. Such courses mainly serve as excuses for the succubi and incubi to stay in school for as long as they want, since they're mostly immortal. Abel is a prime example and gets called out on it, to which he replies that grass-growing is "a rewarding and therapeutic activity."
- In xkcd's Every Major's Terrible strip, nearly every academic major you could care to mention is given one large Take That! as training students to have completely useless skills and knowledge. The only one not insulted would be engineering.
Though physics seems to promise you a Richard Feynman-like career, the wiki page for "Physics Major" redirects to "Engineer."
- Underwater basket weaving is an idiomatic phrase that means "a course or major that is absurd, useless, or completely irrelevant." It's used either in a pejorative sense or in the opposite sense. For example, calling the social sciences "underwater basket weaving subjects" versus avoiding singling out any specific major.
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