A character rates something on a scale from one to ten.
The results may be split into two types:
Type A. An actual number. It's sometimes oddly specific or, more often, doesn't fit the scale (as in, more than ten or less than one).
Type B. Not even a number, or left unanswered, for rhetorical reasons.
See also Up to Eleven
and Top Ten List
Examples of type A:
Chandler: Yes, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the dumbest a person can look, you are definitely nineteen.
Iago as Jafar: No, really. On a scale of one to ten, you are an eleven.
- How drunk is he on a scale of one to ten?
I don't know quite how to tell you this, Kermit, but on a scale of one to ten, that song was... minus twelve! It's horrible!!
Examples of type B:
- How'd it go?
- On a scale of one to ten? It sucked.
- On a scale from one to ten, this is pretty fucked up.
- Menage a 3: "On A Scale Fron One To Ten, how fired am I?" (Not fired, actually.)
- Schlock Mercenary brings us this:
: Well, on a scale of "that's not free checking"
to "heat death of the universe,"
I'd say we're looking at "the enemy has a super-weapon we can't track."