Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
Counting Bricks
Someone passes time by counting the bricks in a wall or something similar.


(permanent link) added: 2011-10-14 16:23:56 sponsor: SonicLover (last reply: 2014-03-04 19:55:35)

Add Tag:
Do We Have This One?? Seen It a Million Times. Needs a Better Description. Rolling Updates. Would like some discussion instead of people just throwing examples at it.

The laconic says it all: someone is seen killing time by counting the bricks in a wall, the tiles in the floor or ceiling, or something else practically nobody could possibly care about the number of.

Typically serves to demonstrate that the counter is either extremely bored, Good with Numbers, or simply a Cloudcuckoolander. You can usually tell it's one of the latter two if the counter goes to extra trouble to make sure that his/her count is accurate.

Examples

Film
  • In the 2002 film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes counts all the stones in the wall of his solitary confinement cell just to pass the time.

Literature
  • Tim Allen's first book, Don't Stand Too Close To a Naked Man, featured a Running Gag where he would go into detail about how many little holes you can find in a suspended tile ceiling, typically after a point in the narration where a woman had told him that she wanted him to sleep with her, only for him to discover that she actually wanted him to sleep with her.
  • In Men at Arms, after Cuddy teaches Detritus to count past two, he begins counting everything.
    Detritus: There are ... one tousand. Three hundret. Six-ty. Four bricks.
    • After he gets locked in the hot futures freezer, he gets bored counting bricks and discovers, in quick order, arithmetic, algebra, and calculus. And he keeps going. Brick counting Up to Eleven.

Live Action TV
  • At one point during a Sesame Street music special, designated host Count von Count is seen passing the time by counting the bricks in the room's wall. Of course, since counting things is the Count's whole shtick, this sort of activity is probably the first thing he'd turn to during his downtime.
    "You are [brick number] 453. I will get back to you later."
  • Used to emphasize Malcolm's mathematical skills early in Malcolm in the Middle, when the boys are stuck in their room.
    Reese: I wonder how many holes are up in those tiles.
    Malcolm: One hundred and eighty six thousand, four hundred and eighty.
    Reese: You counted all of those?
    Malcolm: No. You just count one tile's row across and down, multiply it and then multiply it again by the number of tiles.

Web Original
  • In the Strong Bad Email "Boring," Bubs is seen counting the bricks on one side of his concession stand.

Western Animation
  • In the Storm Hawks episode "Five Days", Aerrow resorts to repeatedly counting ceiling rivets while hospitalized for the aforementioned period of time.
  • In an episode of Recess TJ's put in detention and pleads with his friends to break him out, claiming to have already counted the ceiling tiles several times over.
  • In the TV special "Garfield Gets A Life", Garfield is so bored he starts counting the tiles in the ceiling. Later, he and Jon go to a seminar on how to get a date, and everyone there is also counting ceiling tiles.
replies: 27

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy