''“[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ugebzq3juE It’s just a show; I should really just relax.]]”''

Line from the [[ThemeTune theme song]] of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', which encourages the viewer not to worry about details that are irrelevant to the enjoyment of the program. Sometimes referred to as ''Hodgson’s Law'', after Joel Hodgson, creator and original lead actor of ''[=MST3K=]''.

Like BellisariosMaxim, it is employed in fan communities to ridicule or short-circuit all manner of {{Fan Wank}}y arguments and factual inaccuracy entries.

The full line, used more rarely, is this:

->''“If you’re wondering how he [Joel/Mike/Jonah/He] eats and breathes\\
And other science facts\\
Then repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show,\\
I should really just relax.’”''

[[EarWorm “La-la-la’s” optional.]]

Take three deep breaths and recite when tempted to make a Administrivia/JustifyingEdit. Many of our very own tropes (including and especially our ArtisticLicense archipelago) have a tendency to get very nitpicky about following or failing to follow core sciences so even we could do with repeating it to ourselves regarding whole tropes.

TV scribe Michael Reaves [[http://web.archive.org/web/20110714084132/http://www.michaelreaves.com/requiem_preface.htm simplifies]] the sentiment even further: “It’s only television.”

When we consider that the very point of ''[=MST3K=]'' was itself to mock and ridicule movies for breaches of logic and defective storytelling, we encounter a sort of ''[=MST3K=]'' Dilemma: a glib assessment of the situation would have it that the show was hypocritical with its insistence that the viewers subject it to less scrutiny than they themselves brought to bear against countless films, but a more careful consideration should lead us to discern that different subjects should be held to different critical criteria. Indeed, [[ExcusePlot what passed for plot]] in ''[=MST3K=]'' was little more than a goofy premise to facilitate the mockery of bad movies, and labelling this as “just a show” doesn’t make it any less good.[[note]]Amusingly enough, the show did later provide an explanation for these, making reference to the equipment that creates the air, huge boxes of food, the Umbilicus (a space-elevator style hookup via which the Mads deliver things physically to the satellite) and a farm somewhere on the ship, which Mike never noticed.[[/note]]

On the other hand, nobody who hopes to promote a movie can insist it’s “just a movie” and critics should “just relax” while also expecting they take seriously any Aesop, speculation, spectacle, or anything else of potential value from it is insulting the intelligence of the audience. This is not about critical appraisal, but what is necessary to tell a story. When criticism targets those things that were simply unexplained, ''only then'' should you invoke Bellisario’s Maxim.

At the same time however, one should be careful that they do not go too far and use this to justify saying that TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong. Yes, there’s no point in getting excessively worked up and nitpicky about something that, at the end of the day, is just a work of fiction. But using it as a way of brushing off any and all forms of criticism is an equally dangerous attitude to have, and in creators can be a possible sign of a SmallNameBigEgo at work.

This concept is OlderThanSteam, [[JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples also being used in]] Creator/WilliamShakespeare’s ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'': Puck’s final speech, which starts “If we shadows have offended/Think but this and all is mended…” can be condensed into “’Tis but a play/I’faith, I should really just relax.” This was actually a kind of disclaimer, to mollify people in power who may have construed the subject matter of that and other plays of his as blasphemous and obscene. It still applies to this trope, though.

In general, this applies to many philosophies, including the mantra of popular events, one being [[http://www.burningman.com/ “It’s just a week in the desert.”]]

The closest thing this trope has to TruthInTelevision is the concept of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_Reform_and_the_Psychology_of_Totalism#Thought-terminating_clich.C3.A9 thought-terminating cliché]]''; as Wiki/TheOtherWiki puts it, “a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom […] its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.”

See also ThisIsAWorkOfFiction, esp. as used in-universe in ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'', to prevent Haruhi from making everything in the SOS film into reality by thinking about it too much.

See also RuleOfCool (or RuleOfFunny). A form of WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. Contrast MoffsLaw.


->'''Statler''': Maybe they’re right. Maybe we should really just relax.\\
'''Waldorf''': Key word, “should.” [[ExactWords They never said we have to.]]\\
'''Statler''': Good point. Hey, Cambot! When you look in the mirror, do you tell yourself to “say cheese”?\\
'''Both''': Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!