[[quoteright:350: [[Series/GilmoreGirls http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Paris_Gilmore_Girls_Obssessed_are_the_Listmakers_smaller_4194.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Paris and her faithful whiteboards.]]

->''"The problem is I just finished planning my schedule for the month, but I forgot to leave time to plan for next month! Don't you see? There's no time in my schedule to put together another schedule!"''
-->-- '''Twilight Sparkle''', ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E20ItsAboutTime It's About Time]]"

So you've got things you want to do. Whether it's the laundry, the dishes, or your latest EvilPlan to [[TakeOverTheWorld dominate the universe]], you have to keep track of them all. A checklist is a nice, handy, quick way... most of the time.

Some people take their listmaking [[SeriousBusiness just a little too seriously]]. They may [[ClockKing plan every tiny part of the day on a list]], right down to the things most people won't even bother with because they're just that obvious, such as "go to sleep". Or they may start to see completing the list as a goal in itself, have already completed all of the tasks except one, and spend extenuating effort trying to complete that last one. This tendency is obviously TruthInTelevision for many.

This is usually PlayedForLaughs in fiction, especially with comic villains.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye:''
** Ultra Magnus, at least early on in the series. In issue 13, he tries (emphasis on "tries") to strike up a casual conversation with Swerve, who was talking about racing statistics. His attempt at joining in is derailed when he sees an out-of-place rivet, and goes to note it down.
** A decidedly villainous, non-humorous version with the Functionist Council, who insisted on cataloguing every possible alternate mode via the Grand Cybertronian Taxonomy, and then re-editing and re-cataloguing it all over again. "Editing" in this context being a euphemism for mass murder.


[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* Bowler Hat Guy in ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'' loves checklists and is often seen ticking off items in his, such as "Steal time machine", "Ruin science fair", and "Get that [[[SymbolSwearing comic book swearing symbols]]] boy". [[spoiler:This leads to a rather tragic moment after his EvilPlan leads the world to be [[BadFuture taken over by evil bowler hats]] in one alternate future. After fixing it, Lewis find his checklist and he has crossed out all of the EvilPlan items and added a new one: "?" It shows that he literally ''had no life'' apart from his petty desire for revenge on Cornelius Robinson for a minor childhood event.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/PoohsGrandAdventure'', Rabbit refuses to take any route but that listed on their map (a map that Owl mostly made up). He even has a whole song about it, but the map gets torn in half and then impossible to interpret.

* In one of the ''Literature/FrogAndToad'' children's books by Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad make a list of everything they plan to do on a trip. Unfortunately, while on the trip, they lose it, and feel as if they literally couldn't do ''anything'' now because the list is gone. Just when night is falling, one of them suddenly remembers the last item on the list: "Go to sleep". So they write it on the ground, cross it out, and go to sleep right there.
* The first ''Series/RedDwarf'' novel described Arnold Rimmer doing this repeatedly when he tried to take the officers' exams: he would meticulously create his study plan in such great detail that he ended up spending most of his time on it, then had to revise it for the time left, with the same effects until he had no time left for the actual studying. This is fleshed out from a gag in the third episode of the first season of the television show. It gets revisited in the final episode of ''Red Dwarf X'', with his "Battleplan Timetable".
* In ''Literature/{{Palimpsest}}'' November makes lists about anything and everything, not all of them categories most people would even think of.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': Both Paris and Rory are sometimes seen writing excessive and very elaborate lists with carefully planned activities.
** Rory is making a list before graduating from Chilton, planning specific times for signing year books, writing a speech, visiting her grandparents and most importantly, studying for her finals.
** Paris covers four big whiteboards before graduating from Yale. They concern job fairs, scholarship opportunities and meeting with useful people. She also has several pieces of paper with either the same version of the list or with its variant.
* Emma from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' has made a giant list of everything she needs for her upcoming wedding, including "purchase unmentionables" and "check for spotting on silverware". Interestingly enough it doesn't include anything about hiring wedding singers; it probably goes without saying that the glee club will fill that niche.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Mayor Wilkins is a checklist sort of guy. At one point, he has a list as follows: call a temp agency, get a haircut, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick become invincible]], and have a meeting with the PTA.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Rimmer keeps spending all his time making study timetables instead of actually studying. See the Literature entry for more.
* When the obsessive Monica is appointed Pheobe's wedding planner in ''Series/{{Friends}}'' she acquires a radio headset and starts treating the wedding plan like a ''battle'' plan, complete with codenames and military time. She also has Chandler "scheduled for nudity at 2300 hours".
-->'''Monica''': Groomsman, where is your bridesmaid? Broken arrow! We have a bridesmaid down! Oh, that's me!
* A sketch on ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' has a man so obsessed with completing the items on his list that it doesn't faze him when he is taken hostage by bank robbers. He just adds it to the list.

* In ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'', Candace is really strict about procedures. In one story arc, Candace and her husband adopt a child, whose morning rituals, such as getting out of bed, brushing teeth and getting dressed, become strictly listed and timed. There are even lines on the floor of the child's bedroom detailing where to go in fulfilling the tasks! Granted, the adoptive parents in question ''are'' border collies, thus strongly oriented toward herding (and the adopted child is a lamb, thus ''what'' they're strongly oriented towards herding).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Simon from the LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}} goes through phases of this when he thinks they aren't making progress. Averted in that the list usually gets forgotten almost immediately.
--->'''Lewis:''' "Watch the rest of [[Series/XenaWarriorPrincess Xena]] season three"? Why's that on there?
--->'''Simon:''' That's just a reminder, for when we're done.
* One listener of ''[[http://thefump.com/podcast.php The Funny Music Podcast]]'' has assigned himself the task of maintaining a chart documenting who appears in each episode and periodically submits details about his findings.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'', the recurring villain [[GadgeteerGenius Mechanikles]] is found to have a checklist with items like "Do dishes, do laundry, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick destroy world]]". The heroes even comment: "Boy, is he [[SeriousBusiness serious]]". Later, he adds "Destroy Aladdin" to the list, and wonders to himself whether he should do the dishes ''before or after'' he destroys the world. Taking his obsession UpToEleven, he writes "Retreat" into his list before retreating.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'''s ArchEnemy Dr. Drakken dreams up a great plan to TakeOverTheWorld, but later forgets it. To avoid this happening again, he starts writing everything he plans to do on note-cards. This bites him when he forgets to write down a crucial step of his next plan and so misses it out, fatally endangering himself, his {{sidekick}} Shego, Kim and Ron. At this point, Shego [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere bails out and leaves him to it.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', one of Twilight Sparkle's habits is obsessive making of lists. Depending on the episode, this can be played as anything from her being {{Adorkable}} to having SuperOCD.
** In the episode "Winter Wrap-Up", there's Twilight Sparkle's checklist for preparing for Winter-Wrap Up:
--->'''Twilight Sparkle:''' Scarf, check! Saddle, check! Boots, check! [[CrazyPrepared Spike refusing to get up and going back to sleep]], check! It's a good thing I'm so organized.
** Shown to a great degree in "Look Before You Sleep", where Twilight is determined to throw her first slumber party literally by the book. It gets to the point where she is completely sidetracked when a tree falls into her house, trying to find out whether that's supposed to happen.
--->'''Twilight Sparkle:''' We'll do everything by the book. And that will make my slumber party officially fun!
** "Lesson Zero" opens with Twilight creating a checklist of the things she needs to ''make'' a checklist. Then the first thing she puts on her "to do" list for the day is to ''make'' said "to do" list. The final item on the day's "to do" list:
--->'''Spike:''' ''Triple''-check checklist to make sure we didn't miss anything when we double-checked the checklist! Uh... check!
** In "It's About Time", Twilight starts panicking when she realizes that she scheduled her next month so thoroughly she left no room to schedule the month after that. By the end of the episode, she learns not to worry so much about the future and just deal with events when they come.
** In "Spike at your Service", some of this seems to have rubbed off on Spike, as he's made a list of things to do on his free day. Although the list only contains three entries which he works off in a minute (leaving several yards of blank paper).
** In "Triple Threat", Spike has not only made a checklist of things to do to prepare for the arrival of Dragon Lord Ember, but a list of reasons he should be worried about the visit. Starlight Glimmer can't help but joke that Spike's been hanging around Twilight too long.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Double Dipper", Dipper compiles a long list mapping out a twenty-step plan to ask Wendy to dance. His photocopy-clones eventually [[AntiMutiny lock him in a closet when he tries to deviate from the plan]].
* [[{{Nerd}} Baljeet]] from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' is like this, at least once pointing out how the titular boys' project ''du jour'' would interfere with his schedule.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' once bought a plan your own party kit, and tries to everything written on its list to the letter. He even tried to micromanage on what people should do in his party.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Pianist Richard Clayderman has admitted in an [[http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/pianos-prince-of-romance-returns-to-lift-hearts-20130203-2dsi5.html interview]] that he needs to write down his entire schedule for the day in a notebook, with a typical entry reading something like "Rise 5.30, breakfast 6.30, piano 8.30". He even ticks all the items off and makes a new list at the end of the day.
* Aviators, especially in larger and more complicated aircraft, have checklists for all manner of things, which can often specify minute details like which setting to leave a specific switch in. This will include fairly obvious things like making sure the engines are on or that the landing gear is in the desired position. Of course, the reason they do this is because planes have crashed in the past due to missing both minor details and major obvious ones, like the status of engines and landing gear. When it comes down to it, flying is a very complicated process, even for experienced pilots.
Must... add... more... examples...