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On a Scale from One to Ten
Genre Savvy usage here.
A character rates something on a scale from one to ten, often for comedic effect.

The results split into two types:

  • 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).
  • Not even a number, or left unanswered for rhetorical reasons.

Compare Grade System Snark. See also Up to Eleven, which is named after an example this, Top Ten List, for other things from one to ten, and Broke the Rating Scale when the results don't fit the scale.

Examples of an actual number:

    open/close all folders 

     Comic Books  

  • In The Punisher MAX arc "Valley Forge, Valley Forge", this pops up on a taped interrogation of Rawlins by O'brien and the Punisher.
    Rawlins: You're lovin' this shit, ain't you? Sweetie?
    O'brien: Scale of one to ten, where ten is watching Castle cut your dick off? Two.
  • Doomguy of Doom, under the effect of a berserker pack, rates himself "12.0 on a 10.0 scale of badness".

     Fan Works  

     Film (Animated)  

  • Aladdin:
    Iago (as Jafar): No, really. On a scale of one to ten, you are an eleven.

     Film (Live-Action)  

  • Serendipity:
    "How drunk is he on a scale of one to ten?"
  • The title of 10 is based on this trope. Bo Derek is a "10" on a scale of one to ten.
  • Sarah Silverman once opened the MTV Movie Awards with a crack at 300.
    "It's named after the rating for how gay it was on a scale of one to ten."
  • The Devil's Advocate:
    Milton: Well, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most depraved act of sexual theater known to man and one being the usual Friday night run-through at the Lomax household, I'd say, not to be immodest, Mary Ann and I got it on to about... seven.
  • In The Sum of All Fears, when the love interest is asked "Cute scale, one to ten" about Ben Affleck's character, she responds with, "Oh, I don’t know... twelve."

     Live-Action TV  

  • Selfie, the boss Saperstein asks his employees to rate how close they feel to each other, trying to encourage closeness among his work family. Eliza gets a zero from a coworker (and zoned out on her phone during the meeting anyway) and spends the rest of the episode trying to work on fixing that. During his own work friendship hijinks, Henry ends up getting a zero as well (causing Eliza to butt in and elbow him, laughing that they got the same) By the end, she tells Henry she feels a six for him, and he says a 4.7, rounding up to 5, showing their growing closeness.
  • Friends: Chandler snarked at Joy who was over thirty and thought he could pull a teenager on a commercial.
    Chandler: Yes, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the dumbest a person can look, you are definitely nineteen.
  • Babylon 5:
    "Mr. Garibaldi, on a scale of one to ten... just how stupid do you think I am?"
  • How I Met Your Mother, episode "Wait For It": Barney evaluates women's hotness on a scale which is implicitly from one to ten. The aim is to find a woman hotter than Robin so that Ted would "win" the breakup.
    Barney: Tonight we're gonna get you someone way hotter than Robin. OK, Robin's a ten. Fine. We'll get you a twelve. Or, you know, two sixes. Failing that, three fours. And break glass in case of emergency, we'll go to Staten Island, I'll get you twelve ones.


  • Usher's "Yeah" included the lyric:
    "Cause on a one-to-ten she's a certified twenty"

     Newspaper Comics  

  • This Garfield strip:
    Dog: Bark! Bark! Bark!
    Garfield: On a scale of one to ten, I give it a seven.
    Dog: Oh, come on!
    Garfield: I've seen you more crazed, and you didn't do that bloodshot-eyeballs thing.

     Video Games  

     Web Original  


     Western Animation  

  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Marge gets her bag stolen and refuses to leave her home. The family escort her outside, while she tells how much fear she feels, and after Homer angers a swarm of bees, she starts going going above ten.
  • In Muppet Babies, when Kermit is selling a song to Piggy, who is playing a country singer.
    "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!!"
  • At the end of the Adventure Time episode "Wizard Battle", the Ice King asks Finn and Jake to rate his new sunglasses.
    Ice King: On a scale of one to ten, one being like totally gross, ten being like "Dang, Ice King, you look crazy sick!".

Examples of non-numbers:

     Comic Books  

     Live-Action TV  

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    "How'd it go?"
    "On a scale of one to ten? It sucked."
  • Bottom:
    Richie: How's it looking, Eddie?
    Eddie: On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's bicycle clip time.
  • Dirty Jobs did this in one bumper asking the viewers for ideas, as part of a Hurricane of Puns:
    Mike Rowe: So, on a scale of one to ten, I'd say these dirty jobs... kicked my bass. And that's no carp.


     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • Johnny Bravo gets scaled on how he does at picking up girls, rated by Luke Perry no less.
    Luke Perry: Well Johnny, on a scale of one to ten... you're an idiot.
    • Also while flirting with Caesar's wife, he says, "On a scale of one to ten, your an X."


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