The Graph Shows the Trend

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/upness.jpg

To demonstrate how some situation has been progressing, a line graph is brought out as a prop, showing a line clearly proceeding upward or downward. The axes may be unlabeled, especially in parodies. Sometimes someone realizes the graph is on the easel pointed in the wrong direction and fixes it, and now the line is going in the opposite direction. In comedy uses, the line is sometimes drawn out Off the Chart and goes into the ceiling or floor, or just lies there in coils.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The upside-down graph is used on an ad for Monster.com in which a guy works in an office full of chimpanzees. The executives are celebrating the upturn in sales until the guy turns the graph right side up. One of the chimps turns it back the other way and continue partying.

    Comedy 

    Film (Animation) 
  • The Jetsons Movie has Spacely Sprockets showcasing the profits of the new Asteroid mine in such a fashion. The line goes up until it reaches the end, before crashing directly down and through the floor. Considering the mine is being sabotaged, this might actually be the correct profit margin.

    Literature 
  • Dave Barry Slept Here has a chart of the "Level of Colonial Tension" following the passage of the Irritation Acts. The vertical axis is unlabeled, and the points on the horizontal axis are labeled as days of the week.

    Live-Action TV 
  • How I Met Your Mother has a rather offbeat example of this. There is an episode where Marshall has an obsession with making graphs of trivial things. So much so that the gang stages an intervention.
  • Dave Gorman showed a number of graphs in The Dave Gorman Collection, the premise being that he didn't want to break his miles per Dave Gorman rule.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied in this xkcd.
  • Lampshaded in this Shortpacked!:
    Faz: Contrary to what he claims, I have a graph here that clearly shows a line going up.
    Ethan: You don't even know what that line represents!!!
    Galasso: It represents upness.
    Faz: The graph has spoken.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheGraphShowsTheTrend