There Are Two Kinds of People in the World
...The kind that puts everyone into two groups and everyone else.
Unfortunately, there are more than two kinds of "There Are Two Kinds of People in the World" jokes in the world: tautologies, false dichotomies, and jokes.
- Tautologies: "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit, and those who don't." Logically, this statement is self-evident: either you are, or you aren't. ("X, and everyone else" is another variation.)
- False Dichotomies: "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who like X, and those who have no taste." To a humorless logician, these are just false. To everyone else, there are two kinds of this joke: the ones that fall flat and offend everyone, and the ones that are funny regardless.
- Meta-jokes: These play off of the structure of the phrase. Most of these, once the joke is understood, fall into one of two classes: A Tautology utilizing the theme of the joke or a Subversion of the phrase itself.
Compare With Us or Against Us
. See also My Friends... and Zoidberg
, where this trope is modified into a more insulting form. Contrast Not So Different
open/close all folders
- For Volkswagen, it's "passengers" and "drivers", with the hope of encouraging more people to be drivers.
- One Internet ad uses false dichotomy form of this trope. It asks viewers whether or not China is the world's major superpower. Above the "yes" was an image of China's flag, while above the "no" was an image of the American flag. This essentially implies that people who answer "no" believe that America is the world's major superpower. While the United States is the most logical alternative, there are still other countries, depending on one's definition, that could be considered superpowers as well.
Anime and Manga
- A piece of advice from the second Trickster's father in The Flash:
"There's two things you can be in life, Axel. Either you're the trickster, or you're the one gettin' tricked!"
- Preacher includes a scene where it is suggested that a person who likes Laurel and Hardy and hates Charlie Chaplin is a "stand up guy" while a person who prefers Chaplin "probably rapes sheep". This is supposed to parody a Tarantino line about whether you prefer Elvis to the Beatles.
- From Y: The Last Man:
Alter: There are only two kinds of people, those above the earth and those beneath it. Which side do you choose?
- The Joker from The Joker Blogs has a version with three kinds of people: "The optimistic who find the glass half full, and the pessimistic that see it as half-empty. Then there's the paranoid; they just think someone's drinking out of their glass." Of course, the Joker makes himself a fourth option: someone who tips the glass over.
- My Immortal seems to divide the entire population of its derailed Harry Potter-verse into "Goths" and "Preps." (And, occasionally, posers — preps who pretend to be goth but really aren't.) That there could be living, breathing people who neither belong to nor care about either of these two social groups simply never occurs to the author.
Films — Live-Action
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Blondie and Tuco from have this kind of thing going:
Tuco: There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend. Those with a rope around their neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting.
- Another one appears when Blondie kills the assassins hired by Tuco to take him out, only to be ambushed by Tuco himself.
Tuco: There are two kinds of spurs in the world, my friend. Those that come by the door, and those that come through the window.
- Blondie does a Call Back to this after unloading Tuco's gun so that he could kill Angel Eyes in the final showdown:
Blondie: There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.
- Star Wars: Obi-Wan's infamous line in Revenge of the Sith, "Only the Sith deal in absolutes!" combines this with bizarre hypocrisy. Not that bizarre hypocrisy is anything new for him. It's even more bizarre when you realize that the refusal to deal in absolutes is precisely what caused Anakin Skywalker to turn to the dark side. He believed Palpatine's rationalization that it was acceptable to employ the dark side of the Force if the outcome was a benevolent one (in this case, saving his wife).
- From the movie Dirty Work:
Mitch: There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who get stomped on and those who do the stomping.
Kathy: Where did you come up with that theory?
Mitch: That famous guy said it. What's his name? Oh yeah, Jesus!
- Probably this is from Lenin's slightly politer 'there are two kinds of people in this world: who and whom [those who do and those to whom it is done]'
- A variation in Domino:
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "There are two kinds of people in the world... Greeks... and people who wish they were Greeks."
- Team America: World Police has three kinds of people in the world: dicks (who fuck everything), pussies (who get fucked by everything), and assholes (who shit on everything).
Gary Johnston': We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from assholes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!
- It seems that Parker and Stone are a bit more "ha ha only serious" than they originally let on, there. You can see the same speech given by another libertarian luminary, Bill Whittle. He calls it TRIBES, and the three groups are "sheepdogs (protect sheep, attack wolves)", "sheep (protected by sheepdogs, attacked by wolves)" and "wolves (attack everyone)", respectively, but it's the same basic idea.
- Who can forget the classic line in What About Bob? by the titular character himself?: "There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him."
- In Saturday Night Fever, there are two types of "girls", according to John Travolta's character. "You gotta decide now,
Sandy Annette. Are you gonna put out? You're either gonna be a nice girl or a cunt."
- In the Brazilian film Tropa de Elite (a.k.a. The Elite Squad) the (arguably) protagonist/narrator says Brazilian cops have three options: omit themselves, corrupt themselves, or go to war.
- In the Japanese movie Swing Girls, a jock-ish minor character seems to start all his sentences this way, leaving the protagonists on the negative end, of course. It isn't until the swing band's penultimate performance that he changes his mind.
- In The Longest Day during the battle for Omaha Beach, a ranking character dealing with getting the men off the beach and past the bunkers gives a variation on this trope: "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those that are going to die!"
- This line was then done as a Shout-Out in Call of Duty: Big Red One.
- Actually, it's Truth in Television. An officer actually ran along the beach yelling that at the men in order to get them to push forward, as they were all taking cover behind whatever they could instead of trying to take the beach.
- The infinitely preachy, So Bad, It's Good film The Butter Cream Gang has the main characters ex-best friend say this line after he falls under a bad influence. "There are two people in the world: Your friends and your enemies." He doesn't seem to have anything in mind about people he's never met.
- In The Manchurian Candidate these are "Those that enter a room and turn the television set on, and those that enter a room and turn the television set off."
- (500) Days of Summer : "There's only two kinds of people in the word. There's women. And there's men.
- The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day: Rocco tells us that there are "talkers" and "do-er's", and that "it's the do-er's that change this world."
- "Only two things come out of Texas! Steers and queers!
- Which comes with a Genius Bonus, since a steer could refer to a castrated bull.
- Jurassic Park III "There are two kinds of boys: Astronauts and Astronomers"
- "Only two kinds of men get shot: criminals and victims."
- The Matrix: "Two kinds of people: Those with power, and those without."
- In the film Nothing To Lose with Tim Robins and Martin Lawrence.
- From Pink Flamingos:
Connie: I guess there's just two kinds of people, Miss Sandstone, my kind of people and assholes. It's rather obvious which category you fit into. Have a nice day.
- The Elite Squad has a slight variation with Captain Nascimento's opening monologue:
Nascimento:"There are three kinds of policemen in Rio. Those who are corrupt, those who look the other way, and those who go to war."
- Subverted in Harry Potter, where Sirius Black points out that the world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters when Harry's suspecting Dolores Umbridge of being a Death Eater.
- There's a Pokémon novelization which promisingly opened stating that there are two types of people in the world: people who catch and train Pokémon themselves and people who try to steal other people's Pokémon. The immediate audience reaction is: "What about those people who sit around and have no interest in Pokémon whatsoever?"
- Those are called dead people.
- From The Truth:
It is said that there are two types of people in the world: those who look at a glass that is exactly half full and say, "This is glass is half full," and those who look at the same glass and say, "This glass is half empty." But the world is ruled by the people who look at the glass and say, "Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full. And I had a bigger glass!"
Detritus: Only ... (counts fingers) only two-er things come from Slice Mountain. Rocks, an' ... an' other sorts of rocks!
- This parody of David Brooks.
- Foucaults Pendulum claims there four kinds of people in the world: "cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics."
- Although at another point it goes for the more traditional two: "writers and editors".
- Invincible has Wedge Antilles, in hiding, hearing of his daughter Syal starting to date. He is not at all happy.
"There are two types of male pilots. Good men, such as the ones I never tried to break or run out of my squadrons, whom I would shoot before I ever trusted them with my daughter. And worse men, whom I would shoot if I caught them looking at my daughter."
- From Blade of Tyshalle:
- The treecats from David Weber's Honorverse recognise two types of enemy: those who have been appropriately dealt with, and those who are still alive.
- Humorist Robert Benchley once noted that there were two types of people in the world: people who believe that there are two types of people in the world, and people who don't.
- This was parodied in Donald Westlake's short story Don't You Know There's A War On?, in which the inhabitants of a planet consist of two types of people: people who believe what Robert Benchley said about there being two types of people in the world, and people who don't.
- From the Pendragon series the Quillian Games. After being given a room with a clown motif.
There are two kinds of people in this world. People who hate and fear clowns... and clowns.
- A classic one from Rainsford in The Most Dangerous Game: "This world's divided into two kinds of people: the hunter and the hunted."
- Fisk tries to use this in the Knight and Rogue Series to describe what kind of nobleman Michael's father is, but can't help but admit that if he bothered to think about it he'd probably come up with at least thirty types.
- Azure Bonds put things straight:
Alias: Riding a wagon along protected trading routes in a guarded merchant caravan doesn't make you an adventurer. Until you've hiked more than twenty miles a day, slept in a ditch, and eaten something that tried to kill you first, you're not an adventurer. Anyone who isn't an adventurer is a greengrocer.
- In David Langford's The Leaky Establishment there are two kinds of nuclear weapons scientists: the hawks ("We're gonna build something that'll wipe out the bad guys!") and ostriches ("Gosh, this is an interesting application of the theory, let's not think about why we're doing it"). (Well, three types: hawks, ostriches and Roger Pell.) The main character is an ostrich.
- In The Way Of Kings, Kaladin's father, a surgeon, told him that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who save lives, and those who take lives. When he asks about people who save lives by taking lives, his father tells him, "That’s like trying to stop a storm by blowing harder. Ridiculous. You can’t protect by killing." Later in life, at his Despair Event Horizon, he concludes that there is a third kind of people: the victims whose lives exist to be killed or saved.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6
Jonathan: It's true, my friends. The way I see it, life is like an interstellar journey. Some people go into hypersleep and travel at sub-light speeds, only to get where they're going after years of struggle, toil and hard, hard work. We, on the other hand ...
Andrew: Blast through the space-time continuum in a wormhole?
Jonathan: Gentlemen... [lights cigar with flaming bill] CRIME is our wormhole!
- Red Dwarf, "Meltdown": When Rimmer is inspecting the troops, he tells St. Francis: "There's only two kinds from Assisi, steers and queers — which are you, boy?"
- Which is, of course, homage to Full Metal Jacket in reference to things that come from Texas.
- In the first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Invasion of the Bane, Sarah Jane tells Maria, "There are two types of people in this world. There are people who panic, and then there's us."
- At the start of the second season, she gives new recruit Rani a similar speech.
Rani: And that's me?
Sarah Jane: That's all of us.
- Smallville, Fever. Chloe's dad told her [offscreen] there are two kinds of girls, the ones you grow out of, and the ones you grow into. Well, the second part is straightforward enough, but there are girls you can grow out of in the Smallville 'verse? Who knew kryptonite infections could be so kinky?
- From a season 7 episode of House: "There are two kinds of people: those who move on, and those who can't."
- From the Pushing Daisies episode Circus Circus, the French acrobat tells Ned and Emerson that they are two types of people in the world- circus performers, and "stubs", those that watch.
- Brian Kinney of Queer as Folk fame puts a homophobic spin on this trope with the oft-referenced quote: "There are two kinds of straight people in the world: the ones that hate you to your face, and the ones that hate you behind your back."
- On I Love Lucy, Fred tells Ricky: "There are two kinds of people in this world: The earners and the spenders, or as they are more popularly known: The husbands and the wives."
- Manipulative Bastard Tammy Swanson on Parks and Recreation: "There are two kinds of women in the world. There are women who work hard and stress out about doing the right thing, and then there are women who are cool."
- In Harry Enfield and Chums. Perry on an Oasis fanboy kick tells Kevin, "There's only two types of people, right? There's us and there's wankers."
- The good people of Law & Order love this trope.
- Notable example; in the Fifth Season premiere(which introduced Jack McCoy and Detective Van Buren) the case involved a woman who died from a dangerous alternate treatment for breast cancer. Van Buren observed, "There are two kinds of women in this world; those who are afraid of getting breast cancer, and those who already have it."
- In The Magnificent Seven, an establishing character moment for Ezra in the pilot is when he describes the villagers and the Seven in these terms
Ezra: "There are two kinds of people in this life, my friend. Those who seek battle and seem not to fear death...like them. And those who avoid battle, but will stand and fight to the death if their loved ones are threatened...like them. That is true courage."
- Provides a Call Back later, after he flees the fight to save his own skin, as he turns back toward the village and adds "and there's a third kind", obviously in reference to himself.
- Kristen Wiig's parody of Kathie Lee Gifford on Saturday Night Live: "You know, there's two types of people in the world; people that get it and people that don't. And the people that don't get it know who they are." [long silence]
- One part of Disney's Mars And Beyond was about what kind of people live on the planets in the solar system:
Narrator: There are two kinds of people on Venus: mild people and fierce people.
- "Two kinds of people in this world. Winners, losers." - Lindsey Buckingham, "Go Insane".
- There's only two types of people in the world:
The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe
—Britney Spears, "Circus"
- There's only two types of guys out there:
Ones that can hang with me, and ones that are scared
- Subverted by the Flight of the Conchords introduction to the song "A Kiss is Not a Contract":
"There are two kinds of people in the world. I'm one kind..." "And I'm the other."
- The Magnetic Fields song "Two Kinds Of People".
There are two kinds of people: A) My love and I, B) Other.
- "The Quick and The Dead" by Accept:
There's two kinds of people... The Quick and the Dead.
- Meta-version in "There is a War" by Leonard Cohen:
"There is a war between the ones who say there is a war/and the ones who say there isn't."
- Merle Haggard's "My Own Kind of Hat" is a variant.
- Townes Van Zandt was fond of introducing some of his more Tear Jerker-ish songs with "There are only two kinds of music, the blues and 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah'. This ain't 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah'."
- From The Road Warriors' post-match interview on the October 3, 1987 NWA World Championship Wrestling:
, Tony Schiavone, There Are Two Kinds Of People In The World, as far as me and Animal are concerned. Clamheads and Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebies
- In the BBC Radio 4 comedy Absolute Power (but not the TV version) Charles Prentiss has a variety of poetic versions to put down Maurice the waiter (usually after Maurice has corrected his pronunciation of Maurice).
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: The title character, in the big showstopping Villain Song "Epiphany," explains his Omnicidal Maniac stance by noting that there are two types of people.
Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett,
There are two kinds of men and only two.
There's the one staying put in his proper place
And the one with his foot in the other one's face!
Look at me, Mrs. Lovett, look at you!
- "The Way Things Are", the Villain Protagonist song from I Can Get It For You Wholesale.
- According to Quina from Final Fantasy IX, there are only two things in this world: Things you can eat, and things you no can eat.
- A disgruntled cook in Jade Empire puts it like this: "In this world, there are heroes, and there are people who clap as heroes walk by." Guess which one you are? No, seriously, guess. It says a lot about you.
- Team Fortress 2 example: "There are two sorts of men in this world: the sort with blood pouring out of a hole in their heads, and the sort holding the Ambassador."
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Tommy "The Nightmare" Smith's view on the world: "There's two kinds of people in this world: Those who like me... and those who can go to hell!"
- Fallout 2 has a hilarious example:
"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."
- Lampshaded by You Don't Know Jack: We at Jellyvision believe there are two kinds of people in the world... males and females.
- Zeke Dunbar paraphrases George Bernard Shaw's Maxims for Revolutionists #124 prior to the finale of inFAMOUS 2:
"The way I see it, there's basically two types of people. Most of them are guys like me. Guys that sit on the couch, we might not like the shit that happens to us, but we deal with it. Then there are guys like you."
- Both Vladof and Dahl radio ads in Borderlands 2 have variations on this phrase. Vladof claims the two kinds of people are the oppressors and the oppressed ("Which one are you?"); Dahl says the three kinds are people who need to be killed, the people who kill them, and the people who pay the 2nd group.
- To a Maharassa, there are three kinds of people in the world: family to protect, bitches to sex up, and prey.
- Implied in Schlock Mercenary — "There are customers we serve, and then there are customers we service."
- The Mimic in Rusty and Co. observes that "There's really only two kinds'a vilains out there..."
- In this strip of El Goonish Shive, Nanase's mom claims "There are two kinds of people in this world Nanase: good people who make things better and bad people who make things worse."
- Luke Surl found another two.
- A Softer World: In this world, there are two kinds of people, people like me, with knives, and people like you, with eyeballs
- Urban Jungle parodies the glass half empty/half full idea here
- Tranquility Base has two robots do it with style: "There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those who don't."
- Cracked: "There are two kinds of people in this world: People who love Journey ironically and people who love Journey genuinely."
- I hate both of them.◊
- The Joker Blogs gives us one in episode 9
Joker: Y'know, there are three kinds of people in this world: The optimistic who find the glass half full, and the pessimistic that see it as half-empty. Then there's the paranoid; they just think someone's drinking out of their glass.
Corrigan: Which one are you?
- The FanFiction Critic delivers an oddly specific one in one of her reviews. "There are two types of people. There are normal people and then there are people who want to have sex with this. "This" being Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Guess which kind wrote the fic she's reviewing.
- In the French webnovel Les Aventures de Morgoth (Chapter 6 part 20), Vertu explains about her greatest enemy:
Vertu: Mankind is divided into two categories: Those who overestimate Condeezza, and those who don't know her. Natural selection quickly removed those who underestimated her.
- In It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown's party invitation prompts Lucy to say there are two kinds of people; people to invite and people not to invite. She assumes Charlie Brown was put on the wrong list.
- In Transformers Generation One, there's Barricade who firmly believes there are only two kinds of mechanoids: Decepticons and losers.
- According to Peter Griffin of Family Guy:
There are two kinds of people in this world, Chris. There are bullies and there are nerds. And there are hot Asian chicks. They'll do what you want. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You better believe it, buddy. They will do what you want because they know, they know what you want. Oh, oh, oh, don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you. I won't hurt you. Me big American man. My point being
that I'm a bully.
- The Simpsons:
- Homer's "Only two types of guy wear Hawaiian shirts - gay guys and big fat party animals! And Bart doesn't look like a big fat party animal to me!" Made even funnier by Marge's pointing out that that logic presumably makes it fine for him to wear them...
- Probably a Matt Groening reference.
- When Homer goes to college, he immediately separates the students into two groups: jocks and nerds. And then puts himself in the jock category.
Homer: Hey pal, did you get a load of the nerd?
"Jock": Pardon me?
- When Two-Face threatened to release a binary poison on Gotham in Batman: The Animated Series, he claimed there would be two kinds of people in Gotham: The dying and the dead.
- Parodied in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" of South Park when Cartman is sent to juvie. When asked one reason why he shouldn't be beat up, Cartman says he's just like everyone else. The main guy says there are two types of kids: those who like Animaniacs and those who don't. Despite getting the right answer about not liking Animaniacs, the situation isn't improved much as there are no friends in prison.
- In "Chuckie's Wonderful Life" on Rugrats, Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Angelica torments Chuckie under the guise of helping. No wonder he tried to run away after these enouraging words:
Angelica: Chuckie, there are two kinds of people in this world, people like me who make things better, and people like you, who just seem to get in the way.
Chuckie: You really mean it, Angelica?
Angelica: I'm sorry, Chuckie. We'd all just be better off without you.
- Parodied in Futurama when "That Guy" from the 1980s becomes the CEO of Planet Express.
That Guy: Let's cut to the chase. There are two kinds of people - sheep and sharks. Anyone who's a sheep is fired. Who's a sheep?
Zoidberg: Uh, excuse me, which is the one people like to hug?
Gutsy question. You're a shark. Sharks are winners. And they don't look back. 'Cause they don't have necks. Necks are for sheep. (Everyone hunches their shoulders except Bender, who physically retracts his head)
I am proud to be the shepherd of this herd of sharks.
- Wing Commander Academy: Daimon Karnes, in "The Last One Standing", to Blair. The two kinds of people in the galaxy, according to him, are those who fly in order to get somewhere, and those who love to fly.