This is why you usually don't measure that.
Ah, statistics... The ally of mathematics, business and hard science. How infallible
. There seems to be a problem here though... What instrument can you use to measure "awesome", for example? How do you calculate a 14% drop in sadness? And then there are the units
, often measured using an Abstract Scale
— how many millisobs do you need to get one kilocry?note
This trope is for when a character cites a statistic for something which is incapable of being measured. It's almost always done for comedy
, though it may appear in more serious works as a sarcastic rejoinder.
See also Thing-O-Meter
, where the value is actually somehow measurable. Compare/contrast Artistic License - Statistics
, which is also about misusing statistics, but with material that actually can be measured. Compare Applied Mathematics
Often seen in the form of "giving 110%."
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- A commercial for Bear Swamp Recovery on was true TV says that they're the best in the repo business pound per pound.
- Burlier repo men do have a distinct advantage over shorter, scrawnier ones.
- Recent ads for the Nicoderm patch (which delivers a small amount of nicotine through the skin to help ease withdrawal for people quitting smoking) show people with a Suck-O-Meter, which shows how much "quitting sucks" from moment to moment. When the needle gets too high, they use Nicoderm and it goes back down.
- Wrigley's Doublemint Gum can apparently double both pleasure and fun.
Anime And Manga
- Bedazzled (2000) (2000): "Ah... well, you know, you go out there and you give a 110%, and you wanna play good, and, you know, you hope you play good... I think we played pretty good tonight!"
- The Avengers Pepper reassures Coulson that he wasn't interrupting on 'a moment' between her and Tony but only '12 percent of a moment'. It was payback for saying she could only take 12 percent credit for designing Stark Tower.
- Megamind tells the people of Metro City that to imagine what he has in store for them, they should take the most horrible thing they can imagine and multiply it...by six.
- From The Runner's Book of Rules, by Mark Remy (of Runner's World magazine):
"Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day."
- Ridcully declares the Unseen University football team will give it 110% in Unseen Academicals. It's left to the Literal-Minded Ponder Stibbons to explain that no, they won't, although their 100% may be greater than previously thought.
- One of Jeremy Clarkson's collections of car reviews described a car as "exactly one million times better looking" than a rival model. We're not sure what units you use for this purpose (millizondas? Microjaguarcx16s?).
- In Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch, a graphic novel set in an Orthodox Jewish community, the narrator declares,
"Naps on Shabbos afternoon are twelve times as refreshing as naps taken any other day! It's a scientific fact!"
Live Action TV
- A common source of comedy in Cracked, especially the articles that center on charts and graphs.
- In the online review circle, some reviewers (occasionally Jesu Otaku or others) will use a star system with the star replaced by concepts.
- Said concepts are often some aspect of the subject being reviewed; said star system is not really being replaced, just merely being made 20% cooler.
- This funny chart is intended to measure the "furriness" of something.
- It's a heavily abridged version of a less comical and lesser-known image that does much the same thing — depicting what different "percentages" of cat traits look like, from fully human to fully cat. The full version has many more examples of different percentages.
- Left 4 Dead 2:
"All right, everybody, you're giving 110 percent!"
"Just do it! Okay, all right, now that's 110%, 100%, 100% 115%, 75%."
- In Borderlands one of the slogans Marcus' vending machines gives for "Torgue" brand guns is:
"Four hundred percent more awesome! Also, Torgue doesn't make their guns out of freaking wood!"
- The Zen Ball in Peggle:
"__% more Zen!" or "Maximum Zen Achieved!"
- Pretty much everything Fi says in Skyward Sword uses this trope
- Potentially justified in that Fi is basically a computer, and she may very well have a concrete, well-defined measuring system for different emotions based on certain criterion.
- World Of Goo: The Tower of Goo Memorial Park and Recreation Center advertises itself as being "20% more infinite in all directions."
- The trailer for the Halloween update for The Binding of Isaac stated that the update had made the game "20% more evil".
- The iOS game Dragonvale has some fun with this. "We're 83% certain that it is 100% safe to keep Poison Dragons near habitable civilizations."
- After fighting off three evil clones of yourself in Secret of Evermore, a bystander will come out and say: "According to my calculations, you're three times stronger than yourself!"
- The votey in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal illustrates the proper units of measure for anger, fear, and awkwardness.
- xkcd has done this a few times. In cartoon 523, a character has made a graph showing the decline of a relationship.
- In The Order of the Stick, an angel shows Roy a graph of Belkar's evil against time. Note that since it is a fantasy world, it could very well be that it is not a "subjective quality" at all but that evil can be really measured objectively there (Kilonazis is the term of measurement used, by the way).
- VG Cats not only uses this trope- it uses it very nearly by name. (Probably a direct Shout Out to the Trope Namer.)
- 1930 Nightmare Theater does this here with a spell promising to make you "Look 80% cooler at all times."
- One El Goonish Shive strip has Grace inventing a measure of sadness called the Seymour.
- Similarly, in Questionable Content, happiness can be quantified in Fournier-Goldman Happiness Units. A tremendous amount of difficult algebra seems to be involved, and the scale apparently defines a lethal threshold of happiness.
- Invoked in the comic title of this strip of Least I Could Do.
- A banner ad for some kind of game project: "DrMcNinja's Radical Adventures. Now 20% more radical."
- Possibly a Stealth Pun, since there is a character in the comic called "King Radical." Maybe he just shows up 20% more times.
- SF Debris gives us the unit "Kims" (as in deci-Kims), which is the measure of Harry Kim's sexual trauma applied per cubic meter/second. Not to be confused with a metric-Kim, which is a measurement of personal shame.
- Death Battle: Starscream Vs. Rainbow Dash references the trope namer in its comparison of the participants' abilities by noting that Rainbow Dash is "20% cooler than Starscream"
- Popehat, a blog primarily concerned with the legal aspects of First Amendment issues, devoted its June 28th, 2012 column to the [KHAN], defined as "the amount of internet rage, channeled through email, listservs, and websites, on the day of Bill Clinton's impeachment acquittal". Larger units in the measurement system are the GENGHISKHAN (exactly One Godzillion KHANs, first measured on December 12, 2000, the day the US Supreme Court ruled that George Bush had won re-election) and the CHAKAKHAN, One Mecha Godzillion KHANs of internet rage..
- Doctor Insano of The Spoony Experiment built a literal Gaydar; it measures stereotypical gayness. He refuses to say why.
- The Invincible Iron Man: "Wonderful news, Tony, Howard. We'll support you both 110%."
- The Simpsons: One member of the committee creating Poochie says, "I feel we should rastafy him by... 10 percent or so."
- Also, in an earlier episode where Mr. Burns' company softball team is playing against their Shelbyville analogues, Burns hires a hypnotherapist who attempts to invoke this:
Hypnotherapist: You are all very good players.
Entire Team [in monotoned unison]: We are all very good players.
Hypnotherapist: You will beat Shelbyville.
Entire Team [in monotoned unison]: We will beat Shelbyville.
Hypnotherapist: You will give 110%.
Entire Team [in monotoned unison]: That's impossible. No one can give more than 100%; by definition, that is the most one can give.
- Abe Simpson once discribes his former Army unit, The Flying Hellfish as, "The fightingest squad, in the fightingest company, in the third-fightingest battalion in the army!"
- In Adventure Time, there's apparently a Party God who lives in the clouds in the sky, who seems to use the term "party" as a unit of measurement when possessing Jake to the extent that he "parties forever"!
- The (partial) Trope Namernote is the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Suited for Success", where Rarity asks Rainbow Dash how to improve Dash's dress. Dash simply replies that it needs to be "cooler." When Rarity asks Dash to be more specific, Dash says "it needs to be about 20% cooler." This of course drives Rarity up the wall at such maddening vagueness. The phrase immediately went memetic.
- Rarity also wants her friends to be 110% satisfied with their dresses.
- Princess Luna is taught what the concept of "fun" isnote . After the second game, she expresses her approval with: "HAHA! THE FUN HAS BEEN DOUBLED!", another phrase that also took no time to go memetic.
- In the episode "Reincarnation", during the 8-bit segment, a sadness meter appears on the top left of the screen keeping track of the Professor's deteriorating esteem.
- The Professor also has a "Coolometer" which measures the popularity of the subject in units of megafonzies.
- Also, in "Bender's Big Score", he has an instrument for measuring how "doomed" someone is. The unit is "milliDooms".
- In a DVD commentary, the writers insisted the word "underpants" is 20% funnier than "underwear", attributing the observation to Ken Keeler.
- Mom's Friendly Robot Company claims that its oil is made with "10% more love" than their competitors.
- One episode of Samurai Jack featured Jack aiding a group of spacemen return to their home planet. One of them was constantly calculating the probability of random events, from the probability of successfully launching a rocket, to whether or not Jack was having a good time at the moment.
- Subverted with Cyborg in the Teen Titans episode "Only Human". Since Cyborg is, well, a cyborg, the machine part of him can measure how much effort he is actually putting in. Part of the episode was Cyborg lamenting that he cannot give 110%.
- In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Zurg's Hyper Death Ray causes a fate 20% worse than death, Hyper Death (not to be confused with a Fate Worse Than Death; it's a kids show after all).
- In the American Dad episode Haylias, Stan is attempting to set up a brainwashed Hayley with an obviously homosexual and unenthusiastic suitor. Hayley, who has been conditioned to follow Stan's commands somehow manages distinct facial expressions for each of Stan's instructions:
Stan: Look aroused.
(Hayley gives a seductive smile)
Stan: Ten percent more aroused.
(Hayley's smile brightens and her eyes widen in excitement)
Stan: Scale it back two percent.
(Hayley mutes her excited expression slightly)
Stan: Ah, young love.
- The concept of utility in economics. Two utils are not seen as twice as liked as one util, they just indicate something that is liked more than one util but not as much as three.
- Money itself is essentially approximating desire for a good or service relative to the desire to produce the good or service and the desire for alternative goods or services. Part of the reason our economy goes through cycles is this metric is an approximation and can be skewed by various factors (government subsidies and corporate malfeasance for example.)
- Probably the most common use of this in real life is the Helen, a measure of beauty. A Helen is defined as the beauty required to launch a thousand ships, in reference to the Greek myth. Thus, a milliHelen is the beauty required to launch a single ship. Amusingly, this manages to be the rare example of this trope that has a defined value, but in a bit of a Voodoo Shark moment, its definition is just as vague as standard for this trope. A negative amount of milliHelens indicates how many ships would be launched away from the "beauty" in question.
- Likewise, the "Winger" and "milliWinger", terms coined by the Furry Fandom during its earlier days (but which have fallen out of use by now) as a way of quantifying Squick. According to WikiFur, "One Winger is equal to the amount of mental disturbance caused by viewing a typical Doug Winger drawing."
- Utility in Utilitarianism, which is subtly different from economics. For example, it can be aggregated between people. It's measured in QALYs and DALYs. Basically, a QALY is the net happiness a healthy person feels in an average year, and a DALY is negative one QALYs, i.e. the net pain felt in a year.
- Script author William Goldman once was told by a producer that a script had to be made "forty percent funnier", in the next month. Two weeks later Goldman was asked about the progress. He said: "I only managed to make it fifteen percent funnier, so I'll have to make it twenty-seven percent funnier in the next two weeks." The producer, after a beat: "Yeah, should work out."
- Professional Wrestling fans often quantify exceptionally bloody matches on the Muta scale. 1 Muta is defined as the amount The Great Muta bled in a 1992 match against Hiroshi Hase, widely held to be one of the goriest matches in history. Thus, Muta ratings are usually fractional or decimal (for example, 1/2 Muta or 0.3 Muta).