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Off the Chart

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"Woah, these readings are off the chart! Fortunately, I have a bigger chart."
Tails, Sonic Boom

Where a pie chart, line graph, or a bar graph has lines or bars shooting completely off the chart itself. Prevalent in cartoons and animation to imply either a severe rise in something or a severe drop in something (such as profits), that is severe enough that it goes through the ceiling or through the floor.

Refers specifically to when a chart runs out of space for data and the indicator for said data goes off the medium the chart is printed on, not the euphemism of the same name, although, depending on the context, it may count as well.

A sister trope of Readings Are Off the Scale.


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  • This Stride Gum commercial most readily comes to mind for an appropriate example of the trope. At the beginning, the president of Stride Gum uses a ruler to point at the rapidly descending red line on the chart, which continues off the chart and onto a piece of paper tacked onto said chart. The CEO then taps the paper with his ruler for added emphasis. It's not Take That Us; Stride's flavor supposedly lasts so long that everyone bought one piece and never needed to buy another, sending sales down the drain.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, the sales quota on a bar graph for a specific branch of a travel agency has surpassed all others, going off the chart, onto the wall, and then onto the ceiling.
  • In the So I'm a Spider, So What? manga, Kumoko mentally creates a chart regarding her size. On the left is her, in the middle is a human for comparison, and on the right is the very tip of Mother's foot heading off the chart.
  • The eponymous mecha from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has, just like its smaller forms, a Spiral Power gauge installed. Now, at the start of the series this goes from blank to filled with a spiral of blue light, depending on how much Spiral Power the user is generating at the time. Later, this isn't enough, so the blue spiral is overlaid with a green one once it has been filled. During the final battle, the mecha eats a Big Bang and converts it to Spiral Power — the gauge goes from blank, through blue, through green, then a rainbow color which quickly fills up the spiral, breaks the glass, and continues on into the empty air!

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Often used in relation to the business of Uncle Scrooge. In both ways. Also often with paper tacked on, or even digging a hole in the floor for extreme cases.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes has a strip where Calvin claims his father's approval rating has done this. Calvin goes so far as to tape several sheets of paper and trail them along the floor just to hammer home the fact that he thinks that Dad's being a pretty horrible parent. Of course, he is only six, and his parents are doing what just about any good parent would do (try to get Calvin to eat healthier foods, go to bed at a reasonable hour, etc.)
  • Due to the state of the United States economy in 2008-2010, political cartoonists were drawing a lot of these for how high unemployment was, how big debts are, how many homes were being defaulted on the mortgage, and how much red ink was being sold because of all the prior conditions. The same happened during The Great Depression.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Simpsons Movie features a parody of An Inconvenient Truth where Lisa is pointing out the increase of pollution, and has to use a scissor lift to show just how bad the problem has become.
  • Storks has Junior's boss Hunter showing him a line graph plotting the rise and fall of company profits caused by Orphan Tulip "helping" before sending him to give her the boot. When Junior hesitates from guilt and glances back up at the office, Hunter glowers at him while pointing out the line having hit rock bottom, then pulls a flap to show the line continuing downward even further.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The CO2 chart goes off the screen and requires an adjacent screen to be turned on to display it.
  • Silent Movie features one of these showing Big Picture Studio's recent performance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Modern Life Is Goodish, Dave Gorman demonstrates the insane price of printer ink by comparing it, by volume, to other expensive liquids such as champagne. Then he discusses semen from a thoroughbred horse, which is so valuable compared to the previous things that it literally goes off the chart.
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mr. Frog'snote note  sales campaign for Conquistador Coffee sends the sales graph plummeting through the horizontal axis and off the bottom of the page.
  • A gag in the first episode of The Naked Director. Toru starts to become so successful selling encyclopedias door-to-door, after getting sales tips from Mr. Ono, that the bar graph on the wall showing his sales extends up past the top of the chart, then up to the ceiling, and finally running along the ceiling for a while.

    Video Games 
  • For Nintendo's fighting game ARMS, Blob Monster Helix's character profile page shows that his "gross factor" leaps past the edges of the chart and the user's web browser.
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Egon mentions in one level that the readings were off the charts, causing him to have to make new ones.
  • Repeatedly invoked during the SUPERHOT Kickstarter campaign, with the chart painted over the table, mouse, coffee cup and everything.
  • In Wii Sports, it is possible to get your ranking to over 2000 ("Pro" is 1000 rank, the champion is fought around 1500) at which point it will go off the charts. This is really only possible in tennis if you're good, in boxing by abusing the AI's inability to counter constant dodging+only counter attacking, and theoretically in bowling, as the others are largely luck-based. Keep it up, and you can go off the screen, indicating this isn't purposeful. Averted in Wii Sports Resort, where your skill level has a Cap at 2500. Going off the charts is impossible there.

    Web Animation 
  • In brewstew, Tyler narrates how quickly a Sock'em Bopper fight escalates, where the X axis is in seconds and Y axis is the seriousness of fight ranging from "Girly Fight" to "Horseplay" to "Shit Gets Real" all the way to "Somebody's Dead." At the 45 second mark, the chart jumps to "Girly Fight" to "Shit Gets Real" and escalates all the way past "Somebody's Dead".
  • In GEOWeasel, when Nar shows Weas his "dwindling!" monthly pay, the plotted line goes below the axis at the bottom, with "dwindling" in small letters near it. This paper was used again in a future episode.

  • In Consolers, the amiibos are selling so well the graph goes not only off the charts, but out of the panel itself.
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff: Barack Obana weighs in on the econony.
  • xkcd:
    • A chart displays how movie quality relates to movie enjoyability. The Star Wars Holiday Special is so unenjoyable that it goes through the horizontal axis with no end in sight.
    • In a chart that compares the energy density of several fuels, uranium beats the others by so much, the paper has to be stacked on the ground to show just how big the bar is. The author also points out that this could be avoided by using a logarithmic scale, but that's "for quitters".
    • Another comic is a chart of different fruit on an XY graph showing how good they taste (according to the author's subjective opinion at the time), and how difficult they are to eat. The Alt Text states that coconuts were not included on the chart because they are so hard to eat compared to all the other fruits that including them would have pushed everything else onto the easy side.

    Western Animation 
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Be A-Fred, Be Very A-Fred", a chart is shown showing the profits of a laxative company, with the line is shown going down a toilet.
  • Private Snafu: In "It's Murder She Says", the graph showing the malaria rates goes off the top of the chart, with several extra charts stuck on above the original to capture the rise, before going off the edge of the screen.
  • Robot Chicken once did a quick take of a boardroom with a chart like this, going off the bottom, and a guy with a pointer panicking: "What did I tell you? This is bad!!!"
  • In an episode of Sonic Boom, Tails studies a meteor and looks at the readings. He realizes they're off the chart, so he gets out a bigger chart. Provides the current page quote.