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Rule-Breaker Rule-Namer

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"I write to inform you that, by the authority of this sub-committee, officers have been dispatched to place you under arrest, and we expect your full cooperation. Congratulations are in order, I suppose. When they write the new morality protocols for dealing with AI, I'm certain they will name entire sections of the doctrine after you."
The Chairman, Red vs. Blue

A rule or regulation is mentioned, and somebody pipes up that it's also known as "The (insert name) rule". For instance, let's say the scene is at a bar:

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"Sorry, we don't let people prepare their own drinks. We had a couple of mishaps in the past with that, so management told us to stop it. We like to think of it as 'The Jack Jenkins Rule'".

Occasionally, when mentioning it, the speaker will look at the character in question glaringly (if he or she is nearby). If the rule is sufficiently strange, this doubles as a Noodle Incident, and if it's sufficiently specific, it overlaps with Strange Minds Think Alike.

Things merely named after the person who created or requested them don't count; it needs to be created in reaction to the person it's named after.


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Examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • In Phoebe and Her Unicorn, several spells that Phoebe asks for are eventually restricted under the "Phoebe Howell Rule".

    Fan Works 
  • Preemptively done in The Weaver Option. When Taylor and Neferten sign a mutual assistance treaty, it has ten sections. Eight deal with the standard diplomatic, cultural, and military issues of such a treaty while the last two specifically cover how to handle Lelith and Trazyn respectively.

    Literature 
  • In Animorphs, the Andalite version of the Prime Directive is called the Law of Seerow's Kindness, after the Andalite who gave technology to the race that went on to use it to become the Big Bads of the series.
  • The Honerverse's Eridani Edict, preventing the use of a Colony Drop without first giving the planet a chance to surrender, is named after the world of Epsilon Eridani, which was leveled by such an attack.
  • Vorloupulos's Law in the Vorkosigan Saga, forbidding private armies, was renamed such after Lord Vorloupulos hired a horde of ex-soldiers as "cooks" in an attempt to get around the law and had them carve up his enemies with butcher knives.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • On Home Improvement a rule limiting the amount of Christmas lights and electricity used in the neighborhood decorating contest was known as the "Tim Taylor Rule"
  • On Married... with Children the male strip clubs have a "Peggy Bundy Rule" forbidding women from going in the back room with dancers.

    Sports 
  • A Real Life example from the world of sports: The National Football League has numerous rules commonly (if unofficially) named after individual players. The "Emmitt Smith Rule", to give one example, prohibits a player from removing his helmet on the field while the game clock is running. Its name derives from the former Dallas Cowboys running back's predilection for throwing off his helmet after scoring touchdowns.
    • Former running back Ricky Williams has a rule named after him in both the NFL and Canadian Football League. Informally in the NFL, the "Ricky Williams Rule" dictates that a player's hair extending outside their helmet is considered "part of the uniform" and can be legally used to tackle a player (Williams famously wore long dreadlocks). In the CFL, there is an official "Ricky Williams Rule" that states a CFL team cannot sign a player who is under an NFL suspension, after the Toronto Argonauts signed Williams, who was under a year-long NFL suspension due to multiple drug policy violations.
    • Late in the 2021 season, NCAA football added a rule interpretation unofficially called the "Kenny Pickett Rule", mandating that any attempt by a ball carrier to fake a slide to the ground will be treated as an actual slide, with the play being called dead at that point. The rule namer was the Pitt QB who ran for a 58-yard TD on the opening drive after faking a slide about 20 yards into said run.note  This rule was officially codified for the 2022 season.
  • In Cricket, to "Mankad" is for the bowler to run out the non-striker batsman while they are backing up, after Vinoo Mankad of India, who did this to Australian Bill Brown in 1947. While not illegal, such an act is considered unsportsmanlike by many and likely to be highly controversial.
  • In Rugby League, John Hopoate became infamous after it was revealed that, when tackled, he had a habit of causing the tackler to loosen his grip by sticking his fingers into their rectum. "Hopoate" became Australian slang for such an act.
  • In 2008, a National Hockey League player named Sean Avery spent a substantial amount of time waving his hands in the face of opposing goaltender Martin Brodeur and generally being a pest to him, eventually leading to a goal. This move wasn't technically against the rules at the time. Less than a day later, the league amended the rule so that if another player tries it, he can get a penalty. Unsurprisingly, the rule was informally named after Avery.
    • Martin Brodeur himself also had a rule named after him. The standard was for goalies to cover the goal when the puck was behind the goal line, and a goalie playing the puck was risking losing control of the situation fast and allowing an easy goal. But Brodeur would not only get out and play the puck behind the goal line, he was exceptionally talented at doing so; opposing players complained that it was like his team had an extra defenseman, because their attempts to move the puck down the ice were hampered by Brodeur's willingness to leave the crease and send it back. Partway through his career and as a result of the 2004 lockout, the NHL instituted "the Brodeur rule", marking a trapezoid behind the net, which was the only place goaltenders were legally permitted to play the puck behind the line and which limited a roaming goalie's ability to clear the puck rather than just send it to the corner for the skaters to fight over. The rule had very minimal effect outside of Brodeur (who was arguably a once-a-generation talent and has been retired for years), and international rules do not include the trapezoid.
  • The National Hockey League had once had a huge problem with the Edmonton Oilers: they would send out any unimportant player to intentionally get offsetting minors with their opponent. This would set up a 4 on 4 situation, where the Oilers could send out their top line run by Wayne Gretzky. The combination would typically dominate any line they came up against. To prevent this from getting out of hand, the "Wayne Gretzky rule" was introduced, where offsetting minors were played in a 5 on 5 situation. The rule was revoked in 1992, a few years after Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles, but is still active in IIHF (international) play.
  • An exception in the National Basketball Association's salary cap exists called the "Larry Bird exception", after Larry Bird being the first player re-signed under a rule where teams could exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own players. Two other variations exist, the "non-Bird exception", and the much punnier "Early Bird exception", which, as the name suggests, applies to certain players in free agency who were early in their career with a team.
  • The "Trent Tucker Rule" in the NBA legislates that no player can attempt a catch-and-shoot that will count if there is less than 0.3 seconds left on the clock; only tip-ins will be allowed to count with a ball in play under those conditions. This rule came about in 1990 after Trent Tucker of the Knicks hit a go-ahead shot while the game clock only ticked down from 0.3 to 0.1, which Bulls coach Phil Jackson argued should be physically impossible. In the name of removing human error (because a timekeeper manually starts the clock) and possible home-court advantage (where the local timekeeper may delay starting the clock a few tenths more to give the home team additional time), the NBA put it in print that a jumpshot cannot count with under 0.3 seconds left.
  • Because of a very public burnout by teenage phenom Jennifer Capriati that led to legal issues (and eventually a drug habit), the Women's Tennis Association adopted what is unofficially called "The Capriati Rule", which limits the amount of tournaments a female player can participate in during a year until they turn 18, specifically to keep other young players from going through what Capriati did as a full-time player before adulthood.
  • The NCAA rule banning artificial noisemakers at events is called the "RPI Rule", from the time that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute gave out vuvuzelas to all attendees at the annual Big Red Freakout.
    • The NCAA mandate that all Division I schools with a football team must play football at the Division I level is often called the "Dayton rule", because the University of Dayton was a dominant team in Division III football in The '80s while keeping the rest of their sports in Division I.
  • Due to the dominance of UCLA's Lew Alcindor (later re-christened Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) being able to dunk on anyone willy-nilly because of his incredible height and wingspan for a collegiate athlete, the NCAA adopted the "Lew Alcindor Rule", which banned dunking for a decade before being rescinded in 1976.
  • Major League Baseball has the "Ted Turner Rule", banning any team owner or stock holder from a coaching position, after Turner's aborted 1977 attempt to manage the Atlanta Braves. Turner sent regular manager Dave Bristol on a two-week "vacation" to take the reins himself. He managed one game before the Commissioner's Office and the other owners stepped in.
    • A more recent unofficially-named rule in MLB is the "Chase Utley Rule", cracking down on "takeout slides", in which baserunners slide into opposing fielders instead of the base in order to break up double plays. The rules had already banned this, but it wasn't enforced in practice. After a playoff game where a takeout slide broke Rubén Tejada's leg, the rule was updated over the off-season and colloquially named for Chase Utley, the baserunner in question. A similar rule for collisions at home plate is the "Buster Posey Rule", named for a catcher who was injured in a play similar to Utley's.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In "Underage Peter", drunken shenanigans by Peter leads Mayor West to raise the town's drinking age to 50.
    Joe: This new law sucks. I gotta say, it's pretty uncool of Mayor West to call it Peter's Law.
    Peter: No kidding. Now I know how Megan from Megan's law felt.
    Quagmire: I... I don't... I don't think you know how she felt.
  • The Simpsons: In "Holidays of Future Passed", Lisa complains about her teenage daughter and wishes that strangling your child was still legal, to which Marge replies "Not since they passed Homer's Law."
  • The supervillain guild on The Venture Bros. has a number of hostage-related regulations named after Doctor Venture, since he was constantly getting kidnapped as a boy hero.

    Real Life 
  • Much more serious examples are in law, with an unfortunate number as a direct result of the abduction and murder of whoever the law is named after. These include the AMBER Alert system, Megan's Law, Caylee's Law, and more. This can appear for laws which have nothing to do with abductions or murder. For instance, Sweden has several laws whose common-use name is Lex [First Name], such as Lex Sarah (about treatment of the elderly and those with disabilities) Lex Maria (about reporting duties within healthcare) and Lex Pernilla (about the requirement for all sold food products to be marked with packaging and best-before days).
  • The Directors Guild of America reserves the right to slap a producer with a huge fine if he fires a DGA-affiliated director and replaces him with a current member of the cast or crew. They call this the "Eastwood Rule," after Clint Eastwood's behavior while making The Outlaw Josey Wales.
  • A Real Life commodities exchange rule designed to prevent investors from getting ruined by sudden massive changes in commodity prices as happened in Trading Places is known as the "Eddie Murphy" Rule.
  • 'The Goldwater rule' is an informal name for an ethical guideline proscribing psychiatrists from 'diagnosing' people they've never actually examined, named after Barry Goldwater, who was targeted by this.
  • The International Olympic Committee has an "Eddie the Eagle rule" requiring all contestants to have a minimal level of established success in international competitions in their sport, named after a man who went to the Olympics as a ski jumper, despite not being very experienced at it.

Alternative Title(s): Skippy Rules

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