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Top Ten List

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Caboose: In a Top Ten list, five is better than six.
Church: We're not a Top Ten list!
Red vs. Blue: The Recollection, "Reconstruction", Episode 4

We love to have lists, and having the list as a top ten seems to be one of the most popular forms.

Frequent when it comes to things like sales, box office, critical favorites, popular favorites, etc. Very large overlap with "Number of Objects" Title because a work based around the list usually mentions the length in the title.

The Top 10 Examples of This Trope:

  • #10: In the "Weird Al" Yankovic parody "Living with a Hernia", the bridge section names several forms of the ailment. In the video, a top ten list accompanies it, despite the list having only nine elements.
  • #9: Wayne's World did a top ten list once in a while. One was the Trope Namer for Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell, with such gems as: having to memorize new maps, never going to "find out what that thing on Gorby's head is", and the worry that "spy stuff" is gonna suck".
  • #8: In a Futurama episode, Bender was rigged with a bomb that would go off when he said his favorite word. This was explained by revealing a list of his top ten most common words (presented in the same style as Letterman's), although he has only actually said a few of them.
    • He said every word on the list in that specific episode, resulting in a few odd lines like "hot diggity daffodil", although the majority of the list has only been said in that episode. Also, 4 of the words appear in his Catchphrase.
  • #7: Cracked is pretty much all Top N Lists. In fact, they have claimed to be the world's leading producer of list-based humor.
  • #6: GameFAQs posts a new user-created top ten list on the homepage every day.
  • #5: had an occasional top ten list of things about gaming.
    • ScrewAttack, which was hosted on GameTrailers until that site's demise (today, ScrewAttack is part of Rooster Teeth), has its own Top Ten List section, but they generally like to mix things up a bit, for instance having Best and Worst of... (5 each). And then there is the Top 10 PS3 exclusives... which doesn't start until number 7 because there just weren't enough titles around at the time that qualified.
      • Two years later they redid the list with a full 10.
      • ScrewAttack also has a couple of top-20s.
  • #4: In one episode of Mr. Deity, Mr. Deity, Jesus and Larry are coming up with a "Top Ten List" that turns out to be the Ten Commandments.
  • #3: Christian and Scott's Interactive Top Ten List was one of the longest-running Internet examples, updating about twice-weekly for roughly twenty years.
  • #2: One episode of Garfield and Friends revolved around Garfield interrupting the action repeatedly to present a top ten list relevant to the episode's events.
  • And the #1 example of a Top Ten List: David Letterman's top ten lists. Started as a Deconstructive Parody.

Honorable Mentions:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield once did a top 10 ways to mispronounce 'big fat hairy deal'.

    Film —— Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • The Seattle sketch-comedy show Almost Live! inverted this with a sort of Bottom Ten: "The Lame List, or what's weak this week!"
  • Countdown With Keith Olbermann is a top five list of U.S. political news stories with commentary, with a separate top-three list embedded inside it. (Used to be two top-three lists - Best Persons is dead, long live Tea Time!)
  • In How I Met Your Mother, referencing David Letterman, Barney makes one of names for the moving van to which he would bring women from the bar. Names include "The Ford Explore-her" and so on.
  • BBC sitcom How Not to Live Your Life frequently interrupts the plot to enumerate "6 things not to say at a job interview", etc.
  • Charlie from Lost has a "Top Five" list of his favorite moments in his life in the Season 3 episode "Greatest Hits":
    #1: The night I met you.
  • In Married... with Children, Al once made a list of top 10 ways Marcy could make herself more attractive, such as: "Hire attractive woman to stand in front of you at all times."
  • The main gimmick behind the Animal Planet series The Most Extreme
  • Most Extreme Elimination Challenge features the end of episode's "Kenny Blankenship's Painful Eliminations of the Day" which counts down the 10 Painful moments from the episode.
  • Nat X from Saturday Night Live (played by Chris Rock) had a Top 5. The exact reason changed from episode to episode, but it was always because "The Man" was keeping him down.
    Why Top 5? Because the man would never give me ten of anything! I'm lucky to get five!
    Why five? Because ten would make the man loose sleep!
    Why 5? 'Cause 10 would make the Man nervous.
  • SportsCenter finishes up most episodes by counting down the ten best plays from the day in sports that's being recapped. On Sundays they also have the Not Top 10, the worst/most blooper-worthy 'highlights' from the previous week.
  • One of the special categories on Tic-Tac-Dough was called "Top Ten" which dealt with Top Ten lists. The contestant who gave the higher answer won the symbol on the board. It was renamed "Top This" when Jim Caldwell took over.




    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Inverted with one Strong Bad Email, where Strong Bad lists his "bottom 10".
  • Zero Punctuation: While Yahtzee ends each year with the best, worst, and blandest 5 games of a year, he did make a video of the 2010s' most significant games, the end of which consisted of the best and worst games of each year from the last 10 years retrospectively ranked.

    Web Original 
  • Buster Girls: In-universe example. The Buster Force regularly ranks its current top ten strongest members.
  • Professional Wrestling humor site used to do Top 9 lists, "because with a top 10, there's always one that sucks".

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The cover for the finale of Marvel Comics' run of Mighty Mouse had the hero on the David Udderman show delivering the top 10 reasons to buy that issue. Number 1: No teenagers, no mutants, no ninjas, no turtles.

    Real Life 
  • America's Social Security Administration produces perennial Top Ten Lists of given names for boys and girls. "Michael" has been at the top the boy list for decades.