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 numerical value 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 and Formula for the Unformulable.
Among the most common uses of this trope is describing somebody as "giving 110%" as a measure of effort.
- 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.
- There was a Czech ad for washing powder, guaranteeing great effectiveness because it has "double power of active oxygen". There was an article in some magazine mocking it, and its author wondered what would "single power of passive oxygen" be.
- There probably was no active oxygen, because it would actually destroy the clothes which were washed with the aforementioned powder and the washer in which it was done, unless they were made out of 24-carat gold.
- Advertisers have been doing this for years, such as Chesterfield cigarettes advertising that they had a "measurably smoother" smoke, as if smoothness was something that could be physically quantified and measured.note The mathematician Charles Seife discusses this in his book Proofiness: How You're Being Fooled by the Numbers, along with several other such claims that went so far as to have specific numbers attached to them, a type of proofiness he refers to as "Potemkin numbers."
- A 2014 commercial for Charmin toilet paper promises "two times the softening."
- An Irish radio ad for a glazier boasts that their windows are 64% "better".
- In Death Note, L occasionally gives statistics about how right he is. The official guide claims that he makes these up to sound more credible, although in the anime he also does it in his internal monologue when there's no one to impress. Another Word of God claimed that whenever he mentions a statistic at all, he's always 99% sure. So all that "5%" or "47%" or whatever meant he was almost totally sure every time.
- A Certain Magical Index's first arc involves Index's friends trying to remove her memory because according to the Church of Necessary Evil, 85% of her memory is taken up by the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a collection of forbidden Magical Grimoires memorised with her photographic memory skills. This leaves 15% of her memory for her daily life, and makes it necessary for the memory to be removed in order for her to survive (the Grimoires cannot be deleted). This is actually subverted, as the memory limit is proven to be wrong by Touma, who gets suspicious on how the Church gets values like 85% and 15%, and learns that the brain has a huge capacity for memory even if the person has photographic memory. Index's friends then realize that they are being used by the Church to protect the secrets of the forbidden Grimoires by limiting her contact with the world via deleting her memory.
- Ai from Yatterman uses made up percentages to display her reactions to everything.
- Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: In the episode where Professors Kukui and Burnet get married, Ash's Rotom tries to calculate the odds that they will be happily married. Burnet tells it that's not something that can be quantified.
- Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato) — I.Q.-9: "That's Doctor Sane. He's a little eccentric. About five degrees." Especially silly because it could be an angle or a temperature, and either positive or negative, but in any case, it's still meaningless. The projection angle of an orbital eccentricity is a somewhat more intuitive way to express it. Assuming it's used metaphorically here, that's one way of saying he's 'just a little bit off'.
- In Is This A Zombie?, the main character, a zombie, uses percentages to reference how much power he's using in his attacks relative to the maximum power a normal human can exert. As a zombie, he's not limited by mortal concepts or limitations of strength, but he can—and sometimes does—damage himself if he puts too much power into his attacks.
- On one occasion in Sgt. Frog, the A.R.M.P.I.T. platoon's deep sea expedition takes a surprising turn when their submarine is surrounded by mysterious, unseen shapes that command them to leave. Keroro reaches for the intercom button, but accidentally launches the torpedoes instead and hits one of the entities dead-on. The whole crew understandably panics, especially when the sub's sensors reveal that the entity was completely unharmed.
Giroro: But how?! Our missiles are 500% more lethal than necessary!
- The bonus OVA of Angel Beats! has a "Tension Meter"—a Thing-O-Meter, but only visible to the audience—which numerically measures the local concentration of hamminess. It seems to be a percentage, since it usually ranges from 0 to 100; though Shiina yelling "CUUUUUUUTE!" pumps it up to 9999, and near the end it goes negative, indicating anguish or disappointment or something.
- YuYu Hakusho: Younger Toguro frequently announces what percentage of power he is using when he fights.
- When the lab rats in Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it go to Okinawa, Yukimura is shocked that Himuro looks 2.34 times more beautiful in a bikini.
- Eddie Izzard Glorious: "...and tonight, I promise to be 10% funnier — ah, ha! You can't tell, can you?"
- The old "20% cooler" line gets referenced in a twisted way in the second story-arc of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW); during Rarity's nightmare she sees Rainbow Dash call the saddle bag "Maybelle" made for Twilight "200% cooler". Cue a Single Tear from Rarity.
- In The Halo Graphic Novel story Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa, Benjamin Giraud is a propaganda photographer for the military, but he has little respect for them because they act no different to him than "suits". At one point, when editing a gruesome image of a dead marine, he's told to make it "more adventurous".
Giraud: Can you be specific...? Exactly how much more adventurous?
Officer: Well it should have— try to give it 25% more of a feeling of adventure.
- In Tony Stark: Iron Man #1, Jocasta, being a robot, combines it with Ludicrous Precision:
Andy Bhang: Tell me, how awful do I look right now?
Jocasta: Objectively? Around 98.4%.
- Beetle Bailey: Plato gives an interpretation of what a demand of "giving 110%" is going to mean: The rest of them give 100%, Beetle gives 10%.
- Wally on Dilbert reports an increase in enthusiasm as a percentage.
- The very name of "62 Percent More Evil", an episode from Script Fic Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
- Friendship is Optimal contains a subtle example. As a result of uploading to Equestria, everything can be numerically quantified, and Celest-A.I. is dedicated to reaching the theoretical maximum value for an individual's satisfaction. Justified, since she has complete knowledge of an uploaded individual's mind and a full knowledge of how the brain operates.
- Briefly invoked near the beginning of Amber Night and the Curse of the Diabolical Pastry Thief.
"Today she would increase her maturity by 20%!"
- In Ask King Sombra, Sombra rates Equestria's three Princesses by their bitchiness using The Royal◊ Bitch-o-meter.
- 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.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
- The Rainbooms are trying to buy time for Twilight to write a counter-spell to the Siren's magic by advancing through the Battle of the Bands:
Twilight Sparkle: Remember, we have to be good enough to make it through but not so good we let the sirens see the magic within us. They could realize we plan to use it against them.
Rainbow Dash: Got it! Be cool enough to win, but not so cool that we end up showing off the whole ears and tails and rainbows thing. Sooo... about 20% less cool.
- Rainbow's song, "Awesome as I Wanna Be" has the lyrics, "When it comes to makin' music, I'm the ruler / You wish you could be 20% cooler."
- The Rainbooms are trying to buy time for Twilight to write a counter-spell to the Siren's magic by advancing through the Battle of the Bands:
- Bedazzled (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!"
- In The Avengers, Tony tells Pepper that she can have 12% of the credit for Stark Tower; he immediately knows that crack is going to come back to haunt him. Later, when Agent Coulson shows up, Pepper lets him in while Tony tries to get rid of him; Tony whispers to Pepper "I thought we were having a moment", and she responds "I was having 12% of a moment."
- This gets a Call-Back in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Star-Lord claims to have "part of a plan"; when asked exactly how much of a plan he has, he responds "12%."
Rocket: ...THAT IS NOT A PLAN!
Gamora: It's barely a concept.
- In Jurassic World, Masrani asks Claire how things are going at the park, and she rattles off a list of (actually measurable) statistics, like earnings and attendance rates. He clarifies that he wants to know how happy the guests and animals are, and she stammers that there's no way to quantify happiness. While he doesn't provide a rating scale, he does insist that it can be measured by looking into their eyes.
- In Interstellar, Cooper regularly tells TARS to change his honesty and humor settings to 75%, 60%, 95%, or some other arbitrary percentage.
- Dan Harris invokes and lampshades this trope in his book, aptly called 10% Happier.
- 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% 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!"
- In the novel Cranford, the narrator Mary Smith describes Miss Brown, an ill woman as coarse-looking and plain. She's about forty. Her sister Jessie is said to be ten years younger and twenty shades prettier.
- In Douglas Coupland's jPod, Ethan declares: "I've come to the conclusion that documents are 34% more boring when presented in the Courier font."
- According to Wit's poll at the end of Words of Radiance, Shallan Davar is precisely 77% more agreeable than her mistress, Jasnah Kholin.
- Even Plato's Republic makes a claim to this effect, when Socrates claims that a virtuous philosopher-king of the kind he advocates is precisely 729 times as virtuous as the evil tyrants who ruled so many lands in the time the book was written. He bases this calculation on "estimates" that the virtuous philosopher-king is three times better than a certain kind of aristocrat who bases his rulership on a militaristic ideology, and this aristocrat is three times as virtuous as the kind of people who rise to power in a money-hungry plutocracy; and so on.
- Christopher Marlowe said that Helen of Troy had "the face that launched a thousand ships", hence it is commonly held that it requires one millihelen of beauty to launch a single ship.
- In The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon declares that Haruhi's ponytail makes her "36% more charming."
- How I Met Your Mother episode "Not a Father's Day" (2008): "Lily, no part of Barney Stinson does anything less than 110%. If one of my little Michael Phelpses got loose, he's swimming for gold."
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Big Game," Monk is coaching basketball and, being Monk, has asked the players to only give 100%. He responds to the above by telling another player she can only give 90%.
- X-Play on G4 uses concepts in place of stars in a ratings system during their video game reviews.
- In "Damage", Andrew boasts that he's become "82% more manly" since he saw Spike last.
- Gunn claims a particular office would make him look 17% less completely out of place.
- In The Apprentice (UK), candidates would frequently promise to "give 110%" (or, in extreme cases, 150% or 200%). Lord Sugar eventually got so tired of this that he banned the use of the phrase.
- Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock is dating two women that he loves equally, so he decides to use his HEART:Hard Equations And Rational Thinking, to decide which one is better for him. It doesn't work.
- In the old American Gladiators show, competitor Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry gave an ever-increasing percentage of effort for every show he won, topping out at six digits for the championship.
- Square One TV had a skit with a man singing about how he was giving "8% of my Love" to his girlfriend, with a breakdown for where the other 92% was going.
- In Community Professor Slater tells Jeff that the secrecy makes the sex 38% hotter.
- In an episode of House, House actually prescribes cigarettes as treatment for a man suffering from inflammatory bowel syndrome, and adds that it's an established fact that they make you look 30% cooler.
- In the Murder, She Wrote episode "The Mole", when seemingly-benevolent philanthopist Max Hagan is shown snapping unreasonably at his staff behind closed doors, one example is him insisting a press release needs to be "warmer, by 25 degrees."
- In "Transmission" from Lost in Space (2018), John asks Penny how he can talk to Will, whom he senses is avoiding him. Penny tells John that he needs to be himself, then corrects that to "about twenty percent nicer".
- In "Tom" from Rabbit Hole (2023), John asks Hailey if he's just supposed to trust her now, that he doesn't understand how anyone does that when they only have someone's word. She suggests he just try to trust him 90% more. He gripes that 75% is high and she complains that she deserves at least 80%. He agrees to 80%.
- The song "Remember The Name" by Fort Minor uses this trope heavily. The chorus of the song goes:
"This is 10% luck, 20% skill
15% concentrated power of will
5% pleasure, 50% pain
And 100% reason to remember the name!"
- Occurs on the Reel Big Fish live album, Our Live Album is better than Your Live Album, on the track "Suburban Rhythm." The RBF perform many versions of the song, one of which is a blues version. Before this version is played, the lead singer says they need to "bluesify it, by like 20%."
- Subverted in the song "Pikku Lettipää" by Leevi and the Leavings, with lines that, translated from Finnish, say:
If I were to compare you to an earthquake,
On the Richter scale, you are
A sinfully beautiful man.
- Jazz Emu's song "Not As Sexy" is about how he's not as sexy as he first appears—he's actually marginally (2%) sexier.
- 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).
- Left 4 Dead 2:
"All right, everybody, you're giving 110%!"
"Just do it! Okay, all right, now that's 110%, 100%, 100% 115%, 75%."
- One of the slogans Marcus' vending machines gives for "Torgue" brand guns is:
"400% more awesome! Also, Torgue doesn't make their guns out of freaking wood!"
- The bit about wood is an in-universe shot at a rival weapons developer, Jakobs, who also makes high damage guns, but includes wood stocks and finish in their design.
- Averted with Gaige's "20% Cooler" skill, though, which does actually modify your skill cooldowns (although there's no value where it changes it by exactly 20%).
- Borderlands 2's trailer claims it's "1000 Degrees Hotter" and has "96.5% more WUB WUB" (although since Borderlands contained no "WUB WUB" even just Claptrap's chanting "wub wub wub DROP" would count).
- A handful of skills have an arbitrary number thrown in just for chuckles, such as "+100% Multi-Kill".
- In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, Jack's Body Double will often remark "And the world just got 25% more handsome!" when summoning his holograms.note
- One of the slogans Marcus' vending machines gives for "Torgue" brand guns is:
- The Zen Ball in Peggle is a Zig-Zagged example. While the word used ("zen") is immeasurable, what it's actually measuring is how much the score of the shot increased over the original, non-zen-assisted shot.
"__% more Zen!" or "Maximum Zen Achieved!"
- Pretty much everything Fi says in Skyward Sword uses this trope. Fi is 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!"
- Similarly, at the conclusion of a story arc for villains in City of Heroes, the player is given the option of fighting just one or multiple clones. Choosing to fight all eight at once awards the "Army of Me" badge:
You don't understand the math behind it, but you're pretty sure you're equal to or greater than eight of yourself.
- Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass: Multiple:
- GAMM-E can measure gumption, and in her introductory cutscene, says that Jimmy's "gumption levels are dangerously low."
- The Flavor Text of Buddy Bee Honey, is "50% friendlier than normal honey."
- Age of Empires II: Since one role of Monks, other than healing, is to convert enemy troops to your side mid-battle, there is a corresponding tech you can research that makes your troops 50% more resistant to religious conversion. There is also a tech that accelerates how fast Monks recover their faith after converting.
- As your empire progresses through time, you discover new technologies and civic developments. It's just about understandable how you can quantify an empire's science per turn (important discoveries and so on), but you also generate a quantified amount of culture per turn. This is then put towards developing civics, so developing International Trade requires around 20 Culture. These are even measured to one decimal place.
- For the gameplay aspects themed around religion, your empire's Faith output is also quantified and described as a rate of output per turn.
- Civ 6's Gathering Storm expansion added Diplomatic Favor, a quantified resource of your international diplomatic standing (which can be traded and sold to other civs the same way you would a lump of iron). It also added Diplomatic Grievances, a specific figure of how much a given pair of nations have antagonised each other.
- 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"
- In the LegendaryFrog Flash video "All Your Pie", while the video's protagonist tries not to think about the pie sitting next to him, a radio news report goes on about an explosion at "the local pie factory downtown" and adds that according to "studies", eating a pie a day will give you a 10% increase... of YUMMY.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
- The votey in this strip illustrates the proper units of measure for anger, fear, and awkwardness.
- In "200 Percent", a team is encouraged to give 200%, because the opposing team is three times (shouldn't that be two?) better "using a metric that considers strength, intelligence, stamina, and those intangible qualities that dwell in the heart of a champion."
- 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, measured in Kilonazis. Note that since it is a parodic fantasy world of a particular kind, it could very well be that it is not a "subjective quality" at all but that evil can be really measured objectively there.
- 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 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 one strip of Least I Could Do.
- Seren of Karin-dou 4koma will kill you 70% dead.
- Statistical Fact frequently quantifies emotions such as pleasure and fun. Badder Ladder Luck reveals the percentage of bad luck received from walking under a ladder.
- TwoKinds: The B Group archive has been determined to be 67% cooler than the main group.
- A common source of comedy in Cracked, especially the articles that center on charts and graphs.
- In the online review circle, some reviewers (occasionally JesuOtaku 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.
- 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.
- 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..
- SCP Foundation: The sales pitch for Marshall, Carter and Dark's "Gentleman's Lash" reads that it administers "7.3 kilosades of psychological trauma to its target".
- Used in the first image of this What If? entry, where all the seas in the world are combined into one.
"I'd say the 30% increase in width makes it 20% more brooding and about 9% more majestic."
- The Onion parodies the Real Life example of "giving 110%" in one headline-only story saying that a gas station employee only gives 109.75%.
- Doctor Insano of The Spoony Experiment built a literal Gaydar; it measures stereotypical gayness. He refuses to say why.
- In his Doom's IV #2 review, Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall said "Isn't it weird how someone talking in the third person suddenly increases their awesome factor by 20%"
- The Invincible Iron Man: "Wonderful news, Tony, Howard. We'll support you both 110%."
- In the The Legend of Korra episode "Civil Wars: Part 2", Varrick (and Zhu Li) were found hiding in a stuffed platypus bear suit.
Mako: The coast is clear. You can come out.
Varrick: No way, mister. Not until I know it's absolutely 157% safe.
- The Simpsons:
- One member of the committee creating Poochie says, "I feel we should Rastafy him by... 10% or so."
- In an early 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 monotonous unison] We are all very good players.
Hypnotherapist: You will beat Shelbyville.
Entire Team: [in monotonous unison] We will beat Shelbyville.
Hypnotherapist: You will give 110%.
Entire Team: [in monotonous unison] That's impossible. No one can give more than 100%; by definition, that is the most one can give.
- Abe Simpson once describes his former Army unit, The Flying Hellfish as, "The fightingest squad, in the fightingest company, in the third-fightingest battalion in the Army!"
- According to a love letter sent by a secret admirer to Ms Krabappel, "A million poets could try for a million years and describe but three-eighths of your beauty."
- The Simpson family visits an old apple cider mill that bills itself as "Now 40% Quainter!"
- 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"!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The (partial) Trope Namernote is the 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." Such maddening vagueness drives Rarity up the wall. 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" is.note 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.
- Applejack claims to be 50% less afraid than Rainbow Dash in "Castle Mane-ia".
- In "Scare Master", Rainbow start saying that Fluttershy is only taking "like 90%" of the fun out of Nightmare Night before being interrupted.
- 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 has a "Coolometer" which measures the popularity of the subject in units of megafonzies.
- In "Bender's Big Score", he has an instrument for measuring how "doomed" someone is. The unit is "milliDooms".
Professor Farnsworth: Good Lord, Bubblegum! The duplicate body is emitting doom at ten times the background level!
- 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.
- Bender's Gaydar which can receive interference from a gay weather balloon... although, given the various robots and sentient appliances we've seen in the show, this particular instance might be completely literal.
- Bender's Mad Libs Catch Phrase where he claims to be "40%" of something often extends to concepts, like being "40% lucky." (He somewhat dubiously justifies this one by claiming that his scrap metal composition included "a truckload of horseshoes from the luckiest racehorses in Mexico, who had just been sent to a glue factory.")
- 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.
- Teen Titans (2003): A Double Subversion in the 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%... until he finally does it in the final battle by focusing on his humanity.
- 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: 10% more aroused.
[Hayley's smile brightens and her eyes widen in excitement]
Stan: Scale it back 2%.
[Hayley mutes her excited expression slightly]
Stan: Ah, young love.
- In the Bravest Warriors episode "Butter Lettuce," Danny uses the Holojohn to load up a version of Beth with the request that she be "30% sexier than normal." He then follows this up with a version that is 40% sexier, which is then followed by a version that is 9000% sexier. The last one doesn't end well.
- Averted in "The Three Friends Problem" on Peg + Cat when Cat draws a graph indicating that Peg used to like him to infinity and now she only likes him to "about this much" (very low point on the graph) but likes Big Dog instead to infinity. Peg tells him that while there are lots of things that can be compared on a graph, her feelings for him can't be compared to her feelings for Big Dog or anyone else and that he'll always be totally special to her. Later, they both sing about it.
- Bob's Burgers: When the Belchers put on a murder mystery dinner theater in "Hamburger Dinner Theater", they are asked to tone down on the gore. Their banner for the second show advertises "20% less gore".
- Kim Possible: Drakken gloats about his plans for the Telephone Teleport device he just tricked Kim into bringing him. Shego is (as usual) unimpressed:
Drakken: With this teleportation module, I shall be able to instantly transport myself into any high security area I please! Imagine it, Shego, the sky's the limit! Fort Knox... the Louvre...
Shego: Or into the "ten items or less" line with eleven items, huh?
Drakken: Exactly! Wait, was that a serious suggestion or are you mocking me?
Shego: I'd say about 30% serious, 70% mock.
- Often invoked in modern sports where the term 'give 110%' has become something of a cliche. Aside from the vagueness of what the athletes are supposed to be giving, as noted above, by definition 100% is everything a person can give.note
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 that this metric is an approximation and can be skewed by various factors (government subsidies and corporate malfeasance for example).
- Probably the most common parody of this in real life is the milliHelen, a measure of beauty. Helen's beauty launched a thousand ships, in reference to the Greek myth. Thus, a milliHelen is the beauty that launches one 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.
- Kind of odd, though, mixing metric prefixes with Troy units.
- 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."
- In any collaborative artistic project such as film and television production there is a fundamental problem trying to quantify artist contribution and abstract concepts of quality. But in order to convey some amount of direction you ARE actually encouraged to give a percentage, as you could either spend five minutes trying to explain how loud you want the actor to scream or just say "scream at 90% capacity" and adjust accordingly. It's not a perfect science and prone to being too contrite when more precise direction is needed.
- Script author William Goldman once was told by a producer that a script had to be made "40% funnier", in the next month. Two weeks later Goldman was asked about the progress. He said: "I only managed to make it 15% funnier, so I'll have to make it 27%note funnier in the next two weeks." The producer, after a Beat: "Yeah, should work out."
- There's the Henderson Scale of Plot Derailment, where One Henderson is the complete and total destruction of the plot, and multiple negative Hendersons is every problem ever solved for all of time permanently.
- Producer/Director Larry Kasanoff's confusing instructions to Foodfight! animators were to make animation sequences "more awesome" or "30% better".
- The Star Trek Shake as developed by the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation included a scale of 1-10 for how they shuffle around in their chairs, 1 being something that makes the lights flicker and 10 being the ship torn in half. There are amusing things to notice how different characters react to supposedly the same explosion, some looking like they are on a bumpy road while others are on a roller coaster.
- As recounted by the book Sick Little Monkeys, John Kricfalusi's directing style is very "I'll know it when I see it," as he clearly has a difficult time articulating exactly what he wants from artists and actors. For the most part, the artists took it as a personal challenge, assuming that anything they created that didn't result in enraged frustration or outright punishment must have impressed him, but it was also emotionally taxing and contributed to Ren & Stimpy's sluggish production. Billy West had a less positive opinion on this directing style, remembering a particularly grueling session in which he nearly blew his voice out because Kricfalusi's only direction was "You're 98% there."
- In-Universe for the Sugar and Darth Wiki wicks, since it's referring to Real Life... While objective measurement of how paroxysmically awesome/painfully sucktacular something is can be difficult to obtain, it's possible to measure an individual's perception of that something. For example, neuroscientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify objective measures of pain.
- IQ is frequently misunderstood by people who believe it to be an absolute measure of intelligence; rather, it is a statistical measure. 100 IQ is the average intelligence of whatever baseline population is used to construct the baseline for the test. Someone with an IQ of 115 is not 15% more intelligent than someone with an IQ of 100, but rather is 1 standard deviation more intelligent than someone with an IQ of 100 - thus they're more intelligent than 84.1% of the population. This doesn't mean that they're 34.1% more intelligent than the average person is, either. Due to the way that IQ tests are created, IQs more than four standard deviations beyond the average (below 40 or above 160) cannot be accurately measured because there is simply insufficient data to accurately chart the relative intelligence of people out there - thus someone with an IQ measured as being 175 may not be one standard deviation more intelligent than someone with a measured IQ of 160. Thus IQ is a relative rather than an absolute measure, and going from 100 to 110 IQ may not represent the same change in absolute intelligence as going from 110 to 120 IQ.
- Trainees at Air Force Officer Training School are required to submit weekly "Morale Reports" in which they must quantify their morale on a scale and report its improvement or decline in percentages. Seriously.