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Quotes / Sturgeon's Law

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    Film — Live-Action 

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite
And you can charm the critics and have nuthin' to eat
Just slip on a banana peel, the world's at your feet
— "Make 'Em Laugh", Singin' in the Rain


How many dramas have you in France, sir?" said Candide to the Abbé.
"Five or six thousand."
"What a number!" said Candide. "How many good?"
"15 or 16" replied the other [critic].
"What a number!" said Martin.

"Honestly? The average cop is pretty darn good. But average is average. You think about what average usually gets you, and then you figure that half the people out there are below that average. That’s anywhere. Even here. And you can be better than average, while still having a trend that isn’t so good."
Behaim, Pact


    Live-action TV 

"I think it may be the best thing I've written in years. It could also be utter and complete shit. But when I can't tell the difference, that's a good sign."
Tom Yates, House of Cards (US)


"Well now home entertainment was my baby's wish
So I hopped into town for a satellite dish
I tied it to the top of my Japanese car
I came home and I pointed it out into the stars
A message came back from the great beyond:
There's fifty-seven channnels and nothin' on"
Bruce Springsteen, "57 Channels (And Nothin' On")


"Jesse James is played by Colin Farrell, who turned on instant star quality in The Vietnam War picture Tigerland (2001) and turns it off here. That this movie got a theatrical push and Tigerland didn't is proof that American distribution resembles a crapshoot."
Roger Ebert on American Outlaws (2001)


Jay: So, not only did they not want to make a James Cameron/Ridley Scott/Sigourney Weaver Alien movie, they wanted to make a PG-13 Alien Vs. Predator kiddie movie.
Rich: That's so missing the point. At least as far as the Predator movie goes.
Jay: You know what? Whichever movie executive made that decision? From a financial point, it worked out, 'cause this was the most financially-successful movie in the series of movies.
Rich: Are you kidding?
Jay: I'm not kidding.
Rich: Oh, now I'm sad. Everything about this movie is depressing.

    Stand-Up Comedy 

"Biggie dead. Tupac dead. Vanilla Ice still alive!"

"We live in a world where John Lennon was murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out fucking albums. Goddammit! If you're gonna kill somebody, have some fucking taste. I'll drive you to Kenny Rogers' house."
Bill Hicks, Dangerous


    Video Games 

"*sigh* Novels nowadays are all basically copies of each other. Don't modern authors have any pride? Or are they naught but soulless mercenary hacks?"
—NPC Satomi, Tokyo Xanadu

    Web Video 

Exceptionalism is the exception my friends. The brilliant, complex and challenging falls by the wayside, while the safe and the familiar is the norm.

Of all the poorly animated, poorly written and just downright poor animated shows that came out of the 1980s...this was one of 'em!

Yes, the diabolical Clown Prince of hip-hop, The Biz. He looked like a cartoon character. He sang like a dying walrus. He rapped like he'd just had his tonsils removed. And yet he powered his way to a Top 10 hit.
Todd in the Shadows on Biz Markie, "One Hit Wonderland"

Since the Internet is almost diametrically opposed to the notion of quality control, in recent years it's been a lot easier to just assume everything's shit until it can prove itself otherwise. I like to call it the "Guantanamo Bay" approach to reviewing.
Zero Punctuation, Mailbag Showdown

    Web Original 

"I didn't expect to hear any more from this franchise, but I guess if you feed humanity flavourless wallpaper paste for decades then you shouldn't be surprised if that's all they want to eat now."

"Do I have to accept that WWE shits upon its own legacy by celebrating base wrestlers, gimmicks instead of actual men, or uninspired performers? Why do they do this?

Fine. If I am going to continue to write a blog about the WWE Hall of Fame, I must accept that Vince McMahon and his corporate team don’t understand what a Hall of Fame is supposed to be. Fine. Fine."

"Coach was on for NINE SEASONS. NINE. Really? I think I saw it once and was like, oh, the theme is guys are funny cuz’ they’re stupid *eye-roll* and wow, Shelly Fabrares has some big,red hair. She was like the proto-Merida."
J. Harvey, "Are There That Many “Coach” Fans Out There Who Needed A Sequel?"

The Gallagher of our generation. Dane Cook is a "comedian" that everyone seems to love despite his extreme mediocrity. His amazing lack of jokes combined with his ability to run around the stage like a five-year-old without his meds appeals to anyone without a soul or any knowledge of comedy. His trite and obvious observations contain no punchlines and often appeal to people with short attention spans.

You ever go into the bathroom and everything is WET? The floor is wet! The counters are wet! Everything's wet! —Dane Cook

Uh... could it be because people piss on the floor and wash their hands aggressively? —Andy Kindler

"All those hours I could have been relaxing, or reading all these great books, or getting into shape, or working on side projects that I'm really excited about," Richman said. "But instead I've been listening to overrated albums recommended to me by my asshole friends."

"Many words have been spilled to attempt to explain what the hell happened. And it's genuinely difficult to explain...But setting aside the 'why' — a topic that there's never going to be a clear cut answer for anyway — the fact remains that in 1980, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was immediately and directly more popular than Doctor Who. This fact, it must be noted, is downright depressing. Because Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is not even remotely a good show."

"Every now and again every element of a story comes together perfectly and stories like Genesis of the Daleks and Caves of Androzani are created for posterity. To keep the universe in balance there are also times when everything that can possibly go wrong does so and the end result looks a lot like The Mutants."

"Numerous cruises get canceled each year because there's not enough interest, including a horror cruise that would have included Alice Cooper, Candyman, Kane "Jason" Hodder, and director of John Dies at the End Don Coscarelli. That cruise didn't sell enough tickets, but Paula Deen is booked through 2014. What a sick world we live in."

"Bad books become bestsellers all the time. And even more great books sell four copies and die a quick death. No one knows why...Anyone trying to figure out why is just a media fartsniffer trying to sell you on their supposedly brilliant ability to psychoanalyze 350 million Americans en masse."
Drew Magary, "Why You'll Probably Never Write Anything as Successful as Fifty Shades of Grey"

So a gamer in early 1995 was looking at a Sega system that cost $399 and only had six titles:
· Virtua Fighter: A nice try.
· Panzer Dragoon: Sweet!
· Sega Sports: Worldwide Soccer: Soccer.
· Bug!: Bug!
· Sega Sports: Daytona USA: Racing.
· Clockwork Knight: Fuck this.
Seanbaby, "The 5 Worst Marketing Failures in Video Games"

"It's a bitter pill for some to swallow, but there really is a whole other America out there that they know nothing about, made up of people who watch Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Teen Mom, who think of Fox News as a legitimate source of news, and who love Jay Leno."

"The symbolism hurt just as bad as the financial loss: Not only did the bold, risky project get crushed at the American box office, it got crushed by The Expendables, a cynical, pandering cash-grab that couldn't be a more generic-safe-bet-cookie-cutter-assembly-line blockbuster. After an experience like that, is it any wonder that any studio would suddenly reconsider betting on risky, "big idea" projects?"

There’s a good reason history has forgotten so many of these songs: NOW is a Whitman's Sampler of crap.

"Art is speech, and democratic society has long understood that respecting freedom of speech exposes us to reams of stupid speech. That is a very small price to pay for the freedom to share thought and learn and grow as individuals and cultures."
— This essay on artistic freedom

"For most people, the big event of 1967 wasn’t the 14-Hour Technicolor Dream, with its Pink Floyd performance and Yoko Ono art happening, but Steve and Elsie Tanner marrying in Coronation Street. The big hit singles of 1967 weren’t psychedelic freak-outs but Petula Clark and Englebert Humperdinck."
Andrew of "The Mindless Ones", reviewing The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 and disputing the above.

Why do I read fan fiction? The basic reason is exactly the same reason I read anything— some of it is of astounding quality. I think fan fiction is often saddled with the image of being written solely by beginners and being uniformly terrible. But it’s like any other kind of fiction. You have beginners, you have the competent, you have the talented and experienced.

    Western Animation 

79 episodes, about 30 good ones.

Don't feel bad, Homer. Nine out of ten religions fail in their first year.

    Real Life 

Nine- tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.

The average detective story is probably no worse than the average novel, but you never see the average novel. It doesn't get published. The average — or only slightly above average — detective story does.
Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder

Unlike most writers, my competitive instinct — though highly developed — was never personal. That is to say, I have never begrudged another writer his success, but I have sometimes deplored the taste of the moment that has made what I thought bad work successful. Happily, since injustice is the rule, one is quite as apt to be its beneficiary as its victim.

At one stage I did set fire to a whole pile of disco records and declare that disco was dead. I think within a month there were three disco tracks in the top ten, so it wasn't a great gesture.
Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil, Long Way to the Top: Stories of Australian Rock & Rollnote 

The animes represent a wide body of entertainment which includes some good stuff, as well as an absolutely incomprehensible amount of shit. Like anything.

Sometimes that Rhodes Scholarship is more of a weapon than an asset. I think he was just a little freaked out because Dumb and Dumber came out on the same weekend as Cobb, and Cobb was his big swing for the fences and that didn’t work out, and that freaked him out a bit.
Jim Carrey on difficulties working with Tommy Lee Jones

You can be less than mediocre and be a fucking movie star. I have respect for very few actors and actresses. Some of them get a lot of acclaim but just because their movie made $200 million at the box office; they still suck. I got no respect for them and I used to let them know it.
Mickey Rourke

I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years. And in my opinion, five of them are good.
Ryan Phillipe

Ryan never mentions what his 5 ‘good’ films are, but let’s hop over to his IMDb page and see if we can’t figure out what 5 movies he’s talking about. Clearly MacGruber is #1.
Michael K., in response to the above quote

Mass appreciation doesn't always equate to something good. Think of Hitler!
Jamie Dornan promoting(?) Fifty Shades of Grey

ALF, with its sassy alien puppet that ate cats and cracked wise, for a time, was one of the biggest shows in the world, but you'll never find anyone who can quote a single line or recall a memorable scene. Among the series that did survive as much-loved squares of the nostalgia quilt that we snuggle beneath, is a seeming aberration that could well have been consigned to the same dumpster containing the rotting, racist corpse of Balki Bartokomous.
Stuart Millard, So Excited, So Scared

The internet does, as you say, provide opportunities to obtain information and an extremely wide variety of viewpoints. That's a good in itself. But there is a downside. The downside is that you are so flooded with material that unless you have an understanding of the world that is sufficient to allow you to be selective, you can be drawn into completely crazed cocoons of wild interpretation.
Noam Chomsky, 2007

In 1980 I was working for a company that was a sponsor for a film festival, and the deal that I cut with my boss was that I would do all the paperwork and promoting the festival, but that meant I got first dibs at all of the tickets. So in 1980, I checked the list, and I saw 253 films in one year. When you see that many films, you realize that the odds are it doesn’t favor with the Academy’s thoughts, it favors with the Razzies' thoughts. A lot more crud gets out there than quality work.

But for all this activity, not many other machinima titles will hold a film fan's interest. Given the low barriers to entry, why haven't we already seen an explosion of great machinima, a thousand hilarious Reds vs. ten thousand brilliant Blues? For the same reason we didn't see a million great novels after we got word processors, or a flood of tremendous indie films when video cameras got cheap. It's hard work! Go to Lionhead's The Movies site and blow a heart-sinking half-hour browsing some of its thousands of two-minute mediocrities. You'll confront the perennial problem with user-generated content: Most creators stink.

They say that 90% of TV is junk. But 90% of everything is junk.


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