Murphy's Law Toilet Paper


Murphy's Law:

If anything can go wrong, it will.


  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

  • If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way will promptly develop.

  • Every solution breeds new problems.



The Murphy Philosophy:

Smile... tomorrow will be worse.




O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law:

Murphy was an optimist.


Scott's First Law

No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.


Scott's second Law

When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been corrected in the first place.


finagle's fourth law

Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.


simon's law

Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.




Murphy's law of thermodynamics

Things get worse under pressure.




zymurgy's first law of evolving systems dynamics:

Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can.


non-reciprocal laws of expectations

Negative expectations yield negative results.

Positive expectations yield negative results.


johnson's third law

If you miss one issue of any magazine, it will be the issue which contained the article, story or installment you were most anxious to read.

Corollary:  All of your friends either missed, lost it or threw it out.


lewis's law:

No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've brought it it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.


the airplane law:

When the plane you are on is late, the one you want to transfer is on time.


johnson and laird's law:

Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.


Etorre's observation:

The other line moves faster.


boob's law:

You always find something the last place you look.



law of the lost inch:

In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totaled correctly after 4:40 pm on Friday.


  • Under the same conditions, if any minor dimensions are given to sixteenths of an inch, they cannot be totaled at all.

  • The correct total will become self-evident at 9:01 on Monday.




law of applied confusion

The one piece that the plant forgot to ship is the one that supports 75% of the balance of the shipment.


law of selective gravity:

An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Jenny's Corollary:  The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.


cahn's axiom:

When all else fails, read the instructions.


meskimen's law:

There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.


heller's law:

The first myth of management is that it exists.

Johnson's Corollary:  Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the organization.




the peter principle:

In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.


  • In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties.

  • Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.




H. L. Mencken's law:

Those who can -- do.   Those who cannot -- teach.

Martin's Extension:  Those who cannot teach -- administrate.


the army axiom:

Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.


putt's law

Technology is dominated by two types of people:

  • Those who understand what they do not manage.

  • Those who manage what they do not understand.


truman's law:

If you cannot convince them, confuse them.


patton's law:

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.



parkinson's second law:

Expenditures rise to meet income.




the ordering principle:

Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must be ordered no later than tomorrow noon.


john's collateral corollary

In order to get a loan you must first prove that you don't need it.



malek's law:

Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.




clarke's law of revolutionary ideas:

Every revolutionary idea -- in Science, Politics, Art or Whatever -- evokes three stages of reactions.  They may be summed up by the three phases:

  • "It is impossible -- don't waste my time."

  • "It is possible, but it is not worth doing."

  • "I said it was a good idea all along."




Rule of the great:

When somebody you greatly admire and respect appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they are probably thinking about lunch.


barth's distinction:

There are two types of people:  those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.


miller's law

You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step in it.


weiler's law:

Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it themself.


first law of socio-genetics:

Celibacy is not hereditary.


bifield's principle:

The probability of a meeting a desirable and receptive young female increases by pyramidal progression when one is already in the company of:

(1) a date, (2) a significant other (wife or so), (3) a better and richer friend.




pardo's postulates:

  • Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

  • The three faithful things in life are money, a dog and an old woman.

  • Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can live comfortably and have everything you want.




captain penny's law

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool MOM.


jone's motto:

Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.


Mcclaughry's codicil to jone's motto:

To make an enemy, do someone a favour.


cooper's metalaw

A proliferation of new laws creates a proliferation of new loopholes.


hartley's first law:

You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back, you've got something.


newton's little-known seventh law:

A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.


Copyright @ 1977 by Arthur Bloch

Published by Price/Stern/Sloan Publishers, Inc.

Los Angeles, California.  All rights reserved


Copied from actual roll of toilet paper when we were going through our decorated toilet paper phase at home.  Wonder what it says about me that I took the time to write it all down before it did the dirty deed ~Aria