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Murphy's Law in Real Life - Whatever Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong

Updated on November 11, 2015

What is Murphy's Law?

Most of us are only too familiar with the phenomenon - whatever can go wrong will go wrong, but only at the most inconvenient moments.

This constitutes the basis of Murphy's Law, a term coined by Captain Murphy of the US Air Force in the late 40's. During the time, he was greatly annoyed with his technician who had made a wrong wiring connection during a crucial flight test. The term later went on to become famous as we know it today.

Corollary to Murphy's Law:

If everything is going too smoothly, there must be something drastically wrong.

— Some Wise Man or Woman

Facts You Must Know

  • The main premise of Murphy's Law is based on the concept -

    If something is too good to be true, it probably is.

  • The knowledge of Murphy's Law will not help you fix a problem.

  • It will however ensure that you have a Plan B, C, D, etc, all of which may go wrong, courtesy to Murphy's Law.

  • Ignorance from it will not be helpful either, but it will spare you of the continuous cynical awareness while it is in action.

Murphy's Laws simply cannot take effect at your will. Washing your car to make it rain will not work.

— Several Wise People

1. Murphy's Laws for Queues

  • All queues will move faster than the one you are waiting in.

  • You switch to a shorter queue, and the new queue starts moving the slowest.

  • Your earlier queue starts moving faster than your present queue.

  • Once you reach the front of the queue, it closes for lunch break.

2. Murphy's Laws in Traffic

  • The signal turns yellow the moment you are about to cross it.

  • If you are driving to your in-law's place, all signals will be green.

  • If you are running late for work, you will most definitely run into traffic jams, and the worst one too.

  • You take a different longer route to avoid the traffic jam. Turns out everyone else took the same route and you are stuck in a worse traffic.

  • You are driving into a very narrow bridge or lane. There will definitely be some huge vehicle coming from the opposite direction.

  • You stop the engine of your car because the traffic has stood still for a very long time. Immediately, the traffic starts moving, but only for a few feet.

  • All the remaining "queue" laws will be applicable in traffic, unless of course you are going to your in-law's place.


3. Murphy's Laws at School

  • If you are running late to school, you will inevitably run into the principal in the corridor.

  • You have studied 8 out of 10 chapters for the exam. 50 percent of the questions will come from those 2 chapters.

  • You will remember everything you studied after the exam is over.

  • You have bunked school for one day to visit the mall or movies. You will definitely encounter someone who knows your parents.

  • Your teacher, who never notices you, will ask you a question in class just when you have put some food in your mouth.

  • Your best friend of the opposite gender, who always had a crush on you and you never noticed, grows up to be a hottie and you suddenly realize you love him/her, but he/she has already moved on.


4. Murphy's Laws at Work

  • All critical issues come to you on Friday evening.
  • The work load will be at its heaviest on the day you have made plans for the evening.

  • You get late to office just one day and sneak in through the emergency exit to avoid passing the boss. However your boss is on the phone right outside that exit. Not only does he see you coming late, he also sees you sneak in.

  • On the rare occasions that your boss is scolding you, it will be witnessed by the hot office girl who you like so much and who has to pass by exactly during those moments.

  • You have just finished an important work, your boss informs you at the end of the day that the requirements have changed. So you need to redo it.


5. Murphy's Laws in Everyday Life

  • Each time you do a really stupid thing, be certain that multiple people have witnessed it.

  • But there's nobody around when you manage to pull off that rare one-time clever stunt.

  • The moment you buy that latest phone after coveting it for many months, the prices will drop.

  • You give away something you didn't use for a long time. Suddenly you will face an urgent need for it.

  • The distance of your waiter from the table will be directly proportional to the drink remaining in your glass.

  • The bus is late every day, but the one day that you arrive late, you learn that the bus left 5 minutes back.

6. Murphy's House Laws

  • If you are searching for something in your house, you will find it in the last place you look, if at all you find it.

  • However, once you buy a replacement, the original will appear out of nowhere.

  • A broken appliance will always work in front of the repair guy. Desperate to find an explanation, you run it many times willing it to not work, but it will work without fail.

  • If there is a good program or movie on TV, there will be a power-cut.

  • If there is a power-cut, you will hit your shin-bone against every furniture possible.

  • When you go to the bathroom, the phone will definitely ring. If you take it into the bathroom with you, it will ring only when you have covered yourself with soap lather.

  • If you are on the phone, the doorbell will ring and vice versa.


How To Fix Murphy's Law

If you are asking this question, you have not been paying attention. Murphy's Law cannot be fixed, avoided or prevented. The only way to handle it is to accept it as a part of daily life. Remember, if you don't see Murphy's Law manifesting itself, you have simply not noticed it. So, keep calm and blame it on Murphy.

How Do You React To Murphy's Law?

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    • temptor94 profile image

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Thanks for reading Larry :) Keeping calm is the best option indeed.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I always try to keep calm while Murphy's laws that way.

    • temptor94 profile image

      Ritu Temptor 2 years ago from India

      Thank you for reading Wendi :) Sometimes I think that perhaps I am being too cynical and need to stop whining. But then, Murphy's Law puts me back on track :P

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Wendi Pembridge Skilling 2 years ago from Overland Park, KS

      Great hub! I always tended to think 'Murphy's Law' was an Irish myth - one of negativity- however the older I get, the more and more it seems to be true.

      - Wendi :)