Murphy's law is a popular adage that states that "things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance," or more commonly, "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." A number of variants on the rule have been formulated, as have several corollaries.
- If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will.
- Original phrasing by Edward A. Murphy according to George E. Nichols.
- If it can happen, it will happen.
- Precedent condensed by team members according to George E. Nichols.
- Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
- Phrasing attributed to Major John Paul Stapp
- If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way
- According to Robert Murphy (son of Edward A. Murphy, Jr.) his father's statement was along these lines; reported in People (January 31, 1983), p. 82. Alternately reported as "If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it", in Robert L. Forward, "Murphy Lives!", Science 83 (January-February 1983), p. 78. Also commonly reported as, "If anything can go wrong, it will", in J. A. Simpson, ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (1982), p. 4.
- Anything That Can Possibly Go Wrong, Does
- Epigraph of The Butcher: The Ascent of Yerupaja (1952) by John Sack
- Colonel Stapp's favorite takeoff on sober scientific laws — Murphy's Law, Stapp calls it — 'Everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong'
- Men, Rockets and Space Rats (1955) by Lloyd Mallan, possibly the earliest printed use of Murphy's name in connection with the law.
- Murphy's Quantum Law: Anything that can, could have, or will go wrong, is going wrong, all at once.
- The Official Rules (1982) by Paul Dickson ISBN 0099264900
- Anything that can go wrong already has, you're just not aware of it yet!
- Elson's Law © 1978, 2009 By Edward E. Elson
- If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe or pregnancy, then someone will do it.
- Phrasing from Jargon File.
- Smith's Law: "Murphy was an optimist."
- The Annals of Improbable Research tracks down the origins of Murphy's law
- Murphy's Laws Origin
- Visual Archive of Murphy's Law Books Worldwide
- The House of Murphy
- Mathematical formula for Murphy's Law
- 1952 proverb citation
- 1955 term citation of phrase "Murphy's Law"
- Reference to 1941 citation of the proverb
- Murphy's Law entry in the Jargon File
- Murphy's Law was Born Here
- A collection of humorous Murphy's Laws
- Murphy's Law of Combat