Murphy’s Law and a Few Corollaries

Most of us have heard of Murphy’s Law. It is the popular adage that says, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” or “Things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them the chance.” Who wrote Murphy’s Law? No one knows for sure, but we do know its origin goes back pretty far.

Over the years, many other individuals have expanded on Murphy’s Law. Today I would like to share with you 20 corollaries of Murphy’s Law. I hope you have some fun with these:

  1. Nothing is as easy as it looks.

    We learn Murphy’s Law and some of its corollaries very early in life….

  2. Everything takes longer than you think.
  3. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
  4. Every solution breeds new problems.
  5. It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.
  6. The other line moves faster.
  7. You always find something the last place you look.
  8. Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner of the workshop. (This law also applies to the top of a tube of toothpaste in the bathroom and a grape in the kitchen.)
  9. When all else fails, read the instructions.
  10. Military law: Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
  11. Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.
  12. All machines are amplifiers.
  13. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

    Sometimes in life we have more than a pebble in our shoe…

  14. If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
  15. The sum of intelligence on the planet is constant. The population is growing.
  16. Friends come and go; enemies accumulate.
  17. If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important than the problem.
  18. To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
  19. An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he or she knows absolutely everything about nothing.
  20. First law of socio-genetics: Celibacy is not hereditary.

Did you enjoy any of these corollaries? If so, which one(s)?

Would you like to add any other corollaries to Murphy’s law below? 

PS: Thank you for your prayers for this past weekend retreat in Syracuse. Altogether we were 18 women contemplating and discussing HOPE and her two sisters, FAITH and LOVE–and one of Hope’s daughters, COURAGE. It was a weekend of blessings with some wonderful, faith-filled women. Special thanks to Judy and Melanie for their invaluable assistance!

I thought we could use an upbeat song after reading all these corollaries of Murphy’s Law. So here’s a very positive and lively song by Tasha Layton, an American Idol winner. It’s called “Love Lifting Me” and it reminds us that God’s love and grace are ever-present to help us when things don’t go our way in life.

I invite you to respond to this reflection below. We all love to hear from our readers!



  1. Kathleen Magiera on July 22, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Good Morning Sr. Melannie!

    I like #9 the best about reading instructions. So true in our family! Fortunately, my husband saves all of us because he does read the instructions.

    God bless.


  2. John E Hopkins on July 22, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I like number 13. Sometimes too much thinking thwarts action.

    Have a great day, Sr. Melannie!

  3. Ed Johnson on July 22, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Sister Melannie,
    Delightful! To #7 (You always find something the last place you look), I would add…….Or, you find it 6 months later when not looking for it anymore! Have an awesome week!
    Ed J

  4. michelle C. on July 22, 2019 at 5:56 am

    #6 Made me smile ! So often that happens to me. Thank you for getting my week off to a happy start. God Bless You !

  5. Linda on July 22, 2019 at 6:42 am

    I really enjoyed the song you posted. God’s love is lifting me. Wonderful news.

  6. Shirley on July 22, 2019 at 6:44 am

    #14, is really good! The song is great! Look so forward to Monday’s to hear from you Sister Melannie! Have a great week!

  7. Mary Therese on July 22, 2019 at 6:57 am

    I’m chuckling at #4. A friend installed a much needed replacement dishwasher yesterday. This morning I discovered the shut-off valve in the basement doesn’t quite shut off anymore! Who is the patron saint of plumbers?

    • Jean on July 22, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Mary Therese,
      It is Saint Vincent Ferrer, O.P. He has a special place in our bathroom…no leaks…after self-installing a toilet.

  8. Pauline Smith on July 22, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Hi Sister Melannie,

    I’d like to propose an additional corollary (could be a modification to #9):
    If at first you don’t succeed, do it the way your mother told you to.

    Have a great week.

  9. Janet Kreiner on July 22, 2019 at 7:58 am

    #8 happens to me at least once a day so that’s when I get a little exercise at least once a day.

  10. Jerry H on July 22, 2019 at 7:58 am

    “You can’t always be young , but you can always be immature.”

  11. Mary M Nausadis on July 22, 2019 at 8:38 am

    #6 The other line moves faster! Always in the bank and often in a situation where there is a traffic holdup.
    These all made me smile, Sr. Melanie, although I am not a believer in Murphy’s law in my own life.

    I loved the song too…..thank you!

  12. Teresa Skierkowski, SCC on July 22, 2019 at 9:45 am

    #6 is soooo true–every time I’m in the store or in traffic the other line is always moving faster! A good lesson in patience. Have a wonderful day! and yes, the song is GREAT!

  13. Martin J Louis on July 22, 2019 at 9:46 am

    #20 so true. A wonderful nun told me this truism. ” not asking for fear of “NO” is a “NO”

  14. Marty on July 22, 2019 at 9:52 am

    #20, A nun once gave me a great truism. # To not ask for fear of a #NO is a “NO”

  15. Chuck Strauss on July 22, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Love this column: here’s another corollary:
    “Murphy was an optimist.”

  16. Linda on July 22, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Someone once told me about #7, Of course It is found in the last place you look, because you found it. I also agree with Ed.

  17. Jean Canatsey on July 22, 2019 at 10:08 am

    I fully believe in Murphy’s Law – not because it causes something to happen but because it is the reality of the obvious.
    I laughed at #6 because I “know” that Murphy’s Law dictates that it will be the longest line. My husband could be the poster child for #9. He lives by that rule! He also liked #12 & #14 and wanted me to add this corollary. “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS”. I think that may be the problem with politics today!
    Happy Monday, Sister! Please keep the smiles coming!

  18. Pete on July 22, 2019 at 10:19 am

    I can “feel the love” every time I come to this site on Monday morning. And, “It is what it is” !

  19. Mary Montgomery on July 22, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Sr. Melannie,
    Thanks for the smiles and fun here! You are so clever! I especially liked # 8 and # 20. 😉

  20. Thomas DeFreitas on July 22, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Sr. Melannie and everyone, hello!

    Number 20 made me laugh, and number 13 seems true enough. I’ve found number 2, happily, not to be true. What paralyzes me at the start of any task is the sheer enormity, then I nibble away at it for ten minutes or so, and before you know it, I’m done! It’s the getting started that’s the tricky part for an inveterate procrastinator like me.

    Tasha Layton’s song is winsome and affirmative. I like the idea of being “lifted up.” A friend of mine says that when I came home after a weeklong retreat at a Trappist monastery in 1992, I was walking eighteen inches above the ground for at least a month afterwards.

    Thanks for being there, Sister! And everyone else: good comments!

    Peace and light.

  21. Barbara Erdmann on July 22, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Love every single one, can’t wait to share this with others.

  22. Sue on July 22, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Love #6…..your column is always wonderful.
    I did read a funny the other day.
    …… Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know all the answers. Sometime there is no answer, not going to be any answer, never has been an answer. That’s the answer! Just accept it, move on, NEXT!
    Thanks Sister

  23. Tom on July 24, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    I like: “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” In other words, you may not get it perfect, but at least it will be done.

  24. Stan Davisson on July 27, 2019 at 7:00 am

    A great start to a Saturday morning. I’ll add one: if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

  25. Karen E on August 1, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Just got back from vacation so catching up on my blog reading. I LOVE 15, 17 and 18 but I suppose that is because of where i am in life professionally. Thank you once again, Sr. Melannie!

  26. Marymartha on March 16, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for this, Sr. Melannie! I originally learned Murphy’s Law with the corollary
    “…and at the worst possible moment,” as if it were part of the law!
    I love these. VERY true!

  27. Larry Mason on May 4, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Willson’s corollary: Whenever you have an unlimited budget, the only commodity that’s limited is thinking

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