WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Nosh: Our armada ships...have a 1-in-600 chance of catastrophic impact anytime we pinch space.

Skitter: I...I'm gonna die in space.

Fernando: Nosh, that number is a lie, spread by the royal family. It's not's 1-in-400...we lose five or six ships every week.

Skitter: [slow clap] Wonderful. Awesome. Let's all thank Fernando for clearin' up the math, there.

This trope is when a character mentions a statistic that may have been better off unmentioned. Maybe someone mentioned that they're the 666th person to attempt this task, and nobody else succeeded. Perhaps they just heard how many people die in a certain impoverished country every hour. Or perhaps they heard exactly how many liters of other people's farts we inhale every day.

Can overlap with, but is not to be confused with Never Tell Me the Odds, which is when a character succeeds after hearing the odds are stacked against them.

For obvious reasons, true Real Life examples aren't permitted on this page.

Examples of Disturbing Statistic include:


  • Many charity organizations attempt to gain donations by invoking this on the viewer in their advertisements.

Anime and Manga

  • Naruto: When preparing to operate on Rock Lee, Tsunade discovers that, at best, he only has a 50% chance of surviving if he goes through with it.


  • The Empire Strikes Back: Luke's chances of survival in the Hoth wastelands during an ice storm are 725 to 1.
  • I Robot: Sonny and Detective Spooner need to climb the stairs of a tall building.

 Sonny: 2880 steps, detective.

Spooner: Do me a favor, keep that kind of shit to yourself.


  • Discworld: In Going Postal, Mr. Pump tells Moist von Lipwig that he's added up all the damage he's done to people's lives with his cons, and statistically, Moist has killed 2.338 people.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Luke being disturbed when he learns over a million people were on the Death Star.

Live Action TV

  • Merlin: While discussing a tournament Arthur is about to compete in, Merlin keeps talking about how many people died the last time, just on the first day. See it here.
  • Grange Hill: An autistic character (this was back in the days when it was just becoming well known, making him one of the more accurate portrayals) thoughtlessly mentions that Britain had the highest divorce rate in Europe to a girl whose parents are being divorced.
  • Firefly:

 River: The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.

Newspaper Comics

  • FoxTrot: Andy tells Roger one in order to keep him up all night, thereby keeping him from snoring.

Video Games

 GLaDOS: The device is now more valuable than the organs and combined incomes of everyone in [SUBJECT_HOMETOWN_HERE].

 GLaDOS: I'm not going to lie to you, the odds are a million to one, and that's with some generous rounding.

  • Suspended: The game keeps track of how many people have been killed by the malfunctioning systems the player is trying to repair.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater: Interesting example; many games keep track of how many enemies you've killed. When you face The Sorrow, however, you actually face them. Every one. And they still have the injuries you inflicted upon them, too.

Web Comics

  • Drive: The page quote comes from a conversation concerning the fact that there is no protection against random debris in space while using the Drive technology.
  • Subnormality: There was a game show called "Not Worth It" which used this trope in its quiz questions.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.