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  • Anyone that has circled 'X' when teachers told you to find it. Mathematicians will surely applaud such an answer...
    • Done by this anonymous Brazilian student: [1] It turned into an meme, but there's no way of knowing if this is from an actual text or just done as a joke.
  • Race car driver Smokey Yunick was so notorious for this that some automotive journalists call this trope in auto racing "Yunicking the Rules." For example, when NASCAR rules tried to force more pit stops by limiting the size of the gas tank, Smokey replaced his fuel lines with exhaust pipe, adding several more gallons that technically were not part of the fuel tank. "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'." is practically the unofficial slogan of NASCAR; Yunick just took that to the natural extreme.
    • This is why NASCAR has a blanket rule "Actions detrimental to stock car racing" which they cite with pretty much every infraction anyway.
  • Formula One also has many example of creative interpretation of the rules, especially getting around the rules against 'moveable aerodynamic devices' - over the years teams have tried flexible wings and floors that bend in the wind and reduce drag; the Brabham team built the infamous 'Fan Car' where a so-called "Cooling Fan" created a vacuum under the car. In 1981 minimum ride height rules were introduced, to be policed by random checks in the pits. Brabham's Gordon Murray designed a hydraulic suspension system that raised the car in the pit lane (when it was being checked) and lowered it down again on the track. Lotus built the Type 88 double-chassis car, where the top chassis would lower down onto the track at speed creating ground effect suction. Ironically it was the more ingenious Lotus that ended up being banned. More recently in 2009 Brawn GP got round the rule specifying a 'single deck' rear aerodynamic diffuser by incorporating the mandatory rear crash structure into the diffuser, thus generating more rear downforce. In 2010 McLaren built a duct into their car that the driver could operate with his elbow (!); when used on a straight the duct stalled the rear wing and reduced drag.
      • That trick was banned by FIA in the 2012 rules by an Obvious Rule Patch- which forced the drivers to keep the hands on the steering wheel at all times. So Mercedes (the successor of Brawn) kept the duct but made it so it could be activated from the wheel, using the same button that already existed for the DRS system.
    • Before 1976, no rules said that a Formula One could not have six wheels.
    • At a Formula One race in Long Beach in 1982, Ferrari used a super-wide rear wing on their cars because the rules explicitly stated that all teams could have rear wings made of two aerodynamic elements, so instead of putting them one atop the other, they put the individual flaps of the wing side-by-side to create a wing twice as wide as regulations allowed. The Ferraris didn't place well and were even disqualified afterwards, but Ferrari didn't introduce that wing to win: all the other teams were cheating the regulations in various creative ways and Ferrari, who has a history for being under fire by rulesmakers over the decades, wasn't about to let them get away with it either.
    • Played straight, then brutally averted for Tyrrell in 1984. Formula One rules dictate a minimum weight all cars must meet, but at the time it was common to find ways to reduce the weight of the car while on the track (and unable to be weighed,) such as water cooled brakes that were fed by a reservoir, which would gradually empty throughout the race, shedding weight, and topped up to pass inspection. Tyrrell was the only team with a normally aspirated engine that year, every other team having the dominant turbocharged monsters, and were only earning points due to luck and the skill of their drivers (Martin Brundle and Stefan Bellof.) However, this gave them some leverage against the turbo-running teams, as fuel tank sizes were to be cut to 195 liters (from 220L) in 1985 to curtail the power of the turbo cars. Every turbo team would vote against it (as the turbo engines guzzled fuel,) but to scrap it, they needed a unanimous decision, leaving Tyrrell (with the vastly more efficient n/a engines) in the way, leverage they were more than willing to use. Tyrrell used a water injection system for their engines, clawing back a little of the power deficit, that would be topped up before the race ended with two gallons of water, and 140 lbs of lead shot. The FIA, after inspecting the system, eventually ruled that the water in the tank consisted of 27.5% aromatics, constituted to be an (illegal) addition fuel source, as well as illegally taking on addition fuel during the race, illegal fuel (the water/lead mix,) illegal fuel lines (the lines to the engine,) and improperly secured ballast (the lead shot.) As a result, the FIA excluded Tyrrell from the championship that year, and retroactively disqualified them from all races that year. However, additional testing showed the water carried well below 1% aromatics, and thus well within the rules. Tyrrell also argued that the rules required that ballast be fixed as to require tools to remove, which they felt was the case for the lead shot trapped in the tank. As such, they went to appeal. In an unbelievably draconian move, the FIA ignored the test results, changed the charges to fuel in the water and illegal ballast, and then added an entirely new charge of illegal vents in the undertray, claiming they violated rules preventing the use of ground effect, but where eventually found to be of no aerodynamic purpose. Oh, and the exclusion was upheld, and a further ban from the final three race was instituted, incurring an additional fine for missing those races. This ended up being a double-whammy for Tyrrell, as the turbo teams were now free to amend the rules as they wished, while Tyrrell scrambled to secure a deal for turbo engines for 1985, and also lost all their points for the championship, losing the subsidized travel costs their points haul would have earned them, an addition cost.
    • Another classic rule bend came from F1's near cousin Indycar (back before the 'Split' and today's spec series, when teams often built their own cars). 1994 Indy 500 rules allowed pushrod engines higher turbo boost levels, ostensibly to encourage engines based on road car engines. Except nothing in the rule book actually specified the need for a stock block, so Penske Racing commissioned a custom Ilmor-Mercedes pushod engine that pumped out 200 hp more than rivals and walked the race.
  • Texas oilman, race car driver and engineer Jim Hall was the creator of Chapparal Cars and created the legendary Can-Am monster, the 2J. At the time there were no rules that prohibited a Can-Am racing car from having more than one engine, so he took a Chevy V-8 and powered the boxy 2J's rear wheels with it and took a snowmobile engine to power a set of rear-mounted fans to suck the car to the ground with. When it wasn't broken down it was an amazing car, and when it wasn't broken down or winning, it was being banned.
  • The IOCCC (International Obfuscated C Code Contest) has a separate yearly award for "worst abuse of the rules", which is awarded precisely for invoking this trope. Obviously, this means the rules will be amended for the next year. For instance, one year's winner is the world's shortest self-reproducing program, which turned out to be a zero-length program which indeed generates a zero-length output. Therefore, contest entries must now be a minimum of one byte in length.[1]
  • The Real Hustle showcased an old hustle which involved betting that some random guy can't do everything you can. Touch your nose. He touches his nose. Lick your glass. He licks his glass. Take some drink. He takes some drink. Spit the drink back out...
    • Another proposition bet shown by The Real Hustle: betting that you can drink 3 full beers before your mark can drink three shots. The only rule: you can't touch each others' glasses. As long as you can drink one glass before your opponent can drink their three shots, you can then put your empty glass over one of their shots, they can't remove it, and you can drink the other two beers at your leisure.
      • "Excuse me, bartender, could you move this glass?"
  • Spartan boys were purposely underfed and kept hungry, and could expect vicious beatings if they were ever caught stealing food. The correct solution was not to tough out the pain and weakness of constant starvation, but to develop the skill and cunning to steal food without getting caught.
  • A similar idea was that cheating was allowed in Soviet schools. What wasn't allowed was getting caught doing it. If you were clever enough to cheat without your professors catching you, you deserved the credit you got (this was harder than it sounds, because of course the professors were more on the look out for cheaters and had seen just about every trick in the book).
  • There is an old story (with several variations) about a mathematician, a physicist, and an accountant competing for a job, and they were tasked with measuring the height of a house as precisely as possible to get it. The mathematician measured the house's shadow and calculated it that way, while the physicist dropped two steel orbs and timed the fall. The accountant looked up the blueprints instead, and got the job.
    • Of course, given variances in build materials and labor, not to mention the house settling over time, that was probably the least accurate answer...
      • However, at least according to this version of the story, the competitors were striving for precision, not accuracy, and the blueprints would probably yield the best results in this area.
  • Another story tells of a student who was asked in a final examination to describe how to measure a skyscraper's height via barometer. His original answer: tie a string to the barometer, lower it from the top to the ground, measure the string, add the length of the barometer. The instructor objected, he counter-objected, and an arbiter was called in. The student proceeded to suggest:
    • Drop the barometer off the edge and determine the height by how long it took to fall.
    • Use the similar-triangle-shadow method everyone hates from Geometry.
    • Swing the barometer like a pendulum, and work it out from the gravitic force.
    • Mark off the building's height in barometer-lengths.
    • Knock on the janitor's door and offer him the barometer in exchange for telling the student the height of the building.
      • The expected answer is to measure the difference in air pressure (which is how aircraft altimeters work). It should be noted that unlike the more "creative" methods, this one will provide an answer in meters using only the barometer.
      • The story is often told with Danish Nobel Prize-winner Niels Bohr as the student, but this is an urban legend.Snopes has a page about it.
  • Another joke involves a mathematician being asked to enclose a flock of sheep using the least amount of fence. He builds a small fence around himself and declares, "I define the side I am on to be the outside."
  • At one point, the election rules for the Cambridge Union stated that candidates were allowed to put up one poster in the Union lobby but it had to be a certain size and it had to be "monochrome." One law student complied by putting up a poster of the statutory size... on fluorescent yellow paper. (He got away with it, as a poster that has one color is technically "monochrome." They changed the rules for subsequent elections.)
  • In July 2008, the state of Nebraska passed a "Safe Haven" law, saying that parents may leave a child at certain hospitals, no questions asked, if for any reason they feel they are not fit to care for the child. This was designed to prevent the cruel abandonment and death of unwanted infants. However, unlike many similar laws, this program did not specify an age limit nor restrict its use to state residents. It made the news after thirty-six teenagers were dropped off, mostly by out-of-staters who traveled to Nebraska for that purpose. (The Obvious Rule Patch was quickly passed to specify the acceptance of only infants up to 30 days old.)
    • And then there's the smartass 20-year-old who, hearing that a district judge had ruled that life begins at conception, dropped by every liquor store in town to argue that, technically, the judge's ruling meant he was now over the legal drinking age....
  • Finland pulled this on Germany late in World War II. The Northern country was on the Axis side without a formal alliance, saw the writing on the wall, but needed aid from Germany to get out of the war without being steamrolled. The Soviets had launched a huge offensive and the Finns did not have enough weapons and ammo to fight. Germany was distrustful to give Finns their weapons, for obvious reasons. So President Ryti said "As long as I am in charge, Finland won't make peace with the Soviets". The Finns stopped the Soviet advance; then Ryti resigned, Mannerheim was elected and commented "Personal vows of my predecessor do not bind me". Technically, this is true, as long as it was simply a personal vow. Generally on the international system, nations don't act on personal vows.
  • It's actually fairly common to declare "no-loopholes" for events that involve a small number of people and simply disallow any attempt to get around the rules on a technicality. Some legal systems allow judges to make effectively the same declaration, generally by noting the difference between the letter and the intention or spirit of the law. However, Louisiana Law is based on the Napoleonic Code meaning that, unlike in other states, letter of the law trumps precedent. Meaning that Loophole Abuse is often played straight. So to speak.
  • In an effort to speed up the games, the NCAA changed the clock rule on kickoffs, causing it to begin running when kicked instead of when it was touched. The University of Wisconsin scored a TD with 23 seconds left in the first half, and deliberately went offsides on the subsequent kickoff. Each time the play was run, they would be penalized and have to do it again, but it would take 5 seconds off the clock that were not replaced.
  • Seen frequently in fiction, but it does happen in real life: police using various means to get information or confessions without quite violating the accused's rights. The most common one (in jurisdictions where appropriate) is making it clear they are not taking someone into custody or arresting them, therefore not being required to inform them of their rights, specifically the right to have an attorney present. While common in fiction, courts generally take a dim view of this sort of thing if the police are acting like the suspect is in custody, just not doing it officially.
    • Not to mention that they're required to read suspects their rights before interrogating (technically interview) suspects, not necessarily immediately after arresting them. And, at least in the U.S., those rights exist regardless of whether the officer reads them aloud. As soon as the suspect realizes he or she is being interrogated, or that he/she isn't free to walk away from the conversation at any time, the suspect has the right to remain silent.
  • One of the most famous sports examples was the notorious 1994 Barbados vs Grenada soccer game. Barbados needed to win by 2 clear goals to advance to the tournament final, but were only winning 2-1 in the final minutes of the game. The tournament rules stated that a draw would go to sudden death extra time, and the winner would be deemed to have won by two goals. After Grenada scored late in the game, the Barbados team realized they'd be unlikely to score as Grenada would play defensively since they didn't need to win, only to not lose by more than a goal. So Barbados fired the ball into their own net, levelling the score, then clustered around the Grenadan net so they couldn't do the same thing. Time runs out, game goes to sudden death extra time where Barbados wins.
  • The Underarm bowling incident of 1981 caused a major Cricket scandal when a one day international between Australia and New Zealand came down to the last ball of the New Zealand innings. With New Zealand able to tie the game by scoring a Six, the Australian Captain realized that Underarm Bowling (a completely anachronistic practice of rolling the ball along the ground instead of the usual bounce method) had not been stipulated against in the tournament rules. While a rolled ball is easy to put into play, it is nearly impossible to score a Six, therefore robbing New Zealand of any chance to win the game. While Australia won it was widely viewed in both countries as ungentlemanly cowardice. As a direct result of the incident, underarm bowling was banned in limited overs cricket by the International Cricket Council as "not within the spirit of the game".
  • The clever Germans abused numerous loopholes during the interwar period to build up their armed forced before completely repudiating the Treaty of Versailles. (Some of these methods however were actual violations of the Treaty, just difficult to prove):
    • Developing rocket artillery to replace banned gun artillery, and calling them "Smoke Screen Throwers" to boot.
    • Developing powerful, long range, fast "pocket battleships" that could outrun regular battleships.
      • This actually was exploiting a loophole, helped by Technology Marches On - the Versailles treaty stipulated that the largest battleships Germany was allowed to build had to be no bigger than 10,000 tons, which under 1919 conditions would have meant a slow coastal defence vessel. A decade later, when it had become possible to build large ships by welding steel-plates together instead of using rivets, thus saving weight on the hull and enabling them to install a larger engine, thus creating "pocket battleships" possible, which were in effect small battle-cruisers.
    • Shortening the service obligation of soldiers in the army so that, while the army remained small on paper, it was building an unofficial reserve of trained men it could quickly call up in case another war broke out.
      • This had tradition in Germany. When Napoleon Bonaparte had defeated Prussia, he forbad them to have more than 42,000 men under arms. Their war minister Scharnhorst found a loophole, the so-called Krümpersystem: Soldiers were drilled for a few weeks, left the army then, and new ones were trained. Thus, after short time, Prussia had many well-trained soldiers again (knowing about this, the Allies forbad Weimar Germany such a system - their soldiers had to serve for ten years, period).
    • Developing new weapons systems by subsidiaries in neighboring countries and Russia.
    • Developing new tanks as "agricultural tractors".
    • Practicing advanced Blitzkrieg tactics in agricultural tractors.
    • Developing several models of high-speed advanced civilian air transport planes, that, strangely, only had space for 4-6 people and looked exactly like tactical bombers.
      • One reason the rest of Europe allowed this loophole abuse was, despite the fact that German militarization was considered a threat, the huge losses of the previous war made everyone squeamish and desperate to avoid it. And as long as Germany wasn't attacking...
  • In American High School Football the A-11 offense exploited a loophole in scrimmage kick formations that allowed all players to be numbered as eligible receivers, thus disguising who the actual receivers were and expanding the number of plays the defense had to defend against from 250 to 16,000. Cue Obvious Rule Patch two years later (though Texas and Massachusetts use NCAA rules, which never allowed the thing in the first place.)
  • John Hopoate, a player in Australia's National Rugby League, became notorious for using a rather unorthodox move to make other players more likely to fumble during tackles. Turns out there wasn't any rule saying you aren't allowed to jam your fingers up another player's butt, and in the end the NRL had to declare him guilty of conduct unbecoming the game before they could get rid of him.
  • Another real life example: George Burns and Harpo Marx were once playing golf on a very hot day, and decided to take their shirts off. A nearby group complained, and the club manager came out to inform them that club rules required them to wear shirts on the course. A little while later, he received another complaint - this time they were playing without pants. When he went out to tell them to put pants on, they asked to see the rulebook on that - and it turned out that there was no rule requiring club members to wear pants on the course, because nobody had ever thought to need it.
    • Golf is a minefield for loophole-lovers. The general rule is, if you try to use the Rules Of Golf to your advantage, you better make Damn Sure you know What They Are. Because your opponent will. (and in any important case, one can always drag out the Book and/or the official.) Excellent fictional example: "The Foursome", by "Troon McAllister".
    • Similarly, while most cities have a general "no indecent exposure" law which makes it illegal to be naked in public, there ain't no rule against riding the subway in your underwear.
  • An English amateur cricket team barred from entering the dining room of the hotel in which they were staying on the grounds that they were not wearing ties. To his credit, the maitre'd apparently took them reappearing wearing properly-knotted ties but no shirts or trousers in the spirit in which it was intended.
  • Similarly, when Vivian Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was at school he repeatedly got in trouble for breaking the rule about wearing a tie. He was expelled after turning up in a tie but no shirt.
  • The downs system of American football and basketball's shot clock were added when teams took advantage of the lack of such a rule to simply indefinitely keep possession of the ball. Sometimes these "keep away" tactics got really bad; on November 22, 1950, a basketball game between the Fort Wayne Pistons and Minneapolis Lakers ended in a score of 19-18. Another 1950 game went for six overtimes, with each team only taking one shot in each extra period.
  • Lord Byron, famed English poet, was forced to send his dog home during college, as Trinity forbade keeping one. Byron's response was, of course, to scour the rules and find that there was no specific prohibition against keeping a bear. Obviously, he got one. When asked what he would do with it, he responded that it could sit for a fellowship.
  • Ain't no rule that says a horse can't sit on the Roman Senate.
  • Ain't no rule that says a penguin can't be Colonel-In-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guards.
    • And receive a knighthood
  • Ain't no rule a bear can't enlist in the Polish Army. (NSFW version)We
  • Ain't no rule a cat can't be a train station master in Japan.
  • At the time of the infamous "Snowplow Game" in 1982 between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots, there really wasn't a rule you couldn't plow a section of the field in football before a field goal. Needless to say, after the game there was one. This game, by the way, is the real reason why Dolphins fans gloat so much over New England's failure to complete a perfect season.
    • It didn't hurt that Don Shula was a member of the NFL's rules committee. This probably produced his familiarity with the rules that allowed him to see that there ain't no rule that says you can't fool the defense into thinking the play's over by pretending to spike the ball to stop the clock, and then pass the ball to an eligible receiver. And, it's still a legal play.
    • Football loves Loophole Abuse, and several plays depend on it. There's no rule that the quarterback has to be the player to receive the snap, giving rise to "Direct Snap" plays that give the ball from the center to the running back with no hand-off. There are rules that state that only certain positions are eligible receivers, but there's no rule that says they can't then pass the ball to someone behind them. There's a rule that says that the kickoff must be kicked at least ten yards or touch a member of the receiving team in order for the kicking team to take possession without ending the play, but there's no rule that says you can't kick the ball directly at one of the close members of the receiving team and get the ball when it inevitably bounces off him.
    • Back when Carlisle Indian Industrial School had a football team in the early 20th century, they were notorious for exploiting the holes in the rulebook. One tactic was to have leather football patches sewn onto every uniform so that every player appeared to be carrying the ball, since there wasn't a rule prohibiting it. They were stopped by Harvard, who when they played Carlisle presented game balls that had been dyed a deep crimson color (since there wasn't a rule against that either) to neutralize the trick.
    • Football has several rules to cover "Palpably Unfair Acts," which serves as a Rule Zero when something blatantly unfair happens that isn't covered by the rules. It isn't applied often, though. Amusingly, the first time someone ran off the sidelines to tackle a runner, everyone agreed that the referee could award a touchdown even though the rule patch didn't exist yet.
  • Ain't no rule that says fictional robot cats can't serve as ambassadors in the Japanese government.
  • Ain't no rule that says a dog can't be enlisted in the Royal Navy.
  • Avoided by most Internet services (forums, hosts, etc.) in that their Terms of Use specifically say you can be reprimanded for any reason by the owners/moderators. Effectively seals the "Ain't no rule" loophole.
    • Similarly, try reading a software EULA or copyright agreement all the way through. They can be paraphrased as saying "We can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and you have no rights whatsoever." The phrase "in perpetuity throughout the universe" is popular.
      • Though ironically, most EULAs are often unenforceable; if the EULA isn't on the outside of the box, it isn't necessarily enforceable by law. This is why, for instance, OM versions of Windows have the EULA on the outside of the packaging. Also, many open-ended contractual things of this nature can be difficult to enforce in court. Also not every copyright law allows to enforce fully EULA. For example in some countries you are allowed to deassemble code in certain cases (for e.g. to make cooperation between programs better) - even if EULA explicitly forbids disassembling.
  • Ain't no rule that says a fictional pundit can't run for President. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party of South Carolina decided there was a rule that said all candidates had to be "serious".
    • There isn't a rule about candidates having to be serious in the UK, which resulted in a rock star founding the Monster Raving Loony Party. And harming the political system not at all.
      • Ain't no rule in the UK that corresponds to the quite restrictive ballot access laws in (at least some) US states. Any citizen who can get a few signatures on a nomination petition and scrape together a smallish-deposit can run, and will be entitled to describe his party affiliation any way he likes. There was a real case some years ago where an individual ran as the "Literal Democrat candidate" and drew away just enough votes from the official candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party to throw the election to his opponent.
    • Pat Paulsen did it first, in 1968. Then again in 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996.
    • French comedian Coluche also ran for President in the 1981 election - he originally announced it for the lulz and ran a mock campaign but dropped out of the race shortly before the election. Partly because it was starting to look like he had a real shot at the win (which he never really wanted, he was just taking the piss all along), and partly due to pressure from more serious parties or rather, as he later recounted, due to Suspiciously Specific Denial of any pressure whatsoever: representatives from both major parties informed him he had absolutely nothing to worry about from their party; but that he should be wary of the other because those guys weren't above dirty tricks and it would be a right shame if something bad happened to him.
    • The Rhinoceros Party of Canada was a similar group, which just participated in the elections as a joke, proposing things like moving the Rocky Mountains one foot to the east (by hand) as a labor project. In 1993, the Canadian government got fed up with this and required that all political parties pay a certain fee in order to participate... which the Rhinoceros Party couldn't pay. So they declared that everyone should just vote for themselves and then disbanded... then reappeared in 2007 and remain active.
    • Similarly, this kind of thing is fairly common in Brazil. In the past, a donkey and a rhino were massively voted for congress, in their respective states and times. This specific practice of writing a joke vote in your bill died when electronic voting machines came around, but it doesn't stop ludicrously campy or just downright hilarious candidates (who may or may not do that for the joke) from appearing in political campaigns. Of course, they rarely succeed, but when they do (like with the recently elected clown "Tiririca"), the supposed "protest-voting" behind it backfires when splash-votes help other, serious, not as well-intentioned politicians get in charge.
  • While in Britain the law is adamant that a motor-bicycle and side-car set is still a motor-bicycle, not a motor-tricycle or a motor-car, they're not too picky as to what defines a motor-car, which leads on to: There ain't no rule saying you can't take your 'B' Licence practical test with a motor-bicycle. The four criteria for allowing a vehicle to be a test candidate's choice for a 'B' licence test (the one a car driver has to pass):
    • A: Vehicle must be capable of at least 100 km/h.
    • B: The seat the examiner is to sit in must have an adjustable headrest.
    • C: The seat the examiner is to sit in must have a working safety-belt.
    • D: A suitable area must be made available on the vehicle so the examiner can place his own rear-view mirror.
    • Attaching a side-car to a motorcycle makes it possible to satisfy the last three criteria. If the candidate passes, they are allowed to drive a car without having to have seen the inside of one!
    • In a similar vein, for a short while there was a rule limiting the size of motorcycle you could learn on but no corresponding limit for combinations. This led to firms making what was essentially a wheel on a spring that in legal terms was a sidecar so that people could ride stupidly powerful bikes on a provisional license.
  • One year in the mid-seventies, the University of Regina's Anarchist Party ran a frozen turkey as their candidate for president of the student council. And won. (Student government for that year consisted of weekly general meetings open to all students and motions decided by majority vote, over which the turkey presided.) At the end of the year, the Anarchists cooked and ate their president. Possibly U of R's charter was amended to prevent this reoccurring.
  • When ABC bought the Fox Family Channel in 2001, they apparently had a legal staff that rubber-stamped the deal and didn't look at the contract closely. At the time the plan was to use the network as sort of a clone of FX-esque Rerun Farm in the style of ABC (this was long before FX struck gold with The Shield and when using cable networks to "repurpose" reruns was in vogue), and it was proposed that the channel be renamed "XYZ", which would stand for the end of the alphabet. Closer research of the contract though reminded everyone that Pat Robertson once owned the channel, and when he sold the channel to Fox he threw in all kinds of legal language which meant he kept three hours of airtime a day on the network that could not be removed from his control, and that the moment "Family" was stripped from the name, every single deal made with every single cable system was null and void, and Disney would be stuck having to renegotiate with every system to get back on, which for any basic cable network would be a disastrous proposition.
    • Thus, "XYZ" was ditched, the channel flailed for awhile, getting by with reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, ~7th Heaven~, and Gilmore Girls, along with reality shows that were rightfully rejected by every other network, until a smart marketer realized that if you made the network's slogan "A new kind of family" and emphasized it as much as the network name, you could easily wiggle around what Pat thought of as a "family" and expand the definition. Thus the network was finally able to program for more than two kids and two parents, and now programming like Pretty Little Liars can easily lead into The 700 Club, which Pat Robertson can't do anything about.
    • Meanwhile The 700 Club has so many notices, warnings and roadblocks before the show on ABC Family that remind you Disney doesn't endorse his views at all that it is pretty much treated as the Old Shame of the network. It isn't even mentioned at all on the network's website.
  • There wasn't a rule for a lot of things in the US Army, until Skippy came along. And some where he was quite surprised to find there was a rule.
  • There was no rule in cricket about bodyline bowling, where the fielding team repeatedly bowls fast short deliveries aimed at the batsman's body, whilst setting a field with a high number of close legside catchers in the hope of catching deflections when the batsman defends himself. The England cricket team used this method to counteract the success of the great Australian batsman Sir Donald Bradman during the 1932-33 Ashes. After the infamous tour bodyline was effectively banned by changing the Laws of Cricket to limit the number of fielders allowed behind square leg, and adding that "The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the umpire at the bowler's end considers that by their repetition and taking into account their length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker."
  • Reader's Digest once printed this apocryphal story about a Cricket Rules match somewhere in England:

 The captain of the batting team was facing the first ball of the innings, with the opposing captain as wicketkeeper. The ball was almost a wide down the leg side, but broke back viciously and bowled him out. The astonished batsman exclaimed, "Well, I declare!" The opposing captain overheard and took him at his word, so the innings was closed at one for naught. After the teams changed round, the first bowler began running round and round the boundary with no apparent intention of stopping. When asked what was going on, the captain of the fielding side explained to the umpire, "There is no rule limiting the length of the bowler's run. He's the local marathon champion, and he's running until bad light stops play". The match was drawn with one ball bowled.

  • This is an essential part of nine-ball pool. The balls are numbered from 1 to 9, the rules state that you must strike the lowest-numbered ball on the table, and the winner is the player who pots the 9-ball. This implies that the intent is to first pot the 1-ball, then the 2-ball, then the 3-ball, and so on until you pot the 9-ball and win. However, there Ain't No Rule saying the balls must be potted in order, so play often involves striking the lowest-numbered ball into the 9-ball and attempting to pot the 9-ball, or into any other ball to keep shooting.
    • This is also used as a tactical move when you can't easily pot any ball by hitting the lowest first. If you don't hit the lowest ball, the other player can place the cue ball anywhere on the table which usually means a setup for an easy shot. If you do hit the lowest but don't pot anything, the other player will have to shoot from where the cue ball ends up, which ideally is in a position where they will foul and you'll get the cue ball back anywhere on the table. In some games you can get the players making incredibly accurate finesse shots one after the other trying to get the other to foul.
  • In 1980s Japan, there was a rule banning the uncensored display of the penetration of a vagina by a penis. However, there was no rules against phallic tentacles doing so, or anything made of plastic, or even a non-human penis...
    • And before that, censorship laws only forbade the display of pubic hair; genitals were, technically, okay. You can see where this is going...
    • Likewise, the used schoolgirl panties started being sold in vending machines because there wasn't a law on the books restricting it.
      • At least one creative jurisdiction managed to regulate their sale under laws governing "Artifacts and used goods."... which just meant pawnshops and similarly licensed buisness got into the act.
      • When Ebay and other online retailers banned their sale, some schoolgirls switched to selling a photo of themselves with the panties thrown in for free.
  • In casinos offering Blackjack, it has always been prohibited to use any device to count or track the cards. People eventually found ways to count cards in their heads (and won huge amounts of money doing it). Since using your brain to gain an advantage in a game isn't illegal, casinos can't have you arrested for cheating. But since a casino is private property they can decline to accept any wager and can therefore boot out anybody suspected of counting cards.
    • This sometimes turns into getting booted if you're doing "suspiciously" well, so even if you aren't counting cards and just happen to be phenomenally lucky, be prepared to be shown the door.
  • At one of the Winter Olympics, Canadian Skiers didn't know there was a rule against "tobogganing", or slowing yourself using your bottom. When they did this, other athletes immediately complained to the judges, who opened that year's rulebook to cite against this maneuver --- and discovered it had been accidentally omitted...
    • Norse Law used to work like this. Each year the laws were read out (about 1/3rd a year) and if a law was left out and no one made a point of it that law was removed.
  • Vancouver 2010 Olympics: Ain't no rule in ice dancing that you can't put belts into your costumes to help with lifts (this is the same Russian pair with the "Aboriginal" costumes). As commentator Scott Hamilton noted, there undoubtedly will be in the future.
    • Likewise, in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, ain't no rule you can't prolong your dance by not touching the ice with your skates for the first eighteen seconds. Said loophole abuse resulted in the only perfect-scoring ice dance in the history of the Olympics: Torvill and Dean's "Boléro".
      • To clarify, "Boléro" itself is 17 minutes long. They managed to cut the song down to 4:28, 18 seconds longer than the Olympic rules. Since actual timing starts when the skates touch the ice, they went with Loophole Abuse.
      • Needless to say, this is now against the rules. Though ice dance in general is prone to teams creating unusual moves, where there ain't no rule, leading to next season there being a rule.
  • Another Olympics one: Canadian Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his gold medal when traces of marijuana were found in his system. However, marijuana wasn't actually on the banned substances list, so they gave it back to him. Then again, marijuana isn't exactly a performance enhancing drug.
  • There may be a rule in baseball and softball about teammates assisting a runner, but there's not one about opponents assisting a runner...which led to a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when college softballer Sara Tucholsky hit the only home run of her career, but tore her ACL rounding first. Two members of the opposing team carried her around the bases so her home run would count. (More complete summary at the Real Life CMOH page)
    • While it definitely qualifies as a CMOH, the umpire was actually wrong. There was no rule that would have prevented her teammates from assisting her around the base path, as it was technically a home run as soon as the ball cleared the wall, which used a different, reduced set of base running rules. (Mainly that you're still out if you pass a runner ahead of you). Still, it makes a better story the way it happened.
      • Also, if somebody hits an actual bona fide homerun then they're quite likely to want to run the bases, whether it technically has to be done or not. It probably wouldn't feel right, otherwise.
  • After the devastating casualties suffered from the use of poison gas in World War I, a treaty was signed banning the use of chemical weapons, the deadliest weapons of the day. However, this treaty failed to keep up with technology, and after protests against bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was noted that there ain't no rule against using nuclear weapons.
    • The US had, at the time and until very recently, never actually signed a treaty banning production and use of chemical weapons (including that section of the Geneva Conventions). It wouldn't have been a treaty violation even if it had been chemical weapons being used.
  • In a campaign in Northern Africa during World War II, the Germans were upset to find a particular branch of Scorched Earth strategy: every oasis they came to had a sign in English stating that the oasis had been poisoned by the British army. When they complained that poisoning water constitutes a war crime, the British pointed out that there was absolutely nothing forbidding putting up false signs.
  • In World War One preexisting treaties banned the use of poison gas shells, but did not ban the deployment from canisters, which had not been considered at the time of writing. The later blanket bans closed this loophole.
  • To score a run in baseball, you have to tag home base. Practically everyone thinks of this as tagging the base with your foot, and that therefore if the catcher is already in the way you can't really tag home. But there ain't no rule that says you have to use your feet. During a college baseball game, Fordham player Brian Konwnacki took this to almost gravity defying levels when he literally jumps over the catcher to get to home plate and makes a flawless flip onto home plate to score a run.
    • Also, from that same clip, ain't no rule that says you can't steal third base when no one's looking. (About 1:05 in the clip.)
    • Or home, for that matter.
  • Eddie the Eagle utilized a loophole allowing every nation to send a representative for every sport. At the time, nobody else from the UK entered for ski jumping, so Eddie did and was legally allowed to compete. Obvious Rule Patch followed requiring all competitors to have won an international competition previously or be in a certain top percentage in their event.
  • When a minor Succession Crisis occurred in Poland in 1384, the Polish nobles decided that Jadwiga, the younger sister of the Hungarian Queen Mary, should become the ruler of Poland. One problem: Polish law made no provision for a ruling queen (queen regnant); all previous female Polish leaders (including Jadwiga and Mary's mother Elisabeth) had been The Woman Behind The Man. On the other hand, they found (to their surprise, no doubt) that there was nothing that said the King of Poland had to be a man. Ergo, Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland. (She even became a saint; she is known in English and German as St. Hedwig, patron of a United Europe).
  • On a similar note, more or less the same thing happened to Hatshepsut: she was crowned King (well, Pharaoh, but the title was masculine) and dressed up in drag (to the point of wearing a wig on her chin and going around topless) after the death of her husband (and half-brother) Thutmose II.
  • The Japanese Pancrase Society, a forerunner to modern day MMA like the UFC, had a dress code that allowed for trunks and boots with no other objects or weapons. One of its champions, Masakatsu Funaki took advantage of the lack of rules on personal hygiene and would often keep his long hair in a perm loaded with hair grease making it pretty much impossible to beat him using a chokehold.
  • The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, was negotiated in the wake of World War One by the remaining major naval powers (Britain, the United States, Japan, France and Italy) to prevent another naval Arms Race like the one preceding the war (and believed by many to have contributed to it). It was extended with few changes by the London Naval Treaty of 1930. With few exceptions it entirely prohibited battleship and battlecruiser construction for 10 years, and carefully prevented aircraft carriers (which had yet to be developed into truly viable combatants) from being constructed as battleships in all but name. As a result, cruisers became the primary focus of the world's major navies. Much effort was put into avoiding loopholes, but a significant one was overlooked by the negotiators (but not by the naval designers): while both heavy cruisers (defined as being armed with 8-inch guns or smaller) and light cruisers (armed with 6.1-inch or smaller guns) were limited in size, only heavy cruisers were limited in number, and the size limit was the same for both types. As a result, the three largest navies (US, British and Japanese) all decided that, once they reached their limits on heavy cruisers, they would built very large "light" cruisers, using essentially (or in Japan's case, entirely) identical hulls to the heavy cruisers, that would make up for their smaller guns by carrying a lot more of them. While heavy cruisers were armed with an average of 9 8-inch guns, the US and Japanese "light" cruisers were armed with 15 6-inch or 6.1-inch guns. The British "light" cruisers were originally going to as well, but were cut to 12 6-inch guns late in the design process to save money.
    • The Treaty also encouraged loophole abuse of a different sort, with the US at least. The US had few aircraft carriers at the time of the treaty, and the limit on them was rather high. The limit was unofficially increased, since the US could pass off at least a few of these carriers as "experimental" vessels, on which there was no limit. As a result, the US began spamming carriers—a development only encouraged when (after the end of the treaty) many of the Navy's Pacific Fleet battleships were destroyed at Pearl Harbor. And that, indirectly, is why the United States has as many aircraft carriers as the rest of the world combined.
  • The American Music Awards abused a loophole of their own in 2009—the nominations are based on radio airplay and album sales, and the winners by an online fan vote. Thus, Michael Jackson and his album Number Ones got five nominations and ultimately four wins. The abuse? Number Ones was a Greatest Hits Album released in 2003, and the only reason Jackson got all that airplay and sales was because he had just died, but there's apparently no rule preventing old material from getting nominations. Complaints that nominating Jackson wasn't fair to artists who had brought out successful new material in the eligibility period and that the AMA's were piggybacking on his death for press and ratings were shouted down by fans saying that the AMA rules were rules and this just proved Jackson's superiority.
  • Humans Versus Zombies manages to avert this entirely by having the "Douchebag Clause" which states "Don't be a douchebag." Simply put, if it's unfair and not covered in the rules, then the mods can invoke the douchebag clause and punish accordingly.
  • Cracked has some examples.
  • This is probably the reason why there are so many "dumb laws"; laws in areas like "no pet crocodiles on the street" or "it's illegal to bathe a donkey". Someone abused a loophole, and the city/county/etc. had to implement a law that would make future generations wonder "wtf"?
  • Adam Hills, a comedian, has an artificial foot. He can drive, but his license stipulates that he "must wear [his] artificial right foot" while doing so. As Adam points out: "...doesn't say where."
  • In combat sports, a title cannot change hands unless it is contested within its weight class - if either competitor is overweight, even if the challenger wins, the title remains with the champion. Several champions, expecting to lose, have come in overweight, lost, and retained the title. Paulo Filho, then of WEC, comes to mind.
    • The World Boxing Association (one of the Big 4 sanctioning bodies) since closed this loophole with Rule 2.5, part of which states that if the champion fails to make weight, he loses his title "on the scales" regardless of the match's outcome.
  • An ingenious German man has gotten around the EU's ban on high wattage lightbulbs by importing and selling them as "heaters"; since 95% of the bulbs' actual ouput is in heat, this is perfectly legal.
    • That particular loophole was intentional, to allow for heat-lamps for terrariums and such. He's still abusing the hell out of it, though.
    • He did not get away with it. They called him out on the similarities of his so called heating-device with lightbulbs.
  • National Hockey League coach Roger Neilson was infamous for his knowledge of league rules and loopholes, to the point that he became known as "Rule Book Roger." He once put a defenseman in goal for a penalty shot (goalies can't leave the net to bodycheck a shooter off the puck, but defensemen can), forced nearly continuous penalties to relieve pressure on his team (no matter how many penalties a team has, only two players of five can be in the penalty box), and had his goalies leave their sticks in the goalmouth when pulled for an extra attacker, to block attempted empty-net goals. There are rules against all of these now.
    • To elaborate: The current rule is that taking a Too Many Men On The Ice penalty, or other penalties intended to disrupt the flow of play, in the last two minutes of regulation or at any point in overtime while two men down results in a penalty shot instead of a minor penalty.
  • Timothy Ferriss, in his book The Four Hour Work Week, tells a story about how he won a kickboxing championship using a method that he described as Loophole Abuse. The rules said that a player who leaves the ring automatically loses, and the competitors weigh in one day before they actually have to fight. So he dehydrated himself (with the help of a doctor) to temporarily "lose" a significant amount of weight during the day before the weigh-in and regain it, and then proceeded to shove all of his less massive opponents out of the ring.
  • All who auditioned for Mila Kunis' role in ~That '70s Show~ were required to be at least 18 years old; she was 14 at the time, so she told the casting directors she’d be 18 on her birthday, but didn't say which one. Though they eventually figured it out, the producers still thought she was the best fit for the role.
  • There ain't no rule against some kinds of faking in football.
  • In 1992, a sixteen year old high-school student was elected to a circuit court judicial seat in Idaho. It seems no one ever got around to adding a requirement for a law school degree, or even an age requirement, to the laws regarding state judges. He ran on a whim, and was rather surprised when he was actually elected. The boy served two years on the bench, mostly overseeing traffic cases, and according to all accounts wasn't all that bad a judge.
    • In fact, most posts in US elections have only the barest minimum of requirements. Residency is usually the only one, with age being second most common. Technically, anyone who fills these requirements is "qualified" to run for the office.
      • Though this comes from one of the basic ideas that anyone can and should be able to run for office rather than limiting office to nobility or what have you. However, many such positions, such as attorney general and judge, do have additional requirements, such as "must have actively practiced law for at least X years prior".
    • There are, in fact, no qualifications whatsoever to be A JUSTICE ON THE US SUPREME COURT (beyond the fact that you must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate). Children, noncitizens, felons, or even nominating yourself is fair game (though you can't be President and a Justice at the same time; you'd have to resign from the Presidency).
    • Similarly, there is no qualification necessary to be elected Pope except being a Roman Catholic male. The Papal Conclave would never elect anyone other than a Cardinal, but there's nothing stopping them from electing some random Catholic man as the Pope.
  • The "Net Neutrality" bill.
  • One exercise used in the Canadian Forces Officer Training Course from time to time setting up a rope bridge across a river consisting of a single rope to walk on and another to hold on to. As can be imagined, getting across such a structure is difficult. In one case, the officer in charge of evaluating the officer-cadets was a jerk who insisted the entire group get across even thought the ropes were stretching to the point it was nearly impossible, and if someone slipped (but was held up by their safety carabiner), they were to be hauled back by their safety line and forced to try again. One cadet who slipped halfway across, before he could be hauled back, pulled his legs up over the top rope and pulled himself across the rest of the way. Realizing they were only told to get across the rope bridge, not that they had to walk across it, the remaining cadets were very quickly dragged across as they hung from the upper rope.
  • US federal tax law requires that whenever a gambler wins $1,200 or more on a single bet on any casino gambling machine, the win must be paid by hand and both the casino and the winner must fill out tax forms regarding the money won. Slot machines are often designed to make things easier by modifying the pay tables to replace all instances of $1,200 with $1,199. (For example, if a certain combination pays $400 for a $1 bet, the same combination on a $3 bet would pay $1,199 instead of $1,200.)
  • The ATF used to define a machine gun as a gun that fires more than one bullet per pull of the trigger. The Sputter Gun has no trigger. The ATF caught on and changed the wording. Also, they sometimes tried to "catch" what obviously is a faulty semi-auto (some mechanisms can shoot twice when worn—not that they're safe enough to be useful at this stage) under this.
    • Every now and again some bright spark tries to exploit the current law concerning machine guns. Under U.S. law, it is illegal for a civillian to transfer a machine gun not registered at teh time that the registry closed permanently in 1986. However, there is no rule against building such a gun for yourself, so long as you do not transfer it to anyone else. However, the ATF has No Sense of Humor and loves to over step the Aint No Rule loopholes and just prosecute you anyway.
  • The Filipino programmers charged with the creation of the highly-destructive ILOVEYOU virus were not charged with anything by Philippine state prosecutors because there were no laws in the Philippines regarding malware at the time. So, yes, they got away with crippling millions of computers and caused billions of dollars in damages worldwide because the Philippine justice system was behind the times—something Filipinos old enough to remember the hubbub view with a peculiar mix of misplaced pride and sheepish embarrassment.
  • Broadcaster Keith Olbermann "barely graduated" from Cornell after realising that he needed to take 28 credits in his last semester. The university authorities assumed there was a rule against this - there wasn't, but he was the first person mad enough to try it.

 (waiting to hear if he graduated) Did you know you can sweat from your eyelids?

  • In Japan gambling is illegal. So you can't exchange the balls you win in a Pachinko parlor for cash. But technically, the parlors only let you exchange the balls for various items which can be taken to another nearby store who would then "buy" the items.
    • Heck, that's why poker chips, slot-machine tokens, and paper tickets won at fairs were invented in the first place: they're a way to sidestep gambling laws.
  • Wanna bribe a politician, but don't want to go to jail? Simple! Lobbying. It's been said that there are ten ways to bribe a crooked politician, and a hundred ways to bribe an honest one.
  • The advance of technology allows crazy abuses when the law fails to predict certain acts could ever be possible. Example: it is currently legal to program a computer to buy and sell stock for you. Therefore, it is legal to program it to buy stock in New York and immediately sell in Chicago during the split-second intervals when the two exchanges are out of sync on that stock's value.
  • A British schoolboy was annoyed when he found out that boys weren't allowed to wear shorts in hot weather, so he looked up the uniform rules, and found there was no rule against boys wearing skirts. Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-13362586
  • A rare positive example, Nintendo actually used R.O.B to get the NES into the American market: America was still reeling from The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, and no toy store would dare market a product as a "video game". R.O.B., however, allowed Nintendo to make the NES look much more toy-like and less like a video game console, and convinced toy stores to stock it.
  • No rule says a woman can't be a yeoman: http://www.navygirl.org/navywomen/navy_women_history_page.htm
    • On Star Trek anyway, it seems that only women can be yeomen.
  • No rule says a woman can't be prom king: http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4004466.html
  • No rule says a man can't be prom queen: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/28/local/me-prom-queen28
  • No rule says a boy can't be carnival queen: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-406773/Only-gay-village-carnival-queen.html
  • In US states where the minimum gambling age is 21 (including Native American casinos), there are bingo variety slot machine casinos where you only have to be at least 18 to play (same as tournament bingo). The slot machines' winning combination is determined by the outcome of your current bingo card rather than just the slot spin meaning that you're playing the bingo card upon activation of a spin, thus lowering the legal age.
  • There are a number of blind spots where some places in the united states lack any law specifically forbidding underage strippers from performing live, like mentioned here.
  • The Troper Tales for Complaining About Shows You Don't Like was removed because it became nothing but huge complaints and was often one big Flame War after the next. Several other tropes devolved into Complaining About Shows You Don't Like in the Troper Tales section. So people turned to the Headscratchers (At the time called "It just bugs me") and let the complaining and flame wars begin.
  • In medieval Germany serfs couldn't carry swords, but as a sword was defined as (among other requirements) being double bladed, nothing stopped really big knifes, as long as they were single bladed.
  • Ain't no rule saying states can't award all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.
    • There is, however, a rule that States can't form Compacts or Agreements without the consent of Congress.
    • For that matter, there ain't know rule saying that you have to vote for a member of the electoral college based on who they'll vote for. The intent was for you to vote for someone smart enough to know who really should be president, but no state does that anymore.
  • Israel once offered awards to "Heroine Mothers," women who gave birth to 10 or more children. There was no rule, however, that said the mothers had to be Jewish. The practice was stopped after Arab women kept winning, threatening Israel's status as a Jewish state.
  • This is how the American legal system works. The law code does not cover what is legal; it only defines what is illegal. If the law say nothing about something, then you can technically do it legally.
  • After 9/11, France made some laws against headscarfs in schools, to enforce their strict separation of state and religion. As you may know, Muslim women are supposed to cover their hair all the time. One very pious Muslim girl was told to get rid of her headscarf, or get kicked out. So she shaved off her hair.
  • The hypothetical faster-than-light particles known as tachyons operate like this: the laws of relativity state that it is impossible for something to accelerate past the speed of light. They say nothing about objects that have always been at a faster-than-light speed.
    • More accurately, if you solve the equations for total energy of a normal particle moving faster than light, you will get an imaginary number, but the total energy is proportional to the rest mass, and nothing says the rest mass has to be real.
  • A joke involving a particularly unpopular village head goes thus: One day, while he was walking around the village at night, a young man bumped into him, and claimed that he couldn't see him because it was too dark. The next day the head passed a rule saying, everyone walking on the streets at night must carry a lantern. That night, the same man bumped into him again, and showed the lantern to the annoyed village head and pointed out that there is no rule that the lantern should have a candle. The village head made an Obvious Rule Patch the next day, saying that the lantern must also have a candle. That night, the man bumped into him again, and this time the Loophole Abuse was that the rule doesn't say the candle has to be lit. The embarrassed head cancelled the rule on the following day.
  • The filibuster, in which a politician prevents a bill from being voted on by extending debate indefinitely. It's actually as old as the Roman Republic.
  • In the United Kingdom, there used to be rotten boroughs that had representatives in Parliament even though they had a very small population - the district lines hadn't been been changed in centuries, and what were once large population centers were now tiny villages. It was very difficult to get rid of them because it required an act of Parliament to redraw the district lines. This is why the U.S. constitution requires that a census be taken every ten years.
  • Gerrymandering.
  • The Westboro Baptist Church basically does this to be real life trolls.
  • Math Textbooks. Some of them have the answers in the back so that people can check their answers and see if they got it right. To prevent people from just copying the answers down, they only include answers for every other problem. Conveniently, to prevent cheating, guess which problems are always the ones on the test and assigned for homework?
    • Though some classes, particularly in the higher grades, assign the ones that have the answers in the back so they can check it. That being said, most books only have the answers, not the work, and many teachers require work to be shown and will often assume you just copied the answer if that's all you have.
    • And for the people making the textbooks, there isn't any rule stating how long the edition has to be relevant or a minimum of how much stuff should be changed for each edition. Thus it's common for a new edition of a textbook to change one diagram or one source, while they pocket all the money from students who can't resell the books to the university. (This is why in every college town you see third party stores.)
  • Jeff Dunham has mentioned using a method to get free professional photos taken - he used his school pictures. Unfortunately, these wound up in the yearbook.
  • In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission implemented the National Do-Not-Call Registry, which allows Americans to limit the number of telemarketing calls made to them. However, phone surveyors are one group exempt from this rule, allowing groups like the Christian non-profit organization The Dove Foundation—known for the "family-approved" seal it puts on movies appropriate for family audiences (and not to be confused with the brand of soap made by Unilever) -- to do phone surveys and ask for a follow-up call afterwards from their for-profit partner Feature Films for Families, where they try to sell movies to them. That way, they are able to skirt the Do-Not-Call rule. The State of Missouri sued Dove for US$70,000 in 2006 for violating their laws.
    • Likewise, the "Do Not Call" list also doesn't apply to political campaigns, so every two years people complain about getting robocallers late at night or very early morning. This is especially bad every presidential campaign, peaking in 2008 where people reported having getting so many calls at the worst times (Especially around when they're eating dinner) that people reportedly unplugged all the phones in their house so they could get a good night's sleep for once.
  • In streaming sites such as ustream and livestream, ads interrupt it. However, get adblocker and they don't play the ads at all.
    • Likewise, people on Hulu often pick the "give me a longer ad and don't interrupt at all" and then use this opportunity to go to the bathroom or go make a sandwich or popcorn without actually seeing the ad.
  • Many coupon deals have loophole abuse...or just deals to rack people in.
    • Subway's "$5 Footlong" campaign is full of loopholes. They assume that reducing the sandwiches to $5 that you'll buy footlongs more and will buy chips and a drink to make up for the loss. However, people have, since 2008, learned that they can buy the most expensive subs on the menu that aren't listed as premium, put $15 worth of vegetables and $5 worth of mayonnaise and they decide not to buy chips and a drink. As a result, they then walk away with a sandwich that causes the store to lose money.
    • A few years ago, a practice among certain Starbucks customers was named the "ghetto latte": order a double shot espresso, which is significantly cheaper than a latte, and also ask for a venti cup of ice, which is free. They then dump the espresso into the venti cup, and then go to the condiment bar and dump tons of milk from the urn into it, effectively creating a venti iced latte for the price of a doppio espresso. (Some will even bring the urn to the counter complaining it is empty when they don't get enough.) Starbucks has not so far banned the procedure, considering it technically legit.
  • Acceptable Targets can be this way for sexism, racism, and discrimination, but that's really all that needs to be said.
  • In politics, those who hold an executive office are often given the power to selectively veto only parts of a bill without vetoing the whole thing. This has been often used to veto individual words or sentences to Quote Mine a bill and create an entirely different bill, for example by deleting the word "not" to completely reverse the meaning.
    • Wisconsin governors are particularly infamous for doing this - former governor Tommy Thompson was known for deleting individual letters and digits, which came to be known as the "Vanna White veto". The Wisconsin legislature has since managed to create two Obvious Rule Patches which disallow the governor from using the veto to delete letters within a word or splice together multiple sentences, but to this day, the governor of Wisconsin can still delete individual words in a sentence.
    • The United States Congress once tried to give the President this power, but the power, known as the line-item veto, was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
    • Regardless, recent Presidents have made frequent use of "signing statements" which effectively indicate their interpretation of or credulity for a new law, and the extent to and/or manner in which they intend to enforce it. Such statements, however, are not binding, and have no impact on subsequent Presidents.
  • Boise, Idaho has (or had) a law forbidding public nudity unless it has "serious artistic merit". A strip bar attempted to circumvent it by issuing pencils and paper to the clients.
  • Privately owned land is this way to the United States constitution. Especially schools - where you essentially sign away your rights the second you enter.
  • There are many cases in which an action is illegal by law, or a government agency is required by law to do something, but there is no recourse or penalty for violating said law, resulting in the law freely being broken for lack of consequences.
    • A specific example recurs in Washington State, where the state legislature is required, by the state constitution, to fully fund public education as its top priority; however, no one, not even the state Supreme Court, has the power (or any means by which) to force it to actually do that.
  • In online auctions (primarily eBay), it's not uncommon to find automated pieces of software that were programmed to monitor the auction and always bid with the absolute minimum price without the person having to ever actually be at the computer.
  • Whenever something is released under a "pay what you like" plan (Such as the Humble Bundle Indie Bundle) a lot of people select the minimum price, especially if it's as low as $0.01. (And plenty of people still pirate it anyways.)
  • On art sites like deviantART, pornographic content is against the TOS. However, Artistic Nude isn't considered pornographic at all, so naturally if you look in that section, be prepared to see a lot of pornography that's labeled as "Artistic Nude".
    • Likewise, icons often aren't handled by the mature filter. Some trolls on those sites regularly put pictures of asses or stuff that normally would be placed under "mature" to shock people with the mature filter on. It was less common in deviantART where the icon size was limited to only 50x50 pixels, but on other art sites with bigger avatars....
    • For that matter, "Photo-dumping" is not allowed on some art sites...but people love to take these and then place them under a "Photograph" categorization so they get away with it.
  • Related to the above, there were people who had done the Loophole Abuse on Fur Affinity before an update to the terms of service said that x-rated avatars would be banned, too. When it comes to depicting content banned from the site, though, Aint No Rule saying you can't tell people to go check out your gallery on another site that does allow it.
  • An old Irish joke takes advantage of this:

 Murphy and Flannery hated each other with a burning passion. To help end the fighting, God sent an angel down to Murphy to help nudge him to repentance and reconciliation. The Angel said to Murphy: "Murphy, m'boy, God has told me that you may pray for any one thing you wish, and you will receive it. However, whatever you get, Flannery will get twice as much." "So, angel, lemme get this straight," Murphy replied. "Does this mean that if I ask to be the head of one dockside union, Flannery will be the head of two?" "Yes." "And if I win the Irish Sweepstakes once, Flannery will win it twice?" "Yes." And if I get a brass band following me, he'll..." "Have one in front of him AND behind him," said the angel.

Murphy thought for a moment. "All right, angel, I've made my decision. I'd like a glass eye!"

    • Of course, there's further Loophole Abuse to be had when you realize that Murphy never specified that the glass eyes had to replace the real eyes. The angel could just as easily make glass eyes appear and hand them over.
      • A variant has the wisher ask to be blind in one eye, which is also open to Loophole Abuse by the angel/genie due to his lack of specification as to how long the blindness should last.
    • Other variations of the joke (usually with the person getting double being a Lawyer) have Murphy asking for a ton of money, a ton of success, and then to be scared half to death.
      • Or to be shown something so funny he'd laugh himself half to death.
      • Or to donate a kidney.
  • More legal Loophole Abuse, Wal-Mart. While this practice is hardly unique to Wal-Mart, they just happen to be the most well-known example of it. The practice in question are to skirting around labour laws.
    • "Wal-Mart full time":
      • In North America, 40 hours is considered full-time legally. They claim to be hiring you for a "full-time" position, and then make you work 36–39 hours a week. Enough to feel like a full time (which actually is full-time in parts of the world, see below) but legally, you are still considered part-time and therefore you are not entitled to any benefits. A lot of Wal-Mart employees are actually eligible for food-stamps and other such public services because they don't hire anyone full-time unless they're a manager or higher-up.
      • They can't do this as much, since 35–38 hours actually would be full-time in much of Europe: in Britain 37.5 hours a week is generally seen as the default, and 35 hours in France. However the main distinction on this side of the channel in terms of rights is between permanent and temporary workers - Aint No Rule against relieving temps for no reason (especially just before three months are up and EU law specifies they get the same rights as permanent workers), or making as many jobs as possible temporary, to skirt around workers rights.
    • Aint No Rule against bumping people who worked legal-full time down to "Wal-Mart full time" after they worked at the store long enough to qualify for more benefits.
    • This has happened to other firms and not just Wal-Mart mind you. Depending on where in North America you live, if you work for four hours, you are required to be given a 15 minute break. Many businesses also use a computer system that keeps track of this. However, there Aint No Rule against the manager telling you to clock out and then clock back in so the computer doesn't record them of being on the clock more than four hours at a tie and saying they need to take a break. There also Aint No Rule against giving you split shifts; but to be fair, many businesses do split shifts so that the "Break" is actually an hour or more and you aren't paid.
      • Or a shift 6 hours and 45 minutes long to avoid union rules that a 7-hour shift gets a half-hour break.
    • There's all sorts of Loophole Abuse surrounding overtime...
  • Another common Loophole Abuse that is pretty widespread, but Wal-Mart is notorious for, a practice called "constructive discharge." Most companies would rather have inexperienced and cheaper workers instead of skilled, and more expensive ones. Basically, if an employee is fired, they're entitled to unemployment benefits. However, if the company wants to avoid paying you, they decide to make your life miserable through manipulation of the rules that you will be forced to quit.
  • If you are hired as a Waiter or Waitress in America, legally you're allowed to have a paycheck below minimum wage. However, the loophole is that you must be able to make up the difference in tips. This hasn't stopped some places from hiring everyone as a waiter simply so they could get away with paying them $2.50 an hour...and subsequently getting blacklisted by the working force when word gets out.
  • When Wikipedia blacked-out their site for SOPA protests, it took less than an hour for people simply tired of SOPA protests to start telling people to run stuff like No Script, use the mobile page, or simply hit "stop" before they were redirected from an article to the SOPA page. Likewise, when other sites do it, there Aint No Rule saying you can't use caches, either.
  • Normally, you cannot "Censor" someone with the first amendment...however there Aint No Rule saying you can't censor them through operant conditioning. (Ignore them when they talk about something you don't like to give negative punishment, or give positive punishment by responding with outright hostility.)
  • The "Circle Game" can be traced back to 1929. Where the people try to trick you into looking at your fingers making a circle below your waist, and if you see it, then they get to hit you. Originally, this was done in colleges to get past their anti-hazing rules.
  • California gun laws stipulate that you cannot have a removable magazine on a firearm with "assault weapon" features, such as pistol grips, collapsible stocks, flash hiders, etc. However, California defines a "removable magazine" as one that can be removed without a tool. To get around this, gun manufacturers made the "bullet button" magazine release. All you have to do is get an unfired round, press it against a tiny button that is flush against some housing so you can't use your finger, and the magazine pops out. This gets around having removable magazines on "assault weapons" because you're technically using a tool to remove the magazine.
  • In the United States, it is illegal to sell fully-automatic weapons to private citizens. However, there's no law that says you can't sell a "weapon kit": selling all the parts necessary along with the instructions on how to assemble it. Some gun manufacturers have done this.
  • When TV execs want to cancel a show but ratings are high, they can move it to a time slot where hardly anyone can watch it, so ratings go down. Once the ratings drop they have a reason to cancel it.
  • There's no rule I can't create an example of this trope here. (Is there?)
  • British solicitor Nick Freeman has made it a specialty to get his celebrity clients Off on a Technicality. In response the British press has nicknamed him 'Mr. Loophole'. Freeman's response? He had the name trademarked.
  • The Montreux Convention prohibits the passage of "Aircraft carriers" through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits. The Soviet Union, being the Soviet Union, responded by making Kiev-class "Aviation cruisers", which are Missile Cruisers which just happened to carry aircraft.
    • And then they took the trope Up to Eleven with the Admiral Kuznetsov class, which is a full-sized aircraft carrier with an absurd amount of anti-shipping and anti aircraft missiles, and Point Defense Systems.
  • In a part of the Holy Roman Empire, peasants were legally obliged to pay their lord a certain percentage of their grain harvest. So when in the 18th century the potato became a new food staple in Germany, the crafty peasants decided to switch from wheat and rye to potatoes so they could keep the entire harvest and resulting profits themselves. The lord tried to get them to pay a portion of the potato harvest, but in vain; the Imperial Court (Reichsgericht) in Wetzlar found that the peasants were in the right. The case is fairly well known in Germany, as one of the officials in charge of the case in Wetzlar was a young Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
  • Loophole Abuse was what made The Knights Templar the richest organization in Medieval Europe. As a Holy Order, the Templars were technically bound by a Vow of Poverty, and so technically could not earn money or own property. However, they were able to accept "donations" from patrons and parishioners, and they were able to finagle a distinction between "owning" wealth and "investing" it: managing their donations "on behalf" of their patrons, becoming wealthy as an organization while still technically being able to claim they owned none of it themselves. In the process they created the modern concept of banking.
  • In most of the United States, prostitution is illegal. You'd think this would put the kibosh on porn movies where paid performers have sex. However, technically pornographers don't pay their actors to have sex; the pay for the right to film the actors having sex, while the sex act itself is something the actors theoretically do of their own accord. Yes, this line of reasoning actually held up in court.
    • Meanwhile, up in Canada, solicitation for prostitution is illegal, but prostitution itself isn't, leading officially recognized loophole abuse: if a prostitute and customer can arrange a sex-for-money deal without either one actually proposing a sex-for-money deal, no crime has been committed.
  • On Yahoo Answers, there's no such rule that you cannot vote for your own answer. This makes it a paradise for Trolls who can easily score 13 points by writing nonsense. 2 points for the answer, 1 point for the vote, and 10 points if the answer gets selected as the best by voters (which is often just one).
  • Infamous "director" Uwe Boll routinely abused a loophole in german tax law that rewards investments in film. The law allowed investors in German-owned films to write off 100% of their investment as a tax deduction; it also allowed them to invest borrowed money and write off any fees associated with the loan. The investor was then only required to pay taxes on the profits made by the movie; if the movie loses money, the investor would get a tax writeoff.

 Uwe Boll: Maybe you know it but it's not so easy to finance movies in total. And the reason I am able to do these kind of movies is I have a tax shelter fund in Germany, and if you invest in a movie in Germany you get basically fifty percent back from the government.

  • Rule 34 on most art-sites is often ignored...unless it violates site policies in some way. A notable one is that characters who're canonically underage. Cue people drawing the characters as young adults so they could upload rule 34 of them.
  • The Japanese ran this as their primary legal argument before the League of Nations justifying their invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Their resident international law expert (a Briton who disagreed with post-World War I norms of International Law) ran with the language in the League of Nations charter banning aggressive warfare in sovereign nations by pointing out that the part of China they invaded had been run by a warlord with only loose connections to Jiang Jieshi's recognized Nationalist government. In short, ain't no rule against invading something that isn't really a "country." The argument didn't take.
  • If a high school student wants to complain about the school but isn't allowed to do so during school hours, they can still do so on social media just as long no threats of violence are made in the process. This is due to the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which talks about property rights and a student's social media account is considered private property.
    • However, and this goes to anyone who does have one, slander lawsuits are protected by the Constitution, since the law can only interfere if threats are made. If a person is upset with a comment but doesn't violate the law, the victim can still file a civil case if their character is damaged.
  • When the Federal Communications Commission begun to require broadcast television like NBC and ABC to aired “educational and informative” between the hours of seven in the morning until ten in evening, for three hours a week in order to keep their license back in 1996, this created three major loopholes.
    • One: Most of the airings were done between seven in the morning until three in the afternoon during the weekdays, which most of the targeted children audience were at school. Commercial stations had their “malicious” product advertisements aired with the impression children wouldn’t see them… those who are healthy that is.
    • Two: On way days of the week wasn’t mention either. Many broadcast television stations soon learned of this and aired the “E/I” on weekends, usually Saturdays. Since Saturday is part of the week, airing “E/I" programming on weekends since the target audience would most likely be at home to watch and in compliance with the FFC rules.
    • Three: If a program contains some "educational and informative" information, they can legally count as an "E/I". Many talk shows got away with this because some provide information to the viewers.
  • While profanity is strictly monitored on cable and broadcast television, it has to count if heard but not mouthed off. This means, if a character lip sync the swear word without having it heard or replace it with an animal sound like a dolphin chirp or the classic bleep, a TV Network can get away with it.
  • Many teenagers at a school in Mustang, OK got around the drug policy by using digital version since it can't be found on a drug test. Officials control the usage of MP3 players and blocked YouTube in attempted to regain control.
  • While is banned alcohol in prisons, the materials to make a kind of alcohol known as Pruno are still legal because prisons are required to make sure national needs are meet. Some wardens have tried to banned fresh fruits from leaving the cafeterias but that isn’t stopped inmates from getting alternatives.
  • The First Amendment of the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    • Noticed a major loophole… it states congress, which consist of United States House of Representatives and United States Senate. However, it doesn’t mention school officials, state governors, city mayors, local officials, and even the President.
    • Independent agencies aren’t mention either, and they work outside of United States federal executive departments. This means, even the President of the United States, has little power when it comes to control. While they’re often given approval from Congress, they’re NOT part of congress. Now, you see why there was an issue following Janet Jackson and her performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII since the Federal Communications Commission is classified as an independent agency. In any words, now see how censorship of American programming was able slip by.
      • Howard Stern also got screw by the FCC thanks to this loophole.
  • If you’re a high school student and want to run school newspapers, you should anticipate censorship by the schools unless you don’t have them sponsor it. Make it an independently run and offer it off-campus either having it available a news stand on public grounds or publish it online. There’s nothing the schools can do if the work is off-campus thanks to the Fourth Amendment since it would be considered private property.
    • Better yet, if you happen to have a business license,[2] it’s seen as a form of insurance since city officials would likely allow “clean” businesses to continue just as long the license is valid.
  • When the Birther Movement demanded evidence that Barack Obama is a natural born of the United States, they failed to realize there are three loopholes in the law on meets the definition of "natural born". While the movement was correct on the rule about being born in United States, which Hawaii became in 1959… two years before Obama was born, here are the rules they missed:
    • One: If Hawaii was still a US territory by the time Obama was born, they still would be declared natural born US citizen even if the area eventually become enters statehood. This happened to Bette Midler because she was born in 1950 while Hawaii was still a territory of the United States.
    • Two: If both parents are U.S. citizens, the child is a "natural-born citizen", which is how Milder got around this since her parents are New Jersey along with the rule mentioned above.
    • Three: If a child is born outside the United States and one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year, the child would still be declared a natural-born. Even if he was born in his father's native of Kenya, Obama was still been allowed to become US President because his mother, Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas.
  • In 2010, Michael Robertson was arrested in Boston for voyeurism after he was caught taking pictures of women with his cell-hone camera. Robertson uses his camera photograph up the women’s skirts, and he exposed a serious loophole. Because the photographs didn’t contain nudity, the "Peeping Tom" laws against voyeurism didn’t applied. After Michael Robertson was let go, lawmakers in Massachusetts immediately passed reforms to the laws to include "upskirting".
  • The phase “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” is an open door invitation for a loophole since other body parts aren’t mention.
  • Electric cigarettes were patented in 1963, but it wasn't put into production until 2004… ten years before they were released into the market. While tobacco adverts were banned from airing on American TV in 1971, RJ Reynolds got around it since there wasn’t anything on electric versions. Needless to say congress caught wind of this and begun to work on a bill to fix it.
  • When it comes to weapons, many gun-advocates cite the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives them the right to own firearms. They’re partially right thanks to a loophole: It states “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”. However, the type of arms isn’t mention including firearms, which means any item can be use as a weapon would it comes to self-defense.
  • If a story is banned from being released in one country, a reporter with the forbidden story can just get it to another country and have it publish online to make it viewable in the forbidden country anyways.
  • Following the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland that ended with the death of 17 children and one adult, The United Kingdom passed stricter firearm laws that practically made private ownership illegal. Sadly, this led to an increase death rate by stabbing since the amendments regarding firearms left a loophole that didn’t cover items that can be used in a stabbing.
  • When it comes to prisons, there are reasons why guards have to perform searches for weapons since inmates often can get crafty while confined in their cells. While having a weapon is illegal, the materials to one aren’t often the case. The most common of prison-made weapon is a knife-like device known as a shiv. The materials to made them are easy to find, making a shiv is simple, and it can be hidden almost anywhere with an easy reach. This makes stabbing a common form of attacks behind prison walls, both inmates and guards are fair game.
  • Prisons are sadly not alone when it comes to stabbing. Schools are also at-risk for this. Although actually blade weapons like knives are banned and violators can face a harsh punishment for bringing one in, writing tools like pencils and pens are still allowed. This Nebraskan man learned of this loophole when his son was stabbed by a pencil. Needless to say, the guy filed a police complaint when he learned the school didn’t take the matter as serious as he did.
  • A bar owner in Colorado was looking for a way to seek by the smoking ban in order to keep his business running, which once allowed smoking in bars. The law banned smoking in indoor public places, but he managed to find a loophole after learning a tobacco shop was allowed to stay in business. What did the bar owner do… turn his business into a “cigar bar” since they were excused from the smoking ban.

Notes

  1. The entries must build without manual assistance. And they may not bypass the code size limit with makefile define flags. But they can take advantage of the fact that several types of characters like empty space does not count for the main size limit.
  2. this varies by state
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