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...The kind that puts everyone into two groups, and everyone else.

There are two kinds of "There Are Two Kinds of People in the World" jokes in the world: tautologies, false dichotomies, and jokes on either binary (or some other base) or people who can't count.

  1. Tautologies: "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit, and those who don't." Logically, this statement is self-evident: either you are, or you aren't. ("X, and everyone else" is another variation.)
  2. False Dichotomies: "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who like X, and those who have no taste." To a humorless logician, these ones are just false. To everyone else, there are two kinds of this joke: the ones that fall flat and offend everyone, and the ones that are funny regardless.
  3. Meta-jokes: Also common are jokes based on either binary, counting, or some other pun playing off of the structure of the joke. A classic example is "There are three types of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't."
  4. George Bernard Shaw, paraphrased: There are people who go out and do things, and people who let things be done to them. Guess which one Shaw liked.

 The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Compare With Us or Against Us. See also My Friends and Zoidberg, where this trope is modified into a more insulting form. Contrast Not So Different.

Examples of There Are Two Kinds of People in the World include:


Advertising

  • For Volkswagen, it's "passengers" and "drivers", with the hope of encouraging more people to be drivers.


Anime and Manga

 Hilda: Well, it's just like it is with the stars; there are bright ones, and there are those that are dim.

  • Parodied in Mr. Fullswing, where Amakuni says that there are two kinds of people in this world... those with clothes and those without. While that's, like, technically true, it means absolutely nothing.
  • Dragonball Z: "There are only two kinds of people: those who obey Freiza, and those who do not obey Freiza!"
  • The Sands of Destruction/World Destruction anime has the show's episodes do this as part of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming and also has a character say it as his Catch Phrase.
  • Sena from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai has this to say: "... There are two types of women. Ones that I can get along with, and all the other bitches. All those bitches who I can't get along with should just die..."
  • According to Haruhi Suzumiya in Remote Island Syndrome, there are two kinds of people when you're in a mystery, those who are suspicious, and those who are suspicious for not being suspicious.


Comic Books

  • Preacher (Comic Book) includes a scene where it is suggested that a person who likes Laurel and Hardy and hates Charlie Chaplin is a "stand up guy" while a person who prefers Chaplin "probably rapes sheep". This is supposed to parody a Tarantino line about whether you prefer Elvis to the Beatles.
  • From Y: The Last Man:

 Alter: There are only two kinds of people, those above the earth and those beneath it. Which side do you choose?

  • A piece of advice from the second Trickster's father in The Flash:

  "There's two things you can be in life, Axel. Either you're the trickster, or you're the one gettin' tricked!"


Fan Works

  • The Joker from The Joker Blogs has a version with three kinds of people: "The optimistic who find the glass half full, and the pessimistic that see it as half-empty. Then there's the paranoid; they just think someone's drinking out of their glass." Of course, the Joker makes himself a fourth option: someone who tips the glass over.
  • My Immortal seems to divide the entire population of its derailed Harry Potter-verse into "Goths" and "Preps." (And, occasionally, posers -- preps who pretend to be goth but really aren't.) That there could be living, breathing people who neither belong to nor care about either of these two social groups simply never occurs to the author.


Film

  • Blondie and Tuco from ~The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly~ have this kind of thing going:

 Tuco: There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend. Those with a rope around their neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting.

    • Blondie does a Call Back to this after unloading Tuco's gun so that he could kill Angel Eyes in the final showdown:

 Blondie: There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

    • Another one appears earlier in the film, when Blondie kills the assassins hired by Tuco to take him out, only to be ambushed by Tuco himself.[1]

 Tuco: There are two kinds of spurs in the world, my friend. Those that come by the door, and those that come through the window.

  • Obi-Wan's infamous line in Episode 3, "Only the Sith deal in absolutes!" combines this with bizarre hypocrisy. Not that bizarre hypocrisy is anything new for him.
    • It's even more bizarre when you realize that the refusal to deal in absolutes is precisely what caused Anakin Skywalker to turn to the dark side. He believed Palpatine's rationalization that it was acceptable to employ the dark side of the Force if the outcome was a benevolent one (in this case, saving his wife).
  • From the movie Dirty Work:

 Mitch: There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who get stomped on and those who do the stomping.

Kathy: Where did you come up with that theory?

Mitch: That famous guy said it. What's his name? Oh yeah, Jesus!

    • Probably this is from Lenin's slightly politer 'there are two kinds of people in this world: who and whom [those who do and those to whom it is done]'
  • Played with in Domino:

 Domino Harvey: There are three kinds of people in the world: the poor, the rich, and everyone in between.[2]

  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "There are two kinds of people in the world... Greeks... and people who wish they were Greeks."
  • Team America: World Police has three kinds of people in the world: dicks(who fuck everything), pussies(who get fucked by everything), and assholes(who shit on everything).

  Gary Johnston': We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from assholes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!

    • It seems that Parker and Stone are a bit more "Ha Ha Only Serious" than they originally let on, there. You can see the same speech given by another libertarian luminary, Bill Whittle. He calls it TRIBES, and the three groups are "sheepdogs(protect sheep, attack wolves)", "sheep(protected by sheepdogs, attacked by wolves)" and "wolves(attack everyone)", respectively, but it's the same basic idea.
  • Who can forget the classic line in "What About Bob" by the titular character himself?: "There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him."
  • In Saturday Night Fever, there are two types of "girls", according to John Travolta's character. "You gotta decide now, Sandy Annette. Are you gonna put out? You're either gonna be a nice girl or a cunt."
  • In the Brazilian film Tropa de Elite (a.k.a. The Elite Squad) the (arguably) protagonist/narrator says Brazilian cops have three options: omit themselves, corrupt themselves, or go to war.
  • In the Japanese movie Swing Girls, a jock-ish minor character seems to start all his sentences this way, leaving the protagonists on the negative end, of course. It isn't until the swing band's penultimate performance that he changes his mind.
  • In The Longest Day during the battle for Omaha Beach, a ranking character dealing with getting the men off the beach and past the bunkers gives a variation on this trope: "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those that are going to die!"
    • This line was then done as a Shout-Out in Call of Duty: Big Red One.
      • Actually, it's Truth in Television. An officer actually ran along the beach yelling that at the men in order to get them to push forward, as they were all taking cover behind whatever they could instead of trying to take the beach.
  • The infinitely preachy, So Bad It's Good film The Butter Cream Gang has the main characters ex-best friend say this line after he falls under a bad influence. "There are two people in the world: Your friends and your enemies." He doesn't seem to have anything in mind about people he's never met.
  • In The Manchurian Candidate these are "Those that enter a room and turn the television set on, and those that enter a room and turn the television set off."
  • Five Hundred Days of Summer : "There's only two kinds of people in the word. There's women. And there's men.
  • The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day: Rocco tells us that there are "talkers" and "do-er's", and that "it's the do-er's that change this world."
  • "Only two things come out of Texas! Steers and queers!
    • Which comes with a Genius Bonus, since a steer could refer to a castrated bull.
  • Jurassic Park III "There are two kinds of boys: Astronauts and Astronomers"
  • "Only two kinds of men get shot: criminals and victims."
  • The Matrix: "Two kinds of people: Those with power, and those without."
  • In the film Nothing To Lose with Tim Robins and Martin Lawrence.

 Rig: There are two kinds of people in the world: Killers, and everybody else. Which one are you, huh?

Nick: ...I'm married. (shoots Rig's gun)

Literature

  • Subverted in Harry Potter, where Sirius Black points out that the world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters when Harry's suspecting Dolores Umbridge of being a Death Eater.
    • Of course, Harry is right.
  • There's a Pokémon novelization which promisingly opened stating that there are two types of people in the world: people who catch and train Pokémon themselves and people who try to steal other people's Pokémon. The immediate audience reaction is: "What about those people who sit around and have no interest in Pokémon whatsoever?"
    • Those are called dead people.
  • From The Truth:

 It is said that there are two types of people in the world: those who look at a glass that is exactly half full and say, "This is glass is half full," and those who look at the same glass and say, "This glass is half empty." But the world is ruled by the people who look at the glass and say, "Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full. And I had a bigger glass!"

 Detritus: Only ... (counts fingers) only two-er things come from Slice Mountain. Rocks, an' ... an' other sorts of rocks!

  • This parody of David Brooks.
  • Foucault's Pendulum claims there four kinds of people in the world: "cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics."
    • Although at another point it goes for the more traditional two: "writers and editors".
  • Invincible has Wedge Antilles, in hiding, hearing of his daughter Syal starting to date. He is not at all happy.

  "There are two types of male pilots. Good men, such as the ones I never tried to break or run out of my squadrons, whom I would shoot before I ever trusted them with my daughter. And worse men, whom I would shoot if I caught them looking at my daughter."

  • The treecats from David Weber's Honorverse recognise two types of enemy: those who have been appropriately dealt with, and those who are still alive.
  • Humorist Robert Benchley once noted that there were two types of people in the world: people who believe that there are two types of people in the world, and people who don't.
    • This was parodied in Donald Westlake's short story Don't You Know There's A War On?, in which the inhabitants of a planet consist of two types of people: people who believe what Robert Benchley said about there being two types of people in the world, and people who don't.
  • From the Pendragon series the Quillian Games. After being given a room with a clown motif.

  There are two kinds of people in this world. People who hate and fear clowns... and clowns.

  • A classic one from Rainsford in The Most Dangerous Game: "This world's divided into two kinds of people: the hunter and the hunted."
  • Fisk tries to use this in the Knight and Rogue Series to describe what kind of nobleman Michael's father is, but can't help but admit that if he bothered to think about it he'd probably come up with at least thirty types.
  • Azure Bonds put things straight:

  Alias: Riding a wagon along protected trading routes in a guarded merchant caravan doesn't make you an adventurer. Until you've hiked more than twenty miles a day, slept in a ditch, and eaten something that tried to kill you first, you're not an adventurer. Anyone who isn't an adventurer is a greengrocer.


Live Action TV

  • Red Dwarf, "Meltdown": When Rimmer is inspecting the troops, he tells St. Francis: "There's only two kinds from Assisi, steers and queers -- which are you, boy?"
    • Which is, of course, homage to Full Metal Jacket in reference to things that come from Texas.
    • Detritus gives the same line a go in Men At Arms: "Only ... twoer things come from Slice Mountain, rocks an' ... an' other kinds of rocks!"
  • In the first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Invasion of the Bane, Sarah Jane tells Maria, "There are two types of people in this world. There are people who panic, and then there's us."
    • It also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome, especially when you consider that had anyone else said that, it probably would have sounded rather arrogant. Somehow Sarah Jane saying it just makes it work.
  • Smallville, Fever. Chloe's dad told her [offscreen] there are two kinds of girls, the ones you grow out of, and the ones you grow into. Well, the second part is straightforward enough, but there are girls you can grow out of in the Smallville 'verse? Who knew kryptonite infections could be so kinky?
  • From a season 7 episode of House: "There are two kinds of people: those who move on, and those who can't."
  • From the Pushing Daisies episode Circus Circus, the French acrobat tells Ned and Emerson that they are two types of people in the world- circus performers, and "stubs", those that watch.
  • Brian Kinney of Queer as Folk fame puts a homophobic spin on this trope with the oft-referenced quote: "There are two kinds of straight people in the world: the ones that hate you to your face, and the ones that hate you behind your back."
  • On I Love Lucy, Fred tells Ricky: "There are two kinds of people in this world: The earners and the spenders, or as they are more popularly known: The husbands and the wives."
  • Manipulative Bastard Tammy Swanson on Parks and Recreation: "There are two kinds of women in the world. There are women who work hard and stress out about doing the right thing, and then there are women who are cool."
  • In Harry Enfield and Chums. Perry on an Oasis fanboy kick tells Kevin, "There's only two types of people, right? There's us and there's wankers."
  • The good people of Law and Order love this trope.
    • Notable example; in the Fifth Season premiere(which introduced Jack McCoy and Detective Van Buren) the case involved a woman who died from a dangerous alternate treatment for breast cancer. Van Buren observed, "There are two kinds of women in this world; those who are afraid of getting breast cancer, and those who already have it."


Music

  • "Two kinds of people in this world. Winners, losers." - Lindsey Buckingham, "Go Insane".
  • There's only two types of people in the world:
    The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe

 --Britney Spears, "Circus"

    • There's only two types of guys out there:
      Ones that can hang with me, and ones that are scared
  • Subverted by the Flight of the Conchords introduction to the song "A Kiss is Not a Contract":

 "There are two kinds of people in the world. I'm one kind..." "And I'm the other."

  • The Magnetic Fields song "Two Kinds Of People".

 There are two kinds of people: A) My love and I, B) Other.


Radio


Theatre

 Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett,

There are two kinds of men and only two.

There's the one staying put in his proper place

And the one with his foot in the other one's face!

Look at me, Mrs. Lovett, look at you!


Video Games

 "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

 "The way I see it, there's basically two types of people. Most of them are guys like me. Guys that sit on the couch, we might not like the shit that happens to us, but we deal with it. Then there are guys like you."


Webcomics


Web Originals


Western Animation

  • In It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown's party invitation prompts Lucy to say there are two kinds of people; people to invite and people not to invite. She assumes Charlie Brown was put on the wrong list.
  • In Transformers Generation 1, there's Barricade who firmly believes there are only two kinds of mechanoids: Decepticons and losers.
  • According to Peter Griffin of Family Guy:

 There are two kinds of people in this world, Chris. There are bullies and there are nerds. And there are hot Asian chicks. They'll do what you want. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You better believe it, buddy. They will do what you want because they know, they know what you want. Oh, oh, oh, don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you. I won't hurt you. Me big American man.

  • The Simpsons has Homer's "Only two types of guy wear Hawaiian shirts - gay guys and big fat party animals! And Bart doesn't look like a big fat party animal to me!" Made even funnier by Marge's pointing out that that logic presumably makes it fine for him to wear them...
    • Probably a Matt Groening reference.
    • When Homer goes to college, he immediately separates into two groups: Jocks and Nerds. And then puts himself in the Jock category.

 Homer: Hey, did you get a load of that nerd?

Jock: I beg your pardon?

  • When Two-Face threatened to release a binary poison on Gotham in Batman: The Animated Series, he claimed there would be two kinds of people in Gotham: The dying and the dead.
  • Parodied in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" of South Park when Cartman is sent to juvie. When asked one reason why he shouldn't be beat up, Cartman says he's just like everyone else. The main guy says there are two types of kids: those who like Animaniacs and those who don't. Despite getting the right answer about not liking Animaniacs, the situation isn't improved much as there are no friends in prison.
  • In "Chuckie's Wonderful Life" on Rugrats, Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Angelica torments Chuckie under the guise of helping. No wonder he tried to run away after these enouraging words:

 Angelica: Chuckie, there are two kinds of people in this world, people like me who make things better, and people like you, who just seem to get in the way.

Chuckie: You really mean it Angelica?

Angelica: I'm sorry Chuckie. We'd all just be better off without you.

 That Guy: Let's cut to the chase. There are two kinds of people - sheep and sharks. Anyone who's a sheep is fired. Who's a sheep?

Zoidberg: Uh, excuse me, which is the one people like to hug?

That Guy: Gutsy question. You're a shark. Sharks are winners. And they don't look back. 'Cause they don't have necks. Necks are for sheep. (Everyone hunches their shoulders except Bender, who physically retracts his head) I am proud to be the shepherd of this herd of sharks.


Real Life

  • "There are two types of vessels - submarines and targets".
  • "There are two kinds of aircraft - stealth aircraft and targets".
  • "The world is divided into those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and those who are going to read them." - The Sunday Times.
  • "There is three kind of people in the world: those who can count, and the others."
  • Slight modification: there's a tale floating around Parris Island (the US Marine Corps training facility) that during the height of the Vietnam War a Drill Instructor asked his squad of new recruits if they had any questions. One recruit asked the rather naive question of what the squads chances of going overseas were, with the DI giving the following answer.

 "There are three types of Marines. Those who are overseas, those who have been overseas, and those who are going overseas. So I'd say your chances are pretty damn good."

  • "There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that don't."
    • "There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those that understand ternary, those that don't, and those who mistook it for binary." And so on.
      • "There are 11 types of people in this world: those that don't understand binary, those that kind of understand binary, and those that are 0001 0011 0011 0111
    • From the more self-aware nerds: "There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that get laid."
    • Double Subversion by Asymmetric Publication's twitter (the guys who made KoL): "There are 10 types of people. Those who think binary jokes are funny, those who don't and 8 types on a scale between the first two."
  • In "Our Dumb World" (an atlas put out by the people at The Onion), the entry on Canada divides Canadians into two groups: the polite ones, and the ones who are too polite to point out that they've been placed in the wrong group.
  • There is a tendency for many to divide women into two kinds. This has various names. The Madonna-whore complex is a technical term for something specific. A more common idea is either you are a good girl or a slut. Of course, some people think sluts are good. Men don't seem to be judged in this fashion.
    • Men perhaps not, boys though will often be judged as either a bad boy/womaniser/player or effeminate/homosexual/wimpy. That said, it's mostly other men and boys who judge like that.
  • There are two types of bikers in the world. Those who have come off their bikes, and those who are going to come off their bikes
  • An Internet troll example: "There are two types of opinions in this world: Mine, and incorrect."
  • There are three kinds of people in the world: Those who know Wagner, those who know Apocalypse Now, and those who know Bugs Bunny.
  • There are two kinds of pilot in this world: Those who landed gears up, and those who will.
  • There are two categories for people who watch Uwe Boll films: People who think Uwe Boll is an awful director, and Uwe Boll.
  • There are two kinds of horseback riders in the world: those who have fallen off, and those who aren't serious about it.
    • There are two kinds of horseback riders in the world: those who will fall off, and those who will fall off again.
  • There are two kinds of pedestrians in Rome: the fast ones and the dead ones.
  • There are two types of people in this world. One is people who can infer based on what they're given.
  • There are two types of gun-owners: Those who have had a gun go off by accident, and those who WILL have a gun go off by accident.
  • There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who say there is no such thing as infinite recursion, and those who say...
  • There are two kinds of people in the world: those who grieve over the world rolling god knows where to...and those who are rolling the world there.
  • Probably not the last word on the subject, but there are two types of people in the world: Those who divide people into two types and those that don't.
  • There are two kinds of women who enlist in the Navy: Bikes and Dykes.
  • There are two kinds of women in the world: Sluts and my Mother.
  • Billy West was sufficiently disgruntled after working with John Kricfalusi that his website once separated people into two categories: "Ren And Stimpy fans" and "human beings".

Notes

  1. I'm writing this from memory. If you have the video, please add the actual wording.
  2. Also a pretty useless observation. What she's literally saying is "everybody fits somewhere on the wealth scale".
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