Is Murphy’s Law Real? 3 Common Situations Why It Holds True

There’s been a phenomenon going on for some time called Murphy’s Law. It certainly rings the bell when things don’t work out. So is Murphy’s Law real?

The short answer is no: Despite not being scientifically proven, some people experience it based on their own circumstances. From my perspective, I’ve certainly encountered the situation where Murphy’s Law was applicable.

In other words, it all depends on your experience when this phenomenon takes place. In this article, I will briefly discuss what the law is about. Along with that, I will give a few examples of how this law takes place.

  1. Is Murphy’s Law True?
  2. The Bus Arrives A Few Minutes Early (Or Runs Late)
  3. Computer & Technical Problems
  4. Your Workday Is Interrupted By Personal Issues
  5. Questions To Ask Yourself
Is Murphy's law real? This article will go over a few examples of why this law might hold truth.
Is Murphy’s Law Real? 3 Possible Examples

Is Murphy’s law true?

Murphy’s Law is defined as the following: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. While it’s possible the situation you encounter may end up turning out to be an unexpected outcome, there is no scientific evidence to prove that case.

A basic example is planning to meet someone for coffee. You agree to meet at a certain time of the day; however, that person you were going to meet with cancels out on you at the last minute.

This scenario is not uncommon, as last-minute situations always come up. So it’s partially true that this law can take place, the only problem is that people don’t plan for the unexpected.

Is Murphy’s law real?

While it’s not scientifically proven, the law is applicable when it comes to an individual’s experience. The typical example of last-minute changes does hold partially true in this case. Let’s go over some examples of that.

Example 1: The bus arrives a few minutes early (or runs late)

If you take public transit, you may check the schedule of when buses come and go. If you decide to catch the bus at 8:15 am, the bus may come a couple of minutes early. So it may come at 8:12 am instead.

It shows that departure times are not always accurate. The problem with this is that people don’t get to the bus stop earlier just in case.

When I lived in the city, I can’t tell you how many times that happened to me. It was very frustrating, and they ruined my day sometimes. I overtime, I got in the habit of arriving at the bus stop earlier.

Example 2: Computer & technical problems

In the age of remote work, we have the opportunity to interact with each other on multiple platforms. While they’re great, there are days when technical issues can come up.

If you’re scheduled to have a meeting through Zoom, you may have technical difficulties where it prevents you to have a meeting. If it’s a bigger problem, then your meeting may not take place.

Again, the problem is that people don’t plan ahead of time. Or in this case, people don’t think of alternatives such as having a phone call instead.

Example 3: Your workday is interrupted by personal issues

This one is far too common for a lot of people. On days that they are working, personal stuff may come up where it prevents them from getting much work done.

For a working parent, something might happen with their kids one day when they get sick and they have to take care of the issue. It’s a lost time of productivity for them if they have to leave work early.

What is an example of Murphy’s law?

A common scenario is catching a bus, but then it comes a few minutes earlier (or later) than expected. You get frustrated because you were counting on the bus to arrive at a specific time.

My own example

Way too often in the past, some type of distraction would come out that would prevent me from getting work done. It was frustrating, and I lost time that I could’ve spent doing meaningful work.

Now these days, I plan ahead of time just in case those last-minute scenarios come up. When I planned for them, I always think of the concept of Murphy’s Law taking place.

Is Murphy’s law misunderstood?

Yes because it has not been scientifically proven to be true. On the opposite side, most scenarios can end up turning out well for some people. So not everyone experiences this phenomenon at all.

My thoughts

Murphy’s Law is something I learned about a few years ago. I never thought that was the term that would take place when these situations came up. I have learned to plan ahead of time in case the unexpected happens.

If you find yourself in these unexpected situations, thinking ahead of time about what you can do does help a lot. So I encourage you to think of possible scenarios that could happen in the event your original plan doesn’t take place.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Are you familiar with Murphy’s Law?
  • Have any of these scenarios happened to you too often?
  • Do you plan for the unexpected?
  • Do you think Murphy’s Law holds true in society?

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Final Words

While it’s not proven to be true, Murphy’s Law can be applicable in some situations. The common example of a bus arriving early holds true for some people who take public transit.

These are a couple of examples that take place as a result of Murphy’s Law. There are many more I could go over that make more sense. 

But at this point, I think you get the picture. In another post, I’ll go more in-depth on what you can do when these scenarios take place.

Your Turn: Is Murphy’s law a real phenomenon?

I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Do you think Murphy’s Law is true or is it all a bunch of BS?

Which scenario have you experienced that’s related to Murphy’s Law? Oh did you plan for the unexpected?

Do you know anyone who has gone through these scenarios before? Are you more aware of what could happen if this law were to be true?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of 

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“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

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2 thoughts on “Is Murphy’s Law Real? 3 Common Situations Why It Holds True”

  1. I can’t tell you how many times I have blamed Murphy’s law on disturbances in my life. Unfortunately, some disturbances can’t be avoided.

    For instance, like with your young children getting sick at school when you were already late getting to work because they were dragging about not knowing they were sick.

    It happens- but we still manage to say well that’s Murphys law! If things are going rough they just get more rough. 

    Thankfully, I am at a point in my life that I know now that proper planning is key to prevent the Murphys law saga. 

    Is it true though? Maybe, I don’t know.

    But, I do know when negative energy creeps into your life, it tends to spiral into more grief and frustration. I think it is mostly mindset.

    Great read- it sure will get your brain thinking. Why have I blamed it all this time? 

    • Hi Kathleen,

      You’re spot on when it comes to Murphy’s Law. It may be true or not, or somewhat of a coincidence.

      You never know what could happen in any of those situations. But I tend to think Murphy’s law might have play a role into it.

      I’m glad you’re getting better at planning things out better. That’s the best thing you can do at the moment, as it will prevent a lot of frustration and headaches.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- I greatly appreciate what you have to say.


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