Seeking stupid arguments to fight about at lunch for fun and profit.
December 2, 2016 8:43 AM   Subscribe

My coworkers like to good-naturedly argue. Help us find new topics! (Hurry, please, lunch is in an hour!)

Previous topics include...

Snowpiercer: stupid movie with a stupid premise and why is there a car just full of sushi that's stupid OR actually I thought it was ok.

Is Cereal Soup? (This one came up yesterday, and I blame you guys specifically for that one.

I'd like to make a list so we have a new one every few days, because right now the number of post its hanging around the office saying "SOUP?" sticking to everything from the keggerater to the tangerines has reached critical mass. Thank you.

What's the most entertaining dumb-as-shit debate you've found yourself in?
posted by phunniemee to Grab Bag (68 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
What's the best way to get dressed: putting your socks on before your pants, or your pants on before your socks?

This drove my office insane one day.
posted by mpbx at 8:46 AM on December 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Some of these are safe for work

You what?
posted by French Fry at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


The classics:

Does everyone see the same colors? How would we know if we did? Like, what if my green is your red? How would you know, man?

Defining sandwiches: are open-face sandwiches sandwiches? Then why not pizza? Is a wrap a sandwich? Is a burrito? What about tacos? etc.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:50 AM on December 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


That AskMefi thread last week about what direction do you face in the shower was good-naturedly argued.

Just before Halloween someone posted a thread on the blue about rankings of best halloween candy. There was much good-natured arguing about how wrong the list was and what the best candy is.
posted by INFJ at 8:51 AM on December 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cake vs Pie
posted by ewok_academy at 8:53 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pirates: cool swashbucklers? Or jock jerks of the sea?
posted by bunderful at 8:55 AM on December 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


The podcast Answer Me This! receives - and answers seriously - a lot of silly but engaging questions.

A couple that spring to mind...

-What is the definition of a salad?

-What is R. Kelly referring to in his song "Ignition (Remix)" when he sings "now it's like Murder She Wrote when I get you out them clothes"?
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


Casting your favorite books into movies. Re-casting favorite movies as Muppets. Sorting favorite characters into HP houses.
posted by librarianamy at 8:58 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


These are my current debate topics:

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Who would win in a fight between a taco and a grilled cheese sandwich?

Is breast milk okay for vegans to drink?

Pampers diapers have Sesame Street characters on them- does Pampers pay Sesame Street for this, or the other way around?
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was an interesting dumb argument on the Judge John Hodgman podcast about whether or not a machine gun is a robot.
posted by deathpanels at 9:04 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's a meme going around on my Facebook feed right now: Which restaurant does everybody love but you think is crap? This gets un-good-natured pretty quickly, though. For example, someone said Red Lobster and I had to raise up.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:05 AM on December 2, 2016


Could Hermione really be happy with Ron?

Was John Adams right to defend the soldiers of the Boston Massacre? (i.e., is it ethical to defend "guilty" parties)
posted by amtho at 9:05 AM on December 2, 2016


sandwich definitions is a great one.

once spent an entire baseball game debating the merits or lack thereof of sports teams mascots (was more fun than the baseball game)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:09 AM on December 2, 2016


Are muffins really just cake?
posted by jazh at 9:09 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it ok for bicycle riders to ignore traffic signals (red lights, stop signs, bike on the sidewalk)?
posted by jazh at 9:10 AM on December 2, 2016


Everyone loves a REGIONAL PIZZA FIGHT
posted by clavicle at 9:14 AM on December 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Everyone loves a REGIONAL PIZZA FIGHT

We live in Chicago. Do you want people to actually die?
posted by phunniemee at 9:16 AM on December 2, 2016 [62 favorites]


This XKCD comic sparked some good discussion at my workplace when I had it stuck to my cubicle. I found it by googling "fuck grapefruit".
posted by shelleycat at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Who would win in a fight between a caveman and an astronaut? The astronaut does not have weapons. (This is cribbed from the TV show Angel)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2016


Rank all of an actor's films or a musical artist's albums/songs from best to worst
posted by eponym at 9:20 AM on December 2, 2016


Star Wars or Star Trek? (I once accidentally found myself in an actual fight about this)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:21 AM on December 2, 2016


When you print a capital letter J, should you cross it at the top, or not? (this is especially fun if you've got multiple coworkers whose names start with J.)
posted by JanetLand at 9:24 AM on December 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


When you print a capital letter J, should you cross it at the top, or not?

The numeral 4 - closed or open at the top?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:26 AM on December 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Have characters fight & place bets.

Harry Potter vs Hermione?
Dorothy Gale vs Dora the Explorer?
Han Solo vs Picard?

Also in general why was Gandalf such bullsh*t. Are you a wizard or not, dude? Why so hapless?
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:26 AM on December 2, 2016


Best brands/styles of [item used at work]: cable ties, pens, gloves, tools, boots, etc.

Best shape for spaceships. Wind resistance probably isn't a factor here. Magical shielding or no? Magical artifical gravity or no?

Ronbledore.

Is it ok for bicycle riders to ignore traffic signals (red lights, stop signs, bike on the sidewalk)?

This one's only OK if everyone in the conversation bikes a lot; otherwise you end up with some of your coworkers earnestly telling you they think all cyclists deserve to die. "Uh. I'm right here." "We didn't mean you." Sure, you didn't.
posted by asperity at 9:27 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


(The 'is a hot dog a sandwich' one is great.)

(as I said in the incredibly long thread about this the last time it came up, you might as well call a bread bowl a soup sandwich at that point)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:27 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


My favorite pet argument to start is: Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz are the same movie.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:37 AM on December 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


A long time ago there was a web site called World Wide Web Fights. Two opponents would be selected, and then (fictional, duh) play-by-plays would be posted over the votes & comments of visitors (and the three best comments would be called out for medals).

One of my favorites is, of course, A Rottweiler vs. A Rottweiler's weight in Chihuahuas. Another is Pop'N'Fresh® vs. Mr. Peanut® or Marlin Perkins vs. Jacques Cousteau or Cheech & Chong vs. Bob & Doug -- but honestly the whole list of past match-ups is worth skimming for topics.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:41 AM on December 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Actually, stupid movie arguments are a fruitful avenue in general. Many of these have been lively discussions on MeFi:

-Doc Hollywood and Cars are the same movie
-Cars as a sequel to Maximum Overdrive
-Avatar is Dances with Wolves
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:41 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Depending on the level of Simpsons expertise, there's the classic "Has Homer seen somebody throw away their shoes before Hank Scorpio or is the one time he was talking about the time that had just happened?"

(There's also the more-well-known "sleep where I'm a viking" debate but I have never actually been able to see the other (wrong) side of that one.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:42 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


As the instigator, be aware that you are pretty much suggesting what a colleague of mine cheerfully calls, "Say, let's you and him fight!"
posted by wenestvedt at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's too late for today's lunch, but please don't use questions that depend on mass media knowledge. I'd be completely left out of a Harry Potter discussion, for example.
posted by AFABulous at 9:52 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it okay to put ketchup on hot dogs?
posted by AFABulous at 9:55 AM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Buzzfeed has a million of these "do you do X weird" quizzes.
posted by AFABulous at 9:58 AM on December 2, 2016


Could/should vegetarians eat artificial meat?
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:03 AM on December 2, 2016


Airplanes: recline or not?
posted by solotoro at 10:05 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chili: beans or no beans?
posted by ocherdraco at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it okay to put ketchup on hot dogs?

Like, now I'm certain you guys are trying to make us murder each other.
posted by phunniemee at 11:05 AM on December 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


My favorite pet argument to start is: Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz are the same movie.

Oh! In a similar way, one of my favorite arguments to start (or, really just me ranting to whoever will listen, but anyway): Almost all sports are really the same game. Football (both kinds), rugby, basketball, hockey (including all kinds of lacrosse and field hockey), are all actually just slight equipment variations on the same basic ballgame.

Or if you want to be very comprehensive, there are only 3 sports in the world: variations on the ballgame (above), racket sports (including volleyball - think about it), and baseball/cricket.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:15 AM on December 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Another sandwich question: are hamburgers sandwiches?
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:18 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are imaginary numbers really imaginary?

Also if you don't mind getting into, er, bathroom issues there are always the MeFi perennial favorites: Toilet paper over or under, lid up or down (and why), wipe from the front or the back, wipe sitting or standing, shower facing towards or away from, door locked or unlocked, etc etc etc.

And of course, the perennial internet favorites: Does the plane really take off from the treadmill, does changing your choice in the Monte Hall problem really change your odds, do all 100 blue-eyed people really leave on the 100th day, etc etc etc.
posted by flug at 11:35 AM on December 2, 2016


Is cheesecake a cake?

Joey Buttafoucault: you're forgetting racing sports. For instance, by my estimation, bike racing is the only sport where all teams compete in an event at the same time, and teammates are important for strategy (vs. auto racing where there are no teammates on the playing field).
posted by rhizome at 11:36 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


well, what did you argue about? is anyone dead?
posted by cooker girl at 11:37 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I could care less" vs "I couldn't care less."
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:38 AM on December 2, 2016


well, what did you argue about? is anyone dead?

The primary arguer ended up having to work through lunch so mostly the rest of us explained the soup thing to the people who missed yesterday.

3 people died.

I did put all this on a list though and make it shareable in our company, so we've got endless opportunities for the future! Thank you so much, everyone, for your contributions :)
posted by phunniemee at 11:43 AM on December 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


Per Joey Buttafoucault and rhizome above: Is bicycle racing a sport? How about motorcycle racing, automobile racing, etc?

Guaranteed to end in bloodshed if your target audience happens to contain both bike riders/racers and, say, diehard football fans or the like.

Also I'm a bit weird, but if your office is a bit technical at all, you can put things like the "proof" that 1=0, say, a whiteboard and start the discussion about whether 1 really does equal 0 or if not, what is wrong with the proof. More false proof examples here.

Also, the timeless classic: Does 0.999999999... = 1?

Speaking of time: "What is time? Does time really exist?" should keep you going for a couple of weeks, minimum.
posted by flug at 11:48 AM on December 2, 2016


Shoes on or off in the house?

Catch/release spider or kill it?
posted by AFABulous at 11:52 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


This old FPP about submarines has some good starting point for arguments.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:54 AM on December 2, 2016


"Oh! In a similar way, one of my favorite arguments to start (or, really just me ranting to whoever will listen, but anyway): Almost all sports are really the same game. Football (both kinds), rugby, basketball, hockey (including all kinds of lacrosse and field hockey), are all actually just slight equipment variations on the same basic ballgame.

Or if you want to be very comprehensive, there are only 3 sports in the world: variations on the ballgame (above), racket sports (including volleyball - think about it), and baseball/cricket."

"you're forgetting racing sports"

Aside from the racing corollary, is this controversial?
posted by kevinbelt at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2016


There are two magic bags.

One bag will produce any sandwich you want, anytime you want.

The other will produce any burrito you want, anytime you want.

You may choose one.

If you choose the sandwich bag, you can never have a burrito again. If you choose the burrito bag, you can never have a sandwich again.

The conversation has begun. Now you must decide how broadly the definitions hold.

(Are hotdogs sandwiches has been broadly covered. Is an open-faced sandwich "a sandwich"? Is an eggroll a burrito? Which bag do quesadillas come out of? What's a veggie wrap? Could one bag reasonably be expected to produce Beef Wellington? Corndogs? Where do you draw the line?)
posted by radiosilents at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sports like Korfball and Canoe Polo are indeed largely identical in that they are two-team opposing-goal "capture the flag" sports.
posted by rhizome at 12:19 PM on December 2, 2016


GIF pronounced with hard or soft G?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


A friend is currently having an epic debate on her Facebook wall over whether Advent calendars should be opened 1-24 or 24-1.
posted by shesbookish at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


A friend is currently having an epic debate on her Facebook wall over whether Advent calendars should be opened 1-24 or 24-1.

Doesn't your calendar have a santa or baby jesus or just a larger thingy on the 24th? I always thought that was the cue that you go 1->24.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Just yesterday my wife suggested that in SOME households it's acceptable to simply CHOOSE WHICH DOOR YOU WOULD LIKE TO OPEN EVERY DAY. This is so obviously wrong and bad that I can't even.
posted by radiosilents at 2:45 PM on December 2, 2016 [14 favorites]


cats v. dogs: which is better?
posted by mon-ma-tron at 3:30 PM on December 2, 2016


Kirk vs Picard. To go with the movie recommendation : The Lion King is Hamlet and The Grinch who Stole Christmas is
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:56 PM on December 2, 2016


Beowulf. (Don't know how that ended up not posting ....)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:58 PM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sock-sock-shoe-shoe or sock-shoe-sock-shoe?

Would you rather fight an army of puppy-sized elephants or an army of elephant-sized puppies?
posted by guster4lovers at 8:42 PM on December 2, 2016


Who would be cast in the movie of your workplace?
posted by A hidden well at 8:51 PM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jim Varney was in the movie "The Outsiders."
posted by rhizome at 10:06 PM on December 2, 2016


Every time you have sex it will be mindblowing but all food you eat will forever be average.
Every time you eat food it will be mindblowing but sex will forever be unsatisfying.

Choose one.
posted by fullerine at 2:38 AM on December 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like most humans, I eat way more than I have sex, so that's easy. (Especially when I'm super old and all my peers' tastebuds have gone to shit. I'll be a nonagenarian phenomenon!)
posted by ocherdraco at 5:06 AM on December 3, 2016


Dust, then vacuum? Or vacuum, then dust?
posted by Caxton1476 at 6:49 AM on December 3, 2016


You're in a 10x10x10 foot room, wearing light workout gear.
Squirrels start to enter the room through a small pipe in the ceiling.
They're regular squirrels, except for one important bit.

They know that either they're getting out of this room, or you are, but not both.

How many squirrels could you defeat in that cage match?
posted by talldean at 9:23 PM on December 4, 2016


To expand the hot dog debate: my five-year old daughter insists on calling hot dogs "long tacos." She does it because I laughed the first time I heard her say rather than any true conviction of rightness, but it does make me wonder if hot dogs should be classified as long tacos rather than as a sandwich or "other."
posted by Tevin at 8:03 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hope I'm not too late here: is a flatbread a pizza? Why or why not?
posted by too bad you're not me at 1:07 PM on December 6, 2016


In re movies: Everything Indiana Jones does in Raiders of the Lost Ark is pointless.
posted by Diablevert at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


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