Worst Analogies and Metaphors
These are from real high school essays. They come from the
annual "Dark and Stormy Night" competition.
* Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two side gently compressed
by a Thigh Master.
* His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in
a dryer without Cling Free.
* He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went
blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole
in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of
looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
* She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature
* She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before
it throws up.
* Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
* He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
* The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his
wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-
free ATM machine.
* The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling
* McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with
* From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal
quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on
at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
* Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
* The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them
in hot grease.
* Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy
field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at
6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed
of 35 mph.
* They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that
resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
* John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
also never met.
* He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
* Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had
been left out so long it had rusted shut.
* Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
* The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just
* The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for
* He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real
duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
* The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind
her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
* It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
* He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she
were a garbage truck backing up.
* Her eyes were limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
* She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.