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For those of us who were asleep and/or drunk all through grammar school, a simile is a comparison of two things using "like" or "as," such as "Our public education was as pointless as an edible bicycle seat."

CRACKED offers the following lesson in similes-and how not to use them-as a community service, because we wish to make up for these shameful failures of our education system, and because "community service" is the part of our plea bargain that keeps us out of jail.

12
Goo Goo Dolls - "Iris"

Offending Lyric:
"When everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know you're alive"

We're not really sure what sort of movies the Goo Goo Dolls watch in their spare time. The movies we watch are full of good-looking people getting in gun fights with one another. If everything felt like the movies, we'd be jumping off of the top of buildings with firehoses wrapped around our waist. We're pretty sure that would do just fine as far as letting us know we're alive.

Maybe the Goo Goo Dolls confused the words "the movies" with "freshman and sophomore years of high school?"

11
Def Leppard - "Pour Some Sugar On Me"

Offending Lyric:
"Livin' like a lover with a radar phone"

How exactly does a lover with a radar phone live? Well, probably poorly if they're fucking someone who thinks a radar phone sounds like a cool piece of technology. You have to feel bad for Def Leppard's girlfriends, who presumably all got radar phones for Christmas back in 1987, when this song was released.

Even for the late '80s, "radar phone" doesn't sound like such a hot piece of technology. Here, Warrant's girlfriends were probably all getting car phones, along with new Trans Ams in which to install them. To make matters worse, when Def Leppard's girlfriends tried to phone their boyfriends to complain about their crappy gifts, instead of connecting the call, the radar phones would just measure how fast Warrant's girlfriends were driving in their new cars.

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10
Culture Club - "Time"

Offending Lyric:
"Time is like a clock in my heart"

While this simile may not necessarily be inaccurate, it's not overly astute, either. What's that, Boy George? Time is like a clock? Why, land sakes, we never saw it that way! And, the clock is in your heart? Holy crap, George! Make an appointment with your cardiologist, and we mean today.

Other rejected lyrics from this song include "water is like a bucket in my knee," "bread is like a basket in my stomach," and "writing songs is like getting really high and playing a game of Operation."

9
Poison - "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"

Offending Lyric:
"Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song/Every rose has its thorn"

First of all, everyone knows (read: we just learned on Wikipedia) that roses don't even have thorns, they have prickles. But, Poison probably didn't have a dedicated botany research department so we'll let that one go.

The real problem is on the cowboy/sad song side of things. Forget "every" cowboy singing a sad song; we're having trouble thinking of one. Clint Eastwood? Anyone in Tombstone or Young Guns? There were probably no sad songs in any season of Deadwood simply because not many sad words rhyme with "cocksucker." So who's left? Michael Irvin?

Wait a second ... does the fact that roses don't have thorns and that cowboys don't sing sad songs suddenly make this work as a simile again? Friends, I believe we have just been outwitted by Poison.

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8
Bob Seger - "Like A Rock"

Offending Lyric:
"Like a rock, chargin' out the gate"

In fairness, throughout most of this hit song, Bob Seger manages to find valid reasons to compare himself to a rock-he's stoic, unflappable and rigid-but toward the end of "Like A Rock" he somehow confuses the typical rocks he references throughout his song with much more proactive and much less rock-like stones that, evidently, sprint out of gates in certain circumstances.

Needless to say, anyone betting on Seger's boulder to win the Kentucky Derby probably wound up tearing up their tickets in frustration before being wheeled back to the asylum.

7
Ricky Martin - "She Bangs"

Offending Lyric:
"Cause she looks like a flower but she stings like a bee/Like every girl in history"

Come on, Ricky Martin, you can't possibly mean every girl in history. Mother Teresa? The Statue of Liberty? The Bee Girl from the Blind Melon "No Rain" video, who looked like a bee, but was as harmless as a flower?

We've searched the rest of the song for some kind of clarification. The chrous offers, "She bangs, she bangs/when she moves, she moves." Does this woman go clanging around in a medieval suit of armor? Does this also apply to "every girl in history?" How could such a virile, obviously not-gay man know so little about the nature of females?

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6
Nelly Furtado - "I'm Like A Bird"

Offending Lyric:
"I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away/I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is"

While birds may not be terribly preoccupied with metaphysical questions about the location of their souls, they most certainly know where their homes are. It's sort of what they're known for. Homing pigeons, for example, have been let out of cages half way across the country and somehow managed to find their way back home.

Perhaps a more fitting, albeit less poetic, choice would be for Nelly to compare herself to a homeless man with a hang-glider or a jet pack. This new lyric balances her absence of a home with her tendency to fly away, with the added bonus that it sounds just as stupid as the original choice.

5
Pharrell (featuring Gwen Stefani) - "Can I Have It Like That"

Offending Lyric:
"You should see the way the chain heart is a charmin' flying like a bird like Nelly Furtado"

This mind-blowing, simile-within-a-simile contains enough baffling layers to keep linguists guessing for generations. Here, Pharrell describes himself as "like a bird," but not just any bird-a bird that is, in fact, "like Nelly Furtado."

Does this mean that there is some enormous freak bird out there that is Nelly Furtado-like in mannerisms and appearance, and that Pharrell is subsequently flying like that bird? Or, does the line refer to a normal bird that just happens to think like Nelly Furtado? If it's the latter, then (as we've learned above), Pharrell is flying like a bird who knows very little about birds.

We at CRACKED are ambitious, and we like to think that the real simile in this song is that "flying," in Pharrell's case, represents "songwriting," which is to say, Pharrell is writing songs like someone who knows very little about writing songs, and we have absolutely no argument with that. What is undeniable, however, is that it's pretty clear that Pharrell knows very little about similes and much less about birds.

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4
Paul Simon - "Loves Me Like a Rock"

Offending Lyric:
"My mama loves me ... she loves me like a rock"

Much like Bob Seger, Paul Simon's mother seems a little confused about the very nature of rocks. From this lyric, we can conclude that Mrs. Simon either treats rocks like her children or her children like rocks.

No matter which option you accept, you still end up with an unsettling glimpse into Paul Simon's home life growing up. Either Paul sat alone, hungry, watching his mother try to breastfeed a lump of granite, or he was left outside and occasionally taken in only to be used as a doorstop or paperweight. It's starting to get easier to see where depressing songs like "The Sounds of Silence" came from.

3
Patrick Swayze - "She's Like The Wind"

Offending Lyric:
"She's like the wind, through my tree"

What about this woman is wind-like, Patrick? We listened to your entire song-we're the only ones who have listened to the whole thing since the late '80s-and we couldn't find any mention of wind-like tendencies. She's not described as being particularly invisible, or intangible or even gusty.

She is described as "out of my league" which leads us to conclude that a more appropriate lyric would be "She's like every woman everywhere since I appeared in Road House."

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2
Alanis Morissette - "Ironic"

Offending Lyric:
"It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife "¦ And isn't it ironic ... don't you think?"

Much has been made of the fact that Alanis' concept of irony doesn't quite meet the standards taught in most high school English classes, but her similes are every bit as worthy of scorn. Has anyone, in the history of mankind, ever needed a knife and ironically wound up with 10,000 spoons instead?

We're trying to imagine the circumstances, but each scenario seems more unlikely than the last:

  • You work at the spoon factory, and the only way to unjam a cog in the spoon-making machine is to grease it by spreading butter over it.
  • You invited the band 10,000 Maniacs to a dinner party, and the caterer, worried that they were in fact 10,000 maniacs, thought it best to limit their access to sharp items.
  • You are armed for an invasion of Cereal Land, but the gates are being guarded by two juicy 72-ounce steaks.

1
Snap - "Rhythm is a Dancer"

Offending Lyric:
"I'm serious as cancer/when I say rhythm is a dancer!"

We don't really have time to dedicate an additional article to stupid metaphors in music, but we can guarantee that "Rhythm is a Dancer" by pseudo-group Snap would not go unrepresented if we did. Rhythm is not a dancer, it is something that dancers have. Saying "rhythm is a dancer" is like saying "illiteracy is Snap."

Switching gears and moving on to the awful simile at the end of the song's rap verse, you're "serious as cancer"? Really? We know that you're trying to make a point, but that's pretty fucking serious. Probably a little too serious, in fact, for your ridiculous metaphor about rhythm being a dancer.

To be fair, the poetic pickings are slim when trying to rhyme with "dancer." Both "depantser" and "necromancer" would have also landed them high on this list, for instance, as would "Welcome to France, sir." But when your thumping techno dance track references tragic terminal diseases, you're going to wear the Bad Simile crown.

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