This Is Wrong on So Many Levels

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
I don't think you're quite grasping the idea here.
"This is wrong on more levels than I can count. And they're both really basic levels, too."
Fighter, 8-Bit Theater

A Stock Phrase to describe a situation that is, well, wrong in various ways all at once. There is no hard and fast minimum of exactly how many "levels" it needs to be wrong. It just needs to be hard to describe just how wrong the situation is.

Can be used in both comedy and drama. In comedy, if anyone ever asks for the speaker to elaborate, they'll do an Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking progression, ending with "... and that pink ball gag is just tacky."

Also doesn't need to be the word "wrong", or "levels", as long as the format sticks. People of a geeky persuasion can also allude to the concept as being "fractally wrong": no matter the level you look at it, it's always wrong—resembling a Mandelbrot curve, which has similar features at every scale.[1]

A specific variant phrase is "Sick and Wrong", which usually involves something that would require Brain Bleach. Occasionally paired with Head-Tiltingly Kinky.

And That's Terrible.

Examples of This Is Wrong on So Many Levels include:

Anime and Manga

  • Used at least twice in Mahou Sensei Negima. Once by Chamo, in a bath scene with naked, adult form Evangeline sucking blood from the protesting, 10 year-old Negi's arm. Once by Sayo after witnessing Kazumi's reaction to finding out what winding feels like to Chachamaru.
  • Rein rather memorably utters this exact phrase in the English dub of Best Student Council.
  • In Koe de Oshigoto! several characters point out to Yayoi that making her underage sister Kanna work as an eroge seiyuu is sick and wrong, to which she responds there is no law against it.

Comic Books

  • Southpaw expresses this feeling when she and She Hulk learn that they're under constant surveillance by The Watcher.
  • In Peter David's Supergirl Jason Blood probably summed the situation up best, when the demon Etrigan broke off a brawl with Supergirl to drop to his knees and ask for her hand in marriage.

Etrigan: Marry me. Do not say maybe./Take me as your demon lover; bear my demon baby. (kisses her hand)
Jason Blood: This is wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start.

    • And then she said yes.
  • Damian Wayne's opinion of schizophrenic mutilation enthusiast Professor Pyg?

"You redefine wrong."


  • Teacher's Pet:

Ivan Krank: Oh, haven't you heard, my good man? Nature is dead! Science is king!
Mr. Jolly: Oh, that is just wrong on so many levels.

Janessa: Oh, this sucks on so many levels!

  • Must Love Dogs, after the heroine realises she answered her own father's personal ad:

Sarah: This is disturbing on many levels.

Guy: (watching Laliari sprout tentacles as she makes out with Fred on the floor) Ohhhh, that's not right!

Harry: This is every shade of wrong.

Bolt: If I stare at the lock really hard, it'll burst into flames and melt.
Mittens: (stares at him) Now I'm concerned on a number of levels.

Live-Action TV

  • In Off Centre, some people are changing at a gym. While they are naked, some guys get into a fight, dragging the main characters into it. One of them says the phrase.
  • In Rome, Octavia says this when she and Jocasta see that Atia is having the slave Duro, who tried to poison Atia on Servillia's orders tortured.
  • The team's well deserved reaction to the following exchange.

Booth: You know what? You're a horse's ass!
Zack: [referring to his Halloween's costume] Cow! I'm a cow! See my udder?

  • In the second episode of Dead Like Me, George is impaled with a clip on a stick, due to being too close to one of her 'customers' dying (being a Reaper, she got better). Later that night, she has a coughing fit...and spits up the clip. We pretty much agree with her when she says 'Oh that's not right, that's not right!'.
  • Grey's Anatomy episode "Owner of a Lonely Heart":

Dr. George O'Malley: Oh, that was wrong on so many levels.

Dr. Meredith Grey: [grabs her bra from him] Humiliating, on so many levels. You have to go.

[Maybourne tosses an explosive in the lake to 'catch' some fish]
Colonel Jack O'Neill: That is just wrong on so many levels.

Beka Valentine: If you do this and you kill me...
Seamus Harper: We will always think fondly of you.
Beka Valentine: This is so humiliating on so many levels.

  • The West Wing pilot: after Sam recounts the day's bad events and, among other things, admits to sleeping with a prostitute and that he's trying to impress his boss's daughter... to his boss's daughter:

Sam Seaborn: Well, this is bad on so many levels.

  • I Love Money episode "Only the Weak Survive":

Nibblz: [after losing to Mr. Boston on "The Bed Battle"] This sucks on so many levels. Not only did I lose, I lost to Mr. Boston. Do you know how bad that is going to look for me back in Brooklyn?

Joel: Oh, come on, this is so offensive on so many levels...

Michael (played by Jason Bateman, to Nellie, a prostitute he believes to be his sister, played by Justine Bateman, Jason's real sister)! "Marry me!... that's wrong on so many levels."

  • On Whose Line Is It Anyway, Wayne Brady said this at the end of one game that... well, see for yourself.
  • Scrubs had Elliot describing something Jordan said as "disturbing in, like, eight different ways." The new Main Character Lucy also recently had so much to do, that she "had to do my dad phone call, while having sex with my boyfriend. So many things wrong with that, not the least of which is that it was the most turned on I've ever been".
  • On Wings, when Joe learned Roy was ordering a mail-order bride: "This is wrong on so many levels, it's hard to describe without charts."
  • Dollhouse episode "Omega":

Caroline!Wendy: The wrongness of this is so large.

Xander: Now that is creepy on a level I hardly knew existed.

Lilah: Mind if I join you?
Wesley: On many levels and with great intensity.

  • Castle says this after Alexis tells him that her Egg Sitting partner has 'killed' the egg to get back at her.
  • On Project Runway, judge Michael Kors once told a designer who offered a truly awful "1970s-inspired" outfit: "Those plaid pants would be against every fashion law of nature in any decade."
  • On The X-Files, after Mulder tries giving scientific explanations on a pseudo-vampire's death, the doctor who is checking on the corpse replies "You are really upsetting me. On several levels".


Well I guess you must put out a track to
Cash in on winning The X Factor
Do you have to murder "Hallelujah"?
It's several different kinds of wrong
Stick to Mariah Carey songs
And stay the hell away from "Hallelujah"


Tabletop Games

  • In the Star Wars Customizable Card Game by Decipher, Inc., there's a card showing Luke getting smooched by Leia. The card's name is "This Is Just Wrong." A second kiss in the same vein is "This Is Still Wrong". Conversely, cards involving Leia kissing Han are "This Is More Like It", "This Is Even Better", and "This Is Absolutely Right".

Web Comics

Fighter: That's wrong on more levels than I can count, and both of them are really basic levels.

Black Mage:, "There's many things wrong with that, and both of them are all of it."

Justin: This is messed up on so many levels. I'm guessing you don't visit your cousin and uncle that much?
Nanase: It's common sense not to.

AT: wOW, nO, tHAT'S,

Web Original

Custer: "Gentlemen, today's operation will be a unique one. We will go deep into injun territory with a full entourage of cavalry, establish a tight perimeter, have the infantry remove my pants and underpants, and then I will attempt to force sex on an Indian girl under heavy enemy fire. Are there any objections?"
Custer's military advisor: "Yes, general. Several."

Caboose's Mental Image of Sister/Church: (flatly) Hey, what's up?
Church: Hey who the fuck are you? Sister?
Caboose's Mental Image of Sister: Yep. I'm Sister... Church's twin brother. I came here in a spaceship, that came from the moon. It crashed next to Blue Base, and now I live with Caboose, and the people from the tail section of the spaceship, live on the other side of the island.
Church: What the fuck? That's like wrong in eight different ways!
Caboose's Mental Image of Sister: (resignedly) Yeah, I know. Tell me about it...

Western Animation

  • Kim Possible: Ron has "Sick and Wrong!" as a Catch Phrase. (Others use it too, but mostly him.) Beyond that is "Wrongsick!", and for a example (not from Ron) in the episode "Bad Boy". Ron becomes evil and Drakken becomes nice:

Shego: This is Sick and Wrong on so many levels!

  • Became a Running Gag in one Danny Phantom episode where the line was uttered whenever someone came in dressed as Sam for their own reasons—respectively Tucker and Grandma Ida. Wrong indeed.
  • Phineas and Ferb, episode "Journey to the Center of Candace" where Phineas and Ferb have shrunk themselves and a submarine to get inside Isabella's chihuahua Pinky. But things didn't quite go exactly as planned....

Phineas: Yeah, we're inside Candace's stomach.
Ferb: That's creepy on so many levels.
Phineas: Candace is on her date with Jeremy. That means we're on a date with Jeremy.
Ferb: Again, creepy on so many levels.

    • Candace has this reaction to her brothers attempting to hatch an egg with a robotic platypus butt in "Perry Lays an Egg":

Candace: That's so wrong in so many ways, I don't even know where to start.

  • On The Venture Brothers, this was the Pirate's response to walking in on Sally Impossible while she was naked, with her resulting Freak-Out resulting in her skin turning invisible and the Pirate getting a good full-body glimpse of her muscles and organs.
    • Also recently[when?] cited by Dr. Mrs. The Monarch with respect to the Monarch's obsession with his new "Butterglider": "...They don't even have a name for what this is!"
  • Once uttered by Grim in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, in response to one of Billy's many grievous errors in common sense.
  • In the Time Squad episode "The Prime Minster Has No Clothes", this is Buck Tudrussel's response to Larry going swimming with a naked Winston Churchill:

Tudrussel: A three-hundred pound man skinny-dippin' with a robot... that just ain't right.
Otto: I need to wash my eyes!

  • In an episode of Brain POP, Chip the chipmunk appeared selling Tim & Moby's tulips. And then, Tim said this.
  • In one episode of Family Guy, Peter makes a long analogy involving Woody Allen with a "Chinaman." Lois gently informs him to "hold that thought, because when we get home I'm going to explain everything that's wrong with it."


  1. As a fractal, it can't be many kinds of wrong, only the same kind of wrong no matter how you view it. Associating this expression with fractals is as redundant as the notion of 'levels' in fractals, by design.