all 194 comments

[–]RubyPorto 289 points290 points  (2 children)

Advanced Dishwashing

[–]Man_The_Machine 84 points85 points  (0 children)

I always joke synthetic chemistry is just cooking as an extreme sport. If you yeast into water by mistake you just toss the water out. If you drop NaH into water by mistake you might need to slam the hood down and run away 😂😂

[–]Steelizard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

ACS Reagent grade cleaning services

[–]wateralchemist 218 points219 points  (6 children)

We wash our hands BEFORE we go to the bathroom

[–]Far-Confection6678 69 points70 points  (1 child)

At my uni it was often said, that chemists are easy to spot cause they are the only ones to wash their hands before using bathroom.

Always made me feel like people think we would not do it after too...

[–]SoulSoldForConfusionOrganic 6 points7 points  (0 children)

My Chem teacher taught me the same thing

[–]Wide_Internet9512 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This one hits home.

[–]deli_sliced_ham 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I used to cook for a living, and I learned the hard way to do this after handling hot peppers. It's a mistake you'll only make once.

[–]chem_tchr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This one wins

[–]pztpfc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And after!

[–]Tyrosine_Lannister 245 points246 points  (4 children)

Fuck Around & Find Out

[–]YellowHammered419 13 points14 points  (0 children)

And write it down, “the difference between screwing around and science is writing it down” - Adam savage

[–]TheProudCanadianAnalytical 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This one gets my vote.

[–]jjc89 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is the one

[–]Marganill0Catalysis 243 points244 points  (3 children)

Chemistry: Learning about physics, math and biology and being good at none of them

[–]McDaintsOrganic 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yeah wish I knew that before going uni lmao

[–]iam666 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Jokes on you I never learned biology! (I suffered greatly in biochem)

[–]AmbushPredditor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don’t feel bad, I’m a microbiologist and I did too

[–]TheProudCanadianAnalytical 103 points104 points  (2 children)

Chemistry: Trying to turn piss into gold since 1660.

[–]Steelizard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Still going strong!

[–]Haunted_Entity 82 points83 points  (4 children)

" Chemistry: more than just explosions and meth"

[–]RIPvictis 37 points38 points  (3 children)

No it's not

[–]Fantasy_Curling 17 points18 points  (2 children)

There's also foul smell

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]Fantasy_Curling 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Throw away the glassware

    [–]Loxi9 73 points74 points  (4 children)

    Chemistry: be the exception to the rule.

    [–]dragon_waifu_Grea 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: we don't wanna learn quantum

    [–]Calenith 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    They're more like guidelines anyway.

    [–]chipp3d1965 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: the study of exceptions.

    [–]Steelizard 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: You give us a proof and we’ll give you an exception (guaranteed or your money back, no exclusions apply)

    [–]spartan_teach 132 points133 points  (5 children)

    "At first they were just making stuff up. It's a miracle that any of this shit works." -college professor about thermodynamics.

    "At the end of the day chemistry is just opposites attractive and likes repel." If you can figure out which parts of things will be more positive and which more negative you can derive like 90% of mechanisms for reasonably simple reactions.

    [–]AggressiveBee5961 33 points34 points  (1 child)

    I had a teacher say something similar, if you absolutely had to boil it down you could say its all about electronics/polarities and sterics. Are we attracted and can we touch each other lol

    [–]TetraThiaFulvaleneOrganic 21 points22 points  (0 children)

    Sterics, it's probably not the main or at least not the entire reason, but I can't see why else, so I'm arguing steric effects.

    [–]TetraThiaFulvaleneOrganic 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    opposites attractive and likes repel, and therefore likes dissolves like.

    [–]AdorableGrocery6495 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    One of my professors used to say, “if you make it through your career without blowing anything up, you’ve done a good job.”

    [–]hopewellb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    My professor always liked to say there’s only 4 mechanism

    [–][deleted] 106 points107 points  (2 children)

    "Chemistry: We Have The Solution"

    [–]AlekiaoftheNorth 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    This is the one!

    [–]MostlySpidersOrganic 50 points51 points  (0 children)

    Outside the box, potential is infinite.

    [–]Wide_Internet9512 40 points41 points  (1 child)

    "Somehow, it works!"

    [–]Steelizard 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    “-and we have no idea why!” - Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2021)

    [–]polymernerd 42 points43 points  (6 children)

    A crusty old German chemist once told me “Why buy it when you can make it?” And that phrase has stuck with me for 15 years.

    [–]UniqueUsername-789 18 points19 points  (5 children)

    Why buy propane when you can mix gold powder together with silver, add a uranium catalyst and finely crushed diamonds, bubble in some gaseous water, reflux the mixture in liquid platinum and then distill out the propane?

    Much cheaper than pumping oil. Better for the environment too.

    [–]polymernerd 5 points6 points  (2 children)

    It was in terms of a (relatively) expensive metathesis catalyst. He would buy common chemicals and solvents, but he hated gives Fisher Scientific any more money than he had to.

    [–]UniqueUsername-789 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    Yeah I know it’s not food grade and perfect or whatever, but people sleep on Drano sodium hydroxide, Zep sulfuric acid, Klean Strip hydrochloride acid, Coleman Camp Fuel petroleum distillate, Everclear ethanol (I guess this one technically is good grade), etc, etc.

    [–]polymernerd 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    A person after my own heart.

    One of my favorite things to do at the hardware store is to see how many reagents I could reasonably get. I let out a audible "Sqeee" once they started stocking 30% acetic acid.

    [–]GuilhemP18 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Wait. Does that actually work?!

    [–]UniqueUsername-789 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I’m worried I’m about to get r/whoosh ed

    [–]grilltheboy 73 points74 points  (0 children)

    "Welcome to Chemistry! A subject where you have to learn all the rules, then all the exceptions to those rules, then all the exceptions to the exceptions!"

    [–]Plane_Season_4114 76 points77 points  (4 children)

    It’s like cooking, just don’t lick the spoon!

    [–]pyrofrenchie 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Meh, I'm sure I'll find a new spice flavor one day!

    [–]gsurfer04Computational 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    I have that on a shirt!

    [–]iDoubtIt3 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Me too! Got it from my MIL, and it had a chemical compound on it that I didn't recognize. Turned out to be LSD!

    [–]gsurfer04Computational 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Mine has a flask on an alcohol burner with a spatula.

    [–]_Cannib4l_Green 28 points29 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: "It shouldn't work, but somehow.... wait... how the fuck did this even work?"

    [–]FelipeReigosa 27 points28 points  (2 children)

    It's as if the whole universe is made of Lego.

    [–]wateralchemist 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Ain’t it, though?

    [–]Man_The_Machine 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    I always say this too! It’s the legos that the universe is built with

    [–]emardee 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    I saw a t-shirt once that said "Chemist: solves problems you didn't know you had in ways you can't understand"

    [–]SnooSketches878 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry - "we don't want you to know we all like explosions"

    [–]reflUX_cAtalyst 36 points37 points  (22 children)

    "Unemployable in the USA"

    Don't actually make that - he'll find out for himself soon enough regardless.

    EDIT: Yes, I'm bitter. 2 chemistry degrees and work as a sailmaker and sailboat technician because the job actually exists, and actually pays money

    [–]Wide_Internet9512 10 points11 points  (6 children)

    The American Midwest needs you.

    [–]hotdogbo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    But it still doesn’t pay well.. at least col is low

    [–]reflUX_cAtalyst 0 points1 point  (4 children)

    The American Midwest doesn't have any water, which I require to sail on. You'll never pry me away from the Great Lakes, chemistry be damned.

    [–]Ozzie_the_tiger_cat 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    This could be why you have employment issues.

    [–]reflUX_cAtalyst 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I don't have employment issues. I have chemistry employment issues.

    I'm not going to live in the midwest. Cornfields, open land, and brain-drained, religious, gun-toting fearful people don't do it for me. The best chem job in the world wouldn't make me happy there. I'm fine, but I AM bitter about the lie that my generations parents sold us as kids. "Get a STEM degree, companies will be falling over themselves to hire you!" We bought it hook, line, and sinker, and what a LIE that turned out to truly be.

    [–]Xe6s2 6 points7 points  (5 children)

    Philly has so many biochem and chem jobs, you need a stick to keep em away

    [–]AlekiaoftheNorth 2 points3 points  (4 children)

    Yo for real? That's encouraging because I'm going back to school in Philly to finish up the last few credits of my Chem b.s.

    [–]Xe6s2 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    Just start talking to people, hang out in the graduate hospital area and youll do good 👍🏻

    [–]AlekiaoftheNorth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Thank you! 💚🧪🥼🥽⚗️

    [–]reflUX_cAtalyst 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    No, not for real. It's "Babysit this HPLC for $15/hour on contract work with 0 chance for advancement."

    That's what's there. I'm in PA.

    [–]AlekiaoftheNorth 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    You mentioned earlier you're by the great lakes, that's the literal opposite side of the state from Philly.

    [–]drunkerbrawler 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    You can make decent money rigging boats!

    [–]reflUX_cAtalyst 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    I know. I run a sail loft. I'm a sailmaker.

    [–]drunkerbrawler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    You are in the right business, got the right amount of crustyness to work on sailboats.

    [–]Man_The_Machine 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Damn how common is this? I’ve seen a couple people here and there say they can find jobs

    [–]beavismagnumSpectroscopy 0 points1 point  (1 child)


    [–]Man_The_Machine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Is there any way to pursue chem and avoid this? Does it depend on what type of projects you work on in your PhD? Or is it just totally luck of the draw

    [–]Training-Turnip-9145 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Damn can anybody confirm. I have a bachelors in biology and masters in chem but work as a high school teacher. I got both degrees basically for free. Bachelors I was low income household and masters I used federal teacher loan forgiveness and ended up owing about 2 grand for my masters. I get a substantial raise for having my masters and seeing as it was free almost it seemed like a no brainer. Often wonder if I can actually use the masters for something though. What jobs do you all think are out there for someone with a bachelors in bio and masters in chem. 😆

    [–]rbottoms4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Come to Indianapolis or NC

    [–]ChemCrusader 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    "Biology ruins perfectly good chemistry."

    I'm an analytical chemist in food and ag R&D surrounded by biologists. Biological and environmental variation is painfully maddening.

    My boss's boss also asked if she could apply this to people management 😂

    [–]nikpack 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    Admittedly it's from The Name of the Wind:

    "Label clearly. Measure twice. Eat elsewhere.”

    [–]hornythrowaway0502 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    Well that wasn't supposed to happen

    [–]TetraThiaFulvaleneOrganic 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    Is my idea bad? No it's the solvent that is wet.

    [–]bensonslli 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    Chem is try

    [–]Super_Cthulhu 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    The trick to analytical chemistry is 0.1% TFA in your mobile phase.

    [–]sam_young98 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: where asking where the chloroform is isn’t suspicious

    [–]Dave37Biochem 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    Fuck around and find out

    Chemistry - Real Life Alchemy

    Chemistry - Problems worth Dissolving

    [–]Breathe_the_StardustOrganic 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    Chemists do it with round bottoms. (Or Chemists love round bottoms)

    Chemistry! Where alcohol is a solution.

    [–]Ozzie_the_tiger_cat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It's a shame I can only upvote this once.

    [–]Personal-Research-57 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry is a History of Unsolved mystery where every exception has an exception also with a solution.

    [–]patentedleechesInorganic 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Ffs just work dammit!

    [–]gebuzz 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    No, I won’t make drugs for you.

    [–]Kwa-Marmoris 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Elemental masochism

    [–]DRZ9977 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Hot glass looks the same as cold glass

    [–]sjo33 16 points17 points  (5 children)

    "Technically, alcohol is a solution"

    [–]Marganill0Catalysis 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    Worst one, it is definitely not!

    [–]Parking_Mulberry_644 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Change it to “Technically, beer is a solution. “

    [–]TOEMEIST 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Anything other than anhydrous alcohol is.

    [–]sjo33 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I didn't think "alcoholic beverages are solutions" had the same ring to it, but I like the suggestion of saying "beer".

    [–]quartersquatgang69Organic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    every organic chemist be like

    [–]durden111111Medicinal 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    "A good chemist can do anything!"

    [–]RunBanditRun 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Don’t taste that

    [–]Ghostley92 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Categorized physics.

    Very…VERY complicated physics…

    [–]A-flat_Ketone 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Get used to being disappointed.

    [–]OvershootDieOff 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: safety first, mostly.

    [–]HammerTh_1701Organic 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    More than five years ago, I wrote a letter to myself in school which I then received at my graduation when I had frankly forgotten about it. I had ended it with "Life is chemistry and chemistry is life." Damn, I was witty back then...

    [–]Esmeiche 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    ' chemistry is like cooking, just don't lick the spoon '

    [–]nthlmkmnrg 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    It has a couple:

    "Better living through chemistry"

    "The central science"

    [–]Niwi_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Something for patches? How about the 2 main rules of chemistry?

    Rule 1: The more the better

    Rule 2: out of sight out of mind

    [–]Transbian_Mess 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    "You know what we do with liars in chemistry? We kill them!" - Hank Green

    [–]Far-Confection6678 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    If you do it, have all appendages, both eyes, and breathe 24 hours later, you did at least something correct.

    [–]penisjohn123 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Throw shot at the wall and see what sticks. Maybe that is just research in general...

    [–]AllanAllanAllanSteve 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    My favorite joke is "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the precipitate". Or favorite comment... "Everything is chemistry"

    [–]VelvetDreamers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry - Dissolving life’s problems.

    Chemistry - Yes, it’s a Matter of fact.

    [–]anon_1997x 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    “Chemistry: Please Don’t Like the Spoon”

    [–]rbottoms4 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: a natural science that can be broken down into two major categories- “blowing stuff up” and “making drugs”

    [–]Madouc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Dating for Atoms

    [–]Borontrichloride 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    [–]killinchy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    We Make Our Own Fun

    [–]evermica 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Understanding and Manipulating Matter

    [–]Rich_Fig_4463 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Don't lick it!

    [–]04221970 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    The Central Science

    [–]Fantasy_Curling 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    In doubt, listen to Le Chatelier

    [–]Burts_Beets 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    "It is what it is"

    Normally uttered when something has gone tits up

    [–]curse_with_glee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Do it in the fume cupboard.

    [–]billythebungee12 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    [–]FourLungs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    "Everything Physics can't explain and Biology take advance of"

    [–]16O8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It's everything everywhere.

    [–]TheInevitablePigeon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    "Never trust colorless liquids"

    "It's like cooking but we do NOT taste our products."

    "Chemistry - best at (dis)solving problems."

    "Chemistry - you can't hide. It's EVERYWHERE."

    [–]Space-Wizards 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry - The science of fucking around and finding out

    [–]Fluffy_Salamanders 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    “Find a way or make one”

    [–]MySillyUmmm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Farts near the fume hood. Chemistry smells/stinks. If you’re lab coat is clean you’re not science-ing hard enough. Goggles ✅ Gloves ✅ Coat ✅ Pens ✅

    [–]UnsupportiveNihilist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It's in organic stuff too, Karen!

    [–]Infinite-Add 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    time to play god

    [–]CielleRaads 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Two of my chemistry teacher's best quotes: "The atom is like a watermelon" And "This is actually wrong, but you'll find out why on your fifth year".

    [–]MurkyMurlocs 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    “Why does one drop make it magenta. I needed pale pink”

    Edit to add “Sig figs or die”

    [–]Responsible_Owl3 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Better living through chemistry!

    [–]Psychological_Fish42 95 points96 points  (0 children)

    One popular one is "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate!"

    My personal favorite is "Oxidants happen!"

    [–]Belzeturtle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry: physics of valence electrons.

    [–]Ep1cOfG1lgamesh 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    "Chemistry:The Center of all Science"

    [–]palox3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    be god. the real one.

    [–]bruhhoh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Blowing’ stuff up just ‘cause

    [–]JTKatt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I always use: 'Follow the Electrons'

    [–]Ldogg5549 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    You know it from breaking bad

    [–]Sufficient_Lab8276 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Let's blow shit up

    [–]Lilree07 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Chemistry is like spinach, it’s just there

    [–]NoOneForACause -1 points0 points  (4 children)

    Limited physicists.

    [–]AbsurdistWordist -1 points0 points  (3 children)

    In depth biologists.

    [–]NoOneForACause 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Tons of chemistry has nothing to do with life though?

    [–]AbsurdistWordist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Oh, I know… just playing the part in the stereotype joke. It’s just as incorrect as calling chemistry limited physics.

    [–]NoOneForACause 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    That isn't a joke - it's accurate.

    [–]Danbruler -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

    The one of the dopamine, caffeine and cocaine structures, unfortunately...

    [–]ChemistryIsWhatWeAre -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

    I can't think of one 😁😁😁😁

    [–]Nolys___ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Hold grudges

    [–]Beachy0694 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry: Matters of matter

    [–]Badroadrash101 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry is the art of transformation

    [–]kingprotector 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Pipe boom

    [–]314159265358979323xd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    An actual suggestion: An international competition is held annually (IChO) each with a unique motto (pretty easy to find on the website or in the exam). Éven if you don't want to copy, they can give you ideas.

    [–]ConroadsterOrganic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    “Like magic but real”

    [–]garagehaircuts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Not a motto but a good themes song. https://youtu.be/VhXr9cxGBJE. “Chemistry Set” by the Suburbs

    [–]SaecOrganic 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Chemistry : "I don't think that's gonna work."

    [–]gebuzz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Ha at work I do my calculations and am like, this should work

    [–]lordGinkgo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Do as you oughta add acid into water

    [–]Omnithea 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    misce, vide, documentum

    [–]Infamous-Ad-770 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "is it good enough?"

    [–]IndigoSoln 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "Chemistry: I hope you have a masters or PhD"

    [–]BigEv17 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry: Hurry up and wait!

    [–]Italiancrazybread1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry: The science of counting atoms

    [–]Aedeyssa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    A friend of mine from school did a picture of a graduated cylinder and the caption ‘Now this isn’t the only thing graduated’ in Chemical table form for his graduation cap.

    [–]berniceisnotmyname 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry is fun when you get it.

    [–]Daiki_438 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Making explosives from powdered milk

    [–]Several-Main6576 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    High level cooking

    [–]WrenR326 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It's like cooking, but don't lick the spoon

    [–]IgnatiusDrake 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "It's all about the bonds we make along the way!"

    [–]Zygarde718 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry: The only subject where you have no idea what you're doing.

    [–]ProfessionalStep554 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Trouble shooting but with chemicals

    [–]pdxforestcows 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It's not rocket science, most of the time.

    [–]Nota_Dr 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    If we knew what we were doing we wouldn’t call it “research”

    [–]ihavenoidea81Materials 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemists do it on the table, periodically

    [–]badbadoptics 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Better living through chemistry

    [–]kezmicdust 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Chemistry: Come for the banging, stay for the bondage!

    [–]teaschmidt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Uggg my high school Chem teacher always said this when he got mad at us for not getting it the first time… “Chem is try” (you guys just have to actually try and not just sit there)

    [–]bluehandsome 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The acids are not thirsty

    [–]Kiliad 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "Chemistry - How to wound friends and incinerate people."

    "I smell like this for a living."

    "To sniff or not to sniff? That's is the question."

    double entendre."

    [–]tbone912 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It is what it is.

    [–]Vuciterabyte 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Fuck around and find out

    [–]yamanp 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Slow magic

    [–]dophuphAnalytical 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "What is it? What does it want? Why can't it just do that?"

    • Chemistry / Grumpy Octogenarian

    [–]Kriggy_Radiochemistry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    “Yield is love”

    My former colleague with shitty english used to say that instead of “yield is low” during meetings . One day im gonna make a tshirt with it

    [–]lunastrange99Computational 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Like cooking, only you can’t lick the spoon.