117 Hyperbole Examples

The use of hyperbole as a figure of speech in the English language started in the late 1700s and continues to be popular today. Obvious exaggerations make our conversations and writing more interesting to listen to and read.

To create a strong understanding of the concept, we’ll kick things off by defining the term more completely and then listing our 117 examples.

Buckle up for the best ride of your life! (See what I did there?)


Just what is hyperbole? A hyperbole is an overstatement that makes a claim that isn’t meant to be taken literally. It originated in the Greek language and then spread to Latin and finally English.

It is often said that someone is “prone to using hyperboles,” this means that the person tends to embellish stories and situations and perhaps should be scrutinized for their accuracy.

What Does Hyperbole Mean?

A statement that is a deliberate exaggeration to emphasize that something is far better or far worse is a hyperbole. For example, it could be used to describe the weather; “it’s as windy as a hurricane outside.

This statement might be made when it is fairly windy but not hurricane-strength. Using hyperbole is a way to make a point by overemphasizing a good or bad situation to draw attention to it.

Hyperbole vs. Exaggeration

Exaggeration means overstating a description of an event, e.g., I drove 75 miles per hour (when you really drove 65 mph). Whereas a hyperbolic approach might have the storyteller say that he drove faster than a speeding bullet. Did the storyteller really drive faster than a speeding bullet? The answer is “no.”

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Hyperbole in a Sentence

Hyperbole is a part of everyday speech and differs from similes and metaphors. A simile always uses the words “like” or “as” to draw a comparison between two subjects; “he is as evil as the devil.”

A metaphor sets up an implied comparison between two different subjects; “a river of daylight rushed upon us.” Understanding alliteration is another excellent example to expand your writing and having fun with the language know-how of this literary device.

A hyperbole is a single statement such as, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” The exaggeration is so outrageous that it’s unbelievable, but it does convey the strong message that “I’m really hungry!”

At Greeting Card Poet, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of hyperboles for you to enjoy and perhaps use in your own writings or greetings. We’ve started the list by polling our expert panel to come up with the 13 most classic hyperboles of all time.

Hyperbole examples

Top 13 Hyperbole Examples

1.) His brain is the size of a pea.

2.) I’m so broke I don’t have two cents to rub together.

3.) He runs like the wind.

4.) It was so cold; I saw polar bears wearing hats and jackets.

5.) He’s as skinny as a toothpick.

6.) My teacher is older than dirt.

7.) I can’t go out; I have a ton of homework.

8.) His new car was as fast as greased lightning.

9.) She was buried under a mountain of paperwork.

10.) My suitcase weighs a ton.

11.) This is the worst (best) day of my life.

12.) My Mom made enough food to feed an army.

13.) The rocket was faster than the speed of light.

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Harper Lee Hyperbole image

Slogans and Advertising

It’s only natural that hyperboles are a favorite for advertisers; their deliberate exaggeration brings attention to goods and services and helps provide a catchy tagline that consumers will remember. Here are some of the most popular hyperboles used in advertising:

14.) I’d walk a mile for a Camel.
Camel Cigarettes

15.) Cover the Earth with Sherwin Williams.
Sherwin Williams Paint

16.) Frosted Flakes… They’re Great!

17.) The best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.
Folger’s Coffee

18.) Put a tiger in your tank.
Esso Gas

19.) It doesn’t get any better than this.
Oscar Meyer

20.) Red Bull gives you wings.
Red Bull Energy Drink

21.) Citi never sleeps.
Citi Bank.

22.) Tastes so good, cats ask for it by name.
Meow Mix

23.) Betcha can’t eat just one.
Lays Potato Chips

24.) They’re at every turn.
Citgo Gas

25.) America runs on Dunkin’.
Dunkin’ Donuts

26.) Mastercard… priceless.
Mastercard Credit Cards

27.) Impossible is nothing.

28.) Stronger than dirt.

Hyperbolic Ads

29.) The ultimate driving machine.

30.) The happiest place on Earth.

31.) It keeps going…and going…and going.
Energizer Batteries

32.) So easy, a caveman can do it.
Geico Insurance

33.) Nothing runs like a Deere.
John Deere

34.) It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.
Perdue Chicken

35.) With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.

36.) There is no substitute for Porsche.
Porsche Automobiles

37.) Only you can prevent forest fires.
Smokey the Bear

38.) The breakfast of champions.
Wheaties (General Mills)

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In Literature

In literature, hyperboles are a literary tool that can be used to create great visual images in the mind of the reader.

The idea to add emphasis through deliberate exaggeration helps the writer bring a description or situation to life. Often in literature, the hyperboles are more complex than the ones used in day-to-day speech.

Hyperboles can help land specific messages intended to engage the reader and pique their interest and imagination. Many great writers, including William Shakespeare, used hyperbole to great effect. Here are a few examples:

39.) With cunning thou has filched (stolen) my daughter’s heart.
William Shakespeare

40.) It’s a slow burg – I spent a couple of weeks there one day.
Carl Sandburg

41.) The skin on her face was as thin and drawn as tight as the skin of an onion, and her eyes were gray and sharp like the points of two picks.
Flannery O’Connor

42.) I was helpless, I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far.
Mark Twain

43.) No. No. I am ugly as a bear. For beasts that meet me run away in fear.
William Shakespeare

44.) Why does a boy who is fast as a jet take all day and sometimes two to get to school?
John Ciardi


45.) People moved slowly then. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.
Harper Lee

46.) Well now, one winter it was so cold all the geese flew backward, and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue.
Paul Bunyan

47.) I heard all things in the heaven and in the Earth. I heard many things in Hell. How then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
Edgar Allen Poe

48.) When the Americans and their guards did come out, the sky was black with smoke. The sun was an angry little pinhead. Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody else in the neighborhood was dead.
Kurt Vonnegut

Paul Bunyan over the top image

In Song

Since authors utilize hyperboles so effectively, it only seems logical that songwriters would take advantage of hyperboles as well. We’ve assembled some examples of hyperboles used in songs, there are probably a lot more, but there are also a lot of songs where you just can’t understand the lyrics.

So, you have to listen hard or get a printed copy of the lyrics to the song to find the hyperboles. Well, we’ve done the work for you; here are some examples:

49.) You got me feeling emotions higher than the heavens above.
Mariah Carey

50.) I’d rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue.
Weird Al Yankovich

51.) I have loved you for a thousand years. I’ll love you for a thousand more.
Christina Perrl

52.) Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles if I could see you tonight.
Vanessa Carlton

53.) I search around the world. But I can’t seem to find someone to love.
Leighton Meester

54.) A thousand times before, I’ve wondered if there’s something more, something more.

55.) Deeper than the ocean, higher than the stars above.
Randy Travis

56.) You’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town.
Taylor Swift


57.) I braved a hundred storms to leave you.

58.) Tonight, we are young. So, let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.

59.) I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked 1000 miles and fell down at your door.
The Proclaimers

60.) Until the ocean covers every mountain high.
Stevie Wonder

61.) I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be…if you’ll be my baby. Got a ticket for a world where we belong. So, would you be my baby?
Savage Garden

62.) We only said goodbye with words. I died a hundred times. You go back to her. And I go back to black, black, black.
Amy Winehouse

63.) Now there’s just no chance for you and me; there’ll never be (No chance, you and me). And don’t it make you sad about it? Cry me a river. (Go and just) Cry me a river.
Justin Timberlake

64.) Strumming my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words. Killing me softly with his song, Killing me softly with his song. Telling my whole life with his words. Killing me softly with his song.
Roberta Flack

65.) California girls. We’re unforgettable. Daisy Dukes. Bikinis on top. Sun-kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle.
Katy Perry

66.) Under the lights tonight, turned around and you stole my heart. With just one look, when I saw your face, I fell in love.
One Direction

67.) He could play the guitar just like ringing a bell.
Chuck Berry

Pop Music

68.) I’d catch a grenade for ya. Throw my hand on a blade for ya. I’d jump in front of a train for ya. You know I’d do anything for ya.
Bruno Mars

69.) Hello from the other side; I must have called you a thousand times.

70.) She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire. Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway. She’s living in a world and it’s on fire.
Alicia Keys

71.) You are like a hurricane. There’s calm in your eye. And I’m gettin’ blown away.
Neil Young

72.) And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while.
Bruno Mars

73.) *For the first time in history, it’s gonna start raining me. It’s raining men. Hallelujah! It’s raining, men, amen.
The Weather Girls

* An interesting note about this song, it was co-written by Paul Shaffer. You may recognize that name, Paul Shaffer, was the musical director for David Letterman and leader of the CBS Orchestra.

Hyperbole Video

Examples in Poems

Since Authors and songwriters are drawn to hyperboles, it only stands to reason that poets would be to. As in classic literature, the use of hyperbole helps set a scene and lets readers visualize more clearly.

Some of the hyperboles we’ve listed here might help you write something in a letter or greeting card to a loved one or special friend. Homer used hyperboles in his works The Iliad and The Odyssey, and poets have been using this technique ever since. Check out our collection of hyperboles in these classic poems:

74.) I wandered lonely as a cloud,

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

when all at once, I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in a pensive mood.

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And when my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

— William Wordsworth

75.) O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,

Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead

Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,

Pestilence-stricken multitudes;

O thou, who chariots to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,

Each like a corpse within its grave, until

Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)

With living hues and odors plain and hill;

Wild Spirit, which art moving anywhere;

Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetic Exaggeration

76.) How do I loathe you?

Counting…one, two…

I loathe your strident noise,

Your great big hefty “boys,”

I loathe the constant brawls,

The TV-conscious “fall”‘

I hate your silly fans,

Who scream and clap their hands,

Their stupid woolen gear

Worn round their neck and ears,

And when a match is lost,

Guess who pays the cost?

Don’t be too surprised

To see wives with two black eyes.

— Beth Evans

Emile Pinet Poem

78.) It begins with a gentle breeze

rustling the leaves with its touch.

Scurrying through the tops of the trees

it begins with a gentle breeze.

Not enough to discourage bees

it’s only brisk it isn’t much.

It begins with a gentle breeze

rustling the leaves with its touch.

It’s only brisk it isn’t much

until the breeze begins to gust.

And yet birds still escape its clutch

it’s only brisk it isn’t much.

It topples garbage cans and such

gathering up a cloud of dust.

It’s only brisk it isn’t much

until that breeze begins to gust.

Gathering up a cloud of dust

it blocks the sun’s diminished light.

And proceeds with increasing thrust

gathering up a cloud of dust.

As shutters squeak and hinges bust

a furious gale gives them flight.

Gathering up a cloud of dust

it blocks the sun’s diminished light.

A furious gale gives them flight

as slate shingles fly through the air.

Morphing into objects of might,

a furious gale gives them flight.

Folks find cover and hang on tight,

for flying debris packs a scare.

A furious gale gives them flight

as slate shingles fly through the air.

— Emile Pinet

Southern Examples

People in the south are known for their colorful language, and distinctive hyperboles are no exception. Everyone enjoys a good turn of the phrase, but southerners truly take it as an art form.

If you can say something that is more memorable, that’s the way to say it. Here is a collection of classic southern hyperboles on a wide variety of subjects:

79.) Nuttier than a fruit cake.

80.) Old Wallen is crazier than a coot.

81.) It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

82.) Did you just fall off the turnip truck?

83.) He’s running around like a chicken with his head cut off.

84.) Busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kickin’ contest.

85.) You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

Southern Hyperbole in Everyday Speech

86.) It’s more than you can shake a stick at.

87.) He can’t hit the side of a barn.

88.) She’s so skinny you can’t even see her shadow.

89.) If his brains were dynamite, he couldn’t blow his nose.

90.) You’re lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.

91.) I have been running all over hell’s half-acre.

92.) she’s meaner than a wet panther.

93.) He squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams.

94.) He’s so ugly he’d scare a buzzard off a gut pile.

95.) You took as long as a month of Sundays.

96.) He’s happier than a dead pig in the sunshine.

97.) He was so poor; he had a tumbleweed as a pet.

98.) He’s so dumb he could throw himself on the ground and miss.

99.) Compared to him, a tree stump in a Louisiana swamp has a higher IQ.

100.) I’m so poor I can’t afford to pay attention.

For Sweethearts

Perhaps the subject of love and romance is best suited for hyperboles. An expression of affection is perfect for a little exaggeration. Throughout the years, when sweethearts have expressed their feelings for each other, they have used hyperboles to accentuate their love for one another.

Really, figurative language, metaphors, similes, and hyperboles are all ideally suited to send a loving message on Valentine’s Day or on any day. Many of the greeting cards you see online and in stores use these language tools to help deliver the right romantic message. Here is a collection of amorous hyperboles for you to use as you wish:

101.) When you walk into the room, it is as if it is filled with roses.

102.) I love you so much; it literally hurts.

103.) I want to tell you a million times that I love you.

104.) To tell you how much you mean to me, I will climb Mount Everest and shoot it out!

105.) The shiniest star in the universe has nothing on you.

106.) If you left me, you would break my heart.

Hyperbole in Love Messages

107.) Not only are you the most special person on my left, but you are also the only person in my life.

108.) If it were a very cloudy day, you’d still supply the sunshine.

109.) I love you to the moon and back.

110.) Superglue has nothing on what holds us together.

111.) Your smile alone makes my life worth living.

112.) I think about you 24 hours a day and if for some reason I’m not thinking about you, I’m thinking about us.

113.) Even if I gave you all the roses in the world, they would not be enough.

114.) You mean more to me than everything else in my world.

115.) I would travel a million miles just for the chance to hold your hand.

116.) You stole my heart, and no, I don’t want it back.

117.) There are three words I would say every day for 100 lifetimes, “I Love You!”

Hyperbole FAQs

Check out our frequently asked questions on hyperbole.

What is the most famous example of hyperbole?

We think it’s a toss-up between “It’s raining cats and dogs” and “I’m so hungry I can eat a horse.”

Why do authors use hyperbole?

It accentuates a thought or idea and places additional emphasis on the concept. Plus, it makes for enjoyable reading because many examples are amusing.

Is hyperbole the same as a metaphor?

No, hyperbole uses exaggeration, while metaphors use comparison. Some metaphors can be hyperbole-like, e.g., “He’s King Kong.” But, other metaphors do not use hyperbole, e.g., “The snow is a white blanket.”

Is the use of hyperbole universally loved?

Critics suggest the use of hyperbole is controversial because by definition – exaggeration – it is at odds with the truth. Aristotle called the use of hyperbole “juvenile.” However you feel about it, hyperbole has made its way into everyday conversation.

I told you a million times you’d love this article. Am I right?

By Tim Moodie

Tim Moodie is not prone to using hyperbole. However, as a young advertising copywriter, he did write the tagline “Listen to the music of the best times of your life” for a Twin Cities “beautiful music” station.

He has written copy for many Radio and TV commercials and is very familiar with the terms best, greatest, cheapest, most reliable, happiest, grandest, and more.


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