Pain Facial Grimace Scale: Adventure Time edition


One of my favorite moments from the sitcom Scrubs was their discussion of this concept

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Right now? Number four.

The problem with this type of subjective scale is that unless you’ve actually experienced ALL of the stages it’s hard to estimate where you’re at. During a recent hospital stay I usually went with what would elicit the correct response ie. painkillers. Being fairly stoic, I was laughed at when I gave what I thought was a reasonable estimate by my personal standards.I mean, I can handle pain, but I’d rather not.

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Particularly relevant here: childbirth. Way higher than whatever pain ceiling you previously had, unless you have had a really, really unlucky life.

Possibly relevant - Overheard an emergency room conversation that went “I see you have a minor cut, might need 3 stitches, how would you describe your level of pain from 1 - 10?” “13” “Oh. So we will need to run a lot more tests.” - nurse walks away rolling eyes.

For me the definitive pain scale comes from Allie Brosch on Hyperbole and a Half.


It is much better as it ends at it hurts too much too express, not at a mere I am still capable of yelling.

Nothing compared to:


I used her pain scale when my daughter was hospitalized recently. Lying in bed, angry, in pain, it jumped into my head. A few clicks on the ol’ smartphone later and she was laughing.

No other painscale is valid after that, imo.

Observation from this image: the darker your skin tone, the more pain you feel.

Did I miss the part about this being a commentary on race in America?

I had a friend make this for me.

Randall Munroe’s take on the pain scale:

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