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CSS is like…

Published by Chris Coyier

I mused on Twitter recently:

CSS is like chess. You can learn the basics in a day and spend a lifetime mastering it.

I quickly thought it would be fun to collect other people's ideas on what CSS is like. Here is what you said:


CSS is like a girlfriend. No matter how hard you try, she will always interpret it a different way.


CSS is like marching orders for pixels.


CSS is like religion; People quickly become fundamentalists.


CSS is like doing puzzles all day and getting paid for it.


CSS is like a pencil to paper; I get any result I want!


CSS is like a river, it is always flowing and you have to go with the current not against it.


CSS is like clothes for your HTML.


CSS is like an STD; it's unpleasant and you're stuck with it.


CSS is like giving your girlfriend sexy lingerie. She's already formed well, but you like when she dresses up.


CSS is like pants. You don't have to use it. But you look silly without it.


CSS is like a box of chocolates you never know what your gonna get.


CSS is like an old man that doesn't know what he's doing or where he is.

Bobby Phillipps:

CSS is like a Rubik's cube. Sometimes you'll line one part up, but that completely screws up something else you had lined up.

Fede Isas:

CSS is like an old Beatles's song. Simple, but still beautiful.

Mike Rogers:

CSS is like an old man's wiener, some times it just doesn't work the way it's suppose to.


Of course, feel free to leave your own in the comments!


  1. Pauli
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a bitch, enough money and everything is possible.

  2. Permalink to comment#

    CSS make me addicted

  3. Damn, what’s with lack of CSS love?

    CSS is like that girlfriend you had who was WAY out of your league. You know she’s too hot for you and it’ll eventually end, but you’re enjoying it while it lasts.

    so sayeth karma ;)

    • Permalink to comment#

      Agreed…CSS itself to me is amazing and awesome, but it’s the browsers that tend to take the edge off that said awesomeness.

    • That is 23 characters over a Twitter post but I agree with you

    • Here ya go:
      CSS is like that girlfriend who was WAY out of your league. You know it’ll eventually end, but youre enjoying it while it lasts

      Twitter friendly

  4. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like having bi-polar disorder. You feel on top of the world until you check your design in IE…

  5. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is the Lando Calrissian to my Han Solo

  6. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a cupboard. Do not put plates in it! If its not to big, a couple of spoons on top would not disturb to save time. Below would even be better but than you need to bend over.

  7. @BenTortora – I having been laughing for a minute straight! Nice one

  8. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a sculptor’s tools to be used on the clay that is markup.

  9. Permalink to comment#

    Css does for HTML what botox did for Demi Moore

  10. Permalink to comment#

    On the contrary, I don’t agree with BenTortora.

    CSS does not interpret a different way what you do… is Internet Explorer!

    Let’s not get confused ;)

    Here’s my take:

    For those Quake 3 lovers out there: CSS is like strafe jumping, hard to master and hard to understand how it works, but once you know how to use it, you can do things you thought impossible before.

  11. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like, so totally awesome! :)

  12. Brendan
    Permalink to comment#

    My pal Jesse made quite a funny one.

  13. CSS is like nothing things :)

  14. Snookerman
    Permalink to comment#

    Here’s another one I stumbled upon:

  15. CSS is like sex. Sometimes it’s euphoric, and sometimes the positioning is awkward.

  16. Permalink to comment#

    “CSS for me it’s not a Counter Strike Source” – T-Law (

  17. Permalink to comment#

    1.#CSS is .like { fun: 60%; creativity: 80%; pain:15%; }

    2.* html #CSS is .like { fun: 0%; creativity: 0%; pain:100%; }

  18. Permalink to comment#

    That first one is hilarious!

  19. Permalink to comment#

    @mikecasey – CSS is like death metal, impossible to understand but for some reason alot of people seem to like it.

  20. geekyjohn
    Permalink to comment#

    The “CSS is like a box of chocolates you never know what your gonna get.” reply was from @geekyjohn

  21. CSS is like music, the more you get involved the more you appreciate its beauty.

  22. CSS is like dieting; you don’t always slim down your code as much as you want, and bloating occurs without warning.

  23. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a boner; if you put it in somewhere it doesn’t belong, it might not work anymore. :(

  24. ali
    Permalink to comment#

    css is like CSS! :)

  25. CSS = Cascading Style Sucks!

  26. Jitendra Vyas
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is a Fashion Designer of HTML

  27. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a fine woman… it has class, style, and all the right attributes!

  28. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like the replies above… some are stupid, some are smart.

  29. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is the cure for OCD

  30. James McWhorter
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS will transform you; no matter what your case is!

    Permalink to comment#

    CSS Is like Our life, Once You start off on the Journey ain’t NO Way back!

    Norman Flecha

  32. Jordan
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a god among tables.

  33. CSS is that person that always tries to make the rules, that in the end, nobody ends up following.

  34. Pepijn
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is a rapstar, all bling bling

  35. Reshmi
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS make life


    into a colorful rainbow

  36. CSS is like a mask for the ugly plain HTML pages.

  37. css is like an ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend), no matter how how much you love her, there will always be another man she needs to satisfy.

  38. RossE
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like sex. You’ve just gotta keep bangin’ away until you nail it

  39. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like clothes for your <body> ;)

  40. evixketh
    Permalink to comment#

    Hey, alright. My Rubik’s Cube comment made it. :D

  41. Stéphane
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a boat, it floats.

  42. Haha :)
    This was a great idea for a post Chris.
    Some of these are really funny. :)

  43. Steve Chen
    Permalink to comment#

    Too funny. These crack me up. :D

  44. Those are hilarious, and disturbingly, most are true.

  45. Sketchy
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like jerking can imagine all you want, but when you’re done it still sucks..

  46. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like being a magician, always trying to learn that new, sweet trick.

  47. To me, CSS is like “whoa”:

  48. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a koala bear crapping a rainbow in your brain.

  49. Steve D
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS3 is CSS 2.1s techno-geeks cousin, he’s got all the cool toys but he won’t let you play with them!

  50. CSS is like culture of HTML, can’t live without it…

  51. This was fantastic, lol… good piece : )

  52. Dave
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a pleasant dream, until IE6/7 turns it into a never-ending nightmare

  53. That’s so great! I love the “girlfriend” one (although I would never have the guts to laugh about it in front of my girlfriend …)

    Cheers for the collection!

  54. cssfreak
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like paint-job for webpages

  55. Gregory Hernandez
    Permalink to comment#

    All perceived creations are but reflections of the original big bang! And, it took God just 2 days to do these.

    He spent the next 5 days coming up with the CSS to make things appear beautiful and different at once.

  56. J. McNair
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a physical therapist; there’s a lot of pain, but things are always better in the long run.

  57. CSS is like math. There are many routes to a solution, yet screwing one value up can break a lot of things. You really have to test, break, and make layouts in order to master CSS.

    As with math, if you can create a problem you surely can solve it. Because you have an understanding of the set of underlying principles contained within.

  58. Hey my weiner one made it!

  59. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like an illness, better to find the cause of the problem than to fix the symptom.

  60. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a RELATIONSHIP, no matter how well you treat your partner, the in-laws will not approve you.

    In-laws: Mother-In-Law=IE (hardly works), Rest of the-in-laws=FF, Safari etc (works sometimes).z

  61. Pedro Sousa
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like God, they say He’s all-mighty, but the world remains full of misery

  62. CSS is like an blood of HTML, Can’t live without it.

  63. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is awesome. Until you try and put it in IE. But that is because IE really …..

  64. A. Ford
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like the software industry: it was pretty cool until Microsoft got involved.

  65. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like a pregnant woman taken inside delivery room, we don’t actually know what the result we are going to get…………..

  66. dave
    Permalink to comment#

    CSS is hell to me: spent countless weeks trying to understand it and somehow I’m still not getting it! WHY OH WHYYY!!! =( WHYYYYYYYY!

  67. Permalink to comment#

    CSS is like traffic. One single wrong turn, and you may not get home tonight.

  68. Jermaine

    css is like a jungle if you have the map you find the treasure, if you don’t you get lost easily.

  69. evilpaul

    CSS is like a boat I’m not on.

  70. CssLuver

    css is like a piece of shit because it is shit

  71. CSS is like analogies

    Annoying when used too much and increasingly addictive when used too little.
    Complexity hidden in a catchy phrase. ahh Cascading Stylesheets must be simple.
    Not everyone understands it equally well, or interprets it the same. Example: IE is like that loud mouth guy in the front of the literature class that thinks the work is wrong (if it’s translated he’ll claim the true meaning got “Lost in Translation”) if his interpretation proves wrong.
    Doesn’t work well when put inline. Analogies in the work itself just make the work more confusing, but as a entirely separate interpretative helper it improves understanding and makes the work clearer.

    To analogize what I just said, CSS is like analogies. Some people just shouldn’t use them, some shouldn’t read them, and some people shouldn’t interpret them.

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