When one accidently drops food, not held in a container or wrapper, on the ground. The rule states that if you pick it up within 5 seconds, it won't be contaminated. There is also a '10 second rule' variation. Unfortunately, both rules are urban legends -- The speed with which you can pick the food article back up has no bearing on whether it may receive germs.
Person A: "Crap, dropped a cookie."
Person B: "5 second rule!!"
Person A scrambles to pick up food article
de Ryan Thompson 09 Iulie 2004
An unwritten law dictating that if a food or other consumable item is dropped onto the floor, it may be picked up up and eaten within five seconds. The reasoning behind this is that dirt and germs take six seconds to transfer from one surface to another.
"Oops, dropped my popsicle. Five second rule!"
(Proceeds to pick up dirty-ass rocket pop and suck the lint off of it)
de Hablacraja 10 Iulie 2004
The rule by which one determines whether or not food is safe after falling onto the floor. That is, if you are able to retrieve said item within 5 seconds, it is not dirty and is safe to eat.

* Note: in fraternity houses, this rule is the 1.5 second rule. Rule is invalid in the restroom.
Person 1: Oh no, my chicken wing fell on the floor!
Person 2: 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ...
Person 1: Got it!
Person 2: 5-second rule. It's yours, dude.
de Josh 10 Iulie 2004
1. If an article of food is dropped, the 5 second rule states that it is still elligible for eating within a 5 second interval.

2. A rule governing the amount of time it takes for George W Bush to speak before he mispronounces a word.
We will not stand around to witness the creation of NUQULAR weapons. Oops, five second rule.
de bob_the_russian 05 Noiembrie 2003
Rule invoked whenever dropped food is picked up and consumed in the presence of others. Time can vary widely depending on the type of food dropped: a sirloin steak at a barbecue may have nine lives, while a street vendor hotdog is declared unfit for consumption even before it touches the ground.
Once I saw it slip from his tongs, I asked the street meat vendor if I could get a new sausage.
de K M 12 Iulie 2004
A rule describing the amount of time that a magical force field surrounds a dropped piece of food, after which the force field drops and the food can become dirty and not edible
Shaniqua dropped her Oreos on the floor, but she still ate them because of the 5 second rule.
de CoolNameHere 11 Iulie 2004
A socially accepted rule that states a piece of food or edible meterial can safely be eaten if it is dropped on the ground for no more than five seconds.
The kitchen procedures (modified 60 second rule) of the San Remo Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
de Sn00p 10 Iulie 2004
A myth that says that if you drop food on the floor, and pick it up within 5 seconds then it's okay to eat. But research done at University of Illinois has disproved this, and says that food picked up in under 5 seconds had a significant amount of bacteria on it.
"Ewwwww! Your gonna eat that? It's been on the floor!!" "Yeah, 5 second rule."
de JoeB24 05 Mai 2007

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