"The good is the greatest rival of the best." - Nellie L. McClung
Question #92771 posted on 01/15/2020 2:24 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How many books/ tv shows/ movies have a title that is simply the good (blank)

-the good question

A:

Dear ...you,

I love and hate you for asking this question.

So before I get to the numbers we need to set up some rules. For a book/tv show/movie to qualify, it had to be "The Good [one word]." While there may be some titles that I wanted to qualify (like "The Good Bad Girl" (an actual movie)), I was worried this would snowball into accepting books like "The Good Luck of Right Now," which didn't seem to match your criteria. 

Second, I ignored subtitles. So "The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers" would qualify. 

I know some will disagree with these rules and I too began to dislike my rules, but at that point I was on page 58 of 100 from Goodreads' search results and I'd be darned if I had to go through all those books again. So if you disagree with the first rule, multiple the results by 1.75 and that is closer to your results. If you disagree with the second rules, multiply the results by 0.8. Yes, these are relatively random numbers, but after going through 32,230 book titles this is my estimate of how many of them broke either of those rules.

Now onto the search.

When it came to books, I was an idiot. I vastly underestimated how many books started "The Good" and thought I could do a search through Goodreads and count them up myself. There were a total of 32,230 results and, good questioner, I looked through every single title. For you. 

That got me a total of 491 books that matched our criteria. I kept a list of all the books and authors so none would repeat (I'll include it below). So this meant 1.5% of all the results matched our criteria. But with a sinking heart I realized I had to expand my search beyond Goodreads. Why? As I was looking through Goodreads I realized most of them were more modern, popular books - exactly what the average reader would be reading and reviewing online. This completely leaves out more academic books, older books, books in other languages, etc. So to try and account for the books Goodreads didn't include, I turned to Worldcat.

I quickly realized it would be foolish to repeat my methods on Worldcat, as searching for "the good" lead to 229,135 results. So instead I decided to use some fun statistics. At first I was just going to predict that the same percentage of correct titles in the first few search result pages would apply throughout the entire search history, but you and I know that isn't the way search results work. You get the most accurate first, and then it becomes more sketchy and less accurate as you go on. I saw this in the Goodreads archives - in the first few search pages nearly 80% of the books fit our criteria, but towards page 50 it was slowing down to 10% or less, until we got a grand total of 1.5% correct. So if we apply that to Worldcat, with 229,135 results to "the good" books (boy, am I glad I didn't have to go through all of those), we get 3,437 books. And that doesn't even include really old books or books in other languages or books that have never seen the light of the internet, so to account for those I would multiply the results by 1.5.

I might be completely wrong and there may be a super easy way to find this out, but from my best approximation there's probably around 5,000 books that are "The Good [blank]".

And because I know you so desperately want to see this list of (some honestly horrifying) book names, here it is for your reading pleasure:

The Good...

  • Angel (Wodehouse)
  • Apprentice (Murdoch)
  • Assassin (Vidich; Gramer)
  • Assistant (Sax)
  • Atheist (Barker; Manto)
  • Audit (Aiden)
  • Bacteria (Thesen)
  • Badman (Brand)
  • Black (Barrett)
  • Bloke (Staunton)
  • Body (Etter; Ensler; Gaston)
  • Bohemian (Holroyd & John)
  • Book (Multiple; Grayling; Gomes; Redhead; Blauner; Spoo; Young)
  • Boss (Hildreth)
  • Boy (Henry; Schwegel)
  • Braider (Farish)
  • Bride (Brandy)
  • Brother (Offutt; Arthurs; Chen)
  • Byline (Orr)
  • Campaign (King)
  • Chase (Martine)
  • Child (Xu)
  • Children (Wilhelm; Farooki)
  • Citizen (Schudson; Batstone; Dalton)
  • Citizens (Lee)
  • City (Hiestand; Jacobs)
  • Communist (Pieke)
  • Companions (Priestley)
  • Company (Girling)
  • Comrade (Silberrad)
  • Conscience (Fuentes & Hileman)
  • Cook (Hopkinson; Time; Time; Time; Olney)
  • Cookie (Boyle)
  • Cop (Ford; Steiner; Grey)
  • Creative (Jarvis)
  • Cripple (Rosa)
  • Dad (Daly)
  • Dark (Van Wrinkle)
  • Daughter (Slaughter; Burt; Darznik; Layne; Porter; Pajalic; Brown; Lee; Shoemaker)
  • Daughters (Maynard)
  • Death (Neumann; Brooks)
  • Deed (Perrault; Nason; Buck)
  • Demon (Cajoleas)
  • Detective (McMahon; Keating)
  • Diamond (Moody)
  • Dictator (Dias)
  • Dinosaur (Disney)
  • Divide (White)
  • Divorce (Leonoff; Ahrons)
  • Doctor (Lerner; Lee; Mates; Paterson; Galgut; Simon; Audette; Kula; O'Sullivan; Jaxon; Clarkson; Carson; Renard; Smith; Michelsen; Butler; Agro; Paterson; Groom)
  • Doctors (Dittmer)
  • Dog (Avi; Kessler & Olson)
  • Don (Mancuso)
  • Dream (VanLiere)
  • Earth (Buck; Gregerson; Bertozzi; McConnell & Steer)
  • Eater (Saxen)
  • Echo (McAuliffe)
  • Egg (John & Oswald; Simmons)
  • Explainer (Vonnegut)
  • Father (Chamberlain; Hawley; Husband; Quinn; Lennox; Sutherland; Wilsher)
  • Fear (Rentz)
  • Fight (Steel; Grey; Bachmann et al; Quezon; Keyes; Reid & Warren; Chisholm; Ambrose; Nader; Parrott; Mondale; Holmes; Matera; Robinson; Hicken; Smolan; Williams; Horn; Quirk & Baddeley; Beinart; Ahern; Hart; Davey)
  • Foot (Eba)
  • Friend (Baldwin; Sabom)
  • Friends (Bianco)
  • Funeral (Long & Lynch)
  • Game (David)
  • Garden (Milway)
  • German (Kanon)
  • Girl (Kubica; Robertson; Neill; Silver; Nichols; Barritt; Reed; Cohen; Quinn; MacLeod; O'Sullivan)
  • Girls (Shepard; Dickson; Barlett)
  • Goblin (McElroy)
  • Goodbye (Buckley)
  • Groom (Hart)
  • Ground (Barclay)
  • Gut (Sonnenburg et al)
  • Guy (Koontz; Beale)
  • Guys (Bonanno et al; Gideon)
  • Hawk (Elliott)
  • Heart (Dalai Lama; Pratt; Halme; Eldrege et al)
  • Herb (Hurley)
  • Hike (Keenan)
  • House (Leary; Due; Smith)
  • Immigrant (Shukla)
  • Immigrants (Hsu)
  • Inn (Francis & Frank)
  • Italian (Burke)
  • Jihadist (Shepherd)
  • Journal (Shukla)
  • Journey (Gilchrist)
  • Kill (Brindley)
  • Killer (Dolan)
  • King (Long)
  • Kiss (Bilgere)
  • Knight (Woodbury)
  • Land (Erdman)
  • Lawyer (Linder & Levit; Totowa; Benigno)
  • Leader (Thayer)
  • Leviathan (Boulle)
  • Liar (McKenzie; Searle; Maguire; Caldwell; Elwood; Frye)
  • Librarian (Dominguez)
  • Lie (Brande; Bailey; Rosenstiel)
  • Life (Fischer; Amos & Mears; Abalos; Bishop; Music; Beau; Bennett; DiCaprio; McInerney; Wallop; Cole; McCabe; Fletcher; Rubin; Smock; Livingston; Baritz; Tuan; Porter; Buckley; Jordan; NY; Knoop; Kietzman; Mackay; Lee; Thurm; Dewey; Nearing; DeRicci; Colson & Fickett; Guignon; Merrick; McGraw; Osborn; Redford; Tuan; Michael; Abalos; Gomes; Wheeler Jr; Hamilton & Hirsheimer; Mendelson; Brady; Colson; Howland; Brown; Esmonde & Larbey; Morrison; Cran; Fajardo-Anstine; Quinn; McCarthy; Richardson; Gula; Winter; Wallop)
  • Life! (Calimeris & Jones)
  • Lieutenant (Terrell)
  • Lion (Markham)
  • Listener (Hardin; Sullivan; Johnson; Fisher)
  • Man (Faulkner; Scroggins; Kelly; Lee)
  • Marriage (Wallerstein & Blakeslee)
  • Master (Seredy; Zelig)
  • Mayor (Nicoll)
  • Men (Craig; Turner)
  • Millionaire (Eker)
  • Mistake (Lovell)
  • Mom (Parry)
  • Mood (Simon)
  • Mother (Miller; Osman; Bird; Moriarty; Lock; Galloway)
  • Mothers (Perry)
  • Muslim (Siddiqui; Anam)
  • Nanny (Cheever)
  • Nazi (van der Vat)
  • Nearby (Moser)
  • Necromancer (Wallace)
  • Negress (Verdelle)
  • Negro (Wilson)
  • Neighbor (King; Stuckey; Black; Banner; Nathan; Grant; Quinn; Kowalski; Bettes; Grant; Hudson; Mahendra; Brewster)
  • Neighbors (Multiple; Modglin; Mignerey; Pangborn)
  • Neighbour (Miller; Burnside)
  • Nurse (Graeber)
  • Oak (Etchart)
  • Occupation (Carruthers)
  • One (Nichols)
  • Ones (McKinlay; Weinstein)
  • Parents (London)
  • Partner (Robinson)
  • Parts (Blair; Foster)
  • Patient (Duisberg; Duisberg)
  • People (Kent; Narvaez; Harpur)
  • Pharmacist (Patchell-Evans)
  • Physician (Harrington)
  • Policeman (Charyn)
  • Priest (Galbraith; Beattie)
  • Project (Krause)
  • Provider (Stirling; Salonen)
  • Psychologist (Shpancer)
  • Race (Mahler)
  • Rain (Egan)
  • Rat (Breslin; Steele)
  • Reaper (Butler)
  • Religion (Flowers)
  • Remains (Power)
  • Rider (Hough)
  • Room (McWilliams)
  • Sadist (Thorn)
  • Sam? (Thorsen)
  • Samaritan (Marrs; Boldt; Miller; Witkowski; McDonough)
  • School (Tyre)
  • Servant (Lucas)
  • Shabti (Sharp)
  • Shaman (Lorin)
  • Shepherd (Forester; Gunnarsson & Kaufman; Greene; Sanganyado; Bailey; Fleming; Smith; Roth)
  • Shufu (Slater)
  • Silver (Dunn)
  • Sinner (Schmeidler)
  • Sister (Diamond; Campbell; Staub; Ryder; Davis; Kain; Christensen; Bolan; Jones; McAllister; Stone; Crane; Stewart; Jones)
  • Sisters (Phifer; FitzGerald)
  • Sleeper (Kennedy)
  • Society (Galbraith; Lippmann)
  • Soldier (Ford; Dawson; Finkel; Ryan; Robi; Bilbrey; Gallix et al; Steffy; Mead)
  • Soldiers (Finkel)
  • Son (Ober; Butler; Nova; Gurian; Jeong & Kim; Gruber; Stevens; McVeigh; Anderson; Strasser; Nova; McLean; K'wan; Fleet; Kriegel; Derr; Furst; Sands)
  • Sport (Webster; Brown; Awdry)
  • Spy (Bird; Layton; Griffiths)
  • Stepmother (Rudolph et al)
  • Story (Coetzee & Kurtz)
  • Stranger (Butterworth & Inkpen)
  • Struggle (Badaracco Jr)
  • Student (Espino; Moody)
  • Stuff (Stimpson; Cunnington; Posnanski)
  • Suicides (Hill & McGloughlin)
  • Table (Warner)
  • Tarot (Baron-Reid)
  • Teacher (Moore; Sargeant; Kelly; Anderson; Carey)
  • Tempe (Smith & Neuwirth)
  • Terrorist (Lessing)
  • Thief (Tinti; Buchanan; Howe; Newman; Holtry; Leon; Connolly; Daigneault)
  • Thieves (Rundell)
  • Times (Baker; Kelman)
  • Traitor (Quinn)
  • Turn (McTiernan)
  • Twin (Green)
  • University (Connell)
  • Visit (Multiple)
  • War (Terkel; Fairweather)
  • Widow (Fenton)
  • Wife (o'Nan; Porter; Flame; Harris; Saiph; Carson; Richmond)
  • Will (Paton)
  • Wolf (Burnett; Russell; Boyd)
  • Woman (Porter)
  • Years (Lord)
  • Yeoman (Williams)

Phew. 

Onto the good TV shows! This one was A TON easier. I just searched on IMDb.

The Good...

  • Bandit (2019)
  • Cop (2015, 2018)
  • Doctor (2017)
  • Fight (2015, 2017)
  • Guys (1968, 1992, 2010)
  • Life (1971, 1994, 2017)
  • News (1997)
  • Place (2016)
  • Son (2017)
  • Vibes (2018)
  • Wife (2009, 2016, 2019)
So in total we have 19 TV shows entitled "The Good [blank]," which I'd round up to 20 in case IMDb is missing one.

Movies and TV Movies proved a bit trickier. I first search on IMDb, but they faced the same problem Goodreads has - they primarily have more modern, popular movies. So I turned to allmovie.com. It wasn't a ton better, but here's the results of those searches:

The Good...

  • American (2009)
  • Bad-Man (1916)
  • Beginning (1953)
  • Boy (2005, 2016, 2018)
  • Boys (2014)
  • Breast (2016)
  • Catholic (2017)
  • Companions (1933)
  • Cop (2004)
  • Death (2019)
  • Dinosaur (2015)
  • Doctor (1939, 1978, 2009, 2011)
  • Earth (1937)
  • Egg (1939)
  • Fairy (1935)
  • Father (1985)
  • Fellows (1943)
  • Fight (1983, 1992)
  • Friend (2017)
  • Gay (2014)
  • Girl (2002, 2017)
  • Girls (2018)
  • German (2006)
  • Ground (2018)
  • Guy (2009)
  • Guys (2009)
  • Heart (2009)
  • House (2015)
  • Indian (1913)
  • Intentions (2016, 2019)
  • Liar (2019)
  • Lie (2012, 2014)
  • Life (1994, 1997, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
  • Lot (2004)
  • Man (2012, 2013)
  • Mistress (2014)
  • Mother (1988, 2013)
  • Nanny (2017)
  • Nazi (2018)
  • Neighbor (2010, 2016)
  • Neighbour (2011)
  • Night (2007)
  • North (2010)
  • One (2011, 2015)
  • Pope (2003)
  • Postman (2016)
  • Road (2013)
  • Sam (2018)
  • Scout (1934)
  • Seed (1986)
  • Shepherd (2004, 2006, 2014)
  • Soldier (1982, 2009)
  • Son (1993, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2012, 2013)
  • Student (2006)
  • Thief (1980, 2002)
  • Voice (2006)
  • Waiter (2016)
  • War (2002)
  • Wife (1987, 2009)
  • Wifey (2013)
  • Witch (2008)
That leaves us with 93 movies. Since this doesn't include foreign films and there's likely some old movies that haven't made it to the internet, I'm going to guesstimate there's about 120 movies entitled "The Good [blank]."
 
So, good questioner, while I don't have any exact numbers, I would estimate that there's about 5,000 books, 20 TV shows, and 120 movies that have a title that is simply the good (blank).
 
-guppy of doom
A:

Dear you,

You must have known this was coming...

I have searched the vast archives of internetdom (yes, I just made that word up) and I haven't been able to find a single book, television show, or movie that is simply, "The Good (Blank)". 

-Sunday Night Dad Jokes

A:

Dear well questioned,

I think you might be looking for this.

-Inklings