Things Organic Students Hate

There are certain things that Organic Chemistry I students, starry-eyed and naive that they are, strongly dislike about organic chemistry. Sometimes it’s simply the way things are named. Other times it’s things that, according to our Gen Chem books, shouldn’t exist. No matter what they are, it takes us quite a long time to get over cringing every time we see them. What are these horrible things? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Eclipsed Conformations


Steric and torsional strain, oh my!


Don’t even make me get into it.



That’s a—you put a charge on a carbon? Whyyy??



No please make it stop no more

Halonium Ions


Never mind! I want the carbanion back. That’s a bromine atom with two bonds and a positive formal charge. Why does that even happen?



Students: How do you name this?

TA: Oh, it’s easy. Use your alkene naming rules.

Students: ??? ????? ?????



Just trying to draw that by hand…

These are just a few of the things that we, as organic n00bs, very much dislike. These will likely go the direction of expanded octets, noble gas compounds, molecular orbital theory and half-filled transition metal shells, and, by this time next semester, we won’t bat an eyelash. Still, at the moment… it’s painful.


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