The name comes from the tax-collecting practices of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor under Henry VII.He reasoned that anyone who was living extravagantly was rich, and so could afford high taxes, whereas anyone who was living frugally had saved a lot, and so could afford high taxes. They discussed it among themselves and said, If we say, From heaven, he will ask, Then why didnt you believe him?
The customer's choice was "Take it (the horse assigned) or leave it (don't get any horse)." A Hobson's choice is a false choice because there's only one real option if you're in need of the thing being offered.
See also Sadistic Choice, which similarly forces characters to choose between two untenable choices, except that each leads to a different undesirable outcome.
Characters often attempt to Take a Third Option in response, with varying degrees of success. If the fork is deliberately placed into a test, this is Unwinnable Training Simulation. Not interchangeable with Catch-22 Dilemma, where the problem is circular — to achieve one thing you must first do or acquire something else, but to do or acquire outcome.
This is an amazing fact, considering that it is made out of the same matter as other planets in our solar system, was formed at the same time and through the same processes as every other planet, and gets its energy from the sun.
To a universal traveler, Earth may seem to be a harmless little planet in the far reaches of one of billions of spiral galaxies in the universe.