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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From YKTTW
Sean Tucker: Clarified the Alien example.
Deus Ex Biotica: This is a personal favorite, but I cut:
  • Subverted in fifth season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The weeks leading up to the episode featured an ad campaign which played up the confrontation, hinting that Dracula would be the Big Bad for the upcoming season. However, Buffy neatly dispatched him before the episode's end.
... because it has nothing to do with this. At all. That's an Un Reveal, and no two ways about it.
Dark Sasami: This entry and this comic point to the existence of a higher order theory, and possibly the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. (The comic also explains why Goats isn't funny any more.)

Seth... best trope ever.

Burai: Hmm. Technically the revised form is more accurate with the expansion into other mooks, but it's not as much fun as saying "one over ninjas". :-)

Your Obedient Serpent: Serious brownie points to whomever found that Star Harbor Nights quote.

Egak: Thanks

Milly: I'm not really good with making additions to pages, but the following link both references and subverts this trope, I think: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0453.html


Ununnilium: There were ninjas in Alien? I never knew.

Alexandra Erin: They were totally there, just better than average at stealth.


Cassius335: Does the Turtles example really count? Shredder (especialy 200X Shredder) IS the Big Bad, after all.


Zeke: No place for this in the article, but I still wanna mention it: I had a friend years ago whose username at my forum was "One Hundred Ninjas". When I asked about it, he explained the inverse relationship.

As for me, well, I Am Ten Ninjas.


Ditto in Ben 10 is closer to Me's a Crowd than this one. Moving...


There is no such thing as ninjitsu! Change the name of this article!

Ununnilium: No. `.`v

More seriously: Yes, it's properly spelled as "ninjustu", but IMHO, it's not worth changing a long-established name for one letter.


Pieguy259: Would the Xiaolin Showdown example be an aversion, or a justification?

billythehick: just takin the credit for the shoot 'em up quote, as i forgot to sign my name in.


Gentlemen396: I removed the Inverse Ninja Law link, since it's a recursive redirect.


Fast Eddie: pulled out this pseudomath:
It should be noted that this trope has built in justification in situations where economics and/or pride influences group structure. When economics are in play, the formula tends to become $/N (meaning, for instance, a crime boss can afford to hire a team of unimpressive mercenaries or a single effective hitman), whereas pride tends to keep Elites beyond the solo threshold from working together.
... as it didn't add much and is a little difficult to parse.


Inkblot: What would happen if one fought half a ninja? Since the law is 1/N, half a ninja is twice as deadly as a full ninja.

Adam850: See Disability Superpower. Half a ninja would be nigh unstoppable.

Ellen Hayes: However, there's some kind of discontinuity here, because ZERO ninjas would defeat EVERYTHING, having 1/0=INFINITE power (even your calculator can't deal with the implications). Transfinites and the varieties of infinities are left as an exercise for the seriously twisted Otaku / math-geek multiclass, and maybe it'll keep them busy for a while.

INH: Actually, 1/0 has no answer. Even infinity multiplied by zero will equal zero.

Ellen Hayes: Actually, {{INH}} is only somewhat right.

Fast Eddie: Yes, zero ninjas is equal to one pirate, of which there is no more powerful force in the universe.

A certain Doctor might disagree about that.
[Before the redirect was created, obviously]: Fast Eddie: Yeah, whoever thought it was important that it be spelled 'ninjutsu' rather than 'ninjitsu' made a change that broke 80 pages referring to the article and turned it from an article that has brought in 2,100 referrals from the web since April to one that has brought in none. That letter 'u' must be pretty important to somebody.

Big T: Quit your bellyachin'. All you had to do was create a redirect. And since only admins can delete, I'm not sure how Conservation of Ninjutsu was deleted in the first place.
Possibly worth mentioning, but I don't want to stay up to write the entry: Star Wars: Clone Wars episode 22, where a CIS commander boasts that it would take a hundred Jedi to take his fortress, then panics when he finds out it's being attacked by just two. Then again, maybe that's The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort. —Document N
Andrew Carlssin: Is is worth mentioning Spy Kids? The plan was that each member of the family would fight 100 indestructible robots, but they didn't actually do it.
Ace Of Scarabs: My rationalisation of this trope: if you have too many ninja in one fight, they tend to get in each other's way and have to tone down their styles to avoid hitting each other.


Many of these examples seem to confuse this issue, citing "elite forces" which, while fewer in number, are capable of winning by being simply better than the average 1000-mook division. That's not what this trope is about— i.e. NUMBERS = SUCK. In this trope, nothing changes except the numbers;, increased numbers simply cause an enemy to become mooks, because it ratchets up the tenstion... and the increased danger lowers the suspension of disbelief. PERIOD.

Morgan Wick: This doesn't sit well with me. It seems to imply that we can't have any justifications, at least of a certain type. Chuck Norris is clearly better than one ordinary martial artist, but it still counts as this trope if he fights a thousand martial artists. In most situations, especially when the scene isn't important to the plot, the whole point of this trope is to show that the hero is Just That Good.

If it's talking about better weapons, a) it should say so and b) it should be rephrased to be less antagonistic. If it's talking about elite forces losing despite being similar in number to their opponents, that's another trope (that I think is mentioned on one of the cliche lists, in fact - the better the adjectives, the more mookish they are).
Quantum Toast: Is it just me, or does this trope seem to apply to religion too? Deities with a religion all to themselves tend to be omnipotent, but deities in pantheons are usually specialised in certain fields.