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

Commie Dog: Since there seems to be a lot of discussion of InuYasha here, could someone explain why it's placed in the Live Action section? Is there some sort of live action version of the series that I don't know about?

Earnest: Cut this out of the Ranma 1/2 example because it's a Justifying Edit. It's true, but the point is that they never even try to solve their relationship problems, period.
Then again, both Ranma and Akane (especially Akane) are spectacularly poor liars, not to mention that they annoy each other so much that its vanishingly unlikely they could pretend to be a happy couple for as long as fifteen minutes. Also, isn't the majority of the Fiancee Brigade Axe Crazy anyway?

Chuckg: But if it's true, then why cut it out? As I understand it, Just Eat Gilligan is the stubborn refusal to try a workable strategy — when in this case, its them refusing to try something that wouldn't work. Of course, if you don't like the Justifying Edit, there is a simpler solution.

Earnest: Thanks, you helped me realize there are at least two more things that Ranma and Akane could do to ease their complicated lives. A little note though, it's customary to copy the deleted text to here in case it's decided to be put back. Also, before you go and delete the new example, from writeup of Just Eat Gilligan:
Note that there's no guarantee that doing that one thing would definitely result in the show's resolution, but there's least enough potential there to make that one thing worth a try.

In the Manga Ranma and Akane do try to pretend to be married to get rid of Ukyo at one point. Ranma also tries to pretend that he'd be a bad husband by pretending to get drunk and acting like he'll mistreat her. Akane and Ranma have tried to help Mouse get Shampoo in the Manga Akane tried to get Ranma to throw the fight. Ukyo tried to set Ryoga and Akane together. Ranma set Ryoga and Akari together. They might not have done so in the anime but those tactics were tried and failed in the manga.


[Clipped from Why Didnt They Just Eat Gilligan Discussion]

Amethyst: Oh come on. I thought the InuYasha thing was a legitimate example. I admit I have trouble explaining it so others can understand it, but it seems bleedingly obvious to me. If only there was a way I could relate it without having to use flow-charts and detailed line-drawings...

Solandra: Maybe, but that was WAY too long an explanation. How about something like: "InuYasha has a character who can travel through time from the present to Feudal Japan, where the Big Bad is wrecking havoc. After the Big Bad's fifth or sixth escape from the heroes, one begins to wonder why the characters in the past haven't thought of burying a message on how to defeat him for the time traveler to dig up in the present and save themselves a whole lot of trouble."

But really, that's not the best example available for this trope, since the time travel thing is really just a Plot Coupon. How many readers are going to care about temporal paradox with the action and drama VERY greatly overshadowing it?

Amethyst: Because such drama and action tends to get on one's nerves when its repeated over and over again with little variation making one wish for a quick and simple resolution? (Sorry. Don't mean to knock the show. I really did like it in the beginning and the middle. But it just started to drag on, to the point where you started to wonder how there could be any villages left in feudal Japan given how many of them were utterly devastated during the series. Surely Japan's population couldn't have been that big then...)

Solandra: I empathize completely. That's my major problem with the Ranma and Urusei Yatsura series, despite their popularity. The quirky characters and plots are clever and fun at first, but after the fiftieth or so "Ataru/Ranma does something jerkish that makes Lum/Akane mad while a Zany Chicken Scheme unfolds in the background," it begins to feel like they're going nowhere. I think Inuyasha is a bit better though, as you can actually see some Character Development (at least in the manga). But yes, I wish it would wrap up real soon WITHOUT an anticlimax.

Uh, but what about the time travel thing? Should we include the Inuyasha example in a more condensed form or just drop it entirely?

Amethyst: Well, I took a stab at it. Hopefully it makes more sense now...

Janitor: The trope concept is big. Sort of a shame it has name that ties it down, so. The apostrophe issue, and length ... all that. Howsabout Eating Gilligan?

Earnest: My 2 cents, Just Eat Gilligan. Short and snappy, easy to use in a sentence without having to bracket it. I like this trope, it's like the Fridge Logic reaction to a viewer noticing the Status Quo Is God.

Seth: This title works because you can picture a pissed off audience member yelling it at the screen. In that vein Just Eat Gilligan has the same effect in less space.

Amethyst: Well, I used Just Eat Gilligan because it was a quote made by Joel Hodgson during an MST3K episode when they were discussing Gilligan's Island. (Another question they asked was "Why didn't they just fix the two-foot hole in the boat?" but that would have been even more unwieldy as a trope title methinks...)

Seth: You can quote that as inspiration for the title, its pretty interesting.

Solandra: I vote for Just Eat Gilligan.

Janitor: Here goes the name change.
SAMASI like this trope. I really do.

But I wonder if it's a little too open. It's kind of like a cross between The Millstone and Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?. You know: Why Dont Ya Just Shoot The Millstone?

I just see this trope being filled with griping, and this discussion page being filled with rebuttals.

Ununnilium: Meh. We can deal with it.

That said, a rebuttal to some griping: The InuYasha example still doesn't make sense to me. How would they "arrange" such a thing?

Amethyst: Okay. Let's say you routinely travel back in time to fight Villain X who lives in the 16th Century. One day after a busy day of fighting Villain X in the past with him getting away once again, you get an idea. You decide that when you get back to the present, to scour libraries and history sources see if somewhere you can't find some sort of historical information on Villain X which might help you defeat him the next time you go back to the past. (Something like "Villain X back in the 16th Century was defeated in such-and-such a way by so-and-so" would be extremely helpful.) Now having your present self come across this information is something that you yourself (and/or your fellow fighters) could theoretically arrange by promising yourselves that, once you've defeated Villain X in the past, that you'll write a detailed account of how you did it and leave that account in a place (say, in a library or carved onto a stone tablet buried under a tree) where it would remain hidden throughout the centuries until your present self comes along to find it.

There. I hope that made sense. Because I'm going to have to resort to line drawings from now on if that doesn't do the trick...

Seth: Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act pulls on bits of that - except in stories where it actualy happens like the Prophecy Twist in bab 5

Earnest: Another alternative for the InuYasha gang is to tell a friendly immortal demon that lives into the present (there's more of them than you think) how they defeat the Big Bad, and have him show up in the present a day "afterwards" to tell the time travelling girl how he's beat. No paradox, it explains why they didn't know this from square one, and sets itself up for a good self fullfiling prophecy.

Ununnilium: I understood the concept, but it's a bit complicated — after all, what if they don't defeat the Big Bad?

YYZ: The evidence of history would seem to indicate that they did defeat him — there's not even a reference to the Big Bad anywhere in the history books, which wouldn't be the case if he'd lived to carry out his plan. So how did they do it? Surely they could have left a message...

Ununnilium: ...there's something in there I could object to, I know it, but I'm not quite temporally savvy enough to figure it out. @.@ My main beef is that it just plain doesn't seem obvious enough for this entry.

Later: Okay, the most recent entry satisfies me. XD

Daniel: Aren't there several episodes where Gilligan saves the day? There was one where Gilligan gets hit on the head and gets double vision, then the Professor's "cure" makes it worse (quadruple upside down vision), and after their island gets taken over by some Asian military as a base for an invasion on other ocean-bordering nations, Gilligan frees them from their bamboo cages accidentally while bumbling around. Also, sometimes this involves the enemy underestimating and laughing at Gilligan. Whenever Gilligan saves the day, it's always through accidental clumsiness and stupidity.

LORd: To continue the InuYasha discussion - while Naraku is, to be sure, a Puzzle Boss, I don't think there's just some one trick to defeating him that the heroes are simply yet to discover. It's been a My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours series from the start, which indeed requires them to spend time and effort on defeating him anyway.

That being said, Naraku had a plan? One of a scale that would leave its mark in mythology, even? I think it's still a viable possibility that instead of defeating him, he just vanishes like 99% of all yōkai before he gets to execute whatever Master Plan he may or may not have.


Cutting the Baldur's Gate 2 entry about not attacking Irenicus being an act of gilliganishness, since it's made pretty clear that attacking him would be the world's quickest TPK. It's not like he didn't just blow up a bunch of powerful wizards or anything...

Though if you think about it, probably not. If you consider the spell disruption rules and the availability of spells and ranged weapons, the P Cs could have just shot Irenicus with arrows/slings whenever he attempted to cast something, and then beat him to death.
Caswin: That's it, this has been bugging me for far too long. Regarding Star Trek: Voyager: "It also bears mentioning that Janeway is only lawful stupid when being so would prevent the crew from returning home; most of the time, she's willing to commit some of the most egregious and destructive violations of the Prime Directive and Starfleet ethics in Trek history without batting an eyelash." Will someone please reel off a few of these for me? I keep hearing and hearing and hearing about how awful Janeway supposedly is on this wiki, and based on some reports, the rest of the crew as well, but I don't recall such behavior on the show and for all her reputation, I haven't seen a lot of specific examples. So Yeah, above request, anybody?

Peteman: I haven't seen the episode in question for a while, but I seem to remember that using the array wasn't quite as feasible as its made out to be. The array wasn't in an operable condition to be immediately used, and they'd have to fight off the Kazon and their reinforcements (or negotiate a deal, putting a lot of powerful technology in the hands of a belligerent faction). I'm going to have to rewatch (ugh) the episode though.

However, the best example of their Lawful Stupidity would actually be "False Profits". They encounter one of the exit points to the wormhole of the TNG episode "The Price". But rather than go and get to Federation space right there and then, they find out that a pair of Ferengi were exploiting a pre-warp (bronze age IIRC) species by posing as gods. The biggest problem was that they tried to "set right what was once wrong", by getting them to give back what they exploited from them... instead of just taking the Ferengi right then and there, and ditching the planet, and letting them get over it in a few generations. It ended up backfiring so spectacularly as the Ferengi end up escaping and accidentally sealing the wormhole, leaving Voyager stranded.

A less egregious example was when they found a wormhole from the Delta Quadrant that went to the Alpha Quadrant. Unfortunately, there were three big problems with it: one: they'd have to abandon the ship, since it couldn't fit (granted the smallest problem, but it's still a consideration). Two: it led to Romulan space, which wasn't exactly the best place for a Federation crew. Three: it led them 20 years into the past.

Caswin: Well, thanks for the effort, buuut... that actually wasn't my question. You probably could make a case for her being a little Lawful Stupid (although a lot of cases - "False Profits", "The Q and the Grey" - were more individual instances of bad writing or poorly-done Handwaving). My problem lies not with that, but with the increasingly venomous accusations around here that make her out to be criminally negligent of the Prime Directive and Starfleet ethics, such as the above quote. However, the only example I can think of is her destroying the Caretaker's Array back in the first episode, and that wasn't exactly a clear-cut offense; they were already involved in the conflict whether they liked it or not, with a warp-capable civilization as the aggressors at that. What else has she done to earn her ignonimous reputation?

Caswin: Well, for want of an answer on that front, I move to take that out... and while we're at it, to trim the entry in general. For one, we already went over skipping the "mate with Q" deal actually being stupid on Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid, and it didn't go over well.

Firelock: That whole thing with Janeway refusing to mate with Q - doesn't anyone recall the female Q who *did* mate with Q? It was obvious to me that Janeway was refusing because she was sure there'd be a jealous "other woman" involved, and having a Q pissed off at you would probably be fatal no matter how quickly you got to Earth.


  • Why don't they just fire House? He's a rude Jerk Ass who treats everyone like dirt and only gets his diagnosis right before the final minutes of the episode. Why keep him around?

Ophicius: Because he does get the diagnosis right, usually when no one else can. He saves people's lives, even if he is a complete Jerkass to them in the process.


Idle Dandy: Snipped
  • The most obvious example is today's equivalent to Giligan's Island, LOST. Why don't the castaways build a boat of the wood from the numerous palm trees? Why don't they start a fire so a plane or an helicopter would see them? And if the Others are preventing their escape, why don't they just kill the Others?
    • Although "lack of materials" and "we don't know/are afraid of what can come up in this island" helps the characters not think in simple ways.

because they do build a boat, which the Others blow up. Furthermore, when Desmond tries to leave by boat, he ends up back on the island, because one has to leave by a precise bearing. They do start a fire, and leave it for most of the first season (about six weeks of show time,) and nobody ever sees it, because the island is hidden. They do kill a bunch of Others, but the Others have greater numbers and more weapons, plus they know the island better.

There are possibly examples from LOST to be added here, but these don't qualify.

Peteman: Cut:
  • In Star Trek:First Contact, why didn't Picard just trick the Borg Queen into the holodeck with the safety protocols off and shoot her with a holographic bullet? For that matter, why didn't they just have some conventional guns on the ship? They could be altered so they wouldn't explode in the pressurized atmosphere. For that matter, why not follow a cue from Worf? You can't adapt to getting your arms and legs cut off!
    • Just tricking the Borg Queen into the holodeck wouldn't be as easy as it sounds.
    • Similarly, the average Starfleet officer would not be capable of hacking the arms and legs off a Borg drone. Worf is slightly, you know, strong. Long Spears, on the other hand, might be a valid tactic.
    • In a later episode of DS9, they mention having experimented with projectile weapons for anti-borg measures, but end up settling with phasers that vary their frequency substantially between every shot, and thus cannot be adapted to.
      • No they didn't. The projectile weapon mentioned in DS9 was the TR-116, which was a prototype created for use in dampening fields or radiogenic environments where conventional energy weapons would be useless. However, the introduction of regenerative phasers made it obsolete before production even began.
      • Of course, that meant no Star Trek work set after this could feature a plot device where phasers don't work...
      • In Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, Seven develops the Infinity Modulator (or I-MOD) which is an energy weapon that alters the frequency of every shot fired.
    • Roddenberry's "holography" is arguably the best example of this entire trope. To get a holosuite working you need dynamic remote control of gravity/inertia, you need the ability to exert leverage-less pressure at a distance even inside another object, you need the ability to flawlessly imitate any visual phenomena, and you need an AI powerful enough to keep a program on the skyscraper in the middle of the uncanny valley. Mastery of any single one of these would enable defeat of most of the foes in the series. A remote, mobile holoemitter with no safety protocols is tantamount to godlike powers. Given what we know about the potential to exist outside the holosuite (from TNG's Professor Moriarty), to outsmart the crew (Moriarty again), to create mobile holoemitters (VOY's Doctor), and being able to walk through walls and rip one's heart out from inside at will(VOY's psychotic Dejaren), the biggest absurdity of the series is that holography was never weaponized.

Due to the inherent difficulties of luring someone out their fortified base, the fact that drones usually take a handful of casualties from attacks before adapting, the fact that the projectile weapon was not designed for use against the borg, the Infinity Module is from a non-canon game, and the Holography should be placed in Misapplied Phlebotinum rather than Just Eat Gillian.
Kilyle: Does "let's avoid the solution that involves dismemberment or resurrection" count for this trope? They're talking about it over on Schlock Mercenary (I'm pretty early in the series, but it's when the crew is trying to hide Doythaban from bounty hunters) and this also came up in The Order of the Stick when Vaarsuvius could've solved a problem had he been willing to kill himself and send the body to a place where it could be resurrected. Heck, I use the "run into a place, get killed, rez so you're behind enemy lines" ploy all the time in World of Warcraft....
Pulled the following example as it's an example of something that WORKS rather than something that FAILS. Also, don't you need a "better idea" or "better suggestion" in order for it to be a Just Eat Gilligan?
* He puts on the glasses, he's Clark Kent. He takes them off, he's Superman. And no one notices.
  • He even lampshades it at one point.
  • He also combs his hair differently, walks differently, speaks in a different register, and (because Supes is friends with shapeshifters) they've been seen together.
    • Although he once caught a Kandorian imitator because said Kandorian, while pulling on stolen clothes to disguise himself, had the bad luck to put on glasses and turn into the spitting image of Clark Kent...