History Main / ComplexityAddiction

22nd Jun '16 1:48:00 PM ironballs16
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* ''Film/AustinPowers'' spoofs this trope as it commonly appears in spy films. [[BigBad Dr. Evil]] is notorious for making his plans to kill the titular character exceedingly complicated, such as in the first movie where he has Austin and Vanessa standing on a platform suspended over a pool of water with mutated, enraged sea bass ready to eat them, in a secluded room with the door closed and one easily defeated guard stationed there. Dr. Evil's son, Scott, is [[LampshadeHanging usually the one who calls him out]] on these things and [[StatingTheSimpleSolution states much easier ways]] to kill Austin.

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* ''Film/AustinPowers'' spoofs this trope as it commonly appears in spy films. [[BigBad Dr. Evil]] is notorious for making his plans to kill the titular character exceedingly complicated, such as in the first movie where he has Austin and Vanessa standing on a platform suspended over a pool of water with mutated, enraged sea bass ready to eat them, in a secluded room with the door closed and one easily defeated guard stationed there. Dr. Evil's son, Scott, is [[LampshadeHanging usually the one who calls him out]] on these things and [[StatingTheSimpleSolution states much easier ways]] to kill Austin. Earlier in the film, Number Two kept trying to convince Dr. Evil that their best option was to CutLexLuthorACheck, [[CardCarryingVillain which Dr. Evil roundly objected to]].
11th Jun '16 5:43:36 PM IchigoMontoya
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A character (usually the villain) comes up with a ridiculously elaborate plot that is so meticulously planned out that [[TemptingFate it can't possibly fail]]...

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A character (usually the villain) comes up with a ridiculously elaborate plot that is so meticulously planned out that [[TemptingFate it can't possibly fail]]...



There's a simple explanation. This character has a Complexity Addiction. They are GenreBlind and addicted to trying GambitRoulette. They simply can't help but make [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverKill an overdone, overblown plan]].

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There's a simple explanation. This character has a Complexity Addiction. They are GenreBlind and They're addicted to trying coming up with complex schemes, such as the GambitRoulette. They simply can't help but make [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverKill an overdone, overblown plan]].



See also ASimplePlan, where a very simple plan should have worked but goes horribly awry. Contrast CombatPragmatist. See also DidntSeeThatComing and CuttingTheKnot. Additionally, see RubeGoldbergDevice for machinery built by people with a Complexity Addiction. Compare OvercomplicatedMenuOrder for a similar situation, but with food/drink.

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See also ASimplePlan, where a very simple plan should have worked worked, but goes horribly awry. Contrast CombatPragmatist. See also DidntSeeThatComing and CuttingTheKnot. Additionally, see RubeGoldbergDevice for machinery built by people with a Complexity Addiction. Compare OvercomplicatedMenuOrder for a similar situation, but with food/drink.
3rd Jun '16 9:40:07 AM nombretomado
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* The PS2 FPS game ''Daemon Summoner'' has a stealth level which requires you to sneak on board a ship, and despite it being close to your starting position and only having one guard, you have to take the most roundabout and out of the way path imaginable to get on board the ship by sneaking through a warehouse, up a ridiculously long staircase and over the roof.

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* The PS2 [=PS2=] FPS game ''Daemon Summoner'' has a stealth level which requires you to sneak on board a ship, and despite it being close to your starting position and only having one guard, you have to take the most roundabout and out of the way path imaginable to get on board the ship by sneaking through a warehouse, up a ridiculously long staircase and over the roof.
2nd Jun '16 12:15:40 AM RobTan
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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', in order to get into a local baseball stadium that he was banned from, Stan, rather than simply sneak or break in decides to: move to Cuba, become discovered by a baseball agent, get smuggled into the US, join a minor league team, get picked up by the New York Yankees, become addicted to steroids, get caught, get dropped by the Yankees and then get picked up by the team that plays in the stadium late in the draft.


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** In one episode, in order to get into a local baseball stadium that he was banned from, Stan, rather than simply sneak or break in decides to: move to Cuba, become discovered by a baseball agent, get smuggled into the US, join a minor league team, get picked up by the New York Yankees, become addicted to steroids, get caught, get dropped by the Yankees and then get picked up by the team that plays in the stadium late in the draft.
1st Jun '16 12:14:01 PM MikeW
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* Happens on almost every episode of ''Series/Eureka'' as the super-scientists go through complex ideas to solve a major problem. It's non-scientist Carter who comes up with the solution so obvious and simple, it never occurs to the geniuses.
29th May '16 8:01:04 PM Terran117
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* The scams in EdEddNEddy are this. The Eds are shown to have amazing talent in setting up services, but Eddy continuously insists on cutting corners with flashy scams that ultimately make the kids want to have a refund. It would be easy if they just set up an honest business, especially with all that technology Edd makes from junk. Case in point, any success they had is from a scam that's pretty straightforward while Jimmy succeeded on his first try with a trampoline.
29th May '16 12:04:20 AM Doug86
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** When she first used Resurrección, Harribel displayed the necessary speed and power necessary to get around Hitsugaya's defenses with her sword, and could have ended the fight at literally any point. Instead, she spent the entire rest of the fight playing tug of war with her [[MakingASplash water powers]] and his [[AnIcePerson ice powers]], evidently attempting to set up some sort of [[LimitBreak super attack]].

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** When she first used Resurrección, Harribel displayed the necessary speed and power necessary to get around Hitsugaya's defenses with her sword, and could have ended the fight at literally any point. Instead, she spent the entire rest of the fight playing tug of war with her [[MakingASplash water powers]] and his [[AnIcePerson ice powers]], evidently attempting to set up some sort of [[LimitBreak super attack]].



* [[ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} Bullseye]] could probably kill people just fine with a regular gun, but he prefers to use different kinds of items with his incredible aiming skills. When he was posing as Hawkeye in ''ComicBook/DarkAvengers'', he wasn't too happy with Norman Osborn limiting him to only using a bow and arrow. A mini-series starring Bullseye goes into detail about this. He was ecstatic when he finally killed Comicbook/{{Elektra}} and is ''constantly'' looking for a way to get the same rush, with no success. He keeps on taking assignments harder and more impossible than the last simply for the thrill of it.
* Every protagonist Jim Starlin has written in the MarvelComics pre-Comicbook/{{Annihilation}} cosmic narrative, whether they were {{Thanos}}, Adam Warlock, the Magus or the Goddess, used incredibly byzantine plans, often with a relatively mundane goal in mind (in ''ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet'', for example, Warlock's strategy was aimed at getting Thanos to raise his hand at a specific moment so the ComicBook/SilverSurfer could attempt to snatch the Gauntlet from him). The justification is that these characters are all contending with opponents who are master planners themselves and often possess some kind of super-ESP which would alert them to any simple scheme.

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* [[ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} Bullseye]] could probably kill people just fine with a regular gun, but he prefers to use different kinds of items with his incredible aiming skills. When he was posing as Hawkeye in ''ComicBook/DarkAvengers'', he wasn't too happy with Norman Osborn limiting him to only using a bow and arrow. A mini-series starring Bullseye goes into detail about this. He was ecstatic when he finally killed Comicbook/{{Elektra}} ComicBook/{{Elektra}} and is ''constantly'' looking for a way to get the same rush, with no success. He keeps on taking assignments harder and more impossible than the last simply for the thrill of it.
* Every protagonist Jim Starlin has written in the MarvelComics pre-Comicbook/{{Annihilation}} Creator/MarvelComics pre-ComicBook/{{Annihilation}} cosmic narrative, whether they were {{Thanos}}, ComicBook/{{Thanos}}, Adam Warlock, the Magus or the Goddess, used incredibly byzantine plans, often with a relatively mundane goal in mind (in ''ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet'', for example, Warlock's strategy was aimed at getting Thanos to raise his hand at a specific moment so the ComicBook/SilverSurfer could attempt to snatch the Gauntlet from him). The justification is that these characters are all contending with opponents who are master planners themselves and often possess some kind of super-ESP which would alert them to any simple scheme.



* The NeglectfulPrecursors in ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover pretty much brought the events of the three galaxies featured about through this trope combined with [[DuelingMessiahs internal religious conflicts]]. More details can be founed on the NeglectfulPrecursors page.

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* The NeglectfulPrecursors in ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''Franchise/StarWars''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover pretty much brought the events of the three galaxies featured about through this trope combined with [[DuelingMessiahs internal religious conflicts]]. More details can be founed on the NeglectfulPrecursors page.



** Comicbook/ScarletWitch shows shades of this as she and her brother ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}}'s primary motivation for joining up with Comicbook/{{Ultron}} is revenge on [[Comicbook/IronMan Tony Stark]] for [[spoiler:creating the bombs that destroyed their home and killed their parents when they were children]]. However, she passes up an opportunity to kill him in the ''first 15 minutes of the film'' when she manages to catch him out of his armor and enthrall him with her PsychicPowers. At that point they could have just snapped his neck or something ([[WhyDontYouJustShootHim which Quicksilver]] [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]) but instead she chooses to let him take Loki's Scepter and leave, hoping it will corrupt and destroy him and the other Avengers. This is despite the fact that she already has as good a chance to kill Tony as she's ever going to get, and her vendetta is with him personally, not the Avengers as a whole.

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** Comicbook/ScarletWitch ComicBook/ScarletWitch shows shades of this as she and her brother ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}}'s primary motivation for joining up with Comicbook/{{Ultron}} ComicBook/{{Ultron}} is revenge on [[Comicbook/IronMan [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] for [[spoiler:creating the bombs that destroyed their home and killed their parents when they were children]]. However, she passes up an opportunity to kill him in the ''first 15 minutes of the film'' when she manages to catch him out of his armor and enthrall him with her PsychicPowers. At that point they could have just snapped his neck or something ([[WhyDontYouJustShootHim which Quicksilver]] [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]]) but instead she chooses to let him take Loki's Scepter and leave, hoping it will corrupt and destroy him and the other Avengers. This is despite the fact that she already has as good a chance to kill Tony as she's ever going to get, and her vendetta is with him personally, not the Avengers as a whole.



* OpportunisticBastard ''par excellence'' Petyr Baelish shows signs of such an addiction in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', telling his would-be protégé that he will even make moves that are against his best interests for no other reason than to confuse his enemies as to his true goals. He manages to make this work by never blinking when his plans are thrown into disarray, but adapting smoothly and [[XanatosSpeedChess working up new plans]] to turn the unforeseen circumstances to his advantage.

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* OpportunisticBastard ''par excellence'' Petyr Baelish shows signs of such an addiction in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', telling his would-be protégé that he will even make moves that are against his best interests for no other reason than to confuse his enemies as to his true goals. He manages to make this work by never blinking when his plans are thrown into disarray, but adapting smoothly and [[XanatosSpeedChess working up new plans]] to turn the unforeseen circumstances to his advantage.



* Some of the [=UnSubs=] of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' are pathologically stylish. The one that comes to mind first would be the Fisher King, who, for some reason, decided to send the protagonists on a KingArthur-themed scavenger hunt to catch him and save his victim, [[spoiler:who was also his daughter]].

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* Some of the [=UnSubs=] of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' are pathologically stylish. The one that comes to mind first would be the Fisher King, who, for some reason, decided to send the protagonists on a KingArthur-themed Myth/KingArthur-themed scavenger hunt to catch him and save his victim, [[spoiler:who was also his daughter]].



* ''Series/MacGyver'': Karl, the bad guy in "Deadly Silents", seems to suffer from this; concocting several elaborate death traps to kill Mac and Pinky, even as his partner keeps urging WhyDontYaJustShootHim.

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* ''Series/MacGyver'': Karl, the bad guy in "Deadly Silents", seems to suffer from this; concocting several elaborate death traps to kill Mac and Pinky, even as his partner keeps urging WhyDontYaJustShootHim.WhyDontYouJustShootHim.



** Another example from the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' Universe is the Game Gear game ''Sonic Labyrinth'' a game where Sonic has to solve puzzle mazes by [[GottaCatchThemAll collecting]] [[MacGuffin keys]]. The catch is Sonic has lost his super speed with the exception of his spin dash ability, at the hands of his nemesis Dr. Eggman. According to the [[AllThereInTheManual manual scenario]] Eggman snuck into Sonic's house while Sonic was sleeping and stole his Sneakers to send him on this crazy quest.

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** Another example from the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' ''Sonic'' Universe is the Game Gear game ''Sonic Labyrinth'' a game where Sonic has to solve puzzle mazes by [[GottaCatchThemAll collecting]] [[MacGuffin keys]]. The catch is Sonic has lost his super speed with the exception of his spin dash ability, at the hands of his nemesis Dr. Eggman. According to the [[AllThereInTheManual manual scenario]] Eggman snuck into Sonic's house while Sonic was sleeping and stole his Sneakers to send him on this crazy quest.



* The fae of ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'' are no better. For example a simple installment of the custody battle between the Erlkönig and his ex Jadis involved BloodMagic, {{Shadow Archetype}}s, a magical mercenary doppelgänger, a cursed ring, an elaborate DreamWithinADream LotusEaterMachine, wrapped in several layers of symbolism, including planting ideas hundreds of years before, etc.... they both have a terminal case. (They are also incredibly [[LargeHam hammy]] and have the power to intentionally invoke several "Rule Of..." tropes.)
** Speaking of the Erlkönig. He is one of the few, who bother with human disguises. But it has really obvious flaws[[note]]still having slightly pointed ears, a shadow that shows his true form, using "Figlio Perduto" as ringtone, going with the alias Lord ''Er''ro''l'' ''King'', etc.[[/note]] which either means he is leaving clues so this trope, or the proof that he is [[GlamourFailure really]] [[MostDefinitelyNotAVillain bad at disguises]].

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* The fae of ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'' are no better. For example a simple installment of the custody battle between the Erlkönig and his ex Jadis involved BloodMagic, {{Shadow Archetype}}s, a magical mercenary doppelgänger, a cursed ring, an elaborate DreamWithinADream LotusEaterMachine, wrapped in several layers of symbolism, including planting ideas hundreds of years before, etc.... they both have a terminal case. (They are also incredibly [[LargeHam hammy]] and have the power to intentionally invoke several "Rule Of..." tropes.)
** Speaking of the Erlkönig. He is one of the few, who bother with human disguises. But it has really obvious flaws[[note]]still having slightly pointed ears, a shadow that shows his true form, using "Figlio Perduto" as ringtone, going with the alias Lord ''Er''ro''l'' ''King'', etc.[[/note]] which either means he is leaving clues so this trope, or the proof that he is [[GlamourFailure really]] [[MostDefinitelyNotAVillain bad at disguises]].



* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'': Jango Fett wants to kill Obi-Wan for murdering his partner. To that end, he comes up with a plot involving a clone army, to tear down the entirety of the Jedi Order, the Republic, everything Obi-Wan loves and cares about... and then he will kill him. His son even asks WhyDontYaJustShootHim. It's because Jango's a CardCarryingVillain, and he wants Obi-Wan to suffer. [[spoiler:It doesn't work out how he planned]].

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* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'': Jango Fett wants to kill Obi-Wan for murdering his partner. To that end, he comes up with a plot involving a clone army, to tear down the entirety of the Jedi Order, the Republic, everything Obi-Wan loves and cares about... and then he will kill him. His son even asks WhyDontYaJustShootHim.WhyDontYouJustShootHim. It's because Jango's a CardCarryingVillain, and he wants Obi-Wan to suffer. [[spoiler:It doesn't work out how he planned]].



'''Number 2:''' Don't be cute. I'm referring to the flu shot exposé. You see, we're the ones loading them with mind-controlling additives.\\

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'''Number 2:''' Don't be cute. I'm referring to the flu shot exposé. You see, we're the ones loading them with mind-controlling additives.\\



* Perennial Creator/HannaBarbera villain [[DastardlyWhiplash Dick Dastardly]] [[DickDastardlyStopsToCheat is the king of this trope]]. In his first appearance on ''WackyRaces'' he would always come up with elaborate plans to cheat his way to victory. Here's the kicker: he didn't need to do this at all. His car was ''several times faster than anyone else's.'' He could have won every race legitimately with ease, and in fact, each race begins with him surging to a huge lead. But he always stops in order to set up traps, which invariably end up backfiring and costing him the race. This pattern of behavior would carry on to all of his many other appearances: no matter who he's going up against, Dastardly's complexity addiction is his greatest enemy. He even refuses to win legitimately: he's such a CardCarryingVillain that he can't stand to win if he didn't cheat while doing so.

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* Perennial Creator/HannaBarbera villain [[DastardlyWhiplash Dick Dastardly]] [[DickDastardlyStopsToCheat is the king of this trope]]. In his first appearance on ''WackyRaces'' ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'' he would always come up with elaborate plans to cheat his way to victory. Here's the kicker: he didn't need to do this at all. His car was ''several times faster than anyone else's.'' He could have won every race legitimately with ease, and in fact, each race begins with him surging to a huge lead. But he always stops in order to set up traps, which invariably end up backfiring and costing him the race. This pattern of behavior would carry on to all of his many other appearances: no matter who he's going up against, Dastardly's complexity addiction is his greatest enemy. He even refuses to win legitimately: he's such a CardCarryingVillain that he can't stand to win if he didn't cheat while doing so.



** The AffablyEvil Señor Senior, Senior insists on sticking to [[CardCarryingVillain the code of classic villainy]] on principle, [[ContractualGenreBlindness even if it lets Kim get away and foil his crimes]]. Then again, considering that for him, this is an elaborate retirement hobby, it entirely fits that he's more interested in having fun and challenging himself by playing by the rules than actually succeeding. Notably, the one time it ''wasn't'' a hobby but an attempt to steal back his fortune after he was cheated out of it he went for a simple plan (use his extreme sport abilities to steal everything back piece by piece while pretending to be poor) that nearly succeeded. And when Kim was about to catch him his son Señor Senior, Junior ''succeeded'' with another simple plan: [[spoiler:claim the bounty placed on his father by the guy who cheated them out of their fortune and then hire a lawyer to take everything back]].

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** The AffablyEvil Señor Senior, Senior insists on sticking to [[CardCarryingVillain the code of classic villainy]] on principle, [[ContractualGenreBlindness even if it lets Kim get away and foil his crimes]]. Then again, considering that for him, this is an elaborate retirement hobby, it entirely fits that he's more interested in having fun and challenging himself by playing by the rules than actually succeeding. Notably, the one time it ''wasn't'' a hobby but an attempt to steal back his fortune after he was cheated out of it he went for a simple plan (use his extreme sport abilities to steal everything back piece by piece while pretending to be poor) that nearly succeeded. And when Kim was about to catch him his son Señor Senior, Junior ''succeeded'' with another simple plan: [[spoiler:claim the bounty placed on his father by the guy who cheated them out of their fortune and then hire a lawyer to take everything back]].



* A running gag in ''WesternAnimation/LesShadoks'' are the title characters' ridiculous and nonsensical so-called "proverbs". Among one of the most popular is: "Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué ?", which is a parody of the French counterpart to "Why make it complicated when it can be easy?" Guess what it means? "Why make it easy when it can be complicated?"!

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* A running gag in ''WesternAnimation/LesShadoks'' are the title characters' ridiculous and nonsensical so-called "proverbs". Among one of the most popular is: "Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué ?", which is a parody of the French counterpart to "Why make it complicated when it can be easy?" Guess what it means? "Why make it easy when it can be complicated?"!



* Study the planning of the [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun Imperial Japanese Navy]] in UsefulNotes/WW2--especially at Midway, but any operational plan they put out. Marvel at the widely-spread, mutually-unsupportive forces they apparently tossed onto the map at random. Overthinking plagued the Japanese at nearly every level during the war. After it became plain that the Zero fighter plane was becoming outclassed, the Japanese realized they needed a replacement. Japanese scientists and engineers indulged in over 40 different prototypes, each as implausible as the last and taken immediately back to the drawing board as soon as a newfangled improvement occurred. In the interim, the aging Zeros and their pilots were cut to ribbons by Hellcats and Corsairs.

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* Study the planning of the [[KatanasOfTheRisingSun [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun Imperial Japanese Navy]] in UsefulNotes/WW2--especially UsefulNotes/WorldWarII--especially at Midway, but any operational plan they put out. Marvel at the widely-spread, mutually-unsupportive forces they apparently tossed onto the map at random. Overthinking plagued the Japanese at nearly every level during the war. After it became plain that the Zero fighter plane was becoming outclassed, the Japanese realized they needed a replacement. Japanese scientists and engineers indulged in over 40 different prototypes, each as implausible as the last and taken immediately back to the drawing board as soon as a newfangled improvement occurred. In the interim, the aging Zeros and their pilots were cut to ribbons by Hellcats and Corsairs.
25th May '16 9:02:04 AM SolidSonicTH
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* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' by Robot Devil: "Ah, my ridiculously-circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!"

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* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' by Robot Devil: "Ah, my ridiculously-circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!"complete!" Said plan being a ChainOfDeals that started by taking Bender's ass-plate in exchange for a horn nose. Bender uses the horn nose to deafen Leela, whom the Robot Devil offers a pair of robotic ears to so she can hear Fry's Holophonor opera. She agrees on the condition of giving him her hand [[spoiler:[[ReadTheFinePrint in marriage]], which allows the Robot Devil to negotiate the return of his own hands from Fry, who had won them in a game with the Robot Devil]].
25th May '16 8:54:41 AM SolidSonicTH
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* One complaint levied against ''VideoGame/ShadowOfDestiny'' is the ways the main character avoids death seem like an excuse to abuse time travel. A video game magazine cited one scenario: the main character, Eike, is standing next to a tree when he is killed by an assailant who was hiding in the tree. Because of the circumstances of the game, he can move through time to prevent his own death. His solution? Go ''back to when the seed was first planted and prevent the tree from growing'', thus rendering his assassin's mode of concealment moot. The solution the magazine proposed? Just not stand next to the friggin' tree.

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* One complaint levied against ''VideoGame/ShadowOfDestiny'' is the ways the main character avoids death seem like an excuse to abuse time travel. A video game magazine cited one scenario: the main character, Eike, is standing next to a tree when he is killed by an assailant who was hiding in using the tree.tree to hide. Because of the circumstances of the game, he can move through time to prevent his own death. His solution? Go ''back to when the seed was first planted and prevent the tree from growing'', thus rendering his assassin's mode of concealment moot. The solution the magazine proposed? Just not stand next to the friggin' tree.
25th May '16 8:36:07 AM SolidSonicTH
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Added DiffLines:

* One complaint levied against ''VideoGame/ShadowOfDestiny'' is the ways the main character avoids death seem like an excuse to abuse time travel. A video game magazine cited one scenario: the main character, Eike, is standing next to a tree when he is killed by an assailant who was hiding in the tree. Because of the circumstances of the game, he can move through time to prevent his own death. His solution? Go ''back to when the seed was first planted and prevent the tree from growing'', thus rendering his assassin's mode of concealment moot. The solution the magazine proposed? Just not stand next to the friggin' tree.
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