History Main / CuttingTheKnot

20th Jun '16 4:57:33 PM merotoker
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The hero has only a limited amount of time to do something, be it rescue, [[DungeonBypass transport]], [[PercussiveMaintenance repair]], or simply OutrunTheFireball, but has a problem. Namely, a very complicated problem that would need time to solve, time the hero definitely doesn't have. After trying (or not trying) in vain to solve the problem the technical way, the hero just shrugs it and [[TakeAThirdOption Takes A Third Option]], namely, by getting rid of the problem altogether, often through violence. When the smart character is trying to get a way around it and the dumb character resorts to violence, the dumb character is often TooDumbToFool. When the {{Leader}} tramples over objections to prevent DividedWeFall, this often comes into play.

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The hero has only a limited amount of time to do something, be it rescue, [[DungeonBypass transport]], [[PercussiveMaintenance repair]], or simply OutrunTheFireball, but has a problem. Namely, a very complicated problem that would need time to solve, time the hero definitely doesn't have. After trying (or not trying) in vain to solve the problem the technical way, the hero just shrugs it and [[TakeAThirdOption Takes A Third Option]], namely, by getting rid of the problem altogether, often through violence. When the smart character is trying to get a way around it and the dumb character resorts to violence, the dumb character is often TooDumbToFool. When the {{Leader}} TheLeader tramples over objections to prevent DividedWeFall, this often comes into play.



* In a two-parter from the 1980s ''AstroBoy'' anime titled "The World's Strongest Robot", the mighty robot Pluto faces off against the German robot Gerhardt. Pluto's brute size and strength are useless against Gerhardt, as he is much smaller and nimbler. The massive horns on his head are too unwieldy to stab him, too, and [[NoSell the electric current they emit is rendered useless by the special alloy that composes Gerhardt's body]]. So what does Pluto do when Gerhardt grabs onto his horns to mock him? Tug on his horns and [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe split Gerhardt down the middle]]. He then makes sure to bend his horns back into place.

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* In a two-parter from the 1980s ''AstroBoy'' ''Anime/AstroBoy'' anime titled "The World's Strongest Robot", the mighty robot Pluto faces off against the German robot Gerhardt. Pluto's brute size and strength are useless against Gerhardt, as he is much smaller and nimbler. The massive horns on his head are too unwieldy to stab him, too, and [[NoSell the electric current they emit is rendered useless by the special alloy that composes Gerhardt's body]]. So what does Pluto do when Gerhardt grabs onto his horns to mock him? Tug on his horns and [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe split Gerhardt down the middle]]. He then makes sure to bend his horns back into place.



* ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'': Yeagar [[http://comic.nodwick.com/?comic=2009-10-16 shows how he deals with]] OnlySmartPeopleMayPass (and that is hardly the only time he does so).

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* ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'': ''ComicStrip/{{Nodwick}}'': Yeagar [[http://comic.nodwick.com/?comic=2009-10-16 shows how he deals with]] OnlySmartPeopleMayPass (and that is hardly the only time he does so).



* In ''[[TheMagicians The Magician King]]'' Eliot explains that the keys he had to find were all guarded by a monster or a puzzle, but when they got to the beach entirely made out of keys, they couldn't figure out the answer. So instead they just spent a couple weeks testing keys 24 hours a day until they found the one that fit.

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* In ''[[TheMagicians ''[[Literature/TheMagicians The Magician King]]'' Eliot explains that the keys he had to find were all guarded by a monster or a puzzle, but when they got to the beach entirely made out of keys, they couldn't figure out the answer. So instead they just spent a couple weeks testing keys 24 hours a day until they found the one that fit.



* One ''Series/TopGear'' challenge had the team trying to take down housing with military vechiles. First they tried to use the crane, mine clearing spinner, and several other devices to pull the building down. Finally, they gave up and just used them as battering rams.

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* One ''Series/TopGear'' challenge had the team trying to take down housing with military vechiles.vehicles. First they tried to use the crane, mine clearing spinner, and several other devices to pull the building down. Finally, they gave up and just used them as battering rams.



* In one mission of ''VideoGame/{{SWAT 4}}'', you can choose to enter a building through the back door. However, the door has metal bars on it to prevent its use. Instead of removing the screws, bolts, or whatever held it together, the team simply attaches a hook and rope to a car and the metal bars and have it pulled away from the weak bricks. This is probably TruthinTelevision given the amount of research and realism the company put into that game.

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* In one mission of ''VideoGame/{{SWAT 4}}'', you can choose to enter a building through the back door. However, the door has metal bars on it to prevent its use. Instead of removing the screws, bolts, or whatever held it together, the team simply attaches a hook and rope to a car and the metal bars and have it pulled away from the weak bricks. This is probably TruthinTelevision TruthInTelevision given the amount of research and realism the company put into that game.



* Violence is usually an option in ''VideoGame/{{Harvester}}''. Getting annoyed by the paperboy forcing you at gunpoint to give him your newspaper every morning? Just kill him! Don't feel like going on a lengthy FetchQuest for an item you need? Just find the person who's carrying it and kill them! Tired of those weird "Temple of the Mystery of X" puzzles in the Lodge? Just kill everyone in the room! Granted, there are limits to this, like having a few important {{NPC}}s that are off-limits, and if you don't blackmail the sheriff into giving you a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, you'll get arrested and executed for killing anyone outside the Lodge.

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* Violence is usually an option in ''VideoGame/{{Harvester}}''. Getting annoyed by the paperboy forcing you at gunpoint to give him your newspaper every morning? Just kill him! Don't feel like going on a lengthy FetchQuest for an item you need? Just find the person who's carrying it and kill them! Tired of those weird "Temple of the Mystery of X" puzzles in the Lodge? Just kill everyone in the room! Granted, there are limits to this, like having a few important {{NPC}}s {{N|onPlayerCharacter}}PCs that are off-limits, and if you don't blackmail the sheriff into giving you a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, you'll get arrested and executed for killing anyone outside the Lodge.



** Vaarsuvius's solution to preventing [[SmugSnake Daimyo Kubota]] from weaseling out of his trial is to [[MurderisTheBestSolution Disintegrate him and scatter the ashes.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'' uses this a few times in order to subvert the usual RPG Puzzle.

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** Vaarsuvius's solution to preventing [[SmugSnake Daimyo Kubota]] from weaseling out of his trial is to [[MurderisTheBestSolution Disintegrate disintegrate him and scatter the ashes.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'' ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' uses this a few times in order to subvert the usual RPG Puzzle.



* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' plays this one brilliantly. When Dies Horribly's party is forced to solve the riddle of the temple guardian, [[SpeakOfTheDevil Noe]], who will kill them horribly if they summon him more than three times (and homonyms such as "know" and "no", which are used frequently, will also summon him), BigGuy K'seliss solves the problem in a beautifully direct fashion: [[spoiler:intentionally summoning him, then [[MurderIsTheBestSolution ripping his throat out]]]].

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* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' plays this one brilliantly. When Dies Horribly's party is forced to solve the riddle of the temple guardian, [[SpeakOfTheDevil Noe]], who will kill them horribly if they summon him more than three times (and homonyms such as "know" and "no", which are used frequently, will also summon him), BigGuy K'seliss [[TheBigGuy K'seliss]] solves the problem in a beautifully direct fashion: [[spoiler:intentionally summoning him, then [[MurderIsTheBestSolution ripping his throat out]]]].



* This trope is parodied during a storyarc revolving around a dimensional breach in ''WebComic/ExterminatusNow'', when Rogue's temporary replacement Wildfire attempts to shut down the anomaly by destroying the machinery sustaining it, rather than the controlled, manual shutdown required. All this does is destabilize the breach, which does technically shut down the breach, but also destroys the entire facility, and nearly gets all the characters killed in the process.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/BiggerThanCheeses'' making fun of this trope's heavy presence in action movies. A scientist is tells the action hero she can hack through a door panel but it will take some time. He responds that "there's no time" and shoots the panel. She tells him now they have PLENTY of time since ''there is no other way of opening the door''.



* This trope is parodied during a storyarc revolving around a dimensional breach in ''ExterminatusNow'', when Rogue's temporary replacement Wildfire attempts to shut down the anomaly by destroying the machinery sustaining it, rather than the controlled, manual shutdown required. All this does is destabilize the breach, which does technically shut down the breach, but also destroys the entire facility, and nearly gets all the characters killed in the process.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/BiggerThanCheeses'' making fun of this trope's heavy presence in action movies. A scientist is tells the action hero she can hack through a door panel but it will take some time. He responds that "there's no time" and shoots the panel. She tells him now they have PLENTY of time since ''there is no other way of opening the door''.



* A tortoise is a rather tricky creature to eat, due to its hard shell. When it retreats into it, it becomes NighInvulnerable, and most animals just can't pull out the meaty bits due to a lack of dexterity or due to the protective plates that come up to cover the holes for the tortoise's head, legs and tail. The eagle and the hyena get around this problem, with the former [[Discworld/SmallGods simply picking up and dropping the tortoise from high up over rocks]] and the latter by biting it with its incredible bite force.

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* A tortoise is a rather tricky creature to eat, due to its hard shell. When it retreats into it, it becomes NighInvulnerable, {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le, and most animals just can't pull out the meaty bits due to a lack of dexterity or due to the protective plates that come up to cover the holes for the tortoise's head, legs and tail. The eagle and the hyena get around this problem, with the former [[Discworld/SmallGods simply picking up and dropping the tortoise from high up over rocks]] and the latter by biting it with its incredible bite force.
16th Jun '16 11:49:01 PM Morgenthaler
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* In ''{{Metajets}}'', In "Under the Ice," when Vector says it'll take a while to find the right access code to open the door to the abandoned research facility, Burner just blows the door open with a good shot from his snowmobile cannon.

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* In ''{{Metajets}}'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Metajets}}'', In "Under the Ice," when Vector says it'll take a while to find the right access code to open the door to the abandoned research facility, Burner just blows the door open with a good shot from his snowmobile cannon.
14th Jun '16 9:53:38 AM HeSupplanted
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[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* The UrExample example of this trope would probably have to be [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Heracles]] (his legends date back to 600 BC, three hundred years before the trope naming legend, in which UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat figured heavily). When met with a lion whose skin could not be ''[[ExactWords pierced]]'' with any blade or point, he ''bludgeoned'' it to death (or ''strangled'' it, depending on the translation). Later, when charged to wash out a massive set of stables in a very short time, he lifted up a river and washed them all out at once. Later still, he was told to go into the underworld to defeat and abduct Cerberus. Instead, he ''quite literally'' explains his situation to Hades and asks if he can borrow his dog for a while. [[DontFearTheReaper Being one of]] [[DarkIsNotEvil the more decent gods]], Hades basically said "just bring him back when you're done".
** When Hercules offended a friend by being rowdy at his wife's funeral, he decided that the best way to make it up was to go off and bring the lady back to life by [[ChessWithDeath wrestling]] [[TheGrimReaper Thanatos]] for her. Sure enough, before the end of the night, he came marching back to the house with the manís wife in his arms.
* The {{Trope Maker|s}} and {{Trope Namer|s}} was the mythical, impossibly complex [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot Gordian Knot]] that, the oracles predicted, could only be untied by the future king of Asia. Alexander the Great tried in vain to untie it and then, when that didn't work, simply drew his sword and sliced it in two. Other versions of the story are the exact opposite of the trope, however, with Alexander finding a clever way to untie the knot without cutting it, like where he basically removes the main object that the knot was apparently wrapped around, thus loosening its entire structure; the equivalent of leveling a building by removing its foundation. By the ancient Greek definition of Asia, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolia he did indeed conquer all of it]].
* In Norse legend, a man once gambled with a giant, and wagered his son. Predictably, the man lost, and the giant gave him a day to forfeit the boy, lest the giant simply kill him and his whole family. The man pleaded with Odin of the Aesir to save his son: Odin did this by hiding the boy from the giant by transforming him into a feather on the head of a swan. The giant caught the swan and in the middle of plucking it bald, the boy ran away. The man then went to a second Aesir to save his son, which the Aesir did by transforming the boy into a fish egg hidden in the roe of a shad fish. The giant caught the shad fish, and in the middle of counting out the individual eggs, the boy again escaped him. Finally, the man pleaded with Loki of the Aesir to save his son. Rather than rely on sorcerous gimmicks to trick the giant, Loki simply took the boy, and challenged the giant to come and get the boy if he still dared, whereupon the giant then promptly fell dead into the boobytrap Loki set specifically for him.
[[/folder]]

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[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* The UrExample example of this trope would probably have to be [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Heracles]] (his legends date back to 600 BC, three hundred years before the trope naming legend, in which UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat figured heavily). When met with a lion whose skin could not be ''[[ExactWords pierced]]'' with any blade or point, he ''bludgeoned'' it to death (or ''strangled'' it, depending on the translation). Later, when charged to wash out a massive set of stables in a very short time, he lifted up a river and washed them all out at once. Later still, he was told to go into the underworld to defeat and abduct Cerberus. Instead, he ''quite literally'' explains his situation to Hades and asks if he can borrow his dog for a while. [[DontFearTheReaper Being one of]] [[DarkIsNotEvil the more decent gods]], Hades basically said "just bring him back when you're done".
** When Hercules offended a friend by being rowdy at his wife's funeral, he decided that the best way to make it up was to go off and bring the lady back to life by [[ChessWithDeath wrestling]] [[TheGrimReaper Thanatos]] for her. Sure enough, before the end of the night, he came marching back to the house with the manís wife in his arms.
* The {{Trope Maker|s}} and {{Trope Namer|s}} was the mythical, impossibly complex [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot Gordian Knot]] that, the oracles predicted, could only be untied by the future king of Asia. Alexander the Great tried in vain to untie it and then, when that didn't work, simply drew his sword and sliced it in two. Other versions of the story are the exact opposite of the trope, however, with Alexander finding a clever way to untie the knot without cutting it, like where he basically removes the main object that the knot was apparently wrapped around, thus loosening its entire structure; the equivalent of leveling a building by removing its foundation. By the ancient Greek definition of Asia, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolia he did indeed conquer all of it]].
* In Norse legend, a man once gambled with a giant, and wagered his son. Predictably, the man lost, and the giant gave him a day to forfeit the boy, lest the giant simply kill him and his whole family. The man pleaded with Odin of the Aesir to save his son: Odin did this by hiding the boy from the giant by transforming him into a feather on the head of a swan. The giant caught the swan and in the middle of plucking it bald, the boy ran away. The man then went to a second Aesir to save his son, which the Aesir did by transforming the boy into a fish egg hidden in the roe of a shad fish. The giant caught the shad fish, and in the middle of counting out the individual eggs, the boy again escaped him. Finally, the man pleaded with Loki of the Aesir to save his son. Rather than rely on sorcerous gimmicks to trick the giant, Loki simply took the boy, and challenged the giant to come and get the boy if he still dared, whereupon the giant then promptly fell dead into the boobytrap Loki set specifically for him.
[[/folder]]


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[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* The UrExample example of this trope would probably have to be [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Heracles]] (his legends date back to 600 BC, three hundred years before the trope naming legend, in which UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat figured heavily). When met with a lion whose skin could not be ''[[ExactWords pierced]]'' with any blade or point, he ''bludgeoned'' it to death (or ''strangled'' it, depending on the translation). Later, when charged to wash out a massive set of stables in a very short time, he lifted up a river and washed them all out at once. Later still, he was told to go into the underworld to defeat and abduct Cerberus. Instead, he ''quite literally'' explains his situation to Hades and asks if he can borrow his dog for a while. [[DontFearTheReaper Being one of]] [[DarkIsNotEvil the more decent gods]], Hades basically said "just bring him back when you're done".
** When Hercules offended a friend by being rowdy at his wife's funeral, he decided that the best way to make it up was to go off and bring the lady back to life by [[ChessWithDeath wrestling]] [[TheGrimReaper Thanatos]] for her. Sure enough, before the end of the night, he came marching back to the house with the manís wife in his arms.
* The {{Trope Maker|s}} and {{Trope Namer|s}} was the mythical, impossibly complex [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot Gordian Knot]] that, the oracles predicted, could only be untied by the future king of Asia. Alexander the Great tried in vain to untie it and then, when that didn't work, simply drew his sword and sliced it in two. Other versions of the story are the exact opposite of the trope, however, with Alexander finding a clever way to untie the knot without cutting it, like where he basically removes the main object that the knot was apparently wrapped around, thus loosening its entire structure; the equivalent of leveling a building by removing its foundation. By the ancient Greek definition of Asia, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolia he did indeed conquer all of it]].
* In Norse legend, a man once gambled with a giant, and wagered his son. Predictably, the man lost, and the giant gave him a day to forfeit the boy, lest the giant simply kill him and his whole family. The man pleaded with Odin of the Aesir to save his son: Odin did this by hiding the boy from the giant by transforming him into a feather on the head of a swan. The giant caught the swan and in the middle of plucking it bald, the boy ran away. The man then went to a second Aesir to save his son, which the Aesir did by transforming the boy into a fish egg hidden in the roe of a shad fish. The giant caught the shad fish, and in the middle of counting out the individual eggs, the boy again escaped him. Finally, the man pleaded with Loki of the Aesir to save his son. Rather than rely on sorcerous gimmicks to trick the giant, Loki simply took the boy, and challenged the giant to come and get the boy if he still dared, whereupon the giant then promptly fell dead into the boobytrap Loki set specifically for him.
[[/folder]]
5th Jun '16 11:18:29 PM Silverblade2
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* On one occasion, ComicBook/{{Thorgal}} is shown a ring tied to a frame with three cords, and challenged to cut them all with a single arrow. [[ExactWords He walks over to the frame and cuts all the ropes with the head of the arrow he's holding in his hand.]]

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* On one occasion, ComicBook/{{Thorgal}} ComicBook/{{Thorgal}}'s wife Aaricia is shown a ring tied to a frame with three cords, and challenged to cut them all with a single arrow. [[ExactWords He She walks over to the frame and cuts all the ropes with the head of the arrow he's holding in his hand.]]
4th Jun '16 10:09:22 AM valar55
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* In the ''Manwha/DragonRecipe'', a sword in the stone style contest is resolved when a girl checks to confirm that the rules are simply "Remove The Sword From The Stone". Her solution? She pulls out a hammer and chisel, then breaks open the stone.

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* In the ''Manwha/DragonRecipe'', ''Manhwa/DragonRecipe'', a sword in the stone style contest is resolved when a girl checks to confirm that the rules are simply "Remove The Sword From The Stone". Her solution? She pulls out a hammer and chisel, then breaks open the stone.
3rd Jun '16 7:52:41 AM ripley
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* The quickest way to disarm a nuclear weapon is ''to blow it up''. While this is incredibly counter-intuitive, it is in fact a fool-proof method. Nuclear weapons are dependent upon the extremely precise detonation of a series high-explosive plates within the mechanism within a fraction of a second. So if just one plate goes off too early, the chain-reaction will fail and a full-yield detonation won't occur. In fact, the resultant explosion may be barely if at all larger than that caused by the high explosives used within the mechanism alone. While it will of course still spray the (radioactive) uranium and/or plutonium across the landscape, most would consider this an acceptable trade-off for not being nuked.

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* The quickest way to disarm a nuclear weapon is ''to blow it up''. While this is incredibly counter-intuitive, it is in fact a fool-proof method. Nuclear weapons are dependent upon the extremely precise detonation of a series of high-explosive plates within the mechanism within a fraction of a second. So if just one plate goes off too early, the chain-reaction will fail and a full-yield detonation won't occur. In fact, the resultant explosion may be barely barely, if at all all, larger than that caused by the high explosives used within the mechanism alone. While it will of course still spray the (radioactive) uranium and/or plutonium across the landscape, most would consider this an acceptable trade-off for not being nuked.
16th May '16 10:05:26 PM pacealot
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** Similarly, the easiest way to open said safe is with a crowbar and a hammer. A lot of Storage Liquidators would rather find the key however, as the safes themselves might be worth money (which sometimes can be more than the possible content they hold).

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** Similarly, the easiest way to open said a safe is with a crowbar and a hammer. A lot of Storage Liquidators would rather find the key however, as the safes themselves might be worth money (which sometimes can be more than the possible content they hold).
9th May '16 11:42:37 PM Levitz9
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* In a two-parter from the 1980s ''AstroBoy'' anime titled "The World's Strongest Robot", the mighty robot Pluto faces off against the German robot Gerhardt. Pluto's brute size and strength are useless against Gerhardt, as he is much smaller and nimbler. The massive horns on his head are too unwieldy to stab him, too, and [[NoSell the electric current they emit is rendered useless by the special alloy that composes Gerhardt's body]]. So what does Pluto do when Gerhardt grabs onto his horns to mock him? Tug on his horns and [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe split Gerhardt down the middle]]. He then makes sure to bend his horns back into place.



** In one episode where the main characters are doing the IndyEscape. When they run out of places to... well, run, Honda turns around and punches the boulder as it's about to crush them. It pops. Turns out it was a balloon with a speaker inside.

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** In one episode where the main characters are doing the IndyEscape. When they run out of places to... well, run, Honda Honda/Tristan turns around and punches the boulder as it's about to crush them. It pops. Turns out it was a balloon with a speaker inside.
6th May '16 6:34:58 AM bowserbros
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Added DiffLines:

** Similarly to the above example, another episode features Sheldon & Leonard try to perform the old "strong enough to open jars" routine so that Leonard's girlfriend Stephanie will be impressed with him. When Leonard finds himself unable to open the jar, he just breaks it open on the edge of the table [[RealityEnsues and accidentally stabs his hand with one of the shards in the process]].
19th Apr '16 1:19:31 PM erforce
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** In the [[ShowWithinAShow Daring Do story]] the eponymous adventurer carefully approaches an artifact on a plinth inside an ancient tomb full of deadly traps... you know the [[IndianaJones drill]]. She sizes it up, apparently attempting to cleverly remove it without disturbing the plinth and triggering more traps... then just rolls her eyes, snatches the artifact and dashes out through all the newly triggered traps.

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** In the [[ShowWithinAShow Daring Do story]] the eponymous adventurer carefully approaches an artifact on a plinth inside an ancient tomb full of deadly traps... you know the [[IndianaJones [[Franchise/IndianaJones drill]]. She sizes it up, apparently attempting to cleverly remove it without disturbing the plinth and triggering more traps... then just rolls her eyes, snatches the artifact and dashes out through all the newly triggered traps.
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