History Main / FailureIsTheOnlyOption

23rd Mar '16 6:09:19 PM merotoker
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** [[Anime/ExcelSaga In the anime]]: [[spoiler: Il Palazzo gets rid of Excel near the end of the series and successfully conquers the city in the next episode.]]

to:

** [[Anime/ExcelSaga In the anime]]: [[spoiler: Il Palazzo gets rid of Excel near the end of the series and successfully conquers the city in the next episode.]]episode]].



* The goal in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is to create the Philosopher's Stone, and [[spoiler: once it's actually created, the only way for the brothers to accomplish their goal is to have Al die. Failure IS the only option, even until the end.]]
* Marie Kagura in the ''Manga/TonaGura'' manga has the goal of [[spoiler:restoring her "perverted" brother to his pre-puberty status as her friend and playmate. She does not understand that, even if he behaves himself, that boy is never coming back.]]

to:

* The goal in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is to create the Philosopher's Stone, and [[spoiler: once it's actually created, the only way for the brothers to accomplish their goal is to have Al die. Failure IS the only option, even until the end.]]
end]].
* Marie Kagura in the ''Manga/TonaGura'' manga has the goal of [[spoiler:restoring her "perverted" brother to his pre-puberty status as her friend and playmate. She does not understand that, even if he behaves himself, that boy is never coming back.]]back]].



* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei''. All of Nozomu Itoshiki's [[DrivenToSuicide attempts at suicide]] fail. I mean, he even survived having his name written in the ''Manga/DeathNote''!

to:

* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei''. All of Nozomu Itoshiki's [[DrivenToSuicide attempts at suicide]] fail. I mean, he He even survived having his name written in the ''Manga/DeathNote''!



* ''Manga/ShamanKing'': From the beginning, Yoh's goal was to become Shaman King. Later on, it gets to the point where [[spoiler: Yoh admits that his brother Hao/Zeke is going to win...period.]] There's only a matter of what to do next.

to:

* ''Manga/ShamanKing'': From the beginning, Yoh's goal was to become Shaman King. Later on, it gets to the point where [[spoiler: Yoh admits that his brother Hao/Zeke is going to win...period.]] period]]. There's only a matter of what to do next.



* ''Anime/HellGirl'': Hajime's goal: Stop people from using Hell Correspondence to send people to Hell, and thus damning themselves in the process. No matter how close he gets to stopping somebody from pulling the red thread on the CurseDoll, they'll always do it. Probably the worst example is in episode 18, [[spoiler: where a FatBastard RichBitch has been holding a little girl's dogs hostage and killing them whenever she suspects the little girl might be telling somebody about what she's doing. Both Hajime, the little girl's teacher AND two police officers manage to break into her house when they hear the little girl over the intercom begging the RichBitch not to kill the puppies one of the dogs had, and subdue her, uncovering the fact that she'd not only murdered her parents to get her inheritance, but also her infant son to keep him from potentially trying to steal her money. At first it seems that Hajime finally stopped somebody from pulling the thread, and was just moments away from taking the doll from her, when she discovers that the RichBitch had already drowned the puppies in the bathtub...]] There's one exception to the rule, and even then the show leaves it ambiguous as to whether or not the victim will simply try again.

to:

* ''Anime/HellGirl'': Hajime's goal: Stop people from using Hell Correspondence to send people to Hell, and thus damning themselves in the process. No matter how close he gets to stopping somebody from pulling the red thread on the CurseDoll, they'll always do it. Probably the worst example is in episode 18, [[spoiler: where a FatBastard RichBitch has been holding a little girl's dogs hostage and killing them whenever she suspects the little girl might be telling somebody about what she's doing. Both Hajime, the little girl's teacher AND two police officers manage to break into her house when they hear the little girl over the intercom begging the RichBitch not to kill the puppies one of the dogs had, and subdue her, uncovering the fact that she'd not only murdered her parents to get her inheritance, but also her infant son to keep him from potentially trying to steal her money. At first it seems that Hajime finally stopped somebody from pulling the thread, and was just moments away from taking the doll from her, when she discovers that the RichBitch had already drowned the puppies in the bathtub...]] bathtub]]... There's one exception to the rule, and even then the show leaves it ambiguous as to whether or not the victim will simply try again.



** A more personal example is what WordOfGod says will happens if Sayaka Miki contracts and becomes a magical girl or not in a given timeline, If she doesn't in she lives if she does [[spoiler: she will always fall into despair and [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie become a witch]], or if she's lucky enough to not witch out, she winds up dead by some other means which is what happens in the post CosmicRetcon universe.]]

to:

** A more personal example is what WordOfGod says will happens if Sayaka Miki contracts and becomes a magical girl or not in a given timeline, If she doesn't in she lives if she does [[spoiler: she will always fall into despair and [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie become a witch]], or if she's lucky enough to not witch out, she winds up dead by some other means which is what happens in the post CosmicRetcon universe.]] universe]].



* ''Manga/GirlsGoAround'' Goal: Get out of the Time Loops. Overall works, until the final chapter reveals the ''true'' goal of the time loop! [[spoiler: Goal: Have everyone manage to graduate from high school without one of them dying. Result: They can't. Initially, Kyousuke died. If Kyousuke is saved, Chihiro dies. When Kyousuke saves Chihiro, Shiina ends up getting run over by a car. If Shiina is saved, the Class Rep ends up dying. Class Rep survives, Izumi dies. And if Izumi is saved, Ootsuka dies... so Kyousuke decides to commit suicide since he can't save all the girls and won't abandon one... which results in Chihiro creating a time loop to prevent his death, beginning the cycle again]].

to:

* ''Manga/GirlsGoAround'' Goal: Get out of the Time Loops. Overall works, until the final chapter reveals the ''true'' goal of the time loop! [[spoiler: Goal: Have everyone manage to graduate from high school without one of them dying. Result: They can't. Initially, Kyousuke died. If Kyousuke is saved, Chihiro dies. When Kyousuke saves Chihiro, Shiina ends up getting run over by a car. If Shiina is saved, the Class Rep ends up dying. Class Rep survives, Izumi dies. And if Izumi is saved, Ootsuka dies... so Kyousuke decides to commit suicide since he can't save all the girls and won't abandon one... which results in Chihiro creating a time loop to prevent his death, beginning the cycle again]].again.]]



* ''The entire [[Franchise/TheDCU DC]] & Franchise/{{Marvel|Universe}} superhero universe'' is built around this. The popular villains; SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, ComicBook/{{Magneto}}, ComicBook/LexLuthor, etc. have [[JokerImmunity too much of the appeal of the comics to ever be dispatched for good]]. Decades of excuses as to why they can always come back have ultimately formed the basis of what these worlds are. [[ThouShaltNotKill Heroes have codes against killing]], even though this invariably results in an endless series of deaths of innocents when the villains strike again. This makes such codes look foolish and hypocritical. When villains are arrested, they either [[CardboardPrison escape prison with ease]], or are released by a corrupt and foolish justice system -- making the hero's commitment to law and justice look equally foolish. (And blame laid on "weak liberals" for what is really marketing controlling the world.) The result: While good wins at the end of most comics, the good seem to suffer far more and accomplish little in the greater scheme of things.

to:

* ''The entire [[Franchise/TheDCU DC]] & Franchise/{{Marvel|Universe}} superhero universe'' is built around this. The popular villains; SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, ComicBook/{{Magneto}}, SelfDemonstrating/{{Magneto}}, ComicBook/LexLuthor, etc. have [[JokerImmunity too much of the appeal of the comics to ever be dispatched for good]]. Decades of excuses as to why they can always come back have ultimately formed the basis of what these worlds are. [[ThouShaltNotKill Heroes have codes against killing]], even though this invariably results in an endless series of deaths of innocents when the villains strike again. This makes such codes look foolish and hypocritical. When villains are arrested, they either [[CardboardPrison escape prison with ease]], or are released by a corrupt and foolish justice system -- making the hero's commitment to law and justice look equally foolish. (And blame laid on "weak liberals" for what is really marketing controlling the world.) The result: While good wins at the end of most comics, the good seem to suffer far more and accomplish little in the greater scheme of things.



* The original premise of ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' was that Alex Holland had been changed into a swamp monster in a freak accident, and was trying to find a cure. The original series, once the book's original creative team left and were replaced, DID end with Swamp Thing cured but the condition was quickly overturned in haphazard fashion during a guest-spot Challengers of the Unknown. His series was relaunched in 1980 and the focus once again became on Swamp Thing wanting to become human, which writer Alan Moore (who took over the book with #20) felt had to go and go for good since it left the series stuck in an endless loop of failure. He promptly spent his second issue of his legendary run on the series revealing that Swamp Thing was a plant elemental creature with Alex Holland's personality/memories and sealed the deal by producing the remains of Holland, having Swamp Thing meet Alex in heaven and having Swamp Thing pretty much not care about his life being a lie after a brief HeroicBSOD.\\\
This is ironic, given that in spite of the popularity of Creator/AlanMoore's run on ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' and his retcon, DC pretty much refuses to market Moore's version of the character in other media. Pretty much every Swamp Thing show, movie, cartoon uses the original "man to monster" origin for Swamp Thing and the Failure is the Only Option trope to drive the plot.

to:

* The original premise of ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' was that Alex Holland had been changed into a swamp monster in a freak accident, and was trying to find a cure. The original series, once the book's original creative team left and were replaced, DID end with Swamp Thing cured but the condition was quickly overturned in haphazard fashion during a guest-spot Challengers of the Unknown. His series was relaunched in 1980 and the focus once again became on Swamp Thing wanting to become human, which writer Alan Moore Creator/AlanMoore (who took over the book with #20) felt had to go and go for good since it left the series stuck in an endless loop of failure. He promptly spent his second issue of his legendary run on the series revealing that Swamp Thing was a plant elemental creature with Alex Holland's personality/memories and sealed the deal by producing the remains of Holland, having Swamp Thing meet Alex in heaven and having Swamp Thing pretty much not care about his life being a lie after a brief HeroicBSOD.\\\
This is ironic, given that in spite of the popularity of Creator/AlanMoore's Moore's run on ''ComicBook/SwampThing'' and his retcon, DC pretty much refuses to market Moore's version of the character in other media. Pretty much every Swamp Thing show, movie, cartoon uses the original "man to monster" origin for Swamp Thing and the Failure is the Only Option trope to drive the plot.



* ''Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog''. Invoked from the villain's side. Mammoth Mogul can't defeat Sonic the Hedgehog? Fine. He'll just quit trying--he's immortal, after all, so he's easily going to outlast that annoying blue blur. And in the meantime he'll amuse himself making life difficult for Sonic in any way available short of outright attack.

to:

* ''Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog''.''Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog''. Invoked from the villain's side. Mammoth Mogul can't defeat Sonic the Hedgehog? Fine. He'll just quit trying--he's immortal, after all, so he's easily going to outlast that annoying blue blur. And in the meantime he'll amuse himself making life difficult for Sonic in any way available short of outright attack.



** Linus and seeing the Great Pumpkin,

to:

** Linus and seeing the Great Pumpkin, Pumpkin



* The film ''Film/DogDayAfternoon'' The whole bank robbery was one big blunder, [[spoiler: just like the protagonist personal life. There was hardly any money to steal, and the protagonist whole goal to leave the country with most of the hostages, scot-free, was nothing but wishful thinking.]]

to:

* The film ''Film/DogDayAfternoon'' ''Film/DogDayAfternoon'': The whole bank robbery was one big blunder, [[spoiler: just like the protagonist personal life. There was hardly any money to steal, and the protagonist whole goal to leave the country with most of the hostages, scot-free, was nothing but wishful thinking.]]thinking]].



** Fëanor, the mightiest elf that ever lived, made the Simarils, jewels so beautiful that [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Morgoth]] (Sauron's boss) himself stole the jewels. He led an entire army of high elves across the sea, slaughtering the elven shipwrights to get the needed ships. When he does get to Middle-Earth, he is [[spoiler: killed by the Balrog Captain in the first battle. His oath to get the Simarils back kills five of his seven sons, and the oath forces his sons to attack friendly elven nations when Lúthien manages to retrieve one of the Simarils from Morgoth. After the final battle, the two remaining sons of Fëanor steal the two remaining Simarils; only for their holy light to burn their hands which had been stained with elven blood, to the point that one kills himself and the other throws away the Simaril to wander Middle-Earth in penance. In short, Fëanor is directly responsible for all occasions of elf-on-elf bloodshed, and the destruction of his sons.]]

to:

** Fëanor, the mightiest elf that ever lived, made the Simarils, jewels so beautiful that [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Morgoth]] (Sauron's boss) himself stole the jewels. He led an entire army of high elves across the sea, slaughtering the elven shipwrights to get the needed ships. When he does get to Middle-Earth, he is [[spoiler: killed by the Balrog Captain in the first battle. His oath to get the Simarils back kills five of his seven sons, and the oath forces his sons to attack friendly elven nations when Lúthien manages to retrieve one of the Simarils from Morgoth. After the final battle, the two remaining sons of Fëanor steal the two remaining Simarils; only for their holy light to burn their hands which had been stained with elven blood, to the point that one kills himself and the other throws away the Simaril to wander Middle-Earth in penance. In short, Fëanor is directly responsible for all occasions of elf-on-elf bloodshed, and the destruction of his sons.]]sons]].



* Invoked, enforced and conversed throughout the Creator/SvenHassel novels to the point it became a running joke -- regardless how brutal the victory was gained, how boring the inactivity is or [[DrinkingOnDuty how hard the Schnapps hit]] [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the poor Wehrmacht trooper in the head]], someone, [[spoiler:usually Obergefreiter Joseph Porta]], would remind the others they fight for ''defeat'', they expect ''to lose'', they would ''never'' imagine the Reich could win, the war is ''lost'', usually ending with a drunk "Hail Defeat!" ([[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle pun based on the Third Reich slogan "Hail Victory!" -- ''Sieg Heil!'']]). [[spoiler:As most of the men in the 27th Panzer Regiment were [[CannonFodder convicts who had all reasons to hate the Third Reich]] and anything pertaining to it, losing the war meant their liberation as well]].

to:

* Invoked, enforced and conversed throughout the Creator/SvenHassel novels to the point it became a running joke -- regardless how brutal the victory was gained, how boring the inactivity is or [[DrinkingOnDuty how hard the Schnapps hit]] [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the poor Wehrmacht trooper in the head]], someone, [[spoiler:usually Obergefreiter Joseph Porta]], would remind the others they fight for ''defeat'', they expect ''to lose'', they would ''never'' imagine the Reich could win, the war is ''lost'', usually ending with a drunk "Hail Defeat!" ([[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle pun based on the Third Reich slogan "Hail Victory!" -- ''Sieg Heil!'']]). [[spoiler:As most of the men in the 27th Panzer Regiment were [[CannonFodder convicts who had all reasons to hate the Third Reich]] and anything pertaining to it, losing the war meant their liberation as well]].well.]]



* In Stephen King's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, the epilogue reveals that [[spoiler: Roland is stuck in an endless loop of finding the Dark Tower and being sent back to the middle of his journey]]. Although [[spoiler:this time he has an important PlotCoupon that he'd never been able to hold onto before, hinting that maybe he'll be able to finally win for good.]]

to:

* In Stephen King's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, the epilogue reveals that [[spoiler: Roland is stuck in an endless loop of finding the Dark Tower and being sent back to the middle of his journey]]. Although [[spoiler:this time he has an important PlotCoupon that he'd never been able to hold onto before, hinting that maybe he'll be able to finally win for good.]]good]].



* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' embodies this trope from the very first scene in the pilot to the last scene of the finale. It ends with the two characters who moved in with the family in the pilot to help them out basically saying,[[spoiler: "ScrewThisImOuttaHere" and running away to Mexico.]]

to:

* See ''Series/AllThat'' and its running sketch of a gameshow, literally called "You Can't Win". Questions asked (if they're not skipped over entirely -- because who cares, they'll never get it right anyway) include such examples as "Who am I thinking of right now?" or simply "How many shoes?" There are also physical challenges, such as teaching a basset hound Spanish within ten seconds, or eating ''exactly'' 400 meatballs in 30 seconds (the contestant lost by eating the full amount given -- 40''4'' meatballs).
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' embodies this trope from the very first scene in the pilot to the last scene of the finale. It ends with the two characters who moved in with the family in the pilot to help them out basically saying,[[spoiler: "ScrewThisImOuttaHere" and running away to Mexico.]]Mexico]].
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' crosses this with ForegoneConclusion in the flashback scenes. Oliver can never actually succeed in getting home to his family (at least, not until five years after he's shipwrecked on the island).



* The ''Series/BabylonFive'' sequel ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' was meant to feature a subversion, with the supposed plot hook of finding a cure for the Drakh plague that will kill all humans in five years resolved in just one season. Then the means of finding the cure would lead to more story arcs involving corruption of the Earth government and the manipulation of leftover Shadow technology that were what J. Michael Straczynski really wanted the show to be about; the plague story had been forced on him by executives who wanted the show's core premise to be able to be summed up in a few words. Unfortunately, it was cancelled long before this could happen.



* In ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'', [[spoiler:they find Earth before the end of the series...only to find the planet in an post-apocalyptic state, presumably from nuclear war. Later, they get a DeusExMachina trip to another habitable planet that they also call Earth, mingle with the locals, and 150,000 years later we develop Roombas.]] This could be said to be an aversion, as current humans are much more GenreSavvy about the danger of building machines that could [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters turn against them]]. The earliest warning against this (the story of the golem) goes back several hundred years.

to:

* In ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'', [[spoiler:they find Earth before the end of the series...only to find the planet in an post-apocalyptic state, presumably from nuclear war. Later, they get a DeusExMachina trip to another habitable planet that they also call Earth, mingle with the locals, and 150,000 years later we develop Roombas.]] Roombas]]. This could be said to be an aversion, as current humans are much more GenreSavvy about the danger of building machines that could [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters turn against them]]. The earliest warning against this (the story of the golem) goes back several hundred years.



* On ''Series/{{Castle}}'', any time Beckett comes close to finding her mother's killer, she fails. She [[spoiler: first shoots the trigger man to save Castle before finding out who hired him, finds the next killer in the chain only for him to escape custody and kill Montgomery, is shot by a sniper, and after finding him is later thrown off a roof by that same sniper.]] With the beginning of season 5 it is [[spoiler: finally averted when she finally finds the TheManBehindTheMan but she is still unable to prove it.]] When she thinks she might finally have a chance [[spoiler: it is yanked away when it turns out that the mastermind is innocent of the current crime and she saves his life instead.]]

to:

* On ''Series/{{Castle}}'', any time Beckett comes close to finding her mother's killer, she fails. She [[spoiler: first shoots the trigger man to save Castle before finding out who hired him, finds the next killer in the chain only for him to escape custody and kill Montgomery, is shot by a sniper, and after finding him is later thrown off a roof by that same sniper.]] sniper]]. With the beginning of season 5 it is [[spoiler: finally averted when she finally finds the TheManBehindTheMan but she is still unable to prove it.]] it]]. When she thinks she might finally have a chance [[spoiler: it is yanked away when it turns out that the mastermind is innocent of the current crime and she saves his life instead.]] instead]].



* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** Colonel Klink's actor only participated in the show under the condition that the Nazis would never, ever come out on top in anything. This being a comedy and Nazis being an AcceptableTarget, it wasn't hard to pull off.
** In an in-universe semi-example, Klink ''thought'' this was true of Hogan and his eponymous heroes. Of course, they could have escaped any time; they just didn't want to because they were being so effective where they were.



* Series/{{Frasier}} is just not meant to find love.



* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** Colonel Klink's actor only participated in the show under the condition that the Nazis would never, ever come out on top in anything. This being a comedy and Nazis being an AcceptableTarget, it wasn't hard to pull off.
** In an in-universe semi-example, Klink ''thought'' this was true of Hogan and his eponymous heroes. Of course, they could have escaped any time; they just didn't want to because they were being so effective where they were.



** Also goes with [[spoiler: Barney and Robin now that it's revealed they're getting married:]] Any other relationship one or the other is in is 100% guaranteed to fail.

to:

** Also goes with [[spoiler: Barney and Robin now that it's revealed they're getting married:]] married]]: Any other relationship one or the other is in is 100% guaranteed to fail.



* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'': With very rare exceptions, just about anything any of the main cast tries doing is going to end up failing miserably. The prominent of these is Charlie's crush on the unnamed Waitress; no matter what he does she's never going to fall for him.



* ''Series/LandOfTheGiants''. Their goal was to get out of the titular place. However, something inevitably went wrong every time there was a chance of doing that. [[TheMillstone Fitzhugh]] was no help.



* ''Series/LazyTown''. It makes sense that Robbie Rotten's schemes ''always'' fail. If they succeeded, there would be no more show.



Subverted in the [[Series/LifeOnMars2008 American version]] [[spoiler: when it's revealed that Sam isn't a cop from 2008 after all but an astronaut in 2035 caught up in a glitched virtual reality program]]
** This trope also applies to spin-off AshesToAshes, with Alex's main goal always being to get back to 2008 and make it to her daughters birthday party.[[spoiler: This appeared to have been achieved at the end of series 2, only for episode 1 of series 3 to reveal it was just a DreamWithinADream. And unlike Sam Alex never even got a choice - the final episode revealed she never could have gotten back as she was DeadAllAlong!]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': With the premise of "people stranded on a deserted Island", it was pretty obvious to GenreSavvy viewers that any attempts to get off said Island were doomed to fail. It was the famously subverted when some characters left the Island and their goal became to get back there. [[spoiler:And then totally inverted in the final season: the goal of the main characters becomes to stop the BigBad from leaving the Island - something they have attempted themselves for so long early in the series]]. The other goal is to figure out what the hell is going on. Characters and the viewers alike were fated to fail here.

to:

Subverted in the [[Series/LifeOnMars2008 American version]] [[spoiler: when it's revealed that Sam isn't a cop from 2008 after all but an astronaut in 2035 caught up in a glitched virtual reality program]]
program]].
** This trope also applies to spin-off AshesToAshes, ''Series/AshesToAshes'', with Alex's main goal always being to get back to 2008 and make it to her daughters birthday party.[[spoiler: This appeared to have been achieved at the end of series 2, only for episode 1 of series 3 to reveal it was just a DreamWithinADream. And unlike Sam Alex never even got a choice - the final episode revealed she never could have gotten back as she was DeadAllAlong!]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': With the premise of "people stranded on a deserted Island", it was pretty obvious to GenreSavvy viewers that any attempts to get off said Island were doomed to fail. It was the famously subverted when some characters left the Island and their goal became to get back there. [[spoiler:And then totally inverted in the final season: the goal of the main characters becomes to stop the BigBad from leaving the Island - something they have attempted themselves for so long early in the series]]. series.]] The other goal is to figure out what the hell is going on. Characters and the viewers alike were fated to fail here.



* ''Series/PhilOfTheFuture'' - The time machine being fixed so the Diffys can return to the future. Slightly subverted in that Lloyd [[spoiler:purposefully procrastinated/sabotaged the systems because the family enjoyed the 21st century so much. He really could've just fixed it at any time.]]

to:

* ''Series/PeepShow'' is built on this trope, because it's a CrapsackWorld and StatusQuoIsGod. Likewise, Armstrong and Bain's sitcom ''Series/TheOldGuys''.
* ''Series/PhilOfTheFuture'' - The time machine being fixed so the Diffys can return to the future. Slightly subverted in that Lloyd [[spoiler:purposefully procrastinated/sabotaged the systems because the family enjoyed the 21st century so much. He really could've just fixed it at any time.]]time]].



* ''This Morning with Richard not Judy'' - In the weekly Nostrodamus routine the terms for success get two out of three predictions correct. So, the trope was played usually by having one obvious prediction and two laughable to think that they'd come true, thus always failing. One week, a laughable prediction was "A member of Boyzone will come out as being homosexual." Shock -- horror, within a week a member of Boyzone came out! This would have been a simple aversion, had it not been for the predictable prediction being a LampshadeHanging: "Nostrodamus will fail to get two of his predictions correct." Consequently causing a Played Straight/Aversion feedback loop.



** Which they end up losing later, proving that this trope always takes precedence in this show. If that wasn't bad enough, virtually ''everyone'' ends up going to jail due to a well-crafted {{plan}} by Mr. Lahey. The GrandFinale movie was more of the same.
* The 3rd season of ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' focuses on the main characters war with the Original Vampires, the source of every other Vampire in the show. Just when they had completed their ultimate weapon to defeat all of them, it's revealed that the death of an Orignal means the death of every Vampire connected to that Original's Sire line. The cast lose the war once they learn this, because far too many of their friends(and the series 3 leads) are Vampires and the show would have to do some serious recasting and concept altering if they wanted to have a Season 4.

to:

** Which they end up losing later, proving that this trope always takes precedence in this show. If that wasn't bad enough, virtually ''everyone'' ends up going to jail due to a well-crafted {{plan}} [[ThePlan plan]] by Mr. Lahey. The GrandFinale movie was more of the same.
* The 3rd season of ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' focuses on the main characters war with the Original Vampires, the source of every other Vampire in the show. Just when they had completed their ultimate weapon to defeat all of them, it's revealed that the death of an Orignal means the death of every Vampire connected to that Original's Sire line. The cast lose the war once they learn this, because far too many of their friends(and friends (and the series 3 leads) are Vampires and the show would have to do some serious recasting and concept altering if they wanted to have a Season 4.4.
* ''Series/TheWire'' is a perfect example of this. In a show with cops, drug dealers, politicians, union workers, and school students barely anyone really wins in the end. "The game is rigged, but you cannot lose if you do not play." Practically every major character on the show experiences this:
** Detective [=McNulty=]'s goal is to stop Marlo Stanfield by fabricating a series of murders to "juke the stats" and divert police resources to the Major Crimes Unit. While he does arrest Marlo and his crew, the victory is hollow: the fabricated murders are discovered, leading [=McNulty=], Rhonda Pearlman and Commissioner Daniels to all fall on their swords. Marlo ends up getting off scot-free (with caveats), the reporter who covered the fake serial killer story (whom the Detective chewed out) wins a Pulitzer Prize for his stories, and [=McNulty=] realizes in the end that he can't change the system.
** The kids introduced in the fourth season (and, by extension, the entire Baltimore school system). Roland Prezbylewski realizes that nothing he does can curb the school system's trend of cutting corners and mismanaging internal resources, even though he tries to give the kids a better education. Most of the main students end up becoming "hard" to the Baltimore street life and take up the roles of past main characters (Dukie becomes a drug user like Bubbles, Michael becomes a stick-up artist like Omar, and Randy becomes a thug in a group home).



* ''This Morning with Richard not Judy'' - In the weekly Nostrodamus routine the terms for success get two out of three predictions correct. So, the trope was played usually by having one obvious prediction and two laughable to think that they'd come true, thus always failing. One week, a laughable prediction was "A member of Boyzone will come out as being homosexual." Shock -- horror, within a week a member of Boyzone came out! This would have been a simple aversion, had it not been for the predictable prediction being a LampshadeHanging: "Nostrodamus will fail to get two of his predictions correct." Consequently causing a Played Straight/Aversion feedback loop.
* See ''Series/AllThat'' and its running sketch of a gameshow, literally called "You Can't Win". Questions asked (if they're not skipped over entirely -- because who cares, they'll never get it right anyway) include such examples as "Who am I thinking of right now?" or simply "How many shoes?" There are also physical challenges, such as teaching a basset hound Spanish within ten seconds, or eating ''exactly'' 400 meatballs in 30 seconds (the contestant lost by eating the full amount given -- 40''4'' meatballs).
* ''Series/TheWire'' is a perfect example of this. In a show with cops, drug dealers, politicians, union workers, and school students barely anyone really wins in the end. "The game is rigged, but you cannot lose if you do not play." Practically every major character on the show experiences this:
** Detective [=McNulty=]'s goal is to stop Marlo Stanfield by fabricating a series of murders to "juke the stats" and divert police resources to the Major Crimes Unit. While he does arrest Marlo and his crew, the victory is hollow: the fabricated murders are discovered, leading [=McNulty=], Rhonda Pearlman and Commissioner Daniels to all fall on their swords. Marlo ends up getting off scot-free (with caveats), the reporter who covered the fake serial killer story (whom the Detective chewed out) wins a Pulitzer Prize for his stories, and [=McNulty=] realizes in the end that he can't change the system.
** The kids introduced in the fourth season (and, by extension, the entire Baltimore school system). Roland Prezbylewski realizes that nothing he does can curb the school system's trend of cutting corners and mismanaging internal resources, even though he tries to give the kids a better education. Most of the main students end up becoming "hard" to the Baltimore street life and take up the roles of past main characters (Dukie becomes a drug user like Bubbles, Michael becomes a stick-up artist like Omar, and Randy becomes a thug in a group home).
* The ''Series/BabylonFive'' sequel ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' was meant to feature a subversion, with the supposed plot hook of finding a cure for the Drakh plague that will kill all humans in five years resolved in just one season. Then the means of finding the cure would lead to more story arcs involving corruption of the Earth government and the manipulation of leftover Shadow technology that were what J. Michael Straczynski really wanted the show to be about; the plague story had been forced on him by executives who wanted the show's core premise to be able to be summed up in a few words. Unfortunately, it was cancelled long before this could happen.
* ''Series/PeepShow'' is built on this trope, because it's a CrapsackWorld and StatusQuoIsGod. Likewise, Armstrong and Bain's sitcom ''Series/TheOldGuys''.
* ''Series/LazyTown''. It makes sense that Robbie Rotten's schemes ''always'' fail. If they succeeded, there would be no more show.
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'': With very rare exceptions, just about anything any of the main cast tries doing is going to end up failing miserably. The prominent of these is Charlie's crush on the unnamed Waitress; no matter what he does she's never going to fall for him.
* ''Series/LandOfTheGiants''. Their goal was to get out of the titular place. However, something inevitably went wrong every time there was a chance of doing that. [[TheMillstone Fitzhugh]] was no help.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' is just not meant to find love.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' crosses this with ForegoneConclusion in the flashback scenes. Oliver can never actually succeed in getting home to his family (at least, not until five years after he's shipwrecked on the island).



* The Mythology and Folklore of nearly every culture on Earth are brimming with examples of such situations. [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek mythology]] in particular stands out, because the [[JerkassGod gods are dicks]] and YouCantFightFate. Myth/CelticMythology takes this to an incredible extreme, placing an elaborate system of taboos upon their mythic heroes that all but guarantee they'll incur the wrath of ''some'' deity or other sooner or later. The fate of Cu Chulainn, hero of the ''Literature/TainBoCuailnge'', is a prime example: he was invincible as long as he abstained from consuming dog meat. But before a major battle he found himself passing an old woman who offered him dog stew. It was either eat it, and [[BroughtDownToNormal become mortal]]; or refuse it, and violate SacredHospitality. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. (And the tale cites his enemy Morrigan knew this.)

to:

* The Mythology and Folklore of nearly every culture on Earth are brimming with examples of such situations. [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek mythology]] in particular stands out, because the [[JerkassGod [[JerkassGods gods are dicks]] and YouCantFightFate. Myth/CelticMythology takes this to an incredible extreme, placing an elaborate system of taboos upon their mythic heroes that all but guarantee they'll incur the wrath of ''some'' deity or other sooner or later. The fate of Cu Chulainn, hero of the ''Literature/TainBoCuailnge'', is a prime example: he was invincible as long as he abstained from consuming dog meat. But before a major battle he found himself passing an old woman who offered him dog stew. It was either eat it, and [[BroughtDownToNormal become mortal]]; or refuse it, and violate SacredHospitality. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. (And the tale cites his enemy Morrigan knew this.)



* The ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' BBC audio story arc ''Hornets' Nest'' has the Doctor researching the enemy Swarm through time, each encounter giving him enough information to travel further back and battle them earlier. Obviously, he's doomed not to actually defeat them until he returns to ThePresentDay, BecauseDestinySaysSo; if he stopped them in [[VictorianBritain 1832]] then he couldn't have battled them [[TheThirties 100 years later]], which was where he learned about their actions in 1832. He is particularly annoyed when he realises he ''caused'' their earliest success, as the StableTimeLoop resolved itself through him.

to:

* The ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' BBC audio story arc ''Hornets' Nest'' has the Doctor researching the enemy Swarm through time, each encounter giving him enough information to travel further back and battle them earlier. Obviously, he's doomed not to actually defeat them until he returns to ThePresentDay, BecauseDestinySaysSo; if he stopped them in [[VictorianBritain [[UsefulNotes/VictorianBritain 1832]] then he couldn't have battled them [[TheThirties 100 years later]], which was where he learned about their actions in 1832. He is particularly annoyed when he realises he ''caused'' their earliest success, as the StableTimeLoop resolved itself through him.



* Terminal Velocity Act 2 from ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' has Sonic trying to '''outrun a black hole''' [[spoiler: created by the FinalBoss.]] He does manage to last an impressive 30 seconds, though.

to:

* Terminal Velocity Act 2 from ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' has Sonic trying to '''outrun a black hole''' [[spoiler: created by the FinalBoss.]] FinalBoss]]. He does manage to last an impressive 30 seconds, though.



** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': as revealed in the secret ending, [[spoiler: all possible timelines lead to Caius winning. Realizing this sent Lightning over the DespairEventHorizon and she voluntarily crystallized herself.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}: Black Plague'' features a scene where [[spoiler: you accidentally kill someone while hallucinating that they are a monster trying to kill you.]] You have to go through with it, refusing to do so gets you a GameOver.

to:

** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': as revealed in the secret ending, [[spoiler: all possible timelines lead to Caius winning. Realizing this sent Lightning over the DespairEventHorizon and she voluntarily crystallized herself.]]
herself]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}: Black Plague'' features a scene where [[spoiler: you accidentally kill someone while hallucinating that they are a monster trying to kill you.]] you]]. You have to go through with it, refusing to do so gets you a GameOver.



* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'': [[spoiler:Niko Bellic.]] The end game gives you two choices for endings: [[spoiler: Choice one is to work with the main bad guy, in which case the game punishes you for compromising on your values, and Niko's cousin Roman is killed as a direct result. Choice two involves getting your revenge and killing the main bad guy, in which case Niko is punished for choosing revenge, when the one woman Niko might love, and his one chance at salvation (Kate Mcreary) is killed instead. While Niko gets revenge on the murderer either way, it's implied that he will NEVER find peace.]]

to:

* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'': [[spoiler:Niko Bellic.]] Bellic]]. The end game gives you two choices for endings: [[spoiler: Choice one is to work with the main bad guy, in which case the game punishes you for compromising on your values, and Niko's cousin Roman is killed as a direct result. Choice two involves getting your revenge and killing the main bad guy, in which case Niko is punished for choosing revenge, when the one woman Niko might love, and his one chance at salvation (Kate Mcreary) is killed instead. While Niko gets revenge on the murderer either way, it's implied that he will NEVER find peace.]]peace]].



* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' - the quest Tenpenny tower is about getting a load of intelligent ghouls into Tenpenny tower and gives you two main options, let in a load of feral ghouls and get all the human residents killed or the peaceful solution, where you convince the management let the intelligent ghouls move in. Unfortunately [[spoiler: many of the human residents get killed which ever you pick as there is a 'disagreement' shortly after you leave.]]
** Unless you [[spoiler: TakeAThirdOption and kill the Ghoul leader just after you arrange the peace. You'll get some evil points, you'll 'fail' the quest and the other ghouls will turn hostile, but you can escape without killing the normal ghouls and the massacre will be averted. How killing the murdering, psychopathic ghoul leader is a bad act will forever remain unknown.]]

to:

* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' - the quest Tenpenny tower is about getting a load of intelligent ghouls into Tenpenny tower and gives you two main options, let in a load of feral ghouls and get all the human residents killed or the peaceful solution, where you convince the management let the intelligent ghouls move in. Unfortunately [[spoiler: many of the human residents get killed which ever you pick as there is a 'disagreement' shortly after you leave.]]
leave]].
** Unless you [[spoiler: TakeAThirdOption and kill the Ghoul leader just after you arrange the peace. You'll get some evil points, you'll 'fail' the quest and the other ghouls will turn hostile, but you can escape without killing the normal ghouls and the massacre will be averted. How killing the murdering, psychopathic ghoul leader is a bad act will forever remain unknown.]]unknown]].



* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare3'' has a flashback to [[spoiler: the No Russian mission, where you are a dissenting member of Makarov trying to stop the airport massacre. Unfortunately, you are too wounded to catch up to them, and your aim is set up to be off if you try to shoot them from afar.]]

to:

* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare3'' has a flashback to [[spoiler: the No Russian mission, where you are a dissenting member of Makarov trying to stop the airport massacre. Unfortunately, you are too wounded to catch up to them, and your aim is set up to be off if you try to shoot them from afar.]]afar]].



* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'': [[spoiler: The [[BigBad Big Bad Rhapthorne]] needs to kill the descendants of the seven sages that [[SealedEvilInACan sealed him away]] to be free. The party arrives in time to save three of the seven, fighting a BossBattle that they have to win each time, only to fail anyway thanks to CutSceneIncompetence.]]

to:

* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'': [[spoiler: The [[BigBad Big Bad Rhapthorne]] needs to kill the descendants of the seven sages that [[SealedEvilInACan sealed him away]] to be free. The party arrives in time to save three of the seven, fighting a BossBattle that they have to win each time, only to fail anyway thanks to CutSceneIncompetence.]]CutSceneIncompetence]].



* Multiple fights in the story of ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'' are {{Hopeless Boss Fight}}s unless you've gotten levels you wouldn't realistically have on a first play-through. Some of these fights, while winnable if you power-level or in NewGamePlus, cause a NonStandardGameOver for your trouble.

to:

* Multiple fights in the story of ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'' are {{Hopeless Boss Fight}}s unless you've gotten levels you wouldn't realistically have on a first play-through. Some of these fights, while winnable if you power-level or in NewGamePlus, cause a NonStandardGameOver NonstandardGameOver for your trouble.



* A unique in-universe example in ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'': In order for "true path" Sigma to learn information which he needs in the "true path", the only way thing Sigma can do is [[spoiler:experience the events of timelines in which him and others are murdered, blown up, and succumb to suicidal urges. Although he himself doesn't realize this is what he's doing, the other timeline versions of himself all are oblivious to the entire thing. In other words, he has to experience multiple failures and deaths in order to gain what he needs to survive.]]

to:

* A unique in-universe example in ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'': In order for "true path" Sigma to learn information which he needs in the "true path", the only way thing Sigma can do is [[spoiler:experience the events of timelines in which him and others are murdered, blown up, and succumb to suicidal urges. Although he himself doesn't realize this is what he's doing, the other timeline versions of himself all are oblivious to the entire thing. In other words, he has to experience multiple failures and deaths in order to gain what he needs to survive.]]survive]].



** This also happens to the heroes on a few occasions by virtue of ButThouMust. You won’t be able to continue a story until you’ve failed a certain case or investigation, even if you know you shouldn’t do certain stuff. Two noticeable examples from VisualNovel/ApolloJustice are [[spoiler:leaving a crime scene despite being told not to so no one will tamper with it in Case 4-3 and Phoenix’s last trial in Case 4-4]]

to:

** This also happens to the heroes on a few occasions by virtue of ButThouMust. You won’t be able to continue a story until you’ve failed a certain case or investigation, even if you know you shouldn’t do certain stuff. Two noticeable examples from VisualNovel/ApolloJustice ''VisualNovel/{{Apollo Justice|AceAttorney}}'' are [[spoiler:leaving a crime scene despite being told not to so no one will tamper with it in Case 4-3 and Phoenix’s last trial in Case 4-4]]4-4]].



In ''Revelation'' it's revealed that [[spoiler: Alpha was tormented by being placed in scenarios where it could never succeed. Also, because Tex was based on the Director's memory of a woman he loved, but her death was the thing he remembered most clearly, she also can never succeed; this is the reason why she never really accomplished her goals in Blood Gulch. She was designed to fail at the last moment.]]

to:

In ''Revelation'' it's revealed that [[spoiler: Alpha was tormented by being placed in scenarios where it could never succeed. Also, because Tex was based on the Director's memory of a woman he loved, but her death was the thing he remembered most clearly, she also can never succeed; this is the reason why she never really accomplished her goals in Blood Gulch. She was designed to fail at the last moment.]]moment]].



** Zig-zagged: [[spoiler: Endbringers are immune to Contessa's power - and they were never the true threat anyway. But Contessa's power and the plans derived from it did turn out to be useless against the real enemy - Scion.]]

to:

** Zig-zagged: [[spoiler: Endbringers are immune to Contessa's power - and they were never the true threat anyway. But Contessa's power and the plans derived from it did turn out to be useless against the real enemy - Scion.]]Scion]].



* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' - To this day, he still can't pass his driving test.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}'' - To this day, he still can't pass his driving test.



** Elmer Fudd did manage to kill Bugs in "What's Opera, Doc?" using his "[[LargeHam Maaagiiicc Helllmeettt]]'s" weather control powers. But as he was carrying off Bugs's body Bugs looked back at the audience and said "What did you expect in an opera, a happy ending?"

to:

** Elmer Fudd did manage to kill Bugs in "What's Opera, Doc?" "WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc" using his "[[LargeHam Maaagiiicc Helllmeettt]]'s" weather control powers. But as he was carrying off Bugs's body Bugs looked back at the audience and said "What did you expect in an opera, a happy ending?"



* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' - Neither Candace nor Doofenshmirtz will ever succeed in their goals, or at least not any kind of success that will affect the {{status quo|IsGod}}. For example, in ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Phineas And Ferb Get Busted]]'' she finally busts the boys but then it turns out to be AllJustADream. She succeed again in [[spoiler:"She's The Mayor."]] where she bust the boys but then [[spoiler: Doofenshmirtz's latest invention makes time go back to the beginning of the episode.]]Doofenshmirtz also succeeded in taking over the Tri-State Area in ''Quantum Boogaloo''. Said episode ''also featured'' Candace (a future version) busting the boys, but then she has to stop it from happening as it [[SpaceWhaleAesop creates a dystopian future.]] The present version of Candace does it [[spoiler: in the future, but then decides to simply keep on trying anyway.]]
** [[WordOfGod the creators]] have stated that, if ''Quantum Boogaloo'' is taken as the canonical future of the characters (barring the various ways futures can be messed up, of course) she will never succeed in busting her brothers, but eventually learns to accept it.
** The episode "The Doof Side Of The Moon" featured the boys making the tallest building ever that stretched to the ''Moon''. It was [[TemptingFate literally said by one character]] that ''no force on Earth'' could make it disappear [[spoiler: and it disappears anyway when Doof's Lunar-Rotate-inator causes the moon to rotate and drag the building away.]]

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' - Neither Candace nor Doofenshmirtz will ever succeed in their goals, or at least not any kind of success that will affect the {{status quo|IsGod}}. For example, in ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Phineas And and Ferb Get Busted]]'' Busted]]" she finally busts the boys but then it turns out to be AllJustADream. She succeed again in [[spoiler:"She's The Mayor."]] where she bust the boys but then [[spoiler: Doofenshmirtz's latest invention makes time go back to the beginning of the episode.]]Doofenshmirtz also succeeded in taking over the Tri-State Area in ''Quantum Boogaloo''."Quantum Boogaloo". Said episode ''also featured'' Candace (a future version) busting the boys, but then she has to stop it from happening as it [[SpaceWhaleAesop creates a dystopian future.]] The present version of Candace does it [[spoiler: in the future, but then decides to simply keep on trying anyway.]]
anyway]].
** [[WordOfGod the The creators]] have stated that, if ''Quantum Boogaloo'' "Quantum Boogaloo" is taken as the canonical future of the characters (barring the various ways futures can be messed up, of course) she will never succeed in busting her brothers, but eventually learns to accept it.
** The episode "The Doof Side Of The Moon" featured the boys making the tallest building ever that stretched to the ''Moon''. It was [[TemptingFate literally said by one character]] that ''no force on Earth'' could make it disappear [[spoiler: and it disappears anyway when Doof's Lunar-Rotate-inator causes the moon to rotate and drag the building away.]]away]].



*** Ironically enough, in that scenario, it wouldn't have made any difference if she HAD seen them, because she would just had her memory [[spoiler: erased with everyone else at the end.]]

to:

*** Ironically enough, in that scenario, it wouldn't have made any difference if she HAD seen them, because she would just had have her memory [[spoiler: erased with everyone else at the end.]]



* ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego?'' Obviously, if they catch her, she has to escape. Depressingly lampshaded in one episode, when Zack moans to Ivy that they never seem to catch her. Another time they ''let'' her escape because Carmen's wanna-be replacement [[spoiler:Sara Bellum]] was even worse. [[note]][[spoiler:And Zack felt they owed Carmen a favor since it was only with all three of them working together they escaped Bellum's trap/prison.]][[/note]]

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego?'' ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'' Obviously, if they catch her, she has to escape. Depressingly lampshaded in one episode, when Zack moans to Ivy that they never seem to catch her. Another time they ''let'' her escape because Carmen's wanna-be replacement [[spoiler:Sara Bellum]] was even worse. [[note]][[spoiler:And Zack felt they owed Carmen a favor since it was only with all three of them working together they escaped Bellum's trap/prison.]][[/note]]



* In WesternAnimation/CrashCanyon it takes place at the bottom of a massive canyon where an entire community of people have well, crashed and survived and constantly try to find ways to escape. (Though oddly no-one seems to have investigated this location where at least 30 people have mysteriously gone missing, but then again one of the survivors is a cop) But seeing as this show is essentially a spiritual successor to Series/GilligansIsland, all the ingenious or wacky attempts at escape are foiled in the most goofy or horrendously inconvenient manners.

to:

* In WesternAnimation/CrashCanyon ''WesternAnimation/CrashCanyon'' it takes place at the bottom of a massive canyon where an entire community of people have well, crashed and survived and constantly try to find ways to escape. (Though oddly no-one seems to have investigated this location where at least 30 people have mysteriously gone missing, but then again one of the survivors is a cop) But seeing as this show is essentially a spiritual successor to Series/GilligansIsland, ''Series/GilligansIsland'', all the ingenious or wacky attempts at escape are foiled in the most goofy or horrendously inconvenient manners.



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': no matter how many times Timmy Turner tries to impress Trixie Tang with the target to get her affection. Eventually the episode ends with Trixie rejects him.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': no matter how many times Timmy Turner tries to impress Trixie Tang with the target to get her affection. Eventually the episode ends with Trixie rejects rejecting him.
8th Mar '16 5:17:40 PM nowaymanguy
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'': A few matches are impossible to win, normally those at the start of the game. One particularly note worthy example comes in the third game though, where one of the matches three quarters of the way through the game requires you to lose as part of the story. The first official match you take part in also requires you to fail at first, and have the opponent team score several goals before it goes into an cutscene where your team is 20 goals down by half time. Of course, considering there's no real warning of this, [[FissionMailed you may very well not realize this and assume you're just playing really badly]].

to:

* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven'': A few matches are impossible to win, normally those at the start of the game. One particularly note worthy example comes in the third game though, where one of the matches three quarters of the way through the game requires you to lose as part of the story. The first official match you take part in also requires you to fail at first, and have the opponent team score several goals goals. Your states are so low, with no way to raise them before it goes into an cutscene where your team the match, that you've not no choice but to fail every single thing you try to (you can actually get a few successes, if you're really lucky, but scoring a goal is 20 goals down by half time. complete impossible). Of course, course considering there's no real warning of this, [[FissionMailed you may very well not realize this and assume you're just playing really badly]].
20th Feb '16 4:56:44 PM morenohijazo
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': Most of the game's various options, regardless of the version Satan created, simply do not work. ''Even the text-based adventure has errors.''
19th Feb '16 3:38:31 AM DrFraud
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A unique in-universe example in ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'': In order for "true path" Sigma to learn information which he needs in the "true path", the only way thing Sigma can do is [[spoiler:experience the events of timelines in which him and others are murdered, blown up, and subcome to suicidal urges. Although he himself doesn't realize this is what he's doing, the other timeline versions of himself all are oblivious to the entire thing. In other words, he has to experience multiple failures and deaths in order to gain what he needs to survive.]]

to:

* A unique in-universe example in ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'': In order for "true path" Sigma to learn information which he needs in the "true path", the only way thing Sigma can do is [[spoiler:experience the events of timelines in which him and others are murdered, blown up, and subcome succumb to suicidal urges. Although he himself doesn't realize this is what he's doing, the other timeline versions of himself all are oblivious to the entire thing. In other words, he has to experience multiple failures and deaths in order to gain what he needs to survive.]]



** This also happens to the heroes in a few occasions by virtue of ButThouMust. You won’t be able to continue a story until you’ve failed a certain case or investigation, even if you know you shouldn’t do certain stuff. Two noticeable examples from VisualNovel/ApolloJustice are [[spoiler:leaving a crime scene despite being told not to so no one will tamper with it in Case 4-3 and Phoenix’s last trial in Case 4-4]]

to:

** This also happens to the heroes in on a few occasions by virtue of ButThouMust. You won’t be able to continue a story until you’ve failed a certain case or investigation, even if you know you shouldn’t do certain stuff. Two noticeable examples from VisualNovel/ApolloJustice are [[spoiler:leaving a crime scene despite being told not to so no one will tamper with it in Case 4-3 and Phoenix’s last trial in Case 4-4]]
14th Feb '16 3:58:26 PM OlfinBedwere
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Subverted in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' board game ''TabletopGame/AKlingonChallenge''; if the game isn't beaten in the allotted time, the accompanying VCR tape will show the ''Enterprise'' being destroyed. However, a text scroll then informs the players that the ''Enterprise'' went into a time-loop at the start of the game, and that it can only be broken via stopping the villain.
13th Feb '16 1:32:49 PM BeeKirbysNewComputer
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Terminal Velocity Act 2 from ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' has Sonic trying to '''outrun a black hole''' [[spoiler: created by the FinalBoss.]] He does manage to last an impressive 30 seconds, though.
29th Jan '16 5:32:14 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Invoked, enforced and conversed throughout the SvenHassel novels to the point it became a running joke -- regardless how brutal the victory was gained, how boring the inactivity is or [[DrinkingOnDuty how hard the Schnapps hit]] [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the poor Wehrmacht trooper in the head]], someone, [[spoiler:usually Obergefreiter Joseph Porta]], would remind the others they fight for ''defeat'', they expect ''to lose'', they would ''never'' imagine the Reich could win, the war is ''lost'', usually ending with a drunk "Hail Defeat!" ([[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle pun based on the Third Reich slogan "Hail Victory!" -- ''Sieg Heil!'']]). [[spoiler:As most of the men in the 27th Panzer Regiment were [[CannonFodder convicts who had all reasons to hate the Third Reich]] and anything pertaining to it, losing the war meant their liberation as well]].

to:

* Invoked, enforced and conversed throughout the SvenHassel Creator/SvenHassel novels to the point it became a running joke -- regardless how brutal the victory was gained, how boring the inactivity is or [[DrinkingOnDuty how hard the Schnapps hit]] [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons the poor Wehrmacht trooper in the head]], someone, [[spoiler:usually Obergefreiter Joseph Porta]], would remind the others they fight for ''defeat'', they expect ''to lose'', they would ''never'' imagine the Reich could win, the war is ''lost'', usually ending with a drunk "Hail Defeat!" ([[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle pun based on the Third Reich slogan "Hail Victory!" -- ''Sieg Heil!'']]). [[spoiler:As most of the men in the 27th Panzer Regiment were [[CannonFodder convicts who had all reasons to hate the Third Reich]] and anything pertaining to it, losing the war meant their liberation as well]].
19th Jan '16 12:35:54 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


See also FissionMailed. [[noreallife]]

to:

See also FissionMailed. [[noreallife]]
18th Jan '16 9:26:13 PM Patheticacy
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The HopelessBossFight and FissionMailed are when this trope is applied to video games, where the player must be defeated in order to advance the story. This is usually done by making the hero extremely weak at that point in time, or making the boss unbeatable due superior level or some outside force, especially if it's still early in the game. Mind you, it is almost guaranteed that somebody somewhere will come up with a hack or unorthodox strategy to get around this, resulting in either crashing the game or some kind of EasterEgg.

to:

The HopelessBossFight and FissionMailed are when this trope is applied to video games, where the player must be defeated in order to advance the story. This is usually done by making the hero extremely weak at that point in time, or making the boss unbeatable due superior level or some outside force, especially if it's still early in the game. Mind you, it is almost guaranteed that [[LordBritishPostulate somebody somewhere will come up with a hack or unorthodox strategy to get around this, this]], resulting in either crashing the game or some kind of EasterEgg.
13th Jan '16 8:32:43 PM M84
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'': this trope applies to most of the Darklords, who have been stuck in an IronicHell for their sins. Generally, they have something they ''think'' will end their suffering, which they will periodically go after, and which [[YankTheDogsChain will without fail screw them over]]. Count Strahd will never be able to successfully romance Tatyana's latest reincarnation. Ivana Boritsi will never have a happy relationship since her kisses are ''lethally toxic''. Kas's dreams of conquest will never achieve anything but disaster and the list goes on. Unbeknownst to most of them, their ''actual'' win condition is to [[EpiphanicPrison admit that they reaped what they sowed]], but most will never achieve this state since if they were humble enough to actually do that, they would never have become Darklords to begin with - the requirement for that post is ''literally'' crossing the MoralEventHorizon.

to:

* ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'': this trope applies to most of the Darklords, who have been stuck in an IronicHell for their sins. Generally, they have something they ''think'' will end their suffering, which they will periodically go after, and which [[YankTheDogsChain will without fail screw them over]]. Count Strahd will never be able to successfully romance Tatyana's latest reincarnation. Ivana Boritsi will never have a happy relationship since her kisses are ''lethally toxic''. Kas's dreams of conquest will never achieve anything but disaster and the list goes on. Unbeknownst to most of them, their ''actual'' win condition is to [[EpiphanicPrison admit that they reaped what they sowed]], but most will never achieve this state since if they were humble enough to actually do that, they would never have become Darklords to begin with - the requirement for that post is ''literally'' crossing the MoralEventHorizon. The sole exception was Lord Soth, who couldn't be used anymore due to license issues. In-universe, a magic mirror that kept replaying his crimes helped him overcome his chronic tendency to [[NeverMyFault blame everyone but himself]] and acknowledge that he was responsible for all of his pain and suffering. He then just stopped caring about anything. Eventually the Dark Powers released him since they saw that nothing they could do to Soth could possibly be worse than actually ''being'' Soth.
This list shows the last 10 events of 254. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.FailureIsTheOnlyOption