History Main / ImpossibleTask

9th Sep '17 8:15:58 AM BeerBaron
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius has developed a reputation as a PointyHairedBoss who assigns nothing but these. Infamously, he asks the PlayerCharacter to solve the [[RiddleForTheAges disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] (and is shocked when the player actually manages to find an answer). Other assignments he has given to other guild members include taking an inventory of all of the silverware on Vvardenfell and digging a tunnel to the mainland. Knowing that he was named as the head of the Vvardenfell branch in a combination of getting KickedUpstairs and being ReassignedToAntarctica probably helps to explain this.

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
**
In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius has developed a reputation as a PointyHairedBoss who assigns nothing but these. Infamously, he asks the PlayerCharacter to solve the [[RiddleForTheAges disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] (and is shocked when the player actually manages to find an answer). Other assignments he has given to other guild members include taking an inventory of all of the silverware on Vvardenfell and digging a tunnel to the mainland. Knowing that he was named as the head of the Vvardenfell branch in a combination of getting KickedUpstairs and being ReassignedToAntarctica probably helps to explain this.this.
** According to the developer-written obscure text ''[[https://www.imperial-library.info/content/seven-fights-aldudagga The Seven Fights of the Aldudagga]]'', this is the case for Mehrunes Dagon, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[DestroyerDeity Destruction]] who serves as either the BigBad or GreaterScopeVillain for several games in the series. According to the ''Seven Fights'', Dagon was once a kindly demon who attempted to protect parts of Mundus (the mortal world) from being eaten by [[BeastOfTheApocalypse Alduin]] at the end of every "kalpa" (cycle of time). Alduin found out and then [[IronicHell cursed Dagon]] with such a task:
--> '''Alduin:''' ''"You I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have [[OmnicidalManiac destroyed all that in the world]] which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"''
12th Aug '17 9:12:58 AM TheNerfGuy
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* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' story "The Astrosmurf", the title character's first attempt at finding a way to travel to the stars is to ask Papa Smurf for advice. Papa Smurf has something in his spellbook called, "How to Travel Through the Macrocosm", a multi-part, complicated (to say the least) ritual:
-->'''Papa Smurf:''' Firstly, each morning, drink a pint of dew collected from a web woven by a male tarantula. Secondly, find a moonstone at the precise moment the sun is in eclipse. Thirdly, crush the moonstone delicately with your little finger while uttering cries of joy. Fourthly, wait for the powdered moonstone to turn to salt (this may take a hundred years). Fifthly, drop a pinch of this salt on a comet's tail. Sixthly, at the same time, get a tomcat to holler three times, 'SECAKEJUKEUACEHEPAOZREUPAUR". Seventhly, [[LampshadeHanging do not be discouraged]], Eightly..." (There's more to it, but the protagonist leaves before he can finish.)



* In the ''Literature/{{MrMen}}'' books, doing this is [[MeaningfulName Mr. Impossible's]] specialty. When asked if he can climb the largest tree in the forest without help, he ''walks'' up the tree. When asked if he can stand on one hand, he stands on ''no hands''. (No ''feet'' either.) He solves a complex multi-part math problem at a schoolhouse in seconds (in his head), and reads a book to the class while holding it upside-down; in short, if told something is impossible, he can do it.
2nd Aug '17 4:28:07 AM isoycrazy
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* Some of the Grimorum Arcanorum's spells in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' seemed to have this as spell conditions, until modern technology [[ProphecyTwist made the impossible possible, so to speak]].
** The most obvious is the one that woke up the sleeping gargoyles: the castle had to be lifted above the clouds. Xanatos literally does that, moving it brick by brick to the top of a tall building.
* The terms of Zuko's banishment in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender.'' "Find a nigh-all powerful person, catch him, and bring him back ''alive'', and ''then'' you can come home. [[SnipeHunt Oh, and he's been missing for a hundred years."]] It's a win-win for Ozai: either he rids himself of an embarrassingly incompetent and occasionally disrespectful heir so that he can promote DaddysLittleVillain in his place, or on the off chance Zuko succeeds he gets the historical thorn in the side of the Fire Nation taken care of for him.
** [[spoiler: The cool part is that he ''actually succeeded'', although not quite how [[AbusiveParents his father (and banisher)]] [[HeelFaceTurn wished]]...not to mention the Avatar brings ''himself'' to the Fire Lord]].

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* Some of the Grimorum Arcanorum's spells in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' seemed to have this as spell conditions, until modern technology [[ProphecyTwist made the impossible possible, so to speak]].
speak]]. These loopholes are needed to allow humans to cast powerful magic at less cost than a spell without any loopholes.
** The most obvious is the one that woke up the sleeping gargoyles: they would sleep until the castle had to be lifted is above the clouds. Xanatos literally does that, moving it brick by brick to the top of a tall building.
** The spell which [[spoiler:turns all who ''see and hear'' it to stone at night]] can only be undone by the sky becoming on fire. So they spread a non-toxic flammable gas across the city's atmosphere and ignite it.
* The terms of Zuko's banishment in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender.'' "Find a nigh-all powerful person, catch him, and bring him back ''alive'', and ''then'' you can come home. [[SnipeHunt Oh, and he's been missing for a hundred years."]] It's a win-win for Ozai: either he rids himself of an embarrassingly incompetent and occasionally disrespectful heir so that he can promote DaddysLittleVillain in his place, or on the off chance Zuko succeeds he gets the historical thorn in the side of the Fire Nation taken care of for him.
**
him. [[spoiler: The cool part is that he ''actually succeeded'', although not quite how [[AbusiveParents his father (and banisher)]] [[HeelFaceTurn wished]]...not to mention the Avatar brings ''himself'' to the Fire Lord]].


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* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' Timmy, the human child, sets a task for Wanda, his fairy godmother, in order for her to be sufficiently delayed while he and Wanda's husband Cosmo set up for a surprise anniversary party. The task: train a cat, she can even use magic. She couldn't do it.
25th Jul '17 2:23:43 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In the ''Literature/{{MrMen}}'' books, doing this is [[MeaningfulName Mr. Impossible's]] specialty. When asked if he can climb the largest tree in the forest without help, he ''walks'' up the tree. When asked if he can stand on one hand, he stands on ''no hands''. (No ''feet'' either.) He solves a complex multi-part math problem at a schoolhouse in seconds (in his head), and reads a book to the class while holding it upside-down; in short, if told something is impossible, he can do it.
25th Jul '17 2:13:39 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' story "The Astrosmurf", the title character's first attempt at finding a way to travel to the stars is to ask Papa Smurf for advice. Papa Smurf has something in his spellbook called, "How to Travel Through the Macrocosm", a multi-part, complicated (to say the least) ritual:
-->'''Papa Smurf:''' Firstly, each morning, drink a pint of dew collected from a web woven by a male tarantula. Secondly, find a moonstone at the precise moment the sun is in eclipse. Thirdly, crush the moonstone delicately with your little finger while uttering cries of joy. Fourthly, wait for the powdered moonstone to turn to salt (this may take a hundred years). Fifthly, drop a pinch of this salt on a comet's tail. Sixthly, at the same time, get a tomcat to holler three times, 'SECAKEJUKEUACEHEPAOZREUPAUR". Seventhly, [[LampshadeHanging do not be discouraged]], Eightly..." (There's more to it, but the protagonist leaves before he can finish.)
10th Jul '17 12:22:17 AM Nulono
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** What about "minor jersey"?
10th Jul '17 12:21:29 AM Nulono
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** What about "minor jersey"?
3rd May '17 1:54:55 PM smalltime
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Lisa's Rival", Lisa plays an anagram game with Allison and her father. Mr. Taylor gives a famous person's name and the anagram has to be a decription of that person. Allison is given Alec Guinness and comes up with "genuine class". Lisa is given Jeremy Irons and, stumped, comes up with "Jeremy's... iron". Subverted, as this was intended to be possible for a genius in-universe. In real life there's no possible answer.
23rd Apr '17 5:53:00 PM nombretomado
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* Winning Giro d'Italia, TourDeFrance and Vuelta a España in one year. Some have tried, nobody has ever succeeded. For the record, completing ''one'' of the three tends to require extreme levels of physical conditioning and leave you pretty much exhausted and needing a lengthy recovery. The pace of all three together doesn't give you that luxury.

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* Winning Giro d'Italia, TourDeFrance UsefulNotes/TourDeFrance and Vuelta a España in one year. Some have tried, nobody has ever succeeded. For the record, completing ''one'' of the three tends to require extreme levels of physical conditioning and leave you pretty much exhausted and needing a lengthy recovery. The pace of all three together doesn't give you that luxury.
17th Apr '17 12:25:21 PM BeerBaron
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius has developed a reputation as a PointyHairedBoss who assigns nothing but these. Infamously, he asks the PlayerCharacter to solve the [[RiddleForTheAges disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] (and is shocked when the player actually manages to find an answer). Other assignments he has given to other guild members include taking an inventory of all of the silverware on Vvardenfell and digging a tunnel to the mainland. Knowing that he was named as the head of the Vvardenfell branch in a combination of getting KickedUpstairs and being ReassignedToAntarctica probably helps to explain this.
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