History Main / NeedleInAStackOfNeedles

12th Mar '17 5:18:09 AM tkzv
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* Similarly, in ''[[Literature/MartinBeck The Laughing Policeman]]'' someone guns nine people in a bus -- all passengers and the driver. One of the victims was a detective investigating an old murder (nearing the statute of limitations), and police assume he was the intended target because of the case. They are only half right. [[spoiler:The primary target was the suspect in the old case, acquitted on insufficient evidence. The one, who killed this time, was the one, who hired him back then.]] The murderer later said that he told the victim to take the bus at this precise time, so that there'd be a few other passengers to throw the police off.[[note]]Ironically, he was a respectable businessman who first organized murdering his ex-lover, then covered the tracks all to protect the well-being of his family.[[/note]] In addition, the old case being reinvestigated is full of false leads, and the detectives find the murderer in the old case files only after the confession.
8th Mar '17 2:34:49 PM eroock
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* Used in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' when the Joker leaves the mob bank in a school bus, joining a line of identical buses, none of the cops responding noticed the debris falling off the bus as it left. He timed it to right when kids were getting out of school, so it blended in with all the other school buses.

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* Used A favorite tactic of the Joker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' when ''Film/TheDarkKnight'':
** When
the Joker leaves the mob bank in a school bus, joining a line of identical buses, none of the cops responding noticed the debris falling off the bus as it left. He timed it to right when kids were getting out of school, so it blended in with all the other school buses.
** Later at the funeral procession for Commissioner Loeb, the Joker and his henchmen disguise as real honor guards in order to assassinate the mayor. After the act they spread out into the audience made up of similarly dressed policemen.
8th Mar '17 12:53:57 PM BeerBaron
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* There's a fairly small but highly intricate quest mod for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' which at one point requires you to find a special key to continue. The only room it could possibly be in is entirely filled with keys. Every table and every nook and cranny of the room is covered in keys. As it turns out, the right one [[spoiler:is sticking out from the lock in the door]].
* You can purposefully invoke this in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'''s Shivering Isles expansion, where in one quest, you're tasked with stopping several treasure hunters convinced they've found a ruin filled with riches when they've really stumbled into the fringes of the Realm of Madness. In one room, they become trapped in a cage with a big, obvious lock. You can either fire a magical beam into the cage, killing one adventurer instantly, or you can dump ''thousands'' of identical keys into the cage with them - ''none'' of which will open the lock on the cage. Searching obsessively for the right one will drive one adventurer completely insane before the door opens itself. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Fun stuff.]]

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'':
*** One House Redoran quest tasks you with finding a Dwemer artifacts smuggler. In order to complete the quest, you'll need to find a smuggled Dwemer object which is well-hidden on a table with numerous other mundane items.
***
There's a fairly small but highly intricate [[GameMod quest mod for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' mod]] which at one point requires you to find a special key to continue. The only room it could possibly be in is entirely filled with keys. Every table and every nook and cranny of the room is covered in keys. As it turns out, the right one [[spoiler:is sticking out from the lock in the door]].
* ** You can purposefully invoke this in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'''s Shivering Isles expansion, where in one quest, you're tasked with stopping several treasure hunters convinced they've found a ruin filled with riches when they've really stumbled into the fringes of the Realm of Madness. In one room, they become trapped in a cage with a big, obvious lock. You can either fire a magical beam into the cage, killing one adventurer instantly, or you can dump ''thousands'' of identical keys into the cage with them - ''none'' of which will open the lock on the cage. Searching obsessively for the right one will drive one adventurer completely insane before the door opens itself. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Fun stuff.]]
8th Mar '17 12:17:06 AM bt8257
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This kind of challenge is set up so characters can demonstrate their intellect instead of their physical prowess. Figuring out the clue to deduce which is the real MacGuffin may be a SecretTestOfCharacter. Or perhaps a test of lateral thinking - there is often a way to [[CuttingTheKnot Cut The Knot]].

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This kind of challenge is set up so characters can demonstrate their intellect instead of their rather than physical prowess. Figuring out the clue to deduce which is the real MacGuffin may be a SecretTestOfCharacter. Or perhaps a test of lateral thinking - there is often a way to [[CuttingTheKnot Cut The Knot]].
4th Feb '17 8:19:08 PM hullflyer
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* Subverted in ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': During John Byrne's run on the title, ComicBook/TheJoker kidnapped Lois Lane, Perry White and Jimmy Olson, then sent a message to Superman that his friends were trapped in lead-lined coffins in three different locations in the city, where they would suffocate if Superman didn't act fast. Joker actually had Superman's friends with him on a train heading out of Metroplolis; he reasoned that the lead lined coffins would make finding the coffins difficult for Superman since his x-ray vision wouldn't work on them, but instead the opposite proved to be true; the lead lined coffins stuck out like sore thumbs. He was able to find Joker and his hostages with ease from there.

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* Subverted in ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': During John Byrne's run on the title, ComicBook/TheJoker kidnapped Lois Lane, Perry White and Jimmy Olson, then sent a message to Superman that his friends were trapped in lead-lined coffins in three different locations in the city, where they would suffocate if Superman didn't act fast. Joker actually had Superman's friends with him on a train heading out of Metroplolis; Metropolis; he reasoned that the lead lined coffins would make finding the coffins difficult for Superman since his x-ray vision wouldn't work on them, but instead the opposite proved to be true; the lead lined coffins stuck out like sore thumbs. He was able to find Joker and his hostages with ease from there.
30th Jan '17 5:25:54 PM Kalaong
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* Creator/IsaacAsimov uses this trope in his short story "Little Lost Robot" in the ''Literature/IRobot'' collection. A robot told to "go lose yourself" by an angry engineer does just that, by hiding in a shipment of 62 other robots of the same model as itself, and who differ from the lost robot only in that the lost one was a variant which is only partially ThreeLawsCompliant (designed to permit humans to come to harm through inaction so they could work alongside humans in hazardous environments) and otherwise looks, sounds, and behaves identically to the robots in the shipment. Suffice it to say, Susan Calvin has quite the challenge on her hands in tracking him down - especially as the lost robot not only mimics other robots, but is clever enough to persuade the other robots to mimic ''him''. She finally pulls it off [[spoiler:only by forcing it to outsmart itself. Though the robots naturally protected humans, and the lost robot could disobey to permit humans to be harmed, and persuade other robots to make sacrifices for a future good, it couldn't make the other robots as capable as itself. The lost robot could tell lethal radiation from non-lethal due to experience, and is suckered by a IR hazard the others saw as gamma rays.]] This story is referenced in a scene of the movie "I, Robot" when Sonny pulls the same trick, but it doesn't last because Spooner just starts shooting them and spooks Sonny.

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* Creator/IsaacAsimov uses this trope in his short story "Little Lost Robot" in the ''Literature/IRobot'' collection. A robot told to "go lose yourself" by an angry engineer does just that, by hiding in a shipment of 62 other robots of the same model as itself, and who differ from the lost robot only in that the lost one was a variant which is only partially ThreeLawsCompliant (designed to permit humans to come to harm through inaction so they could work alongside humans in hazardous environments) and otherwise looks, sounds, and behaves identically to the robots in the shipment. Suffice it to say, Susan Calvin has quite the challenge on her hands in tracking him down - especially as the lost robot not only mimics other robots, but is clever enough to persuade the other robots to mimic ''him''. She finally pulls it off [[spoiler:only by forcing it to outsmart itself. Though the robots naturally protected humans, and the lost robot could disobey to permit humans to be harmed, and persuade other robots to make sacrifices for a future good, it couldn't make the other robots as capable as itself. The lost robot could tell lethal radiation from non-lethal due to experience, and is suckered by a IR hazard the others saw as gamma rays.]] This story is referenced in a scene of the movie TheFilmOfTheBook "I, Robot" when Sonny pulls the same trick, but [[spoiler:but it doesn't last because Spooner [[CuttingTheKnot just starts shooting them them]] and spooks Sonny.]]
30th Jan '17 2:50:32 PM StFan
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* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E18MaudPie "Maud Pie"]], Maud does this as a game. She invites the rest of the ponies to find her "pet rock", Boulder, who's hiding in a field full of rocks. But when the others give up, Maud reveals that Boulder was actually in her pocket the whole time.
** In the episode ''Stranger than Fanfiction'', Daring Do is at the convention to blend in and be mistaken for another cosplayer. Dr. Caballaron, who follows her, is likewise hidden amongst cosplayers when Rainbow Dash tries to warn someone about him, but he's confused and dismayed at all the ponies dressing up as him.

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* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
**
In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E18MaudPie "Maud Pie"]], "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E18MaudPie Maud Pie]]", Maud does this as a game. She invites the rest of the ponies to find her "pet rock", Boulder, who's hiding in a field full of rocks. But when the others give up, Maud reveals that Boulder was actually in her pocket the whole time.
** In the episode ''Stranger than Fanfiction'', "Stranger Than Fan Fiction", Daring Do is at the convention to blend in and be mistaken for another cosplayer. Dr. Caballaron, who follows her, is likewise hidden amongst cosplayers when Rainbow Dash tries to warn someone about him, but he's confused and dismayed at all the ponies dressing up as him.
29th Jan '17 12:02:39 PM justthereforthecode
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[[folder:Toys]]
* Anyone who's ever owned {{Lego}} sets and kept all the loose pieces in a big box or plastic tub can tell you how hard it is digging around for the one piece you're looking for, never mind if you need a piece of a specific color.
[[/folder]]
18th Jan '17 2:36:23 PM cybertoy0
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* In one early ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' had Joker offering his services as a criminal superhero; In exchange for some loot, he would rescue crooks pinned down by the cops during heists. He stashed "Joker signals" at every potential robbery target in Gotham, and even built Joker-versions of Batman's vehicles. In order to get him, Batman discovered the signals and had the cops set off all of them; as a result, Joker couldn't figure out which one had the most loot to take a percentage of. Naturally, the first stop he made had Batman waiting to collar him.
13th Jan '17 4:17:41 PM Bissek
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* The novel and various film adaptations of ''Literature/TheTwelveChairs'' are about the search for a fortune in jewelry that was sewn into the cushions of one of a dozen externally identical chairs.
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