History Main / SkepticismFailure

10th Jun '17 9:48:51 PM baschapp
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* The ''Literature/DresdenFiles'' has this in spades - basically any recurring character has to have this - except Sanya, a parody of the StrawAtheist archetype who survived ''possession'' (most of the puppets end their careers more abruptly), and is now employed by ''God''. [[note]] ... Aliens.[[/note]]

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* The ''Literature/DresdenFiles'' has this in spades - basically any recurring character has to have this - except Sanya, a parody of the StrawAtheist archetype who survived ''possession'' (most of the puppets end their careers more abruptly), and is now employed by ''God''. [[note]] ... Aliens. Maybe. Sanya's actual point is that he doesn't know for certain one way or the other, and doesn't really care. It's good work and it has to be done, so regardless of the exact nature of his employer, he'll do it.[[/note]]
1st Jun '17 7:43:24 PM nombretomado
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* In the ''Literature/WheelOfTime'', this mixes with superstition in wacky and zany ways. People will believe the absurd of Aes Sedai, and not the mundane. Aes Sedai openly acknowledge that they have no idea how ter'angreal from the last Age work... and refuse to believe in new discoveries or rediscoveries. Nobody believes Mat about the gholam, despite the presence of magic and previously-unknown artifacts. Admittedly, they haven't been seen in 3000 years and appear to be made of magic, but still, from someone who controls people who can ''call thunder from the sky, fire from their hands, and rip the earth asunder'', it's a little absurd.

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* In the ''Literature/WheelOfTime'', ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', this mixes with superstition in wacky and zany ways. People will believe the absurd of Aes Sedai, and not the mundane. Aes Sedai openly acknowledge that they have no idea how ter'angreal from the last Age work... and refuse to believe in new discoveries or rediscoveries. Nobody believes Mat about the gholam, despite the presence of magic and previously-unknown artifacts. Admittedly, they haven't been seen in 3000 years and appear to be made of magic, but still, from someone who controls people who can ''call thunder from the sky, fire from their hands, and rip the earth asunder'', it's a little absurd.
8th Mar '17 11:45:47 AM Dravencour
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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' included an episode in which Sokka runs himself ragged trying to discredit a {{Fortuneteller}} that all the people of a town came to rely on. The problem was, she was always right... [[SelfFulfillingProphecy technically]]. Of course, this is specifically a world with mysticism of many stripes, so Sokka's main concern was that the town was letting predictions run their lives, up to the point where they would not escape from an erupting volcano because they were told it would be fine.

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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' included an episode in which Sokka runs himself ragged trying to discredit a {{Fortuneteller}} that all the people of a town came to rely on. The problem was, she was always right... [[SelfFulfillingProphecy technically]]. Of course, this is specifically a world with mysticism of many stripes, so Sokka's main concern was that the town was letting predictions run their lives, up to the point where they would not escape from an erupting volcano a volcanic eruption because they were told it would be fine.
16th Dec '16 8:15:34 AM Upgrader
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** ZigZagged with season 4's ''The Hero in the Hold''. Throughout the episode, Booth escapes imprisonment in a Navy ship while seeing and hearing the ghost of a dead friend. InUniverse, this trope is {{Subverted}}, since all hints of supernatural activity are explained away by Brennan in a later episode as side effects of Booth's brain tumor. [[spoiler: Save for the fact that several of the doors in the Navy ship required two people to be opened, and that she unknowingly saw the same ghost at the end of the episode.]]

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** ZigZagged with season 4's ''The Hero in the Hold''. Throughout the episode, Booth escapes imprisonment in a Navy ship while seeing and hearing the ghost of a dead war friend. InUniverse, this trope is {{Subverted}}, since all hints of supernatural activity are explained away by Brennan in a later episode as side effects of Booth's brain tumor. [[spoiler: Save for the fact that several of the doors in the Navy ship required two people to be opened, and that she unknowingly saw the same ghost at the end of the episode.]]



** ''The Shot in the Dark'' has Brennan being shot. While in the real world she's unconscious in a hospital bed, Brennan goes to an imaginary version of her childhood home with her long-dead mother inside. Brennan rationalizes that this is her brain hallucinating. [[spoiler: Except her mother's "hallucination" tells her that she knew her father's first gift to her was stolen. In the real world, Max confirms this and claims he never told anyone about it.]]

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*** Actually, any episode with Avalon in it can count as this.
** ''The Shot in the Dark'' has Brennan being shot. While in the real world she's unconscious in a hospital bed, Brennan goes to an imaginary version of her childhood home with her long-dead mother inside. Brennan doesn't believe in an afterlife and rationalizes that this is her brain hallucinating. [[spoiler: Except her mother's "hallucination" tells her that she knew her father's first gift to her was stolen. In the real world, Max confirms this and claims he never told anyone about it.]]
7th Dec '16 8:03:23 PM Upgrader
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* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** Subverted in one episode, since the hints of supernatural activity (the ghost seen by Booth) was ultimately explained by a brain tumor. [[spoiler: Save for the fact that Bones saw the same ghost.]]
** Played straight in the season 5 premiere with the psychic who locates a mass grave. By the end of the episode, even Bones, the AgentScully of the cast, is a believer.

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* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
''Series/{{Bones}}'': For a show that usually promotes basing everything on cold-hard science and facts and mocks the very concept of the supernatural, there are several hints that despite the main character's skepticism, there is actually something to it.
** Subverted ZigZagged with season 4's ''The Hero in one the Hold''. Throughout the episode, Booth escapes imprisonment in a Navy ship while seeing and hearing the ghost of a dead friend. InUniverse, this trope is {{Subverted}}, since the all hints of supernatural activity (the ghost seen by Booth) was ultimately are explained away by Brennan in a later episode as side effects of Booth's brain tumor. [[spoiler: Save for the fact that Bones several of the doors in the Navy ship required two people to be opened, and that she unknowingly saw the same ghost.ghost at the end of the episode.]]
** Played straight in In the season 5 premiere with the ''Harbingers in a Fountain'', Angela's psychic who friend Avalon Harmonia locates a mass grave. By the end of the episode, even Bones, the AgentScully of the cast, is a believer.believer.
** The entirety of ''The Ghost in the Machine'' is seen from the point of view of the VictimOfTheWeek's spirit, trapped inside the skull.
** ''The Shot in the Dark'' has Brennan being shot. While in the real world she's unconscious in a hospital bed, Brennan goes to an imaginary version of her childhood home with her long-dead mother inside. Brennan rationalizes that this is her brain hallucinating. [[spoiler: Except her mother's "hallucination" tells her that she knew her father's first gift to her was stolen. In the real world, Max confirms this and claims he never told anyone about it.]]
2nd Nov '16 6:19:27 PM Fireblood
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** The coming of the prequels makes this somewhat strange, as Han is old enough to remember a time before the Empire when Jedi were pretty common sights, making him more similar to a {{flat earth atheist}}. Some [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] material says the Republic has a million inhabited worlds but only a few thousand Jedi so most people have only heard stories, making this skepticism ''somewhat'' more justifiable, but only just.
** In ''Film/StarWarsTheForceAwakens'', Han makes a point of saying everything Finn and Rey have heard of the Force is true.

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** The coming of the prequels makes this somewhat strange, as Han is old enough to remember a time before the Empire when Jedi were pretty common sights, making him more similar to a {{flat earth atheist}}. Some [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] material says the Republic has a million inhabited worlds but only a few thousand Jedi so most people have only heard stories, making this skepticism ''somewhat'' more justifiable, but only just.
** In ''Film/StarWarsTheForceAwakens'', Han makes a point of saying everything Finn and Rey have heard of the Force is true."all true".
2nd Nov '16 6:17:46 PM Fireblood
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/StarWars'':
** Han Solo is a good example, as he ridicules the Force at first and later comes to believe in it and respect it.
-->'''Han''': Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen ''anything'' to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.
** The coming of the prequels makes this somewhat strange, as Han is old enough to remember a time before the Empire when Jedi were pretty common sights, making him more similar to a {{flat earth atheist}}. Some [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] material says the Republic has a million inhabited worlds but only a few thousand Jedi so most people have only heard stories, making this skepticism ''somewhat'' more justifiable, but only just.
** In ''Film/StarWarsTheForceAwakens'', Han makes a point of saying everything Finn and Rey have heard of the Force is true.
4th Oct '16 11:21:53 PM Fireblood
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** Subverted in the episode "Humbug" when Scully explains that she saw the killer, and what he was, but the local sheriff makes fun of her outlandish story (which the viewer knows happens to be true). Mulder, who had been skeptical of her theory himself, walks by and comments, "Now you know how I feel."

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** Subverted in the episode "Humbug" when Scully explains that she saw the killer, and what he was, but the local sheriff makes fun of her outlandish story (which the viewer knows happens to be true). Mulder, who had been skeptical of her theory himself, walks by and comments, comments "Now you know how I feel."



** There was also an episode where a psychic got killed because she managed to divine the place a murder victim's body had been hidden, and the villain heard of this. In the end of the episode it was revealed that she had no supernatural knowledge, and her assessment of the victim's soul's current location (She is in "Summer''land''") got misheard as "Summer''lin''" (a Vegas suburb), which was the area the body was hidden.

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** There was also an episode where a psychic got killed because she managed to divine the place a murder victim's body had been hidden, and the villain heard of this. In the end of the episode it was revealed that she had no supernatural knowledge, and her assessment of the victim's soul's current location (She (she is in "Summer''land''") got misheard as "Summer''lin''" (a Vegas suburb), which was the area the body was hidden.



* ''Series/TheMentalist'' is an interesting inversion of this: the main character, Patrick Jane, is a former TV psychic (and [[PhonyPsychic admitted fraud]]) who gave up that line of work after his insulting "psychic reading" of a serial killer wound up [[DeathByOriginStory getting his family killed]]. The skills he picked up while faking psychic powers (a [[HyperAwareness keen sense of observation]] and a good understanding of human nature) turn out to be quite useful for police work, though...

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* ''Series/TheMentalist'' is an interesting inversion of this: the main character, Patrick Jane, is a former TV psychic (and [[PhonyPsychic admitted fraud]]) who gave up that line of work after his insulting "psychic reading" of a serial killer wound up [[DeathByOriginStory getting his family killed]]. The skills he picked up while faking psychic powers (a [[HyperAwareness keen sense of observation]] and a good understanding of human nature) turn out to be quite useful for police work, though... He's strongly opposed to psychic claims because of this.



* Averting this trope is a key theme of ''Series/JonathanCreek.'' No matter how 'impossible' the event in question, Jonathan never entertains the possibility of a supernatural cause, and he is always right. Many of the perpetrators of the deliberate crimes/cons (as opposed to the accidental events) actually ''rely'' on SkepticismFailure to cover their tracks, but as Jonathan often points out, falling back on 'magic' is what most people do because they don't like to believe they can be so easily fooled by a trick (he's a designer of magic tricks, he would know better than most.) Additionally, unlike many procedurals/detective programs that tease at the supernatural, the show ''never'' suggested that it might be real at any point in its five season run.

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* Averting this trope is a key theme of ''Series/JonathanCreek.'' No matter how 'impossible' the event in question, Jonathan never entertains the possibility of a supernatural cause, and he is always right. Many of the perpetrators of the deliberate crimes/cons (as opposed to the accidental events) actually ''rely'' on SkepticismFailure to cover their tracks, but as Jonathan often points out, falling back on 'magic' is what most people do because they don't like to believe they can be so easily fooled by a trick (he's (as he's a designer of magic tricks, he would know better than most.) Additionally, unlike many procedurals/detective programs that tease at the supernatural, the show ''never'' suggested that it might be real at any point in its five season run.
23rd Aug '16 3:07:44 AM Sinister_Sandwich
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Added DiffLines:

* Averting this trope is a key theme of ''Series/JonathanCreek.'' No matter how 'impossible' the event in question, Jonathan never entertains the possibility of a supernatural cause, and he is always right. Many of the perpetrators of the deliberate crimes/cons (as opposed to the accidental events) actually ''rely'' on SkepticismFailure to cover their tracks, but as Jonathan often points out, falling back on 'magic' is what most people do because they don't like to believe they can be so easily fooled by a trick (he's a designer of magic tricks, he would know better than most.) Additionally, unlike many procedurals/detective programs that tease at the supernatural, the show ''never'' suggested that it might be real at any point in its five season run.
18th Aug '16 5:18:58 PM Fireblood
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* Brian from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is a FlatEarthAtheist, and the show seems to agree with him... which would hold more water if Brian hadn't met God and Jesus personally, and that Peter has died and met Death several times. Of course, the God and Jesus he runs into bear little resemblance to the religious figures beyond outfit and name. Then again, they're still shown to have genuine miraculous powers, and Brian never states that they ''aren't'' who they appear to be. Actually, he never comments on them at all, one way or the other.

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* Brian from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is a FlatEarthAtheist, and the show seems to agree with him... which would hold more water if Brian hadn't met God and Jesus personally, and that Peter has hasn't died and met Death several times. Of course, the God and Jesus he runs into bear little resemblance to the religious figures beyond outfit and name. Then again, they're still shown to have genuine miraculous powers, and Brian never states that they ''aren't'' who they appear to be. Actually, he never comments on them at all, one way or the other.



** In one episode of the patient claims to have been abducted by aliens. It turns out to be a hallucination, just as House repeatedly insisted.

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** In one episode of the patient claims to have been abducted by aliens. It turns out to be a hallucination, just as House repeatedly insisted.



** Played straight in a later episode when Shawn, Gus, and another guy go to a psychic while following a dead man's last few hours. After the psychic somehow manages to guess the bizarre idea in [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Shawn's]] head they tell her that the man she talked to the previous day was dead causing her to freak out and [[OohMeAccentsSlipping drops the Romanian accent]]. However, before the guys leave she looks at Shawn and Gus's friend and draws the Death Tarot card. Said friend is dead by the next commercial break.

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** Played straight in a later episode when Shawn, Gus, and another guy go to a psychic while following a dead man's last few hours. After the psychic somehow manages to guess the bizarre idea in [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Shawn's]] head they tell her that the man she talked to the previous day was dead dead, causing her to freak out and [[OohMeAccentsSlipping drops drop the Romanian accent]]. However, before the guys leave she looks at Shawn and Gus's friend and draws the Death Tarot card. Said friend is dead by the next commercial break.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.SkepticismFailure