History Main / TooCleverByHalf

21st Jun '18 3:55:32 AM isoycrazy
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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' short story "[[Literature/BriefCases AAAA Wizardry]]" discusses this trope when Harry Dresden is assigned to help train young Wardens, wizard cops. He recounts a past case where he made a mistake. All the facts were present, but he misinterpreted things. He assumed it was this typical path and it nearly cost a loving mother her life and would have left three children orphans. While no one died, one child is still left with extreme mental scars from the event and the mother suffered from a year's worth of nightmares. After explaining what each of the four "A"s are in Wizardry, he notes the fifth "A" is for arrogance.
-->"Arrogance," [Harry] said quietly, and wrote it on the board beneath the rest. "That's the fifth A. We carry it around with us. It's natural. We know a lot more than most people. We can do a lot more than most people. There's a natural and understandable pride in that. But when we let that pride get in the way and take the place of truly what is around us, there can be horrible consequences. Watch out for the fifth A, children. The Yardlys turned out all right mostly out of pure luck. They deserve better from me. And from you."
9th Apr '18 10:20:53 PM bwburke94
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* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', many Thinkers, most prominently Tattletale, can fall into this, getting faulty conclusions due to their own biases and/or a lack (or even overabundance) of data.



* Vicki Kawaguchi of ''VideoGame/BackyardSports''.

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%% * Vicki Kawaguchi of ''VideoGame/BackyardSports''.



* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', many Thinkers, most prominently Tattletale, can fall into this, getting faulty conclusions due to their own biases and/or a lack (or even overabundance) of data.
6th Apr '18 9:00:33 AM betterwatchit
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* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Vanamonde von Mekkhan who is the current Mechanicsburg seneschal and formerly ran a shadow government in Mechanicsburg ends up targeted by Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get kill those conspiring to assassinate Agatha, since Vanamonde likes to portray himself as knowing everything that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he knew about the plot and didn't act, meaning that he was in on it.

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* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Vanamonde von Mekkhan who is the current Mechanicsburg seneschal and formerly ran a shadow government in Mechanicsburg ends up targeted by Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get kill those conspiring to assassinate Agatha, since Agatha. Since Vanamonde likes to portray himself as knowing everything ''everything'' that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he Vanamonde knew about the plot and only didn't act, meaning that act because he was in on it.
5th Apr '18 11:36:03 PM neckinhalf
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* On an episode of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Jake and Holt are interrogating an arrogant surgeon on murdering his partner, the man having an excuse for everything. But Jake points out how some evidence of the crime taking place inside the medical room which could be sterilized. He points out the guy "got lucky" losing his temper like that in an easy location. The doctor snaps that it wasn't luck at all, he planned the entire thing out perfectly, alibi and all, realizing too late he just confessed. Jake confides to Holt that he knew someone so sure of his intelligence would lose it if they thought he was just a random "dummy" who lucked into this and the idea of his perfect crime being written off as blind luck would goad him into confessing.

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* On an episode of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Jake and Holt are interrogating an arrogant surgeon dentist on murdering his partner, the man having an excuse for everything. everything and a real penchant for toying with them. [[spoiler: But just before he is to be released, Jake points out to him how some evidence one of the crime taking place inside awards in the medical room which could be sterilized. He points dental office was missing[[note]]We later find out a cleaning lady broke it by accident.[[/note]]. Jake then posits to the guy "got lucky" losing his temper like dentist that he killed his partner with it in the heat of the moment during an easy location. argument and somehow miraculously got lucky at every point where he should have been found out. The doctor snaps that it wasn't luck at all, he planned the entire thing out perfectly, alibi and all, realizing and even tells them what the ''real'' murder weapon was (a dental rod he then melted back down). He realizes too late he just confessed. Jake confides to Holt that he knew someone so sure of his intelligence would lose it if they thought he was just a random "dummy" who lucked into this and the idea of his perfect crime being written off as blind luck would goad him into confessing. ]]
2nd Apr '18 1:48:41 PM MikeW
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* On an episode of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Jake and Holt are interrogating an arrogant surgeon on murdering his partner, the man having an excuse for everything. But Jake points out how some evidence of the crime taking place inside the medical room which could be sterilized. He points out the guy "got lucky" losing his temper like that in an easy location. The doctor snaps that it wasn't luck at all, he planned the entire thing out perfectly, alibi and all, realizing too late he just confessed. Jake confides to Holt that he knew someone so sure of his intelligence would lose it if they thought he was just a random "dummy" who lucked into this and the idea of his perfect crime being written off as blind luck would goad him into confessing.
26th Mar '18 3:23:16 PM betterwatchit
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* High Elves (Noldor) in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' have a racial tendency towards this; Fëanor is probably the Poster Elf for the trope, but many of the others come to a bad end at least partially due to being clever enough to get themselves into trouble and not ''quite'' clever enough to get themselves back out. Also, there's the Men of Nûmenor.

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* High Elves (Noldor) in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' have a racial tendency towards this; Fëanor is probably the Poster Elf for the trope, but many of the others come to a bad end at least partially due to being clever enough to get themselves into trouble and not ''quite'' clever enough to get themselves back out.out again. Also, there's the Men of Nûmenor.



* In the Star Wars [[Comicbook/XWingSeries Wraith Squadron]] trilogy both of the computer hacker characters fall to this somewhat. [[PlayfulHacker Grinder]] falls to this in that Face catches him [[ThePrankster pulling pranks]] as he was the only one who could have defeated the security on Face's X-wing. However when in the field, he is quite cautious, unlike his replacement. Castin falls to this in a much worse fashion [[spoiler: when he opens an access panel without scanning it first, triggering a hidden layer--which ultimately led to his death. Grinder had previously dealt with a similar system and had the foresight to scan it before opening it.]]

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* In the Star Wars [[Comicbook/XWingSeries Wraith Squadron]] trilogy both of the computer hacker characters fall to this somewhat. [[PlayfulHacker Grinder]] falls to this in that Face catches him [[ThePrankster pulling pranks]] as he was the only one who could have defeated the security on Face's X-wing. However when in the field, he is quite cautious, unlike his replacement. Castin falls to this in a much worse fashion [[spoiler: when he opens an access panel without scanning it first, triggering a hidden layer--which ultimately led to his death. Grinder had previously dealt with a similar system and system, so he had the foresight to scan it before opening it.]]



* Kendra in ''Literature/{{Beastly}}''. She has a history of using her magic to punish rotten people like Kyle, but it bites her in the ass when it attracts too much attention and gets her in trouble with other witches. While her grand plan to improve Kyle via the curse she puts on him ''does'' work perfectly (it's designed so that he really can't break it without improving himself), it's also what convinces the other witches to banish her from ever going home. [[spoiler:Leastwise, until Kyle accidentally puts a loophole into the spell that lets her go home after he breaks the curse.]] In the book ''Bewitched'', Kendra apparently had a knack for this even before she had a lot of experience as a witch.
* Themistocles Papadapoulos in the bridge book series ''Literature/BridgeInTheMenagerie''. He delights in deception plays, which frequently confuse opponents into making the one play that can defeat his contracts or ensure theirs when he's defending. One chapter of the second book has an entire section on him called "Too Clever By Half."

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* Kendra in ''Literature/{{Beastly}}''. She has a history of using her magic to punish rotten people like Kyle, but it bites her in the ass when it attracts too much attention and gets her in trouble with other witches. While her grand plan to improve Kyle via the curse she puts on him ''does'' work perfectly (it's designed so that he really can't break it without improving himself is the only effective way he could break the curse by himself), it's also what convinces the other witches to banish her from ever going home. [[spoiler:Leastwise, until Kyle accidentally puts a loophole into the spell that lets her go home after he breaks the curse.]] In the book ''Bewitched'', Kendra apparently had a knack for this even before she had a lot of experience as a witch.
* Themistocles Papadapoulos in the bridge Bridge book series ''Literature/BridgeInTheMenagerie''. He delights in deception plays, which frequently confuse opponents into making the one play that can defeat his contracts or ensure theirs when he's defending. One chapter of the second book has an entire section on him called "Too Clever By Half."



** It turns out Sakuya rigged the door extensively, but ''completely neglected the windows''. This despite him being a flight-capable bird, in a school full of other flight-capable birds.

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** It turns out Sakuya rigged the door extensively, but ''completely neglected the windows''. windows.'' This despite him being a flight-capable bird, in ''in a school full of other flight-capable birds.birds!''



*** This ultimately leads to his death sometime later. [[spoiler:Having killed Minister Malack, right-hand man to General Tarquin, Nale's dad, [[EvilGloating he boasts]] [[ReminiscingAboutYourVictims about it]] [[WouldYouLikeToHearHowTheyDied straight to his father's face]] -- in an exceptionally [[EvilIsPetty mean-spirited]] way to boot. He then rejects Tarquin's subsequent offer to reconcile and states outright that he doesn't want Tarquin's nepotism or pity. Tarquin, finally having had enough of his son's crap, proceeds to kill him, explaining that without nepotism or pity, Nale would have been dead a long time ago.]]

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*** This ultimately leads to his death sometime later. [[spoiler:Having killed Minister Malack, right-hand man to General Tarquin, Nale's dad, [[EvilGloating he boasts]] [[ReminiscingAboutYourVictims about it]] [[WouldYouLikeToHearHowTheyDied straight to his father's face]] -- in an exceptionally [[EvilIsPetty mean-spirited]] way to boot. He then rejects Tarquin's subsequent offer to reconcile and states outright that he doesn't want Tarquin's nepotism or pity. Tarquin, finally having had enough of his son's crap, proceeds to kill him, explaining that without his (Tarquin's) nepotism or pity, and pity were the only things keeping Nale would have been dead a long time ago.alive.]]



* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Vanamonde von Mekkahn who is the current Mechanicsburg seneschal and formerly ran a shadow government in Mechanicsburg ends up targeted by Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get kill those conspiring to assassinate Agatha, since Vanamode likes to portray himself as knowing everything that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he had to know about the plot and be in on it.

to:

* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Vanamonde von Mekkahn Mekkhan who is the current Mechanicsburg seneschal and formerly ran a shadow government in Mechanicsburg ends up targeted by Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get kill those conspiring to assassinate Agatha, since Vanamode Vanamonde likes to portray himself as knowing everything that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he had to know knew about the plot and be didn't act, meaning that he was in on it.
24th Mar '18 10:35:05 PM nombretomado
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* This seems to be a recurring theme for advanced alien races throughout the ''Franchise/{{Stargate}}'' universe. Once they reach [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien a point in their technological development]] where they could be mistaken for gods, on some level they start to actually believe it, and as a consequence they develop blind spots in their thought processes you could steer a Goa'uld Mothership through:

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* This seems to be a recurring theme for advanced alien races throughout the ''Franchise/{{Stargate}}'' universe.''Franchise/StargateVerse''. Once they reach [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien a point in their technological development]] where they could be mistaken for gods, on some level they start to actually believe it, and as a consequence they develop blind spots in their thought processes you could steer a Goa'uld Mothership through:
20th Mar '18 9:34:29 AM StarTropes
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** [=DS9=] also gives us the "Jack Pack", four genetically-enhanced misfits who are allowed to analyze top-secret Starfleet data regarding the Dominion War -- and determine that TheFederation should bloodlessly surrender to the Dominion, predicting that within a few generations, an Earth-based rebellion will overthrow the Dominion and create a new Federation. What they don't consider is that the Dominion strategists might run their own analyses and predict such an occurrence. (Weyoun had, in fact, figured on a rebellion starting on Earth and made plans to sterilize the planet as a pre-emptive measure.)
19th Mar '18 9:58:18 PM TheBigBopper
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* The eponymous character from ''Literature/ArtemisFowl.''
** And also Opal Koboi, who in the fourth book [[spoiler:has her ears surgically rounded and a human pituitary gland inserted into her head so she can pass for human - but it also drains her fairy magic, making it so that she inadvertently uses the last of it to convince an old Italian widow that she is her daughter and she works with her on the farm. When Opal realizes her mistake and tries to backtrack, it fails so miserably that she's actually happy to get arrested by the LEP a week later.]]

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* The eponymous character ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'':
** Before encountering the TeenGenius Artemis Fowl, the fairies had basically assumed that humans were too primitive and stupid to see through TheMasquerade, in which they use ancient magic and advanced technology to hide themselves
from ''Literature/ArtemisFowl.''
humans while mostly living in underground cities. They had gone into hiding in the first place because humans would be too bloodthirsty and numerous to hold back if they all attacked at once, but since the humans no longer believe in fairies and lack the means to detect them, the Lower Elements Police recon force (LEP recon) only has to deal with occasional incidents where humans are exposed to fairy folk by accident, which can be safely contained with cover-ups and mind-wipes. As a result they are blindsided in the first book when Artemis manages to deduce their real existence from world mythology and unexplained phenomeona, extort a copy of the fairies' book of magical secrets from a fairy exile living in Vietnam, decode the ancient language it's written in, and use the knowledge it contains to kidnap LEP recon member Holly Short and demand a ransom of one metric ton of gold while defending the Fowl manor against the forces sent to rescue her. Even though it's just Artemis and his BattleButler holding Holly captive, the fairies's best forces are initially unable to deal with their foes being able to do things like resist being [[JediMindTrick mesmerized]], see through the "shielding" ability which normally makes them invisible to humans, and exploit their magically-enforced inability to enter a human dwelling without permission. They have to resort to more outside-the-box tactics in order to wrest the upper hand back from Artemis, and while they do manage to get Holly back, [[spoiler:in the end Artemis manages to survive the Bio-Bomb and keep half of the gold]].
** And also Artemis is introduced as a criminal genius even from the age of 12, and at thirteen he's already done enough to earn an active file from Interpol. He's hopelessly bored in school because all the subjects are too easy for him, and he has no friends his age because he's an InsufferableGenius with NoSocialSkills. His genius is more than demonstrated in the first book as described above. Unfortunately he has a tendency to underestimate his opponents and press his advantage too hard when he thinks he's got them in a vise, to the point of BullyingADragon. A big example is at the start of the third book, when he meets CorruptCorporateExecutive Jon Spiro at a restaurant and shows him the Cube, a MagicalComputer made from reverse-engineered fairy tech which could put Spiro's telecom company out of business. Artemis doesn't even offer to sell the Cube to Spiro; instead he's asking Spiro to pay him just to delay the release by two years and have enough time to get his money out. Even though Spiro is a powerful man alleged to have connections with the Mafia, it doesn't occur to Artemis that Spiro might just take the Cube by force since he's got Butler guarding him, they're in a public venue full of witnesses, and the Cube is encrypted with the titular Eternity Code which only Artemis has the key for. [[spoiler:It turns out that all of the customers at the restaurant are actually HiredGuns on Spiro's payroll, and given his company's vast resources he figures he could break the encryption given enough time. Butler gets shot and left for dead, while Spiro makes off with the Cube]].
** Recurring villain
Opal Koboi, who Koboi is a genius to rival Foaley, having invented the Double-Dex wing design and become a powerful tech CEO despite the prevalence of sexism in fairy society. In the fourth book she [[spoiler:has her ears surgically rounded and a human pituitary gland inserted into implanted in her head so she can pass for human - but it human, hoping to make herself the humans' ruler by leading them in war against the fairies. The pituitary gland also drains happens to drain her fairy magic, making it so but she arrogantly proclaims that magic is of no use to her, and that she will rely on science instead. After being thwarted by the protagonists, she inadvertently uses up the last of it her magic on a ''mesmer'' to convince an old Italian widow that she is her daughter and that she works with her on the farm. When Opal realizes her mistake in volunteering for manual labor and tries to backtrack, it fails so miserably that she's actually happy to get arrested by the LEP a week later.]]
10th Mar '18 2:51:31 PM darkemyst
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* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' Vanamonde von Mekkahn who is the current Mechanicsburg seneschal and formerly ran a shadow government in Mechanicsburg ends up targeted by Hadrian Greenclaw's plan to get kill those conspiring to assassinate Agatha, since Vanamode likes to portray himself as knowing everything that goes on within the town, Greenclaw assumed that he had to know about the plot and be in on it.
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