Created By: Madrugada on June 21, 2013 Last Edited By: StarSword on July 20, 2013
Troped

Catch-22 Dilemma (originally Vicious Circle)

You need <A> to do <B>, but you need <B> to get <A> in the first place. There's nowhere to start.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
"Wait a second. We knock out the turret to get the fighters. But to get the turret, we've gotta get through the fighters. We're dead."
-- Alex Rogan, The Last Starfighter

A Catch-22 Dilemma is a situation that the character cannot resolve or get out of, because they have nowhere to start to work on it. Each step they must take relies on completing the step before it, but starting the first step requires already having completed the last one.

It generally appears in one of two types: either each of the actions they must take or items they must acquire to progress rely on some other action already having been taken or item having been acquired first, or two or more of the actions they need to take or things they need to acquire are mutually forbidden.

Both types leave the character frustrated and with nowhere to start in solving the problem or escaping the situation.

Often, the solution lies in taking a third choice or Cutting the Knot, or, in games, finding the Dungeon Bypass the designer or GM overlooked.

In the form of "You must submit Document <A> with your application for Document <B>, but you have to present Document <B> to get Document <A>", it's a favorite tool of Obstructive Bureaucrats. Rules Lawyers or people attempting to cause problems by Bothering by the Book also use it, since in virtually any bureaucracy or set of rules, there's at least one set of rules or regulations that are interlocked or contradictory and can be exploited this way.

In common usage, a Catch-22 Dilemma is also known as simply a "Catch-22", after the book of that name by Joseph Heller. We have a page for the book at Catch-22, which is why this trope page doesn't use that exact name. Other names for it are a "Closed Logical Loop" or a "Circular Bind"; in engineering and programming, it's called "The Deadly Embrace"; another term in programming is a "Deadlock".


Related But Different Tropes:
  • Vicious Cycle: where the circle is of events which happen, rather than of things which need to be done.
  • Morton's Fork: The same bad result occurs no matter what you do. The reason it occurs is different with each option, though.
  • Circular Reasoning: A logical fallacy where you claim to prove something simply by asserting that it's true (usually in slightly different wording, and often with more than two steps intervening between the postulate and the assertion).
  • Chain of Deals: where a character trades <A> to get <B>, trade <B> to get <C>, and so on. A Chain of Deals may become a Catch-22 Dilemma if the last item is needed to get the first item.
  • Logic Bombs are sometimes built on Catch-22 Dilemmas.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock is a subtrope,[[note]] a more specific version that has become a trope in its own right.[[/note]] where an item is locked, and the key to the lock is in the item. You need to unlock the lock to get the key to unlock the lock. They are most often solved by finding some way to open the item without the key
  • Unstable Equilibrium: a losing RTS player needs more resources to adequately match their opponents, but the only way to get those resources is to take them from said opponents ... whom they can't match without more resources.


Examples: [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • Discussed in the Fishman Island arc of One Piece, during a flashback: Vander Decken is talking about marrying Princess Shirahoshi for her latent powers, who was still 6 at the time. His subordinate then tells him about a national treasure, a kind of drug that can age up whoever consumes it, and it might solve the age problem. The problem is, as said subordinate points out, the treasure is tightly guarded by the royal palace and the only legal way to obtain it is... marrying the royalty (the princess, in this case). In the end, though, Decken just decides to wait until she's aged normally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film -- Animated]]
  • Sugar Rush Speedway in Wreck-It Ralph invokes this trope. The nine racers who will be on next day's roster are decided by a race held after the arcade closes, and the entrance fee is a coin; those who don't place in the top 9 don't get on the roster, thus can't earn any coins that day, so if they use the last of their coins to enter the qualifying race and don't place, they can never again be on the roster and thus can't ever get any more coins. This is done to keep Vanellope, supposedly a glitch, from racing, though why it hasn't yet caught any of the others is not explained.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
  • In Red Tails the brass are trying to decommission the Tuskeegee Airmen because they haven't scored any air-to-air kills. This is because they haven't been assigned to an area where such kills are available, officially because they haven't scored any air-to-air kills. In this case it's a blatantly obvious cover for simple racism on the part of the brass.
  • Lampshaded by Alex Rogan in The Last Starfighter. In the end they Take a Third Option they didn't know was available at the time of the conversation: they hide in a cave so they can hit the command ship from behind and get the turret without needing to hit the fighters, which are several kilometers ahead of the carrier.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • The term was coined by Catch-22. It crops up over and over again there, in several forms:
    • Yossarian can be exempted from flying more bombing missions if the doctor does a mental evaluation and declares that he's crazy. But for the doctor to make that declaration, Yossarian would have to request an evaluation. Requesting an evaluation because he doesn't want to fly more bombing missions proves that he's not crazy, because not wanting to risk your life repeatedly isn't crazy at all.
    • An Italian peasant woman deals with soldiers had claimed that the actual text of Catch-22 did not have to be revealed when carrying out orders related to it, meaning that "they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing." (In simple terms, "We don't have to provide a citation of the rule that allows us to do this because the rule that we're claiming allows us to do this says we don't have to provide a citation of it.")
    • Captain Black issued an order that everyone had to sign a "loyalty oath", but did not allow Major Major to sign it, then began harassing him because he hadn't signed it and, when Major Major asked to be allowed to sign it, Captain Black continued to refuse to allow him to sign it on the grounds that he hadn't signed it when the order was first issued.
    • Major Major uses it himself, giving his aide orders that no one is allowed to see him while he's in his office. But people must be allowed in sometimes, so he orders his aide to allow them to see him when he's not in his office. (When he sees someone coming who he doesn't want to deal with, but who outranks him, and therefore could countermand his order to his aide, he jumps out the window.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
  • Supernatural: The only thing capable of killing a dragon is a special dragon-killing sword, which can only be made by using the blood of a dragon when it's forged.
    Dean: So you need one to kill one, but you got to kill one to make one. How does that work out?
[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
  • "Dear Liza (There's a hole in my bucket)". Henry needs to cut straw to fix his bucket, but first he needs to sharpen his knife to cut the straw, but before that he needs to fetch water to sharpen his knife, but he needs his bucket in order to fetch the water. And his bucket needs to be fixed to fetch the water...
  • "I Can't Defeat Airman". The narrator playing Mega Man II can't get through Heat Man's stage, noting it would be easier with Item 2, which is acquired by defeating Air Man -who the player can never beat. It goes on to note Air Man would be easier to beat with the Leaf Shield -but the player can't beat Wood Man either. Though it's not noted in the lyrics, Wood Man's weakness is the Atomic Fire you get from Heat Man so it's a unwinnable circle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
  • FoxTrot had a comic where Jason asks Roger if he can hang out with his friend Marcus, and Roger answers "I'm okay with it if your mom is." Then when Jason asks Andy, she says "I'm okay with it if your father is." The comic ends with Jason reading a book on formal logic, trying to figure out whether they actually gave him permission or not. The next comic had Paige asking a similar question and getting the same answers... and she simply interprets that as an okay.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
  • Paranoia: The adventure included in "Traitor's Manual" ran the PCs through a five-link Catch-22 Dilemma as they tried to get themselves established as undercover agents. The way out of the circle was to use their secret society connections to get one of the needed forms.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Pharaoh has a recurring situation where your housing starts devolving because it no longer has access to some services, most often because of a worker shortage. When housing devolves, several citizens are kicked out, reducing the workforce even further, causing the housing to fall to an even lower level, and so on. The only way to fix the situation is to increase the workforce and improve the services, which can only be done by getting new workers to move into the area...
  • Deliberately invoked in the 1980s PC shareware game Master Spy: you control four agents (one at a time), each in his own domain which he cannot leave except through the good exit door (or by returning to the Safe House in the middle and meeting the other agents there), and once he leaves his domain, he's out of that game forever. If a loyal agent exits through the bad door with any ticket, or through either door without a ticket, he's trapped and you lose. The problem is that Agent A's domain has the ticket required for B to exit, B has C's ticket, C has D's ticket, and D has A's ticket. Fortunately for you, one agent is The Mole, and the aim of the game is to deliberately trap that agent as well as enabling the escapes of the loyal three; so to win you need to execute the escapes in precisely the right order.
  • The Riddle of Master Lu: You need to get into the Hall of Classics, but when you approach the guard, to enter he tells you that you need a pass to get into the Hall of Classics, but you get passes from inside the Hall of Classics. Being an Adventure Game, you ultimately have to Take a Third Option and do a series of convoluted actions that give you the ability to sneak in, whereupon you are given a pass for easy reentry.
    Ripley: "I'd like to go through there."
    Guard: "You must have a pass."
    Ripley: "Where do I get a pass?"
    Guard: "Through there."
    [[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • When Pip first starts playing "Legends of Lorcraft" in Phillip Jackson's Sequential Art, panel 136, he starts as a Level 1 serf, and needs armor and a sword to go on treasure quests. However, armor and swords cost money, which is earned by obtaining treasures. Pip lampshades his dilemma nicely.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Discussed in Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown during the initial organization of the girls' tent in a "democratic fashion". Peppermint Patty wants to prepare ballots, but the girls have to decide first on who passes out ballots.
    Lucy Van Pelt: Wait a minute! You can't vote unless we have ballots!
    Marcie: If we can't vote to see who will pass the ballots, how can we have ballots to vote?
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
  • One that's all too common is businesses that offer starting-level jobs, but require that the person hired already have <some amount> of experience. You can't get the job without having experience, but you can't get the experience without having a job. And that's all that needs to be said about it.
  • One early railway system included the regulation: "Should two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has retreated".
  • One theoretical application of the Alcubierre drive that would not require large amounts of exotic matter would be to use masses placed along the intended travel path, creating Hyperspace Lanes. Unfortunately these masses would themselves have to be moving faster than the speed of light, so you'd need an Alcubierre drive to make an Alcubierre drive.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 74
  • June 21, 2013
    StarSword
    The Red Tails example is currently filed under Mortons Fork but it fits this trope much better.

    Film:
    • In Red Tails the brass are trying to decommission the Tuskeegee Airmen because they haven't scored any air-to-air kills. This is because they haven't been assigned to an area where such kills are available, officially because they haven't scored any air-to-air kills. In this case it's a blatantly obvious cover for simple racism on the part of the brass.
  • June 21, 2013
    Madrugada
    Yes! Thank you. That's exactly this trope rather than a Mortons Fork. Added it to the OP.
  • June 21, 2013
    StarSword
    Better page quote (it's shorter):
    "Wait a second. We knock out the turret to get the fighters. But to get the turret, we've gotta get through the fighters. We're dead."
    -- Alex Rogan, The Last Starfighter

    Film:
    • Lampshaded by Alex Rogan in The Last Starfighter (see the page quote). In the end they Take A Third Option: they hide in a cave so they can hit the command ship from behind and get the turret without needing to hit the fighters, which are several kilometers ahead of the carrier.
  • June 21, 2013
    Chabal2
    Not to be confused with Vicious Cycle.

    • Pharaoh has a recurring situation where your housing starts devolving because it no longer has access to some services, most often because of a worker shortage. When housing devolves, several citizens are kicked out, reducing the workforce even further, causing the housing to fall to an even lower level, and so on.
  • June 21, 2013
    MiinU

    Real life

    • This is often a problem for those seeking employment, as many employers require that applicants have past experience for the positions that need to be filled. Yet, they'll refuse to train applicants so they can acquire the experience they need, to fill those positions.
  • June 21, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Maybe have "Catch Twenty Two" as a redirect since that's what a lot of people know this as? There's a work with that title too though, but it wouldn't be on the same namespace.
  • June 21, 2013
    StarSword
    Catch Twenty Two is a redirect to the novel already.

    @Miin U: Been there.
  • June 21, 2013
    MiinU
    ^@StarSword - So have I.
  • June 21, 2013
    Madrugada
    Miin U: yeah, way too common in Real Life, particularly that specific form. That's why I'm asking for No Real Life Examples Please; that example alone would attract Natter and thinly disguised Troper Tales like rotting meat attracts flies.

    On the redirect: One option would be to make the trope redirect from The Catch Twenty-Two or A Catch Twenty Two. Another would be to add a note at the top of the book's page that if you're looking for the trope/situation, it's at "Vicious Circle"
  • June 21, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I've also heard the term "vicious cycle". Which is the proper term?
  • June 21, 2013
    xanderiskander
    @Star Sword I know. But don't we already have some tropes with the same name as works though? Usually they have disambiguation pages.

    ^ There's already trope with the name Vicious Cycle too.
  • June 21, 2013
    Madrugada
    "Vicious cycle" and "vicious circle" are both used. But we already have Vicious Cyle as a different trope.

    Tropes that exactly share a name with a work are those tropes where the name of the concept came first, and someone named a work after it. In the case of Catch-22, that only became used as a name for a vicious circle because of the book; the work created the term.
  • June 21, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Averted in Bill And Teds Excellent Adventure: They need a set of keys they don't have, so they determine that after they get the keys, they WILL go back in time and leave the keys for themselves. Sure enough, the keys are where they left/will leave them.

  • June 21, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Not sure about that one. It seems more like Invoked Stable Time Loop.

    I made a minor adjustment to the Last Starfighter example.
  • June 21, 2013
    Madrugada
    Bill and Ted isn't one of these, since they know that they can time travel. They aren't stuck -- all they have to do is make sure they leave the keys where they'll look for them.
  • June 21, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @xander: We already have a page for that term? I call it TRS bait.
  • June 21, 2013
    Madrugada
    Read the page for Vicious Cycle and decide if it needs TRS. If you think it does, make a thread for it when you can. But please don't derail this YKTTW with that discussion.
  • June 21, 2013
    randomsurfer
    From Takes One To Kill One:
    • Supernatural: The only thing capable of killing a dragon is a special dragon-killing sword, which can only be made by using the blood of a dragon when it's forged.
      Dean: So you need one to kill one, but you got to kill one to make one. How does that work out?
  • June 22, 2013
    peccantis
    Two of the Catch Twenty Two examples aren't examples since they don't follow the pattern.

    // edit: misread the third one, it's ok with me
  • June 22, 2013
    StarSword
    ^First one seems to me to count, second seems like another trope (not sure which one), third is this trope. What are you seeing?
  • June 22, 2013
    bulmabriefs144
    I don't believe that Real Life example is untrue, however. You are often expected to provide past experience when acquiring occupation. Not mentioning the fact smacks of some sort of censorship, where nobody is allowed to mention the fact that it is actually difficult to get a job in some fields.

    Just keep it from being too personal, and it's fine.
  • June 22, 2013
    peccantis
    ^^ Same as you for the first two, also I misread the third one, it actually does feed itself (not allowed to sign because didn't sign it previously)
  • June 22, 2013
    StarSword
  • June 22, 2013
    MetaFour
    Foxtrot had a comic where Jason asks Roger if he can hang out with his friend Marcus, and Roger answers "I'm okay with it if your mom is." Then when Jason asks Andy, she says "I'm okay with it if your father is." The comic ends with Jason reading a book on formal logic, to figure out whether they actually gave him permission or not. The next comic had Paige asking a similar question and getting the same answers... and she simply interprets that as an okay.
  • June 22, 2013
    Darthcaliber
    This is the idea behind the song "I Can't Defeat Airman". The narrator playing Mega Man 2 can't get through Heat Man's stage noting it would be easier with Item 2 which is acquired by defeating Air Man -who the player can never beat. It goes on to note Air Man would be easier to beat with the Leaf Shield -but the player can't beat Wood Man either. (though not noted in the lyrics Wood Man's weakness is the Atomic fire you get from Heat Man so it's a unwinnable circle)
  • June 22, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @Madrugada: (Oh, I will.)
  • June 22, 2013
    billybobfred
  • June 22, 2013
    MaxWest
    Another variation on this and the Catch-22 situation is the Chicken and the Egg dilemma. Basically, which came first?

    Discussed (lampshaded?) in Race For Your Life Charlie Brown during the initial organization of the girls tent in a "democratic fashion". Peppermint Patty wants to prepare ballots, but the girls have to decide first on who passes out ballots.
    Lucy Van Pelt: Wait a minute! You can't vote unless we have ballots!
    Marcie: If we can't vote to see who will pass the ballots, how can we have ballots to vote?
  • June 22, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Webcomics
    • When Pip first starts playing "Legends of Lorcraft" in Phillip Jackson's Sequential Art, panel 136, he starts as a Level 1 serf, and needs armor and a sword to go on treasure quests. However, armor and swords cost money, which is earned by obtaining treasures. Pip lampshades his dilemma nicely.
  • June 23, 2013
    Trueman001
    Another related trope is Vicious Cycle, where the cycle of events is what happens rather than what the hero(es) have to do.

    Also, another name for this trope (in engineering, particularly programming) is "Deadly Embrace".
  • June 23, 2013
    Trueman001
    This trope is deliberately invoked in the 1980s PC shareware game Master Spy: you control four agents (one at a time), each in his own domain which he cannot leave except through the good exit door (or by returning to the Safe House in the middle and meeting the other agents there), and once he leaves he's out of that game forever. If a loyal agent exits through the bad door with any ticket, or through either door without a ticket, he's trapped and you lose. The problem is that Agent A's domain has the ticket required for B to exit, B has C's ticket, C has D's ticket, and D has A's ticket. Fortunately for you, one agent is The Mole, and the aim of the game is to deliberately trap that agent as well as enabling the escapes of the loyal three; so to win you need to execute the escapes in precisely the right order.
  • June 24, 2013
    Madrugada
    I've added the examples given to the OP. Thanks, all.

  • June 28, 2013
    Chabal2
    Final Fantasy X: The world of Spira is caught in one: whenever the giant monster Sin resurfaces, a Summoner makes a pilgrimage that ends in sacrificing one of their friends to create a superpowerful Aeon that can take on Sin. However, this Aeon then becomes the next Sin several years later. The cycle is broken when the party take on and destroy the entity responsible for recreating Sin in the first place (as this was also the global religion's greatest figure, this was only possible through the main character having never heard of the religion, and one of the party members being a heretic).
  • June 28, 2013
    Antigone3
    Paranoia: The adventure included in "Traitor's Manual" ran the PCs through a five-link vicious circle as they tried to get themselves established as undercover agents. The way out of the circle was to use their secret society connections to get one of the needed forms.
  • I think we should make a disambiguation page after the launch.
  • June 29, 2013
    Madrugada
    What I'm planning on doing is launching this one as either Vicious Circle or Catch 22 Situation, then making Main.Catch Twenty Two a disambig between the trope and the book.
  • June 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about Catch Twenty Two Paradox? Because really, Vicious Circle is a bad name for this. Not only do we have Vicious Cycle, colloquially "vicious circle" usually means "Solving problem A creates problem B, solving problem B leads to problem C, solving problem C leads to problem A" which is not this trope.
  • June 29, 2013
    Madrugada
    I agree that Vicious Circle isn't the best name for this, but it isn't really a paradox either ''(Paradox: a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth)''. It's a situation, a bind, or a dilemma
  • June 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Dilemma! That's the word I was looking for. Go with that. Situation's to vague, bind's too informal.
  • June 29, 2013
    McKathlin
    I would call this Circular Dependency.
  • June 29, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Too technical.

    Part of the problem is the term "vicious circle" has two usages - one of them being the circular dillema stated in the laconic (and quote), and the other being any situation that naturally perpetuates/reinforces itself (usually along a downward spiral).

    For example, FFX is not a circular dillema, but it is a self-perpetuating cycle.
  • June 29, 2013
    MorningStar1337
  • June 29, 2013
    Westrim
    Agreeing that the name should be be formed by or around Catch 22
  • June 30, 2013
    Madrugada
    Ok, I'm going to change the proposed name on this to Catch 22 Dilemma. Also, I've incorporated the latest examples into the OP.
  • June 30, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Good call. I'll throw a hat on.
  • June 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Agree with Catch 22 Dilemma.
  • June 30, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    To add to the book example:
    • Major Major figures out how the Catch-22 idea works, and gives his military aide orders that no one is allowed to see him while he's in his office. But people must be allowed in sometimes, so he orders his aide to allow them to see him when he's notin his office. This paradox allows him to avoid doing any work whatsoever. Which is fine, since he'll never get promoted anyway.
  • June 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Catch-22 is starting to sound like a really goofy book...
  • June 30, 2013
    Jokubas
    The Riddle Of Master Lu:
    Ripley: "I'd like to go through there."
    Guard: "You must have a pass."
    Ripley: "Where do I get a pass?"
    Guard: "Through there."
    Edit: You need to get into the Hall of Classics, but when you approach the guard, he gives this exchange. You need a pass to get into the Hall of Classics, but you get passes from inside the Hall of Classics. Being an Adventure Game, you ultimately have to Take A Third Option and do a series of convoluted actions that give you the ability to sneak in, whereupon you are given a pass for easy reentry.
  • July 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Come on, give at least some kind of context for that conversation.
  • July 1, 2013
    Madrugada
    ^^^ @/Star Sword, It's a strange book, and its funny in places and deeply darkly disturbing in others. "Goofy" is not a word I would apply to it, but many of the characters are crazy. Give it a read, sometime, just don't expect it to make sense.

    ^^ Yes, please, that sounds like an example, but it needs some context.
  • July 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    FFX is not an example of a catch-22.
  • July 1, 2013
    Madrugada
    Legitimate point, @/stratadrake. FFX removed.
  • July 1, 2013
    StarSword
    ^FYI, I always find it works better if you write Tropers/Handle.
  • July 1, 2013
    mauri
    Yes I know you said No Real Examples Please since it can be troublesome but just a note around the other side of the coin, not going to nag if it doesn't get but at least think if it fits the trope properly. I can guess that the reasoning here is a lot like the world of Academics, note this is a personal point of view based on observations on the field which can hit this trope relating to Real Life:
    • Real Life
      • The world of Academics lives a lot on this trope: Want to publish something, you have to be famous, but to be famous you have to publish something (however you might publish but given you are not famous you won't get recognition, so it is a moot point; except perhaps in the lost money).
      • Also for a new idea to be on the field it has to comply what the older theories have tested and failed horribly but given they are already there the new theory must comply the horribly impossible standard or be older than feudalism, so it must be old enough to be debunked or pass impossible standards the older theories can't pass just to be tested. Note: Exceptions exist on this case, specially in education.
    Edited out due to Flame Bait capacity.
  • July 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Unstable Equilibrium might be related. E.g, a losing RTS player needs more resources to adequately match their opponents, but the only way to get those resources is to take them from said opponents ... whom they can't match without more resources.
  • July 2, 2013
    Trueman001
    (Film)
    • Sugar Rush Speedway in Wreck It Ralph deliberately invokes this. The nine racers who will be on next day's roster are decided by a race held after the arcade closes, and the entrance fee is a coin; those who don't place in the top 9 don't get on the roster, thus don't earn any coins that day, so if they use the last of their coins and don't place, they can never again be on the roster and thus can't get any more coins. This is done to keep Vanellope, supposedly a glitch, from racing, though why it hasn't yet caught any of the others is not explained.
  • July 2, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^ The second example you gave (Stephen Krashen) is clearly Flame Bait, which is exactly what we're trying to avoid.

    Seconding No Real Life Examples Please.
  • July 2, 2013
    mauri
    Still editing the example out I guess the base idea still applies when it comes to theory. And yes sorry that example of exception was left in, but hoping the rest is still a good option (editing the example out now). Still considering how subjective and how often the no real life examples the problem would be theory at best that is in short all Deadlocks... But then again it would fill pages out of this trope so the best option is leaving this in a short way like:
    • Any situation that invokes a {{Catch - 22 Dilemma}} is this trope in Real Life.
  • July 5, 2013
    Madrugada
    Thanks for all the input, folks. I plan on launching this on Sunday, when I have time to do it properly.

    Any further comments or examples?
  • July 8, 2013
    StarSword
    Um, it's Monday now.
  • July 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Not strictly on topic but I've opened a TRS for the existing Vicious Cycle now.
  • July 9, 2013
    StarSword
    Real Life (ish)
    • One theoretical application of the Alcubierre drive that would not require large amounts of exotic matter would be to use masses placed along the intended travel path, creating Hyperspace Lanes. Unfortunately these masses would themselves have to be moving faster than the speed of light, so you'd need an Alcubierre drive to make an Alcubierre drive.
  • July 9, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    How about a Theoretical Science folder instead?
  • July 9, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Works.

    @Mauri: That is not remotely how the peer review process works.
  • July 10, 2013
    mauri
    ^While I know a detail on the review (for more information the wikipedia link, specially under the Scholarly Peer Review which is the one I was focusing in but didn't invest much thought into it as the absent minded individual I can be) there is also the fact that new ideas get shot by peers but normally superiors in the academical field (namely works that mix more than one tree of knowledge) probably due to Editors power (the reason it is called, even in a "blind test" the style or ideas are called onto the case and a bias is making its line to work). Problem is that most of the issues that call this on Real Life are sensitive to the point of Flame Bait due to one part of the system saying it works while shooting down the other part due to a technicality or something. But given the Flame Bait value it is better to avoid it.

    That is why I left the idea and the work of "if it invokes it in real life then it is this". The reason there will be technicalities and different points of view since what works in one country won't work in another (what works in China won't work in US as the saying goes) and that sadly includes the peer review process.

    Still better to focus on other options that won't call any Flame war since are things that work more in other fields.

    Edit: Before forgetting this detail: I don't want a flame war over this and if it is too much of a calling let it be. Reason why it pops up is when the bias of the only editors available is too much to be of help.
  • July 11, 2013
    Trueman001
    Any update on which Sunday this will be launched?
  • July 11, 2013
    DAN004
    • Discussed in the Fishman Island arc of One Piece, during a flashback: Vander Decken is talking about marrying Princess Shirahoshi for her latent powers, who was still 6 at the time. His subordinate then tells him about a national treasure, a kind of drug that can age up whoever consumes it, and it might solve the age problem. The problem is, as said subordinate points out, the treasure is tightly guarded by the royal palace and the only legal way to obtain it is... marrying the royalty (the princess, in this case). In the end, though, Decken just decides to wait until she's aged normally.
  • July 14, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^I'm guessing the first Sunday after the Second Coming.
  • July 17, 2013
    Trueman001
    Remembered a non-flamebait Real Life example.

    • One early railway system included the regulation: "Should two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has retreated".

  • July 18, 2013
    DAN004
    Um, can the title be changed into something not Trope Namer-y? Cuz I'm sure I never read Catch-22 before.
  • July 18, 2013
    billybobfred
    Nor have I, but I know what the phrase means... Is "catch-22" Popcultural Osmosis-y enough for a trope title?
  • July 20, 2013
    Madrugada
    Sorry, I got swamped.

    And Catch-22 is well-enough established that it's in mainstream, published, dead-tree-edition dictionaries. It's not a case of Trope-namerism.
  • July 20, 2013
    StarSword
    Ok, Madrugada's given me permission to finish up and fire this off. Y'all have fifteen minutes.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=2de47e1lxhe1sxd9vdc79a3w&trope=Catch22Dilemma