Created By: feotakahari on October 14, 2011 Last Edited By: jormis29 on May 10, 2014

The Coin Always Lands Heads Up

Consistently getting the same outcome from coin flips or die rolls.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do you realize that in the past two months, every coin a passerby has tossed us has turned up heads?
Tyrone, Candorville

For some people, random chance . . . isn't. Every time they flip a coin or roll a die, they'll get the same outcome. This isn't always the same as being Born Lucky, but it's usually an indication that fate or the Random Number God favor them in some way.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Most Abnormals in Medaka Box get 6s on all dice they roll, even if they dump out an entire can of dice. (Medaka herself goes one step further—her dice make a tower on the table.)

Literature
  • The protagonist of Neal Shusterman's Speeding Bullet starts getting heads from every coin flip after the first time he saves someone's life. He believes he's been blessed by God. (He's a bit off as to the particulars, however . . .)
  • Discworld
    • The series treats this as a property of places rather than people—coins land weirdly in places where there was once a magic war.
    • On the other hand, the Auditors invert this—they're so orderly that their presence forces the results of experiments to match their expected statistical distributions.
  • Mat from The Wheel of Time usually just gets better results than average, but it's been proven that he can make a coin land heads a hundred times in a row. The reason he doesn't regularly do this is that people would catch on.

Live-Action TV
  • Fringe In "6B", Walter Bishop attempts several coin flips while investigating a supposedly haunted building. Each time, the coin lands heads-up, leading him to make a significant deduction about the haunting.

Newspaper Comics
  • This is commented on more than once in the "Rosencrantz and Tyrone" arcs of Candorville. At one point, one of them wonders whether it's a sign that they died without realizing it.

Theatre
  • In the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, much of the first act features the two title characters talking and playing a coin toss game. Over and over again, the coin lands heads up. This happens over one hundred times, to the utter bewilderment of Guildenstern. Rosencrantz, on the other hand, doesn't seem to think much of it.

Video Games

Web Comics

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • October 14, 2011
    AgProv
    Inverted in Discworld. At one point the party enters an area that looks a bit off. Rincewind starts tossing coins, getting a string of bizzare results, which confirms his suspicion that the area has distorted reality ( a fallout of some past magic war). Spoofed when Rincewind tosses a coin up (Book: the Colour of Magic) and it doesn't come down again...
  • October 14, 2011
    Speedball
    "Candorville" is totally ripping off "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" there. Them always flipping heads is a plot point.
  • October 14, 2011
    feotakahari
    ^ I haven't seen the original, but I think this is an Homage: the other homeless man is named Rosencrantz.
  • October 14, 2011
    LuxExterior
    If you're going to go with Rosie and Guildy, I'd suggest setting it up as a theatre entry:

    • In the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, much of the first act features the two title characters talking and playing a coin toss game. Over and over again, the coin lands heads up. This happens over one hundred times, to the utter bewilderment of Guildenstern. Rosencrantz, on the other hand, doesn't seem to think much of it.

    Also, for Live-Action TV:

    • During one episode of Fringe, Walter Bishop attempts several coin flips while investigating a supposedly haunted building. Each time, the coin lands heads-up, leading him to make a significant deduction about the haunting.
  • October 15, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    The description says "well, unless they turn out to have a two-headed coin." That is a very common trope, so are we including those instances here? Because if so, I can think of several examples.
  • October 15, 2011
    Octagon8
    Compare the Random Number God, which can cause similar things temporarily.
  • October 15, 2011
    nman
    • In Fringe, Walter remarks that if a coin-flip starts getting consecutive heads (or tails), it means that the laws of Physics are breaking down in that section of the universe.
  • October 16, 2011
    henke37
    • Get Backers: The die rolls breifly used to split the party used in the long story were quite strange. Help me here!
  • October 16, 2011
    SharleeD
    Another Discworld variant: When the Death of Rats's buttered-toast-and-carpet device gets results that are much more consistent than predicted, it's a sign that the Auditors are near, enforcing strict order on the universe.
  • October 16, 2011
    MetaFour
  • October 21, 2011
    feotakahari
    @Boolean Earth: You're right, Two Headed Coin should be a trope of its own. (I'm unsure whether an Eldritch Location that causes these results should or shouldn't qualify as this trope, though--I'm leaning towards "should.")

    [down] Ehh, it was kind of out of character for me to make this YKTTW in the first place. (I've never successfully launched a trope, despite several tries.) If you're interested in it, though, feel free to go for it.
  • October 21, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    Awesome. If you create the YKTTW for that, I'll help out with it.

    Edit: Haha, alright. I'd say stick in there, though. This is a good trope, and I'm sure you have other good ideas, too.
  • October 21, 2011
    BooleanEarth
  • October 21, 2011
    Generality
    • In The Wheel Of Time, Mat can do this as part of being Ta'Veren. Basically, the dice or coins fall whichever way he needs them to, which in practice makes his rolls just better than average, as consistently perfect rolls would arouse suspicions in his gambling partners. On one occasion, he flips heads more than a hundred times in a row just to see if he can.
  • April 25, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • April 25, 2014
    DAN004
    We have Two Headed Coin already.
  • April 26, 2014
    Koveras
    • In Bio Shock Infinite, a coin toss is used by the Luteces to demonstrate the key concept of "constants in variables": you get a choice of betting on heads or on tails, but given a clear indication that it will always be heads—and it is always scripted to be just that. It is later revealed that all previous alternate universe versions of Booker made that choice differently (a variable) but the coin always landed heads up (a constant).
  • April 26, 2014
    Arivne
  • April 27, 2014
    ridicumouse
    Red Dwarf has a virus which warps the odds around any infected person. Somebody suffering from The Luck Virus sees these results every time they cut a deck of cards or flip a coin.
  • April 27, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    DAN 004

    There's a difference between a loaded coin and a two headed coin. both are cheating, but the methods are different.

    Though still we have this, it's called Winds Of Destiny Change.
  • May 10, 2014
    MorganWick
    This Dilbert strip, as revealed in the following one: Ratbert defeats Dilbert's test of his claims of psychic powers by correctly predicting 100 consecutive flips turning up edge.
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