Created By: spacemarine50 on May 17, 2013 Last Edited By: Valorie on March 16, 2014

Epically Lost

Character ends up significantly far away from where s/he wants to be.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Indexes: Index Failure

Everyone has gotten lost before, and it's not hard to get back on track. Maybe they took the Scenic Route. Or that they don't have someone decently skilled with maps or navigation. Maybe everyone has No Sense of Direction. Except when you're so off course, noone, even the audience, can believe it.

There is no limit how lost it can be. It can be relatively reasonable, or even Beyond the Impossible.

Subtrope of Epic Fail. sister trope of Shortcuts Make Long Delays. Getting lost easily is No Sense of Direction. A wrong turn that gets someone lost is Wrong Turn at Albuquerque. This trope, it doesn't matter how they get lost. The Navigator usually prevents this trope, if not adverting it. Also see Misplaced Wildlife, Polar Bears and Penguins.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • There's one The Far Side comic with a husband and wife driving their car on the moon. The wife says, "Oh for crying out loud, now look where Earth is! Pull over, I'm driving!"

Film
  • The "Movin' Right Along" musical segment of The Muppet Movie features Fozzie driving cross-country with Kermit, and winding up in places like Saskatchewan when they're trying to get from Florida to Hollywood.

Literature
  • The Odyssey has Odysseus do this twice trying to get to Ithaca. First time wasn't that bad and got some directions. Second time he got way off course and has to navigate several dangerous islands and hell to get back home.

Live-Action TV
  • Gilligan's Island: Besides the obvious of course, there is island visitor "Wrong Way" Feldman who at a point before the series started crash landed on the island after trying to fly around the world.
  • When Mythbusters tested if men or women can navigate with a map better, some of the test subjects were this trope. The best was a guy who went nearly doubled the shortest distance and got forced back by a security guard.

Radio
  • Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, the Navigation Officer, from The Navy Lark has sailed into entirely different oceans on more than one occasion, including heading from Portsmouth to a port on the Isle of Wight —locations within visual range of each other— and ending up in Shanghai instead.

Video Games
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Merrill in Dragon Age II has a well-known tendency to get lost in the most mind-boggling ways, such as ending up in the Viscount of Kirkwall's airing cupboard when trying to get home from the opposite part of the city. She lampshades it herself in the Mark of the Assassin DLC.
  • In Elite 2: Frontier, when performing a hyperjump, you could encounter a bug caused by faulty maths inside the game's code that took you to a point far FAR away from your original destination, often on the other side of the galaxy lightyears away.
  • In one of the Magic School Bus computer games, The Magic School Bus: Animals. One of the minigames involves a penguin who got very, very lost and ended up at the North Pole rather than the South Pole (though one does have to think where the penguin even was to have to go back to the South Pole anyway...) You take control of the penguin and guide him across the world and back to the South Pole in Frogger-style levels.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • In January 2013, Sabine Moreau had intended to drive to a train station in Brussels, Belgium that was 38 miles away from her home to pick up a friend. Led along by her (supposedly defective) TomTom GPS, she eventually ended up 900 miles away from her original destination in Zagreb, Croatia, equating to a two-day trip that involves traveling through five different countries (Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia). When asked whether or not she thought the journey's length or the change in language of the traffic signs was strange, she replied "Maybe, but I was just preoccupied.".
  • In the late 1700s, Alexander Mackenzie tried to become the first person to cross Canada (first white person at least). He took a wrong turn and ended up in the Arctic Ocean instead of the Pacific Ocean. He succeeded on a later trip though and the river he took to the Arctic Ocean was named Mackenzie River in his honor.
  • Subverted by Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who filed a flight plan to fly from New York to California but "accidentally" flew to Ireland instead. Ireland was his intended destination all along, though he never admitted it.

Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • May 17, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Can someone fix my red links please?
  • May 17, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ Fix'd.

    • The Cloudcuckoolander Merrill in Dragon Age II has a well-known tendency to get lost in the most mind-boggling ways, such as ending up in the Viscount of Kirkwall's airing cupboard when trying to get home from the opposite part of the city. She lampshades it herself in the Mark of the Assassin DLC.
  • May 17, 2013
    SharleeD
    • The "Movin' Right Along" musical segment of The Muppet Movie features Fozzie driving cross-country with Kermit, and winding up in places like Saskatchewan when they're trying to get from Florida to Hollywood.
  • May 18, 2013
    Alvin
    I think a lot of Bugs Bunny cartoons begin like this, for example the bullfighting one.
  • May 18, 2013
    Arivne
    ^, Yes, all of the ones where Bugs said "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque." They include "Herr Meets Hare" (Germany instead of Las Vegas), "My Bunny Lies Over The Sea" (Scotland instead of the La Brea Tar Pits), "Bully for Bugs" (Mexico instead of the Coachella Valley), and "Frigid Hare" (Antarctica instead of Miami Beach).

    This also appears in two cartoons featuring Bugs and Daffy Duck.
    • In "The Abominable Snow Rabbit" they end up in the Himalayas instead of Palm Springs and Daffy tells Bugs "I told you we should have turned west at East St. Louis!"
    • In "Ali Baba Bugs" they arrive in the Arabian desert instead of Pismo Beach.
  • May 23, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Is it time to mine from Epic Fail?
  • May 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
  • May 23, 2013
    arbiter099
    ^ that exact gag/phrase popped into my head at first sight of this YKTTW.
  • May 23, 2013
    Godzilladude123
    Isumi in Hayate the Combat Butler. Once she got lost from Japan and ended in France.
  • May 24, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ ^^^ Wrong Turn At Albuquerque is about taking a wrong/missed turn and getting really lost.

    This trope is about getting really lost without necessarily taking a specific wrong turn.

    In other words, this is a Super Trope of Wrong Turn At Albuquerque.

    The Bugs Bunny examples should not be included in this trope since they're already in the Sub Trope.
  • May 24, 2013
    henke37
  • May 24, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ This actually is No Sense Of Direction.
  • May 24, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^ This is not character gets lost easily.
  • May 25, 2013
    MetaFour
    There's one The Far Side comic with a husband and wife driving their car on the moon. The wife says, "Oh for crying out loud, now look where Earth is! Pull over, I'm driving!"
  • May 25, 2013
    Waterlily
    Another real life example:

    In the late 1700s, Alexander Mackenzie tried to become the first person to cross Canada (first white person at least). He took a wrong turn and ended up in the Arctic Ocean instead of the Pacific Ocean. He succeeded on a later trip though and the river he took to the Arctic Ocean was named Mackenzie River in his honor.
  • November 14, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • One skit in Robot Chicken shows a medieval knight, decked in full plate armor, standing in the middle of a frozen wasteland. He's checking the map to see where he is, and a penguin walks by.
  • November 14, 2013
    CaveCat
    Adding to the Far Side example:

    Another comic had a little boy holding a toy truck while lost in the woods, with the caption below reading "Suddenly, little Stevie looked up. His mom was nowhere in sight, and he was not in the toy store anymore".
  • November 15, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
    So the basic nature of the trope is "They are very very lost/way off course." And it doesn't have to be performed by someone with No Sense Of Direction, but it helps.
  • November 16, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    Gilligans Island: Besides the obvious of course, there is island visitor "Wrong Way" Feldman who at a point before the series started crash landed on the island after trying to fly around the world.

    • Real Life: Subverted by Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who filed a flight plan to fly from New York to California but "accidentally" flew to Ireland instead. Ireland was his intended destination all along, though he never admitted it.
  • November 16, 2013
    AgProv
    [[Religion and Mythology]]:
    • It took forty years for the Israelites to make it to Israel. From neighbouring Egypt. Even allowing for their having to detour to Mount Sinai for unavoidable and pressing reasons, you still only need to get to the Mediterranean coast and follow it round, keeping it on your left. Six months tops, and that being at a slow amble?

    But no - forty years. Biblical apologists claim this is because they kept losing faith and arguing with God, who deliberately led them astray in order to inculcate a mind-set where they would be appropriately chastised and grateful when finally allowed to see the Promised Land. (But how does this differ from Odysseus' gods deliberately leading him in the wrong direction in a fit of pique?) And - were they just walking in circles in the Sinai all this time?
  • November 17, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    the name is Epic Fail. "epically" reads awkwardly. try saying it out loud.

    as for the description. Example As A Thesis does not help it's case. coupled by the fact that the examples itself can fit snugly under No Sense Of Direction and one fits under Wrong Turn at Albuquerque.
  • November 17, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Videogames

    • In Elite 2: Frontier, when performing a hyperjump, you could encounter a bug caused by faulty maths inside the game's code that took you to a point far FAR away from your original destination, often on the other side of the galaxy lightyears away.
  • November 17, 2013
    DracMonster
    • Ryoga of Ranma One Half takes No Sense Of Direction Up To Eleven, frequently ending up in the wrong end of Japan. One episode shows him trying to find a place, doing things like asking people and immediately taking off in the opposite of the direction they're pointing, etc.
  • November 17, 2013
    Chabal2
    Lucky Star: the trip to the beach starts with the gang ending up in the mountains before heading the right way.
  • November 17, 2013
    spacemarine50
  • November 20, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    spacemarine50 >> That's not what i mean. i meant that they belong there and not here.

    for one, the Dragon Age example. "well known tendency" means that the character is established to have No Sense Of Direction. so therefore she goes there.

    for another, Alexander Mackenzie explicitly mentions a wrong turn. and does not belong here.
    there are probably others.

    and again, fix the description. it's an Example As A Thesis. read that page if you're not sure why that's a problem.
  • November 22, 2013
    Sailor11sedna
    There's one called [url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DirectionlessDriver]Directionless Driver.[/url] (Um... what code do we use here?)
  • November 22, 2013
    Metroid26
    In Santa Claus Is Comin To Town Chris Kringle meets a penguin looking for the South Pole. He comments on him being about as lost as he can get.
  • November 22, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Sailor11sedna — Text Formatting Rules
  • December 28, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, the Navigation Officer, from The Navy Lark has sailed into entirely different oceans on more than one occasion, including heading from Portsmouth to a port on the Isle of Wight —locations within visual range of each other— and ending up in Shanghai instead.
  • February 2, 2014
    Chabal2
    Kaamelott has a subversion: Perceval sits on a stool in Britain that (unbeknownst to him) teleports him to the other stool in Southern France. However, he really is the kind of person who would get that lost, and so no one is surprised when he tells them (neither is he).
  • February 3, 2014
    JonnyB
    "way far away"? Laconic needs a rewrite.
  • February 3, 2014
    Green5
    Fixed Laconic.
  • February 4, 2014
    TheHandle
    Anime And Manga
  • February 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ He fits better into No Sense Of Direction; this trope is about a plot/event rather than a characterization.
  • February 4, 2014
    HellKillUsAll
    An episode of The Simpsons has Lisa getting lost in an unfamiliar area after taking the wrong bus.
  • March 14, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In Meet The Robinsons, Grandpa Bud inadvertantly takes Lewis to the living room, the toilet, and the topiary while looking for the garage. Lampshaded the first time: "Well, I'm completely lost."
  • March 16, 2014
    nitrokitty
    So, this is Wrong Turn At Albuquerque But More Specific? How is that tropable?
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