Reputation Suspends Disbelief YKTTW Discussion

Reputation Suspends Disbelief
Suspension of Disbelief because of reputation alone.
Description Needs Help
(permanent link) added: 2012-04-12 07:55:52 sponsor: KingZeal (last reply: 2013-12-24 22:37:09)

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(Batman smirks starts drawing breath)
Superman: No, never mind, I already know what you're gonna s--
Batman: Because I'm Batman!
Superman: *sigh* I walked right into that one.
Batman: Yes, you did.

This trope describes a narrative event in which a character does something thought improbable, impossible, or suicidal by others and no explanation is offered as to how it happened.

If the character is sufficiently Badass, who they are is all that we need. How did he survive being shot by a minigun? How did she defeat those 1000 Mooks in that Offscreen Moment of Awesome? How did they get through that radiation-bathed deathtrap when there was clearly no way out?

Didn't we already say they were Badass? Why is this even a question?

This is a subtrope of the Rule of Cool and Law of Conservation of Detail. When well-executed, this trope becomes a self-perpetuating plot engine: a character is badass because they do the impossible, thus they do the impossible because they're badass. A failed attempt, however, will shatter the audience's Suspension of Disbelief.

Sister Trope to Memetic Badass, although the latter is more closely tied to fan reaction. Related to Batman Can Breathe in Space, because...well...He's Batman.

Compare Popularity Power.

This is NOT a character trope. Do not list characters this trope applies to. Examples must be invoked or lampshaded.


  • Batman wouldn't be a Memetic Badass without this trope. Regardless of how outlandish his accomplishment is, "I'm Batman" is all the reason you need for it. This is the reason he can get away with being both a billionaire playboy and successfully fund his crime-fighting career. Pointing it out is pointless, because being Batman is all the explanation you're getting.
  • Superman as well, especially when it comes to always doing the right thing. Where did he get the ability to pull it off? He's Superman. How did he even know what "the right thing" to do was? Didn't we just tell you he's Superman? People count on Superman to save the day, and that's what he'll do.

  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow justifies a lot of his more insane accomplishments this way, especially his escape from the island of Tortuga.
    "You forgot one very important thing, mate. I'm Captain Jack Sparrow!"

  • Chuck Norris facts run on this logic. Many of the jokes are tautological; i.e., Chuck Norris is Badass because Chuck Norris.


Live-Action TV
  • The Master in Doctor Who, "The Mark of the Rani" has this to say about his Unexplained Recovery:
    "I'm indestructible. The whole universe knows that."

Web Comics
  • Sparks in Girl Genius are accustomed to surviving impossible situations because of their mad science, but Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer, can get out of any scrape on badassery alone. He's been dropped out of airships, into deathtraps, and subjected to unspeakable experiments, and he's always fine a few panels later. And if he attaches himself to someone, there's no getting away. Most characters have stopped asking how he does it.
  • Shortpacked! provides the Trope Namer for Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    "I'm Batman! And I can breathe in space!"

Web Original
  • Constantly parodied in How It Should Have Ended.
    • Shown in the page quote, an example of their segments with Batman.
    • Also, occasionally with Superman.
    Batman: "So you actually...saved all of them!"
    Superman: "Well, yeah. I mean that's what I do. Save the day."

Web Video
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