Created By: Pinata on February 16, 2009
Nuked

Accidental Aiming Skills

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Do We Have This One??

We've all seen Improbable Aiming Skills a million times. But occasionally, a hero will make a seemingly impossible shot, be congratulated on his awesomeness, and admit that he was aiming for something else entirely.

Often used to subvert a Crowning Moment of Awesome by instead turning it into a Crowning Moment of Funny.

Examples:

  • Probably the Ur-Example is when Johnny Carson's version of The Tonight Show still featured some of the more circus-style variety acts. An old black-and-white clip that was featured in many a "best of Johnny Carson" collection features a guy throwing axes at a cardboard cutout of a man. One of those axes nails the target right in the crotch.
  • In the pilot episode of Sons of Thunder, it's made clear that the main character is ridiculously skilled in the martial arts... except he can't aim a throwing star worth a damn. So when he's facing off against the Villain of the Week and nails him in the gun hand with a throwing star, both the audience and his partner are suitably impressed (and surprised). However, when he's congratulated on his improved accuracy he states, "I was aiming for his throat".
  • In an episode of Leverage, Hardison steals an unconscious Mook's gun and fires a shot into the hood of the bad guys' car, causing smoke to start rolling out. The following exchange occurs:
    Eliot: Good thinking, shooting out the engine block.
    Hardison: I was aiming for his leg.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, Dale throws a knife at his father, hitting a mannequin instead. He yells something along the lines of, "Watch yourself, old man, or next time I'll aim for the mannequin and hit YOU!"
  • In the second episode of Firefly (The train job), a half-doped Jayne Cobb gets complimented for shooting a villain in the leg, and says "I was aiming for the head."
  • On one episode of Criminal Minds, while in a hostage crisis, Spencer Reid shoots the crook and mass murderer dead center of the forehead. Not only was he said to have failed his firearms qualification at the start of the episode, he claimed he'd been aiming for the guy's knee. At a distance of about six feet, that's a spectacularly bad shot.
  • A character like that appeared in one episode of Lucky Luke. He ended accidentally defeating a famous villain. His aiming skills were so hilariously poor, at one point Luke asked him to aim at him to make sure he doesn't hit him by accident.
  • True Lies; automatic weapon fired once, droped down a stairs, fireing randomly with every bounce. And every shot downs a bad guy.
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights. "Actually, I was aiming for the hangman"
  • Also seen in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad where-in the mostly useless comic relief stuns everybody by felling a threatening Bad Guy with a cross bow. Afterward admitting he did it by aiming 'at everything else'!
  • In the film "Geronimo", the titular character manages to shatter a jar of whiskey just as an opponent is taking a drink from several yards away. When he's commended for a good shot, Geronimo unabashedly admits, "Not so good. I was aiming for his head."
  • (Spaghetti?) Western movie I saw a bit of on TV 25 years ago. One guy to impress another guy with his aiming skills, shoots at a windmill. 5 shots, we hear 4 "pings" as they hit the blades. Guy 2 is impressed that he got 4 out of 5; Guy 1 says he was aiming between the blades and only got 1. Sorry, don't know the name of the movie.
  • Obligatory Discworld example: In Pyramids the main character tries to fail his assassins guild test by firing away from the victim. The arrow bounces off a nail (and a few other things) before embedding itself in the victim (which was a dummy anyway so all the Wangst was for nothing).
  • The main character of Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse threatens a cannibalistic farmer by shooting his ear off. He aimed for the man's knee, but the ear's better motivation.
  • Mihoshi of Tenchi Muyo! does this a lot, or at least enough fans associate her with this.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • February 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Robin Hood: Men in Tights. "Actually, I was aiming for the hangman"
  • February 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In an episode of King Of The Hill, Dale throws a knife at his father, hitting a mannequin instead. He yells something along the lines of, "Watch yourself, old man, or next time I'll aim for the mannequin and hit YOU!"
  • February 13, 2009
    Technomancer
    In the second episode of firefly (The train job), a half-doped Jane Cobb gets complimented for shooting a villain in the leg, and says "I was aiming for the head."
  • February 13, 2009
    CrypticMirror
    Obligatory Discworld example: In Pyramids the main character tries to fail his assassins guild test by firing away from the victim. The arrow bounces off a nail (and a few other things) before embedding itself in the victim (which was a dummy anyway so all the Wangst was for nothing).
  • February 13, 2009
    random surfer
    (Spaghetti?) Western movie I saw a bit of on TV 25 years ago. One guy to impress another guy with his aming skills, shoots at a windmill. 5 shots, we hear 4 "pings" as they hit the blades. Guy 2 is impressed that he got 4 out of 5; Guy 1 says he was aiming between the blades and only got 1. Sorry, don't know the name of the movie.
  • February 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    A character like that appeared in one episode of Lucky Luke. He ended accidentally defeating a famous villain. His aiming skills were so hilariously poor, at one point Luke asked him to aim at him to make sure he doesn't hit him by accident.
  • February 13, 2009
    Regiment
    The main character of Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse threatens a cannibalistic farmer by shooting his ear off. He aimed for the man's knee, but the ear's better motivation.
  • February 14, 2009
    Arivne
    Be sure to get the Criminal Minds, Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Geronimo examples from Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • February 14, 2009
    LarryD
    True Lies; automatic weapon fired once, droped down a stairs, fireing randomly with every bounce. And every shot downs a bad guy.
  • February 14, 2009
    Karalora
    Subverted in Treasure Planet:

    Captain Amelia: Were you aiming for that?
    Dr. Doppler: You know, actually, I was!
  • February 14, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Mihoshi of Tenchi Muyo does this a lot, or at least enough fans associate her with this.
  • February 16, 2009
    greymalkin
    Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction. "It doesn't count unless you call it!"
  • February 16, 2009
    CrypticMirror
  • February 16, 2009
    foxley
    Example and a possible page quote from The Magnificent Seven movie:

    [Britt has just shot a fleeing bandit off his horse]
    Chico: Ah, that was the greatest shot I've ever seen.
    Britt: The worst! I was aiming at the horse.

  • February 17, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In The Mummy Returns, the heroes' son was kidnapped by the bad guys and was annoying them by talking incessantly. To shut him up, one of the bad guys pulled out a knife and quickly stabbed it into the table between the kid's fingers. This didn't have quite the intended effect as the kid started gushing about how awesome that was, "What do you mean 'awesome'? I missed."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=fj3cnkmvh3w40hbfrcfyp59o&trope=AccidentalAimingSkills