- Pointy-Haired Boss: Take care of this, Alice.Alice: "Take care of this"? This would double my workload! I've already got so many projects that I can't do anything useful with them...But if success is impossible then...I'm...free...FREE! FREE! HA HA HA HA HA! *sings* THE RESULT WILL BE THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT I DO! YES YES YES! *squeezes boss' hair* HONK! HONK!
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- Irresponsible Captain Tylor has the titular captain believes in this - basically, if it doesn't matter what you do, the you might as well do anything you want and things will sort itself out.
- In Ender's Game the fantasy game has a stage where a giant offers you a pair of drinks and states that one is poisoned, though actually they're both poisoned and kill your character in a variety of bizarre and gruesome ways. After dying several dozen times Ender figures out he can Take a Third Option
- In one episode of Married... with Children, Al is sued for assaulting a stranger (who was actually a mugger who broke into his house). When his poor defense on trial leads him to lose the case and owe a whopping charge he can't pay, he decides he may as well go down for twice as much and attacks the mugger again. Deconstructed when Al uses the mugger's strategy against the mugger and successfully sues him for hurting his fist with his face, ironically making a rare case Al's outcome wasn't futile.
- Pet Shop Boys' "Miserablism" is a tongue-in-cheek encouragement to find contentment by just accepting that happiness is an impossible dream.
It seems to me there's something serious beginningA new approach found to the meaning of lifeDeny that happiness is open as an optionAnd disappointment disappears over night
- Five Iron Frenzy's "Plan B" is similarly tongue-in-cheek, a celebration of how easy life becomes once you give up.
Up to now in my life I have failedall I've tried, it's too hard.I think I've found my calling now,lying down in the yard.
- In Dilbert, Alice is given so much work she realizes it's impossible to complete it all—and she enjoys a feeling of freedom because the outcome will be the same no matter what she does.
- In Freefall, Bill Raibert (who is being put to bed by a cop and a concerned friend) asks if they'll wake him before things get out of control. When being told things are already out of control, he asks to be awakened in five hours instead.
- This attitude heralded the end of the Qin Dynasty: several Chinese soldiers got stuck in a swamp and knew they'd be late to their destination—a crime worthy of execution (as were many, many crimes). they knew whatever choice they made would be fatal: Try to report anyways and be executed, or organize a revolt and die in battle. They decided their best chance of survival was to revolt. The revolt spread, and the Qin Dynasty collapsed after less than 30 years.
- This actually caused trouble for historians, which were used to praising the early Emperors of a dynasty and vilifying the later ones. Both Emperors of this one, however, were well in living memory.
- The saying "May as well hang for a sheep as for a lamb." If your crime is going to be severely punished anyways, might as well make it a big one.
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