Created By: norsicnumber2nd on September 2, 2012 Last Edited By: norsicnumber2nd on October 20, 2012
Nuked

Taking The Cool Way

Because easy isn't interesting. Or good on screen.

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There was a much simpler way to 'floor gymnastics routine handover' him that towel; running straight down the road right next to you may just have been quicker than parkour-ing; there's a cable-car over there - but call next time you're gunna climb a mountain, and I'm pretty sure you could have drunk from that sports bottle without balancing it on your mouth and doing yoga but, hey, why don't'cha do that anyway. Show off.

When that character finds the single most awkward way of completing a task. Sometimes it's that one kid you know just will because they're a terrible showboater, or the hero as it's very cinematic. Other times it's there to liven up a rather mundane scene (usually, in that case, done for laughs), or because that's just how they do it. Occasionally it's done whilst a lecture of some really boring Techno Babble on the engineer's solution is being given. In those cases, a commando roll and some awesome ninjitsu is obviously the only way to shut that guy up and get to the church on time, usually resulting in the jaw-dropped "...Or you could do it like that."

For example, in The Avengers all the Avengers, at some point, manage to do this. Black Widow, in Russia, does a back flip while tied to a chair - she could have broken free of the chair first then shot all the mobsters instead, this becoming a Visual Pun as she took them out using eight limbs. Captain America, in Manhattan, does parkour over all the taxis, not run straight. Hulk, in Stark Tower, plays with Loki like a boisterous child would a rag doll instead of chucking him off the balcony. Hawkeye shoots an arrow backwards and kills a Chitauri then holds his bow like a crossbow only to jump backwards off a building then release a grapple hook. In the same film, this is also averted when Black Widow and Hawkeye discard their fancy fight techniques for hair-pulling, clawing, and biting.

In Batman Forever, Dick Grayson does martial arts with his laundry, to show off his skills (although he gets in a fight later).

In Gurren Lagann, a lot of what the characters do, from In the Name of the Moon speeches to wrestling moves in giant robots, is unnecessary (unless it boosts Spiral Energy) but cool.

In Code Geass, Lelouch goes out of his way to over-dramatize everything he does. While some of it could be justified as propaganda and morale work, there's a lot of dramatic flair he does in public or when dealing with people who have no chance to remember it, usually because they're about to die.

In Supernatural, the Impala can definitely reach speeds used on major highways, but Sam and Dean are never seen going from point A to point B using them. They are always shown driving somewhere - even when they are in a hurry - using scenic back roads. There may be some other reason for this such as they are trying to remain under the radar, but more likely it's just for reasons of Rule of Cool and Scenery Porn, because even though driving down a car filled highway would likely be much faster, it just isn't as cool or scenic.

In Huckleberry Finn Tom and Huck could have gotten Jim out of jail any time, but Tom insisted they use a ridiculously contrived scheme to do so, pretty much because it'd be cooler.

In Hot Fuzz, Sergeant Nicholas Angel (name taken from one of the crew. Honestly.) has an opening montage showing just how great a PC he is. Then, promoted to Sergeant, he goes out into the country (which is thoroughly boring... or so it seems) and eventually saves the day by being even more awesome (becoming just plain awesome). This involves cool shades, a horse, and a load of music. Plus, dodging artichoke and curry in Skinner's supermarket.

Most of The Hangover and its sequel is this: instead of going on their wild stag-do adventures, they could have used logic to work out that their missing friends were still in the hotel.

In an episode of Bonkers the titular character does this.

In Twilight, Emmett bounds, flips and climbs up a tree then spin jumps off the top in order to catch a baseball, even though it is shown later that he can jump much higher than that off the ground.

In Shrek, Prince Charming described his laborious journey to Princess Fiona's tower - battling the elements for weeks on end. The montage looked cool. Shrek, however, showed that all you needed to do was walk through a field of sunflowers and over a hill in less than half a day.

In Ramona and Beezus, Howie uses a grape-flinger he made to, well, fling grapes into his mouth. This gets its own scene, though it is shared with Ramona's 'proper way to crack a hard-boiled egg' - hitting your head with it. In a previous scene her dad made it work (a whole scene devoted to that sequence), but she ends up with raw egg in her hair... on picture day, too.

In Grindhouse Stuntman Mike seduced women then would take them in his stunt car and do a load of stunts before destroying it in some way, killing the girl but surviving (as the drivers' seat is 'death proof'), but later made women give him lap dances before shooting them.

In Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro could easily kill the villains by snapping their necks, or stopping their hearts, or collapsing their neural system. He could crush their trachea or snap their limbs. He could make them die of simple blunt trauma. Instead, almost every time, he makes them explode in very painful and spectacular ways. He could also kill them instantly, but instead prefers to give them a delayed effect just to invoke You Are Already Dead.

The levels of this in Robot (Endhiran) are so high they've been taken up to eleven-hundred. I mean, there's a man made out of android men that unnecessarily looks a little like Iron Man and casually leans against a building before running down a highway, exploding every vehicle in it's way then vertically jumping while doing a 720 spin way over a few hundred feet in the air and karate-chopping down a helicopter, only to go into a hero crouch then pounce up and leap right over the wreck. This, of course, calls for a slow-motion action shot from below and the continuation of it's jog being shot upside-down.

In One Piece, Vice-Admiral Garp bashes through a wall to get to Luffy. When pointed out that There Was A Door, Garp merely replies that going through the wall was cooler. His men make him help repair the hole he made

Unlike Awesome, but Impractical (looks cool, is actually useless), this is (simply) a more elaborate and complicated means to the same end that doing something much less cool would have brought you too for (usually) the sheer awesome-ness or hilarity.

Related to Laborious Laziness and will often follow the Rule of Cool.

Sister Trope to Mundane Made Awesome.

Depending on how it is played, can result in There Is No Kill Like Overkill and will often be the behavior of a Combat Aestheticist - however, it can be seen when not in a battle scene.
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • September 2, 2012
    HonestGent
    Ah, this is a trope from the Great Full-Stop Famine of twenty-twelve.

    On a more serious note, I'm not sure if we already have this, but it sounds like Rule Of Cool, Awesome But Impractical, and Take A Third Option all rolled into one.

    And if you're going to use Example As A Thesis, you need to follow up your scenario with a description.
  • September 2, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
  • September 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    It's a bit like all those, but just not. I know what you mean though. And nice full-stop joke. I only just read that over and realised I'd done an English teacher 'ways to improve your writing' example - excruciatingly long sentence followed by a drastically short one.
  • September 2, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    I'm afraid you'll have to elaborate on how it's different enough to be a different storytelling convention. Examples (from fiction, not hypothetical) might help.
  • September 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Awesome But Impractical is something that looks really cool but is useless, unlike taking the harder means to a cooler end.
  • September 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Ok, example off the top of my head: in Avengers Assemble all the Avengers, at some point, manage to do this. Black Widow in Russia does a back flip while tied to a chair- she could have broke out of the chair first, then shot them all. Captain America, in Manhattan, does parkour over all the taxis, not run straight. Hulk, in Stark Tower, plays with Loki like a boisterous child would a rag doll instead of chucking him off the balcony. Hawkeye shoots an arrow backwards and kills a Chitauri then holds his bow like a crossbow only to jump backwards off a building then release a grapple hook. In the same film, this is also averted when Black Widow and Hawkeye discard their fancy fight techniques for hair-pulling, clawing, and biting.
  • September 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    How about calling it Taking The Cool Route?
  • September 3, 2012
    TBeholder
  • September 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Err, no. That's in games when you're given a choice, but they all ultimately lead to the ending already there. This is when a fictional character in a scripted work (and so with no audience input) makes a conscious choice to look awesome not boring.
  • September 3, 2012
    polarbear2217
  • September 3, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • September 4, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    That's just, like, your opinion, man.
  • September 4, 2012
    KarjamP
    No New Stock Phrases, so yes, the title needs to change.
  • September 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    • In Batman Forever, Dick Grayson does martial arts with his laundry, to show off his skills (although he gets in a fight later).

    This would either be a Sub Trope or Sister Trope of Mundane Made Awesome, but certainly a Sub Trope of Rule Of Cool (as in people doing the cool looking way instead of the practical or convenient way).
  • September 28, 2012
    TheHandle
    Interesting trope. Also, The Avengers was quite successful about being awesomecool.

    In Gurren Lagann, a lot of what the characters do, from In The Name Of The Moon speeches to wrestling moves in giant robots, is unnecessary (unless it boosts Spiral Energy) but cool.

    In Code Geass, Lelouch goes out of his way to over-dramatize everything he does. While some of it could be justified as propaganda and morale work, there's a lot of dramatic flair he does in public or when dealing with people who have no chance to remember it, usually because they're about to die.

    Virtually any example of The Wrestler In All Of Us is part of this, so one could say it's a subtrope. There's just no excuse to use wrestling moves when normal moves are just as if not more effective. The Extremity Extremist suffers the same problem, as do those that have too exotic a Weapon Of Choice.

    A Large Ham is normally this in terms of characterization: there's no need for them to act out so much in order to achieve their goals, usually, but theyre very fun to watch. Awesome Ego is similar, in that someone with such an oversized ego is better off hiding it for the sake of practicality, but they show it off because it amuses the audience. Theres No Kill Like Overkill might fall into this depending on execution.
  • September 28, 2012
    NightNymph
    I think this fits...

    Live Action Television:
    • In Supernatural, the Impala can definitely reach speeds used on major highways, but Sam and Dean are never seen going from point A to point B using them. They are always shown driving somewhere - even when they are in a hurry - using scenic back roads. There may be some other reason for this such as they are trying to remain under the radar, but more likely it's just for reasons of Rule Of Cool and Scenery Porn, because even though driving down a car filled highway would likely be much faster, it just isn't as cool or scenic.
  • September 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Gushing doesn't belong on trope pages, any more than complaining does.
  • September 29, 2012
    Chabal2
    Huckleberry Finn: Tom and Huck could have gotten Jim out of jail any time, but Tom insisted they use a ridiculously contrived scheme to do so, pretty much because it'd be cooler.
  • September 29, 2012
    Omeganian
    There was an episode of Bonkers where Bonkers does that. Although his excuse is "It wouldn't have been funny otherwise".
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    I kinda sorta wanna put this as the picture... [1]
  • September 29, 2012
    jatay3
    Will often be the behavior of a Combat Aestheticist.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    And maybe this quote:
    Captain America: Alright, listen up. Until we can close that portal up there our priority is containment. Barton, I want you on that roof, eyes on everything, call out patterns and strains. Stark, you've got the perimeter, anything gets more than three blocks out you turn it back or turn it to ash.
    Hawkeye: Can you give me a lift?
    Iron Man: Right. Better clench up, Legolas. (the pair blast off with a pan up the Manhattan street buildings)
    Captain America: Thor, you gotta try and block 'em coming out of that portal, slow 'em down. You got the lightning, light the bastards up. (Thor swings Mjolnir and flies off.)
    Captain America: (to Black Widow) You and me, we stay here on the ground, keep the fighting to here... and Hulk! (beat) Smash.
  • September 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    I'm not seeing how this is anything but Rule Of Cool But More Specific.
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^You're in the minority.
  • September 30, 2012
    acrobox
    How is this distinct from Rule Of Cool?
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    There doesn't have to be any suspension of disbelief. Someone could very easily balance a sports bottle on their mouth and go into the crab to drink from it, they just didn't need to. This is where someone will find a cool way to do something they could have done a simple way. It will often follow the Rule Of Cool, but that's just it: will often follow it. Not always and isn't even it, but may follow it.
  • September 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    This sounds a lot like (the trope formerly known as) What Do You Mean Its Not Awesome.
  • September 30, 2012
    TheHandle
    ^ First, stop using bold. Second, Mundane Made Awesome is about mundane actions given "awesome" treatment by camera tricks, dramatic music, and so on. The difference between that and this is the difference between Light Yagami writing names on a notebook to Ominous Latin Chanting and zooming cameras, and Light Yagami writing by burning the pages with a laser pen, while break-dancing. It's the difference between Yugi drawing his cards in a very cool gesture, and Yugi drawing his cards with his feet.
  • September 30, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • September 30, 2012
    TheHandle
    I don't see what's mundane about stopping invasions of alien monsters by beating the shit out of them, except instead of using Good Old Fistcuffs you use The Wrestler In All Of Us or Waif Fu. There's also nothing mundane about shooting missiles from a giant robot the size of the Moon, but there's also no good reason for it to make manly poses while doing it. There's also nothing mundane about a vampire jumping inhumanly high from the top of a tree, but there's no good reason why he couldn't simply have jumped from the ground.

    In Fist Of The North Star, Kenshiro could easily kill the villains by snapping their necks, or stopping their hearts, or collapsing their neural system. He could crush their trachea or snap their limbs. He could make them die of simple blunt trauma. Instead, almost every time, he makes them explode in very painful and spectacular ways. He could also kill them instantly, but instead prefers to give them a delayed effect just to invoke You Are Already Dead.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^this guy knows what I mean. Thank you. And thank you for the great example :)
  • October 4, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Here's a good picture: [1]
  • October 13, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    bump
  • October 17, 2012
    sgamer82
    • In One Piece, Vice-Admiral Garp bashes through a wall to get to Luffy. When pointed out that There Was A Door, Garp merely replies that going through the wall was cooler. His men make him help repair the hole he made.
  • October 17, 2012
    m8e
    Fix the formatting. Put all the examples in the end, and please no examples in the description. If you really need one to describe the trope make one up using alice and bob.
  • October 17, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Someone will have to state how this is different from Rule Of Cool. It isn't immediately related to Mundane Made Awesome and Awesome But Impractical, though - the latter requires explicit impracticality (this is just no the best choice) and the former requires mundane.

    And regardless, the example section and the description need to be separated and rewritten to standards.
  • October 17, 2012
    lu127
    <Moderator speaking>

    This is an amalgamation of Rule Of Cool and other things. It is something we do not need, and it is currently very badly written. I suggest the OP listen to the comments next time, and whoever gave this hats needs to reconsider their priorities.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=mtttnn66mvraa69w9dg5lq4q&trope=DiscardedYKTTW