Created By: DragonQuestZ on November 29, 2009
Troped

The Russians Were Working On A Beard

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
When two sides are involved in a Lensman Arms Race, any advantage will seem important. If it gives you an edge, you have to try it, no matter how ridiculous, implausible, or outright stupid it seems (or will in hindsight). This goes double if the enemy is trying it.

If they are seeing if sea sponges can be used to detect mines, you have to try using them for that as well. If someone at least slightly credible theorizes that playing Opera aria's backwards could control minds, both sides will try it.

Rarely will this succeed, and if lucky, this could amount to wasted time, but if unlucky, it may even have Gone Horribly Wrong.

Rolling Examples:

  • Name comes from an episode of The Tick, as for why the US created a sentient mustache.
  • The CIA in Real Life trying psychic experiments because the other side was.

Indexes:

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • November 28, 2009
    deuxhero
    "beard" isn't exactly descripive. I like the "The Russians Were working on ___" format if a better word could be found.
  • November 28, 2009
    PaulRobinson
    Whole premise of the movie / book "Fantastic Voyage". Both the Russians and the Americans have developed miniaturization of people and equipment, but both can only do it for an hour. So a Russian scientist named Benes has supposedly broken this time limit. The U.S. gets him to defect before he gives his country the solution (so the U.S. can have it), but the Russians send a hit team to take out Benes. Only partially successful, he has a head injury, so a miniaturized team has to be sent into Benes' brain in order to save the man who knows how to beat the time limit. But since we don't know it yet, they have to get in and out within the time limit.
  • November 28, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Red Alert is the king of this, starting with giant squids...
  • November 28, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ""beard" isn't exactly descripive. I like the "The Russians Were working on ___" format if a better word could be found."

    Actually the point is stupid projects. Does a beard seem like a smart project to you?
  • November 29, 2009
    Arilou
    Why not just "The russians were working on it"?
  • November 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Because Lensman Arms Race already is about that. This is a Sub Trope, where the dumb ideas are done. Did you not read the OP?
  • November 29, 2009
    Silent Hunter
    Can I suggest the surveillance cat?
  • November 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ From what?
  • November 29, 2009
    henke37
  • November 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Some internet joke thing is not this trope.
  • November 29, 2009
    Redneck Rocker
    The Butter-Battle Book, by Dr Seuss.
  • November 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Which almost becomes Hilarious In Hindsight considering that was written before most of the dumb experiments in real life were known.
  • November 29, 2009
    Silent Hunter
  • November 29, 2009
    Desertopa
    Needs A Better Name. My first assumption was that it had something to do with Growing The Beard.
  • November 29, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    So it made you think the Russians or USSR was finding a way to make their shows better?
  • November 29, 2009
    Ganondorfdude11
    This is the reason why the US started doing research into psychic operatives in The Men Who Stare At Goats. Of course, the Russians started doing it because they thought the Americans were doing it, but that was a story made up by the French. So essentially the entire reason the film happens is because some French guys made up a story about psychics on a submarine.
  • November 29, 2009
    ShayGuy
    In Doctor Strangelove, the whole reason the doomsday machine was built was because the Russians read in the NYT that the Americans were working on it and they didn't want a "doomsday gap." In the final scene, Turgidson says that America cannot accept a "mine-shaft gap." Maybe Stupidity Gap for the title?
  • November 29, 2009
    STUART
  • November 30, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Why is the name such a problem? I would think "The Russians Were Working On" would indicate they were working on something, and "A Beard" give that "WTF?" vibe that the trope is supposed to be about.
  • November 30, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Fuck it. There doesn't seem to be enough examples, so I'll just merge this into Lensman Arms Race.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=mxhgb8nrri1hh5hpzgwfqfu2