when a 'briliant' new use of existing Phlebotinum is so well foreshadowed/logical that it's hard to believe no one ever figured it out before.
One of the great hallmarks of a Guile Hero in a science fiction story is the moment when, facing incredible danger, the hero comes up with a new and unique way of using his existing tools in an unexpected, yet brilliant, manner to save the day. To make this truly satisfying to the audience an author needs to ensure that the new use of the technology makes sense. Using Techno Babble to reverse the polarity of the reflector dish to save the day without any indication that the reflector dish would work may feel forced to the audience. Thus a good author will make heavy use of Minovsky Physics to ensure that the new use of the existing tool feels properly foreshadowed and believable. Unfortunately, this can sometimes bring up a different question. If this new use of the technology was obvious enough for the audience to feel it's been properly foreshadowed then why hasn't it only been discovered now? Surely with so many other brilliant people using an established technology for an extensive amount of time someone else should have already realized its other applications before now. One good way to justify this trope is to suggest that the current users of the technology are so dogmatic that they would consider new uses, or that the protagonist has some sort of new/unique view that he is able to see what others can't. This trope only applies if the technology being used is an established or commonly used technology. If a device or technology is brand new or still in development then it's not unexpected that the full implications of the technology won't be fully realized by the time of the story. While this trope usually occurs in a science fiction setting it can be used in other situations. Fantasy worlds that rely heavily on Magic A Is Magic A and Sufficiently Analyzed Magic can also manage the magical equivalent of this trope. Compare Reverse Polarity and Technobable where the protagonist uses an existing technology in a new manner, but which is not appropriately forshadowed and/or is not a logical extension of the natural technology. If no one ever reuses the technique/method developed by the protagonist again despite it's proven effectiveness this can be a form of Forgotten Phlebotinum or even Reed Richard Is Useless.
Examples[[foldercontrol]] [[folder: Literature]]