Created By: philpilbil on June 28, 2012 Last Edited By: Lawman592 on June 29, 2012

Too easy to have never happened before

You know when a character does something so affectively, and easily, that nobody's done before?

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Quite often in fiction, characters come up with solutions to problems or do things, mundane or otherwise, that appear so easy and so effective that it seems pretty mathematically unlikely that no one has ever done it before now.

In some circumstances, this can be similar to cutting the knot or taking a third option as both of these tropes involve a character using an unconventional solution to solve a complicated problem. However, these solutions are not necessarily easy.


  • Dragon Ball Z: so apparently before Goku no saiyan had ever felt a strong need to win a fight and turned in to a supper saiyan

live action TV
  • Doctor Who: itís pretty much a mathematical certainty that if destroying all reality where possible it would have been done long before the daleks tried

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 28, 2012
    Should be "Too Easy to Have Never Happened Before"

    Laconic description should not begin with "you know"

    Needs longer article

    The Doctor Who example is a YMMV as the reality bomb required the displacement of planets across time and space, and only two species in Who-verse could displace anything across space (Daleks and Time Lords)
  • June 28, 2012
    The Doctor Who example is actually valid: the show adopts a many-worlds theorem in which there seem to be unlimited parallel universes, some of which don't have the Doctor to protect them. Under these circumstances, the law of averages dictates that if there were any way to destroy the whole thing in one go, someone would have done it a long time ago.

    The Dragonball Z example is less applicable. It's said in the manga that a Saiyan must have a pure heart to ascend, which is part of why it's so rare. And there is in fact a Saiyan, Brolly, who managed the transformation before Goku.

    With all that said, I think there is a valid trope here. I often see cases in fantasy or sci-fi where a character cleverly uses the setting's idiosyncratic rules to do something new and everyone is flabbergasted, but I just wonder how no one thought of doing that before.

    This is Truth In Television, also. Even now new inventions crop up periodically that make one slap their forehead and wonder how they didn't think of that.
  • June 28, 2012
    @Alexander Alae Amon you're not suppose to make alterations to main post without my permission which I would not have given because your example did not qualify

    @Generality then how the hell did vegeta do it?
  • June 28, 2012
    I have seen examples of this potential trope while reading. It's just that I can't think of them off the top of my head. Also, how do you edit the la description part? It's so short.
  • June 28, 2012
    Vegita claimed he could do it because he's "pure evil", although I don't think that makes any sense (he obviously wasn't really pure evil). You still have to wonder why, whatever Vegita's reason was, nobody else was ever eligible under that same reason.
  • June 28, 2012
    Many technological innovations look like this trope in hindsight. Some are, while many of them actually had technical reasons why they would have been difficult if not impossible to discover any earlier than they had.

    For example, breach loading of cannons was a MASSIVE innovation in functionality that may on the surface seem absurdly simple: Add a hatch to the side so you can load it faster! However, cannons aren't just metal tubes one shoves powder and a cannonball in. Unless you get everything just right, cannons are as likely to blow up in your face as fire properly. Adding a point of mechanical weakness right at the sight of the explosion doesn't make this any easier.

    anyone able to think of a RL tech where this is played straight?
  • June 28, 2012
    Enders Game: It's not until Ender thinks of it that any army ever tries just charging for the gate without defeating the other army.
  • June 28, 2012
    Hang gliders may be either an example or an aversion: they're structurally so simple that you could posit building one out of bamboo poles, vines and cured hides. Yet despite earlier manned kite and parasail examples, it took an aeronautical engineer to design the "Rogallo Wing".
  • June 28, 2012
    This sounds like a Audience Reaction rather than a trope. Way too similar to Fridge Logic.
  • June 29, 2012
  • June 29, 2012
    Is this the same as Achievements In Ignorance?
  • June 29, 2012
    Effectively, not affectively, plus spelling and grammar needs improvement in general.
  • June 29, 2012
    In Kick Ass (comic & film) Dave claims to be the first Real Life Superhero. He's wrong, both In Universe and in Real Life.