Our hero has just finished the most arduous of journeys. He navigated the forest of eternal darkness, trudged through the swamp of no escape, crossed the desert of never ending sorrow, and even survived the lava fields of hotness. His final challenge is climbing straight up a sheer cliff. He nearly fell several times, and had to spend a night sleeping wedged into a crack, but he's finally made it. He pulls himself over the top, exhausted. He slowly catches his breath, stands, and raises his hands in triumph. He can finally meet the great kung fu master at the top of the mountain! And that's when he realizes he can hear children's laughter. He smells barbecue. There's a parking lot right over there and a well paved road leading down the other side of the mountain, next to a set of stairs with a hand rail and everything. In fact, even more families are coming up on day trips as he watches. He could have just taken the stairs. This is any time a character does something extremely difficult, just to find out that there was a much easier way the entire time. Perhaps someone else knew about the easy way but the hero just wouldn't listen, or they just never thought to mention it. The hero's friends may even be waiting for him, having taken the easy way themselves. It doesn't have to be literal, though it can be. It could be any instance of performing a task in a way that is far more difficult than it had to be, usually with the easy way being unknown to the person until a little-too-late revelation. Compare/Contrast Could Have Avoided This Plot
- When the family goes to Hawaii in Phineas and Ferb, Candace climbs to the top of a volcano to destroy a cursed tiki necklace that's been causing her bad luck all day. At the top she discovers a restaurant and an escalator.[[hottip:*:The tiki was actually just a pager to let you know when your table is ready. You throw it into a model volcano to see if you win a prize.]]
- Candace spends all day doing incredibly difficult and dangerous things as quickly as possible to earn fifty patches before 5:00 so she can go to a Fireside Girls benefit concert because the band's normal concert was sold out. She does it and gets to go, but then Phineas and Ferb are at the concert too. Isabella explains that she tried to tell her before that she could have just brought her as a friend. And maybe Candace should work on her good listener patch next.
- Tearing for minutes at difficult to open packaging with your teeth only to discover an easy pull tab on the other side.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.