Created By: neoYTPism on September 27, 2010 Last Edited By: neoYTPism on May 2, 2012

The Trouble We Could Have Saved

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"Just think of all the trouble we could have saved if we just threw fruit at him in the first place!"
- Ernie, from Mousehunt, referring to a mouse he and his brother previously attacked more elaborately, but managed to knock out with a piece of fruit he actually meant to throw at his brother but missed.

Do We Have This One??

So an individual or a group is trying all kinds of expensive, or complex, or otherwise troublesome means of doing something because they do not expect a simpler approach to be effective. However, often by accident, a simpler approach is revealed to be more effective after all. Cue a character talking about the trouble they could have saved.

Note that this is not Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?. That trope could apply for elaborate schemes designed just because Evil Is Stylish and they do not want to settle for something simple. This is specifically about when one relies on troublesome means because one assumes that they would be more effective.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • September 21, 2010
  • September 26, 2010
    That would be a sub-trope @ Iron Lion
  • September 27, 2010
    I first read this as The Trope We Could Have Saved haha.
  • September 27, 2010
    Real Life: When Leopold & Loeb were sentenced after 6 weeks of expert testimony, the judge rejected all the testimony and sentenced them to life imprisonment instead of death because they had not yet reached the age of majority (21 at the time). Leopold snarked that they could have saved all that trouble and just submitted their birth certificates.
  • March 4, 2011
    I'm bumping this after months left untouched to see how it does this time around...
  • March 6, 2011
    Wouldn't The Wizard of Oz(book and movie) qualify as this? They start marching to kill the witch(and end up being captured by her immediately), and various chaos ensues . . . . and it turns out they really just needed to throw a bucket of water on her. Of course, I don't know when they would have gotten the opportunity to do this before, but still. This seems like a Trope we could work with.
  • May 1, 2012
    • An arc of Fox Trot had Jason trying over and over to beat a really tough video game boss. However, Paige took over, and found out all you had to do was walk past him. Cue this trope.
  • May 1, 2012
    ^^ Also in The Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy could have gone home any time she wished, by using the ruby slippers, if Glinda had only told her so (movie only- in the book it's a different good witch in Munchkinland, who apparently doesn't know).
  • May 2, 2012
    ^ According to Glinda herself, just telling her wouldn't have worked. She says twice that Dorothy had to learn the Aesop by herself before the slippers would work for her.
  • May 2, 2012
    It still technically applies to the book as well, since Dorothy could have used the Silver shoes to go home right away if she'd known they could do so.
  • May 2, 2012
    Compare to Just Eat Gilligan