is unpredictable. No matter what he does, his enemies never see it coming. Now, sometimes a character might appear unpredictable, either because he's making it up as he goes along
, or because he's TRYING to be unpredictable
Bob has other reasons.
describes situations where a character's behavior is unpredictable because he himself simply has no idea what he's doing
. He's impossible to anticipate, because not even he
knows what he's going to do next.
Likely to result in a Spanner in the Works
if somebody is running any kind of gambit
, because chaos has that kind of effect on carefully-laid plans
...but it might have the opposite effect
Compare Leeroy Jenkins
, which is what happens when this kind of mindset bites you in the butt, and Achievements in Ignorance
, which is what happens when believing in this actually has an effect
Contrast Confusion Fu
(unpredictability as a strategy in itself, instead of a function of having no strategy), Indy Ploy
(where a character doesn't have a plan originally, but comes up with new ones on the fly), Xanatos Speed Chess
(adjusting a preexisting plan to accommodate a changing situation), and Xanatos Roulette
(plans which incorporate a degree of randomness).
- This trope is sort of lampshaded in the second Honor Harrington novel where the protagonist explains to her subordinate that the best swordsman in the world doesn't fear the second-best one, but the worst swordsman in the world, because he can't predict what the dumb son of a bitch will do.
- A similar thing happens in the Age of Unreason series, where a guy is killed by someone who cannot fence at all; he automatically assumed his attack was a mere feint, because no fencer would make such a clumsy attack. Too bad his opponent is not a fencer...
- The line about the world's best swordsman is actually a quote from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
- In The Wheel of Time, the White Tower's weapons master tells Galad, Gawyn, and Mat a story about history's greatest swordsman, who was only defeated once in his entire life - by a random farmer with a stick.
- The Trope Namer is a certain Magic: The Gathering card with a completely random (but powerful) effect.
- This type of behavior is sure to completely derail an entire game of Diplomacy.
- Professional Poker players can sometimes be thwarted by novices and amateurs, who make plays that no professional would be stupid enough to attempt and end up short-circuiting the professionals' expectations.
- The above comment about Poker is also is true for billiards players.
- This doesn't work in chess, where it's almost impossible to beat a player who's above your level. This is because if the neophyte makes a bizarre move during the opening it is most likely a bad move, and that alone tells the good player that he's not against a strong opponent. Also, it's said that playing against someone who's way worst than you will dull your skills, and it's highly advised to avoid doing so.