Created By: bulmabriefs144 on April 12, 2013

Rube Goldberg Causality

A freak chain of events saves or destroys someone

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The hero is losing to some villain, when the villain notices some large screw under their feet. Rather than leave it be, and shoot the hero, they kick it. The bolt hits a pole which shakes a bird causing it to fly off, the poops on someone's windshield causing them to drive their car into a water tower, the tower falls over, flooding the streets. Someone notices, and sounds an alarm, within feet of the villain providing just enough distraction to catch the villain off-guard for long enough for the hero to disarm them.

This trait is stock and trade of the Born Lucky, and sometimes the Chosen One. Expect some overlap with For Want of a Nail and Butterfly of Doom.
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • April 12, 2013
    Um, I think this is For Want Of A Nail. Can you specify a difference?
  • April 12, 2013
    For Want Of A Nail is specifically about time travel, about how a seemingly inconsequential change in the timeline alters the future. The poem that inspired the name is an example, though.
  • April 12, 2013
    Already have this: Disaster Dominoes.

    (Not a terribly great name, but still.)
  • April 12, 2013
    Some sequences in the 2006 remake of The Omen played out sort of like this, but I can't remember the details (just that that was how some of the priests pursuing Damien got whacked). Damien himself wasn't directly manipulating anything to start off these chains though, but it was implied that the evil spirits (or Satan) protecting him were doing these things. (And I haven't seen the originals since I was a kid (scary shit!), but I think stuff like that happened in those as well.)
  • April 13, 2013
    Film Animated
    • Played with in The Great Mouse Detective in the case of Professor Ratigan's deathtrap. Sleuth Basil and Doctor Dawson are left to perish from a complex mechanism that will kill them five different ways. Basil subverts the mechanism so that each weapon takes out its neighbor, leaving the battle axe to sever their bonds.
  • April 13, 2013
    • Invoked Trope: Jesus, Moses, and an old man are out golfing. Jesus steps up to the tee and hits the ball into a water hazard. He runs out onto the water to get to the ball before it sinks and hits it out. Moses steps up to the tee and hits it into the water hazard. He calmly walks up to the hazard, by which time the ball has sunk, parts the water and hits the ball out. The old man tees off and it lands in the water. A small fish eats the ball, a bigger fish eats the smaller fish, then a pelican swoops in, eats the big fish and spits the ball into the hole for a hole-in-one. Jesus turns to the old man and says, "Dad, wouldja quit showin' off?"
  • April 13, 2013
    If it's lethal, it's Necro Non Sequitur
  • April 13, 2013
    ...I guess nobody heard me.
  • April 16, 2013
    Disaster Dominoes huh? Add The City Of Lost Children examples to it then (it happens at least twice) and discard this. Oh, we've got it.