->''"Have you ever seen anyone work so hard at being so lazy?"''
-->-- '''Jon Arbuckle''', ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}''

Alice has just been asked by her mother to refill the dog's food and water bowls. She doesn't really want to do it; after all, that sort of chore would take time and effort that could be better spent lounging on the sofa and playing video games.

But Alice is an inventive little devil, so she spends an hour or so putting together a RubeGoldbergDevice involving [[NoodleImplements an air pump, a length of drainpipe, and a plastic flamingo]] that will automatically fill both bowls when she steps on a foot pedal. After doing just that, she then returns to her lounging, satisfied that she accomplished her task the easy way.

[[FridgeLogic But hang on.]] Just getting up and filling the bowls by hand would've taken less than fifteen minutes and a lot less effort. When you put it in perspective she hardly did it the "easy" way.

You see a lot of this in fiction (and sometimes outside of it). In pursuit of a lazier way to do a task, a character will wind up spending magnitudes more time and effort developing and executing that lazier way than it would have taken to do it the normal way. This is often a trait of the ProfessionalSlacker and RidiculousProcrastinator.

A frequent variation (and method of communicating AnAesop that 'laziness never pays off') is that the character's efforts to avoid work just end up causing them a whole heap of trouble, misery and and pain (physical and / or emotional) which could have been avoided entirely had they just sucked it up and done what they were supposed to do in the first place. For example, in constructing the RubeGoldbergDevice Alice might kickstart a chain of events which results in the kitchen flooding due to a busted tap, the bag of dog food exploding all over the house, a broken window, [[NoodleImplements a plastic flamingo lodged into the wall]], Alice falling off a ladder in the chaos only to break her leg and her mother ending up very, ''very'' angry with her.

Note that situations where investing some time and energy now will genuinely save effort in the long run (for example, if Alice builds an automatic dog feeder that she could use every day from then on) are not examples of this trope.

Related to ShortCutsMakeLongDelays. See also DickDastardlyStopsToCheat. May or may not overlap with DuctTapeForEverything. A ProfessionalSlacker may end up doing this, or think of a better idea.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Shiromi Kosegawa in ''{{Manga/Saki}}'', mainly in "Saki Biyori". In the first Miyamori chapter of Saki Biyori, she pulls a hand cart to bring a kotatsu to school, wanting to rest under it but knowing that she won't be able to get out once she does. In the second Miyamori chapter, she rests in various places around the mall, under the pretense of doing things such as waiting for a friend or trying on shoes, but ends up moving around the mall quite a bit, [[LampshadeHanging as Sae points out]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': While Shiba is 10th Division captain, there is a constant battle between him and his lieutenant, Rangiku, to push work onto the other to avoid doing any themselves. Shiba goes to enormous lengths to find new places around Soul Society to hide, while Rangiku goes to even greater lengths to track him down, drag him back to the office and make him do the work. In the time it takes them to do all this, the work gets completed by Third Seat Hitsugaya, while the effort to avoid it leaves Shiba and Rangiku tired, bruised and sweaty.
-->'''Shiba''': "All this running around and looking for me has made your boobs glisten so nicely!"
* Hana in ''Manga/MyHeavenlyHockeyClub'' studied hard to get into a top-tier high school just because it was the school closest to her home and hence would let her sleep the longest amount of time possible in the morning before classes.


[[folder: Fanfiction ]]

* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8746563/18/With-a-Forked-Tongue-I-Lie-in-Wait-Taming-Snakes With a Forked Tongue I Lie in Wait (Taming Snakes)]]'' Harry and the Weasley twins fake a kappa infestation to support a lie he told about a missing Transfiguration essay. [=McGonagall=] gives him two points for being the first person in twenty years to pull the wool over her eyes.
-->'''[=McGonagall=]:''' It would have been more, but it is somewhat less impressive since you're spending so much more time and effort on getting out of the homework than it would actually take to sit down and do it like you're supposed to.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6466185/1/Harry-the-Hufflepuff Harry the Hufflepuff]]'' Harry's aunt calls him lazy so many times that he decides to run his life on this trope. Being sorted into Hufflepuff, the House of hard work and loyalty, does little or nothing to change this.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Victor Tugelbend in ''Discworld/MovingPictures'' is ''the'' master of this trope ([[LampshadeHanging which the narrator acknowledges]]). Thanks to a trust fund from a relative supporting him while he's in school, he much prefers the life of a WizardingSchool student vs an actual wizard, Victor studies extensively to keep his grade just low enough to not pass, but high enough that he doesn't lose his trust fund to failing grades. He also exercises regularly because being thin means less weight to drag around, and physical activity is less effort if you're in good shape. It's a kind of enlightened laziness.
** In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' Moist is told that "a certain kind of man will scheme for two days to earn what he could have made by honest work in one." Subverted by Moist reflecting that honest work may be more efficient, but scheming is more fun.
** ''Discworld/EqualRites'' has an aside pointing out how much work bandits have to do to set up a decent ambush with falling rocks etc. and how much easier it would be to just get a job.
** One past student at Unseen University, seeking an easier way to copy out lines when issued this common school punishment, developed a whole series of increasingly-complex mechanisms that would write multiple pages at once. Not only did the development of these gadgets take up more time and effort than simply writing the lines would have, but eventually a malfunction in one high-tension prototype catapulted its inventor out a window to his death.
%%* The unnamed protagonist in "The Tale of The Man Who Was Too Lazy To Fail" in {{Time Enough For Love}} by Creator/RobertAHeinlein.
* This is the premise of ''The Man Who Didn't Wash His Dishes'', a 1950 picture book. The man in the story cooks himself several large meals and doesn't wash his dishes. He ends up going to greater and greater lengths just to find dishes, then substitutes for them once he runs out, and even has trouble getting into his house because of all the dishes piled up. He can't even find the sink, so he gets the idea to wash them in the rain, then exhausts himself so much putting them back that he vows to never allow this to happen again by resolving to wash his dishes after every meal. And he does.
* {{Inverted}} by Ivan Xav Vorpatril of the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga''. It's specifically noted that he is ''very'' efficient at his job precisely because he realized long ago that doing the job efficiently meant he didn't actually have to work very hard at it.

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'': Al Bundy even tried to walk over to the TV but eventually grew tired of it and agreed to have sex with Peggy for the remote.
* Jeff of ''Series/{{Community}}'' will go to absurd lengths to get out of work - in the {{pilot}} alone, he tries to bribe/blackmail a teacher into giving him not just the test scores for his upcoming test, but ''every single test he'd ever have in his studies'', goes along with a study group he hates as part of a plan to have sex with Britta, and spins a master plan manipulating six different people he's just met into having a screaming match with each other. As one of them pointed out, this is all to avoid doing the work for what is basically a simple Spanish test that would take him, at most, half an hour to study for the normal way. By the end of season three, he's mostly grown out of it. Lampshaded in "Documentary Filmmaking Redux" where he proudly boasts, apparently without noticing the irony, that he's "always willing to go the extra mile to avoid doing something."
* George Costanza of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' is perhaps the UrExample of this trope. In nearly every episode he goes to great lengths to avoid work, effort, or even discomfort. He puts so much effort and scheming into being lazy that one wonders if it wouldn't just be easier to to the original task in the first place.
* The one-time ''Don Ramón'' from ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'' decided by himself to go look for a job was after he read a phrase "The thing that takes the most work is not having a job".
* ''Series/LazyTown'': Robbie Rotten prides himself on being lazy, and schemes to make the rest of the town as lazy as he is, but due to these elaborate schemes, he's easily one of the most active people in the entire town.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* As noted in the page quote, ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' is prone to this sort of thing. In the comic quoted, the lazy cat ''nails the TV to the ceiling above his cat bed'' so he can watch it without getting up. Think about how much effort it would've taken to hoist that television up there and then keep it in place while he nailed it there, and then think about how much effort it would've taken simply to get up and walk over to where the TV was.
** In [[http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2012&addr=120506 another occasion]], Garfield, Jon and Liz were watching TV together when the remote control stopped working. Jon and Garfield went to a shop to buy new batteries. When they came back, Liz pointed out the set was ''five feet'' away. Garfield commented "Girls".
* In ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'', Peter tells his friend Steve about all the job leads his father is sharing with him, and his persistence in doing so.
-->'''Steve''': So you're going to spend the summer hiding from your dad?
-->'''Peter''': I only wish my not working didn't require so much work.
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' Wally has been shown to be very active in his efforts to not do any work, and is largely successful. He was [[WriteWhoYouKnow based on a former co-worker of the creator, Scott Adams]], who realized that the severance package was more beneficial than working, so he became fiercely dedicated to being extremely unproductive. To quote Wally:
-->'''Wally''': I'm not lazy, I'm useless. There's a difference.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'':
** In [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1992/05/23 one series]], Calvin built a time machine to travel two hours into the future and get a copy of his homework from himself after it was already finished. The time machine works; the homework-getting doesn't.
--->'''6:30 Calvin:''' Well, since we're ''you'' from the past, I suppose you know why we're here. Did you do the homework?\\
'''8:30 Calvin:''' Me?? No.\\
'''6:30 Calvin:''' ''No?!'' Why not??\\
'''8:30 Calvin:''' Because two hours ago, I went to the future to get it.\\
'''6:30 Calvin:''' Yeah, and here I am! So where is it?!\\
'''8:30 Calvin:''' That's what ''I'' said two hours ago!
** In [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/08/28 another series]], Calvin didn't want to make his bed, so he and Hobbes spent all afternoon trying to build a robot to do it for him. They couldn't get the robot to work, but since they spent so long on it, the bed never got made. Mission accomplished!
** This is a recurring gag through most of the strips run, Calvin is perfectly willing to work hard ''as long as no one forces him to'', so he'll often end up spending more energy on avoiding something than it'd take to actually do it.
* Sometimes the title character from ''ComicStrip/BeetleBailey''. An example is when he refuses to go through the obstacle course and tries to hide from Sarge. Sarge discovers him and ends up chasing him through the very same obstacle course.
** That was nowhere near the only case - he's also been known to unfold a sleeping-bag, change into his pajamas, brush his teeth, fluff his pillow, and finally tuck himself into bed... while slacking off for five minutes on the job. Quoth Plato: "No-one puts more effort into slacking off than Beetle."
** Another strip featured an extremely long chase-sequence where Sarge pursued Beetle through a huge variety of environments - up cliffs, through forests and swamps and across rooftops, with brief interludes of searching when Beetle found a temporary hiding-spot in a trashcan or at the bottom of a pond with a reed... but in the end, Sarge catches up with him and drags him home by one leg, even as he digs his fingers into the ground to resist. What was he trying to get away from so ardently? The Escape and Avoidance Course, naturally...


[[folder: Other]]

* A cartoon from the ''National Enquirer'' depicts a man driving with one hand on the wheel and the other holding the dog's leash while two women on the sidewalk watch.
-->'''Woman:''' You win - your husband ''is'' lazier than mine.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

%%* Wario is ''made'' of this trope.
* ''For Love of Digby'' involves trying to come up with a convoluted way for the main character, whose remote is broken, to change the channel in time for his umpteenth viewing of ''Digby the Biggest Dog in the World'' without ever leaving his recliner.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/AtelierAnnieAlchemistsOfSeraIsland'' has this as her motivation for doing anything, as she hopes that by working hard, she will marry a rich man and be set for life, never having to work again.
* Sans in ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' is a self-professed [[TheSlacker slacker]], to the point where he avoids doing his actual job (border patrol) by doing a ''different'' job (hot-dog sales). Two jobs means twice as many legally allowed breaks!
* The Engineer in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has the Rancho Relaxo, a taunt where he takes out a mechanical lawn chair and sits in it while drinking beer. [[https://youtu.be/Fpt0XX0qa28 More trolly players]] will often activate the taunt and then stay that way for the whole game, in full view of everyone - but since it makes the Engineer helpless, they frequently have to take the effort to set up a base, find isolated places, exploit mobility methods to get out of reach... in short, it's not much different effort than it'd take to actually win the game.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'': Sometimes [[http://xkcd.com/1205/ optimizing efficiency]], [[http://xkcd.com/1319/ automating a task]], or [[http://xkcd.com/1445/ figuring out the best approach]] takes more time and effort than plowing ahead.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Bart and Lisa have been tasked to clean the back yard but they're too lazy to do so.
-->'''Bart:''' Man, look at all this stuff... pull weeds, mow lawn, scoop and bag dog business. There's gotta be a way out of this. Lisa! Chop off my hands!\\
'''Lisa:''' No! Then who'd chop off my hands?\\
'''Bart:''' All right, you chop my hands halfway off, and then, I'll still have enough strength to chop-\\
'''Marge:''' Get to work!
** In another episode, Apu is showering his wife, Manjula with elaborate gifts everyday leading up to Valentine's Day. Homer and a few of the other guys start to get annoyed because their wives wished to be treated that way as well, so they end up spending the day trying to follow him around and see what he's up to, and try to put a stop to it. Flanders eventually lampshades this, noting that instead of spending a whole day trying to stalk and sabotage Apu's plans, they could be trying to put that effort into actually doing something nice for their wives. He gets thrown out of the car for that.
** One episode has Homer lose the remote, and rather than walking across the room to the TV set to change the channel, he starts tearing apart the couch looking for the remote. (It was eaten by the family dog).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'':
** Richard is a master of this. Just watch [[http://www.watchcartoononline.com/the-amazing-world-of-gumball-episode-7-the-laziestthe-ghost this]] episode (the second one on the page).
** Also, in one episode, Gumball ''travels back in time'' to avoid changing the title of an email. Granted, it was in his imagination, but he was planning to do it for real.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'': Cyborg took Raven's suggestion of walking over to the TV for a tasteless joke.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': Dexter's father finds the idea of walking over to the TV so horrible he doesn't have the courage to tell Dexter people used to do it before the remote control was invented. (He thought Dexter was screaming because the remote was missing, he was actually screaming because [[FullFrontalAssault he was wearing a pair of x-ray specs and had just watched his father sit spreadlegged in his recliner]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' "The Boss", Dan goes to great lengths to avoid doing any real work on his first day at the office and doesn't understand why he's so tired. Chris tells him that looking busy is usually harder than actually being busy, and suggests that maybe Dan should just do his job.
* In the Creator/PBSKids version of ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears'', both "By the Sea" and "Up and Down" exemplify this, with Brother/Sister and Papa respectively trying to avoid work but ending up doing about twice as much in the process until they learn their lesson.
* "Franklin's Day Off" from ''Literature/{{Franklin}}'' has AnAesop of sorts about this. Franklin spends most of the episode dealing with problems he wouldn't have had if he had just done the work was supposed to do instead of putting it off, such as needing a rake that was holding up the BlanketFort he didn't take down in order to rake up leaves which have buried a bicycle pump that he wouldn't have had trouble finding if he had put it away properly in the first place.
* ''TheLegendsOfChamberlainHeights'' has Malik admonish his older brother Montell about how much effort he puts into being a lazy stoner, such as making a nest of snacks next to the couch before he gets high.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Many TV viewers have torn their room apart looking for a missing TV remote control when they could just walk over to the TV and change the channel that way. Though, on a lot of newer [=TVs=] you can't really do that if you're watching anything but local broadcasts. Same goes for disc players without the buttons necessary to navigate the menus on a movie. That said, in many cases it does reach the point where it would be easier and less time-consuming to just go out and buy a universal remote control (which usually will work with most devices) than keep searching.
* A recurring story from many educators is the at-times ridiculous lengths that some students will go to in order to cheat their way through an assessment piece or to pass a test without doing the 'work', to the point where it would probably be both easier ''and'' less time consuming to simply study properly and receive an honest grade for it.
* Seen in the ''[[Website/NotAlwaysRight Not Always Friendly]]'' story [[http://notalwaysfriendly.com/irony-is-effortless/34501 "Irony is Effortless"]]: [[labelnote:Context]]Someone ripped and converted a game's soundtrack because he was too lazy to look it up on the Internet.[[/labelnote]]
--> '''Friend:''' "It's funny. [[LampshadeHanging In being lazy, I actually did something that required more effort.]]"
* Creator/BillCosby once had this trope as part of a comedy skit. His wife would wake him up, early, pre-dawn, threatening him with a bucket of literally ice-cold water, and order him to make breakfast for the kids before sending them to school. Not being completely awake, nor wanting to be in the kitchen anyway, Bill Cosby serves the kids chocolate cake because cakes are made with milk, eggs and flour, [[InsaneTrollLogic healthy right]]? The kids were noted to be rejoicing at this. "Our daddy is great, he feeds us chocolate cake!" Until the wife showed up, had a "conniption" that sounds like some kind of demonic possession, the kids turned on him "we asked for juice, eggs and bacon, [[BlatantLies and he made us eat this]]!" wherein she angrily sends him back to the bedroom, [[{{Unishment}} where he wanted to be in the first place]]!
* This is an occupational hazard for many programmers. Quite often for simple tasks they'll end up spending longer writing the code to have the computer do something for them than if they'd just done it manually. Sometimes this ends up being justified later if that code turns out to be reusable/adaptable for something else.
** In fact, the creator of the modern computer Konrad Zuse claimed that he created the computer to do math because "he felt too lazy to do the computing himself". In other words, programmers engaging in this trope are actually honouring his spirit.
* On a related note, back in the 90s British gaming mag ''PC Zone'' once reviewed a piece of software that created crossword puzzles through ProceduralGeneration, providing an endless supply of low-key entertainment without leaving the comfort of your HackerCave. Cool idea, but unfortunately, it turned out to take over half an hour to generate each puzzle[[note]]at least on a mid-range gaming PC from twenty years ago. [[TechnologyMarchesOn In this day and age]] it'd probably take half a ''minute''.[[/note]] By which time, as the reviewer wryly noted, you could have walked to the newsagent's and back to get a book of crossword puzzles and likely finshed a couple of them.