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[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/BlackLagoon http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blcetw2_4813.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Ramping a PT boat off a derelict tanker in order to torpedo a helicopter. Who would see that coming?]]-]

->''"While most agree that the financial theory behind the scheme is 'crazy,' others counter that the idea of flying a hot-air balloon filled with dry ice over Wall Street is so outside the realm of conventional thinking that, paradoxically, it just might work."''
-->-- ''Website/TheOnion'', [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/fraternity-in-danger-of-losing-house-launches-hare,2604/ Fraternity In Danger Of Losing House Launches Harebrained Scheme To Fix Economy]]

In real life, when someone is in serious trouble, they, even on the fly, have to think of a logical, sensible and reasonable strategy that can get them out of it with as little loss as possible, in the best conditions possible as well.

In movies, the characters can make the most irrational, nonsensical or plain dumb decisions, and it works!


Because it's Crazy Enough To Work, that's why. Sometimes characters will even credit it ''to'' it being crazy (enough to work). A possible example would be something along the lines of "What about patching up the nuclear reactor with a pack of gum and peeing on the fire from the top of the reactor? That's so crazy, it just might work!"

While [[TheHero heroes]] of every genre will come up with these, expect a lot of them from [[BadassUnintentional Badass Unintentionals]], since they [[AchievementsInIgnorance lack the knowledge]], strength, and sometimes even the courage to come up with a better idea.

{{Lampshaded}} frequently enough that it's become a StockPhrase of the GenreSavvy.

Routinely pulled off by CrazyAwesome characters. May need to be a ViolationOfCommonSense to ''understand'' it. Compare MillionToOneChance; the less probable a plan is to work, the more likely it will succeed in Hollywood conditions. See also ItRunsOnNonsensoleum and RefugeInAudacity (which run on a similar premise) and ItWillNeverCatchOn (which is a specific type of joke that invokes a similar reaction in the audience). See also ConfusionFu for people who weaponize this trope.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''Manga/MillenniumSnow'', Chiyuki suggests Satsuki should carry his grandmother to the hospital in his werewolf form. Toya thinks the plan is crazy, but Chiyuki says "[=CRAZY=] just might work!"
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** If smashing a small robot into a big robots head, almost impaling the pilot of the big robot (who, by the way, was the one who thought of this) in the process is not Crazy Enough To Work, then nothing is. Oh, and they also run a walking, nonflying battleship up a mountain and jump through the air for a good half a mile just to get a chance to ''kick'' an AirborneAircraftCarrier. This universe runs on RuleOfCool, so it was destined to succeed.
** And when the flying kick only scratches the side of the AirborneAircraftCarrier? They at once make the captain fling the wheel over in the most exaggerated way possible, turning the flying kick into a flying ''roundhouse'' kick that of course succeeds.
** Everything that happens in Gurren-Lagann is too crazy to work. And yet it does... Their universe operates in these rules, seen as at some point there are literal giant robots piloted by giant robots!
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': In episode 135, we see Matsumoto, with Kon by her side, saving the life of a girl that was about to drown when falling in the water after her plushie. How? By removing Kon from his plushie body and tossing him in the mouth of her plushie, to get Kon--as the plushie--to go save the girl instead of, say, going in there herself. She offered a weak rationale ''ex post facto'', and simply let the [[HilarityEnsues hilarity ensue]].
* In the early episodes of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' when the title ship is cornered by an attack chopper, the two badasses and the tech nerd onboard were getting ready to kiss their asses goodbye when the timid loser businessman they had taken hostage comes up with a plan to charge the copter head-on and use a shipwreck as a ramp to launch them high enough that they can hit it with a torpedo. Not only does it work, but it works with flying colors, and the businessman soon joins the crew afterward.
* In ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'',
** Sometimes when Sena orMonta comes up with an implausible or just plain ridiculous strategy, Hiruma will tell them something like "That plan's completely stupid! ...Let's do it!"
** Almost all of the strategies Hiruma uses ([[http://www.onemanga.com/Eyeshield_21/265/11/ Staying on the field when your arm is broken]], [[http://www.onemanga.com/Eyeshield_21/326/16/ getting three players to abandon their position to blitz the opponent's quarterback]], [[http://www.onemanga.com/Eyeshield_21/190/17/ completely ignoring the most power player on the opponent's team]]) are so crazy nobody in their right minds would do them. As such, none of their opponents consider the possibility that they'll actually use such a strategy - which is precisely why they almost always use them.
* Isaac and Miria in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' usually get away with their crimes because they are so absurd that no-one can take them seriously, or believe that they could pull something like that off. For example, they robbed a Mafia money delivery dressed up as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, and knocked out the wise guys with baseball bats in the middle of the day on an open street only a few yards from their office.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': [[TheHero Kouji's]] plans CAN be carefully and throughtfully planned strategies, but many times his plans are an IndyPloy or... this. One example happened in episode 32: Mazinger Z got the crap beaten out of it by Gelbros J3, a flying, three-headed dragon-looking [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beast]]. Mazinger could not fly -yet-, so Kouji could not fight back. His plan was... equipping [[FemBot Aphrodite A]] with even bigger TorpedoTits. During the battle Sayaka shot them, Mazinger latched on the giant missiles and was propelled it skywards, where he was capable to reach the {{Robeast}} and shooting it down.
* In the ''Manga/DragonBall'' anime-only ending, Goku and Chi-Chi have to scavenge to find the magic Bansho Fan when the couple and the master's Turtle come across a book by Kame Sen'nin detailing the instructions on how to build one. Although the master later berates the Turtle because he was drunk when he wrote it, the scavenge does lead them to the Fan and its original purpose (to fan the Furnace of Eight Divisions). The scattered elements of Kame Sen'nin's instructions were actually on the right track, but their ultimate purpose was misguided.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** After a completely even fight, Goku gives up on fighting Cell and makes Gohan take his place in the fight. Everyone reproaches Goku for making his own son do such a thing and it takes Piccolo's admonishment to make him realize that Gohan is not driven to fight as Goku is and that he was mistaken in doing such a thing. Albeit it does work, as Gohan ends up being strong enough to overtake Cell ultimately (twice), it ends up costing Goku his life in an effort to defeat him.
** In the Buu arc, much of the behavior and actions of Goten and Trunks (and [[FusionDance Gotenks]] for that matter) are fueled by this.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': Practically the Getter team lives -and survives- on it! Ryoma usually comes up with some absolutely crazy maneouver and his teammates simply go along it. And it works! One example (from Getter Robo G) was when they trapped a flying [[{{Robeast}} Mecha Oni]] by allowing it impaling their HumongousMecha.
* Several of Misato's plans in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', particularly her idea to deal with Sahaquiel, the butterfly-like Angel going for a [[ColonyDrop suicide drop from orbit]], by using Evas to ''catch it'' on its descent.
-->'''Asuka''': What are you basing this off of?\\
'''Misato''': Woman's intuition.\\
'''Shinji''' ''(aside)'': She plays the lottery all the time and she never wins.
* When the EpicHail signaling the war's end fails to stop two armies from charging at each other and re-igniting the war, [[Anime/SoundOfTheSky Kanata Sorami]] tries the PowerOfRock. [[spoiler: It works long enough for TheCavalry to show up.]]
* In ''Manga/HighSchoolDXD'' Issei is the one most prone to coming up with these kinds of schemes. Devils gain power from their desires, and sacred gears evolve in accordance with their wielder's desires, and what Issei desires is usually [[PowerPerversionPotential something perverse.]] This leads him to develop powers like a ClothingDamage spell that can also destroy magical bindings, or using his girlfriend's boobs as a power battery, but it also shows through by less perverse means. His plan to defeat Raiser Phenex, for example, involved sacrificing his arm to gain a power up from his sacred gear and then attacking Raiser with a cross and holy water, which would normally be extremely painful for a devil to touch except that he used his sacrificed arm like an oven mitt.
* ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'':
** A lot of Miho's plans count, as she's generally taking on teams with both numerical advantages and superior equipment, but the crowning moment comes when the Ooarai girls Tankery team runs into a gigantic Maus tank. It promptly knocks out two of their tanks with little effort, and forces them to retreat. Saori reads up on it, then laments that its like a tank on top of a tank. Which gives Miho a crazy idea based on what her friend just said. [[spoiler: They have one tank go underneath it to prevent it from moving its tracks, then a smaller tank on top to prevent them from turning their turret, then Miho's tank knocks it out by [[AttackItsWeakPoint shooting at one of its exposed grills.]]]]
** ''[[Anime/GirlsUndPanzerDerFilm Der Film]]'' includes many more crazy plans, and not all of them from Miho. Things like catapulting a Hetzer off an L3 Tankette in order to [[spoiler:shoot down the barrel of a Morser-Karl]], having a tank ride a rollercoaster track to act as a lookout, disguising tanks with inflatable duck heads as camouflage, or [[spoiler:blasting a FerrisWheelOfDoom off its supports to break up the enemy formation.]]
** The pinnacle of crazy plans from Miho comes in the form of [[spoiler:[[FastballSpecial having her sister's Tiger I shoot a blank shell directly behind Miho's Panzer IV to give it a speed boost]] so it can ram the {{Final Boss}}' Centurion tank and deliver a point blank killshot. [[CrazyAwesome It succeeds spectacularly.]]]]
* The "Daedalus Attack" in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''. It involved the titular ship covering its right arm (which was a submersible troop transport ship named the ''Daedalus''; long story) with DeflectorShields, then ramming it through an enemy ship's hull, opening ports once inside and firing [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles all over the place]]. In other words, the giant mecha spaceship ''punches'' an enemy ship and then makes it explode from the inside. It was basically a desperate, last-ditch tactic thought up when the WaveMotionGun was down, but it was so effective that they end up re-using it several times throughout the show, and it even makes appearances in later ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' series[[note]]renamed as the "Macross Attack"[[/note]] on occasion.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': Armin devises two in Episode 8, and a third one in Episode 11.
** The first is to help lure the Rogue Titan towards the supply base, so it can help them relieve the siege. It works, as the Titan rushes towards the area when it sees how many there are congregated there.
** The second is when he develops a plan to kill the remaining Titans in the supply base so they can restock their gas canisters. He has many of the remaining soldiers all inside a lift elevator, whose goal is to fire their guns into the eyes of the seven Titans, blinding them in the process. Then, a group of seven of their best soldiers hidden nearby would strike and take them down. [[spoiler: It works, but Sasha and Connie miss the neck, so they don't quite finish off their targets. Fortunately Mikasa and Annie finish them off.]]
** While attempting to go over the plan to seal the gate of Trost, Armin mentions that Titans seem to be drawn most towards large groups of people. So he advises that they have a large group of soldiers stand up on the Wall and try to lure most of the Titans towards them, and have a small group of elite soldiers guard the attempt to seal the gate.
* All over the place in ''Anime/CodeGeass''. Zero's plans often seem so impossible or amazing (and are always assisted with use of his geass) that he earns the name "Miracle Worker" for pulling off so many insane stunts. In fact, early on Zero has a hard time recruiting people since his plans sound so insane, most people aren't willing to risk their lives on what looks like suicide missions.
** Rescue a political scapegoat in the middle of a massive military escort to his trial with only two men and a van? Use psychic powers, blackmail and false threats to win.
** Save a hotel full of hostages from terrorists who are ''also'' Japanese resistance forces? [[spoiler: Waltz right past the princess's blockade to make diplomatic talks with the hostages, then have your men rescue them while you personally keep the commander distracted!]]
** Take out an entire battalion of Knightmares and kidnap the princess? After putting himself in a position where he's surrounded by the enemy and cannot simply retreat? [[spoiler: Start a landslide.]]
** Launch a full-scale invasion of occupied Tokyo after a peace treaty gone horribly wrong forces his small army to fight unexpectedly with no plan? [[spoiler: Sabotage the city's anti-earthquake system so that entire buildings collapse at his command.]]
** Recently [[spoiler: retrieve his memories]] while surrounded in an empty casino under siege, deep in enemy territory, with only a handful of Knightmares? [[spoiler: Knock the building over to build a bridge to the Chinese embassy and make an alliance there, under diplomatic protection.]]
* Similar to Lelouch, as he is in many ways, L-elf of ''Anime/ValvraveTheLiberator'' tends to use these. The best is when he is up against X-eins, a former teammate of his who is a master of these in his own right. The only thing that can stop X-eins' crazy plan is an even crazier plan from L-elf.
* ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'': In chapter 6, the main characters are trying to come up with a way to prevent the [[BigBad Marder]]'s army from attacking [[HomeBase White Valley]]. Hilmuka suggests that they raid Marder's weapons factories to draw the enemy's attention to them. What is the catch? She wants to assault a vast, heavily guarded fortress with two adult soldiers, two teenagers and a HumongousMecha. Windu protested that her plan was crazy, but [[TheHero Jordy]] decided to try Hilmuka's idea anyway.
* In ''Manga/PrivateActress'', Shiho Kobayakawa is such a good actress that she manages to pull off ''ridiculously'' great private acting gigs that no actresses her age would be able to do. i.e., once she's hired by a young woman whose sister was murdered as a little girl, with the plan of having Shiho ''playi the role of said dead sister's {{reincarnation}}'' to help the client's mentally unstable father [[OutlivingOnesOffSpring deal with the immense pain coming from such a loss]]... and not only it works perfectly, [[spoiler:but they manage '''to find and help apprehend the original girl's murderer'''.]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* When ''Franchise/{{Justice League|of America}}'' uses a [[ComicBook/TheCreeper crazy superhero]] to predict the actions of completely crazy bad guys, at least you have the "crazy" part covered.
* {{Deconstructed|Trope}}, {{discussed|Trope}}, and ultimately played straight in ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}''. Tommy suggests that they "do something completely and totally crazy" to escape the SAS at the end of #24. [[GilliganCut The cover of #25 is Tommy hung upside down and bleeding and Nat unconscious on the floor with the SAS soldiers behind them holding automatic weapons.]]
-->'''Nat''': We keep hittin' [[TheMafia Louie's]] places 'til we got him so pissed his ass goes nuclear. Then, when the dudes got Sean call us an' arrange a meet, we lead Louie's boys onto 'em an' start the mutha of all firefights. In the confusion we get Sean out an' slip away while [[LetsYouAndHimFight the S.A.S. an' the mob shoot the hell outta each other.]] We go home. That about it? [Well] You know how in movies when some dude says "in the confusion"-- Like, "[[Franchise/StarWars In the confusion we gonna rescue the princess, pop a cap in lord Vader an' do a bunch of stuff to mess up his scary-ass death star]]"-- you know why it always works out just like the dude says? [[ThisIsReality 'Cause it's a movie, Tommy.]] We got two sets of badasses trynna kill us. We bring 'em both together with us in the middle -- what's gonna be so confusin' about that?
* In the finale of ''ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan'', Spidey attempts to reconcile with Miguel during the finale, he tells him the honest to goodness truth, that "It was Doc Ock hijacking my body" along with everything else. Miguel points out that it's so stupid that it has to be true and all is forgiven.

* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Shinji and Asuka were trying to free their world from the dictators and thugs ruling it after the end of the world, but their army was cut off and they were unprepared and outnumbered. So, how did they seize Buenos Aires? [[spoiler:Misato and other commanders came up with the idea of pretending that they were preparing a rock concert to lure the enemy troops into a stadium.]] It [[spoiler:worked. And it was very awesome, indeed.]]
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': In chapter 7 [[spoiler:Rei was fighting Zeruel alone because Shinji and Asuka got fired. Despite her most valiant efforts Zeruel was trouncing her. Shinji and Asuka could not seem to help her because they were out of the Geofront, and even if they made it they could not use their giant robots (Rei was piloting Unit 01 and Zeruel had butchered Unit 00 and 02).]] Then Shinji got an idea: [[spoiler:driving to the base as fast as possible and hijacking Unit 03, an Evangelion that neither had ever so much as TOUCHED before that day and could be contaminated by an Angel, hoping that ''maybe'' Hikari -who was stuck inside- would help them to move it around given her connection to both.]] It worked after a fashion: [[spoiler:they did not win but they kept Zeruel distracted, allowing Rei to kill it.]]
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Asuka's plan to deal with a flying Angel shot light beams was… getting a giant mirror to reflect its light beams back towards it. Since they had no giant mirrors Asuka thought of using two solar panels.
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has many examples. And all of these, somehow, work.
** How, if you are Harry Potter[=/=]Thorson going to escape the [[TheDreaded Disir]] once they kidnap you and a couple of friends? Annoy them, [[IShallTauntYou taunt them,]] hit them with a spell you have no idea will work, then run like hell.
*** If you deem the Ravenclaw Quidditch team to be responsible for[=/=]compliant in bullying your friend (Luna Lovegood)? Wait until the next Quidditch match, fly as close to a bludger as possible, then [[DeadlyDodging use it to take out the entire opposing team.]] Apparently this is actually an accepted, if insane, Quidditch strategy, referred to as the 'Dangerous Dai Decoy'.
*** If you are facing an immortal AxCrazy {{Necromancer}} with GodOfEvil level powers and a HealingFactor that makes Wolverine's look pathetic, how do you defeat him? [[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E14Innocence Re-enact an episode]] of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer.''
** If you are Harry Dresden, how do you kill a NighInvulnerable demon that just refuses to die? [[spoiler: Grab a high voltage power line and channel the electricity through you into the demon.]]
*** If you are facing the previously mentioned {{Necromancer}}, how do you hurt/kill him? [[spoiler: Meld fire and force magic with [[TouchedByVorlons Soulfire]] to create a holy lightsabre.]]
** If you're Tony Stark, how do you, having spent several days [[spoiler: drugged up in a HYDRA Dungeon]] defeat a demonic dragon? [[spoiler: Fly into its mouth and blast your way out from the inside.]]
** Doctor Strange's entire XanatosGambit, culminating in Chapter 78, seems to run on pure, brilliant lunacy.
** In the sequel, ''Ghosts of the Past'', Thor's entire plan for defusing the situation after Harry [[spoiler: briefly goes Dark Phoenix and]] is deemed a threat (for fairly logical reasons) by the Council Elite of Skyfathers/making them back off. Get Doctor Strange, who by this point seems to have [[DrivenToMadness genuinely gone round the bend,]] assume he has a plan, give him [[RealityWarper the Tesseract,]] and let him run wild.
* ''Webcomic/{{Company0051}}'' has grenades taped onto dodgeballs. Granted, it'd just be easier to throw the grenades themselves, but it does allow the [[ChildSoldiers Kid Soldiers]] to show off their mad dodgeball skills.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': During their dog fight Asuka was chasing Shinji and coming on his heels. Then Shinji abruptly braked and flew backwards. Asuka got frightened and swerved to dodge him, allowing Shinji tag her.
* ''Fanfic/PaperMarioX'': In chapter 54: "Hmm…that's crazy enough to work!" pondered Samus.
* Every single one of Takato's plans in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' and I use the word 'plans' in the ''loosest'' possible terms. .
* The whole plot of ''FanFic/DecksFallEveryoneDies'' is to pull off a plan that's so crazy it might work to bring card games back.
* Chapter 81 of the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/TheLife'' involves the protagonists team dropping without him. He convinces the captain of the ship to do a flyover near the position of his squad. He jumps from the cargo bay of a frigate with a jetpack that he doesn't know how to use and a [[RuleOfCool tank with parachutes attached to it]]. While playing "Iron Man" by Music/BlackSabbath on the helmet's speakers.
* Somewhat inverted in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'':
--> '''Mom:''' Well, that's nice, but you don't need to broadcast it coast to coast! Just look for him (Hobbes) quietly.\\
'''Calvin:''' Of course! If I continue to shout for him to show up, he'll know where I am and get farther away from me! On the other hand, absolute silence means absolute secrecy! It's so crazy it just might work!
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8652163/5/NGE-Runaways NGE: Runaways]]'' Misato needs to come up with a plan to break Rei out of Nerv while Shinji escapes to rescue Asuka. Something all but impossible. Then she says: "You know, this might be total madness, but I actually might have a plan..." What is her plan? Later we find out:
-->'''Rei''': "Are we [[spoiler:stealing an Evangelion]]?"\\
'''Misato''': "Yes we are, because we are insane."
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8966727/11/Vengeance-from-the-grave Vengeance from the Grave]]'' Harry suggests that a couple of his fellow Unspeakables deal with several giants using their Animagus forms by having the panther slash the giants' Achilles tendons after which the bull will push them over. The team leader comments "That's just stupid enough to actually work."
* ''Fanfic/FromBajorToTheBlack'': Kanril Eleya takes out a Borg probe by charging it, neutralizing its shields with those of her own ship, and beaming a photon torpedo aboard, then running like hell before the torpedo blows.
-->'''Captain Jay Yim:''' Lieutenant Kanril, are you ''insane''?!\\
'''Eleya:''' It worked, didn't it?
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10369035/6/The-Fire-Bird-Act-I The Fire Bird Act I]]'':
-->Sirius walked through Diagon Alley with his hood up, this plan was stupid and he knew it but it was so stupid he knew it would work. No one was looking for Sirius Black: Mad Man and Killer in Diagon Alley, as far as the public knew he was in northern France and heading south.
* Oddly enough, the flat-out [[AvertedTrope aversion]] and even ''[[DefiedTrope defiance]]'' of this Trope (be it because RealityEnsues or because the good ''and'' bad guys are ''that'' CrazyPrepared or good at XanatosSpeedChess) is a minor RunningGag on the ''Nanoha'' fanfic ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic''.
* The aversion of this trope (and LemonyNarrator pointing out ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism why]]'' "Crazy Enough To Work" is plainly ''[[ThisIsReality not]]'' going to work) is also a minor RunningGag amongst the writings of Tropers/EarthScorpion. The one time this is played straight, on the ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''[=/=]''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech'' crossover ''Fanfic/AeonNatumEngel'', it actually makes the one who gives the idea (a Misato Katsuragi so drunk and full of despair at the oncoming Angel that she proposes equipping the Evangelions with [[GatlingGood plasma miniguns]], which would need to be built from scratch (and later are)) to do a DoubleTake.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/45/Harry-Crow Harry Crow]]'' Hermione suggests that they all wear mirrored sunglasses, blind the basilisk with an illumination spell and cast at its eyes as fast as they can.
-->'''Padma Patil:''' Hermione, that's so bloody crazy it just might work!
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7289021/9/My-Short-Story-Haven My Short Story Haven]]'' Godric Gryffindor's spirit suggests kicking Dumbledore out of Hogwarts and making baby Harry the new Headmaster (and his guardian Severus Snape interim Headmaster) as a distraction, allowing him and the other Founders to improve the school behind the scenes.
-->'''Salazar Slytherin:''' That idea is crazy.\\
'''Godric Gryffindor:''' Well?\\
'''Salazar Slytherin:''' Yet it is so crazy that it might actually work. The way your crazy ideas usually do.
* In chapter 25 of ''FanFic/SonOfTheSevenKingdoms'', William Baratheon uses the [[Videogame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Storm Call Shout]] on the Iron Fleet, knowing that he is risking the destruction of his own fleet, or even King's Landing. Fortunately, it pays off.
* ''FanFic/FantasyOfUtterRidiculousness:'' While caught in the middle of a fight between [[WesternAnimation/MegasXLR Megas]] and [[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Yuuka Kazami,]] Reimu decides on a risky plan to end the fight without any casualties. She knows there's a strong chance it'll end up killing her (and wiping out Gensokyo by extension), but decides to do it anyway with no other justification than "this entire evening has been stupid enough to begin with". Her plan? [[spoiler: Using ''herself'' as an extra power source for Megas, transferring her ability to fly into its systems and giving it the ability to do meaningful damage to Yuuka.]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8878584/18/Beyond-the-Veil-Volume-One-Arrival Beyond the Veil Volume One: Arrival]]'' Literature/HarryPotter and Deadpool are up against a feral Wolverine and Sabertooth.
-->'''Deadpool:''' Don't know why I'm doing this, maybe you can magically amplify my bullets to actually break through the healing factor. I know, nutty and off the wall, but...\\
'''Harry:''' It just might work.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9517967/3/Hawk-Eyed-Charlie Hawk-Eyed Charlie]]'' Charlus Potter decides that Neville's parents are suffering from a magical version of PTSD and he and his mostly-Muggle fellow veterans should kidnap them from St. Mungo's so they can recover among friends.
-->'''Old Harry:''' It's so crazy it just might work! Hell, it helped Danny boy when he came back from 'Nam when his own kids wanted to ship him off to a nursing home!
* ''Fanfic/TheDeathGodAlliance'' had the problem of Nico di Angelo going missing after an attack by magicians. Hades becomes quite angry and prepares to destroy the magicians of the House of Life, which would end badly. However Nico can't simply pop in and say he's fine because he got part of Anubis's soul stuck in him and Hades would react badly to that. His solution: Make it seem like he had simply been playing Mythomagic for a week with Anubis and hadn't noticed anything amiss. This worked, despite even Percy Jackson thinking the plan was completely ludicrous.
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'': Par for the course for Ash. Even if he has everything against him, he won't rest until he finds a way out. Some of his most impressive victories include:
** In the Celadon Gym, Erika's Leafeon summons a long-lasting Rain Dance, that hampers Ash's Pokémon with type advantages against Erika's Grass-types. When he realizes he won't be able to win if he doesn't get rid of the rain, he does... with ''his own'' Rain Dance. This sounds absurd at first, but it works, because the resulting downpour gets rid of the moisture in the air, meaning the rainy conditions can't be sustained any longer.
** In the semifinals of the [[TournamentArc Fuchsia Tag Tournament]], Ash and Pikachu's opponent is a Mudsdale that has just about everything on its favor: [[ElementalRockPaperScissors has a type advantage as a Ground-type]] [[NoSell thus rendering his Electric attacks useless]], [[StoneWall has an ability that boosts its defense every time it takes damage]] [[MightyGlacier and on top of that hits hard.]]. What does Ash do? [[spoiler: Have Pikachu store as much electricity as he can in his tail, and then attack ''the battlefield'', sending out a barrage of rocks over Mudsdale, damaging it enough to end the battle with one last Iron Tail.]]
** Later in the finals, faced against Paul's Torterra, [[spoiler: Ash tells Red that in order to win, Red needs to evolve his Charmeleon. Red and everyone else thinks he's crazy, but Ash insists that he can see his Charmeleon has the power to evolve, and just needs the motivation to do so. Red then awkwardly gives Charmeleon a pep speech, and to everyone's shock, he does evolve, becoming strong enough to overpower Torterra.]]
* ''FanFic/ThePiecesLieWhereTheyFell'': [[spoiler: Vix-Lei's plan during the late stages of the battle with the Nightmare. It involves setting her hammers on fire and using them to pound their enemy.]]


[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''
** Has it like this:
--->'''Astrid''': What are you going to do now?
--->'''Hiccup''': Something stupid.
--->'''Astrid''': Okay, but...you've already done that.
--->'''Hiccup''': Then something crazy.
--->'''Astrid''': That's more like it.
** Shortly after that, when the other kid Vikings figure out Hiccup's plan [[spoiler: to have them train their own dragons]]:
--->'''Ruffnut''': You're crazy! (leans in closer) I like that.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Argo}}'': Lampshaded InUniverse by one of the hostages after hearing about the plan to pretend they're Canadian filmmakers to sneak them over the border. "Is this the part where we're supposed to say this is so crazy it might work?" (and given it's a true story...)
** As the main character points out, these types of operations run on this type of trope. Getting people out of countries is not something to ever be taken likely as the stakes are so high that you have to be above reproach in your operation. The fact that he tore apart the problem with the initial plan (biking through a very mountainous country during winter for 300 miles) results in the following conversation:
---> "You don't have a better bad idea than this?"
---> "This is the best bad idea we have, sir... by far."
** It's not much better from the Hollywood side either as the first crazy thing in the very long list of crazy needed to pull this off is discussed:
---> '''Chambers:''' If you're gonna do a 20 million dollar ''Franchise/StarWars'' ripoff, you need somebody who's a somebody to put their name on it. Somebody respectable. (''beat'') With credits. (''beat'') [[SerialEscalation Who you can trust with classified information.]] (''beat'') [[FromBadToWorse Who will produce a fake movie.]] (''beat'') [[OhCrap For free.]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** James T. Kirk is the living embodiment of this trope. This exchange from ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome''
---> '''[=McCoy=]''': So you're saying you want to go backwards in time, find some of these whales, bring them forward in time, drop 'em off and hope to hell that they tell this probe what to go do with itself?!
--->'''Kirk''': That's the general idea.
--->'''[=McCoy=]''': But that's '''crazy'''!
--->'''Kirk''': You've got a better idea? Now's the time.
** ''Film/StarTrek'': Kirk from the "Kelvin Timeline" [[InSpiteOfANail still shares the same audacity]]. Ordinarily, when a mining ship from the future commanded by an AxCrazy Romulan shows up and starts laying waste to ships and planets, most folks would decide to steer clear of the damn thing. Kirk, however, decides that the best course of action is to take them head on.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'': The ''Black Pearl'' is closing down on our heroes. Since they've already thrown the ammunition overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship, Will orders the crew to make a stand and fight, loading the cannons with anything they can find. Then, when it becomes clear that the ''Pearl'' will catch them before they can even try to fire on it, Elizabeth tells Anamaria to club-haul the ship, an extremely risky nautical move.
--->'''Anamaria:''' You're daft, lady! You ''both'' are!
--->'''Gibbs:''': Aye, daft like Jack!
** ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'': When Jack Sparrow uses the recoil of a cannon to toss him from one ship to another, it prompts this exchange between him and Lord Beckett:
--->'''Lord Beckett:''' You're mad! \\
'''Jack Sparrow:''' Thank goodness for that, 'cause if I wasn't this would probably never work.
*** And upon landing in front of his bewildered crew:
----> '''Jack Sparrow:''' And that was without even a single drop of rum!
*** And then the full scale of the insanity hits:
---->'''Lord Beckett:''' How soon before we can follow the ''Pearl''?\\
''(Then Beckett's mainmast breaks and falls over, having been hit by the cannon shot from Jack. Beckett stands absolutely stone-faced.)''\\
'''Beckett's captain:''' ''(admiringly)'' Do you think he plans it all out, or just makes it up as he goes along?
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Episode V: ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''. Han and the ''[[WhatAPieceOfJunk Millennium Falcon]]'' are having a tough time outrunning the huge Star Destroyers chasing them, so...
--->'''Leia''' You're not actually going INTO [[TheAsteroidThicket an asteroid field]]?!
--->'''Han:''' They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?
** And then he pulls another crazy stunt by going into a strafing run against another Star Destroyer. This confuses and distracts everyone long enough for Han to hide the ''Falcon'' on the back of the Star Destroyer's hull. When the Imperial fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace, thinking the ''Falcon'' had somehow already escaped, it dumps its garbage as per standard procedure and the ''Falcon'' with powered-down engines floats away in the middle of the trash field. Too bad [[BountyHunter Boba Fett]] stuck around long enough to see them when they powered up their engines again.
** Lando had one in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' when he commanded the Rebel fleet to attack the Imperial Star Destroyers at point blank range, guessing that A. The Death Star wouldn't fire on them for fear of taking out the Imperial ships in the process, B. The Empire would actually think the Rebels knew what they were doing more than they let on (this was elaborated on further in the novelization), and C. Even if it didn't work they could at least [[TakingYouWithMe take some of the Imperial fleet down with them]].
* The basis behind the plan to rescue Morpheus in ''Film/TheMatrix''. Complete with call out.
-->'''Trinity:''' Nobody has ever tried anything like this before.\\
'''Neo:''' That's why it's going to work.
* Parodied in the Dana Carvey film ''Film/TheMasterOfDisguise''. The line is repeatedly used for the most simple and straightforward plans. Dramatically.
* ''Film/IronMan'': Okay, so you're a rich playboy snarker who's out for a relaxing afternoon drive in the deserts of Afghanistan, when a bunch of psycho terrorists blast the crap of your armored truck, fill your chest with shrapnel, hook you up to a car battery, toss you in a cave, and then tell you that if you don't make a missile for them, they're gonna feed you to the hyenas. [[OhCrap Sounds like you're screwed, don't it]]? Here's what you do: build a tiny chestplate that puts out more energy than the warp core of a Federation starship, forge some iron and heavy metal by hand, and design a [[PoweredArmor badass suit]] that's capable of kicking doors off hinges, bitch-slapping terrorists by the dozen, equipped with a rocket launcher, a pair of flame-throwers ''and'' has a rocket pack so that you can blast off after wreaking havoc. Oh, and you have to do this while trapped in a terrorist bunker being monitored 24/7 on camera, meaning you have to build a convincing replica of the missile at the same time. Most people don't have the audacity to attempt something so brazenly outrageous. But then, Tony Stark ain't most people!
* Franchise/IndianaJones cutting the rope bridge in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', and many other [[IndyPloy Indy Ploys]] fall under this category.
-->'''Willie Scott:''' ''(sees Indy raising his sword)'' ''Oh my '''GOD'''!'' Oh my god, oh my god, oh my ''GOD'', is he '''nuts'''?!
-->'''Short Round:''' He no nuts, he's crazy.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Return of the King'': They're about to suicidally attack [[BigBad Sauron's]] far superior army to distract him while Sam and Frodo try to complete ''their'' insane plan of attempting to [[MemeticMutation simply walk into]] {{Mordor}}, somehow bypass the tens of thousands of bloodthirsty orcs, climb up an active volcano barefoot, and destroy a telepathic ArtifactOfDoom before it takes over their minds and/or gets stolen from them and handed to Sauron, which would grant him godlike power. [[spoiler:Not only does it work, but all the heroes survive, except for Gollum and [[{{Fingore}} a bit of Frodo.]]]]
--> '''Gimli:''' Certainty of death, ''small'' chance of success... What are we waiting for?
* ''Film/BatmanTheMovie'': Catwoman says this phrase almost word for word about the Penguin's [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee Unspoken Plan.]]
-->'''Catwoman:''' I say it's crazy. But I also say let's try it.
* ''Film/{{Sahara 2005}}'': Pulling a Panama? Okay, believable, considering gas is just as flammable today as 2005. But ''using a box of tools to convert a one-winged, at-least-as-old-as-you airplane into a windsurfing desert-crosser?'' Really? That's actually pretty standard for Literature/{{Dirk Pitt|Adventures}}.
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'' had this when Egon suggested that they cross the streams to defeat Gozer.
-->'''Peter Venkman''': I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! Let's do it!
* During ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' this is invoked by Will Scarlett (Christian Slater) after he launches Robin (Kevin Costner) over the castle wall with a catapult... "[[PrecisionFStrike Fuck me, he cleared it!]]"
* ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'' invokes this when planning his raid on Aqaba.
-->'''Lawrence:''' "If fifty men [[CrossingTheDesert rode out of the]] [[ImpassableDesert Nefoud]], they would be fifty men other men might join."
* Parodied in the film adaptation of ''Film/SgtBilko'' when Steve Martin's title character utters a variation of the Trope Name upon learning the new recruit to his motorpool division actually is a trained mechanic. "A real live wrench-turner in the motorpool? It's so crazy it just might work!"
* The comedy ''Film/DownPeriscope'' centered around an officer being tasked to test the abilities of the US Navy to adapt to unconventional warfare because he had a tendency to think this way.
--> '''Seaman Sylvesterson''': Actually, sir, I think we prefer to go with the bizarre and risky. Worked for us so far
* From ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'': BigBad Ronan The Accuser is about to use the most powerful weapon in the galaxy to destroy a planet. So what does Star-Lord do? Challenge him to a dance-off, completely bemusing Ronan and [[spoiler: distracting him for long enough for Rocket to {{MacGyver|ing}} a gun, knocking said weapon (a infinity stone) away.]]
-->'''Ronan''': What are you doing?... ''What'' are you ''doing''?
-->'''Star-Lord''': I'm [[spoiler: ''distracting'' you]], ya big turdblossom!
* In Harrison Ford's ''Film/AirForceOne'', when the generals are scrambling to get the President out of Air Force One before it eventually crashes into the sea, one does come up with a plan that even he thinks it's crazy: Basically, have an Air Force aircraft set up a zip line between the plane and Air Force One all the while in mid-air. And this is while the latter plane is losing altitude.

* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** What do you do when some of your enemies have survived your flaming deathtrap and are beginning to storm up towards your capital city from your shores - oh, and the leader of your men refuses to go near them, as he's suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder from being set on fire himself in the past? Oh, and you're a dwarf who can't even walk properly? [[spoiler: Say "to hell with this" and lead the charge yourself, shaming nearly everyone else into following you.]] What happens when your enemies on land are all vanquished, but some of the ones from the flaming ships are leaping across the wreckage, swords at the ready? [[spoiler:Meet them on the wreckage in single combat, getting your face horribly scarred in the process while you nearly drown.]]
** Also, any desperate plan Daenerys ever makes, especially the ones involving dragons or their eggs. [[spoiler:Copycats aren't so lucky.]]
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' invoked this frequently -- pretty much every time Rachel came up with a plan it was this. Marco says it word for word more than once. What to do when one of your friends has been kidnapped, held prisoner in a ridiculously well-guarded underground base, and you have less than two hours to rescue them, all while your leader isn't even around? Impersonate a jet pilot, steal a jet, fly it straight down into the ground ''through a building'', '''''then''''' bail out and jump into battle. Even then, it only worked because they made the BigBad's day when they killed a political rival in the process, and he didn't bother to stop them from leaving the mess. Rachel, folks.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': 'It's a commonly known fact that million-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten.' It ''has'' to be exactly a million-to-one chance though.
-->Sergeant Colon looked wretched. "''Weeell'', what if it's not a million-to-one chance?" he said.
-->Nobby stared at him.
-->"What d'you mean?" he said.
-->"Well, all ''right'', last desperate million-to-one chances always work, right, no problem, but...well, it's pretty wossname, specific. I mean, isn't it?"
-->"You tell me," said Nobby.
-->"What if it's just a thousand-to-one chance?" said Colon agonizedly.
-->"Anyone ever heard of a thousand-to-one shot coming up?"
-->Carrot looked up. "Don't be daft, Sergeant," he said. "No one ever saw a thousand-to-one chance come up. The odds against it are—" his lips moved—"millions to one."
-->"Yeah. Millions," agreed Nobby.
-->"So it'd only work if it's your actual million-to-one chance," said the sergeant.
-->"I suppose that's right," said Nobby.
-->"So 999,943-to-one, for example—" Colon began.
-->Carrot shook his head. "Wouldn't have a hope. No one ever said, 'It's a 999,943-to-one chance but it just might work.'"
* In ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s ''Martin the Warrior'', Feldoh says this after hearing the Rambling Rosehip Players's plan.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Tybalt's suggestion to escape the Calvarian navy via a passage inhabited by a sea monster in ''Reynard the Fox'' is finally accepted using this sort of logic.
* Most of [[CoolOldGuy Uncle]] [[CrazyAwesome Ebbitt's]] plans in ''Literature/TheSeventhTower''.
* The majority of plans crafted by ''Literature/CodexAlera's'' hero, Tavi of Calderon, hinge on this. So much so, in fact, that his lover is able to correctly reason Tavi's chosen location for the series FinalBattle by thinking of a place that only a lunatic would willingly enter.
** You want examples? Of course you do! Take, for instance, his role in the defense of the Elinarch. Due to a lot of things going wrong at once, he ended up in command of a single, inexperienced legion (about 7,000 soldiers) who had to [[YouShallNotPass hold a bridge]] against an army of more than 50,000 Canim: centuries-old, enormous, and incredibly dangerous [[{{Wolfman}} wolfmen]]. First, to stop them from crossing the river anywhere else, he had all the butchers in the camp and the towns at either end of the Elinarch throw buckets of blood into the river to attract [[EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks sharks]]. Any Canim trying to swim across quickly learned the error of their ways. He also went out to try to negotiate with the leaders. By himself. He proceeded to use his knowledge of their culture to laugh in the face of an EvilSorcerer and exploit a division in their leadership. Then he sat for an hour and [[SmartPeoplePlayChess played chess]] with [[TheStrategist Nasaug]] during a truce to let them remove their dead from the field[[note]]Tavi won[[/note]], in order to buy time for his men to set up his next tactic: sawdust and fire furies planted in every building on the Canim side of the bridge, which he then had his only [[PlayingWithFire Knight Ignus]] [[StuffBlowingUp blow up]] while the Canim were trying to move through them. He'd made sure they were all ''in'' the buildings by having everyone in the legion hold tiny firecraftings over the main square so the stones were superheated and anyone trying to step on them would get fried. And the battle ended when he had his [[BlowYouAway Knights Aeris]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome bend the air to form a quarter-mile-wide magnifying glass, concentrating the sunlight into a]] DeathRay. The general consensus among the characters seems to be that Tavi is [[CrazyAwesome completely insane]].
---> Ehren: "This plan is insane....''You'' are insane....*looks around* I'm going to need some pants.
** And that thing mentioned above about going into the most suicidal place he could think of? His plan was to [[spoiler:piss off the EldritchAbomination-like Great Furies Garados and Thana and use them against the Vord Queen. It only really works when she tries to claim the furies and he has the even crazier idea of cutting her connection and letting them go free to wreak random destruction. They are ''very'' pissed about the attempt to control them, and Thana, an enormous, sentient thunderstorm, pretty much literally chews the Vord Queen up and spits her out.]]
* Harry's plans in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' are often of this variety. Since they are written by the same man as ''Codex Alera'', this is far from surprising.
** [[spoiler:Zombie Tyrannosaur, anyone?]]
** "Challenge ''everyone'' ([[spoiler:White Council, White Court, Shagnasty]]) who shows up in one place at the same time, just to try to draw out a single baddy who won't be able to miss the opportunity". Particularly since the thing that worked in the end was [[spoiler:hiring a plain old vanilla mortal private investigator to take pictures of everyone going through the Ways to the island. And then presenting his ''dog'' (a magic temple dog at least as smart as a person, admittedly, but still a dog and not capable of speech) to corroborate the photo evidence.]]
** Possibly the craziest - or at least the riskiest - was in the third book when one of his plans hinged on deliberately ingesting lethally poisonous mushrooms.
--->'''Thomas:''' I thought you were lying. Bluffing.\\
'''Harry:''' I don't bluff if I can help it. I'm not too good at it.
** In ''Cold Days'':
--->'''Karrin:''' You want me to drive into the lake.\\
'''Harry:''' You have to admit, it isn't the craziest thing I've ever asked you to do. It isn't even the craziest thing I've asked you to do ''tonight''.\\
'''Karrin:''' You're right. Let's go.
** ''Literature/GhostStory'' hangs a giant lampshade on this. There's a rule in the series that only insane ghosts can manifest physically. [[spoiler:Ghost Harry realizes he can pull this off precisely ''because'' he's pulled off so many utterly batshit plans!]]
* ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'' has this come up a lot, usually for [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} John's]] plans. About a third of the way through the book, after the heroes decide to fight a ballroom full of monsters with ThePowerOfRock, he even speaks a variation of the StockPhrase:
-->'''John:''' I'm lead, Jim is rhythm, Jen sings backup. Jen, just repeat everything Dave sings, only like one second behind. The sound system will be on the stage. We duck out there and plug in and wail. Okay? Guys, ''this is just retarded enough to work.''
* ''Literature/XWingSeries''. Wraith Squadron specializes in these plans. Just during their first active mission, they fake the ''Millennium Falcon'' to decoy a Star Destroyer away from an evacuating Rebel base, then proceed to capture (and utilize in a FalseFlagOperation) a Corellian Corvette pocket carrier with an X-wing's laser cannon carried by the squadron's resident Gamorrean - who they got onto the corvette by ripping the smuggling compartment out of a shuttle, and attaching the rockets from an X-Wing's ejector seat to it to turn it into a makeshift boarding pod.
* [[GuileHero Kelsier]] of ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' pretty much can't go a single chapter without ''someone'' saying he's nuts, usually because of the sheer, ludicrous RefugeInAudacity. His plans usually work for exactly that reason.
* In ''[[Literature/LegacyOfTheAldenata A Hymn Before Battle]]'', during the events of the defense of Diess, Lt. O'Neal had acquired a reputation for plans that sounded crazy but were thought to possibly work, due to the successes of his unconventional campaign against the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Posleen]].
* ''Literature/TheFlightEngineer'': Early in ''The Rising'', Commander Peter Raeder drives a SpacePirate fighter away from a damaged freighter by ''landing a repair scooter on it and bashing its sensor arrays to pieces with a hammer and a set of tin snips''. As he runs the heck away, the pirate radios its buddies that the Merchant Marines have developed a new weapon of some sort. (Raeder had a fun time explaining that line to Intelligence.) This sets the stage for ever more ridiculous plans by Raeder, such as nuking a Fibian fleet by having fighters shoot up ice asteroids with their cannons until the hydrogen in them undergoes fusion.
* In ''Discworld/SmallGods'', inhabitants of Ephebe believe that crossing the desert is impossible, so they keep all their military forces focused on the sea. [[spoiler:Vorbis sends several caravans to leave supplies along the way, which lets Omnian soldiers cross the desert and take Ephebe completely by surprise.]]
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. As stated in the film section above, Gandalf´s gambit of sending Frodo into Mordor straight under Sauron´s nose is pretty far out. In the book, Denethor lampshades it prominently:
--> '''Denethor''': At this hour, to send it in the hands of a witless halfling into the land of the Enemy itself, as you have done, and this son of mine, [[LampshadeHanging that is madness]].
* In ''Literature/RomeoAndOrJuliet'', Juliet's nurse has the option of jamming really firm sticks into the mouths of several ferocious dogs and a lion. Both the narrator and gatekeeper are shocked that she managed to even get the sticks in the animals' mouths, let alone avoid getting killed by them.
* ''Literature/TroyRising''. As an underdog on the galactic scene, almost every single one of humanity's schemes ends up like this, by necessity. Using a solar-powered mining laser to drive off alien invaders? ''Inflating'' a nickel-iron asteroid into a battlestation 10km across? [[spoiler:Making that battlestation ''mobile'' with an ORION drive?]] [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in one conversation between a human and an alien-based AI:
-->'''Tyler Vernon:''' If it's crazy and it works...
-->'''Granadica:''' ...it's not crazy. You humans are ''only'' sophonts in this galactic region to have that saying. Most people just go with "that's crazy."
* In Lawrence Block's ''The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian'' Bernie asks Denise to forge a Mondrian so he can cut it out of the frame and then swap the frame for an actual Mondrian.
-->'''Denise:''' This whole business is crazy, Bernie. You know that, don't you?\\
'''Bernie:''' Yeah.\\
'''Denise:''' All the same, it just might work.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/TheKnick'', [[Creator/CliveOwen Dr. John Thackery]] needs to perform surgery on a man with bronchitis, meaning that he can't be given ether. His solution? Inject cocaine into the man's spine. In-universe, this procedure has only ever been tried once, on a dog. And ''the dog died''. His colleagues think he's insane but, obviously, it works perfectly.
** This is deconstructed in the season one finale. Thackery once again performs a revolutionary new procedure on a patient but this time he kills the patient. He drew incorrect conclusions from his research and he was too stubborn and paranoid to consult with other experts in the field. In addition, the patient's life was in no immediate danger so there were no extenuating circumstances to justify him performing such a risky experiment on a patient without her consent.
* Pick any (and we do mean ''any'') of the plans hatched by the folks on ''Series/StargateSG1''.
** [[RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun Blowing up a sun]]; using ''every'' Stargate simultaneously to generate a wave capable of disintegrating matter '''''across the whole galaxy.'''''; sneaking into a conference where ''all'' your major enemies are gathered; storming an enemy mothership with just four people. Believe it or not, these aren't the craziest ones.
** One later season episode [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the escalating ridiculousness:
--->'''Col. O'Neill''': All I'm saying... just for the record... this is the wackiest plan we've ever come up with. [He turns and starts to leave the room]\\
'''Maj. Carter''': Wackier than strapping an active Stargate to the bottom of the X-302?\\
'''Col. O'Neill''': [As he walks out the door] Oh, yeah.\\
'''Maj. Carter''': [Calling after O'Neill] Wackier than blowing up a sun?\\
'''Col. O'Neill''': [From the corridor, unseen] Yep!\\
'''Maj. Carter''': [to Jonas and Daniel] ...He's probably right.
** Invoked by the Asgard Thor, who will occasionally "borrow" SG-1 to deal with an Asgard problem when they are totally stumped. Because as a highly advanced and logical race, he feels the Asgard lack the capacity for "stupid ideas" that end up being extremely effective, which SG-1 has a history of coming up with on the fly.
* Some of the stuff that {{Series/Chuck}} Bartowski comes up tests the very limits of sanity. But somehow, it works. There are [[RuleOfFunny reasons]] [[RuleOfCool why]] [[ThePowerOfRock it]] [[ChekhovsGun works]].
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': See John. See John have a fight with a large empire. See John strap a nuclear bomb to his chest and walk into their headquarters as a diversion. See John Win.
* A fair number of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' adventures feature somebody coming up with plans that are Crazy Enough To Work.
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', Scotty especially had a habit of making stuff work that simply defied the laws of physics, though he admitted to Geordi La Forge in his cameo appearance in the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Next Generation]]'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E4Relics Relics]]" that, like any smart engineer, he always left a decent safety margin that he could exceed in a pinch.
** As mentioned above, James T. Kirk is the patron saint of Crazy Enough To Work. From corbomite to fizzbin, most of his plans are completely insane when viewed from a distance (and pretty often he's so damn lucky that they work for him and ''only'' for him--the infamous BambooTechnology cannon from "Arena", for example, has exploded in the face of everybody else who has tried to create it and use it in a similar way on training exercises afterwards (they have gotten a bit luckier using it as a pipe bomb)).
* Played with in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. Former Maquis, who made up a lot of the crew, had to make do with next to nothing a lot, so they came up with ways to do the mission that'd make regular Federation officers protest like mad. Janeway was smart enough to let her Maquis people do their thing when needed, but even then it didn't always work.
* Many of the myths tested on ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' turn out to be this. For example, if a car goes fast enough, can it skip right over the surface of a 120-foot lake and keep driving when it gets to the other side? The Build Team didn't think so either. Then they tested it. Can you fool a highly-sensitive sonar motion detector by holding up a bedsheet in front of you to absorb the sound waves? Guess what...
* Every single episode of ''Series/MacGyver'', of course. Crazy Enough To Work is the driving principle behind MacGyvering.
* Also pretty much every episode of ''Series/HogansHeroes''.
--> '''Hogan''': Well, we've got to stop Williams, but use him as a diversion so we can knock out that gun.
--> '''Newkirk''': With all due respect, sir, you're dreaming.
--> '''Hogan''': If you've got a better dream, I want to hear it.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' has an episode where Shawn tries to escape Cory's house through his bedroom window which leads out to the backyard. The problem is, the parents are out there. After freaking out for a minute, Shawn is reminded by Cory that he could just go out the front door. Shawn questions this for a second, and then states that it's crazy enough to actually work. It does of course.
* ''Series/TheATeam''. Period. Consider this quote from [[Film/TheATeam the Movie]].
-->'''Lt. Templeton "Face" Peck:''' This is ''nuts'', boss.
-->'''Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith:''' It gets better! (starts laughing)
* ''Series/CornerGas''. Many of the schemes tried by Brent [=LeRoy=] and Hank Yarbo (and a pretty significant chunk of the schemes everyone else in the main cast try) fit into this trope. Most of the time the plans fail miserably, but even when they work, the success just creates another problem they hadn't anticipated.
* This happens a lot in ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'', always prefaced by the words "I have a cunning plan". Subverted as these plans usually fail, or are so stupid that is no way to actually enact the plan. "Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic! Contemptible! Worth a try!"
* On ''Series/TheDailyShow'', when John Hodgman (Resident Deranged Millionaire - no, really, it's his actual title) suggests that America fake its own death to avoid debt, Jon Stewart said "Wow, that's so crazy... it just might be [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] crazy."
* Any and all prison escapes by Michael Scofield of ''Series/PrisonBreak''. Features of his plans include structural engineering know-how, coded phrases and last minute improvisations due to being failed and/or betrayed by other people. However special mention must go to his later plot to steal Scylla. Let's take the most prized possession of the powerful Company that keeps trying to torture and kill us!
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''Series/{{Buffy|The Vampire Slayer}}'':
-->'''Cordelia:''' I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.
-->'''Oz:''' We attack the mayor with hummus!
-->'''Cordelia:''' I stand corrected.
-->'''Oz''': Just gettin' things in perspective.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'',
** "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7boeBf5pbQ Time Crash]]" (though it happens [[MadScientist more than you might imagine]]):
--->'''Fifth Doctor:''' You'll blow up the TARDIS!
--->'''Tenth Doctor:''' Only way out.
--->'''Fifth Doctor:''' Who told you that?!
** ''Doctor Who'' runs on Crazy Enough to Work, but even they outdid themselves with the grand plan to save [[spoiler:Gallifrey]] in "Day of the Doctor". The Doctor(s) plan(s) to use the TARDIS(es) to trap [[spoiler:Gallifrey]] in a single instant in time and store it in a pocket universe, hiding from the rest of the universe and allowing [[spoiler:the Daleks]] who have the planet surrounded to blast themselves to smithereens. The [[spoiler:Time Lord General's]] reaction to this is priceless: "I'm sorry... '''''WHAT!!??'''''
* Major Bunny Colvin comes up with a pretty interesting plan in season 3 of ''Series/TheWire''. Faced with the drug trade sprawling over more and more of his streets, as well as an increasing pressure to get crime rates down, what plan does he come up with? [[spoiler:Legalize drugs.]] More specifically, he sets up [[spoiler:three "safe zones" in his district and makes a deal with the dealers: if they move all their trade there, the police won't touch them.]] And it works. Dangerous street corners are cleared for ordinary people and his men can focus on fighting crime more concretely, as opposed to making endless futile drug raids. Crime goes down 14%. But in the end, ''The Wire'' is too naturalistic for such a ZanyScheme to be workable: [[spoiler:once his superiors find out about the whole thing, "Hamsterdam" is shut down, Colvin is disgraced and the streets return to normal.]] Major Rawls even comments that his plan was brilliant - insane and illegal, but brilliant.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''. The plan to capture Angelus has to qualify. It involved Faith doping up during a fight, allowing herself to be fed on, then Angelus getting high off the drugs she took.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' The crew of ''Serenity'' practically does this for a living. The maneuver "Crazy Ivan" is called that for a reason[[note]]This reason has less to do with this trope and more to do with UsefulNotes/ColdWar Soviet subs playing sonar tag with their [=NATO=] counterparts[[/note]], jumping onto a moving train is risky enough when it's not a hyper-fast futuristic train, injecting yourself with adrenaline to stay conscious long enough to call for help can be suicide, fighting off about thirty seasoned fighters with a bunch of prostitutes needs no explanation, and even ''[[BoisterousBruiser Jayne]]'' didn't think it was possible to get Mal out of Niska's skyplex.
* A rare serious version occurs in the season 3 premiere of ''Series/FallingSkies'':
-->'''Pope:''' So you think we can just sneak in from behind and take the Espheni by surprise. Well, that's insane.
-->'''Weaver:''' Which is exactly what the enemy thinks. Which is why they have left the back end of the plant undefended.
* [[ArchEnemy Diamondback]] in ''Series/LukeCage2016'' is generally crazy and unstable, but damn if his plans do work out. When Luke is framed of cop-killing by Diamondback, the latter takes an opportunity to pin him inside a club full of civilians and hold a couple of people hostage until they can take him out. This strategy is heavily criticized by his [[TheDragon Dragon]] [[PragmaticVillainy Shades]], because they are risking themselves getting directly exposed by the police and his boss is just [[IndyPloy making things up as they go along]]. Against his expectations ''this plan works'': after enough stalling, the police storms in, arrests Luke and Diamondback escapes, though he loses a couple of {{mooks}} in the process, Shades included ironically enough, who didn't have enough faith in his plan. Even though Luke also manages to escape the police again in the following episode, it was due to circumstances beyond Diamondback's control, whose plan worked out in his favor.
* This seemed to be Dino's preferred method in the U.S. Season 8 of ''Series/MasterChef''. His cooking was often wildly inventive and often went in directions that had never been done before and theoretically just should not have worked. When he failed, it could be spectacular, but his success was enough [[spoiler:to carry him to the finale and win in the end.]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'' storyline started off with Jeremy volunteering to work as a receptionist at his Dad's office for a bit. Walt says it's just crazy enough to work while Connie only agreed with the first three words of that line. It did ultimately work out.
* Subverted in a ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' comic where two scientists are [[OutrunningTheFireball running away from an explosion]], one scientist remarking "I guess it wasn't crazy enough to work after all."

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': Lots and lots and lots of these. Enemy not taking damage from guns and swords? Hit him with a chair. The godmodder deflects nukes? Throw a nuclear snowball. Giant universe eating demon with infinite health? Burn his overcoat.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Pretty much everything the Orks ever do, ever. And it usually works, thanks to their ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve field.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'': Flying a Pelican {{dropship}} through a network of underground tunnels to get the Master Chief to the map room.
--->'''Cortana:''' Look on the bright side, Foehammer. The last thing the Covenant will expect is an aerial insertion... from underground.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', the Master Chief dives out of Cairo Station with a bomb larger than himself and falls into the engine of a Covenant Carrier, detonates the bomb, and falls again to land on a UNSC ship that is miniscule by comparison.
--->'''Cortana:''' I know what you're thinking, and it's crazy.\\
'''Master Chief:''' So? Stay here.\\
'''Cortana:''' Unfortunately for us both, I ''like'' crazy.\\
'''Sarge:''' For a brick, he flew pretty good!
** In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', Kat proposes a way to take out a Covenant supercarrier that involves "the single most expensive piece of equipment made by man".
--->'''Carter:''' Even for you, Kat, that's...\\
'''Kat:''' ...inspired?\\
'''Carter:''' Not the word I would use.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. Ephraim, along with his 3 bodyguards, plans to raids the enemy castle and take it over, on the basis that "If the enemy thinks the same [that the plan is insane], there's our opening." Unfortunately, it turned out that [[spoiler: one of the aforementioned 3 bodyguards was TheMole, and therefore the enemy was completely prepared for the siege]].
* Justified in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'''s second act: facing an invading army from the neighboring continent, still convalescing from a recent war, the [[PlayerCharacter chief strategist]] of the Ylissean Halidom builds his/her whole strategy upon the reasoning that careful planning will merely delay the final defeat and decide to mobilize every force he/she can muster (including the fleet of the [[EnemyMine neighboring kingdom against which his country just fought two devastating wars]]) and head straight into the enemy's home turf with an army hopelessly outnumbered directly helmed [[FrontlineGeneral by him/herself]] and the [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Halidom's ruler]].
* Most of the escape from Peragus in ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic 2''. Pointed out once or twice by Atton.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2''. Coach comes up with an idea to start up a band's pyrotechnics in order to call for a helicopter. After hearing this, Nick drops this line.
-->'''Nick:''' [[TeamDad Coach]], [[StupidestThingIveEverHeard that has got to be the stupidest idea]] I have ever agreed with.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' this is intentionally [[InvokedTrope invoked]] when Brave Vesperia formulates the best way to [[spoiler:destroy the Adephagos by using Spirits and the removal of blastia from the world, something that would be all but impossible. However, it works, and the world is saved.]]
* This is how the [=UberCharge=] system in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' came to life, as revealed in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36lSzUMBJnc "Meet the Medic"]].
-->'''Heavy''': Doctor! Are you sure this will work?!\\
'''Medic''': HA HA! I have ''no'' idea!!!
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': Budd, being CrazyAwesome, tends to come up with plans that are this. In Uldum, his plan to escape from the Neferset (the cat equivalent of centaurs) is to [[PaperThinDisguise dress the captives up in a few pieces of Neferset armor with two of them carrying the third person between them, so that their shapes are vaguely similar to the Neferset]], and then walk out the front door hoping nobody notices. The sheer stupidity of this plan is lampshaded by the other party members, with himself Budd actually going as far as to say [[TemptingFate nothing can possibly go wrong]]. [[spoiler: Nothing does.]]\\\
It works partly because your character, the best fighter in the group, went along slaughtering guards and ''setting the city on fire'' just a few minutes ago. In the smoke and chaos, no one looks closely enough at your party to realize they're groups of three humans playing Neferset horsie ride. You'll notice that the next time your character canonically enters the city, they've stepped up the guard patrols quite a bit.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis 3}}'', Psycho says that going straight through the front door into the Liberty Dome will work because it's so crazy that CELL [[DidntSeeThatComing will never see it coming.]]
* This trope sums up Laguna Loire's plan to defeat the BigBad of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', an EvilSorceress [[spoiler:from the future whose consciousness possesses people in the present and is trying to compress time into a singularity in which only she can exist. Since they can't touch her in the present, what is Laguna's plan? Give her what she wants, so that a team of combat specialists can get to her through compressed time and kill her, then rely on the PowerOfFriendship to get them back to the right time when the timeline decompresses.]] Squall, the leader of the team, tells Laguna up-front that the plan is ridiculous, but goes along with it anyway because it's still their best shot.
* Lieutenant Welkin Gunther, the effective PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', has a knack for this. In the battle in chapter four, Operation Cloudburst, the Militia is ordered to take an enemy bridgehead on the far bank, and everyone expects the result to look rather like [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnside%27s_Bridge Burnside's Bridge]]. Welkin decides to mount an amphibious assault under cover of fog instead. ''With his hastily waterproofed tank driving along the river bottom.'' His own squad, who don't really like him yet, basically call him nuts.
* In the fourth case of ''VideoGame/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'', Prosecutor von Karma jokingly suggests that Phoenix cross-examine a suspect's pet parrot because he has no other options besides throwing the case. [[spoiler: [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Guess what causes von Karma to lose the case.]]]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/HatofulBoyfriend Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star]]'', the villainous Tohri Nishikikouji is using Anghel's power of bringing people into a shared mass hallucination to power a laser to destroy St Pidgeonation's. This could qualify on its own. [[spoiler:The heroes ''then'' realise that it might be possible to use those same powers to repel the laser. They do so by having Anghel bring them into a hallucination where they are "Pretty Coore" magical girls, able to use the power of love and friendship to save the school.]] ''It works.''
* In ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom'', the party needs to escape from the [[VideoGame/{{Strider}} exploding Balrog ship]]. A [[VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny dragon powered lens]] piloted by [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfValkyrie Zuhl]] is nearby but he can't get in closer because of the interference from the [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Psychopower]]. Hiryu's suggestion? Get to the dragon ''using the catapult and toss themselves towards the dragon''. This stunt is repeated in ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone 2: Brave New World'' where Hiryu suggests the same thing again with the newcomers utterly baffled at the idea while the ones who already did it before just gave up arguing about it and just did it with Chun-Li remarking that this one's easier because the other side of the ship can pull in the characters.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}} Mask of Arcadius'', Kayto Shields holds this opinion of the plan Ava proposes to take down the Pact flagship Legion. Since their target is too heavily armored and shielded to take down conventionally, the plan entails firing a point-blank shot from the Sunrider’s [[WaveMotionGun Vanguard Cannon]] straight down the barrel of the Legion’s own WaveMotionGun. This will start up a chain reaction within the Legion’s power generator and destroy the ship from the inside out. The plan’s success depends on whether or not Kayto [[spoiler:lets Ava go down to a compromised section of the ship in order to fire the Vanguard Cannon manually after a direct hit from the Legion’s laser batteries knocks out the bridge firing controls]].
-->'''Kayto:''' So in other words, the only way to kill that thing is to fly right in front of its primary weapon and shove a Vanguard down its maw, huh. Absolutely insane. I approve of this plan.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/TombRaider2013'', Lara's plan to escape Yamatai involves [[spoiler:incinerating the corpse of the last Sun Queen so that her spirit can finally pass on and stop causing the bad weather that keeps trashing all ships that try to leave]]. She admits that it sounds crazy. Reyes agrees that the plan ''is'' crazy, but then concedes that they'd run out of sane plans, so they might as well give it a shot.

* ''Webcomic/{{Annyseed}}'' uses a love potion in order to deter someone from her, rather than attract someone to her. Winston, you're a genius! Mmwa! Page 61.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''
** Most of Red Mage's plans in , constantly lampshaded. A most notable example is when he [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2008/01/15/episode-942-cross-eyed-traffic/ explains his plan has to work]] because it has ''no logical basis whatsoever on which it could fail''.
** Also frequently subverted on the frequent occasions when these plans spectacularly fail to work.
** [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2010/01/29/episode-1215-so-stupid-its-brilliant/ This.]]
* ''So'' many things in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. One of the best examples is the [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=061215 Ferret Bazooka]], where CaffeineBulletTime is weaponized by putting a hyperactive ferret in a cardboard tube, pouring in a pixie stick, then pointing the tube at whatever you want destroyed. If all goes as planned, a ferret on a serious sugar rush will shoot out of the tube at supersonic speeds.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}''. When Creator/NathanFillion wants to try the Crazy Ivan maneuver from ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' on his electric skateboard, he insists it's so crazy it has to work. Creator/JewelStaite replies "No, that's the ''opposite'' of true." She was right.
-->'''AltText''': "Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to [[EpicFail fail]] [[HilarityEnsues hilariously]]."
* Also parodied in ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire'' when [[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/buckcomic.php?date=20070331 Buck is dropped out of the sky]].
* A lot of the inventions the Sparks come up with in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' fall under this trope. Granted, they probably make perfect sense to the Spark making them, but to everyone else...
-->'''Agatha:''' This has a small, but fascinating, chance of ''actually working!'' Let's do it!
* ''Webcomics/DarthsAndDroids''
** The "party" of (and quite a few actual Tabletop RPG parties) runs on these kinds of ideas. In [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0477.html this comic]] Pete points out that Jim is their group's resident master of this trope.
--->'''Pete/R2-D2''': Everything's already totally screwed. This is '''exactly''' the time when his ideas work best. Everyone, think like Jim!
--->([[BeatPanel Beat]])
--->'''Ben/Obi-Wan''': My brain just broke.
--->'''Pete/R2-D2''': That's the spirit!
** When they try to mimic [[WhatWouldXDo what Jim would do]], Annie keeps doing things to try to slow ''half'' of a spaceship's fiery descent from orbit. Each time, Pete responds with "Not crazy enough!" Finally, her plan is to fire all of the ship's missiles at the ground just before landing, using the explosion to cushion the fall. Pete's response? "''Too crazy!''" [[spoiler: It works.]]
* Trust ''[[Webcomic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella Wonderella]]'' to [[http://nonadventures.com/2011/01/22/pie-a-la-murder/ come up with one of these]] to stop an OmnicidalManiac bent on destroying the whole universe.
* Mal from ''Webcomic/CthulhuSlippers'' straps the Necronomicon to his chest in this [[http://cthulhuslippers.com/comic/keep-safe/ comic]] reasoning that since the book is indestructible it makes for a pretty good bulletproof vest. He is yet to be proven wrong.
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': U17 Cell ''rips off his own head'' to avoid U11 Dabura's [[TakenForGranite stone spit.]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* [[Website/TheOnion The Onion Radio News]]' clip "[[http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/area_idea_so_crazy_it_just_0 Area Idea So Crazy It Just Might Work]]".
* In ''ARG/DarkDreamChronicle'', Hanna tends to resort to this immediately when running doesn't work.
* About half of Generator's plans in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. Of particular note is her plan to defeat the killer simulation they were given at [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]]. Three words: Radioactive Condor Girl. Not only was it crazy, but it worked so well the simulation staff banned the technique. Her Hello Kitty makeup compact that is also a flying attack weapon might count too, along with her stuffed cabbit. Which she weaponized.
* ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'' references it.
-->'''Twilight:''' ''That's'' all you know [about Pinkie Sense]?\\
'''Applejack:''' Well, if you want, you can just try asking her.\\
'''Twilight:''' That idea isn't crazy enough to "just might work"!\\
''[[GilliganCut [14 hours later...] ]]''\\
'''Twilight:''' Pinkie, can you tell me how your Pinkie Sense works?\\
'''Pinkie:''' Yeah, okay.\\
'''Twilight:''' I can't believe that worked!
* ''LetsPlay/AestheticGamer'' sometimes comes up with rather strange ideas to proceed in videogames. In his playthrough of VideoGame/{{Scratches}}, his immediate idea to gain access to the bricked up room is [[spoiler: to use the acquired rope to dangle it from the roof and climb into the room through the window]]. And he was absolutely correct.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* One ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode has Babs and Buster consulting a computer on how to rescue a friendly flea living on Furball from an evil, carnivorous bug. The computer reads, "Cliché #1: [[FantasticVoyagePlot Shrink our heroes]]." After Babs says it's crazy enough to work, Buster says "That's Cliché #2!"
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter says this before putting his hand in a waffle iron. Needless to say, that didn't solve the problem at hand. However his second one does. But it caused a [[JustForPun problem at hand]].
* Spoofed in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants''. Patrick suggests moving Bikini Bottom to avoid an attack from a giant worm. Squidward says, "That idea may just be crazy enough... to get us all killed!" They do it anyway. [[spoiler:And it fails.]] It's worthy of note that [[spoiler: the only reason it failed is because the worm was lured over the cliff the city was pushed under.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Shego says of a plan by Dr. Drakken, "I know I'm going to regret saying this, but I think you may have finally achieved 'so dumb, it just might work.'"
%%* Razor of the ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'' seems to come up with these very nearly OnceAnEpisode.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', the Planet Express crew and the Globetrotters are trying to solve the problem of "time skips" that jump everyone in the Universe forward in time, leaving them with no memory of what went on in the interim. At one point, Hermes Conrad says, "Say, I'm no physicist, but I think I know how to stop the skipping. We'll just--" after which time skips, everyone but Hermes is nude and in a conga line (Hermes is in a Hawaiian shirt, playing a steel drum) and Hermes cries, "I don't know how this was supposed to work!" Of course, most of the (often successful) plans in ''Futurama'' -- especially if they're by [[MadScientist Farnsworth]] or [[TheFool Fry]] -- are usually Crazy Enough To Work.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'':
-->'''Carl''': Johnny, I have a plan.\\
'''Johnny''': It's just crazy enough to work!\\
'''Carl''': But you haven't heard it yet.\\
'''Johnny''': Enough talk! I need action!
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''. After Optimus Primal ''jumps'', in beast mode, from a flying island that's just more or less gone nuclear, in the hopes of catching a tree branch on the way down before he and Rattrap go splat or get charred to a crisp. He does.
-->'''Rattrap:''' Of course you do know that was crazy. \\
'''Optimus Primal:''' Sometimes crazy works.
* Seen in the ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' episode "The Asteroid":
-->'''Jumba''': That's crazy!\\
'''Lilo''': So crazy it just might work, right?\\
'''Jumba''': No, just crazy.
* Used often in ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' Usually with the phrase, "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Let's do it!"
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/MaryokuYummy'' when Maryoku and Shika are searching for Bob. Shika starts out by systematically checking every spot in Nozomu, but Maryoku suggests starting with the places they'd usually find Bob.
-->'''Shika''': Well, it sounds crazy, but--\\
'''Maryoku''': Good! Follow me!\\
'''Shika''': But I said it sounds crazy!\\
'''Maryoku''': Yet you're still going to give it a chance. That's so nice.
* Used almost word for word in an episode of the 2010 ''[[WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010 Pound Puppies]]'':
-->'''Strudel''': An adoption fair? How crazy is that?\\
'''Lucky''': So crazy, it just might work.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether''. When Spanky fills in every blank in a mad-lib with "Penis", Wooldoor suggests using words other than penis, to which Spanky replies "That's crazy, Wooldoor! Just crazy enough to penis."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' (itself a big {{parody}} of sci-fi and anime clichés) found the titular robot with a critical part badly damaged, so they scrounge around a junk planet for a replacement. Ultimately unsuccessful but in need of the part to win a fight, Coop goes down below. When he comes back up, Megas is back up and running and proceeds to kick butt. When Kiva asks how he fixed Megas, he replied, "When in doubt…''[[DuctTapeForEverything duck it]]''!" Kiva is uncharacteristically impressed, "Primitive…but ''amazing'' technology!"
* ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'': Dick Dastardly will usually make this assessment on Klunk's latest invention to catch Yankee Doodle Pigeon. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption We all know how that turns out.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}''
** In "A Service To The Community" the girls take a battered Mr. Collins that they beat up ([[ItsALongStory long story]]) and try to think up a cover story to explain their teacher's ClothingDamage. They end up going with a plan that involves Collins' lizard and its lunch.
---> Taranee: (while looking at said lizard) Too bad we can't just sprinkle him with crickets so he'll think Mr. Scales did it.
---> Cornelia: That's crazy.
---> Will: Do it!
** In the episode "The Key", Will's plan to clear Vathek of helping Caleb escape boils down to framing a highly respected guard by slipping the key in the title into his armor and having Vathek fake being attacked...it works.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E5HomerDefined Homer Defined]]": Homer resort to "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" method to save Springfield from a nuclear meltdown.
** In "[[TheSimpsonsS6E24LemonOfTroy Lemon of Troy]]", Bart is trapped at the Shelbyville Zoo where he must escape or face the Shelbyville boys chasing him and tigers. Because he left during the lesson on Roman numerals, he can't find the correct door (number 7) because they're labeled in Roman numerals. He resorts to the Franchise/{{Rocky}} film series, which had the numbers, and he's successful.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'', Corey Riffin would say that he's "got a crazy plan that just might work", amazingly they ''do'' work.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Many variants on this are attributed to Niels Bohr, notably to Wolfgang Pauli, on Pauli's nonlinear field theory: "We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." Reputedly, when Lee Smolin was running around proposing that black holes give birth to new universes, Murray Gell-Mann said, "Smolin? Is he that young guy with all the crazy ideas? He may not be wrong."
* A relatively new chess opening, dubbed the Halloween, is a perfect example of this trope. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5?!]] The faces of people who've seen this opening -- right before they were flattened by [[ZergRush a march of pawns]] -- is something to be seen.
* Back when legalized racism was rampant in the USA, no shortage of people were trying to find ways of eradicating it. You wouldn't have thought that simply ''not'' taking the bus would make a difference. Martin Luther King and those who worked with him proved otherwise.
* UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo}}. Full stop. After UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983, stores refused to sell video game consoles and people were wary of buying video games. So what did Nintendo do? They packed in the Robotic Operating Buddy (which was a piece of garbage that only worked with two games) with the UsefulNotes/{{NES}}, so they could tell stores it was a toy, and they made it a front-loader so it resembled a VCR more than a gaming console. Nintendo is now considered to have single-handedly saved the video game industry in North America, and is one of the richest companies in the world. Fast-forward to 2004. [[UsefulNotes/NintendoDS A handheld gaming console with a flip-case design and dual screens, the lower one being a touchscreen?]] Was Nintendo seriously following up their successful [[UsefulNotes/GameBoy Game]] [[UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor Boy]] [[UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance line]] with that? Sony's UsefulNotes/{{PSP}} would kick them out of the handheld gaming market! Turns out touchscreen gaming was a good enough hook for the Nintendo DS to become the ''second best-selling gaming console of all-time.'' Come 2006 and we have a [[UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} console controlled by a motion-sensing remote]]. Seriously? And it's not even HD? Ridiculous! Ridiculous enough to sell ''67 million units'' in three years. The company's willingness to try ''anything'' out-of-the-box, especially after failures like the UsefulNotes/VirtualBoy and UsefulNotes/WiiU, makes Nintendo an unpredictable wild card with balls of [[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nintendium Nintendium]].
* When they released the Citroen 2CV in Africa, they included a manual for alternative solutions when parts weren't available, which included things like shoe-laces (because Africa is mostly wilderness, having to resort to a [[MacGyvering bush repair]] is a very real possibility).
* Politicians, scientists, and relief workers have been trying for nearly a hundred years to bring Africa out of the third world. One young boy, [[GadgeteerGenius William]] [[BadassBookworm Kamkwamba]], decides to introduce the first ever steady electric power supply to his famine-devasted cholera-torn village. And he did it ''[[MemeticMutation with a box of scraps!!!]]''. The villagers called him "misala", [[TheyCalledMeMad meaning crazy]], right up until the first light bulb lit up in his hands. Okay, he didn't do it in a cave, but he's still a bigger badass than [[Film/IronMan Tony Stark]] 'cause he did it ''for real''.
* Wait, are you going to play your amp loud, resulting in distortion and then make the guitar loudest in the mix? When Music/EricClapton did just that back in the Blues Breakers in 1966, he ended up inventing modern rock guitar as we know it.
* Similarly, Music/JimiHendrix stood with his guitar facing the speakers, becoming the first guitarist to use feedback deliberately in his music.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Tyre_(332_BC) Siege of Tyre]]. The city was impregnable from land and sea. It was a goddamn island. So what did Alex do? [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Turned it into a peninsula]]. You can just hear the Tyrian general's FlatWhat as he saw it going on. The Tyrians reacted quickly to the situation and managed to hold off Alexander for a while by employing their sea advantage to hold up Alexander's initial attempt at a causeway. Only when Alexander tried again, this time with ships helping in the work, were the Tyrians defeated.
* The Romans later did something like this during the siege of Masada. The fortress of Masada lay on top of a mountain and could be accessed only from a narrow road, meaning it couldn't be conquered by force, only by trickery (how the Jewish rebels had conquered it in the first place: [[TrojanHorse they entered with a supply caravan]]), and trickeries couldn't be attempted in that situation. The Romans ''built a mountain-sized siege ramp'' to reach the fortress in force and with their siege engines, at which point [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled the defenders killed themselves before the Romans could breach the walls]].
* Generals throughout history could occasionally get away with pulling off ostensibly insane stunts by exploiting this trope, usually involving an attack so unlikely (say, through a seemingly insurmountable desert, swamp or mountain range), the enemy is caught completely off guard (think the Blitzkrieg in the Ardennes Forest). If it's crazy enough, the enemy will never see it coming, and it just might work.
* George Washington's desperate attack at Trenton during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution ''should'' have been a suicide mission. The weather was awful, and his army was small, undisciplined, had lost every recent battle it had fought, and needed to launch a coordinated attack across an ice-choked river at night. And do it all on the sly. Of course, the unwitting Hessians knew all this too, and thought that because of all this, Christmas of 1776 would be a fine time to let their guard down. It wasn't.
* In the Eastern Theater of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, the Confederates put this trope to work early and often. The Union always had more men, so the only way for the Confederates to win battles was to innovate- often to the point of weirdness. It sometimes meant luring the Union generals into making fruitless attacks, and sometimes meant making their own unorthodox attacks at vulnerable spots. Robert E. Lee was a fan of the trope, and Thomas Jackson was the master gamesman of it. Ultimately, the trope was subverted. Jackson, the best practitioner of it, met an untimely death, hurting the Confederate's ability to deliver these types of battle plans. Meanwhile, Union generals slowly learned to simply expect the unexpected from the Confederates, and to retain the initiative in spite of Confederate tricks.
* In UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, like the French, the Belgians figured that an attack from the Germans was coming sooner or later, and they built a fortress to cover the most likely avenues of approach. The Germans responded by coming at it from what at the time must have seemed like the most ''un''likely avenue -- [[ItsRainingMen the top]].
* Zhuge "Sleeping Dragon" Liang was a Chinese general famous for his masterful battle strategies and deceit. Once during the War of the Three Kingdoms, he was trapped in a town with only a handful of soldiers and an opposing army of a hundred thousand men approaching fast. He immediately sat himself atop the city walls with the gates wide open, calmly playing a lute. The leader of the enemy army, Sima Yi, was [[ProperlyParanoid quite familiar with Zhuge's ingenuity]] and, [[BluffingTheAdvanceScout thinking this was all a big setup for a deadly ambush]], immediately retreated.
* The fate of Apollo 13. So your CoolShip has an explosion ''literally'' halfway to the moon. Here's the plan: 1) Use a machine designed strictly for landing and taking off as a lifeboat, even though it will have to support three people for four days when it was designed to support only two people for only two days; 2) Shut down all electricity, subjecting your crew to near-freezing temperatures (not to mention the havoc the frost is sure to wreak with the electronics when you have to turn them back on); 3) Kitbash a working carbon dioxide filter out of whatever you have lying around because the ones in the lifeboat can't handle the workload; 4) Carry out course corrections with an engine unsuited for such fine maneuvering, using such high tech navigational methods as "placing your thumb over the Earth and lining it up with your window frame"; and 5) Literally invent a new procedure to restart all your electronics so as to not blow every fuse in the craft, thus stranding yourself in space. The [[SubvertedTrope Subversion]] of this is, in the hands of ordinary people, yes, it would be '''''Crazy Enough to Work'''''. In the hands of NASA's highly trained corps of [[FanNickname Steely Eyed Missile Men]], it came off as almost...commonplace. The reality is somewhere in between; they weren't CrazyPrepared for this type of situation, but they ''were'' trained enough not to panic even when MurphysLaw struck (note the tone of the now-famous line, "Houston, we have a problem."—concerned but not freaked out), trained enough to coordinate with mission control, work out a solution, and ''get home alive''! Apollo 13 was a technological disaster but a [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome human triumph]].
** That may or may not be the point of the Steely Eyed Missile Men; create unusual and ingenious solutions to unexpected problems under tight deadlines. Besides which, while the vague ''concept'' may be "just crazy enough to work", there's a helluva lot of effort put into making sure that everything is within the bounds of reality.
** It was said later that if they had written the Apollo 13 situation up as a training simulation, it would have been rejected as unsolvable. That realization caused an official change of NASA training policy from "anything that's possible to solve" to "anything whatsoever".
* Hannibal's conquest of Italy in 218 BC. The Romans never expected ''anyone'' to be crazy enough to march over the Alps, and certainly not for it to work. He did lose half of his army and most of his war elephants doing it, but he had Rome on the run for nearly 15 years.
** In the end, the Romans won by ''outcrazying Hannibal''. Invade Africa and attack Carthage directly (either getting Hannibal's leaders to surrender or forcing Hannibal to return home to defend them)? Costly, but doable. Invade Africa with only infantry and raise cavalry among Carthage's allies? A bit crazy, but Carthage's allies were more favorable to Rome and with a few legions in support they could finally rebel. Invade Africa with an infantry army composed of fresh recruits and the ''survivors of Hannibal's greatest victory''? Crazy. Yet, Scipio destroyed Carthage's home troops and forced an armistice before a frantic Hannibal could return, and when Carthage broke the armistice and sent him Hannibal he ''[[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome defeated him too in spite of being outnumbered]]''.\\\
Notably, when Hannibal's army had just annihilated their best legions and was actually at the gates of Rome, leaving only a skeleton crew to defend the city itself, they sent an expeditionary force off to reinforce one of their overseas colonies. (Probably done solely to psych Hannibal out, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome but even so...]])\\\
This was done because the Romans knew Hannibal's one weakness: he lacked the numbers to sustain either a siege or an attrition campaign. Hannibal could deal with the attrition campaign by outrunning the Romans, but he could ''never'' conquer a Roman stronghold (as shown by the strongholds of Placentia and Cremona, placed in Hannibal-friendly territory. The first resisted to the Gauls' siege for ''years'', and the second resisted the entire war), much less Rome itself and the Roman-friendly populations around her. In the above mentioned situation the Romans didn't just send an expeditionary force to reinforce their overseas colonies (cutting off Hannibal's possible reinforcements in the process) precisely because they knew this, but ''auctioned the land he was camping on'' to drive the point home (the land was sold at the price of free land).
* Taking a page from the Steely Eyed Missile Men, a number of folks in commercial aviation likewise summon [[TheDeterminator crazy calm resolve]] to combat problems that arise. A most recent example, something, probably geese, gets caught in the engines of your loaded Airbus and blows them out. You can't circle back to the airport you left and you won't make the closest alternative. What do you do? Why, you just land the thing in the Hudson River. [[TheCaptain Captain Chesley Sullenberger]] and the [[BadassCrew crew of]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549 US Airways Flight 1549]] did it.
** With the help of the US Coast Guard a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_6 similar feat was pulled 52 years earlier]] in the '''middle of the Pacific Ocean'''. And like the above, [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome all survived]] (except forty-something unlucky canaries in the cargo hold).
** And there was an even more CrazyAwesome example in [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn the USSR]] in '63, when a TU-124 (Tupolev Construction Bureau Mk 124) jet plane [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_Aeroflot_Tupolev_Tu-124_Neva_river_ditching landed on the Neva river in St. Peters... sorry, Leningrad at that time]], ''right between the two bridges on it'' (distanced about one mile apart!) '''''and having passed just 4 m (13 ft!) above one of them'''''. Originally they were to land in Pulkovo airport after burning out the fuel left in their reservoirs, but when their engines stopped suddenly, they had no other choice but the river... And here's the crowner: the name of the plane captain in question? [[MeaningfulName Viktor]] [[PunnyName Mostovoy]] (surname derives from 'most' (мост), Russian for 'bridge').
* In robot combat (think ''Series/RobotWars'' and ''Series/BattleBots''), heavy spinning weapons are unquestionably the most dangerous weapon type, with the most powerful ones capable of tearing through metal armour like paper. The accepted tactic for dealing with such heavy spinners? ''Drive headlong into them''. A thick angled wedge or scoop will handily deflect the spinner, slowing or stopping it completely, and also causing the attacking robot to [[CastFromHitPoints take recoil damage from the impact]]. You can then just keep on doing this until the opponent's weapon breaks down, leaving them helpless. British robot Behemoth was famous for this tactic, and ''Robot Wars'' 2016 champion Apollo used this exact tactic to beat deadly spinner Carbide in the Grand Final.
* In UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball, there's the Panenka penalty, in which, instead of aiming to the left or right, you simply chip the ball straight down the middle, relying on the fact that a) goalkeepers will invariably dive to either the left or right, leaving the middle of the goal wide open, and b) they'll generally have to dive ''before'' you even kick the ball, and by the time they realize what you've done, it's too late for them to change course. It doesn't always work, but when it does, the goalkeeper is left humiliated.
** Free kicks are arguably the most difficult set piece in football to score from, even more so than penalties, due to the presence of a wall of players ten yards in front of you who will try and block your shot. The sensible approach is to try and hit it over or around the wall, with enough spin that it'll curl round and (hopefully) hit the back of the net. The insane approach, as practiced by [[TheAce Lionel Messi]], is to hit the ball ''along the ground'' - the wall will reflexively jump, expecting you to try and hit it over their heads, and the ball will pass right underneath them!
* Operation Desert Storm. US tanks drove through featureless, utterly unnavigable desert relying on barely proven GPS to catch the Republican Guard by surprise. (But unfortunately we went slow enough to ensure we were detected before we could actually use that surprise.)
* In UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the British were seriously thinking about making aircraft carriers out of ICE. The idea was that they would mix sawdust with the ice (see [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete Pykrete]] in the Other Wiki), which would hold off the ships from melting long enough, and be strong enough to double as armor. The main reason they were going forward with it was because it would require far less steel, which the blockaded Britian had very little of. However, it was subverted when they figured out it would take more steel to make refrigeration units needed to construct them than it would take to an aircraft carrier. Ultimately averted before any serious work began. By this time America with its unfettered industrial might was chipping in, and improved Allied air power was steadily one-upping the Wolfpacks. The situation no longer required such desperation.\\\
''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' decided to recreate this. They ended up substituting newspapers for sawdust, which on the small scale was much stronger than the sawdust. It worked better then they hoped and they were able to stay afloat for almost an hour. Adam Savage proclaimed the myth "Plausible, but ludicrous" as it wouldn't have been practical to do.
* Murphy's law of war states: "If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid."
* The Canadian 85th Highlanders of Nova Scotia battalion in the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI Battle of Vimy Ridge]] captured a vital linchpin in the Germans' defence, Hill 145. In the snowy battle, preceding attacks on Hill 145's artillery fire failed to suppress the defenders, who shredded the unfortunate infantry attacking their position, and with few men available, the 85th Highlanders were called up to take the position. Unbeknownst to the 85th, their preliminary artillery barrage was canceled due to the close proximity of their jumping-off trenches to the enemy lines, so the zero hour of their attack was met with silence...and nonetheless a battle cry rang out among them and they charged forward, largely surprising the Germans defending Hill 145 who knew that significant artillery barrages meant an attack was happening and figured no one in their right mind would attack without them. It probably helped that [[AchievementsInIgnorance the unit was up until this point, totally green and used only for work parties]].
* One would think that the LiveActionTV sitcom ''Series/HogansHeroes'' would have gone into DudeNotFunny territory right out of the gate. Instead, the writers, cast, and crew got it to work [[Funny/HogansHeroes hilariously]].
* Napoleon's standard modus operandi was this, earning him a lot of apparently impossible victories (and half of his four decisive defeats when his foes were smart enough to realize what was going on). Some examples:
** He's facing a well-equipped Royalist insurrection in Paris with an outnumbered army. To counter this, he fired ''cannons'' loaded with grapeshot (essentially transforming them into giant shotguns), causing the Royalist attack to lose any semblance of cohesion due to surprise and the losses incurred (a cavalry charge finished the job, causing the insurrection to dissolve). Grapeshot was not the crazy part (in fact, it was a standard load for cannons of the era), but using them in urban warfare was.
** In his First Italian Campaign, he won at Montenotte because he [[ExplosiveOverclocking loaded his cannons near the breaking point to fire at extremely long ranges]], knowing he would be able to replace the damaged cannons with ones captured in battle. At Lodi, he won by ''[[ZergRush charging]]'' the enemy guns (he had timed the enemy's reload speed, and knew that they could only fire once before his men were on them). At Arcole, he won by ''[[DefensiveFeintTrap losing a few battles on purpose]]'' [[DefensiveFeintTrap to lure his enemy to a prepared killing ground]]. To cap it off, he conquered the fortress of Mantua by forcing enemy relief forces ''into the fortress'', causing them to exhaust their food supplies faster.
** The Egyptian Campaign started with Napoleon running Nelson's blockade by having his fleet set sail ''during a storm'' (he knew the harbour better than Nelson, and knew that the only refuge for the blockade ships would have prevented them from noticing him slipping away). Napoleon's army was starved, demoralized and fighting against the strongest cavalry in the world. The square formation solved that, as did pointing out that the members of said cavalry went to battle wearing all of their jewels (the Battle of the Pyramids was such a CurbStompBattle that the name of his foes, the Mamelukes, is now synonymous with 'idiots' in Italy). Then, Nelson destroyed his fleet, preventing him from receiving reinforcements or returning home in case things went bad. No problem, he would just return to France by ''conquering the entire Ottoman Empire'', using locally-raised troops to replenish losses. The latter was one of his decisive defeats because British admiral Sidney Smith, who Nelson had left to keep an eye on the situation, realized what he was planning and reinforced/resupplied the fortress of Acre enough that it repelled Napoleon's siege (Napoleon would later be forced to abandon his army to return to France with a single ship).
** The Second Italian Campaign started with another, with the Austrians blocking the way to Italy near Nice and him pulling a Hannibal and entering Italy over the Alps (something supposed to be impossible with cannons). Also, at Marengo, the Austrians had all but defeated him when Napoleon noticed he was about to receive reinforcements and had his troops launch an immediate counterattack right when the Austrians were preparing for the post-victory pursuit (though the timing of that counterattack owes much more to Generals Marmont and Kellermann Junior: together, with eighteen guns loaded with grapeshot fired at point-blank range (Marmont ''did'' learn his artillery tricks from Bonaparte) and something like two hundred heavy cavalrymen, they managed to hold off the attacking Austrian column (more than 5000 men) long enough for General Desaix to get the reinforcements into battle formation).
** At Austerlitz, Napoleon was outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied army. His opening move was to retreat from the Pratzen Heights that dominated his chosen battlefield and letting the Russians occupy it. Between that, Napoleon feigning being hopelessly outmatched and knowing it and some of his troops retreating at what appeared to be the wrong moment, the Austrians and the Russians launched their attack... leaving the Pratzen Heights free for Napoleon to reoccupy while placing themselves in the best place to be shelled. In a partial subversion, Russian general Kutuzov had seen through Napoleon's plan right away, [[IgnoredExpert but his plan to retreat to HIS chosen battlefield was overruled and, after placing all the troops under his command on the Pratzen, he was ordered to abandon them]].
** At Somosierra, Napoleon faced a highly fortified, windy mountainous ravine that was his only way towards Madrid. Instead of assaulting in full force, he sent his personal retainer unit of cavalry (several hundred at most). Taking the Spaniards completely by surprise, they scattered the dumbfounded defenders for long enough that the rest of the army could secure the positions. Notably, historians debate whether this was the plan, an awkward result of misunderstood order to scout ahead, or the cavalrymen wanting to show off.
** The Russian campaign was supposed to be another: a sharp attack into Russia (something that was considered a suicidal attempt) to destroy the Russian army and force the Russians to join the alliance against Britain. Sadly for him, after the first few defeats, the Tzar placed Kutuzov into command, who completely outmatched him at a strategical level and ultimately kicked him out of Russia, aided by [[SaltTheEarth Scorched Earth tactics]] and [[WeatherOfWar General Winter]].
** Leipzig was the result of the Sixth Coalition pulling this on Napoleon: left with no generals capable of defeating Napoleon on the battlefield (with [[WorthyOpponent Kutuzov]] dead by an illness and the future Duke of Wellington being busy in Spain), the Allies fixed a few strategic objectives (including avoiding battles with forces commanded directly by Napoleon until they had mustered overwhelming force) and left to their armies to try and achieve them independently from each other. This not only gave them the overwhelming superiority they aimed for, but, when used on a tactical level at Leipzig, resulted in Napoleon rebuffing an Allied attack only for ''two'' other Allied armies showing up to prevent him from finishing the job on the first Allied army, ultimately forcing him to retreat with a crippled army and leaving almost half of it (including one of his marshalls) dead, wounded or captured. The gambit worked partly because the coalition had secured the help of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a former buddy of Napoleon, who knew the tactics of Napoleon inside-out, and therefore OutGambitted his former boss.
** The very fact that Wellington ''fought'' at Waterloo was crazy: his army was outnumbered and outgunned, most of it was comprised of [[NewMeat raw recruits]] (while Napoleon's army was entirely composed of veterans), and he had no heavy cavalry. On the other hand, the plan was to [[HoldTheLine resist and bleed Napoleon long enough]] for [[TheCavalry Blücher to bring his army on Napoleon's flank while he was fully committed]], [[JustAsPlanned and that was exactly what happened]].
** Napoleon's Marshals could come up with crazy plans of their own. The most famous example has to be Lannes and Murat seizing a vitally important bridge... [[BavarianFireDrill by walking on it and claiming that there was an armistice]].
* Similar to Hannibal's example above, the Maginot Line during UsefulNotes/WW2 was very lightly defended near the border with Belgium, in part because it was believed nobody would ever be crazy enough to try to send tanks over the uneven and heavily forested Ardennes. Which, of course, was exactly what German forces did, bypassing the strongest part of the Line and sending the French forces into chaos trying to repel it.
* Operation ''Chariot'' during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, also known as "The Greatest Raid Of All". The town of St. Nazaire in France had the only drydock capable of holding the massive Nazi battleship ''Tirpitz'' and thus the only port from which the battleship could attack Allied convoys supplying Britain with food. So, it was decided the drydock had to be destroyed. Unfortunately, a naval operation would be too dangerous and an air-raid too inaccurate. So, the British Commandos - the forerunners of [[UsefulNotes/TheModernDayRambo the SAS]] - decided on a new plan: they would embark 265 of their best men onboard a flotilla of Motor Launches, tiny wooden ships with practically no armor and minimal armament. They would be accompanied by the ancient HMS ''Campbeltown'', a WWI-era destroyer that began her career as the USS ''Buchanan'', which would be packed with large amounts of high explosive and disguised as a German destroyer. The destroyer would ram the dock gate and then explode, taking the drydock out of commission. Meanwhile, the Commandos would run around breaking things before embarking on the Motor Launches for the return to Britain. It was Crazy enough to half-work - the gate was rammed, the Commandos destroyed things... and then found that most of their tickets home had been sunk. Most of the survivors surrendered after being surrounded and running out of ammunition, with 5 escaping overland to Spain. The ''Campbeltown'', embedded in the dock gate, waited until the following day to explode, by which point it was crawling with enemy troops. The explosion totally wrecked the dock gate, and scattered bits of German so far and so high that human remains were still being found in ''1968''. The drydock was disabled for the rest of the war. The entire operation was so ballsy that the Germans sent messages to the British recommending that the raiding party be decorated for their gallantry and the British handed out medals based on those recommendations.
* The Inchon landings in the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar. The difference between high tide and low tide at Inchon was very nearly 30 feet in the late summer -- not really suitable for amphibious landings, since the ships launching landing craft would be likely to get stuck in the mud flats when the tide went out (and get stuck period six months later). So, the North Koreans weren't concerned with defending it. [[GenreSavvy That was exactly why MacArthur expected it to work.]] Using Japanese tidal charts, the UN forces were able to accurately predict high tide and when ships could move in to release landing craft, then pull out before they got stuck in the mud flats. The result led to the first major turning point in the war.
* Giuseppe Garibaldi once decided to conquer the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (the southern half of modern-day Italy) with a thousand underarmed people (one of them was a woman), facing off against ''one hundred thousand'' well-armed soldiers ''who knew he was coming''. About six months later, Garibaldi had an army of ''fifty thousand'', half of which defeated the last, underarmed and demoralized remnants of the army of the Two Sicilies. It succeeded for just one reason: the enemy knew the enemy force was coming but not that Garibaldi was in command. Two years earlier Italian unification patriot Carlo Pisacane had led a similar expedition that had ended with ''the lynching of the invaders'' at the hands of the citizens (it helped they had broke out a number of inmates from a prison, thus adding plausibility to the government's description of them as a mass of brigands and murderers), and the Two Sicilian commanders expected a repeat, assuming that the invaders actually ran the blockade (they did), and thus warned the people. The one difference was that Garibaldi was well known as a freedom fighter and had been smart enough to invade Sicily proper, [[{{Understatement}} that didn't like the government of Naples]] and was thus able to start an insurrection and cause mass desertions in the enemy army.
* The Sardinian and later Italian militaries ''love'' this. A few examples:
** Sardinia was scarce in cavalry, as both Sardinia proper and the mainland were mostly mountainous lands with little space for the horses. They raised the ''Bersaglieri'', assault infantry noted for their good aim ("''bersagliere''" is Italian for "sharpshooter"), their [[NiceHat wide-brimmed hat decorated with capercaille plumes]] (that shielded their eyes from the sun and helped aiming), and running all the time, and expected them to hold off cavalry charges with a square formation and then ''countercharge as they regrouped''. They had the chance to try it only once, but when they did they ''routed a Russian Army''.
** During UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, the Italians mounted torpedoes on commercial speedboats, called them MAS and used them as patrol ships and harbour raiders. ''The Austrian flagship was sunk by two of those speedboats''.
** The ''Maiale'' (Italian for "pig") was a long-ranged but slow-moving torpedo with a detachable warhead that is supposed to be steered in an enemy harbour by two frogmen, who then detach the warhead, place it on the hull of an enemy warship and then leave before they explode and sink the ship. In UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, two British battleships were sunk in Alexandria's harbour during a ''failed'' raid (the main target were the carriers, who weren't in harbour), among similar raids performed by the ''Decima Flottiglia MAS''\\\
The effectiveness of these kind of raids was such that the Allies tried to copy them with mixed results, and when Italy switched sides they called in the members of the ''Decima'' remained with the King's government and had them train their special forces.
*** Barely less crazy was the British attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto a little over a year earlier. It was an attack considered to be impossible due to the limited depth of the harbour, until the British figured out how to compensate.[[note]]Air-dropped torpedoes needed a minimum depth of water, or they would hit the bottom and get stuck in the mud. The British modified their torpedoes so they didn't dive as far. The Japanese were paying close attention, and used the same tactics and modifications at Pearl Harbor.[[/note]] Result, only two attacking aircraft lost for a cost of one battleship sunk, two more damaged, and more damage to several smaller ships.
** The ''Decima'' also raided ''Gibraltar'' successfully ''six times''. That is not the crazy part, as by then the tactics were tested. The crazy part went with the last three raids, as they came not from a submarine as usual but from ''a derelict merchant ship on the Spanish coast near Gibraltar that had been modified in a base''.
* UsefulNotes/NorwegianConstituentAssembly: The greater powers had handed Norway over to Sweden in January 1814, while the Danish Governor/Prince Inherent Christian Frederick has a gambit going on to prevent this, and secure Norway for Denmark. So, while every major power in Europe sided with Sweden, pushing Denmark pretty far because of her "international obligations", the Norwegian officials plotted on independence, with support from the Danish governor/regent, making him king of an independent Norway. This triggered more than one BerserkButton, and might as easily have devastated Norway in a destructive war, had Sweden gotten her way. Thus, the plan of drafting a democratic constitution to secure the power base of a Danish prince that was already planning a coup d'etat was pretty crazy to begin with - especially when every major power in Europe worked against Norway. ''It almost worked'', considering than internal independence was preserved, and that the union with Sweden became more loose than originally intended.
* The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, during the UsefulNotes/CrimeanWar. Lord James Scarlett maneuvers his brigade (roughly 800 strong) into position, only to see 3,000 Russian cavalry appear on a rise to his left, thus having the advantage in numbers and terrain. Scarlett patiently forms his unit, then charges uphill and puts the Russians to rout. Scarlett's foolhardy but courageous action nearly won the battle for the Allies, until an equally reckless, but far less successful cavalry charge later in the day.
* Germany, 2005. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic government was unpopular and behind by around 20 points in the polls against their rivals in the Christian Democratic Union. So what did Schroeder do? He arranged to ''lose a vote of confidence, knowing this would trigger an election'' '''''while his party was getting massacred in the polls.''''' Results? The Social Democrats, instead of losing a landslide, came in only 4 seats behind the CDU; as a result, the only viable government was a grand coalition of the SPD and CDU. Quite impressive when you take into account the whole "losing by 20 points" thing from before.
* And speaking of Germany, or more specifically, East Germany, many of the escape attempts to get out of the country were these, from tunnels to zip lines to being smuggled in the trunk of a car. But the absolute biggest example has to go to the 1979 ''Ballonflucht'', in which two families escaped in a hot-air balloon they had assembled in their attic with a burner and basket they had built entirely from scratch. Their flight lasted 28 minutes, but it was enough to get them into the West.