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[[quoteright:344:[[Webcomic/BiggerThanCheeses http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ohcraphackers_8957.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:344:[[HollywoodHacking Hollywood]], [[DuelingHackers take notes.]]]]

A very exotic device or problem, against which all manner of intricate, powerful devices or strategies fail, is counteracted by something incredibly simple and mundane. It can't be solved by their conventional solutions of MoreDakka, AttackAttackAttack, diplomacy, or other RuleOfCool applications. Main/AppliedPhlebotinum, it seems, often turns out to have a [[AchillesHeel weakness]] to some [[WeaksauceWeakness household product]].

Supernatural beings in both Eastern and Western mythology have a tendency for strange weaknesses, like a demon's obsessive-compulsive need to count dropped grains of rice or a vampire's vulnerability to garlic and sunlight.

Can be preceded by someone StatingTheSimpleSolution, followed by a FacePalm and/or a GladIThoughtOfIt moment.

Compare CuttingTheKnot. Contrast with MundaneUtility, where something exotic is used to solve something mundane, and WeaksauceWeakness, where a no less powerful individual gets strange weaknesses or power. Related to MugglesDoItBetter.
%comment% Let's be absolutely sure the example you're about to post isn't actually a Weaksauce Weakness, please.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In one of the episodes of the anime ''Manga/BirdyTheMighty'', the space-babe informs the hero that the slime based shapeshifting horror can only be hurt by a chemical weapon, specifically a surfactant. The hero promptly runs home and grabs a bottle of ''dishsoap''.
* This is a common plot device in ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'', where Kyon repeatedly saves the world by doing very mundane things, like [[spoiler:kissing Haruhi]], [[spoiler:convincing her to put a disclaimer at the end of her movie saying that all of the characters and events are fictional]], or [[spoiler:inviting the gang over to his house to do their summer homework]].
* The ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' manga has a flashback showing the epic battle between Nagi (The Thousand Master) and Evangeline (an incredibly LittleMissBadass and vampire), who are two of the most powerful mages alive. After some suitably epic banter between the opponents, Nagi ends the battle before it even begins by catching Eva in a pit trap filled with onions and garlic. Game over.
** Not to mention Chao's "secret weapon," which she didn't use in first place because she was afraid of the damage it could cause--a copy of her family tree. [[spoiler:Against her ancestor's UnwantedHarem.]]
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'':
** A powerful [[PlayingWithFire fire mage]] is stopped by... a sprinkler system. At first, he scoffs at the lead for thinking that his fire summon could be put out with just a little water, and he's right about that--the real point was for the water to blur out the printed runes that were continuously allowing his fire to regenerate after [[AntiMagic being destroyed]]. With that ability disabled, the rest is easy. He learns from this: Next time he uses laminated rune cards.
** GREMLIN's response to Touma's AntiMagic that's been kicking the ass of every mage he goes up against: They bring guns. Nothing supernatural about guns, so Touma's AntiMagic doesn't do anything against them, and without it he's just an ordinary guy.
* This is why most of the cast of ''LightNovel/FateZero'' hates [[CombatPragmatist Emiya Kiritsugu.]] Mages are typically very good at ''magical'' combat, but inexperienced in things like C-4 and sniper rifles. And that's ''before'' they discover the hard way that he also uses [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Origin Bullets]] as more or less the ultimate form of AntiMagic at his disposal when the circumstances dictate so[[labelnote:explanation]]They're "simply" bullets that each contain a tiny portion of powderized bone made from two of his ribs, which imparts them with the mystical nature of his Origin -- namely, to "sever" and then "bind" things in an imperfect manner. Applying the effect to a simple metal wire merely causes a reduction in its effectiveness as a wire; applying it to a mage's magical circuits, however, causes downright ''catastrophic'' consequences, as the circuits are completely ruined beyond any hope of repair, and the mage's body itself suffers massive, ''fatal'' damage from the backlash, with lots of extreme hemorrhaging and seizures.[[/labelnote]].
* The Protodeviln of ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'' can only be harmed by ThePowerOfRock. One of their number, Gabil, gets a brainwave on how to deal with this: earplugs. This actually works for a while, but the humans just make their songs louder. Gabil then installs a noise canceller in his mech, which proves much more effective.
* In the ''Anime/MegaManNTWarrior'' anime, the heroes get tricked into using a battlechip that corrupts Roll and turns her against [=MegaMan=]. After some time struggling to hold her off their resident chip expert comes around asking what the commotion is about. When they ask what to do next, he just calmly says to put in any new battle chip and the corrupt one will pop out just like any other.
* Yusuke of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' is able to beat a demon using Botan as a HumanShield by simply telling her to simply raise her arms, which made her slip out of the jacket the demon was holding her by and giving Yusuke an opening.
* Subverted in ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Neon Genesis Evangelion]]'': The bridge crew attempt to turn the Magi system off during Iruel's (a nano-virus-like angel) invasion of it. Iruel deactivates the command option before they attempt it. To solve the problem mundanely from there, they would need to physically destroy the computer - not a good option, considering the Magi controls all of NERV's operations, and the only person smart enough to reconstruct it is dead.
* The Paper Sisters in ''Anime/RODTheTV'' at one point go up against a villain who uses sound waves to disrupt their PaperMaster powers. Anita's solution? [[ThrowTheBookAtThem Throw a book at him]]. A normal, unpowered, really heavy book. It hits him in the face and knocks him right out.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' the whole point of the written part of the Chuunin Exam is for the student ninja to come up with elaborate and clever ways to cheat without getting caught, as a test of their information gathering skills. Sasuke is the only member of Team 7 to do it the intended way (he uses his Sharingan to copy every move someone else made). Naruto [[AchievementsInIgnorance accidentally]] [[LoopholeAbuse abuses a loophole in the rules]] (if you make it to the end of the test without being caught cheating and answer the final question- a SecretTestOfCharacter- correctly, then you pass, regardless of whether or not your earlier answers were correct or if you even wrote down anythiing at all). Sakura doesn't cheat either- she's smart enough to be able to work out the solutions on her own without resorting to cheating.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Superman}} shuts down [[PsychoElectro Livewire]] by simply getting her wet enough so she ends up short-circuiting herself. Then there's the rubber suit he put on to prevent her from zapping him and Parasite from leeching his powers for a two-for-one deal.
--> '''[[DarkActionGirl Livewire]]:''' Ooo, the Boy Scout [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar brought protection!]]
* In ''[[ComicBook/TheSandman The Sandman: Endless Nights]]'', the people in a castle bar {{Death}} from entering their home with a magic gate, rendering themselves immortal as long as they stay inside. After trying for about two hundred years to get in, Death (who is an attractive PerkyGoth) asks an off-duty soldier for help. Not knowing who she is, but smitten and eager to impress the pretty girl asking him for help, he tears down the gate with brute force.
* The ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformers Transformers Generation 1]]'' comic had Scraplets - a sort of contagious "flesh-eating disease" which affects transformers. It was inevitably fatal, as well as completely uncurable, apart from some apocryphal records of a substance so rare that its very existance was doubted. Standard procedure for dealing with it was total quarantine followed by [[KillItWithFire destroying]] the infected individuals. Oh, that nigh-mythical, incredibly rare cure? [[spoiler: Water.]] Of course that cure only got the Scraplets off the infected, then shooting at it worked pretty well.
** That said, [[spoiler: water]] is not something that MechanicalLifeforms from a planet that's almost entirely made of metal would have lying around in abundance, and on a [[WatsonianVersusDoylist Doylist]] level, [[ScienceMarchesOn we thought it was much less common at the time of writing.]]
** In the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' comics, a villain successfully keeps Bumblebee in his vehicle mode by applying wheel boots.
* There's a ''ComicBook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'' comic where villainess Magica [=DeSpell=] sprays Scrooge with a potion that causes his face to change to the face of whoever he looks at. Eventually Scrooge and company find that the solution is to simply wash the potion off with soap and water.
* In ''Joker/Mask'' (a crossover of ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' with ''ComicBook/TheMask''), SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is going on a rampage with the eponymous artifact, until Poison Ivy takes control of him with a pheromone spray to the face and forces him to do acts of Eco-terrorism instead. Lt. Kellaway convinces her that it would be better to seize the mask for herself rather than control its wearer. She orders Joker to remove it...but this frees him long enough to eliminate the spray with a simple squirt of water and re-don the mask.
** Later on Kellaway disarms a nuclear bomb by simply unplugging it.
* In ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'', a city is threatened with a nuclear bomb with anti-tampering functions installed to prevent defusing it. With no time for a better solution, Erma suggests a better idea: shoot it with a carefully aimed rocket launcher and hose it down with fire foam regardless of what happens next to destroy the bomb's mechanism without detonating it. It works.
* The 1978 Hanna-Barbera/Marvel special ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics: The Man Who Stole Thursdays'' dealt with Dynomutt's arch-foe, Mr. Mastermind, using a super-computer to eliminate Thursdays from the timeline. Captain Caveman defeats Mastermind by simply unplugging the super-computer.
* From a ''Comicbook/BlueBeetle'' comic, in a showdown with a highly advanced alien race:
-->'''Negotiator:''' Reyes! You could ''not possibly'' have co-ordinated with this "Bat-Man"! We monitored every ''electronic frequency'', every ''bandwidth'' you could use to reach him!\\
'''Blue Beetle:''' I know. Scarab told me. That's why I sent a '''letter'''.\\
'''Negotiator''': A... letter?\\
'''Blue Beetle:''' Pen. Paper. Loooooow-tech.
* In an ''ComicBook/IronMan'' story, Tony Stark successfully managed to wipe the knowledge of his being Iron Man from the brain of every person and every electronic database on Earth. Only in a subsequent encounter with Doctor Doom, he finds out Doom still remembers. When demanding to know what techno-wizardry Doom used to thwart him, Doom simply shows him the handwritten note with the information on it.
* Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} once got around [[MetalDetectorCheckpoint metal detectors]] in the Pentagon with a medical certificate stating he had metal implants due to war injuries.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-16860/MMcGregor+I+Am+What+I+Am.htm I Am What I Am]]'', [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Kakistos]] and his minions (who ordinarily require invitation to enter someone's home) enter Xander and Faith's apartment by bribing the landlord to give them a tour of the building.
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''LightNovel/VampireHunterD'' crossover ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6650670/1/A-Hunter-s-Tale A Hunter's Tale]]'', the Scoobies stop the Judge from being assembled by sealing a couple of it's pieces in concrete, inscribing the containers with holy symbols, and dropping them in the ocean. They later do the same with Acathla.
* In ''FanFic/{{Sight}}'' Ukitake has been suffering from his illness for centuries with nothing from Soul Society able to cure it. With some medical knowledge, Ichigo is able to narrow down Ukitake's illness to being either pneumonia, tuberculosis or lung cancer and recommends him to get some modern medical treatment at the Kurosaki clinic.
* In ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory'', Orochimaru flees before the Reaper death Seal is used, leaving behind the resurrected First and Second Hokages with orders to continue fighting until they kill the Third. How do some ANBU and a genin get rid of them? With kinjutsu? With demonic chakra? With some complicated seal? They use the Academy-level Transformation technique to make it look like the Third Hokage is dead, allowing the First and Second to return to their rest.
* In ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-28404-1/DianeCastle+Xendra.htm Xendra]]'', the titular character suggests dealing with [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Acathla]] permanently by using power tools to cut off the portion of the sword sticking out of its body. That way, no one can ever remove the sword and unseal it again.
* To get around the vampire need to be invited into her own house, Buffy in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10652386/3/Buffy-the-Vampire-Awakenings Buffy: The Vampire: Awakenings]]'' pretends she lost her key and asks her mother if Xander and Willow can stay the night, causing Joyce to invite them (and her) inside.
* There's a ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fanfic wherein a [[ItMakesSenseInContext Kimblee-possessing-Havoc's-body]] stabs Mustang, rips off his gloves before he can use them, and leaves him on the floor to bleed out, casually mentioning that [[EvilGloating he's going]] [[WhatAnIdiot to kill Hawkeye next]]. [[BroughtDownToNormal Robbed of alchemy]], the injured Mustang simply pulls out his gun and shoots Kimblee in the legs. The gunfire immediately attracts attention, whereupon Kimblee is arrested and Mustang is taken to the hospital. The rest of the story is more about figuring out how to fix Havoc and Ishbal flashbacks.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1460890/34/Living-History Living History]]'' there's a huge mystery about a "yellow arrow that screams" that will lead a group of time travelers to a magic grail they need to fight a horrible evil in their timeline. It's [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] who realizes that it's a book with a "screaming yellow" cover, specifically a book of maps. The time travelers are disappointed but Xander thinks it's hilarious.
* Apparently, Xander and Giles prevented [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] from walking to her death and freeing The Master in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-29997-8/Katrina+BTVS+Builders+Junkyard+Dog.htm Builders]]'' by shooting her with a tranquilizer and hauling her away. Since The Master could only escape in a very short time frame, he fails to leave before the barrier locking him away is renewed.
* According to CC in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11590432/3/Second-Time-s-the-Charm Second Time's the Charm]]'', what Lelouch thought to be special Geass canceling contacts were ordinary contact lenses.
* In ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-17641/Nycorson+Dust+In+The+Night.htm Dust in the Night]]'' Xander suggests making capturing a [[Series/StargateAtlantis Wraith]] easier by cutting off it's hands or covering them in super glue; either way would prevent it from feeding permanently or temporarily.
* One ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' story, Xander escapes from a magic circle written in chalk by peeing on it, erasing part of the circle and negating it's power.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11689576/1/Raptor Raptor]]'' Literature/HarryPotter keeps Voldemort from stealing the Philosopher's Stone by telling the Head Girl that the Weasley twins plan to let Fluffy out for some exercise. While the teachers refused to believe someone was going to steal the Stone, they easily believed the twins might pull a prank involving a cerberus and laid in wait for them.
** The following year he prevents the Chamber of Secrets fiasco on accident when he's the one to get Riddle's diary. When it replies to him, Harry mails it to Arthur Weasley with a note about it, ending the whole thing before it started.
* While the other professors are frustrated by Hermione's insistence on turning in essays at least twice as long as necessary in ''Fanfic/PrincessOfTheBlacks'', Professor Sinestra reveals she got Hermione to stop by threatening to give any such essays an automatic zero.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8339347/1/Social-Media Social Media]]'' is about how various villains from Series/TheATeam would fail in modern times due to social media and technology, such as a fraudulent taxi company being ruined by Yelp or a someone using their phone to record a corrupt sheriff beating a local.
* A number of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' stories that cover the Triwizard Tournament will have someone get around Dumbledore's Age Line using a simple method such as throwing a piece of parchment with their name in from beyond the line or paying someone else to enter their name for them.
* When Harry, Hermione, and Ginny were investigating what happened on Halloween 1981 in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5604382/1/The-Accidental-Bond The Accidental Bond]]'', they noted a lot of issues with why Sirius (supposedly) betrayed the Potters. Harry's response to try and figure out the issues: Owl Sirius and ask him.
* Shizune from ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'' has this as her LogicalWeakness. She's a nightmare to fight against since she can completely DePower one person with her Silencing Sigil and reduce the effectivness of everyone else's powers with her Silencing Aura (the effectiveness of which increases the more foes she faces). While this is highly effective, it only works against ''magical'' threats. Mundane dangers, say [[spoiler: [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Natsuki with a handgun]]]], are just as effective as they would be against anyone else.
* Since she's an astral projection, [[Anime/TenchiMuyo Ryoko]] can't talk to Tenchi in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4543978/1/The-Flying-Lady-Or-No-Need-For-Words The Flying Lady Or, No Need For Words]]''. They eventually get around this by learning sign language.
* In ''Fanfic/DestinyIsAHazyThing'' Shikamaru is stuck on a team with a sensei (Kakashi) who doesn't teach anything and whose negligence nearly got the entire team killed. However, he can't transfer to a new team without permission from his sensei or the Hokage (who supports Kakashi unquestioningly). What does he do? He fills out some paperwork to get himself sent back to the academy, which is remarkably easy because it's unheard of for anyone to want to go back.
* Bulma deals with the various Z Fighters' employment/money problems in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12264670/2/Bulma-s-Suggestion-Box Bulma's Suggestion Box]]'' by hiring them. Since she's the richest person on earth and runs the world's largest company, she can easily find jobs for each of them.
* It's generally accepted in the ''Fanfic/{{Pokeumans}}'' FanVerse that all Pokémon species have a HealingFactor and are MadeOfIron compared to humans (otherwise how would they survive the average Pokémon battle?). However, it has been noted and exploited several times in the group that if super-powered attacks aren't finishing off your Pokémon opponent, you could always use bullets.
** It has also been [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] in the group that Pokextinction could bump up their security by making access to their major labs reliant on information or skills that the average TeenageHero will not possess.
** ''[[GenreSavvy How to Survive a Pokeumans Story]]'' and ''[[ThingsYouAreNotAllowedToDo Things Not to Do In a Pokeumans Base]]'' posts also discuss various simple solutions to in-universe problems - and mostly why they are a terrible idea.
---> ''We are not going to be able to simply buy Pokextinction out.''

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThomasAndTheMagicRailroad'', Mr. Conductor scares off the evil Diesel by threatening him with... sugar. Pouring sugar into a diesel's gas tank will cause it to mix with the gas inside, eventually causing the diesel to explode.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Beware! Children at Play'' ends with all the adults just ganging up on the [[CannibalClan feral]] [[EnfantTerrible children]] and massacring them, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim primarily via shooting]].
* In ''Film/{{Casper}}'', the bully ghosts are sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.
* In ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'', like the Terminator example above, Zeus ''could'' hotwire the car since as an electrician he knows how - or just stick his pocketknife in the ignition and turn.
* In the Australian comedy ''Film/TheDish'', the crew of the Australian radio telescope which is supposed to relay the footage from Apollo 11 around the world accidentally loses track of the ship. After hours of panicked mathematical computations, the crew realizes that all they have to do is point the dish at the Moon.
* In ''Film/ExecutiveDecision'', a bomb is "defused" by the simple expedient of thrusting a plastic swizzle-stick between two electrical contacts, thus preventing the detonator from firing.
* In ''Film/FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'', an office door that's ensorcelled against any sort of magical bypass turns out to be quite vulnerable to a good solid kick.
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'': In ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', upon meeting the expert swordsman about to cut him to ribbons, Indiana Jones [[CombatPragmatist simply draws a gun and shoots him]]. Harrison Ford was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAgqXsbbFyA ill due to the previous night's dinner disagreeing with him]], so [[WrittenInInfirmity the planned action scene was abbreviated into a quick joke]].
* In ''Film/IRobot'', when the protagonists are trying to open a compartment to destroy the BigBad. The BigBad locks the compartment with a code. The smart chick tries to break the code... while WillSmith's character just punches the console, preferring PercussiveMaintenance to complex code-breaking.
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** In ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', Bond chases a crook who uses acrobatic LeParkour to navigate obstacles quickly. Bond doesn't have these kinds of skills, so he uses ingeniously mundane solutions, such as simply smashing through a wall instead of bounding over it.
** In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', Bond is shackled to an atomic bomb that is counting down. With no time or skills to disarm it, he's about to start yanking wires -- when someone comes in and flips the "Off" switch.
* ''Film/JohnnyEnglishReborn'' parodies the classic spy film on foot chase scene with this (and is quite reminiscent of the ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' scene mentioned above). While the Vortex agent uses quick parkour movements and dramatic acrobatics to escape, English nonchalantly uses the stairs, elevator, shimmies through a gap on a roof and opens a fence door that the agent leaped over to keep up, and catches him in the end. This is thanks to Johnny's training in the mountains, which taught him to seek a more direct path.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', the drill sergeant announces that the first person to bring him the flag will get a ride back to base. All the men try to climb the flag pole and all fail. This is when the drill sergeant says that no one has gotten that flag in 17 years. While he calls everyone to fall back into formation, Rogers walks up to the flag pole and proceeds to pull the cotter pin, pull the main pin, and let the pole fall down to ground level. Rogers then retrieves the flag and hands it to the drill sergeant.
** ''Film/TheAvengers2012'':
*** After the Helicarrier is damaged by an explosion, Nick Fury orders the helmsman to steer them south and get them over water before they lose another engine. When the helmsman tells him that the explosion knocked out their navigation system and they're attempting to reboot it, Fury asks him if the sun is coming up. The helmsman hesitantly responds that it is, so Fury tells him, "Then put it on the ''LEFT!''"
*** Steve mocks Tony about he's not the sort of man to lie down on a wire so his fellow soldier can get over it. Tony says that he'd rather just cut the wire.
* ''Film/ThePrestige'' centers on the rivalry between two magicians, who each perform the show-stopping trick of transporting themselves across the stage. One of them gets Nikola Tesla to [[spoiler:build him a machine that creates a clone on the other side of the theatre and drowns the original]], the other simply [[spoiler:steps into a cabinet on one end of the stage, while his secret twin brother hides in the other]].
* In the first ''Film/SawI'' film, two detectives manage to catch Jigsaw in his hideout. Jigsaw activates one of his traps to distract them so he can escape. The trap involves two drills closing in on some poor bastard's head, and the key needed to free him was on a janitor-sized key ring with dozens of others. After a few seconds of trial and error with the keys, one of the detectives gives up and shoots both of the drills to deactivate them.
* The main characters of ''Film/{{Sneakers}}'' are a group of corporate security experts who get up in actual espionage, and they regularly zigzag this trope. Sometimes they rely on their intelligence gathering skills and high tech abilities, and sometimes they defeat tight security through SocialEngineering and very simple methods. In one case they find that a door they need to get through has just had a keypad installed on it. MissionControl goes through a long and complicated explanation of something technical that may defeat the keypad. The guy staring at the door says that he'll give it a shot... and then subsequently kicks the door in.
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'':
** You can hotwire a car - or just check to see if the key is in the vanity mirror.
** The Terminator components that need to be destroyed are in sealed containers. The head scientist is about to tell John how to open the containers when John simply smashes them on the ground and retrieves the components.
* In ''Film/UnderSiege2DarkTerritory'', Dane gloats that the hero has no chance of being able to break his "encrypted programming" and this is the only way to turn his system off. Turns out that just shooting Dane's laptop worked fine, too.
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', they need to find Quicksilver fast, but Charles makes it clear that Cerebro is out of the question. So they use a phonebook instead.

* The empowered characters in ''Literature/TheAccidentalSuperheroine'' are weakened by a chemical present in Glade (tm) air fresheners.
* The ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' need to find out where a guy lives, so they start planning ways of tracking him. Cassie just uses the phonebook. Since the guy in question was a celebrity, the others had assumed he would be unlisted in the first place.
* ''Literature/CHERUBSeries'': In book 10, ''The General'', the Cherubs take part in a military exercise where they role-play a small band of insurgents fighting a US army battalion. Rather than actually bothering to fight the soldiers, the Cherubs simply dump a strong laxative in the water supply and wait for it to incapacitate the entire US force, at which point they proclaim victory.
* Most of the [[ElementalPowers crafters]] in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' have weaknesses like this. [[PlayingWithFire Firecrafters]] have ElementalBaggage at their command, and they're useless when they're soaked; [[BlowYouAway Windcrafters]] can be neutralized by burying them in dirt, [[MakingASplash watercrafters]] are useless if dehydrated and surrounded by fire, and [[DishingOutDirt earthcrafters]] can't do anything unless they're touching the ground. In addition, wind furies are damaged by salt, which is a problem if someone throws some at you when you're a mile up in the air. All of these get exploited at some point or another, whether in fights or to keep the crafters in question prisoner.
* Literature/TheCosmere:
** In ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'', Mistborn can detect all metal sources in their presence and control them to terrifying effect, with the sole exception of any metal that they or other allomancers have swallowed to fuel their magic. Professional {{Mage Killer}}s simply make do with wooden, ceramic, and obsidian equipment. Meanwhile, the AxeCrazy Mistborn murderer Zane nearly kills Vin with a coin that she couldn't detect, leaving her puzzled at how he foiled her powers... until she sees him spit out another one, which [[LampshadeHanging infuriates her]] with how she overlooked such an obvious trick.
** In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', this overlaps with DarkIsNotEvil to explain the GodEmperor Susebron's colossal black palace. While it stands out to his citizens as a dark spot in a riotously colourful city, and to the rival Idrians as the home of a soul-eating undead tyrant, the simple fact of the matter is that his magic acts as a prism for all nearby colours, so basic black is the only option that doesn't constantly distract him with rainbows.
* Very common in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels:
** Witches thrive on this trope. The primary example would be Magrat's magic wand in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'': after all of her attempts at controlling it by focusing and hoping fail to achieve anything but turning things into pumpkins, Granny demonstrates that the rings she had dismissed as decorations were actually setting controls. Magrat has a great many ceremonial athames, covered in filigre and runes and whatnot. Eventually she learns that the most magical knife is the reeeeelly old breadknife that not only can perform all the magical rituals the athame can, but also cut bread.
** In the early Rincewind book ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', TykeBomb Coin, the eighth son of a wizard and thus a Sourcerer (a wizard squared, and the reason wizards aren't allowed to get any) not only wields unstoppable magical power greater than anyone else alive but causes a huge rush of magical power to every other wizard on the Disc. Result: impending replay of the hugely destructive Mage Wars. How does Rincewind, self-professed DirtyCoward and the worst wizard in the world, if not ever, handle this? [[spoiler: He takes the kid on with a half-brick in a sock. It's so patently ridiculous that Coin, for the first time ever, ignores his psychotic late father's order to kill the potential threat, because Rincewind looks so utterly harmless and funny to Coin. The giggles stop when Rinso makes his TearJerker HeroicSacrifice at the very end to save Coin from the monsters the boy had attracted from the Dungeon Dimension... still with half-brick sock in hand.]]
** It's mentioned repeatedly throughout the books that being being a wizard or being a witch is all about ''not'' using magic even though you could and instead relying on mundane solutions, because the magical solution will [[EquivalentExchange eventually come with a price tag]], and it'll be a bill you can't afford to pay. In ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg demonstrate -- some young wannabe witches come to challenge them, and Granny says they could demonstrate their knowledge of Witchcraft by knocking her hat off her head. After a few fruitless minutes, Granny then tells Nanny to demonstrate -- and she does, by tossing a stick. When the young witches protest that anyone could do that, Granny says, "Yes, but the point is, you didn't."
** Granny doesn't always get it right; in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', she uses her most powerful Headology on [[LadyMacbeth the Duchess]] to make her see herself the way she really is, and is shocked when it has no effect. At which point Nanny Ogg hits the Duchess over the head with a cauldron. And in ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', she spends some time Borrowing to find out what's been happening while they were away, and learns that a group of girls are going up to the Dancers. Nanny, meanwhile, has learnt exactly who they are by just asking her son what's going on.
** Who needs stakes, garlic, and other elaborate and exotic methods to dispose of a vampire, when you've got [[spoiler: a nigh-unstoppable tomcat who eats anything furry, bats included?]]
** Carrot's sword is utterly mundane and absolutely magic free, which makes it a rarity on the disc. It's also very, very good at [[AbsurdlySharpBlade cutting things]].
** Mustrum Ridcully's policy on magic staves : if it's immune to a few good whacks from six feet of solid oak (wielded by a man who boxes trolls and arm-wrestles orangutans for fun) there's a good chance it's immune to fireballs as well.
** In ''[[Discworld/{{Maskerade}} Maskerade]]'', throughout the book, Granny Weatherwax asks various people, 'If your house was on fire, what's the first thing you'd take out of it?' She uses this to psychologically profile them: one person, for example, responds with, 'Who started the fire?', with which she's able to deduce that he's a cop. Walter, the CloudCuckoolander, gives a simpler - and patently correct - answer: [[spoiler: He'd take out the fire.]]
** In ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', Victor needs to eliminate a Dungeon Thing that is manifesting through a movie screen. He ties it up with film strip, then (since magical attacks would only make it stronger) opts to set it on (mundane) fire.
* A Literature/{{Dragaera}}n saying: "No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulderblades will seriously cramp his style."
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the heroes have to fight a mystical creature, [[spoiler:a basilisk]], and outsmart it by [[spoiler: Ward blindfolding himself to avoid its gaze and distracting it, while Oreg uses magic to subdue it - they could kill it, but think it's too rare and beautiful to just kill it.]] Wizards and magical runes failed to have the desired effect. Oreg points out that the monster would, if they didn't take care of it, [[RealityEnsues just die in the cold, as it is not used to the climate where it is at the moment.]] Nothing is magical enough to not be affected by a ''really'' cold winter.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Harry Dresden frequently runs into foes who are resistant to his magic. One confrontation with a spell-proof ogre is resolved when Murphy cripples the orge with a chainsaw and Harry [[KillItWithFire drenches the ogre in gasoline and ignites it]]. Harry is also one of the few White Council wizards outside of the Wardens willing to use firearms and frequently uses his staff or blasting rod as a cudgel.
** This was established as a key part of Harry's character as early as the second book, ''Fool Moon'', when he'd run himself out of magic thanks to imprudent use of [[BottledHeroicResolve magical amphetamines]], and still had a rather pissed-off [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent lycanthrope]] alpha male to deal with... so he pulled a .38 revolver and shot the guy in the knee. [[SubvertedTrope It didn't really work all that well]], seeing as lycanthropes have a HealingFactor, but it sure wiped the smug grin off the son of a bitch's face for a while.
** Speaking of Harry, special mention should go to how he handles a cult of wannabes who keep harassing him in the short story ''Day Off''. Their leader challenges him to a magical duel, but Harry doesn't even bother. He just scares them off by pointing his gun at them instead.
*** In fact, mundane weaponry is the ''accepted'' way for wizards to kill if it ever must come to that, as killing humans with magic carries not just the obvious moral and legal ramifications but also [[TheDarkSide corrupts the soul]]. The Council's enforcers carry enchanted swords for this reason. And Harry in specific is already on thin ice with the Council thanks to [[spoiler:killing his EvilMentor with magic when he was a teenager; the fact that it was self-defense doesn't soften their opinion of him]].
** A major lesson that Harry often reiterates (especially to his apprentice, Molly) is that knowledge and basic common sense are a lot more important than magic. For instance, on one occasion when Molly suggests using a tracking spell, Harry points out that a simple phone call would work just as well.
** In ''Turn Coat'', Morgan talks about how he once had to take on a skinwalker, an [[EldritchAbomination incredibly powerful demigod horror]] with a hefty resistance to magic. He knew he'd get pounded in a straight fight ([[spoiler:not everyone can be Injun Joe, after all]]), so instead he lured it into following him to the middle of nowhere in Nevada. Specifically, [[NukeEm a nuclear testing ground]]. He stepped into a portal to the Nevernever just as the bomb went off. Morgan 1, EldritchAbomination From the Dawn of Time [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu 0]].
** Likewise, all the magic of the Summer Lady isn't enough to stop [[spoiler: a swarm of dewdrop fairies armed with cheap hardware-store boxcutters]].
** The most efficient way to handle Black Court vampires? A paintball gun that fires projectiles filled with holy water.
** In ''Skin Game'', Harry circumvents [[spoiler: Marcone's high-grade anti-magic security]] not by casting a flashy spell, but setting off roman candles as a distraction.
* In a case similar to the [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Wicked Witch of the West]], in Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles'', wizards can be dissolved by soapy lemon water. It is found out that lemon juice is a necessary ingredient. (The wizards do come back eventually, though.) It turns out, however, that magically created soapy lemon water works just as well, so by the end of the series the protagonists have what amounts to an instant wizard-melting spell.
** In a climactic battle in ''Calling on Dragons'', the wizard Antorell manages to escape from the magician Telemain by [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks throwing his sword at him]]. Telemain doesn't block it because he assumes anything a wizard throws at him would be magical. What he doesn't know is that Antorell is a terrible wizard and couldn't throw a potent spell if his life depended on it.
* ''Literature/GaeaTrilogy'': In ''Demon'', the war against Gaia gets a boost when they discover that zombies are destroyed by a witch's recipe for [[spoiler:love potion]]. It's hinted that Gaia, who by this time is batshit crazy and running the war as a game, built in this highly unlikely weakness as one of her private jokes and then forgot about it.
* In ''Literature/TheGolgothaSeries'', the climactic battle between Clay and Professor Zenith culminates in a BeamOWar between their lightning-shooting superscience machines. Zenith's plan is to calculate and implement a precise series of complicated power modulations that will allow his machine to overwhelm Clay's. Clay's plan: [[spoiler:while Zenith is busy with that, sneak up behind him and hit him with a wrench]].
* In the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, it is demonstrated several times that the easiest way to incapacitate a magic-user is to break his arms.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'': In ''Honor Among Enemies'', Honor meets with a pirate warlord whose forces are holding a planet hostage. The pirate's crew make a point of scanning Honor and her armsmen to ensure they don't have any power sources on them strong enough to power the miniaturized railguns that everyone carries in this setting. Once this is done, Honor quickdraws a [[FanOfThePast Colt M1911]] and shoots the pirates dead. This was pretty much a ForegoneConclusion, as Honor's fondness for 20th century firearms was a ChekhovsGun that she always kept in her hip pocket during this point in the series.
* Of the AssPull variety in ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices'', when [[spoiler: Mrs. Dark in demon form inside a pentagram can't be touched by seraph blades ''infused with the divine energy of God'', but a falling chandelier kills her just fine. Sort of.]]
* At one point in ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' the explorers have to find a way to carry their large supply of rope, blankets, clothing, and the like down a sheer vertical shaft. The solution? They just drop them.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Gandalf tries to open the gate to Moria for many hours with spells, etc., until he realizes to actually do exactly what the inscription on the gate reads, which is to say the elvish word for "friend". Once Gandalf utters the words, the gate starts to open. After solving it he realizes it wasn't even supposed to be a puzzle. (In the film version, it's Frodo who comes up with the solution.)
** Although both book and film show combat spells being used, the most potent magic in Middle Earth is relatively slow. As a result, even such powerful magic-users as Gandalf, Sauron, and Morgoth carry and use melee weapons.
* At one point in ''Literature/LoyalEnemies'', the heroes encounter a gate made of compressed snow that they don't know how to open. [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Gloom]] proposes that he'll just fly over the gate in [[{{Weredragon}} dragon form]] and ask somebody on the other side to open. Subverted when he doesn't manage to take off, but double subverted when he accidentally shoots fire at the gate. And... well, let's repeat it: it's made of compressed ''snow''. Additionally, as they're leaving again, Veres asks an elf what the correct way to open the gate would've been. The answer? [[spoiler:Just knock.]]
* In the ''Literature/NightWatch'' series, the oldest and most powerful Others (usually wizards) have been extremely powerful and nigh-omniscient for centuries. As a result, they often don't bother to keep up to date with modern (or any) technology. In one book, a team of wizards is tracking a vampire, and need to find out when the train he's on will leave the station. An elder wizard goes into a prophetic trance, reads the probability lines, and finds the correct time. That takes about five seconds longer than it took his subordinate [[FailedASpotCheck to read the train schedule on the wall.]]
* Four words from science fiction author Creator/LarryNiven: "A knife always works".
* ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'': In ''The King's Buccaneer'', Nakor and Anthony confront the Lady Clovis, a very powerful sorceress. Nakor tricks her into erecting very powerful anti-magic defenses, at which point he defeats her by throwing pepper at her then hitting her with a bag of apples.
** Elsewhere, Nakor has an empty bag that he can always pull an orange (or sometimes an apple) out of, thanks to a magical rift leading to a merchant's produce warehouse. In ''Into a Dark Realm'', he goes to a place where his magic cannot possibly work and pulls yet another orange out of the bag, through the simple expedient of having stuffed the bag full of oranges before he left.
* In ''Literature/SecretCity'', Santiaga has to somehow tame down a cloud of reality-warping energy about to explode on nuclear scale and level Moscow. [[spoiler:He flushes it into a river. Water has rather large heat capacity.]]
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the villainess is assaulting the heroes with dozens of souped-up ghostly abominations and hides behind a veil protecting her from enemy magic. Feeling safe, she stays to watch, knowing that her enemies' magical aura is tied up fighting ghosts. [[spoiler:One of the heroes shoots her a few times with her gun.]]
* Creator/CSLewis' ''Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy'': In ''Perelandra'', Ransom finds himself tasked with preventing the eponymous planet from failing its ForbiddenFruit test, while a demonic presence with no physiological needs opposes him. The solution? [[spoiler: Said demonic presence is only there because it [[DemonicPossession piggybacked along]] on a human host, who can be physically killed. The mundanity of the solution is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], as it takes Ransom a while to accept that doing so would be a valid way of solving his predicament.]]
* ''The [[Franchise/StarTrek Starfleet]] Survival Manual'', a tie-in FictionalDocument, briefly addresses the treatment protocol for people who overdose on anti-intoxicant medication designed for undercover cops but occasionally abused by people trying to cheat at drinking games: 15cc of pure ethanol at regular intervals until the anti-intoxicant wears off.
--> [[LampshadeHanging "The best method, so far, has proven to be the simplest."]]
* In ''Literature/TheStoneheartTrilogy'', the Walker needs two mirrors made of black obsidian for his plan, and a lot of the second book concerns his means of acquiring the second one. At the end of the second book, he comes across a solution he had not considered in centuries of searching - take one mirror and split it in half.
* Wise magic-users will always look for this first in ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms''. After all, their personal stores of magical energy are finite, and they can't always be sure where their next recharge will come from. If they use up their energy on MundaneUtility tasks that they could have done the regular way, they could be in real trouble if they get into a situation where magic is really necessary.
* ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'': The Victorians are almost always able to find a simple, low-tech solution to their high tech enemies, defeating bombing raids with hostages and human shields, thwarting electronic warfare by dispensing with all but a few computers used solely for hacking the enemy, defeating a naval blockade with speedboats armed with ''spar torpedoes'' and locating stealth bombers with ancient short-wave radar.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Director Piggot of the [[CapeBusters PRT]] gets Crawler, a CombatSadomasochist with AdaptiveAbility, to stay in one place long enough to drop a planeload of bombs on him by the simple expedient of calling him and telling him that she was going to do so, which resulted in Crawler staying in place long enough for the bomber to arrive.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Subverted in the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Double or Nothing". In an attempt to prevent Gunn from being forced to give up his soul as part of his [[DealWithTheDevil deal with Jenoff]], Angel simply [[OffWithHisHead chops off his head]]... only for Gunn to tell him that if it were that easy, he would have killed Jenoff himself. Cue OhCrap just before Jenoff [[NotQuiteDead regenerates his head]].
* In an episode of the ''Series/{{Animorphs}}'' TV adaptation, the kids go to a spot in the zoo (where Cassie's mom works) where the more dangerous animals are kept to get some battle morphs. Jake and Marco talk about different ways to get over the chain link fence with barbed wire on the top. Cassie just uses her mother's keys to unlock the door.
* On ''Series/{{Arrow}},'' the team try to evacuate a building from a bomb and Felicity takes the computer to try and hack the system and set off the fire alarm. When she says she needs a few minutes to make this work, Thea just pulls the actual fire alarm.
* On ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon starts to talk Penny through a complicated procedure to one a puzzle box to get the key within when she stops him and asks if the box has any sentimental value. When he replies that it's just a cheap novelty, she drops it on the floor and stomps on it.
** When Howard has a robotic arm grasping his penis, he is taken to the hospital, where the nurse attending them simply reboots the computer controlling the arm to get it to let go.
* On ''Series/TheBlacklist'' Aram hacks into the computer of a helicopter used by an eco-terrorist, babbling about how he can use it to reduce the air speed and affect the balance to cause the copter to go off course. An impatient Director Ressler asks why Aram doesn't just turn off the rotor and force the copter down.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** In the episode "Helpless", Buffy had to fight a vampire without her powers. As a former psychotic mental patient, the aforementioned vampire depended on pills to function. She was able to defeat him by pouring holy water into a cup, which he then drank to help swallow said pills.
** Recurring villain Ethan Rayne, an EvilSorceror, was gotten rid of when Riley had government agents arrest him.
** After numerous failed high-tech and/or magical schemes to kill Buffy, Warren just got a gun, went to the Summers house and started firing.
** The Judge was an hell of a foe: invulnerable to forged weapons, if cut to pieces he'll revive once reassembled, first time it took an army to cut him to pieces, and can burn anyone with humanity inside him, initially by touch but, as he kills more people, his power grows (a day after being reassembled he needed a gesture and could 'bounce' his power from a person to the other, and would eventually grow strong enough to kill people by looking at them). Buffy blasted him to pieces with a bazooka, after which they disperded the (very small) pieces around the world.
** In "Him" the issue is a boy with a Letterman's jacket that makes any woman fall in love with him to a ridiculously fawning degree, to the point where they'd kill others or themselves over him. The solution? Spike and Xander mug him for the jacket and burn it when they get back to Buffy's house.
* A Wendigo on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' was killed when the sisters just shot it with a flare gun.
** In another episode, the MonsterOfTheWeek is a succubus (who the authorities assume is just a serial killer) that is killed when an inspector just shoots her with a plain old handgun. Unfortunately, she [[WakingUpAtTheMorgue Woke Up In The Morgue]].
* The very first episode of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' has the titular character disarming a complex laptop bomb with... wait for it... a virus-ridden porn site. [[spoiler:So does the [[ChekhovsGun last episode.]]]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Classic Series Cybermen had a fatal allergy to ''gold''.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS16E2ThePiratePlanet "The Pirate Planet"]], a machine is destroyed by hitting it with a spanner, albeit telekinetically.
** Mickey tended to have simple solutions to problems. For instance, from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E3SchoolReunion "School Reunion"]]: To get past a locked door, with coaxing from K9 he just [[CarFu rammed it with a car]]; then to shut down the alien-influenced supercomputer, he [[CutTheJuice pulled the power plug]].
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E7TheIdiotsLantern "The Idiot's Lantern"]]: The Doctor manages to capture an electronic lifeform who essentially exists as a living television signal... on a Betamax tape. Also, the ExpospeakGag on how he will permanently eliminate her.
-->'''The Doctor:''' I'll use my unrivaled knowledge of trans-temporal extirpation methods to neutralize the residual electronic pattern.\\
'''Rose:''' You what?\\
'''The Doctor:''' I'm gonna tape over it.
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E2DayOfTheMoon "Day of the Moon"]]: When a Silent makes the mistake of taunting an FBI agent by saying that they have no need of guns, the agent demonstrates the flaw in his logic by shooting him. America!
** In [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], the three Doctors have been placed in a cell, and spend a long time working out a complex method of using all their sonic screwdrivers to open the door by decomposing it. Just before they have the chance, however, Clara arrives and opens it manually -- [[FailedASpotCheck turns out it was unlocked.]]
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E6Extremis "Extremis"]]: The Doctor has to read a TomeOfEldritchLore. Problem is, [[spoiler:he was blinded in the previous episode. His initial solution is to use a fancy gadget that costs the health of his future selves in order to temporarily restore his eyesight, but for most of that time his vision is too blurry to read, and he'd barely gotten past the title when he loses it again. So he ends up resorting to a laptop with a copy of the translation and a text-to-speech function.]]
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}''. Every episode seems to end this way as the super-scientists are always going to complex ways to solve a problem (which, nine times out of ten, they themselves created). It's Sheriff Carter who suggests an idea so simple it never occurs to the geniuses and it works.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'', Kamen Rider Mach and Mashin Chaser's motorcycles can combine to form a mini-car called the Ride Crosser. While Mach can hijack Chaser's bike to use it, Chaser can do the same (and has done so before). So how does the team keep this from happening? They leave Mach's bike back at headquarters.
* ''Series/TheLastManOnEarth'' episode "A Real Live Wire" has Phil and Todd set up solar panels, but forget to plug it in. After spending most of the episode trying to block the sun from the panels, [[OnlySaneMan Phill #2]] simply turns the panels off.
* While many of the cons on ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' are very detailed and complex, quite often, they end up going to rather simple solutions. As Nate puts it, the more complex a plan is, the more can go wrong with it, while the simple cons are ''always'' the best.
** In "The Boiler Job", the team's target is a master grifter from a family of con artists who can spot any scam coming a mile away. So the team just steals his money instead.
** In "The Gold Job", Hardison's plan to take down a pair of fake gold dealers involves a cipher, treasure map inside a book, a watch, a Cantonese Bible, a cave-in and staging a death. To no one's amazement (except Hardison), the marks get tired of all this and quit. Nate, however, takes them down by stealing their gold and making it look like the two did it themselves for insurance fraud.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** In one episode Gibbs has to shutdown a computer server before it can upload secret data to the Internet. [=McGee=] tries to talk him through the complicated process of hacking the security. Gibbs simply unplugs all the power cables and when this does not work due to battery backups, he simply shoots every piece of electronic equipment he sees in the room.
** In another episode, Abby and [=McGee=] are furiously [[HollywoodHacking typing away on a keyboard]] to stop a hacking attempt, when Gibbs simply unplugs the computer.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Poirot}}'', the great detective discovers a blackmailer's home address by...looking it up in the phonebook.
* A sketch on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' had a group of defeated former ''Film/JamesBond'' villains (mostly from the Creator/RogerMoore films) discussing how to deal with James. One points out that if you're close enough to try something like dropping a poisonous spider down his back, [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim "Just shoot him!"]]
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** In "The Empty Hearse", Sherlock doesn't know how to [[WireDilemma disarm a bomb]], but does know [[spoiler:that they must have an off-switch]] which he quickly finds and activates. Problem solved.
** In "The Reichenbach Fall", Moriarty has developed an app that can hack anything from a prison to the Tower of London and Sherlock is out to stop him. During their big confrontation, Moriarty reveals [[spoiler:there is no super hacking bug. He just bribed the right people to open those places up for him and he's frankly disappointed Sherlock actually fell for the ruse.]]
* ''Series/SledgeHammer'': When an old-style cartoon bomb with a fizzing fuse is delivered to Captain Trunk, Trunk panics, and Sledge considers the only remedy is to smash the toughened-glass office window with a chair so as to throw the bomb out into the street. The disregarded Dori Doreau ineffectually tries to attract their attention as one panics and the other goes into macho mode, and eventually shrugs, simply reaching down to take the lit fuse and dunk it in a cup of coffee to extinguish it. Neither man notices this and she stands there, deadpan, letting them get on with it.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** A de-powered Clark faces a foe who has PsychoElectro powers, but they've gotta be fed almost constantly (if he's zapping you with one hand, he's drawing power from a source with the other.) Clark stops him by [[CutTheJuice shutting off the power]].
** Subverted in a later episode. Clark tries to stop the rampaging Metallo by triggering an EMP wave. It shuts him down, but he restarts in a ''few seconds''. Clark then takes him out with his heat vision and super speed.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** One episode has Carter, an Ascended Daniel, and Jonas Quinn trying to figure out how to open a secret chamber to find an artifact. Daniel and Jonas look around for clues until Carter, noting how they don't have much time, tells them to get out of the way and blasts the compartment open with her P90.
** To disable some kind of Goa'uld technology, Teal'c says they need to remove specific crystals from the control panel... and then Jack blasts the lot of them with his P90, which does the trick anyway.
** Daniel tries to figure out the complex sequence of panels to push to disarm a device, then finally gives up and just shoots the crystal tray.
** From "The Serpent's Lair":
-->'''Bra'tac:''' The field generators are far below. There—in the very bowels of the ship. We must climb down several decks through the length of the ship, then taking our weapons, we must...\\
''{Jack drops grenades down into the core)''\\
'''O'Neill:''' Grenades.
** When Jack took command of the SGC, his first day on the job had a fast-growing plant start filling the corridors. When it was explained to him that any light source would fuel its growth, he calmly reached over and flicked the lights off. The scientist then had to hastily justify not using that technique since it would only slow the plant down, not stop it, and it's difficult to work in the dark.
** In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' a piece of Lantean tech has swapped Dr. Keller's mind with a thief. Ronon solves the problem by shooting it.
* The Okami in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' can recover from almost any injury except being stabbed seven times with a ceremonial bamboo dagger that has been blessed by a Shinto priest... or, in a pinch, shoving it into a [[ChunkySalsaRule woodchipper]] does the trick too.
** In ''[[Recap/SupernaturalS05E21TwoMinutesToMidnight Two Minutes to Midnight]]'', Castiel is unable to teleport, due to [[spoiler:finally losing the last of his angelic powers, and essentially becoming human.]] He still goes to help the Winchesters though, which leads to this exchange:
--->'''Pestilence:''' How did you get here?\\
'''Castiel:''' I took the bus.
** In another episode, Bobby discovers that a good way to (albeit temporarily) kill a Leviathian is to... [[spoiler:chop its head off.]]

[[folder:Mythology and Urban Legends]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: In Myth/GreekMythology, King Gordias tied a cart to the gate of Persepolis with a knot that nobody could untie; prophecy said that whoever did untie this would become ruler of Persia. Alexander the Great is said to have solved the puzzle by [[CuttingTheKnot cutting through the knot with his sword]]. (Another account features Alexander merely removing the pin that held the knot and then untangling a little rope. A more thorough, yet no less mundane, solution suggests he fished out one or both ends of the rope and undid the knot correctly.)
* Heracles found a few mundane solutions to some of his Twelve Labors. The most mundane is needing to present Cerberus, the guardian beast of the Underworld. Rather than risk fighting Cerberus, Heracles just asked Hades "Hey, can I borrow Cerberus for a while?" Hades, being [[DontFearTheReaper a rather decent fellow]], replied something to the effect of "Sure, just bring him back when you're done."
* According to Japanese urban legend, if [[GlasgowSmile Kuchisake-onna]] approaches and asks if you think she's pretty, answering no will get you slashed to pieces in a violent rage. Answering yes will get you slashed to pieces because the word she uses for "pretty" (kirei) is a near-homophone of a word meaning "to cut" (kire), and Japanese bogeymen are fueled by bad puns. [[TakeAThirdOption Giving a neutral answer like "you're so-so" (or asking her how she thinks YOU look) will confuse her into letting you go.]] Kuchisake-onna can also be [[SweetTooth bribed with candy]]. Or, in most recent versions of the story, [[PolitenessJudo you can excuse yourself and claim you're too busy to chat with her]].
* There is an [[http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp urban legend]] that the Soviet Union space program responded to the expense and effort of the invention of the Fisher Space Pen by using pencils. Although this story is not actually true (after the Apollo 1 disaster, NASA decided pencils were too flammable for the high-oxygen atmosphere of a space capsule), it does point to a general principle of Russian engineering: smart people, dumb machine. That is, the critical point is to make sure that above all, the device ''works'' and to trust the user and maintenance crew with the rest; as a result, a Russian car (especially Soviet-era) might be overall a piece of garbage with about as much comfort as a gokart with no suspension, but it's guaranteed to start and run in the winter. (On the other hand, you do wind up paying a price in terms of safety and steeper learning curves, but the Soviets obviously thought the tradeoffs were worth it.)

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' has a little fun with the concept of fae weaknesses. Among the ways to protect yourself from Faerie Folk is to turn your clothes inside-out or backwards when traveling through their territory, or by tying colorful ribbons all over you and your gear. But this is less a matter of them being unable to approach you as it is them being too busy ''laughing'' to trouble you.
** As well, the vampires race that has conquered all of Mexico is so vulnerable to holy water and crosses that Super Soakers and ''floodlights with crosses painted on them'' (which create big cross-shaped shadows) are some of the best weapons against them.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', magic is indeed impressive given enough prep time, but mages taken by surprise tend to be in big trouble, being simple humans with none of the unique physical powers most other supernatural creatures have (vampires, werewolves, demons). That's why having a gun, sword or baseball bat with you always pays off.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' reduced the time needed to cast some impressive spells, but keeping a normal weapon around was helpful. Even more so if it was enchanted or enhanced-or both. A really good Mage could even have a kickass sword that made Paradoxes he triggered weaker if he used it while spellcasting.
* In ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'', there are classes of monsters that are tougher than the standard monster manual fare; to balance the fact that they are functionally invulnerable, they also have a table of unusual [[WeaksauceWeakness Weaksauce Weaknesses]], ranging from 'the laughter of children' to 'Elvis memorabilia'.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In most editions, spellcasters have one flaw: They can be interrupted mid-spell with an attack. They can cast defensively to reduce the risk, but a well-timed thump to the head can still completely fizzle a spell powerful enough to disintegrate an army.
** Magical disguises, whether [[LieToTheBeholder illusory]] or [[{{Humanshifting}} polymorphic]], can be defeated by anything from a lowly Detect Magic to the high-level spell True Seeing. A regular old disguise, however, can be every bit as effective, without any magic to give it away.
** Magical invisibility can be foiled by various detection spells -- [[SeeTheInvisible or by someone throwing a sack of flour into one's general vicinity]]. For those not carrying flour, [[UtilityMagic the spell Glitterdust is often used this way]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Videogame/DeusEx'':
** In the original, it is often possible to simply break down locked doors by hitting them hard enough with a melee weapon.
** Due to the nature of the game, you have so many ways to complete an objective, some of them are so mundane and "obvious" that no one would think about it being possible. For example, in one mission, you have to get on a freighter, there is a ramp but you need a code to activate it. So you either need to hack the panel or find the databook (which may require hacking/lockping/searching). Actually, you don't ''need'' to do this, you don't even need the ramp. [[RealityEnsues The freighter has a ladder]].
*** This applies to most levels in the game. Since hacking/lockpicking used up consumable resources the developers always included at least one mundane way to complete the objective in order to prevent the player from getting stuck. Normally this involved shooting everyone in a frontal assault.
** This trope is invoked in the game itself. When you need to get inside a cathedral and the doors are locked, Tracer Tong says you can just climb a certain place and go through the roof. "Never depend upon weapons and hi-tech when there is a simpler solution at hand".
** In the [[VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution 2011 prequel]], there is a part where the protagonist, Adam Jensen, must face off against a force of mercenaries before a funicular (elevator) arrives to take him to a secret sublevel base. The player is given time to prepare before the assault, and the enemy doesn't even need to be wiped out, Adam just needs to survive long enough to take the elevator down. The entire situation can be resolved by blocking the two entrances with vending machines.
*** There are many ways to deal with auto turrets, you can use explosives, invisibility, hacking...Or you can just grab them and leave in a corner looking to the wall where they can't hit you.
*** If you need to get into a high place, you can buy a super jump augmentation. You can also search for a box or barrel and jump on it (for free) through...
* The BigBad of the Gamecube ''VideoGame/CustomRobo'', Rahu, [[spoiler: was at first a shapeless, invisible force of destruction that sought to annihilate everything and [[YouWillBeAssimilated adapt their abilities and traits to its own.]]]] At one point it comes across a Robo, which in those days was nothing more than a ''children's toy''. [[spoiler: When Rahu took on the power of the Robo, it took on its form and became tangible, allowing the humans to fight it and, eventually, [[SealedEvilInACan seal it.]]]]
* In the original ''PaperMario'' there was a chest in Shy Guy's Toy Box containing a badge that was guarded by Anti Guy, who would let you have the treasure if you gave him a Lemon Candy. This is generally easier than fighting him since he's [[BossInMookClothing ridiculously strong]].
* In the ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' games by SSI, mages, clerics and psionics are incredibly powerful. While a few high-level spells exist specifically to shut down a spell-caster, with a relatively large chance of working, the easiest solution is to just hit them: the turn after being hit, they are completely unable to use anything magic or psionic (of course, this is also true for your characters).
* This occurs at the end of the final boss battle in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}''. It turns out that the new physics-warping gels all wash off in minimal amounts of water. ''You'' knew that, because it was required to know for previous puzzles. The boss wasn't around for that part, and thus [[spoiler: Wheatley lampshades how much easier it would have been for him to win if he'd known that ahead of time]].
* In ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'', Dracula can infamously [[KaizoTrap kill the Kid in the cutscene leading to his boss fight]]. You can just skip the cutscene.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' there's an Achievement for surviving a very long fall (without using a slow-fall effect), which is not lethal, but requires serious measurement. That or you can use invincibility such as a Paladin's Hand of Protect (Conveniently castable on others, so simply asking one for help will usually work.) and drop from any height that reaches the requirement. Also, druids and rogues of sufficiently high level have a passive ability that lowers their fall damage (the druid one normally works only in cat form, but there's a glyph that'll let it work in all forms; the rogue one always works, and has a glyph that will boost its effect).
** A [[GoodBadBug bug]] allowed Alliance players to gain the long-fall achievement during a ''Mists of Pandaria'' questline where one automatically parachuted out of a crashing aircraft. For some reason, the parachute [[LoopholeAbuse didn't count as a slow-fall effect for purposes of the achievement]].
** Even easier, there's a quest in Swamp of Sorrows which nets you the achievement as a part of it, as you get shot out of a canon to a ship out in the water. It's part of the Bogpaddle part of the questline, called "In With a Bang."
* In the ''Night Watch'' video game, you can kill enemy mooks with handguns (and, later in the game, semiautomatics) instead of using magic. It would just take longer. It comes in handy when your character uses up all the mana.
* ''JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'' is a fighting game revolving around people with psychic powers, vampires, and artificial sunlight-powered, vampire-killing martial artists. While [[CombatPragmatist Joseph]] [[GuileHero Joestar]] is one of the last ones, his Heart Heat attack has him...pulling out a tommy gun and pumping his opponent full of lead (which is a CallBack to the original series, where he does the same thing against a vampire, though to less effect.)
* In ''{{Iji}}'', the legendary alien warrior Iosa the Invincible has a unique shield, created by a freak accident, making her immune to all of the nanotech-based guns the aliens, and Iji, use. Iosa is happy to gloat about this. Iji then defeats her by... kicking her. Or using a perfectly mundane shotgun.
* At the end of the first ''VideoGame/SimonTheSorcerer'' game, Sordid spends some time trying (and failing) to light through magic a lava pit that Simon has previously turned off. Eventually, Simon manages to light it by using a box of matches.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'' features this as an achievement. During the Slaughterhouse heist, an armored truck will get stuck in the roof of the titular slaughterhouse, either rear-end up or front-end up depending on whether or not it was shot by the players during the ambush at the beginning of the heist. If it lands rear-end up, the player can either shoot the wires keeping it afloat... or just wait a few minutes and let the wires snap on their own. (They don't snap if the truck lands front-end up.)
* One of the recruitable citizens in ''VideoGame/CitizensOfEarth'' has been trapped on the top floor of a building thanks to an EvilElevator and taking said elevator is the only way to reach him. After he's recruited, how does the party escape the room and leave the building? By taking the perfectly-working door into the stairwell and walking down.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'': One of the ways to non-violently end a fight with the monster named Aaron is to simply tell him to go away. Aaron will sometimes do so without complaint.
-->''You tell Aaron to go away. Aaron agrees.''\\
''YOU WON!''
* ''Videogame/OneNightAtFlumptys 2'' has the Redman, who appears as a pop-up with a timer, a timer in which he will crash your laptop and kill you soon thereafter. How do you stop his advance? Simple -- just click the cancel button.
* During the third week of ''VideoGame/FateEXTRA'', Alice traps you in a [[RealityWarper Reality Marble]] that erases your identity, starting with your name. You and your Servant figure out that remembering your name will free you from the Reality Marble, and when you ask Rin how to do that she [[StatingTheSimpleSolution suggests just writing it down]]. A dropped note by Alice indicates she was using the same method herself.

* Given the profusion of {{Mad Scientist}}s in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', it's hardly surprising that it has several examples:
** Gil attempting to catch Zeetha with a [[TelescopingRobot cage clank]]. Said clank missed, and went on a rampage trying to catch ''something''. After everybody else failed to defeat it using various means, Krosp checks with Gil to be sure that the clank will not hurt whatever it catches, then tosses a little girl into the robot and lets it capture her. Having achieved its objective, the bot promptly settles down and simply sits there, with the little girl happily inside.
--->'''Little girl:''' Yay! Hey Mamma! I'm inna show!
** Also, when everyone is trying to [[ItMakesSenseInContext kill/cure]] Agatha, Gil, and Tarvek, one of the machines goes haywire, and the [[MadScientist Sparks]] start screaming about how everything is going to blow up, and "NO FORCE ON EARTH CAN STOP IT!" Then, the machine spontaneously stops. Cue everyone looking at Von Zinzer, [[CutTheJuice holding the power plug]].
** [[TheEngineer Moloch Von Zinzer]] is very good at this sort of thing. It tends to annoy Sparks, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091019 who don't like having their drama harshed by a Mundane Solution.]]
---> '''Moloch:''' Why don't we just move this winch? There should be enough cable, and it looks strong enough that we could lower ''everybody'' on a platform.\\
''[turns around and notices he's become the subject of several disapproving glares]''\\
'''Moloch:''' ...and then, at the bottom, it could unfold into a ... a giant ''caterpillar'' or ... something...\\
'''Dr. Mittelmind:''' No, no. You've already taken all the ''[[ForScience joy]]'' out of it.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' after the SpacePirates of Ipecac have gone to a great deal of trouble to steal some {{Unobtainium}} called borfomite on a distant planet, they realize they have to combine it with plain Earth ''caramel'' to make it power their BFG. This is ''far'' from the only example, as part of Bob's shtick is his knack for hitting upon simple solutions to bizarre problems.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' had Haley use a bow and arrow to solve the KnightsAndKnaves problem in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0327.html this]] strip.
** When a storm hits the airship the Order is on [[spoiler: Belkar begins ranting about how its not the real Durkon, and Thor won't help him, along with Durkon's spirit... and the spirit possessing Durkon uses Control Weather.]]
---> [[spoiler: Vamp!Durkon: What? It's on the standard cleric spell list. ''Geez.'']]
* When the [[HyperspaceMallet clue hammers]] in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' were shut down, Susan was suddenly deprived of her habitual method of dealing with [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-04-16 inappropriate comments]]. Enter [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-04-19 Catalina Bobcat]] with a toy hammer...
--> '''Nerd boys''': ''Ow! The plastic, it hurts!''
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' [[http://xkcd.com/538/ tells us how to beat cryptography in the kneecap.]]
** Also known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber-hose_cryptanalysis rubber-hose cryptanalysis]]. For obvious reasons, this method is unfit for gathering court-admissible evidence.
* ''Webcomic/BiggerThanCheeses'' mocked the difference between [[HollywoodHacking the way Hollywood stops hackers]], and [[http://www.biggercheese.com/index.php?comic=332 the way]] you ''[[CutTheJuice should]]'' stop them. [[note]]Emphasis on "you". There are occasions when the cure is worse than the disease, but any computer unimportant enough that you're allowed to read TVTropes on it probably isn't going to be part of them.[[/note]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', Gordito dealt with Victor, [[MostDefinitelyNotAVillain an obvious villain claiming to be a plumber]], [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/14p67/ by hiring another plumber and firing Victor.]]
** Later, King Radical is trying to generate radical energy in order to [[spoiler: summon the residents of his world into the other one which has them forcibly replace the boring original residents.]] He is about to give up, however, because even making a giant robot out of the town's buildings only made a little energy and he can't possibly top that. One of his minions then suggests he have the robot DO something, which starts producing a lot of radical energy.
** The entire plot is defeated by [[spoiler: Gordito turning off the robots power source and breaking the ignition key.]]
* ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' are infected with a virus that transforms them into {{Bishounen}}. Commander Badass goes on a long elaborate hunt for the mastermind of this plot and battles him to the death, to no avail. In the meantime, Canadian Guy... goes to the doctor, and is cured before Commander Badass returns.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* During the ''WebVideo/NostalgiaCritic'' review of ''Film/TurboAPowerRangersMovie'', the Critic has to fight a monster. He learns of the CaptainErsatz version of a [[GiantMecha MegaZord]], and asks why don't they skip straight to it instead of fighting the monster one-on-one. He's told by each party that it simply isn't ''done''. So, the Critic summons the [=MegaZord=], [[CurbStompBattle squishes the monster with one foot]], battle over. Everyone is upset, calling him a "cheater", but Critic smiles and says he's not a cheater - he's a ''winner''.
-->'''Malcolm!Zordon:''' That was NOT the honorable way!
-->'''Critic:''' But it was the effective way. Can't argue with results.
* In ''WebVideo/JourneyQuest'', Perf demonstrates a terribly simple solution to an enemy mage. [[spoiler:He hits him in the head with a rock, causing a [[CriticalFailure spell backfire]] to roast the enemy.]]
* In Website/{{Cracked}}'s ''WebVideo/AfterHours'', they point out that that if Muggles had just known about [[Franchise/HarryPotter Voldemort]], we would have solved the problem by simply blowing him up.
-->'''Katie:''' But he has unlimited dark magical powers!
-->'''Michael:''' Yeah, that he has to aim through a wand! We can fire a thousand missiles. From space. With iPhones.
* Speaking of Cracked, see [[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_404_23-movie-plots-easily-solved-by-everyday-technology/ 23 Movie Plots Easily Solved by Everyday Technology ]].
* ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' spinoff site ''Not Always Learning'' has a classroom posed with a problem [[http://notalwayslearning.com/a-jump-from-logic/33590 involving a bottomless chasm and two too-short boards with which to cross it]]. A student sarcastically remarks that the bottomless chasm is only three feet wide, so they can just jump over... and [[InvokedTrope this is the answer the teacher was looking for]].
** From the same website, a student given the prompt: "[[http://notalwayslearning.com/avoiding-deaths-door/34195 You are in a burning building. You have a paper clip, a pencil, and a sweat-sock. How do you get out?]]" wrote that they'd use the door... there was nothing saying they were ''trapped'' in the burning building.
--->'''Teacher:''' ...You smart-ass.
** Yet another ''Not Always Learning'' student confronts a math problem involving fitting a pair of skis through a door. After using the Pythagorean Theorem to solve the problem as taught, the student adds that realistically, the skis could be maneuvered through by [[http://notalwayslearning.com/forward-thinking/34799 holding them horizontally (perpendicular to the door)]]. She was the only one to get [[InvokedTrope full credit for the question]].
** A teacher of Home Economics [[http://notalwayslearning.com/apparently-the-glove-doesnt-fit/36383 warns her students that touching their baked projects barehanded will cost them the grade]]. Several students try to get creative with utensils to serve their projects, wasting time, dropping food, and making a mess. The last student ''wears gloves''.
* In ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'', the Emperor suggests that the simplest way to kill bug aliens Tyranids would be to use bug spray. Subverted, though, as Kitten notes that with their adaptive abilities, they'd likely breed themselves immunity to it before too long (as had indeed happened after previous attempts).
* ''Roleplay/YouHaveBecomeYourAvatar'': When the group was haunted by Dan Barrows and the Scissorman, Walter Sobchak!Inceptiond pulled out a pistol and shot them.
* Despite their virtually unlimited budget, the Wiki/SCPFoundation will bring out the cheaper mundane solutions whenever they can. Dr. Clef advises his fellows that the easiest way to bring down a RealityWarper is to [[ChunkySalsaRule shoot them in the head with a big gun when they aren't looking]]. Their solution to pacify SCP-096, a lanky monster that kills anyone who looks at its face, was to put a bag over its head. When they discovered SCP-2950 grows more violent when [[YourMindMakesItReal large numbers of people believe it's violent]], their solution was to trick everyone into thinking it's just a harmless chair [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve so it would transform into a harmless chair]]. Many of their containment protocols boil down to "lock it in a box and try to forget about it". Many more are in the form of "If a user does X the SCP does Y. So don't do X."
* Attempted in hybrid webcomic/browser game ''WebComic/DemonThesis''. At the conclusion of the introductory arc of the game, Val attempts to smash the [[ArtifactOfDoom stone totem from another dimension]] with a pickax. The pickax shatters into pieces and the totem doesn't get a scratch on it. Lampshaded afterward by Alain, who says:
-->C'mon, you've read ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. You thought it'd be that easy?

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', where Timmy, Chester, and AJ are sent to a military school, [[RaceAgainstTheClock they have to run an obstacle course in 60 seconds, or their stuff (including Cosmo and Wanda) will be destroyed]]. When they get to a wall-climb, there's only 15 seconds left on the clock, not enough time to climb it and make it to the end. AJ presents a faster alternative - walking ''around'' the wall.
* Played with in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E9SliceOfLife one episode]] of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Doctor Whooves/Time Turner has an actual time machine, from centuries of tinkering, yet it's completely obsolete due to there being a magic spell for it. However, if it really is a [[Series/DoctorWho certain]] time machine, it may be anything [[CoolShip but]] "obsolete" by equestrian standards.
** At one point in the second part of the pilot, Twilight is desperately searching her library for a book on the Elements of Harmony. [[CloudCuckoolander Pinkie Pie]] finds it in seconds. How?
-->'''Pinkie:''' "It was under 'E'."
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', when a lack of internet connectivity forces the townspeople to [[SeriousBusiness move to an internet refugee camp]], Kyle fixes the problem the same way that we all would: he pulls the plug on the monolithic server and powers it up again until the flashing yellow light becomes solid green.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', there's a massive geode containing a storm that has cracked and has begun radiating energy. The solution? Seal the crack with [[DuctTapeForEverything duct tape]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', one of Doctor Venture's actual good inventions over the run of the show was an impenetrable force field. Unfortunately, he gets stuck on the inside with the president, a broken control switch and no way to get what was needed to fix it. Throughout the episode, the White House maid touted the cleaning power of club soda. It turns out to be the only thing that can break up the force field.
--> "Child, a little club soda can get out ''anything.''"
* ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'':
** In an early episode the Monks are tackling an obstacle course where they jump through hoops and swinging logs and such to retrieve a stuffed dog at the end of the circular track, back near the starting line. When it comes around to Clay's turn... he turns around and grabs the dog from the end of the track. As Clay says "I don't see the point of all that hoppin' around, so long as I got the dog." At the end of the same episode, he wins a "sparrow catching" Showdown by filling his hat with seeds to lure the bird. Simple solutions to complicated problems!
** An evil mime has trapped the monks in an invisible prison. They spend most of the episode trying to blast their way out of prison.. then they get out by miming a door and opening it.
** In the ''very first episode'', several of Jack Spicer's robot minions are defeated by turning them off. Jack [[LampshadeHanging wonders aloud]] why he made the on/off switch so obvious.
** Yet another episode has a WhenYouSnatchThePebble-style test, which Omi passes by [[PolitenessJudo asking nicely for the objective]]. ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' is quite fond of this trope in general.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The doll. One of the oldest and most universal toys ever conceived, it doesn't seem nearly as spectacular an innovation as discovering fire or crafting the stone ax, yet it revolutionized child care by giving young children something to safely try out social interactions with. Compare that to other social primates, in which subadult females can only practice infant care by stealing actual infants away from their mothers - a risky situation for baby and young female, alike - and youngsters of both sexes are smacked around by their elders if they commit a ''faux pas''. Plus, learning to regard dolls as substitute-playmates gave the human imagination a jump-start.
* One recommended method for disarming a nuclear bomb is by shooting it. Nuclear weapons are very complex devices that need to go off perfectly to trigger a nuclear reaction, and triggering one of the blast plates even a split-second too early will prevent it from going nuclear.
** Being as far away as reasonably possible is considered a good idea as a botched implosion will cause a jet highly radioactive material to go ''somewhere''.