So Crazy It Must Be True
Funny story. Sounds unbelievable. Probably true.
Sometimes it's really hard to convince someone of what you're saying. Perhaps you're addicted to Crying Wolf
so when you do pierce the Masquerade
your credibility is gone. Or maybe Muggles
see anything so weird and out of the ordinary such an affront to their sensibilities they automatically disbelieve you, leaving the likes of Jor-El
desperately saying "You Have to Believe Me
This is not one of those times. This time they believe you.
Usually in this case, the main reason someone believes you is because
your story sounds so crazy compared what you would usually say. Either you're in good standing with the Reasonable Authority Figure
so they'll at least hear you out, or even if you cry wolf all the time the nature of this
crazy story is so out of hoc with your usual lies that they at least listen to you. Other factors can be at work here such as the Powers of Trust
, leaving one more likely to believe the story but perhaps say "If you were any other man
I'd call you crazy." The baseline for this trope is that it's usually a story that sounds completely made up to the average listener, but is actually true.
- In Death Note, Mello tells Near about the existance of Shinigami and how they're connected to the Death Note. Near's SPK allies scoff, but Near believes him on the logic that if Mello really was lying to mislead them, he'd never make up such an impossible story to do it. The fact there's a magic notebook that kills people presumably helps open his mind to the possibility.
- On The Brady Bunch, someone sends Jan a locket anonymously, and the only clue to his/her identity is that the enclosed note was written on a typewriter where the 'e' was slightly off. Suspecting Mike, Carol takes Alice and sneaks into his office to test his typewriter, only to be caught by the security guard. He concludes that it's not the kind of excuse a burglar would cook up.
- In Snuff, Sam Vimes comes running to his wife Sybil, babbling about the beautiful music being played by the goblin girl Tears-of-the-Mushroom. Sybil at first expresses her disbelief, before— in the same sentence— realizing that if Vimes, who habitually falls asleep from boredom at music recitals and the opera, thinks it's that good, then... "You know what? You've convinced me."
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, this is the logic that the Professor uses to declare that Lucy's story about a magical realm in the wardrobe is actually true: she claimed to have been gone for hours, yet only seconds had passed. If she were really making it up, she would have remained hidden for some time before attempting such a story. (Of course, in other books we find out that the Professor has been to Narnia himself, and indeed, the wood used to make the wardrobe came from a tree in Narnia, so he wouldn't be surprised to find that the wardrobe had magical properties.)
- In Spoony's Counter Monkey stories, he recounts the story of a player who could never arrive at the agreed upon time. On one occasion Spoony called him to see where he was, and the player said he had to head back to his house because he forgot his pants. After a moment's thought Spoony decided he must be telling the truth, because nobody would use such a lie to excuse being late.
- The Simpsons:
- Lisa uncovers evidence that the town founder, Jebediah Springfield, has been whitewashed throughout the centuries and was actually a bloodthirsty pirate and rogue. Most of the town scoff, but Homer believes her because she's smart and insightful and usually right about these things, even if they sound crazy.
- In another episode, after Skinner and Krabapple fall in love, rumors spread that they had sex in a broom closet. Skinner silences these stories by confessing in public that he is a virgin. This satisfies the public, and Superintendent Chalmers notes that nobody would lie about being a virgin. The ending subverts this however, as Skinner reveals he lied.