The easy way is always mined.
— from Murphy's Laws of Combat
This occurs when a character is given two choices; one of which sounds much easier, safer or more pleasant than the other. When the "better" option is chosen, it is subsequently revealed that they've actually picked the worse
option without realizing it until it's too late.
Named after a running gag in the film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
. Damon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison play Evil Minions
who are always being told by other characters that they can leave the building via "the window
or the stairs". Each time, they choose the stairs and each time they get thrown painfully down a long flight of stairs.
For people actually
leaving via the window, see Destination Defenestration
and Super Window Jump
. See also The Easy Way or the Hard Way
. When someone is baited
into this folly, it's usually Schmuck Bait
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, as described above. The trope is subverted at the end of the film when the protagonist says "There's two ways you can leave this place..." at which point Wayans screams and jumps out the window. This prompts one of the heroes to say, "Didn't he know about the elevator?"
- This is part of Jedi philosophy. The Dark Side is the quick and easy path to power, but it will exact a terrible price from you and everyone you care about in the long run. Unless you're okay with that.
- Played with in the Discworld novel Going Postal. Main character Moist von Lipwig is given a choice by Vetinari: He can take over the job of Postmaster General, or walk out a door in Vetinari's office, and Vetinari would never bother him again. Being a Genre Savvy sort of chap, Moist goes to the door, carefully peeks through it, and finds a deep pit where the floor should be. He drops a spoon into the pit, and it doesn't make a sound for a rather long time. He takes the job. At the end of the book, the Big Bad is offered the same choice with a job at the Mint. He took the door, but it isn't clear if he looked or not and Vetinari mentions that he clearly really believed in freedom of choice.
- Further played with in Making Money: Moist is given the same choice, and referred to the same door, on being offered a new job. Having ostentatiously repeated his previous actions he discovers the room now has a perfectly normal floor. (Playing With Playing with a Trope? Where will it end?!!)
- One of the Dragonology choose your adventure books subverts this trope. Choose the nice wide gentle path and you make it to the castle safely, choose the narrow twisty trail you make it to a cave and set of a trip wire and get crushed by a boulder.
- In many a 2D Adventure Game and Platform Game, the screen will have a set amount of space it can display. If there are 2 paths to take and one has more Mooks or Spikes, it will be much easier in the long run.
- In Mitra's palace in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, there are several areas where you have three hallways to choose from. On the floor in front of them, you find a message saying, "Take the long road". The shorter hallways either have a trapdoor that will drop you to the floor below or are lined with damaging floors.
- Used straight in a Diceman game comic - In one story if you chose to descend the stairs you'd meet a bunch of demons on the way up and get torn to pieces. The other option involved escaping through the window onto clotheslines.