Playing With / Spanner in the Works

Basic Trope: A character, like The Ditz, a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, or The Fool, ruins The Plan completely by accident.
  • Straight: Bob The Fool accidentally derails Emperor Evulz plan to Take Over the World.
  • Exaggerated: Bob The Fool unintentionally derails an entire Gambit Pileup between several factions... one that had been going on for millennia prior to his unexpected involvement!
  • Downplayed: Bob The Fool only complicates Evulz's plans.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is Too Dumb to Fool for Evulz to manipulate him into his plans.
    • Evulz didn't factor Bob into his plan at all, exactly because Bob is a buffoon and therefore was beneath Evulz's notice. Evulz was therefore completely blind-sighted when Bob, through his bumbling, somehow got messed up in the plan.
    • Bob is something of an Outside-Context Problem; he wasn't even supposed to be there, and Evulz didn't know he existed. Bob just took a wrong turn on his road trip to somewhere else and blundered into a key part of the plan by pure dumb luck.
    • Evulz is Too Clever by Half, and Bob is a particularly dull-witted mook who took the boss's orders a bit too literally.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: It may appear that Bob has destroyed Evulz's plans, but Evulz had changed his plans in case someone were to ruin it.
  • Double Subverted: ...but it turns out that in changing the plans to prevent Bob from ruining them, Evulz has left himself wide open for Alice's bumbling to devastate them.
  • Parodied: Bob The Fool derails Evulz attempts to Poke the Poodle.
  • Zigzagged: Sometimes, Bob inadvertently derails Evulz plans. Other times, Bob has unintentionally advanced Evulz in some way.
  • Averted: Bob The Fool has not derailed Evulz's plans to Take Over the World
  • Enforced: "Evulz is a Devil in Plain Sight who can fool nearly everyone. We need to find someone who can ignorantly break his plan.
  • Lampshaded: "Did that idiot just ruin my plan by accident!? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
  • Invoked:
    • Bob is such a Walking Disaster Area that the only reason his friends so much as tolerate him is the outside chance that, should anything bad happen, his unlucky bumbling will wreck the enemy's plans before the enemy wrecks them.
    • Alternatively, Evulz needs to lull the heroes into a false sense of security, and what better way of doing so than sacrificing a plan or two and making himself look like someone that can easily be thwarted by any random brain-dead idiot?
  • Exploited: John, a Guile Hero, notes that Bob is an idiot, and, with a few supervisors for the latter, use Bob as an Unwitting Pawn against Emperor Evulz. Bob, being the idiot he is, is unaware of this.
  • Defied:
    • Emperor Evulz have his guards set fences, strictly enforce the "No Commoners Allowed" rule, and place his animal in case they do.
    • Alternatively, Evulz' first Kick the Dog act once he has the heroes at hand will be to kill Bob in front of the rest of cast (most probably in an unceremonious fashion), declaring Bob as dangerous because he was Too Dumb to Fool (and thus, ironically, Too Cool (or Powerful) To Live).
    • Emperor Evulz acknowledges the possibility of someone or something making a dent on his plans as inevitable, and he absolutely refuses to allow his campaign of terror to be destroyed by a single point of failure. Because of this, he tries to be as Crazy-Prepared as circumstances will allow him, and tries not to have any 'all or nothing' strategies on his playbook.
  • Discussed: "Hmm... This guy can definitely destroy Emperor Evulz's plans. The Emperor can't predict him."
  • Conversed: "The idiot always ruins the mastermind's plan if not monitored."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob becomes so important that he turns into a spanner in the works of the good guys. If anything happens to him —be it that Evulz lucks out and kills him, Bob bumbles in the wrong direction, gets stuck in traffic, or he gets fed up with people telling him what to do and tells them to take a hike— the heroes are screwed.
    • The Perils of Being the Best start to apply to Bob and his capacity to ruin plans. He becomes a priority target to Evulz' assassins, his friends start to hate the fact that they may as well shout "We Are "Team Cannon Fodder"" when compared to Bob's luck, and Bob may start feeling alienated because his friends are putting him at arm's length (if he's smart enough to feel alienated, otherwise he will just raise the other heroes' ire more).

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