"Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one-quarter complete!."
— Robot Devil, Futurama
"President?! Do you know how much power I'd have to give up to be President? That's right, conspiracy buff. I spent $75 million on a fake Presidential campaign, all just to tick Superman off."
— Lex Luthor, Justice League Unlimited
Barry: You're not in any position to be calling the shots Steven; I'm the one holding the gun.
Steve: Sure, you could kill me with your gun... but are you willing to try something much more elaborate and unnecessary?
— American Dad!, "With Friends Like Steve's"
"Okay, let's get Operation Too-Complicated-To-Actually-Work underway."
— Shego, Kim Possible
"Instead of being an alive person pretending to be a dead person pretending to be an alive person, why not just be an alive person?"
— Robin, How I Met Your Mother
Thirty two minutes to draw out blueprints for the pendulums and work out the sequence needed for best effect. Three hundred to three hundred and forty minutes of time to set it up. He could estimate costs north of eleven thousand dollars, not counting salaries. None of the materials were particularly expensive in and of themselves, and he had any number of businesses in his pocket where he could acquire those materials at a significant discount.
— Accord designs a death trap, Worm
Darien: All right, so why don’t you just knock me out with a… Stun gun? Baseball bat? You know, what is it with all these complex plots? I mean, what, is it a Swiss thing? Is that what it is?
Arnaud: You know, I can’t just walk up to you and knock you out with a baseball bat… There are… variables.
Darien: Don’t defend it. Please.
Arnaud:(smug) You could turn invisible, for one.
Darien: Will you just admit it?
Arnaud: Admit what?
Darien: You’re ridiculous. You are! I mean, you join the Q-Gland design team just so you can steal the design. You make me think Kevin’s alive so, what, I can lead you to some files. Hey, buddy, you could’ve found them on your own with a little research. Then you give me the flu so I could wind up in some hospital room and you can take the gland out of me? Douche, Rube Goldberg’s got nothing on you, pal.
— The Invisible Man, Diseased
"Any damned fool can make something complex. It takes a genius to make something simple."
— Albert Einstein, also attributed to Pete Seeger
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
— Carl von Clauswitz, On War
"Arcade doesn't murder people. He puts them in Murdercade. It's a deadly but outrageously unexplainable high-tech fun fair that has yet to kill a single participant in the history of Marvel Comics."
The Jackal strikes me as the sort of overachiever who, assigned to kill a mosquito, would purchase contraband insecticides from Iraq and bring them to the United States by hot air balloon, distilling his drinking water from clouds and shooting birds for food.
"Klingon revenge is a dish best served convoluted."
"Two young star-crossed lovers should go on this romantic getaway, when love is forbidden and leads to the Dark Side? Oh wait—I guess Palpatine was the guy that initially suggested the idea, so he might've been usin' a trick of them or somethin'. Y'know, his grand plan was to cloud all their judgement and trick them into letting Anakin go with her because he knew Anakin was gonna fall in love, get Padme pregnant, then have premonitions of future pregnancy complications leading to her death so that Palpatine could tell Anakin to use the Dark Side to save her so Anakin could become Darth Vader and help Palpatine rule the empire. You'd think that if this guy could think that far into the future, he'd just pick the Lotto numbers. ...But wait, if that were the case—! ..ah, fuck it."
"Kaine has allegedly tried to spend his entire life protecting Peter Parker, so he killed a bunch of people in Utah so his identical-to-Peter’s fingerprints would be all over everyone and run the risk of exactly this sort of shit happening. Brilliant!... Anyway, this spurts Kaine into going into the courtroom and confessing himself to, uh, killing a bunch of people because Peter Parker took a picture of him committing murder, so see, he hated him so much he had his fingerprints and DNA altered to match his and then killed a bunch more people. Of course! What’s sad is that events in the Marvel Universe had gotten so stupid in general at this point that there was really no way for a reasonable judge to deny the story."
—Topless Robot, "The 13 Dumbest Spider-Man Stories.. Just From The Clone Saga"
"You just have to love the fact that Superman doesn’t even give a problem a second thought before his mind goes right to, “I know! I’ll do an elaborate ruse!” He’s gone the ruse route for so long he doesn’t know how to solve problems any other way, not even giving it a few more seconds’ thought to determine if the problem actually exists in the first place!"
— Brian Cronin, Comics Should Be Good
Give (John) Cena credit, though. He had access to a giant trough of solid waste secretly suspended above the ring, but he had patience enough to wait until the end of a three-hour Raw to pull the trigger (not that there are actual guns that fire poop, so excuse the metaphor), even letting the heels cut a ten-minute long promo on him. Now that’s discipline! If I had the same power of crap, I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes into the program without using it.
"This is exactly the needless complexity you've come to expect from your sylladex!"
— The Narrator after John Egbert deliberately makes his inventory system impractical, Homestuck