Quotes: Deus ex Machina


Robin: "Gosh, Batman. The nobility of the almost-human porpoise."
Batman: "True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours."

"I've been suddenly rescued by some force utterly outside of the context of this narrative! How... unsatisfying."

"That certainly is convenient."

"I mean, come on! Time travel?! What kind of deus ex machina bulls@#! is that?!"
Yami Bakura, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, lampshading the use of this trope during the 5th season of Lost.

"You can't just throw stuff like this into the story out of nowhere! Where's the foreshadowing?!"

"Who says deus ex machina is an outdated plot device?"
Captain Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

"Oh Lord, hear our prayer... HELP!!!!" (God's hand appears to help him and Richie)
Eddie Hitler, Bottom

"This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French for "Are you fucking kidding me?"

"Where in the name of deus ex machina did that T. rex come from?!"
Norbert, The Angry Beavers [1]

"'Life is too precious to be left to chance.' - Deus X. Machina"

"I've never liked this scene," I said. "Detective confronts murderer. Murderer produces gun, points same at detective. Murderer tells detective the whole sad story, with the idea of shooting him at the end of it. Thus wasting a lot of valuable time, even if in the end murderer did shoot detective. Only murderer never does. Something always happens to prevent it. The gods don't like this scene either. They always manage to spoil it."

"I am Zeus! And I declare this conflict RESOLVED!"
Running Gag, Isle of Rangoon

On works

"Genies are only fun in the movies if you define and limit their powers."
Roger Ebert, review of Kazaam

Resist the urge to use magic to solve problems unless you've already explained and shown that aspect of how the magic works. Don't give the heroes a new power whenever they need one, and be very careful about writing laws into your system just so that you can use them in a single particular situation... An example of this: The fellowship relies on Gandalf to save them from the Balrog. Result: Gandalf is gone for the rest of that book."

"Doctor Who stories are resolved by a Time Lord who emerges from a Time Machine — they're ALL deus ex machina."
Steven Moffat advises fans to adopt a postmodern perspective.

"That's the whole point of Doctor Who in these narrative collapse stories - that ultimately there is no such thing as threatening the fundamental narrative logic of Doctor Who because, eventually, it just shrugs its shoulders and does something random to get out of it."

"It's one of the bigger cop-outs in epiphany history."
The Nostalgia Chick, on the end of Dragonheart

"These movies have a tendency to do this, where everything that would’ve mattered is immediately rendered irrelevant by some stupid plot contrivance. Lois getting nuked in Superman: The Movie and then time getting reversed, Superman losing his powers FOR EVER in Superman II and then, I dunno, deciding he wants them back and that’s all it takes, and now this. I mean, I guess you could say the same for the comics, but the movies go the extra mile in weaseling out of their own stupid plot points by making their excuses as dumb as possible. Compared to those, a Kryptonian crystal 1-Up Mushroom is actually the most believable."
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

"One minute they're dying of asphyxiation in deep space and the next minute they look over and: 'Hey, look, look, there's a space ship that civilians can fly, that can take us back to Earth and it's within half mile of a station that no one's noticed until now!' It's this kind of thing that was a running joke in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Fucking Galaxy."''