"Ha, loser. A true tactician doesn't know WHAT the hell he's doing until he's halfway done with it."
— Quint, MS Paint Masterpieces
"You'd need to be God to plan all that, dood."
—Prinny commentary, Disgaea
"Or are you suggesting that I am somehow able to manipulate coincidence?"
—Kristoph Gavin, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
"It's like you gathered together all the 'ifs' in the world for this lameass plan."
— Revy, Black Lagoon
"How can anyone, even skilled conspirators, predict with perfect accuracy the outcome of a car crash? How can they know in advance that a man will go to a certain pay phone at a certain time, so that he can see a particular truck he needs to see? How can the actions of security guards be accurately anticipated? Isn't it risky to hinge an entire plan of action on the hope that the police won't stop a car speeding recklessly through a downtown area?"
"You link all these events together, but the slightest accident might break the chain. The vulture might not fly over at the right moment, or it might fall a hundred yards away from the fishpond."
"That's precisely where the art lies: to be a great chemist in the East, you must direct chance. It can be done."
— Madame de Villefort and Edmond Dantes, The Count of Monte-Cristo
"What plan?! [Circe] planned for Air Force One to be brought down, she planned to get knocked unconscious by Batman, she planned for the Bana to purportedly be the real enemy only they're not, thus making their entire sub-plot utterly, totally, completely worthless!"
—Linkara's commentary on Circe's "master plan" in Amazons Attack.
"You've taken all the puzzle pieces, scrambled them up, and slipped them in various people's pockets with the intent of later manipulating them to meet up and magically, in unison, pull a rabbit out of the ass of the fucking universe!"
"I know! It's going to be glorious!"
—Monica and Jin, Wapsi Square
"[Palpatine's] grand plan was to cloud [the council's] judgment and trick them into letting Anakin go with Padme because he knew that he was gonna fall in love, get her pregnant, then have premonitions of future pregnancy complications resulting in her death so that Palpatine can tell Anakin that he can use the Dark Side to save her so that Anakin can become Darth Vader and help Palpatine rule the Empire. You'd think if this guy could see that far into the future he could just pick the lotto numbers; or maybe that's how he paid for the clones!"
"I KNEW that if I rigged this building to collapse, and then hid in the closet, and then fought with you, and then not really did that but caused the building to collapse anyway, you would eventually have to hoist it back up with your own body and become STUCK IN THE GROUND! NOW I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT TO YOU!!"
(Pi steps out of the ground)
—Mojo Nixon, "Princess Pi vs. Mojo Nixon"
Zhao: Well darn, it looks like I'm out of luck barring a sudden promotion, like the one arriving right now.
Colonel Shinu: What!? There's no way you could have timed this down to the second!
Zhao: Of course I can. I went to the Light Yagami School of Strategy. I can practically predict the future.
That was when Father had told Draco about the Rule of Three, which was that any plot which required more than three different things to happen would never work in real life.
Father had further explained that since only a fool would attempt a plot that was as complicated as possible, the real limit was two.
Draco couldn't even find words to describe the sheer gargantuan unworkability of Harry's master plan.
But it was just the sort of mistake you would make if you didn't have any mentors and thought you were clever and had learned about plotting by watching plays.
This is a convoluted scheme you bring me. Convoluted; labyrinthine, even. A great many things must go precisely right if you're to deliver to me what's mine.
—Nicol Bolas, to Liliana Vess, Agents Of Artifice
When drawing a marble in a bag of black marbles with a 1% chance of drawing the one white marble, Marble Phantasm is the ability to raise that chance to 100% and definitely pick the white one amongst all the black ones; this remains within the laws of the world.
If I could have planned for Celty randomly appearing here, I'd have dropped a meteor on your house ages ago.
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players*, to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time...
"So naturally to aquire [some disks] he merely transported an entire Scottish castle to the top of a New York skyrise to acquire a collection of mythical creatures who he decieved with a destructive battle caused by a squad of highly trained mercenaries that he hired himself so that they would wind up performing the heist believing it was retribution and protection against the framed culprits! It was almost too easy!"
"so [Arthur Frayn's] plan was... herd a bunch of working class brits into, breeding someone genetically able to think on the Eternals level; lead him to a library. Hope, that he taught himself how to read properly. Hope, that he came across the one specific book that inspired the whole Zardoz shtick. Hope, that he would stow-away on the Zardoz head and shoot him. Then hope, that the head would crash back inside the vortex. Hope, that the other Eternals didn't kill him immediately, and teach them all that they know; in the hopes that he would figure out how to destroy the tabernacle an therefore all the Eternals. In other words, the exact kind of plan you expect for a man who draws on his goatee."
"Little Toa, you have not yet begun to see even the barest outlines of my plans. I have schemes within schemes that would boggle your feeble mind. You may counter one, but there are a thousand more of which you know nothing. Even my ... setbacks ... are planned for, and so I shall win in the end."