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* In ''[[https://archiveofourown.org/works/11576103/chapters/31491660#workskin The Golden Rule]]'', several of the Avengers are tricked into eating golden apples, resulting in them having to pass a series of tests to become gods, requiring they pass two out of three tests or else be executed. Odin decides Tony's second test is to lift Mjolnir, something both Thor and Loki call him out on.


* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "Tanks For the Memories," when Rainbow Dash realizes that her pet tortoise needs to hibernate for the winter, she sets it upon herself to stop winter so they can have more time together. While winter is [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows created by ponies]] in Equestria, so her task is ''theoretically'' possible, her attempts to disrupt the coming winter just cause a big mess and don't slow it down at all. TheAesop of the episode is accepting that times change and sometimes your friends have to leave for a while.

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* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "Tanks For the Memories," when Rainbow Dash realizes that her pet tortoise needs to hibernate for the winter, she sets it upon herself to stop winter so they can have more time together. While winter is [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows created by ponies]] in Equestria, so her task is ''theoretically'' possible, her attempts to disrupt the coming winter just cause a big mess and don't slow it down at all. TheAesop The Aesop of the episode is accepting that times change and sometimes your friends have to leave for a while.


* In ''Help Wanted'', the premiere episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs tries to prevent Spongebob from joining the Krusty Krew by tasking him with finding a "hydrodynamic spatula, with port and starboard attachments, and a turbo drive", an item he makes up off the top of his head. Spongebob buys one at a Bargain Mart and returns in the nick of time to save the restaurant from a hoarde of hungry anchovies.

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* In ''Help Wanted'', the premiere episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs tries to prevent Spongebob from joining the Krusty Krew by tasking him with finding a "hydrodynamic spatula, with port and starboard attachments, and a turbo drive", an item he makes up off the top of his head. Spongebob buys one at a Bargain Mart and returns in the nick of time to save the restaurant from a hoarde horde of hungry anchovies.

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* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "Tanks For the Memories," when Rainbow Dash realizes that her pet tortoise needs to hibernate for the winter, she sets it upon herself to stop winter so they can have more time together. While winter is [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows created by ponies]] in Equestria, so her task is ''theoretically'' possible, her attempts to disrupt the coming winter just cause a big mess and don't slow it down at all. TheAesop of the episode is accepting that times change and sometimes your friends have to leave for a while.


On the other hand, sometimes the task-giver is pleased at the hero's success-—[[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder they can now be sent out again]] and again and ''again!''

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On the other hand, sometimes the task-giver is pleased at the hero's success-—[[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder success—[[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder they can now be sent out again]] and again and ''again!''


The Impossible Task is a favorite theme in myths and legends, folklore and {{Fairy Tale}}s the world over, and is OlderThanFeudalism. The task might be undertaken to win a boon, or [[EngagementChallenge a bride]], to gain land, to break a {{Curse}}, [[FamedInStory because everyone will know about it if you do it]], to prove your worth to Baba Yaga (who may agree to be your mentor if you succeed), or because your EvilUncle wants you -- the rightful heir -- out of the way. Some creators try to set up one as the FantasticFragility flaw.

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The Impossible Task is a favorite theme in myths and legends, folklore and {{Fairy Tale}}s the world over, and is OlderThanFeudalism. The task might be undertaken to win a boon, or [[EngagementChallenge a bride]], to gain land, to break a {{Curse}}, [[FamedInStory because everyone will know about it if you do it]], to prove your worth to Baba Yaga (who may agree to be your mentor if you succeed), or because your EvilUncle wants you -- the you--the rightful heir -- out heir--out of the way. Some creators try to set up one as the FantasticFragility flaw.



On the other hand, sometimes the task-giver is pleased at the hero's success — [[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder they can now be sent out again]] and again and ''again!''

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On the other hand, sometimes the task-giver is pleased at the hero's success — [[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder success-—[[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder they can now be sent out again]] and again and ''again!''

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* ''FanFic/TheFlashSentryChronicles'': [[spoiler:The third test of The Great Test is designed to be this. Flash is given the task to cross a twenty foot wide lava pit safely while he has been stripped of his ability to fly. After considering all possibilities, Flash comes to the difficult conclusion that there is no way for him to safely cross the lava pit. This turns out to have been the correct decision, since he realized the task presented was impossible and he didn't attempt it, passing the final test and proving he has the judgment and skills to be a leader.]]


* In ''Help Wanted'', the premiere episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs tries to prevent Spongebob from joining the Krusty Krew by tasking him with finding a "hydrodynamic spatula, with port and starboard attachments, and a turbo drive", an item he makes up off the top of his head. Spongebob buys one at a Bargain Mart, and returns in the nick of time to save the restaurant from a hoarde of hungry anchovies.

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* In ''Help Wanted'', the premiere episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs tries to prevent Spongebob from joining the Krusty Krew by tasking him with finding a "hydrodynamic spatula, with port and starboard attachments, and a turbo drive", an item he makes up off the top of his head. Spongebob buys one at a Bargain Mart, Mart and returns in the nick of time to save the restaurant from a hoarde of hungry anchovies.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Help Wanted'', the premiere episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs tries to prevent Spongebob from joining the Krusty Krew by tasking him with finding a "hydrodynamic spatula, with port and starboard attachments, and a turbo drive", an item he makes up off the top of his head. Spongebob buys one at a Bargain Mart, and returns in the nick of time to save the restaurant from a hoarde of hungry anchovies.


'''Illyan:''' Don't ever try that with [[MagnificentBastard Miles]]. Just... don't.

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'''Illyan:''' Don't ever try that with [[MagnificentBastard [[GuileHero Miles]]. Just... don't.


* In ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter]]'', the Moon Princess Kaguya grows tired of being pestered by her five suitors but cannot just blow them off, so [[EngagementChallenge she demands they retrieve legendary artifacts]] [[PleaseDumpMe in hopes that they'll give up]]. Three try to trick her with fakes and she denounces them, one gives up and goes home, and the fifth dies trying.

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* In ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter]]'', the Moon Princess Kaguya grows tired of being pestered by her five suitors but cannot just blow them off, so [[EngagementChallenge she demands they retrieve legendary artifacts]] [[PleaseDumpMe in hopes that they'll give up]]. Three try to trick her with fakes and she denounces them, one gives up and goes home, and the fifth dies trying. Eventually the Moon itself loses patience and sends heralds to bring their princess home.



* Among the most famous in Japanese literature is the trials of Kaguya-hime in "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter". At least 5 of her suitors were each given a task by her that needed to be fulfilled to take her hand in marriage; one to obtain a jeweled branch from Hourai, one to take a cowry from a swallow's nest, one to get the Buddha's begging bowl, among others. None of them succeed of course.


* In ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}},'' Jesse Custer punishes one of the BigBad's flunkies by compelling him to go sit on a beach and count three million grains of sand. [[spoiler: He does it. The hard way.]] As far as Custer's punishments go, this is getting off ''lightly.''

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* In ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}},'' Jesse Custer punishes one of the BigBad's flunkies by compelling him to go sit on a beach and count three million grains of sand. [[spoiler: He does it. The hard way.]] As far as Custer's punishments go, this is getting off ''lightly.'''' [[spoiler: But it nearly drove him mad. Jesse realizes he'd screwed up and makes amends by using the same powers that drove him to the task to forget the whole thing.]]


* In ''[[MagicTheGathering The Brothers' War]]'', the King of Argive decrees that any suitor for his daughter must move a huge boulder across the town square. Urza builds a machine to lift and transport the stone, declaring that he had moved it with his mind.

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* In ''[[MagicTheGathering ''[[Literature/MagicTheGathering The Brothers' War]]'', the King of Argive decrees that any suitor for his daughter must move a huge boulder across the town square. Urza builds a machine to lift and transport the stone, declaring that he had moved it with his mind.


* In ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' (and again in ''[[Film/StarTrek Star Trek]]'' (the 2009 series {{reboot}})), the Kobayashi Maru test administered to budding Starfleet officers is this. Kirk, being Kirk, of course TakesAThirdOption.

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* In ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' (and again in ''[[Film/StarTrek Star Trek]]'' (the 2009 series {{reboot}})), ''Film/StarTrek2009'', the Kobayashi Maru test administered to budding Starfleet officers is this. Kirk, being Kirk, of course TakesAThirdOption.


* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', when the BlackMage Odin arrived to the Nohrian court, he was assigned to serve Prince Leo. Leo wasn't reallt thrilled so he gave his potential retainer some missions that counted as this, some of them involving finding things that Leo made up or otherwise didn't think were real. Odin '''[[BeyondTheImpossible successfully completed all of them]]''', and, [[BoisterousBruiser being]] [[LargeHam Odin]], he actually enjoyed all of these "impossible" missions.

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* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', when the BlackMage Odin arrived to the Nohrian court, he was assigned to serve Prince Leo. Leo wasn't reallt really thrilled so he gave his potential retainer some missions that counted as this, some of them involving finding things that Leo made up or otherwise didn't think were real. Odin '''[[BeyondTheImpossible successfully completed all of them]]''', and, [[BoisterousBruiser being]] [[LargeHam Odin]], he actually enjoyed all of these "impossible" missions.missions.
* In the ''Heart of Stone'' DLC of ''Videogame/TheWitcher3WildHunt'', Geralt is tasked by [[LouisCypher a mysterious man]] to complete three tasks as part of a contract he has with bandit lord Olgeird Von Everec. Olgeird deliberately makes it so that each task is either incredibly difficult or outright impossible by normal means, though some can be completed via LoopholeAbuse.

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