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** Dirk does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble when she isn't getting any kind of obvious benefit out of the whole arrangement. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable (that this girl has masterminded an elaborate plot to make everything ''think'' she's receiving the prices out of thin air by having someone discreetly provide the information to her), and whatever remains, however impossible (that she actually ''is'' receiving this information out of nothing), must be the truth.

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** Dirk does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble when she isn't getting any kind of obvious benefit out of the whole arrangement. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' Literature/SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable (that this girl has masterminded an elaborate plot to make everything ''think'' she's receiving the prices out of thin air by having someone discreetly provide the information to her), and whatever remains, however impossible (that she actually ''is'' receiving this information out of nothing), must be the truth.

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-->'''Harry:''' Maybe you're giving me way more credit for cunning than I'm due. You know how I work. How often do I get to a neat, elegant solution that ties everything up? Can you look at me right now and honestly say to yourself, 'Dresden, that wily genius! This must be a part of his master plan'?\\
I spread my hands and looked up at him expectantly. Fix looked at me, dirty, naked, shivering, burned, bruised, covered in soot and ash.\\
'''Fix:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Fuck.]]


* Dirk Gently does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble when she isn't getting any kind of obvious benefit out of the whole arrangement. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable (that this girl has masterminded an elaborate plot to make everything ''think'' she's receiving the prices out of thin air by having someone discreetly provide the information to her), and whatever remains, however impossible (that she actually ''is'' receiving this information out of nothing), must be the truth.

to:

* Dirk Gently Gently:
** Dirk
does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble when she isn't getting any kind of obvious benefit out of the whole arrangement. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable (that this girl has masterminded an elaborate plot to make everything ''think'' she's receiving the prices out of thin air by having someone discreetly provide the information to her), and whatever remains, however impossible (that she actually ''is'' receiving this information out of nothing), must be the truth.truth.
** It's also how Dirk figures out the "riddle" of the history professor somehow hiding a surprise in an ancient artifact for a girl. All his colleagues assume he faked the whole thing somehow because he does this sort of thing all the time, but it keeps bugging Dirk because of how unspeakably improbable the whole event is. He asks a random kid on the street (in order to help himself think), and the kid points out the obvious answer: The professor is a time traveler. He went back in time, had the artifact commissioned with the surprise inside, and dug it up centuries later.


* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', the eponymous protagonist paraphrases Dirk Gently (seen below in ''Literature'') with the explanation that the flatly impossible often has an integrity which the wildly improbable frequently lacks: an impossible thing only requires one thing you "know" to be wrong, but a desperately improbable speculation requires many things to happen in order. [[spoiler: It so transpires that the actual story is even simpler: they got Quirrelmort to do it instead, but agreed to or were forced to be memory-wiped afterwards, and the professor certainly isn't telling.]]

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* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', the eponymous protagonist paraphrases Dirk Gently (seen below in ''Literature'') with the explanation that the flatly impossible often has an integrity which the wildly improbable frequently lacks: an impossible thing only requires one thing you "know" to be wrong, but a desperately improbable speculation requires many things to happen in order. [[spoiler: It so transpires that the actual story is even simpler: they got Quirrelmort to do it instead, but agreed to or were forced to be memory-wiped afterwards, and the professor certainly isn't telling. This solution is so simple and straightforward that ''nobody'' realizes it after the fact.]]

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* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', the eponymous protagonist paraphrases Dirk Gently (seen below in ''Literature'') with the explanation that the flatly impossible often has an integrity which the wildly improbable frequently lacks: an impossible thing only requires one thing you "know" to be wrong, but a desperately improbable speculation requires many things to happen in order. [[spoiler: It so transpires that the actual story is even simpler: they got Quirrelmort to do it instead, but agreed to or were forced to be memory-wiped afterwards, and the professor certainly isn't telling.]]


* Dirk Gently does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable, and whatever remains, however impossible, must be the truth.

to:

* Dirk Gently does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble.trouble when she isn't getting any kind of obvious benefit out of the whole arrangement. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable, improbable (that this girl has masterminded an elaborate plot to make everything ''think'' she's receiving the prices out of thin air by having someone discreetly provide the information to her), and whatever remains, however impossible, impossible (that she actually ''is'' receiving this information out of nothing), must be the truth.

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[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/TheDarkBelow'': Aizawa and Recovery Girl brush off explanations for Izuku's reactions and injuries, even ones given by the boy himself, and insist he's being abused by his mother. For example, Aizawa disregards Izuku's insistence that his black eye is from tripping while jogging, citing that a trained martial artist like Izuku shouldn't trip so easily. In reality, Izuku really did trip because he spaced out while jogging.
[[/folder]]


'''O'chul:''' You find the idea that I have some sort of secret knowledge implanted in my brain by the elders of the Sapphire Guard that has been so deeply suppressed that no magical effect can unearth it to be ''simpler''... than the idea that I just don't know anything?\\

to:

'''O'chul:''' You find the idea that I have some sort of secret knowledge implanted in my brain by the elders of the Sapphire Guard that has been so deeply suppressed that no magical effect can unearth it to be ''simpler''... than the idea that I just don't know anything?\\


* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Alchemist" men of the narrator's family all die at the age of 32, supposedly due to a curse laid on the family by the son of an alchemist one of his ancestors killed 600 years ago. While researching the curse he dismisses the possibility that his ancestors were assassinated by descendants of the alchemist [[spoiler:but it turns out that the alchemist's son has, in fact, been murdering them by assorted means over the centuries. This entails him having invented an elixir of immortality so that he could stick around and see the job done, so it's not entirely a mundane solution]].
* Dirk Gently does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable, and whatever remains, however impossible, must be the truth.
* At the climax of ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry Dresden [[LetsYouAndHimFight faces off against another hero]], set on him by one of TheFairFolk, [[CannotTellALie who told Fix that Harry is the villain]]. After getting his butt thoroughly kicked, Harry sums up the situation thusly: Either a being who CannotTellALie ''has'', or [[PerpetualPoverty Harry]] [[HonorBeforeReason Blackstone]] [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight Copperfield]] [[WeHelpTheHelpless Dresden]] is an evil mastermind. Faced with the evidence, Fix [[OhCrap realizes he's been used]].

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* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Alchemist" men of the narrator's family all die at the age of 32, supposedly due to a curse laid on the family by the son of an alchemist one of his ancestors killed 600 years ago. While researching the curse curse, he dismisses the possibility that his ancestors were assassinated by descendants of the alchemist alchemist, [[spoiler:but it turns out that the alchemist's son has, in fact, been murdering them by assorted means over the centuries. This entails him having invented an elixir of immortality so that he could stick around and see the job done, so it's not entirely a an ''entirely'' mundane solution]].
solution.]]
* Dirk Gently does this to some extent in ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. When he meets a girl who constantly recites the previous day's stock quotes (in real time, just with a 24-hour delay), he rejects the assumption that she's just memorizing them somehow (after all, the information is out there!) in favor of some more mystical explanation, because nobody would ever go to that much trouble. It's a little different since he's arguing on the basis of general human nature, not the specific character, but the principle is the same. Dirk sums this up by reversing SherlockHolmes' usual maxim: Eliminate the improbable, and whatever remains, however impossible, must be the truth.
* At the climax of ''Literature/ColdDays'', Harry Dresden [[LetsYouAndHimFight faces off against another hero]], hero, Fix,]] set on him by one of TheFairFolk, [[CannotTellALie who told Fix that Harry is was the villain]]. villain.]] After getting his butt thoroughly kicked, Harry sums up the situation thusly: Either a being who CannotTellALie ''has'', or [[PerpetualPoverty Harry]] [[HonorBeforeReason Blackstone]] [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight Copperfield]] [[WeHelpTheHelpless Dresden]] is an evil mastermind. Faced with the evidence, Fix [[OhCrap realizes he's been used]].used.]]

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* ''{{Series/Smallville}}'' does this with Clark's glasses. Everyone has always assumed that Clark Kent wore glasses as part of his disguise. The truth is that he received an injury that made him far-sighted: he actually needs them to read!


* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Window of Opportunity": Jack has prior knowledge of a briefing Carter is giving, and claims that he's remembering things from the future. Carter suggests, "Maybe he read my report?". Daniel gives her a look and repeats, "Maybe he ''read your report''?" as if it was the most ludicrous suggestion. Everyone else (O'Neill included) seems to agree.

to:

* The ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Window of Opportunity": Jack has prior knowledge of a briefing Carter is giving, and claims that he's remembering things from the future. Carter suggests, "Maybe he you read my report?". Daniel gives her a look and repeats, "Maybe he ''read your report''?" as if it was the most ludicrous suggestion. Everyone else (O'Neill included) seems to agree. Even Carter's tone as she says it suggests she thinks it's highly unlikely.



'''Willow:''' (''nods'')

to:

'''Willow:''' (''nods'')''[nods]''



* Played with in Series/{{Dexter}}, when Astor asks what Lumen is doing in Dexter's house. Dexter claims they're not dating, and she's just a tenant. While she's much more than that, Dexter never lied. They aren't dating at this point.

to:

* Played with in Series/{{Dexter}}, ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', when Astor asks what Lumen is doing in Dexter's house. Dexter claims they're not dating, and she's just a tenant. While she's much more than that, Dexter never lied. They aren't dating at this point.



'''Alan:''' Dear God, my own mother's trying to kill me.\\

to:

'''Alan:''' Dear God, my own mother's trying to kill me.\\



[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'', the Emperor explains that the mysterious, unexplainable Tyrant Star is actually simply a peeping hole for beings in the {{retcon}}nian.
[[/folder]]



-->'''Redcloak''': I find it ''far'' more probable that you are somehow resisting my magic. This [[HonorBeforeReason "Soon's Oath"]] story is just that -- a cover story designed by your leaders. [...]
-->'''O'chul''': You find the idea that I have some sort of secret knowledge implanted in my brain by the elders of the Sapphire Guard that has been so deeply suppressed that no magical effect can unearth it to be ''simpler''... than the idea that I just don't know anything?
-->''({{beat}})''
-->'''Redcloak''': I liked the way I phrased it better.
-->'''O'chul''': No doubt.

to:

-->'''Redcloak''': -->'''Redcloak:''' I find it ''far'' more probable that you are somehow resisting my magic. This [[HonorBeforeReason "Soon's Oath"]] story is just that -- a cover story designed by your leaders. [...]
-->'''O'chul''':
]\\
'''O'chul:'''
You find the idea that I have some sort of secret knowledge implanted in my brain by the elders of the Sapphire Guard that has been so deeply suppressed that no magical effect can unearth it to be ''simpler''... than the idea that I just don't know anything?
-->''({{beat}})''
-->'''Redcloak''':
anything?\\
''[{{beat}}]''\\
'''Redcloak:'''
I liked the way I phrased it better.
-->'''O'chul''':
better.\\
'''O'chul:'''
No doubt.




[[folder:Web Video]]
* In ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'', the Emperor explains that the mysterious, unexplainable Tyrant Star is actually simply a peeping hole for beings in the {{retcon}}nian.
[[/folder]]


* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Alchemist" men of the narrator's family all die at the age of 32, supposedly due to a curse laid on the family by the son of an alchemist one of his ancestor's killed 600 years ago. While researching the curse he dismisses the possibility that his ancestors were assassinated by descendants of the alchemist [[spoiler: but it turns out that the alchemist's son has, in fact, been murdering them by assorted means over the centuries.]]

to:

* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Alchemist" men of the narrator's family all die at the age of 32, supposedly due to a curse laid on the family by the son of an alchemist one of his ancestor's ancestors killed 600 years ago. While researching the curse he dismisses the possibility that his ancestors were assassinated by descendants of the alchemist [[spoiler: but [[spoiler:but it turns out that the alchemist's son has, in fact, been murdering them by assorted means over the centuries.]]centuries. This entails him having invented an elixir of immortality so that he could stick around and see the job done, so it's not entirely a mundane solution]].


* An episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'' had the detectives come across a murder scene with multiple victims, all of whom were naked prior to being killed. The detectives offer increasingly bizarre theories as to why all of the victims were naked, with most of the theories being sexual. They eventually question a person who had escaped the scene before the murders, and she explained that the people were packing drugs for a local gang, and they were naked because "No pockets" ie, so the people doing the packing could not steal any of the drugs for themselves. All of the detectives are chagrined by this obvious (and non-sexual) explanation.



* An episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'' had the detectives come across a murder scene with multiple victims, all of whom were naked prior to being killed. The detectives offer increasingly bizarre theories as to why all of the victims were naked, with most of the theories being sexual. They eventually question a person who had escaped the scene before the murders, and she explained that the people were packing drugs for a local gang, and they were naked because "No pockets" ie, so the people doing the packing could not steal any of the drugs for themselves. All of the detectives are chagrined by this obvious (and non-sexual) explanation.

to:

* An episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'' had the detectives come across a murder scene with multiple victims, all of whom were naked prior to being killed. The detectives offer increasingly bizarre theories as to why all of the victims were naked, with most of the theories being sexual. They eventually question a person who had escaped the scene before the murders, and she explained that the people were packing drugs for a local gang, and they were naked because "No pockets" ie, so the people doing the packing could not steal any of the drugs for themselves. All of the detectives are chagrined by this obvious (and non-sexual) explanation.

Added DiffLines:

* An episode of ''Series/NYPDBlue'' had the detectives come across a murder scene with multiple victims, all of whom were naked prior to being killed. The detectives offer increasingly bizarre theories as to why all of the victims were naked, with most of the theories being sexual. They eventually question a person who had escaped the scene before the murders, and she explained that the people were packing drugs for a local gang, and they were naked because "No pockets" ie, so the people doing the packing could not steal any of the drugs for themselves. All of the detectives are chagrined by this obvious (and non-sexual) explanation.

Added DiffLines:

* In Creator/HPLovecraft's "The Alchemist" men of the narrator's family all die at the age of 32, supposedly due to a curse laid on the family by the son of an alchemist one of his ancestor's killed 600 years ago. While researching the curse he dismisses the possibility that his ancestors were assassinated by descendants of the alchemist [[spoiler: but it turns out that the alchemist's son has, in fact, been murdering them by assorted means over the centuries.]]

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