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[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'' averts this with Light and Wily's greatest creations.
** Dr. Light has apparently begun work on X, but he hasn't even left the drawing board yet, several months of which were spent just on the basic design and the armor upgrades. Of course, this is to be expected given X is far and above any robot of his time with true free will and limitless potential and, if it's like game canon, Light won't have him done until he's practically on death's door.
** [[spoiler:While Dr. Wily does manage to slap Zero together in a little over a year, it's only because he worked on it non-stop and spent considerable time and effort acquiring the funds and the power source to focus on a pure killing machine. And then he can't even turn him on because Zero's advanced AI is too much for his tech to do right away and riddled with errors.]]
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* * ''Franchise/StarTrek'': PlayedWith; while the franchise is often held up as a repeat criminal offender individual examples are justified or lampshades as much as it is played streight.

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* * ''Franchise/StarTrek'': PlayedWith; while the franchise is often held up as a repeat criminal offender individual examples are justified or lampshades as much as it is played streight.straight.


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* One ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' strip aptly sums it up. Movie science can solve any problem in ninety minutes. Real world science will take a decade to prove all the ways that it can't be done...and then come up with another possibility to test.


In the real world, science is overwhelmingly mundane, be it the daily task of feeding the lab rats or the statistics bit afterwards. Making breakthroughs takes many years filled with often-uninteresting labor, and the scientists more often than not never know if or when a breakthrough will come. But that sort of thing doesn't make a very good plot device; after all, success should be a function of [[HeroicSpirit willpower]], not patience or luck. So, in fiction, science, engineering, and even building technological wonders don't take any time, because taking time is boring. This is why someone with [[TheSparkOfGenius science powers]] can figure out which [[ReverseThePolarity polarity to reverse]] at the last moment, or throw together a [[DeathRay death ray]] in an action scene.

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In the real world, science is overwhelmingly mundane, be it the daily task of feeding the lab rats or the statistics bit afterwards. Making breakthroughs takes many years filled with often-uninteresting labor, and the scientists more often than not never know if or when a breakthrough will come. But that sort of thing doesn't make a very good plot device; after all, success should be a function of [[HeroicSpirit willpower]], not patience or luck. So, in fiction, science, engineering, and even building technological wonders don't take any time, because taking time is boring. This is why someone with [[TheSparkOfGenius science powers]] can figure out which [[ReverseThePolarity polarity to reverse]] at the last moment, or throw together a an [[ImprovisedWeapon improvised]] [[DeathRay death ray]] in an action scene.



Alternately, doing science can take just long enough to create suspense. Since the "eureka" moment is the ostensibly most satisfying part of scientific work, everything after it will then be near-instantaneous; isolating the right chemical, for example, will be the hard part and then manufacturing enough of it to use will be faster than making morning coffee.

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Alternately, doing science can take just long enough to create suspense. Since the "eureka" moment [[EurekaMoment Eureka moment]] is the ostensibly most satisfying part of scientific work, everything after it will then be near-instantaneous; isolating the right chemical, for example, will be the hard part and then manufacturing enough of it to use will be faster than making morning coffee.



Note that Administrivia/TropesAreNotBad; there have certainly been real life cases where a sudden perceived need prompted a massive (and massively-funded) research project that resulted in the desired science being developed in a relatively short time (such as the Manhattan Project in World War II, driven by the suspicion that the Nazis were working on their own atomic bombs).

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Note that Administrivia/TropesAreNotBad; there have certainly been real life cases where a sudden perceived need prompted a massive (and massively-funded) research project that resulted in the desired science being developed in a relatively short time (such as the Manhattan Project in World War II, driven by the suspicion that the Nazis were working on their own atomic bombs).
bombs). Funding is the most reliable way, but of course there are also examples where people got lucky. For example, on one occasion the inventor Walter Hunt found himself in debt and unable to pay. His creditors gave him a length of wire and a challenge to come up with a marketable invention. In just three hours he conceived of, prototyped, and sold the first safety pin.


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* In ''WesternAnimation/JoeOrioloFelixTheCat'' episode 59, "The Leprechaun's Gold", the Professor quickly invents a gun which can magnetically attract gold.


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[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Manhattan Project went from well-thought-out concept to working prototype in six or seven years, with the aid of world-class funding, extremely capable scientists, engineers, and administrators, and a sense of real global-scale urgency.
* The safety pin. On April 10th, 1949, the inventor Walter Hunt found himself unable to pay a debt of $15 to his draftsmen, William and John Richardson. The Richardsons gave him a length of wire and a challenge to come up with a marketable invention. In just three hours he conceived of, prototyped, and sold the first safety pin, giving the Richardsons the rights for $400 (minus his debt to them).
* The reality TV show ''Series/Make48'' challenges participants to conceive of, prototype, and finally pitch a gadget to investors in just 48 hours. This isn't presented in a way which instantiates the trope, but in real-life terms it's closer than the other examples so far.
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* * ''Franchise/StarTrek'': PlayedWith; while the franchise is often held up as a repeat criminal offender individual examples are justified or lampshades as much as it is played streight.


Note that TropesAreNotBad; there have certainly been real life cases where a sudden perceived need prompted a massive (and massively-funded) research project that resulted in the desired science being developed in a relatively short time (such as the Manhattan Project in World War II, driven by the suspicion that the Nazis were working on their own atomic bombs).

to:

Note that TropesAreNotBad; Administrivia/TropesAreNotBad; there have certainly been real life cases where a sudden perceived need prompted a massive (and massively-funded) research project that resulted in the desired science being developed in a relatively short time (such as the Manhattan Project in World War II, driven by the suspicion that the Nazis were working on their own atomic bombs).


Note that TropesAreNotBad; there have certainly been real life cases where a sudden perceived need prompted a massive (and massively-funded) research project that resulted in the desired science being developed in a relatively short time (such as the Manhattan Project in World War II, driven by the suspicion that the Nazis were working on their own atomic bombs).



* The ''{{Literature/Lensman}}'' novels by E.E. "Doc" Smith have a lot of this -- to the point that during the playtest of the licensed ''{{TabletopGame/GURPS}}'' adaption in 1993 there were jokes about engineers in the setting saying things like, "Hey -- if we add a tube here, we can go up two Tech Levels by the weekend!"

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* The ''{{Literature/Lensman}}'' novels by E.E. "Doc" Smith have a lot of are not ''exclusively'' this trope, but it's definitely a major component -- to the point that during the playtest of the licensed ''{{TabletopGame/GURPS}}'' adaption in 1993 there were jokes about engineers in the setting saying things like, "Hey -- if we add a tube here, we can go up two Tech Levels by the weekend!"weekend!"
** Sometimes this is justified by the protagonists not knowing they would need something that could X before they suddenly ''did'' need it and going on a crash research program to develop it. Sometimes it's that the scientists have had the ability to X for some time, but didn't know it would be of other than academic interest until the protagonists ask them about it. And sometimes they ''just happen'' to develop exactly what they need ''just before'' they need it.

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[[folder:Comics]]
* Creator/MarvelComics is fond of this trope. Often, a hero will explain their hypothesis about how the science behind an action should work according their own scientific knowledge, or discover and explain a previously unknown scientific property of some aspect of their powers or abilities, at the very same time they are using those powers, often for the first time, in combat, during life threatening situations. Luckily for these characters, [[LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe their powers]] will protect them.
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* ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'' has an aversion existing side by side with a straight case. One of the members of MissionControl used to work for an institute that has been looking for a Rash cure for fifty years and found nothing. Meanwhile, the main cast discovers that a vaccine or cure may have been discovered JustBeforeTheEnd, but never made it to the surviving pockets of civilization. Given how fast the Rash spread, that had to mean discovering that cure over the course of a few months, which is the a really short time to find a cure to a brand new disease in reality. The discovery of a working cure is eventually confirmed, but this comes with the news it had GoneHorriblyWrong [[spoiler:possibly because it treated only the physical aspects of a partially supernatural disease]].

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* ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'' has an aversion existing side by side with a straight case. One of the members of MissionControl used to work for an institute that has been looking for a Rash cure for fifty years and found nothing. Meanwhile, the main cast discovers that a vaccine or cure may have been discovered JustBeforeTheEnd, but never made it to the surviving pockets of civilization. Given how fast the Rash spread, that had to mean discovering that cure over the course of a few months, which is the a really short time to find a cure to a brand new disease in reality. The discovery of a working cure is eventually confirmed, but this comes with the news it had GoneHorriblyWrong [[spoiler:possibly because it treated only the physical aspects of a partially supernatural disease]].

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* ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'' has an aversion existing side by side with a straight case. One of the members of MissionControl used to work for an institute that has been looking for a Rash cure for fifty years and found nothing. Meanwhile, the main cast discovers that a vaccine or cure may have been discovered JustBeforeTheEnd, but never made it to the surviving pockets of civilization. Given how fast the Rash spread, that had to mean discovering that cure over the course of a few months, which is the a really short time to find a cure to a brand new disease in reality. The discovery of a working cure is eventually confirmed, but this comes with the news it had GoneHorriblyWrong [[spoiler:possibly because it treated only the physical aspects of a partially supernatural disease]].


* Lampshaded in ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth''. When Colonel Gorgas, the Confederacy's top explosives expert, kicks himself for not being able to figure out smokeless gunpowder as fast as he'd like, General Lee bluntly states that TheSmartGuy having the AppliedPhlebotinum rejiggered and ready ''exactly'' when TheHero needs it is something that only happens in stories, and that he does not share Gorgas' doubts in his own abilities.

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* Lampshaded in ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth''. When Colonel Gorgas, the Confederacy's top explosives expert, kicks himself for not being able to figure out smokeless gunpowder as fast as he'd like, General Lee bluntly states that TheSmartGuy having the AppliedPhlebotinum rejiggered and ready ''exactly'' when TheHero needs it is something that [[ThisIsReality only happens in stories, stories]], and that he does not share Gorgas' doubts in his own abilities.


* Parodied in ''Literature/TheIronDream'', where the StoryWithinAStory is a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a para-[[NaziGermany Third Reich]] going from roughly 1930s technology to cloning and starships within the lifetime of its protagonist.

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* Parodied in ''Literature/TheIronDream'', where the StoryWithinAStory is a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a para-[[NaziGermany para-[[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Third Reich]] going from roughly 1930s technology to cloning and starships within the lifetime of its protagonist.


* Obligatory ''Webcomic/{{Xkcd}}'' [[http://xkcd.com/683/ link]].

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* Obligatory ''Webcomic/{{Xkcd}}'' [[http://xkcd.com/683/ link]].link.]]


* ''Film/IronMan'': In a time frame of weeks Tony Stark develops and constructs a miniaturized arc reactor small enough to fit in his chest [[MemeticMutation in a cave, with a box of scraps]]. Actually somewhat justified, as he had been involved to some degree with the construction of a larger-scale arc reactor, and it's implied he had been considering advancing that technology before his kidnapping.

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* ''Film/IronMan'': ''Film/IronMan1'': In a time frame of weeks Tony Stark develops and constructs a miniaturized arc reactor small enough to fit in his chest [[MemeticMutation in a cave, with a box of scraps]]. Actually somewhat justified, as he had been involved to some degree with the construction of a larger-scale arc reactor, and it's implied he had been considering advancing that technology before his kidnapping.
kidnapping. That and the shrapnel in his chest that he was building to keep it from tearing his heart to shreds probably gave him a whole lot of motivation.



* Parodied in ''Literature/TheIronDream'', where the StoryWithinAStory is a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a para-[[NaziGermany Third Reich]] going from roughly 1930s technology to cloning and starships within the lifetime of it's protagonist.

to:

* Parodied in ''Literature/TheIronDream'', where the StoryWithinAStory is a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a para-[[NaziGermany Third Reich]] going from roughly 1930s technology to cloning and starships within the lifetime of it's its protagonist.



* Lampshaded in ''TheGunsOfTheSouth''. When Colonel Gorgas, the Confederacy's top explosives expert, kicks himself for not being able to figure out smokeless gunpowder as fast as he'd like, General Lee bluntly states that TheSmartGuy having the AppliedPhlebotinum rejiggered and ready ''exactly'' when TheHero needs it is something that only happens in stories, and that he does not share Gorgas doubts in his own abilities.

to:

* Lampshaded in ''TheGunsOfTheSouth''. ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth''. When Colonel Gorgas, the Confederacy's top explosives expert, kicks himself for not being able to figure out smokeless gunpowder as fast as he'd like, General Lee bluntly states that TheSmartGuy having the AppliedPhlebotinum rejiggered and ready ''exactly'' when TheHero needs it is something that only happens in stories, and that he does not share Gorgas Gorgas' doubts in his own abilities.



* A big one for this is of course all the ''{{CSI}}'' series and their famous five minute forensics. Most real forensic tests take a few hours each to complete and getting the results back to the necessary people can take months simply because the labs are all constantly backlogged and most real police departments can't afford the various equipment for themselves. Virtually all police procedure shows work like this, as a show bringing up cases opened in previous episodes [[ContinuityLockout would be considered incredibly confusing to anyone not following the show closely.]]

to:

* A big one for this is of course all the ''{{CSI}}'' ''Series/{{CSI}}'' series and their famous five minute forensics. Most real forensic tests take a few hours each to complete and getting the results back to the necessary people can take months simply because the labs are all constantly backlogged and most real police departments can't afford the various equipment for themselves. Virtually all police procedure shows work like this, as a show bringing up cases opened in previous episodes [[ContinuityLockout would be considered incredibly confusing to anyone not following the show closely.]]



* In ''JusticeLeagueDoom'', when the phasing device is activated, its pointed out that there was literally only one field test and it had never been designed to be used the way it was.

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* In ''JusticeLeagueDoom'', ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueDoom'', when the phasing device is activated, its it's pointed out that there was literally only one field test and it had never been designed to be used the way it was.



* During the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' finale, the pressure from the Disasteroid manages to inspire the whole world to deter it with space missiles and space missions at amazingly fast rates. Handwaved by Jasmine saying "If it weren't for Vlad's money, we wouldn't be doing this so fast", however there is little excuse for being able to do all this and have Danny propose/create a machine that covers the entire Earth in the time allotted before the Disasteroid would crush Earth.

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* During the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' finale, the pressure from the Disasteroid manages to inspire the whole world to deter it with space missiles and space missions at amazingly fast rates. Handwaved by Jasmine saying "If it weren't for Vlad's money, we wouldn't be doing this so fast", however fast". However there is little excuse for being able to do all this and have Danny propose/create a machine that covers the entire Earth in the time allotted before the Disasteroid would crush Earth.



* In ''WesternAnimation/WildKratts'', it doesn't take anything more than just finding an animal and stating a fact about it before Aviva can make a corresponding gadget to model it. Doubly so, because the Kratts can instantly start using those devices without any prior training to learn how to pilot them regardless of complexity.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/WildKratts'', it doesn't take anything more than just finding an animal and stating a fact about it before Aviva can make a corresponding gadget to model it. Doubly so, because the Kratts can [[InstantExpert instantly start using those devices without any prior training to learn how to pilot them regardless of complexity.complexity]].


* ''Film/IronMan'': In a time frame of weeks Tony Stark develops and constructs a miniaturized arc reactor small enough to fit in his chest [[MemeticMutation in a cave, with a box of scraps]]

to:

* ''Film/IronMan'': In a time frame of weeks Tony Stark develops and constructs a miniaturized arc reactor small enough to fit in his chest [[MemeticMutation in a cave, with a box of scraps]]scraps]]. Actually somewhat justified, as he had been involved to some degree with the construction of a larger-scale arc reactor, and it's implied he had been considering advancing that technology before his kidnapping.



* A big one for this is of course all the ''{{CSI}}'' series and their famous five minute forensics. Most real forensic tests take a few hours each to complete and getting the results back to the necessary people can take months simply because the labs are all constantly backlogged and most real police departments can't afford the various equipment for themselves.

to:

* A big one for this is of course all the ''{{CSI}}'' series and their famous five minute forensics. Most real forensic tests take a few hours each to complete and getting the results back to the necessary people can take months simply because the labs are all constantly backlogged and most real police departments can't afford the various equipment for themselves. Virtually all police procedure shows work like this, as a show bringing up cases opened in previous episodes [[ContinuityLockout would be considered incredibly confusing to anyone not following the show closely.]]


[[quoteright:285:[[{{Webcomic/XKCD}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/science_montage_1502.png]]]]

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[[quoteright:285:[[{{Webcomic/XKCD}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/science_montage_1502.png]]]]
%% Image removed per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1390098914027845700
%% Please start a new thread if you'd like to suggest a new image.
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* Lampshaded in ''TheGunsOfTheSouth''. When Colonel Gorgas, the Confederacy's top explosives expert, kicks himself for not being able to figure out smokeless gunpowder as fast as he'd like, General Lee bluntly states that TheSmartGuy having the AppliedPhlebotinum rejiggered and ready ''exactly'' when TheHero needs it is something that only happens in stories, and that he does not share Gorgas doubts in his own abilities.

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