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A Wizard Did It

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Question not the affairs of wizards....

Frink: Yes, over here, n'hey, n'hey. In Episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you're clearly atop a winged Arabian! Please to explain it!
Lucy Lawless: Uh, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that... a wizard did it.
Frink: I see, alright, yes, but in episode AG04—
Lawless: Wizard!

No need to describe this trope, it's just magic.

The standard all-encompassing explanation for any continuity errors noticed by hardcore fans of any given fantasy show: If it doesn't make sense, A Wizard Did It. Move on, nothing to see here!

Can be used to Hand Wave away minor nitpicks and Contrived Coincidences that should really be covered by Willing Suspension of Disbelief - if it didn't happen that way, there wouldn't be a movie, or magic genuinely is involved in the story. However, having to use it to excuse major Plot Holes that the creators really should've caught beforehand will make people rightly angry.

Often used in the literal sense, i.e. something that would be impossible happens because someone explicitly used magic (magic that only they know) to make it happen. However, this trope is not about magic per se,note  but any kind of handwave; it happened because the author wanted it to, end of story.

On that note: In fantasy with wizards, before linking to this trope, note that it's important that either the Wizard in question remain unidentified, or, failing that, what exactly they did remains unspecified. Remember, this is a kind of Hand Wave: we're being asked not to look too closely because "it's like that because we said so". Further side note: If an explanation is offered in a later sequel or bit of "expanded universe" content, it can still count as this in the original work, especially if the later explanation has more than a slight whiff of Retcon. A well-written work that involves magic should have at least some basic notion of what magic can and can't do, see Magic A Is Magic A.

Note that this explanation can potentially bring more Fridge Logic into a story, e.g. when the explanation given later fails in a situation in some way that could have easily been solved by doing what they apparently did before. This can also lead to Reed Richards Is Useless when you realize the possible, fantastic uses of that random trick nobody seems to care about.

Also known as God of the Gaps, after the famous Hand Wave "(The) God(s) did it". Another Memetic Mutation is "It's magic, I ain't gotta explain shit".

Contrast Bellisario's Maxim, MST3K Mantra, Doing In the Wizard, All Just a Dream. See also Plot-Sensitive Items.

Not to be confused with The Butler Did It. Or with Doing in the Scientist, which is when a wizard did something that was originally explained by science.

Now comes with didactic audio-visual summary!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Princess Tutu can Hand Wave anything just by claiming Drosselmeyer did it.
  • All of Strike Witches' oddities can be amply explained by the presence of magic.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Spiral Energy can justify anything as long as it's awesome. This applies to any green, glowing thing in Super Robot anime, going all the way back to Getter Rays and also including G-Stone Energy. The G-Stone is soft enough science, but when THE POWER comes up, just... just don't question anything orange. It won't get you anywhere.
  • In the 3D Background Explanations Corner of the Negima! Magister Negi Magi volumes, whenever Ken Akamatsu notes that something is off, like how the external shots of Eva's home doesn't match the internal shots, he'd mention with his tongue firmly in cheek that it's probably due to magic screwing up its physical dimensions or something similar.
  • Yotsuba&! invokes this trope in chapter 68 to try to squirm out of trouble when she breaks some dishes, to patch up holes in her story. Her father doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: the series features a Mind Screw of a Temporal Paradox, but also features not one, not two, but THREE reality-warping characters.
  • Played for laughs in the pornographic manga Sei Sou Tsui Dan Sha: So how was it possible that the main character's penis could be detached from his body, and reattached to anyone else? Magic. His mom was a witch this whole time. Yes, he knew about this but didn't think to tell anyone until she mentioned it herself. And yes, all this is divulged in exactly one page and Mari Itsuki is not taking it well.
  • Most modern and futuristic technology in the pirate-era world of One Piece is there because the super genius scientist Vegapunk did it.
    • Pretty much anything else is the "Will of D" or because a Devil Fruit user did it. Occasionally odd things about Devil Fruit are because they were worked on by Vegapunk, up to and including a gun and a sword eating them. Because Vegapunk.
  • Dragon Ball
    • Creator, Akira Toriyama said he wasn't sure how scouters stay attached to the user's ear during sharp head-turns and decided it must be some kind of "alien technology".
    • When asked why child characters can turn Super Saiyan so easily in later seasons, Toriyama says that super Saiyans develop "S-cells" in their DNA which pass onto their children making it a lot easier to turn Super Saiyan.
    • The only explanation anyone had for why a supposedly-permanent Potara earrings de-fused inside the body of Super Buu was a speculative "Super Buu is a literal magical genie and Reality Is Out to Lunch inside his body, it's likely that Your Magic Is No Good Here". When Dragon Ball Super gave it a revision so that the Potara is only permanent if at least one of the fusees is a Kai, and neither of the Kais around during the battle with Super Buu had any reason to know this; note  it was generally accepted as an improvement over the former quote-unquote explanation relying on this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics used an in-character plot device in the Infinite Crisis miniseries to justify various RetCons and mistakes. "Superboy punch!" is now the standard response among fandom to questions about inconsistencies; this replaces the refrain of "Hypertime!", contributed by a previous miniseries, The Kingdom.
    • People acting Out of Character these days is blamed on Deathstroke's mind-altering drugs, primarily because this was the canon (via Retcon) explanation for Cassandra Cain Batgirl's poorly executed Face–Heel Turn after Infinite Crisis.
      • "Deathstroke's drugs" are the DC equivalent of Marvel's "Skrull imposter".
    • The epically awesome Booster Gold series made fun of the "Superboy-Prime punching reality" thing.
      Rip Hunter: I still can't believe it! Punching reality?
    • Batman has his own personal version of this: "It's Gotham".
  • Invasion! (DC Comics) explains that a lot of heroes with less plausible origins such as Freak Lab Accidents actually got their powers from the "meta-gene" which causes superpowers to develop when exposed to radiation or similar stresses as a result of aliens experimenting on their ancestors.
  • The Flash is hilariously bad with this. He has the Speed Force, an alternate dimension that surrounds the other dimensions and is the location of time and speed; also somehow Barry makes more of it whenever he runs. Basically, the Speed Force is used to explain anything or as a crutch to have writers get themselves out of holes in a way that is plausible enough; including stealing kinetic energy, not having to eat millions of Calories, phasing through objects, and so much more. A lot of these are also canon now too. The original purpose of the Speed Force was to create the Required Secondary Powers to explain why the Flash's otherwise human body and those of people he saves can withstand extreme acceleration (as in, millions of Gs in many cases, whereas 214 G is the most any human has ever survived in reality), and why he's not destroying the roads every time he runs at such speeds.
    • Naturally, the fans ran away with this due to the lazy and odd nature of the Speed Force. It can be used negatively or positively, but any question, no matter how dumb, is answered with Speed Force. The problem arises when technically they're not wrong due to the nature of the Speed Force.
    • Part of the problem is how The Speed Force has been repeatedly miswritten and mischaracterised (many writers choosing to write it as a scientific anomaly and energy source, ignoring its mystical nature), and exploited for any quick plot that was needed until it became so vaguely defined that many fans got sick of it.
  • The Scarlet Witch apparently had the power to "subconsciously" alter reality the whole time, and that too has been used by some writers as a gloss-over explanation for continuity failures. For instance, it was implied for a little while that the whole Xorn / Magneto controversy might have been caused by the subconscious use of her powers before this was Retconned away.
  • Silver Age comics explained why so much Kryptonite and other Kryptonian artifacts ended up on Earth by being sucked through a Space-warp that was created by the warp drive on the rocket that brought baby Superman to Earth.
  • "The Flash Of Two Worlds" introduced the Alternate Universe of Earth-Two to have the Jay Garrick version of The Flash show up in the main DCU. Superman writers decided to explain some characters having inconsistent names by saying the less used names belonged to the Earth-Two counterparts:
    • Supes' Muggle Foster Parents, Jonathan and Martha were sometimes called John and Mary. John and Mary became their Earth-Two names.
    • Mister Mxyzptlk was originally called Mister Mxyztplk and wore a purple suit as opposed to his iconic futuristic orange outfit. After the multiverse was established, the purple-suited Mxyztplk was said to be from the Fifth Dimension connected to Earth-Two.
    • Superman's Kryptonian surname was originally "L" rather than "El". Kal-L became his name in the Earth-Two universe.
    • Clark Kent originally worked for a newspaper called the Daily Star that was renamed to the iconic Daily Planet to avoid legal conflict with the Toronto Star which it was named after. The Earth-Two newspaper was then given the Daily Star name.
  • In Superman #330 Superman questions the absurdness of hiding his secret identity behind a pair of glasses. He finds out that because the lenses are made from plexiglass from the rocket that brought him to Earth, they've been amplifying his super-hypnotism to create a sort of Perception Filter that makes everybody see Clark Kent as a lot frailer than he actually is.
  • Due to the Secret Invasion revelation that Skrulls have been impersonating heroes, running around as extra copies of the heroes (particularly ones of Wolverine), brainwashed into thinking like the heroes, brainwashed into thinking that they are the heroes, are actually heroes who happen to also be Skrulls, and that now at least one of the Skrull impersonators has been replaced by another Skrull, the explanation that any character seen as being Out of Character or using their powers in ways they can't is really a Skrull has become pretty popular.
    • "Actually A Doom Bot" is often used to explain any Doctor Doom story a writer does not like. Someone even had the theory that we have NEVER seen the real Doom. It's been ALL Doombots all along!
    • Thanos lookalikes are often used in the same manner. After Squirrel Girl (hilariously) defeats him and Uatu states that it is definitely the real Thanos, it's later revealed that Thanos can create lookalikes that can fool even Uatu. Or so he claims.
  • A writer of Marvel Zombies Handwaved everything in the series, by saying that it was another universe, and thus justified any inconsistencies it had with that of the Earth-616 universe. (e.g. Reed Richards being evil and Galactus having an actual, physical body that the zombies can eat)
  • The MAD parody of The Guns of Navarone had a Running Gag in which every Contrived Coincidence in the storyline was the result of gnomes secretly employed by the Allies to set things up. Which worked great until the ending, when a Trigger-Happy member of the team kills the gnomes before they can complete the escape plan...
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Doctor Robotnik complains about how everything the Chaos Emeralds do is explained away by them being Chaos Emeralds. Snivelly points out that he uses them all the time, and Robotnik replies that just because he knows they work doesn't mean that he has to like it.
  • In the aftermath of One More Day, fans wondered how Mephisto rewriting reality to undo Peter Parker and Mary Jane's wedding affected the timeline. Joe Quesada, upon being asked why he essentially responded with "It's magic. We don't need to explain it," said that other Marvel characters used magic and no one needed an explanation for those.
  • In Judge Dredd, rogue judges are sent to a Penal Colony on Jupiter's moon, Titan. In Real Life, Titan orbits Saturn. To cover this mistake, a later issue said that a Teleporter Accident moved Titan from Saturn's orbit and into Jupiter's
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2020): This is the explanation The Prince of Power (who is very strong, but very stupid) gives when asked for his origin. Also, "ummm". It eventually turns out he ate the Power Gem, and that's he got his power. Did say he was stupid.

    Fan Works 
  • In any given Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic, if a character is genderbent/ages back to childhood/has their body swapped with someone else's, odds are that England did it.
  • Quite a bit of The Emiya Clan revolves around one of the rather annoying magicians that hang around the family doing something silly to mess things up (and occasionally fix them, but only occasionally). Lampshaded at one point.
    Shiki: "And how are we alive?"
    Shirou: "A Wizard Did It".
    Shiki: "It’s sad that we can reasonably use that excuse these days…"
  • The lack of a Language Barrier when the Vikings and Columbians communicate in The Dragon and the Butterfly is just hand-waved away as another perk of the Madrigal's Miracle. Written language is played straight and Hiccup needs Mirabel to translate and learn their alphabet.
    How come he could understand these people fine, and they could understand him, but he couldn't read their language? He chalked it up to "magic", and kept moving.
  • Equestria: A History Revealed: Used by the Lemony Narrator to handwave the historical issues regarding Clover the Clever and Starswirl the Bearded.
  • The trope name and namer are the subject of a pun in Chapter 3 of Eliezer Yudkowsky's The Finale of the Ultimate Meta Mega Crossover.
    "The code libraries from Elysium had all sorts of modules for letting people take their own environments with them and making the rules interact — they spent a lot of time trying to entertain themselves — so I picked one of the standard tools that had a really simple interface, where I just needed to answer a few yes-or-no questions to make it happen automatically—"
    "A wizard did it!" shouted a buxom woman in black leather armor with a silver hoop strapped to her thighs. There was widespread laughter, and not a few groans of agony.
  • Growing Daylight: When Claire muses about how it is possible that they could conceive a child when she is a human woman and Jim is half-troll, Toby responds by saying that magic does not make sense in general so they shouldn't think too hard on the "how".
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: The four notice a lot of odd characteristics about the revamped C'hou. Eventually the Pyar gods tell them that they reshaped the world to be pleasing to both the G'heddi'onians and the skahs.
    • “Everyone's crazy except us.” Their standard response to one of these anomalies, though they eventually decide that's not adequate.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: When not Narrating the Obvious, Dakari-King Mykan tends to explain away major plot holes and details with either "magic" or "belief".
  • The Next Frontier: A footnote explaining that the Kerbals have a team sport that bears an uncanny resemblance to the game of cricket attributes this bizarre coincidence to "hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings with too much time on their hands".
  • Lampshaded in The Other Side of the Horizon, where zebras are thoroughly unimpressed at how many strange aspects of Equestria can be explained with simply "magic". It doesn't help that the pony doing the explaining, Applejack, isn't magically inclined and can't go more in-depth.
    Bhiza: Why's it always magic?
    Applejack: 'Cause.
    Bhiza: Weak.
  • Queen of All Oni: Jade writes this off as the explanation for how Shendu's palace is in partially intact ruins, despite completely disintegrating the last time she was there.
    • Viper likewise uses this as the word-for-word explanation when Jackie wonders how Kuro's mask ended up buried inside a cliff face, halfway up it.
  • Ruby Stars: When Greg asks how Rose was able to remove Sadie's gem if Steven needs his to live, Barb and Clancy pause for a moment and simply respond "Gem magic".
  • Tales of a Reset Mind: The Author's justification on how the Emotions survive with no internal organs.
  • Things I Am Not Allowed to Do at the PPC: Defied by rule 627, which forbids using "Because it's magic" as an excuse.
  • This Bites!: Whenever people react to Soundbite being able to speak, Cross is able to erase any shock just by saying "Devil Fruit". This soon applies to pretty much any weird occurrence (like Brook), and many people often give a deadpan response to anyone who should be inured to the weirdness by now.
  • Travels Through Azeroth and Outland uses this trope, and then explains why the wizard went through all the trouble.
  • With Strings Attached: When the four are in the Hunter's world, John tells the others that he thinks the Poison Swamp was created artificially, with magic. Why? “I quit wonderin' about motivations on other planets. I just assume everyone's daft, and that pretty much covers it.”

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, the movie apparently takes place over several months, judging by the change of seasons while Belle is at the castle. This creates the problem of just how far the castle is from the village - ranging from several days' travel (the length of time Maurice spends in the forest on his first journey there) to several hours (this is the time during which Maurice is returned to the village) and then a matter of minutes hard ride (the mob's assault on the castle followed by Belle's race to get there). It's also never explained why no one in the village knows the castle exists when it's apparently so nearby. Even taking into account the castle being hidden, magic is the only explanation for these oddities. The 2017 live-action remake goes out of its way fill these plot holes: it explicitly reduces Belle's stay at the castle to just five days, removes the changing seasons, and instead places the castle in Endless Winter as part of the curse, and explains that the villagers (including Mrs Potts's husband) had their memories of the castle erased.
  • Frozen: "WTF no way Elsa has textile powers — that can't be explained by her ice / snow / cold powers, so that can't be?!" is a question that pops up time and time again about Elsa's magically transforming her coronation gown into a light blue dress; and the question of "Where did Olaf and the Snowgies get their coal eyes and twigs attached to their otherwise-only-snow-created-by-Elsa-bodies when she can only create snow and ice?"). Let's just assume that being born An Ice Person in this universe comes with some bonus magic powers thrown in for extra.
  • The LEGO Movie: After The Reveal that the entire LEGO universe is a story being told by an eight-year-old boy, nearly every plot hole in its story can be explained as "Finn didn't think of it."
  • Pocahontas displays certain shamanic powers throughout her film, such as the ability to communicate with spirits, dive off cliffs without getting hurt, run large distances, and an affinity for animals. This presumably is why she's able to understand English via "listening with your heart".
  • Shrek: Played very literally. Fiona's situation is explained only as "It's a spell. When I was a little girl, a witch cast a spell on me". That's all they bothered to explain her premise with, and it's the primary foundation of the plot. Until the second movie at least. Even before then, the DVD extras made it pretty clear that's how Fiona naturally looks, the spell was what made her look human. The Hand Wave was probably done because going into detail about what the witch did and why would have spoiled the plot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Abyss: According to the novelization, the aliens are really responsible for Lindsey reviving after drowning. It's also implied that they were able to get all the crew from underwater to the surface without suffering any ill-effects (which is lampshaded by Lindsey).
  • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday director, Adam Marcus says that Jason Voorhees is immortal because he's a deadite. Marcus claimed in an interview that his mother made a Deal with the Devil to bring Jason back to life and the Necronomicon making an appearance in Jason Goes To Hell was a nod to this.
  • The novelization for Jaws: The Revenge tried to justify the shark attacks on the Brody family by saying a voodoo priest put a curse on them. And thus the Voodoo Shark trope was born!
  • Jungle Queen: In one episode of this Film Serial, Lothel the eponymous jungle queen pulls a hunk of raw meat out of somewhere—a fourth-dimensional void, maybe—to distract the alligators that are about to eat Chuck. It's an Ambiguous Situation as to how much of a witch or goddess Lothel is, but Chuck lampshades this in the last episode.
    Chuck: Where did she get the hunk of raw meat she threw? I don't know, do you? Who knows?
  • In a meta example from The Lord of the Rings films, during an interview director Peter Jackson praised the humility and amiability of Sir Ian McKellen. He recalled an example regarding the siege of Gondor, which is paraphrased:
    McKellen: Why doesn't Gandalf just use his magic to defeat them all?
    Jackson: The staff is out of batteries, and because of the war the alchemist's shop is closed and he can't get new ones.
    McKellen: Okay.
    • The actual reason is an aversion since there's a genuine plot-logic reason: if Gandalf uses his full power, Sauron will have an incentive to take a personal hand in the fight—and he's a stronger Maia than Gandalf, so he'll win. Having been forced to take a personal hand, Sauron would then defeat all Gandalf's allies (who would be screwed without him anyway), and, with his schedule freed up, might notice a couple of Hobbits stumbling around at the foot of Mount Doom.
      • More to the point, Gandalf's order of Istari were sent to Middle Earth with a mission to rally the free peoples to defeat Sauron, not to do it themselves. They were expressly forbidden to match Sauron's power with power.
      • And this also offers good reason as to why Gandalf is able to defeat the Balrog, he isn't as restricted in unleashing his power against a different evil Maia.
    • Also, Gandalf gets into a Wizard Duel with the Witch King and loses, his staff being completely destroyed in the process, so he obviously couldn't use it anymore.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • When asked how the Hulk ended up on the planet Sakaar, Thor: Ragnarok production designer Dan Henneh said that the Hulk's quinjet was sucked through a wormhole.
    • To explain how Thor was able to hurt Thanos' with his Storm breaker axe, Avengers: Infinity War writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely said that Eitri created both Stormbreaker and the Infinity Gauntlet with dwarven magic and probably designed the Gauntlet to be vulnerable to the axe.
    • This close up of Star-Lord's police file in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) shows that he has a translator implant to explain why all the aliens seem to speak English.
  • In the Men in Black movies, pretty much anything unusual or seemingly impossible the MiBs do can be explained by the existence of alien technology. Of course the big things like time travel and rocket cars are obvious, but it pretty much covers everything right down to the small details. Asking how K can hang upside down in an elevator or how Zed can jump around a room while fighting an alien despite his advanced age, could be explained as Imported Alien Phlebotinum and MiB's Crazy Preparedness.
  • Monster a-Go Go: One of the most blatant examples of doing this in-universe, the movie suddenly has the narrator explain that, all of a sudden, "As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some phantom force in the universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension", the monster they had been chasing for the entire movie suddenly never existed. And that's the ending. Done because they apparently ran over budget before they could give the film a proper ending.
  • Star Trek movies:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
      • The novelization says that all men find Ilea attractive because her species give off pheromones.
      • Kirk's autobiography changes the Unrealistic Black Hole that sent Vejur across the galaxy into a wormhole.
    • The novelization to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier says that Sybok showed the crew how to radically adjust the deflector shields in order to be able to pass through the extreme radiation environment of the Great Barrier and that he tinkered with the ship's engines in order to reach the Galactic Core in less than a day. The Klingon Bird Of Prey was able to copy these techniques by scanning the enterprise.
    • The standard explanation for any continuity errors in Star Trek (2009) is, "A particularly troubled time-traveling Romulan did it". Even when those errors date from BEFORE the Romulan split the timeline.
      • Word of God says that Future Spock seeing the planet Vulcan in the sky was actually a psychic vision similar to how Spock can sense large numbers of Vulcans dying over long distances in Original Series.
      • The Novelization and Comic-Book Adaptation say that Kirk's escape pod landed so conveniently near Spock's cave because the timeline was trying to repair itself by bringing Kirk and Spock together.
      • Abrams says that the reason why technology is more advanced in the past than in the future is that the shuttles evacuating the Kelvin scanned Nero's ship and then studied the futuristic technology.
      • A tie-in comic about Nero says that a stellar cartographer on Rura Pente and Vejur helped him work out where and when Future Spock would emerge from the black hole.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness
      • The novelization explains that they didn't take blood from another frozen augment because McCoy didn't know if they could all regenerate like Khan and didn't want to risk another superpowered psychopath running around the ship.
      • In the novel McCoy notes that the planetoid that he and Carol Marcus open the missile on must have an extremely dense core if it has Earthlike air and gravity.
      • A tie-in comic says that Khan had Magic Plastic Surgery to explain why he looks completely different to previous incarnations, which for once is a technology that's been previously established in canon for years.
  • In Star Wars (especially in the Expanded Universe) The Force, in addition to giving selected characters their "magical" abilities, seems to double as a convenient way to explain away plot holes or especially unbelievable plot devices - namely that the "Will of the Force" guides characters and events to where they have to be. This is implicit in the Original Trilogy and is an underlying theme of the whole franchise, being handled with varying degrees of competency. It's been observed that when you replace references to "the Force" in Star Wars with "the Plot", the dialogue actually makes more sense.
    "The Plot is strong in this one".
    "May the Plot be with you".
    • For a specific example, Luke guesses in The Thrawn Trilogy that Yoda used the force to jam his sensors and make him land near Yoda's hut in The Empire Strikes Back, to explain the coincidence.
    • In A New Hope, Han infamously says that the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs even though a parsec is a unit of distance rather than time.
      • The Jedi Academy Trilogy says that Kessel is near a cluster of black holes and that better pilots can fly closer to it without getting sucked in, therefore doing the Kessel Run in a shorter distance.
      • Fate of the Jedi explains why there are so many Unrealistic Black Holes in one place. They were created by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens to imprison an Eldritch Abomination.
      • Solo says that Kessel is surrounded by the Akkadese Maelstrom, a region containing dangerous gases, debris, gravity wells, and an Eldritch Abomination. The Kessel Run is a safe spiral path around the planet that's maintained by ancient space buoys according to the novelization. Han takes a shortcut across the dangerous region, therefore doing the run in 12 parsecs.
    • To explain why the Ewoks weren't wiped out by the exploding Death Star in Return of the Jedi;
      • The Glove of Darth Vader novel explains that the exploding Death Star II formed a temporary hyperspace wormhole that sucked in most of the debris.
      • The official Star Wars Twitter account said that the rebels had set up shields and tractor beams to divert debris.
    • The novelization to The Force Awakens says that;
      • Bala-Tik got on board Han's ship without his permission because it was designed to be easy for crewmembers trapped outside to get back in. Tik found Solo using a thermal sensor but didn't notice Finn or Rey because their signatures were masked by being close to a rathtar.
      • Starkiller Base can instantly destroy planets in other solar systems by shooting through a deeper level of hyperspace called Sub-hyperspace.
      • When exploring Starkiller Base, Chewbacca had some kind of phlebotinum that stopped First Order sensors from noticing them.
    • Pablo Hidalgo, who works for the Lucasfilm Story Group said on Twitter when asked why characters in other solar systems could see Hosnian System's destruction in the sky "What they're seeing is some weird hand-wavy hyperspace rip. Side-effect of the Starkiller".
    • The novelization to The Last Jedi says that Kylo Ren survived being shot by Chewbacca because he contained the blast's energy with the Force.
  • In The War of the Worlds (1953) it was rather well put in-universe, actually. Dr. Forrester acknowledges that it doesn't matter if it's possible or not if the aliens are doing it right in front of you.
    Major General Mann: Pattern-wise, one lands, then two, making groups of threes joined magnetically. Is that possible?
    Dr Clayton Forrester: If they do it, it is.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Anything illogical a Toon does can be safely assumed to be Rule of Funny; the concept is implicit in a lot of cartoons, but this movie is one of the few to have it as an explicit in-universe rule.
  • Final Destination is a slasher-movie series set in a world where death is a sentient entity that forms elaborate plans for revenge against those who anger it, and is a Reality Warper with no clearly-defined limitations on its powers. As such, any time something implausible has to happen for a character to get killed off, it can always be explained as "Death arranged for it to be that way".

  • Animorphs: There’s been a few “The Ellimist did it” replies to inconsistencies and coincidences.
  • Artemis Fowl says Mulch Diggums lost his magic but Artemis Fowl and The Arctic Incident has him use the Gift Of Tongues to talk to some dogs. Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony explains that depowered fairies like Mulch and Doodah Day retain one spark of magic that lets them use the Gift. Frustratingly, Artemis Fowl and The Atlantis Complex says that depowered fairies can't use the Gift and Mulch mentions having to learn English.
  • Older Than Print: The Man of Law's tale from The Canterbury Tales. Constance, the heroine, was left alone on a ship, which was adrift at sea for years. Why didn't the ship eventually sink or capsize? Why didn't Constance run out of food or fresh water? Conclusion: Jesus did it.
  • Parodied in Don Quixote. Whether his beloved Dulcinea appears to be a garlic-chewing peasant or our hero is transported from his inn chamber to fight a giant (who is actually a passel of wineskins hung above his bed), Don Quixote believes it is due to malevolent enchanters. In fact, there is no magic occurring and Don Quixote is quite deluded when he believes such things. This trope is also the excuse that Don Quixote's housekeeper and the priest come up with when they burn down and seal up his library in an attempt to cure him. The book is making fun of earlier works that used this trope.
  • In the Discworld novel Thief of Time, most of the inconsistencies and ambiguities in the Discworld timeline (as well as some of the Schizo Tech) are implied to be the result of the first Glass Clock shattering history, or side effects of the History Monks cleaning up afterwards. They describe how they moved "excess time" to where it wouldn't be noticed (such as deep in the ocean) and likewise moved time from such places when required. The fact that most characters fail to notice the inconsistencies (like, for example, Ankh-Morpork having a 16th-century Shakespearean theater across the river from a 19th-century opera house, and the same characters appearing in two books set nearly a century apart) is explained by the fact that most people only notice what they expect to notice.
    • Terry Pratchett has declared that all timelines are correct, but some went down different legs of the "Trousers of Time". He's also phrased it as, "There are no continuity errors in the Discworld novels. There are, however, alternate pasts".
  • John Dies at the End has an example of this, in a similar vein to Discworld, outside the books. Back before it was published, the author, David Wong had a couple of possible inconsistencies pointed out. His response? "There are no plot-holes: just more layers of mystery".
  • Land of Oz: in the overall Oz chronicles, many of the witches fulfill the same niche as creator gods and godlings in most other fantasy universes and many real-world religions, particularly the Good Witches of the North and South.
  • Xanth retconned its considerable continuity errors in Geis of the Gargoyle, where it's revealed that the expanding "Region of Madness" has caused odd fluctuations in people's magical talents. For example, at one time the Gorgon could only turn men into stone with her gaze; later her powers worked on women as well.
  • Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein compares the "it's magic" form of handwave with "it's television" as equally not really explanatory.
  • Got an issue with the Nasuverse? Zelretch did it.
  • In addition to allowing the two to travel through time in Time Cat, Gareth's cat powers allow Jason to blend in to his temporal and cultural surroundings mostly seamlessly. It gives him Translator Microbes, adapts his clothes to current fashions, and presumably keeps him from contracting common pathogens of the times and dying of salmonella or something before he gets back home.
  • Invoked in Orson Scott Card's Xenocide. When one character mentions Occam's Razor while discussing the latest bit of Phlebotinum-induced weirdness, another replies, "Occam was a medieval old fart. The simplest explanation is always 'God did it.' Or maybe, 'the old woman down the road is a witch. She did it.'"
  • In The Dresden Files, the main character (who is an actual wizard) gets this as an explanation of how the original Authrian Merlin was able to create something. Dresden asks Bob The Skull how Merlin was able to create a magical construct that violates numerous major rules of magic (it dates back to prehistoric times while most such constructs last only a few months, and just building it required Merlin to be in five different times all at once, for example). Bob, despite being one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the entire series, is only able to answer that the construction was obviously impossible, but Merlin went ahead and did it anyway.
  • In Starship's Mage, magic is what allows humanity to reach the stars. The author has stated on the record that this trope is what originally inspired the series, because sci-fi so often hand waves so much stuff it might as well be magic.
  • George R. R. Martin said that the Bizarre Seasons in A Song of Ice and Fire are caused by magic. However, this was not a handwave. It was a response to theories that the varying length of seasons had a natural, scientific explanation, with fans positing strange orbits for the planet, or a binary star system, etc. Martin confirmed for fans that, no: it has a magical explanation.
  • Namedropped and discussed in Foxglove Summer, the fourth book of the Urban Fantasy Police Procedural series Rivers of London. When Dominic, a local detective constable in Herefordshire, asks Peter about the magical phenomena Peter supposedly was sent to investigate, Peter dodges answering fully and responds that the things he investigates often actually have a perfectly rational explanation. When Dominic witnesses Peter do magic, he appears to feel deceived and quotes Peter's earlier answer, but as Peter and Beverly point out to Dominic, in a world where magic is real, this trope is a perfectly rational explanation.
  • In My Brother is a Superhero, Luke is actually bothered by Zack's Super Not-Drowning Skills, as he notes that gaining superpowers didn't give him gills. Zack just shrugs and suggests that his powers might count as magic, which Luke is willing to accept.
  • Attempted as an in-universe explanation in The Malloreon: a sailor has a leg that is painfully sensitive to changes in the weather to the point where he's employed as a storm-predictor. When he fails to predict a squall and his employers complain, he literally suggests that a wizard might've conjured the storm. His boss thinks it's a lame excuse. It's implied that actually something much more powerful than a wizard that's conjured the storm.
  • Cradle Series: The world of Cradle is a terrestial planet the size of Jupiter. The gravity would make it extremely difficult for the planet to exist in any state similar to Earth, much less have humans living on it comfortably. Word of God handwaves this with vital aura; not only does it strengthen the planet itself, but every single thing on the planet, living or not, can take the power into themselves to become stronger. For living creatures, they process it into madra. Notably, in the rare instances when we see someone completely out of madra, they have a great deal of difficulty even breathing. The author specifically compared himself to Brandon Sanderson; Sanderson might spend a great deal of effort explaining exactly how the physics of this impossible world works, but he's content to stick with "it's magic, I don't have to explain it".
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy: This is the whole point of the Infinite Improbability Drive, a device created specifically for the purpose of causing extremely improbable events to happen. Any time the plot requires something contrived to happen and the Drive is active nearby, you can explain away the implausibility by saying "the Drive did it".
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: any inconsistencies, contrivances, or anything and everything else could be explained with "Haruhi did it," or Kyon being an Unreliable Narrator. Reached Memetic Mutation where any Reality Warper or God ever is Haruhi.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, the central conflict is between the various religious organizations on the magic side, and Academy city on the science side. While the magic side obviously gets a fair deal of the "it's magic, we don't have to explain it," explanation, the science side gets more than a little too. In fact, it's a lot easier to ignore the woefully inaccurate Technobabble in the series when you remember that Academy City is literally founded and controlled by an evil wizard.
  • In almost any light novel with a "standard" isekai setting, the main character will die after being hit by a truck, generally attempting to save someone else in the process. The actual mechanics by which the main character is transported to another world or reborn are generally handwaved. This is parodied early on in KonoSuba.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Power Rangers Wild Force: The episode "Forever Red" gives no explanation as to why some rangers suddenly have their powers again. Although Fan Wank has offered several decent solutions.
  • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: The episode "Once A Ranger" attempts this trope by simply having The Sentinel Knight restore the veteran rangers' powers with little more than a handwave. One wonders why he didn't use those powers to temporarily restore the Overdrive rangers' powers while they got the morphing grid back on. Or why he didn't just bring back a team that still had their powers.
  • Power Rangers Dino Fury does give us a Wizard in the form of Morphin' Master Green, one of the guardians of the Morphin' Grid. She's revealed to be behind things like the past Rangers coming the Super Megaforce team's aid, reviving and turning Steel human and suggested to be much more. She does this because she believes she and her peers should take a more proactive role in protecting the universe.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard. 'Nuff said. And... the protagonist's superhero name is actually Wizard, leading to countless uses of this trope, with everyone saying "Wizard did it".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Living in Sunnydale (which is on top of a Hellmouth) is a convenient explanation for many aspects of the show which would be ludicrous or impossible otherwise.
    • Principal Snyder's standard excuse was "gang on PCP".
    • "It could be witches! Some evil witches! Which is ridiculous 'cause witches, they were persecuted, wicca good, and love the earth, and women power, and I'll be over here..".
    • The Angel equivalent seems to be The Powers That Be did it, or The Senior Partners did it.
  • Doctor Who:
    Doctor: "There was a goblin, or a trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it or... reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world".
    Amy: "How did it end up in there?"
    The Doctor: "You know fairy tales — a good wizard tricked it".
    River: "I hate good wizards in fairy tales. They always turn out to be him".
    • Also in the Doctor Who revival, many inconsistencies in the way time travel works can be explained by some result of the Time War.
    • Inconsistencies in the Moffat era are usually explained away by blaming them on the Cracks in Time and the subsequent rebooting of the universe (aka Big Bang Two). On this very wiki, the phrase "timey-wimey" is used to explain just about everything.
    • In possibly an inversion, when it's asked why the Doctor doesn't do something, fans are often quick to suggest it was a fixed point in time.
    • The sonic screwdriver can do just about anything. Because it's sonic. And "other stuff," apparently. But it doesn't do wood. Or deadlock seals. Because reasons.
  • Lost: When you don't understand what's happening, just tell yourself "The island did it". Or more specifically, Jacob and the MIB did it, with magical Island-granted powers.
  • How is that all five of the Final Five managed to survive the Cylon destruction of the Twelve Colonies in Battlestar Galactica? Along with an admiral whose family had history with the creator of the Cylons? And the Colonials and Cylons converge on the Algae Planet and in the Ionian Nebula despite the size of the universe? No doubt the higher power that doesn't like to be called "God" is responsible. Lampshaded in the Final Five and Algae Planet cases.
    • Partially explained in "The Plan". Cavil was working behind the scenes to make sure the Final Five survived so they could suffer even more.
  • Star Trek:
  • Warehouse 13 uses several variations on the theme. For instance, the Static Stun Gun Warehouse Agents carry were invented by Nikola Tesla (a very standard way of explaining late-era Steampunk tech) and the Diesel Punk-looking iPhones they carry were invented by Philo Farnsworth (one of several people credited with inventing the television).
  • In DVD Commentaries for Merlin (2008), actress Katie McGrath coined the term "talking dragon" to cover for any inconsistencies in the plot, pointing out that anything is possible when a talking dragon is part of the main cast.
  • In Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum, this is the standard explanation for anything unusual that happens in the series. It is about a wizard boy, after all.

  • Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Looking Out My Back Door" provides the following explanation for the strange imagery of the song:
    "Wondrous apparitions, provided by magicians"

  • In the RiffTrax for the Harry Potter films, Voldemort being Crazy-Prepared is a common explanation for why a character can't use an obvious solution to a problem.
    Kevin: Okay, so cast the water spell directly into Dumbledore's mouth.
    Bill (as Dumbledore): Yes, uh, well, Voldemort made it so that we couldn't.

    Tabletop Games  
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Many bizarre, inexplicable, or just plain silly monsters from the early days of were said to be the product of wizards playing Evilutionary Biologist in their spare time(then at some later point killed/ate him, escaped, and multiplied). Even gnolls were initially reputed to be the result of wizards. The classic examples include the owlbear and gelatinous cube.
    • Many published adventure modules use this as a justification as to why certain monsters show up in places they otherwise wouldn't be, especially back in the day when providing the players a fun challenge was usually far more important than having a realistic plot. Why are 12 fire giants at the bottom of this dank swamp cave, all crammed into a hallway barely big enough to fit them all? A powerful wizard teleported them in, of course, don't worry about it.
    • Most of the more bizarre content in Spelljammer is explained by A Wizard Did It. Sometimes literally. One sourcebook actually explains the sheer weirdness of the setting with "It's magic, and it knows it's magic".
    • The 3.5E supplement Drow of the Underdark openly states that the only reason the drow haven't driven themselves into extinction from infighting yet is literal divine intervention: half of Lolth's job as Top Goddess of their pantheon is apparently to keep their Stupid Evil tendencies in check. This is demonstrated in the Forgotten Realms novel Daughter of the Drow, when Lolth sends an avatar to keep her core following in the city-state of Menzoberranzan from finishing itself off by Civil War after a major military defeat. Note that Lolth also is described as "constantly monitoring the drow for signs of too much cooperation". She's the one who's forcing them into Stupid Evil Chronic Backstabbing Disorder problems in the first place.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 if something is off, it can easily be explained in-universe as being because the Warp did it. If not the Warp, then the C'Tan did it. If not the C'Tan, then the Eldar did it. (Being the wizards who did it is their hat.) If not the Eldar, then the God-Emperor of Man did it. If none of the above did it, it was certainly Commissar Sebastian Yarrick's fault. And even if any, all, or none of the above did it, Tzeentch either did it, arranged it, opposed it, or helped it, and in most cases, he did all of that at the same time.
    • Tzeentch did it in normal Warhammer, too. He's been working carefully for ~40,000 years and it still doesn't make any damn sense. This is because his "master plans" actually have no purpose — their elements are nonsensical, self-contradictory, and — as befitting a Chaos God — utterly chaotic. If he wins then he can't plot anymore and he can't exist without plotting. So planning is part of his nature, but no one said his plans have to make sense or actually accomplish anything.
    • "The Tyranids ate it". Deep-fried Squat, anyone?
    • When all else fails, the source of the story is lying or misremembering a detail.
    • Invoked here to explain Dark Eldar technology
  • Lampshaded in the Magic: The Gathering original rulebook:
    Q: Can my opponent do something that doesn't make sense, such as casting both Holy Strength and Unholy Strength on his Air Elemental?
    A: Yes, these effects are magical, after all.
    • Some rules interactions lead to very active wizards. Probably the two biggest examples are equipment (magical items like enchanted swords that can be used by creatures) and walls (treated like creatures by the rules, but generally meant to symbolize inanimate objects). Now picture a stone wall USING an enchanted sword...
      • A card from the joke set Unsanctioned, Flavor Judge, pokes fun at the tendency for this sort of thing to happen.
    • Walls (at least the non-black, non-artifact ones) can potentially drop dead of fright in this game. At least one card's flavor text lampshades this.
  • White Wolf eventually took the position that everything written in the Warcraft RPGs were actually in-universe documents, and any errors was the result of bad information. Some portions of the books do look like they could've been in-universe (several books are almost entirely written by one guy); other parts, not so much.
  • In the new edition of Gamma World, one of the suggestions they give for how to reconcile the Plant and Android character origins boils down to A Wizard Did It when you strip out the setting jargon and Technobabble — it suggests that you hail from a remote worldline (Some exotic place the players will probably never see), where Psionic masters (Wizards) create golem-like servants out of plant matter. (Your character, which exists because A Wizard Did It)
  • The French have a phrase to express it: "Ta gueule, c'est magique" (Shut up, that's magical). It often pops up when a Game Master is asked questions about something in his campaign. It's often shortened to TGCM or TGM. In English, it's SUIM (shut up—it's magic).
    • There are even variations depending on the setting, such as "Ta gueule, c'est la Force" (guess) for Star Wars.
  • In Exalted, the answer to such questions is almost inevitably "An Exalt did it". If not an Exalt, then a Primordial. If not a Primordial, then a god. If not a god, it was probably belched up by the Wyld.
  • BattleTech — the stock response to canon discontinuity is "ComStar misinformation". This is helped by the fact that sourcebooks are generally written from an in-universe perspective (aside from rules sections) and often contain deliberate inaccuracies simply because they're things that the in-universe authors didn't know.
  • In the Galactic Champions Sourcebook of the Champions Universe, it's revealed that a high amount of ambient magic is required for superpowers to work, otherwise their abilities are really impossible. This also reveals that an experiment by Nazi wizards caused the boon of Superheroes that exist in their universe.
  • Inverted in the The Dresden Files RPG source book (which is written in a semi-in-universe style) which flavor text in the form of notes from the series wizard protagonists about how a wizard couldn't (or wouldn't) do various things.
  • In Mutants in the Now, a Spiritual Successor to the TMNT RPG, the back of the book has a list of possible origins of the Goop, the game's own mutagenic ooze, for the Game Master to decide on. After a number of reasonable scientific explanations in-universe, such as a government experiment or extradimensional portals, and including some shout outs to the various Turtles continuities, the final entry just says, "Wizards".

  • This trope is in full effect in Shakespeare's last play: The Tempest. The plot begins with Prospero, a wizard, conjuring a storm that bring most of the other characters to his (Prospero's) island. From there on, nearly every plot development stems from some further act of magic by the wizard. Some Lampshade Hanging also occurs, as the script repeatedly comments on magic being the solution to inconsistencies in the plot.

    Video Games  
  • In 20XX, attempting to jump out of bounds can lead to the message "Black magic bars your way".
  • In the Super Mario Bros. franchise, there are countless areas, characters, items, etc., with absurd physics that remain unexplained to this day, causing many — if not most — fans to just call this. The franchise has a literal wizard/sorcerer named Kamek, Bowser's court magician and presumably responsible for all of the physics-breaking shenanigans. The manual for the first game states Bowser is a sorceror utilizing black magic. Princess Peach was also explained to be a magician in that game's manual, and unlike Bowser, this pops up every now and then in more recent games.
  • In DragonFable In the Gate Keeper Quest, Artix uses this to hand wave the fact that you have Zorbak's ID Card so you can get into the Necropolis. To clarify the many problems that came up:
    • The ID's picture looks nothing like your character.
    • The ID is expired.
    • The ID says Zorbak was expelled.
  • In NetHack, if something unexplainable happens during normal game, A mysterious Force did it. If you try to teleport on a no-teleport level, a mysterious force prevents you from teleporting. If you try to descend the stairway to your quest without permission, a mysterious force prevents you from descending. If you are digging with a blessed pickaxe in the endgame a mysterious force forms a cave.
  • Seen often in the Resident Evil video game series, but replace "wizard" with "Albert Wesker". Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles actually explains how he did some of the more wizardy things. And for those things the wizard did to him, well, Birkin did it.
  • Also appears in the Metroid games, specifically in the Prime subseries, in which the radioactive Phlebotinum Phazon is used by fans to explain away multiple inconsistencies and completely random evolutions.
    • In the other games, however, the Chozo did it. In Prime 1, it was both!
    • Other M attempts to subvert this by doing away with the Chozo. It ended up creating a whole lot of plot holes without an easy and accessible Handwave, leaving fans to latch on the next best thing and saying Adam did it despite the fact he dies, or the Deleter, or Mother Brain.
  • The developers for World of Warcraft have stated multiple times that they are more interested in making game play fun than specifically following established mythology. As a result, much of the story established in the RTS Warcraft games has been retconned in World of Warcraft to better fit certain gameplay mechanics. The popular explanation on message boards from both players and moderators is "a wizard did it".
  • A mutant of this has become a meme among the players of the MMORPG City of Heroes: "If it doesn't make sense, it's a Nemesis Plot". Nemesis himself is a supervillain who is infamous for making plots within plots within plots and is revealed to be a driving force, or at least the root cause, of many of the conflicts going on in the game.
    • Or, as the loading screens now lampshade this: "Everything is a Nemesis plot". Also on loading screens: "Not everything is a Nemesis plot".
    • Also, as you enter the Ancient Rome zone Cimerora, you're greeted by a Midnight Club member who tells you that as you went back in time, several spells were cast on you so that you could communicate with the Cimerorans and use your cell phone to call people back in Paragon City.
    • The contacts Crimson and Indigo, whose missions deal with the black ops Malta Group, will often tell you that you need to go somewhere for a mission to save someone or something, but the reasons why this needs to be done are classified, so they can't tell you why. They can take three paragraphs to say this too.
      Midnighter: It's a magical coup, to be sure, and one you do not need specifics about at this time.
  • The two common explanations for the many inconsistencies that reside in the Touhou Project Universe and backstory are either that Keine ate it, or that Yukari was messing around with the borders of space and time again.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion, one quest has the player dealing with a town full of duplicates. When asked how the duplicates came about, the quest-giving NPC only tells you that a wizard caused it.
    • In Skyrim, this is given as the reason for how dragons are able to function. How are they able to fly in spite of their bulk and non-aerodynamic shape? How are they able to speak despite not having lips? Magic. To be more specific, they have a natural affinity for magic which allows for this.
  • The effect of nanomachines on the body (mostly the central nervous system) is kind of a big deal in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It explains everything from adrenaline rushes to temporary insanity to immortality. This gets taken almost to the point of self-parody when "Nanomachines, son!" is basically the only explanation for why the Big Bad of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is capable of ripping apart Raiden's weapons and armour with his bare hands, punching a Metal Gear until it explodes, and generally being invulnerable and inhumanly strong despite being a politician who can't possibly be a cyborg.
  • Any bizarre or unexplained happenstance in Melty Blood is either due to Satsuki's Arc or "Tatari's Influence".
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Any instances of strange behaviour, anachronisms other than those required for the plot or Gameplay and Story Segregation are the result of what you see being artificially generated by the Animus.
    • When historical accuracy fails at any point, it's because the Templars did it.
  • This is essentially the argument of the witches in Umineko: When They Cry — they don't have to explain how the murders were committed because they can just say "the culprit used magic".
    • If you press, they will demonstrate HOW they did it, too!
    • Much of the establishing and flavor text supports this claim, and if Ryukishi07 is asked for the real solution, he will also insist on it.
  • As noted in the Star Wars example above, any bizarre occurrence or coincidence in Knights of the Old Republic is attributed by the characters to "the will of The Force". This gets heavy lampshading, especially when it turns out that not only is the PC a mind-wiped Revan but HK-47 (who was added to the crew in a random encounter) was originally built to serve Revan.
    Canderous Ordo: Remember we're talking about the Force, here. At this point Malak himself could drop from the sky and I wouldn't bat an eyelash.
  • In the later games in the Myst series, Yeesha becomes able to break the rules horribly — intra-age linking, books that follow you through the link, books that send different people to different copies of the same age. You name it, she can do it. And we're never really told how, except that she's the only one who can.
    • Given that her father is Atrus (who was able to write changes into Riven without resetting the Age) and her mother is Catherine (who wrote Torus, a doughnut-shaped Age), being able to bend the rules seems par for the course.
    • It's also implied that she learnt some of this from the Bahro, who are likewise capable of breaking all manner of the things that the D'ni claimed were impossible. This is best exemplified in that they are shown to be capable of writing a word, say "rain", which causes it to then begin raining.
  • In the Castlevania series, it's revealed in the chronological first entry that Dracula became a vampire and started all his shenanigans because he obtained (or created?) the Crimson Stone. This is all fine and dandy; however, while the director covered a few unexplained aspects of the series, there have been no attempts made to officially explain why human malcontent and evil revives him whenever he is offed (or why this evidently happens like clockwork every 100 years, though he is "prematurely" revived about every 15 minutes), why he is in command of the Angel of Deathnote , why the titular Castle of the series vanishes and reappears whenever Drac is out of his coffin, why he has apparent command over all the demons of hell and mythological creatures from every corner of the world, why he can enter what one game introduced as "The Chaos Realm" and exactly what this has to do with him (fan speculation is that it's the source of his powahs), or how exactly he went from being just a really powerful, pissed-off vampire to becoming the "Dark Lord". We are left to assume that the Crimson Stone did all of it; while crafted through alchemy, it may as well be wizardry.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • Medieval Mode is an alternate game mode in which players are restricted to using "medieval" weapons and speak in Ye Olde Butchered English. Why? Because the Soldier angered a wizard. This doesn't explain the fact that the castle in which the game takes place is actually a high-tech spy base in disguise. Heck, the Wiki page for said mode even links to this very page!
    • Later, that same wizard—who turns out to be the Soldier's roommate—is angered again and summons MONOCULUS, a demon possessing Demoman's other eyeball. The Halloween 2011 update revealed they're both pretty sucky roommates.
    • In a comic released during the 2011 Smissmas update, Miss Pauling asks the Spy how the Soldier became a lawyer. Then the Spy replies: "His roommate is a magician. Should I continue?"
    • And in the 2012 Halloween Special, the wizard (named Merasmus) effectively gets pissed off at his roommate, stops living with him, and proceeds to attack the entire TF2 team for the length of his temper tantrum.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age II, when you hand over the Deep Road maps to Bartrand for his expedition, he asks you how you came by the maps. If Anders (the mage from Dragon Age Origins: Awakening, who gave you the maps in the first place) is in your party, he will quip, "A wizard did it". (Which is technically true, Anders himself being the wizard who did it, i.e. stole the maps.)
    • In perhaps the most controversial and infamous retcon in the series, if the Warden PC in Dragon Age: Origins killed Leliana after defiling the Urn of Sacred Ashes, she comes back to life in Dragon Age II with little or no explanation beyond Leliana's own hypothesis that the Maker Himself brought her back. The final DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition gives a vague idea of what happened: Leliana wasn't brought back. A substance known as Lyrium recreated her until the world became calm again. Or so her last message implies.
  • In Gear Head, a Roguelike with Humongous Mecha, the Noob Cave is an abandoned mine. The dungeon is character-scale (meaning, you go in on foot rather than take a mech, and the monsters are at your size), but in the character-scale mining elevator at the bottom of the mine, there's a Wolfram mining mech with the keys in the ignition, which you get upon returning to the surface. Quoth Word of God when questioned on the subject: "[The Wolfram] can fit in a subsurface mine because it's an enormous sci-fi megaproject and a wizard did it. ^_^"
  • Korol has a character who IS the Wizard who did it. He isn't even given a name — he's called 'The Wizard' for the entirety of the game.
  • In Overlord, the "Heroes" that ended the rule of the previous Overlord had become corrupted and turned the entire kingdom into a Crapsack World with little explanation other than because they couldn't handle the power. You then learn near the end a wizard really did do it.
  • The goatmen or Khazra from the Diablo series turn out to have been created by the Vizjerei by magical corruption of captured umbaru tribesmen, and their previous lore as demonic lieutenants of Baal, the Lord of Destruction, turns out to have been nothing but Vizjerei propaganda meant to cover up their misdeeds.
  • The Fire Emblem series Zig-Zags this with regards to how mages can move unhindered in desert terrain. Path of Radiance suggests the spirits they command literally part the sand in their path, while Heroes of Light and Shadow say it's simply because they wear light clothing.
    • In all fairness, the man who made the former claim was also noted, in the same sentence, to be a master bullshitter.
  • The Soul Series has various reasons behind the appearance of any Guest Fighter.
    • Soulcalibur II: Soul Edge fragments are responsible for pulling Heihachi Mishima, Spawn, and Link into 16th-century Earth.
    • Why are Star Wars characters in Soulcalibur IV? Because the clash between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur caused dimensional disruptions that opened a portal in a galaxy far, far away.
    • Soulcalibur V: Ezio's history has a gap tied to a mysterious artifact he found, which Shaun Hastings is investigation through the Animus.
    • Soulcalibur VI Geralt of Rivia hails from a world where interdimensional portals are commonplace, with one sending him to 16th-century Earth. It's actually not all that implausible, since his protegee Ceri also teleported to the same world in the distant future.
  • Happens in Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 4, wherein Gabe asks why the lands of Underhell is not falling when there is nothing to support it; the answer is simply that a wizard did it.
  • Kingdom Hearts: In the Atlantica level in the first game and Chain of Memories, fire and lightning spells work underwater. But then again, they're spells...
  • In Battle Master glitches, player absence, cheating, and other instances where out-of-character events affect the game it is usually hand waved as some mysterious magical incident.
  • This is more or less how Chaos Control in Sonic the Hedgehog is explained (or lack thereof). Is it time travel, super speed, or teleportation? The games sure as hell don't know.
  • The futuristic-style world of Final Fantasy XIII works like this. The Hollow World of Cocoon makes no sense with any physical laws—it floats in the atmosphere of a planet larger than Earth, humans live on the inside of its hollow shell, and it has a day-night cycle. But it's maintained by over a million godlike entities known as fal'Cie that serve different functions, from the "sun" to power plants, so there you go.
  • Used and lampshaded in Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. The game is set in Labyrinthia, where witnesses in witch trials pin everything that seems out of ordinary on "the witch did it", even though there are clear inconsistencies inside that world's use of magic rules. It's up to the player to press the witnesses and figure out what really happened. Being inspired by real medieval-era witch trials, that was probably the real way of thinking back then.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: In contrast to the original trilogy, which has remarkably consistent fantasy-science, anything weird or blatantly against the laws of physics as we know them is attributed to the Scourge with no attempt at scientific justification. Among these effects are: super-intense lightning storms across most of a planet, stripping a planet's atmosphere, altering planetary orbits, inducing an ice age, hyper-accelerating organic evolution, and even physically shattering a planet into an asteroid field. All this on top of causing random gravity anomalies and ripping apart any spaceship that runs into it. Why it does one thing in one place and another in another place is never explained.
  • Final Fantasy XIV tries very damn hard to explain how everything and anything is possible, but not always. Certain mounts that shouldn't be able to fly (like a T-Rex or a giant turtle) are usually Handwaved with "altered aether" or quite literally, magic.
    • It's also revealed in the Shadowbringers expansion that all of the weird and wonderful creatures kicking around the worlds are a direct result of a race of ancients messing around with creation magic.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Michiru's split personality could be very easily explained as her having Dissociative Identity Disorder and actually fits the ailment pretty well. The flashback could've been explained as something that was created as an explanation for why she has a second personality as opposed to an unrealistically strong cell memory, too. But nope, the finale of that route makes it so that the only thing that makes any sense is magic.
  • In Genshin Impact, Albedo attributes Alice's ability to predict what her audience would say when they listened to a recording to her omnipotent status as one of Teyvat's strongest magic users.

  • In the webcomic 8-Bit Theater, Trickster Mentor Sarda the Sage refers to himself as "The Wizard Who Did It".
    • A pretty apt description for somebody who completely fucks with the universe for his own convenience and/or amusement — an "omnipotent jackass" as Black Mage puts it. His otherwise-inexplicable cosmic jackassery includes, but is hardly limited to: shortening days from thirty-six hours to twenty-four hours just to make people hurry faster, bending time so his dinner will be done before he has to cook it (rewriting history in the process), dropping the entire continent of Australia on Black Mage, and crafting a spell designed to make Black Mage (and only Black Mage) vomit out his own organs. If anything in the world of Final Fantasy I just doesn't make sense, Sarda is somehow responsible.
      • Australia didn't actually exist in this version of the universe, as Black Mage's first comment upon noticing the sign with "welcome to Hurt, Australia" on it was "... and what's an Australia?"; and since our Earth was only in the prehistoric age at the time, as shown in an earlier strip, Sarda actually pulled the entire continent out of time and space just to fuck with Black Mage.
    • "Yeah, 'omnipotent jerkass' pretty much covers it".
    • This episode is titled "The Wizard(s) That Did it". Aptly titled, as multiple wizards are doing quite impossible things in it.
    • The comic also references the term multiple times in this strip
    • Essentially, once Black Mage stops being a Cosmic Plaything and Red Mage grows some sort of logical intelligence, these two will most likely become the new Wizards That Did It for this universe. The Universe is probably very unhappy with this arrangement.
    • And way earlier, it gets mentioned by name here.
  • Irregular Webcomic! uses this trope for how Paris clone is possible here, and makes a reference to this page too.
  • The Oracle explaining the source of his powers in this Order of the Stick comic.
    • And this comic is actually titled "A Wizard Did It".
      Vaarsuvius: "Epic Teleport!"
    • Referenced again (and averted) here. The Cool Airship has a few enchantments on it, but the actual flight mechanics are plain old physics. (One could argue that it is still played straight, though; without the enchantment that reduced its weight, presumably the ship would be too heavy to fly.)
    • In this strip, regarding the owlbear, V asks the obvious follow-up question, namely "But why did a wizard do it?"
  • Consciously invoked in this Terror Island strip.
  • In the Bonus Commentary of El Goonish Shive Dan has made this comment: "If not, I could always claim a wizard did it. In EGS, that possibility genuinely exists, so yay!"
    • This one's even better. "Why yes, the magical fireball of death did stop mid-air while traveling at a fantastic speed without exploding. It's a magical fireball of death. Are you REALLY going to tell it what it can and cannot do?"
    • Also from the Bonus Commentary: "As for why and how (...), I’m going to go with a solid "because I said so". Also "because science". And "a wizard did it". And "insert technobabble here".
  • Specifically mentioned in this Pokémon-X strip.
    • This one too. Probably plenty of examples, but this one is good because it points out the stuff that needs to be Hand Waved in the actual Pokémon game.
    • There's also this one explaining why you can't catch Mons after it faints and why being unconscious in the middle of the wild isn't dangerous.
  • Ansem Retort explains most everything with "It's supposed to be insane, stop thinking about it, it doesn't make sense, don't even try to reason it out". This seems to be working somehow.
  • Used in this Sluggy Freelance strip parodying Harry Potter, to explain why Time-Turners can no longer be used for a quick solution to everything.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Gordito asks Dan McNinja how the latter was able to take a bite of a bagel without removing his ninja mask. After giving a dead serious explanation for why he must never reveal his face, Dan blithely states that he uses "some ninja tricks" to eat while masked. In the Alt Text, Chris Hastings comments, "Any further questions regarding the McNinja's masks can be filed under 'ninja tricks.'"
    • On a few occasions when the good doctor/ninja had to escape some problem, instead of showing it Chris simply wrote "HE IS A NINJA" or some variation of that. Here are a few examples.
  • In the AD&D-based Monster Manual Comics by Lore Sjoberg, the strip on owlbears has the crew meet the actual "insane wizard" most of the peculiar early D&D monsters were blamed on — plus a guess as to his motives for doing so.
  • In the comic Skin Deep the characters' transformation from human to their natural forms are explained as "Magic. Strong magic". Interesting case as the characters themselves admit they have no idea how that works. Asking them to explain the process is like asking someone how a television works. They know how it works, they just don't know how it works.
  • Used in Bob and George to explain George's ContractualImmortality.
  • The Summariser's favourite justifying phrase in The Way of the Metagamer.
  • RPG World used it to explain cheat codes.
  • True Believers has Peter Parker express disbelief that the comic industry would instantaneously start booming again just because Mary Jane eliminated Joe Quesadilla with a stamp labeled "Retcon". Mary Jane reminds him, "It's magic, Tiger," so Peter exclaims, "Yeah, it's magic! We don't have to explain it!"
  • The entire point of minus..
  • Seen here in Two Evil Scientists.
  • This quote from Homestuck's second book volume, relating to this page:
    Also, another great mystery: he caps up the juice and puts it away, but the cap stays on the floor. Is sorcery involved? The answer is yes. This page was visited by the wise old Fuckup Wizard.
  • By the fans of the Roommates this is called A Fae Did It!note ... they are right most of the time... Even more so because magic seems to run on patterns, story and trope in the verse!
  • Lampshaded in Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki when the main character realised she had just accepted "Magic" as an explanation for something odd that had just happened.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse:
    • The author doesn't bother to explain how Buu's egg can enter into Babidi's ship through the door, and invokes this trope.
    • When U4 Buu gave Frieza the power to make any fight with a Saiyan more interesting, up to creating a mental landscape for them, he made Frieza believe a wizard taught him.
  • One page of Bloody Urban mentions this trope in the Alt Text on a strip where Amoeba mentions being unable to see due to having no eyes.
    How does it speak with no mouth? Wizard did it.

    Web Original  
  • Some French-speaking fan communities have developed the equivalent saying tgcm or ta gueule c'est magique ("shut up it's magic".)
  • Hellfire Comm's Let's Play of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). When asked by FTA to explain things like plotholes, magic mirrors, and all sorts, NTom64's answer is almost always "Magic" and that you shouldn't "come to him to question the logic of this game, as there is none".
  • Uncyclopedia likes to have fun with this: [1]
  • Referenced by Simmons in Red vs. Blue after trying to explain teleporters to the crew.
    "I probably could have saved a lot of time by telling you these things worked by magic".
  • The Wizard is responsible for all the events of Comic Fury Werewolf. This started as a joke, and eventually became the main plot.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series's version of the Bonds Beyond Time movie name drops this trope.
    Dark Magician Girl: Dark Magician, how come we can talk in this movie?
    Dark Magician: A wizard did it.
  • The Binder of Shame. The aptly-named Killer DM Psycho Dave just had a player character hit by a random magical effect in his sleep just to mess with the player and said character woke up to find his head had been turned into a giant piece of broccoli. When challenged to explain how and why, Dave replied "It's magic, I don't have to explain it".
  • One article on rather aptly used the term "Plot-Hole Spackle" to refer to magic as a narrative device. Hilarious in Hindsight when you consider site editor David Wong's response to niggling questions about John Dies at the End.
  • Ultra Fast Pony has the characters themselves invoke unexplained magic.
    • In "Rocks, Clocks, and Two Stupid Ponies":
    Celestia: You two were so busy fighting, you forgot to get any of the leaves down.
    Applejack: What are you talking about? We were kicking the trees and everything, how did we do the worst job?!
    Celestia: Because, uh... magic.
    • In "Chicken! Run!", Sweetie Belle acts as a Self-Backing Vocalist for an impromptu live performance. When asked how she sang both parts at the same time, the answer is "Magic!"
  • Channel Awesome:
    • The movie To Boldly Flee features a literal Plot Hole which is used to address any inconsistencies the website had (like in Kickassia when Spoony was the same person as Dr. Insano). The movie ended with the Nostalgia Critic merging with it to stabilize it. The Critic was eventually released from it and replaced with Douchey McNitpick.
    • Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall is particularly prone to the sarcastic comment, referencing the Joe Quesada quote "It's magic, I don't have to explain it!" when comic books engage in this. Summed up in his review of Superman Distant Fires, when a nuclear war somehow deprives all the heroes of their powers (no matter what their source) and lightning storms somehow restore them:
      "There are two kinds of magic in the world. Magic as a force that can grant the wondrous... and then there's narrative magic, the kind where we get the classic phrase 'It's magic, we don't have to explain it!'"
      • Amusingly enough, Linkara initially used the "It's magic, I don't have to explain it!" when asked how his Magic Gun works. We get an explanation for the Magic Gun's powers in the Silent Hill: Dead/Alive reviews... and it turns out that no, Linkara, you really didn't have to explain it.
    • The Nostalgia Critic/Nostalgia Chick crossover review addresses how FernGully: The Last Rainforest uses this trope not so much as an excuse but a really poorly though-out mythology. When the Critic questions it, the Chick responds by beating the shit out of him.
    Nostalgia Chick: Don't you ever try to bring logic into this film! This is FernGully, bitch!
  • In What If? #111: "All the Money", Randall Munroe handwaves away how you managed to acquire all the money in the world with "some money-summoning magic spell". Cue image where Rob from xkcd is standing next to a pentacle and tells Megan he's doing economics.
  • Emer Prevost's version of this when movies are inconsistent is "Fuck you, that's why".
  • In The Editing Room, "magic" is usually the explanation when something makes little sense. Given the site's nature, this happens often.
  • Release That Witch: A 21st-century engineer finds himself in the body of a prince, stuck in a fantasy world on the brink of war. The ensuing technology uplift turns the entire world upside-down, but the main problem is said engineer isn't an Omnidisciplinary Scientist and anything structural, biological, or chemical draws a blank. So instead of continuing the witch hunts and rejecting magic, he hires the witches to use magic to replace technologies he doesn't understand or doesn't have the tools to re-invent. Welding tools? Fire witch did it. Lamination tools? Paint witch did it. Computer parts? Magnet witch did it. The series goes on for a long time without explaining WHAT magic is, only what it does.
  • In How It Should Have Ended, Batman can explain any improbable or impossible action he does by saying "Because I'm Batman!"
  • SCP Foundation: The SCP Foundation reconstructs this, in their quest to study and explain the supernatural, their articles written in scientific language show that individual SCPs have consistent rules about what they can do and what they can't, they often detail testing where two or more SCPs were placed together to see what happens when their rules collide, and they have even examples where science was able to fully explain some SCPs to the point they are no longer considered supernatural, however, magic and supernatural as a whole runs on the concept that it has no rules and no logic, SCPs as a whole can be anything, science will never explain them and that's the whole point.
  • Parodied in this now-famous cartoon by Sidney Harris where a scientist writes out some insanely complicated equation and puts "then a miracle occurs" in the middle of it.
  • Played for laughs in Fate/Apocrabridged, when Caster of Black's constant questions about the premise of the original series lead his interlocutor to scream in exasperation that he has no idea how it works either.
    Darnic: The Chalice of God does not come with an instruction manual!
  • Minilife TV: In the Season 3 Watch Party, Chris uses this excuse to explain why an American flag appears in the episode "That's So Gay!" when the series takes place in the Kaliwit Region.
  • Somebody for Nobody is a short film on YouTube about a man who never learned to walk and a woman who Never Learned to Talk, due to curses bestowed upon them as infants.

    Western Animation 
  • The trope name comes from Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess)'s guest appearance on The Simpsons in "Treehouse of Horror X", where she shuts up Professor Frink pointing out continuity inconsistencies in her show with the excuse that the changes happened because "a wizard did it".
    • In "Grade School Confidential", the entertainment for Martin Prince's party included a Mathemagician who performed long division on a blackboard for all the kids to see.
      Mathemagician: Prepare to marvel at the mysteries of the universe as I make this remainder disappear. (starts doing calculations on a blackboard)
      Lisa: But 7 goes into 28 four times.
      Mathemagician: Uhh... this is a magic 7.
  • In Hot Wheels: AcceleRacers The Racing Realms all in some degree defy the very fundamental laws of physics despite the scientific impossibilities behind the tracks that the Metal Maniacs and Teku both end up driving on. Since the Racing Realms were built explicitly for Humans to drive upon as part of the Accelerons Secret Test of Character, the breaks of physics that happen in the Realms are all essentially justified. Lampshaded by Kadeem and Taros' conversation while driving in the Storm Realm, where the Track itself and all of its turns and steep vertical drops are all suspended hundreds of thousands of miles above the ground in the middle of a near-eternal thunder storm, unconnected to any adjacent structures.
    Kadeem: Does anybody know what's holding this track up?
    Taro: Ask the Accelerons.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Little Dipper", Mabel believes a wizard is what made Dipper grow. In reality, Dipper found magic crystals that can make things grow... or shrink.
  • In the South Park episode "Sexual Healing," the government suspects that the origin of sex addiction is from a malevolent Alien Wizard. This is actually just an excuse to justify their own actions.
  • In the Transformers mythos, it's Vector Prime's job to keep the timelines stable, so presumably any nitpicks are things he just didn't get to soon enough in relative time.
    • Also, in Transformers: Cybertron, the death of Unicron, resulting in the Unicron Singularity, is used to explain inconsistencies in the timeline. After all, when you kill a dark god, you really ought to expect something to happen to the fabric of the universe.
    • This is no doubt to cover up the fact that in the original Japanese series, Energon (SuperLink) was a sequel to Armada (Micron Legend), and Cybertron (Galaxy Force) was intended to be a third series in the same continuity, but (in Japan, at least) it was made its own series relatively late in development, leading to mass inconsistencies with the existing story and characters in its US adaptation, where it was kept as the third series in the so-called "Unicron Trilogy".
    • Not only that, due to the multiversal nature of the Transformers continuities, the Unicron Singularity can be used to explain away every inconsistency and plot-hole in every Transformers continuity EVER.
  • In Samurai Jack, all the characteristics of the future dystopia Jack ends up in are explained this way. Since the evil wizard Aku took over the world after he sent Jack to the future, he's the one responsible for the state of it. There are aliens on Earth? Aku opened up portals to other worlds. Robots are everywhere? Aku used magic to advance technology for use in his world conquest. And so on.
  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes, Word of God explained all one-off gags as being the result of Lucius being a Reality Warper.
  • Kevin Spencer. When Kevin dies, his parents ask the wizard living in their backyard to bring him back. Percy repays the wizard by telling him to get off his property.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Creator Lauren Faust had her own form: "A Unicorn Pony Did It". Can be seen in this interview with her. She tried to avoid any form of technology in the show, but when a plot absolutely required it, she would mentally handwave it by thinking that a unicorn enchanted the object behind the scenes, though that explanation is never explicitly mentioned in the show. When questioned by either new fans or people who are unfamiliar with the show how vehicles move or tortoises are given the ability to fly with a propeller harness, well-versed Bronies will simply respond with "Magic".
    • To a certain degree, there is also "Because Pinkie Pie," referring to Pinkie's apparent ability to transcend dimensions, ignore physics, and poke holes the Fourth Wall for the sake of a joke. In the episode "Magic Duel", Pinkie Pie playing ten instruments at once is hoofwaved by Twilight Sparkle as: "That's not magic, that's just Pinkie Pie!"
    • Pegasi wings are far too small to lift a pony, even a small one. It's eventually confirmed that their flight is mostly magical; when pegasi get their magic drained, they can't fly at all.
  • In the Invader Zim episode "The Frycook What Came From All Of Space," Sizzlor reveals that, after escaping his banishment on planet Foodcourtia, "The Foodening," a 20-year mob scene that increases the planet's gravitational pull, had come and gone. Zim asks how that can be since he hasn't been gone nearly that long, to which Sizzlor sheepishly replies, "There's a... time... warp... thing involved, I dunno...".
  • Futurama:
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, any weirdness beyond the setting's standard Elemental Powers can be explained with "spirits did it". Sokka even dismisses one incident with "That's Avatar stuff; it doesn't count".
  • In The Legend of Korra, Amon justifies his strange powers as "the spirits chose me". (They didn't, but it was considered a possibility in-universe.)
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: "The Finale" implies that the credits to the show are actually a magical device that the Genius Loci setting uses to erase unwanted events from the timeline. This provides an easy way to explain any continuity errors.

    Real Life 
  • This trope is also known as God of the gaps, only replacing the wizard with God (it's the habit some people have of handwaving everything, especially mysterious and unexplained phenomena not yet explained by science, by invoking God and leaving it at that without further reasoning or explanation). Note that the term itself is meant to be derisive; it was coined by Christian philosophers opposed to this approach. Some people replace "God" with "aliens".
  • In this lecture, the speaker makes note of this kind of phenomenon whenever scientific findings are not given a proper theoretical explanation. The phrase "a wizard did it" is uttered multiple times to portray this.
  • Spoofed by The Onion: Sci-Fi Writer Attributes Everything Mysterious To 'Quantum Flux'.
  • All-purpose historical fiction variant: want to write a historical piece with a single piece of incongruous sci-fi tech?
    • Nikola Tesla Invented It.
    • Leonardo Da Vinci and Charles Babbage, though in the latter's case it's often more of a case of The Government Did Fund It, as the Analytical Engine (planned, but never built in Real Life) is usually the only thing he contributes.
    • Archimedes, Heron (of Alexandria), Copernicus, Roger Bacon, etc., or you could even just say it was developed by an unnamed Babylonian/Hellenic/Arab/Chinese genius whose name is lost in the mists of time. The last one is the most justified and rational way to do it, as we'd naturally know more about the inventions and limitations of real and famous historical people, and there must have been any number of real instances (within reason) in history of this kind of thing occurring.
  • On an old Adult Swim bump, a fan mail sent in asked what had happened to Eurekas 1 through 6. AS replied that they were destroyed by a wizard.
  • A common tactic of Conspiracy Theorists when trying to explain away certain flaws in their arguments is to say "they are the government and they're that powerful". Making the government in essence "the Wizard that Did It".
  • "As if by magic" is another related phrase. It's most often used in situations in which everyday gadgets are too complex for most people to take.
  • This was essentially the origin of the Alien Space Bats trope in the Alternate History community — it was originally intended as a joke, implying that the only way certain implausible/ill-thought-out alternate timelines could happen was by some obscure outside force interfering in human history, like intervention by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • There are a number of theories to explain the odd shapes of the trees in Poland's crooked forest; however, it seems that the actual explanation is the prosaic one of "A Human Did It".
  • The dwarf beech, or fagus sylvatica var. tortuosa, a beech species that grows in twisted shapes, was called "witch wood", as people believed witches to be responsible for the unusual shape of the trees. According to the Wikipedia article of 06.03.2016, the shape is due to genetics, though previously there was some speculation about earth radiation or similar factors of the dwarf beech's place of origin causing the crooked growth.
  • A video on Zipcar's website starts to explain how a rented car's keyless locks work, then gives up: "it sends a signal... to wizards".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wizard Did It, God Of The Gaps


Snape shoots Voldemort

Snape defeats Voldemort using a Muggle weapon and explains away his apparent death with magic.

How well does it match the trope?

4.76 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / PrettyLittleHeadshots

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