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Actually a Good Idea

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Yellow Diamond: A ball? We haven't had a ball in six thousand years.
Blue Diamond: We haven't had Pink (Diamond) in six thousand years.
Steven Universe: Yeah. When White shows up, we can tell her why we need her help on Earth.
Blue Diamond: And this could also mark the beginning of Era 3.
Yellow Diamond: You're right. It's brilliant.

Much in the same way that Actually Pretty Funny has to admit the wit in a routine, Actually A Good Idea makes it where someone openly acknowledges that an idea that a person had made is not all that terrible. Said idea is often a simple solution thought outside-the-box from a Naïve Newcomer or a second opinion that definitely knows what they are talking about, an idea to a pressing dilemma that has everybody else pulling their collective hair out.

Such ideas are also the kind that are dismissed as dumb or ridiculous half the time, only for the idea to have been executed anyway and reveals that it was actually Crazy Enough to Work.

Compare Touché, Actually Pretty Funny, The Cuckoolander Was Right, Dumbass Has a Point, Jerkass Has a Point, Strawman Has a Point and the rest of This Index Has A Point. Contrast with Are You Sure You Want to Do That?, I Don't Think That's Such a Good Idea and It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.

In-Universe Examples Only:

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    Comic Books 
  • Very late into Bone, during the siege on Atheia, those two Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures get captured. Smiley Bone gets an idea to feed the Rats a freshly-baked quiche, even though there's food shortage. His plan is that afterwards, they let the two Rat Creatures escape, so they'll tell their comrades that Atheia has so much food even the prisoners eat like kings, tricking the enemy into thinking that a siege is hopeless. Gran'ma Ben's Dreaming Teacher, upon hearing Smiley's logic, approves of the idea and goes along with it.

    Fan Works 
  • In Bound, Astrid and Hiccup make a deal: Hiccup stops his inventing and in return she will take the time to train him how to use a weapon. Later on, Hiccup gets the idea of creating a fire-prevention system that would lower the amount of work the fire brigade would have to do to put out fires during dragon raids. Rather then getting on his case about their deal, Astrid makes an exception with this idea, citing that it actually is a good one.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dogma, the heroes have to stop two Fallen Angels from entering a certain church during a certain event and receiving absolution, thus letting them back into Heaven. After trying all manner of convoluted plots, Jay simply asks why they don't just contact the cardinal in charge and ask him if he's willing to move the event.
    Metatron: My God! The little stoner's right!

  • The Stormlight Archive: Highprince Dalinar is on the verge of an ignoble retirement because he's plagued by recurring spiritual visions and fears that he's losing his mind. His son suggests transcribing and researching his ravings. He's a bit stunned at the simplicity of the solution, all the more so when they're found to include accurate, long-lost historic information that proves they have a supernatural source.
  • Subverted at the climax of The Martian: Mark's suggestion that he poke a hole in his spacesuit and use the escaping air to "fly around like Iron Man" in order to traverse the distance between his capsule and the mothership is immediately and correctly declared an incredibly bad idea... But it inspires Commander Lewis to come up with a merely moderately bad idea, namely intentionally decompressing the shipnote  and using the escaping air as a thruster. It works.
  • In Dolphin Island, the researchers have an orca named Snowy delivered to the island so they can use Behavioral Conditioning to stop her from eating dolphins. They drop a robotic dolphin into her pool, but Snowy isn't fooled and completely ignores it, leaving them with no choice but to use real dolphins as bait. Dr. Saha asks jokingly, "Are we going to call for volunteers?" Professor Kazan considers the suggestion, then says seriously, "I'll do exactly that." (Dolphins are Sapient Cetaceans and the researchers have been studying their language, so it's not as ridiculous as it sounds.)

    Live-Action Series 
  • One episode of The Goldbergs has Uncle Marvin buy the Goldberg kids beepers. In the closing scene, we see that Barry decided to use his to set up a grass mowing business. Erica is about to criticize him before admitting it's not a bad idea. On the other hand, Barry's advertisement promises to cater to his customers' "grass needs"note  which he doesn't realize has another meaning.
  • Good News Week: Paul McDermott, in reference to the Australian Government discussing the possibility of sending the army in to deal with a dock strike:
    "No, no, no. You send the navy to deal with a dock strike. You send the army in for a coal miners' strike, and you send the air force in for a pilots' strike. Otherwise the navy, army and air force get into a big demarcation dispute and go out on strike, and the government has to send in the wharfies to defend us against invasion. Which isn't a bad idea — when those wharfies cover the coastline, nothing gets ashore!
  • "Food for Thought," an episode of That's So Raven, sees the main characters' cafeteria being replaced with a "food court" that serves disgustingly huge portions of fatty treats. Resident Granola Girl Chelsea is the only person who recognizes that the new menu is terribly unhealthy, and she and Raven eventually team up to convince the other students of the negative effects of junk food. At the episode's end, Eddie wonders if it's possible to have "food that's good for us and tastes good." After briefly flirting with the idea of hydroponic tofu, Chelsea suggests "a salad bar, and maybe some regular-sized veggie burgers" Raven's about to shut her down when she realizes that that sounds like a healthy compromise.
  • Of all people, Gilligan pulls this off in one episode of Gilligan's Island. The Howells are feuding because it was learned that the officiant of their wedding was a sham and thus their marriage isn't valid. Gilligan's solution? Since ship captains are allowed to officiate a wedding, and there Ain't No Rule beyond that it needs to be on a vessel on the water, Skipper could officiate a wedding between them by simply having all of them stand on a raft in the lagoon. Both the Professor and Skipper concede that the idea should convince the Howells to end their argument. (Fridge Logic does come in as to why this argument got to this point in the first place - legal issues aren't exactly the first concern for the castaways - but Gilligan's solution was to turn the convoluted logic for the argument to a reasonable conclusion.)
  • In the season one's finale of Hell's Kitchen, finalists Michael and Ralph ran a dress rehearsal for the final service by taking turns running the pass. When it was Ralph's turn, Michael deliberately sent up a risotto without any crab to see if the former noticed. Ralph did not, and the dish was sent out, only for the plate to comeback with the complaint. Ramsay noted that Michael made a smart move and in seasons after that, he used the same strategy to test the chef's ability to catch mistakes on the pass.
  • In an episode of The Golden Girls, Rose is mortified to learn that her latest boyfriend, who just died after spending the night with her, is married and wondering how she's going to tell his wife, hoping to find some way out of it. Sophia jokingly suggests that she tell her that she went out to turn on the sprinklers and found him on the lawn. Rose actually appears to be considering this, stating, "That's not bad!", before Dorothy snaps at her.

    Video Games 
  • Played for Laughs in Fallout: New Vegas' Old World Blues DLC: When you're getting the Think Tank members to side with you, solving Doctor 0's conundrum with his name (the others only register his name visually and keep calling him O, the letter, rather than the number) is how you befriend him... and one option to do so is to simply "put a slash through the zero". 0 is so dumbstruck by its cleverness he initially can't even register it, and even Bad Boss Dr. Klein (who was the main pusher in calling him O) is forced to acquiesce in front of the sheer brilliance of the idea. Even the game calls it such, seeing it takes Intelligence 9 (out of 10) to suggest it.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Melody, when Arnold confides his struggles in trying to parent Melody and dealing with the death of his wife to the bartender Lucy (actually Xianne), she tells him to simply be more open with her about what he’s feeling. Arnold tries it, and ends up repairing his relationship with Melody.

  • In 8-Bit Theater:
    • When the Light Warriors are plummeting to their deaths (Again), Fighter comes up with a way to save themselves; He and Thief hold onto Black Mage and Red Mage respectively, and the two Mages cast Feather Fall which would slow their descent so they don't become smears on the ground. Thief and Red Mage are stunned at how not-stupid this idea is, but there's a problem. Both Red Mage used up his spell energy fighting Sarda, and Black Mage dumped every spell that isn't a doom-bringer. Luckily, Fighter comes up with a backup plan; Use his power to block anything block the ground.
    • the Light Warriors (minus Fighter) come up with a plan to defeat Chaos, after Fighter ruins their previous attempt by selling the legendary weapons Thief stole. They'll send Fighter over to literally talk him to death. Fighter instead has a friendly conversation with Chaos (and convinces him to transform into his One-Winged Angel form). Red Mage sadly laments that it was a great plan up until Fighter was involved.
  • Darths & Droids: The Empire's attack on Hoth. Admiral Ozzel orders some bizarre camel walkers, much to Vader's irritation, and which turn out to be not even designed for humans. General Veers is embarrassed by them, but as the Empire starts winning the battle, he comes around.
    Veers: Lord Vader, this is farcical. We're attacking them in an armored camel.
    Vader: Is it working?
    Veers: Well... yes.
  • In this The Order of the Stick comic, Roy notes that Elan surprisingly makes a good point about joining forces with another adventuring groupnote .
    • Later, in the desert of the Western Continent, the Order encounters a Sand Worm, which Elan proposes calming with a bardic poem. Roy concedes that he has the right idea, but instead has V charm it.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Captain Tagon is rarely known for his good ideas outside of combat, but when the time comes, he has perhaps the best idea in the whole comic when he says the elder,, extragalactic civilizations should come back to the Milky Way to teach the newer ones because "Galactic civilization might do well with a few quadrillion actual grown-ups". While the one he speaks it to simply calls it the most brilliant idea he's heard in a long, long time, Sorlie (who actually knows Tagon) just bluescreens.
    Sorlie: Go back to the part where this was Captain Tagon's idea.

    Web Videos 
  • Oxventure Presents: Blades in the Dark: In the episode where Kasimir and Zillah are tasked with helping a man fake his death, Kasimir expresses relief that the more chaotic members of the gang aren't around to mess everything up, mockingly citing how Edvard would probably try to solve the problem by building a Wonderful Mechanical Dying Man. Then he realizes such a thing would actually be useful.
  • On the Steam Train playthrough of Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers, Ross is consistently trolling Danny by naming all of their save files nonsensical things like "is rly good" and "is even better" much to Danny's chagrin. Danny explains that it could bite them in the ass later as Sierra game are notorious for games that can be made Unwinnable by Design and thus you need to give proper descriptive file names so you know which one to reload if you accidentally save after inadvertently screwing yourself over. Ross just points out that, since they're recording the footage for their webshow, they could just rewatch the footage to see where they need to roll back to.
    Danny: ...Oh my God, you're so right! Okay.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: While running away from some Fire Nation bounty hunters, Zuko snarks at Iroh that one of these days he'd like to meet some of Iroh's friends who aren't out to kill them. Iroh gets thoughtful and decides to do just that, introducing Zuko to the Order of the White Lotus (who help them escape the bounty hunters and smuggle them towards Ba Sing Se).
  • In the Dragons: Riders of Berk episode "Viking For Hire", Hiccup overhears that Stoick has a lot on his plate, wishing that there were "two of [him]", and Hiccup gets the idea of having Gobber act as his surrogate in some village matters. Not only would this cut down on Stoick's workload, but it would give Gobber a job now that his smithing skills have been rendered useless in an era of peace with the dragons. Stoick thinks it over and admits that it is not a bad idea. This is quickly proven otherwise, as Gobber's limited understanding of the job causes Bucket and Mulch to escalate their feud, sinks a ship and causes a baby girl to be named Magnus.
  • In Futurama episode "The Problem With Popplers", Leela is set to be eaten by Lrrr, ruler of Omicron Persei 8, in retribution for starting the "Poppler" (Actually Omicronian babies) craze. Zapp Branigan comes up with a way to save her; Swap her out for a dolled-up orangutan. Although Leela initially scoffs at the idea, ("The hair is all wrong!") she realizes it's Crazy Enough to Work, reasoning that the Omicronians have bad eyesight. The only reason the plan fails is because of smelly hippie Free Waterfall Jr.'s intervention.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Familiar", Steven learns that his mother would host grand balls to mark the other Diamond's accomplishments, with all four Diamonds coming to attend. Realizing that this would mean that he would have a chance to talk to White Diamond, he pitches the idea to Yellow Diamond and Blue Diamond in the next episode. Yellow and Blue then admit that it is a good idea.
  • Johnny Test: In an episode when Johnny comes up with an idea that would let him and his sisters into an ice-cream factory, his sisters initially hear him out only because they wanted to laugh at his plan. They laugh for about a second but then realize his plan was perfect and say the trope name almost word for word.
  • In The Simpsons episode "A Star is Burns" there is a meeting at the town hall where the people try to give suggestions to bring tourists to Springfield. When Marge steps up, the audience is grumbling because they didn't like any of her past ideas. This changes when she suggests that Springfield hold a film festival and that the public can enter their own homemade movies in it. The audience quickly approves of the idea.
  • One episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy sees the horrifically out-of-shape Billy struggling to find a way to pass a school physical. He gets the idea to have his cousin Nergal Jr., a half-demon child with the power of shapeshifting, to morph into a pair of enchanted pants that will give him super-speed. Mandy, as usual, begins berating Billy...until she recognizes that the plan isn't a bad one. It's promptly lampshaded by Billy, who remarks that he wants to do it precisely because it's the only good idea he's ever had and he knows he'll never have another one.
  • The Legend of Korra: Though he mostly comes up with absurd, inane ideas for much of the season, towards the end of Book 4, Prince Wu suggests initiating an evacuation in the event that Kuvira may potentially attack Republic City, which Raiko concedes with this trope.
  • An episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo sees the gang trying to make a movie. Freddy (who in this incarnation is a Cloud Cuckoolander to the extreme) suggests that they use their solving a mystery as the subject matter, and the kids praise him for his great idea. This is apparently so rare that a newscaster feels the need to interrupt the episode for a special bulletin: "FREDDY HAD A GOOD IDEA! IT'S A MIRACLE!"
  • The Justice League Unlimited finale has the Flash and Green Lantern attempting to destroy a giant alien weapon with no luck. Flash jokingly suggests that GL launch it into the Sun before admitting it was stupid to say. Surprisingly, GL tells him that he might be onto something. He has Flash use his speed to dig a giant trench before using his ring to create a giant catapult. GL flings the weapon away and, while it doesn't quite make it to the Sun, it hits an alien ship and explodes.
  • In Rick and Morty season 3 episode 2, Morty suggests distracting a group of cannibalistic post-apocalyptic scavengers using a puppet show. While Rick is usually dismissive of Morty's ideas, here he says that it is the "right idea, wrong genre". Rick then stages a gladiator fight in the scavengers' Thunderdome.


Magic Pants for Billy

Billy comes up with a good idea (for once) in "Runaway Pants" and Mandy acknowledges it.

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Main / ActuallyAGoodIdea

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