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"I defeated his minions, and he cackled and said, 'Exactly as I planned.'
I discovered his secret fortress. 'Exactly as I planned.'
I breached his defenses, and still he said, 'Exactly as I planned.'
I slew him in single combat, and with his dying breath he gasped, 'Exactly as I planned.'
I stood over his grave and I said, 'You never really got the hang of planning, did you?'"
Jenna Moran, Nobilis

Looks like there's trouble for the villain. The heroes destroyed their Phlebotinum research facility, the government realized that the man they thought was the president was actually an evil robotic duplicate, and his entire accounting staff has just turned into mimes. What's his response?

Excellent. Everything is going according to plan.

That one little phrase is all it takes to cause even the most apparently monumental loss to be completely turned on its head. Was the villain Crazy-Prepared enough to ensure that even their failure somehow turns into a victory? Did they prepare a plan only just incompetent enough that the heroes could predictably defeat them? Or was their Evil Plan something else entirely?

Well, we're not going to find out anytime soon. In all likelihood, they're relying on the Unspoken Plan Guarantee to catch everyone off guard so that we can proceed to the real plot. Stay tuned next week for the exciting new development!

In terms of writing, this is a relatively meta trope in that in most cases it's technically irrelevant. Regardless of whether anyone actually says the phrase, whatever gambits are floating around are still floating around. This is because the phrase is used primarily as reassurance, either for the audience or other characters. Strictly speaking it can be used with plans that as far as anyone can tell are already going as planned — it's just a status update so that we only ever worry when people stop saying it.

At the same time, watch out for spanners and opposing chessmasters. They're notorious for popping up right when something like this gets said in one way or another. When it's too late for the Spanner in the Works to do anything, and the whole plan gets explained, then the trope is Check and Mate.

Compare Gambit Roulette where even probability itself goes all according to plan. See also Failure Gambit. Contrast with Didn't See That Coming.

Combine this phrase with Blatant Lies, and you get I Meant to Do That.

Sister trope to Ominous Adversarial Amusement.

Since complex schemes are often involved in this trope, be wary of spoilers.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Sousuke Aizen. When things go not quite as planned, he still has a backup plan. Sometimes he doesn't, but he'll make you think he did and then it goes all according to plan because you gave him time to make it so.
    • Urahara doesn't have one grandiose plan, but he does have multiple contingencies for the most unlikely of scenarios. Aizen acknowledges him as being on his level for this, and Yhwach recognizes that this makes Urahara unpredictable enough to be included among the Five Special War Powers.
    • That being said, pretty much every battle in Bleach will have multiple of these moments. Most of the Arrancar and Thousand Year Blood War arcs involve characters telling each other that they had planned for their opponent to plan for their plan that had planned for their plan that had been planned ahead of time to counter their opponents plan... Before their opponent says "But I planned for you to do that..."
  • Lelouch of Code Geass is fond of saying "All tasks at hand have been cleared"... and that line is roughly his version of "What could possibly go wrong". The Spanner always hits the Works about 2 nanoseconds later - things are going just as planne-Oh no, IT'S THE LANCELOT! *boom*
  • Light Yagami of Death Note uses this phrase when his Memory Gambit and Batman Gambit to convince the police and his own family that he is not in possession of the Death Note, and is not the known serial killer, Kira goes perfectly right. Just as Light regains his memories, after touching the Death Note once more, he mentally cants, "Exactly as planned," a phrase that has reached memetic status.
    • Light also thinks a phrase very close to this during the final showdown, after Near explains his plan to prove that Light is Kira. Of course, things don't go according to plan for him...
  • Played for Laughs, naturally, in Hayate the Combat Butler, with a combination of Briar Patching and someone failing to see that the situation was Not What It Looks Like. The silly part? The character who does the spot-on Light Yagami Shout-Out is Shiranui, a 12-week old kitten.
  • Subverted in the Final Battle of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency. Just when it looks like The Bad Guy Wins, Joseph Joestar manages to turn everything around: he uses the Red Stone of Aja to intercept and amplify Kars' deathblow, causing the volcano they're on to erupt and launching them skyward on a giant slab of rock. Kars attempts to escape, only to get hit by Joseph's severed left arm (also launched by the blast after Kars cut it off), which distracts him long enough for rocks launched from the landmass at high speeds to strike him and propel him into space. Before he leaves the atmosphere, Kars angrily demands to know if Joseph planned all of this out; Joseph says "Of course, you dolt!" but thinks to himself: "Actually I didn't, but thinking that I did will drive him crazy!"
    • Somehow it's zigzagged in the anime adaptation: while in the manga, Kars was defeated just by chance, here Joseph's bragging was the necesary distraction for him to be hitted with the rocks. "Just as planned: I just taunted you with that cliché phrase, you dropped your guard, and I defeated you!"
    • Later employed by DIO in his final battle with Jotaro in Stardust Crusaders: DIO exploits Star Platinum's high-powered beatdown to rocket down the Cairo streets directly towards Joseph's lifeless body, allowing him to drain Joseph's blood and regain his strength.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gendo Ikari (along with his right-hand man, Fuyutsuki) and the members of SEELE were fond of saying things were going "all according to the scenario." Should be noted that they were ultimately pulling for different scenarios, but no matter what, whatever happened was always according to the scenario or irrelevant to it. Their differing scenarios diverge at the end, so it makes sense. At the point where something went according to Gendo's scenario that was NOT according to SEELE's scenario, SEELE sent in the JSSDF to kill every single last person at NERV HQ.
  • Zeo from One Piece both subverts this and takes it to ridiculous extremes, claiming that absolutely everything goes according to his plans. Even the bad stuff. Especially the bad stuff. For example, his response to getting knocked down and Brook standing on his head? He's actually slowly wearing him down by headbutting his foot. Being turned into a frail old fishman due to energy steroid abuse? He did that on purpose.
  • Played for Laughs in SPY×FAMILY during the Cruise Adventure arc. At one point Yor is fighting off a Carnival of Killers and loses one of her daggers in the scuffle. Anya finds it and decides to throw it to Yor, but since she's a child, the dagger lands too far away from the fighting, where Yor can't even see or hear it. This ends up setting a chain of favorable Disaster Dominoes, when two surviving enemy assassins try to eliminate Olka and escape while Yor is occupied, one of them slips on the dagger and falls, hitting his head on a pipe and knocking himself out, while also involuntarily firing his gun and hitting his partner in the leg, which causes the second guy to smash into the wall and also knock himself out, on top of said dagger planting itself on his butt. The gunshots from the commotion catch Yor's attention, allowing her to retrieve her dagger. Anya tries to pass it off as "exactly as planned", but even she's not buying it.
  • Played for Laughs in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. After Rimuru Tempest suffers Ifrit's fire spell, he laments his short life (or rather, slime life) and his mistakes in the battle... before noticing that he's not actually taking any damage. His Great Sage ability then informs him that this is thanks to his Thermal Fluctuation Resistance ability, which nullifies all temperature-based attacks. Upon realizing this, Rimuru's attitude shifts, and he take the opportunity to gloat that this is, in fact, "keikaku doori," or all according to plan. Great Sage isn't fooled in the slightest, but lets him have this moment.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- inverts the trope. With all the Scry vs. Scry going on the Big Bad admits that "It looks like my plan won't go exactly per my prepared script." There are entire chapters with one chessmaster or another detailing what did or did not go wrong after a major event.
  • Reiji Akaba of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V says this line after witnessing Tsukikage's defeat against Shinji in Synchro Dimension. The dimension's chairman council are understandably surprised because Reiji came from Standard Dimension to ask for cooperation with Synchro Dimension as warriors to end an interdimensional war and yet his comrades keep losing to residents from their dimension in an ongoing tournament there. It is later revealed in following episodes that Tsukikage is implied to lose on purpose and his defeat is essential; Those who lose the tournament are sent to underground facility as slaves while those who advance to the next round are confined inside individual rooms with constant surveillance. With Tsukikage's defeat, he's free from the tournament's constant watch and able to move freely. Escaping from the facility is not a problem since Tsukikage is a ninja. This way, he can give reports to Reiji regarding his other comrades' condition in the facility and the season's Big Bad and contribute in freeing others when an invasion occurs.

    Comic Books 
  • Lampshaded by Pip the Troll after getting captured by the Norse Mythology death goddess Hela in X-Factor (2006) #212.
    Hela: You tell me nothing I do not already know, nor expect. Indeed, all is going—
    Pip: Accordin' to plan? That's what'cha were gonna say, right? That's what mooks like you always say... Right before ya get the boom lowered on ya.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Morning Coffee", Selina smugly claims things are all going according to plan when Diana catches her. This isn't much of a surprise to the reader given that Selina made it clear she was waiting for Diana to do so, however in the end Diana still catches her after she thought she'd made a clean getaway.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate X-Men: Uttered by Wolverine during "Return to Weapon X" when Jean apologizes to him, on account of his being captured. Turns out he wanted to be captured so Nick Fury can use him to find where Weapon X was.
    • The Ultimates:
      • Iron Man claims that he saw the events of The Ultimates 2 coming (except the "Natasha betraying him" part) and figures it all worked out pretty well for him.
      • Hulk is trying to crack open the tank of Captain America? Excellent. Everything is going according to plan.
  • In the Teen Titans (New 52)/The Ravagers storyline "The Culling", the villain Harvest is pretty much the guy in the page quote, never shutting up about how all is going according to plan no matter how thoroughly everything we actually see him try to do goes down the tubes. Repeatedly copy-pasting "exactly as planned" into the dialogue of a guy who demonstrates very little in the way of planning skill does not a Diabolical Mastermind make!

    Fan Works 
  • A Champion in Earth-Bet: The Guild is confronting the Villain with Good Publicity Skylance, protector and overseer of the Kyushu refugee camps, who is graciously agreeing to surrender peacefully into their custody to avoid needless casualties in her camp (and incidentally, make her into an ultranationalist martyr for her supporters who would pressure the government into releasing her). Then a battalion of vans and villains arrive led by another ultranationalist villain Fuji-Sama, who first calls out Skylance for her apparent cowardly surrender and then encourages her to join forces with him to fight off the Guild. The Avatar's thoughts?
    So far so good. This was your Plan A. Plan B was messier.
  • The Child of Love: In the first chapters Gendo reiterates everything is going as planned when he gets notified details about Asuka’s pregnancy. That was the first hint that something was very, very wrong behind Asuka getting pregnant.
    Gendo: As planned...
  • Doing It Right This Time: When Rei gets informed about Shinji's arrival to Tokyo-3 she is glad because all is going according her plan.
    Rei: And all proceeds according to the Scenario.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Parodied in an omake when Pen Pen revealed he was behind the entire plot, and all went as he planned.
  • The Hope of the Senju Clan has Sarutobi "The Professor/God of Shinobi" Hiruzen (3rd Hokage) explain at length to Kakashi, Kushina, Yamato, Kurenai and Asuma how Senju Naruto (Tsunade's his mom) is to be trained and by who as well as other incidental things showing that he's got his bases covered with Naruto's training and safety. The next scene has a council meeting where Danzo tries to make a ploy to get Naruto trained under him. The reader can then see and predict how different parts of Sarutobi's plan come in to block Danzo. No matter what tactic Danzo uses.
  • Exaggerated in Tealove's Steamy Adventure, where Tealove getting captured by a cave troll, meeting a new ally in captivity, and escaping was somehow exactly according to Baron Zeppeli's plan. Then parodied in the sequel, Diamond and Silver's Excellent Adventure, where someone asks Zeppeli what the plan actually is, and he can't remember. And then it turns out he's actually saying a Zebrew phrase that happens to sound like "Exactly as planned!" Translated, it actually means "These matters are very concerning to me."
  • In Know Thyself, the "Dark Lord" is a deliberately programmed factor placed into the Matrix by the machines as a method of culling and controlling the otherwise unpredictable Wizard population that crops up. This is also why wizards are more antiquated than muggles; since a Dark Lord utterly destroys their community every thirty years, by the time they manage to rebuild they already have another one and History Repeats all over again.
  • Underverse: In 0.5, XGaster claims that every single action taken by Sans, Frisk, and Chara contribute to his plans in some fashion, even if their decisions are unexpected. They all oppose him.

  • Ajnabee: Big Bad Vicky enjoys making ludicrous and convoluted plans by predicting Raj's behavior, to the point saying "All According to Plan" is his catchphrase and the password of his bank account.
  • Star Wars
  • Subverted in The Dark Knight. While the Joker says these (or nearly these) exact words, he's describing how other people tend to make intricate plans and schemes, while he (nominally) is an agent of chaos.
  • This is used as a Sequel Hook in Warrior of the Lost World, where the defeat of Omega and the "death" of Prosser were (apparently) all part of the master plan to destroy The New Way for good.
  • Undercover Brother. An alarm goes off at Multinational Inc. and reveals that the BROTHERHOOD agent Undercover Brother has infiltrated the building. Instead of being dismayed, The Dragon Mr. Feather says "The Brotherhood is making their move. Just as I expected."
  • The big turn of Total Recall (1990) is villain Cohaagen revealing Hauser never turned on him but agreed to be mind-wiped to become Quaid to infiltrate the rebels and help eliminate them. All the aid Quaid has gotten was planted by Cohaagen and used to push Quaid along. Interestingly, it then lampshades the trope.
    Quaid: Sorry, don't buy it. Too perfect.
    Cohaagen: Perfect, my ass! You pop a memory cap before we can activate you. Richter goes hog-wild, almost screwing up everything I spent a year planning. Frankly...I'm amazed it worked.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ursula the sea witch, transformed into the human woman "Vanessa," sings "What a lovely little bride I'll make / My dear, I'll look divine / Everything is working out according to my ultimate design." This, however, is actually something of a subversion in that Ursula is experiencing a Sanity Slippage because her original plan isn't working out. She had thought that she could just take Ariel's voice and this would be enough to keep her from ever getting Prince Eric to give her the kiss of true love. After a near-miss only just stopped by her eel henchmen, she hastily concocted this plan to put Prince Eric under her spell and marry him herself.
  • Implied in Avengers: Infinity War, although it's the heroes doing it. The film ends with Thanos killing half the universe, but Dr Strange indicates that this was the only outcome where the Avengers could ultimately beat Thanos...prior to his own disintegration, that is. This gets its payoff in Avengers: Endgame, where it turns out Strange gave up the Time Stone to set up the scenario in this film where Tony can steal the Infinity Stones from Thanos and perform a Heroic Sacrifice that saves the universe. In Endgame, Strange still won't tell Tony what the plan actually is, because its success is dependent on Tony figuring it out on his own.
  • Die Hard: When the cops arrive at Nakatomi Plaza, Hans assures his men that their arrival is merely a temporary incovenience; they were going to show up at some point and it was just a matter of when. He also adds that their arrival was necessary to his plan; Hans demands the release of terrorists, forcing the cops to call the FBI; the FBI, thinking the bad guys are terrorists, cut the power to the building... which was Hans' plan all along because the power loss means the vault containing bearer bonds can be opened.


    Live-Action TV 
  • How many episodes of either Hustle or Leverage have shown things going horribly, the team on the verge of being busted and go to jail, the mark getting away...and then they grin at each other on "right on schedule?"
  • In the Dollhouse episode "Needs", Adelle DeWitt uses a somewhat different phrase to give the same effect:
    Dominic: I was just informed that we have four actives planning to escape.
    DeWitt: [smiles] ...Right on schedule.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • During the second season, Maquis crewmember Michael Jonas began providing information to the Kazon. While Jonas believed that even if his transmissions were detected they would be dismissed as background noise, Tuvok detected them right away but wasn't able to identify the specific crew member who was The Mole. Tuvok and Captain Janeway recruited Tom Paris to take part in an operation to flush out the mole in which over the course of several weeks Paris apparently became increasingly insubordinate and dissatisfied with Starfleet life. This culminated in him leaving the ship to join a Talaxian convoy, which Jonas communicated to the Kazon, who then kidnapped Paris. While on the Kazon ship Paris was able to access the communications revealing Jonas as the mole, and communicated that back to Janeway. It all worked out as Tuvok and Janeway planned.
    • In the season six finale, three senior members of the Voyager's crew (including Captain Janeway) beam over to a Borg ship. After infiltrating it, they are eventually caught and assimilated. The crew on the ship has been monitoring their life signs, and they detect the assimilation of the three. Commander Chakotay's response?
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Mayor (the Big Bad for Season 3) is smart about this. Faith is eager for some action and asks her boss if there's likely to be any fighting. The Mayor replies no, not if everything goes according to plan "but since when do things go according to plan?"
    • Played straight with the heroine in "The Freshman". Buffy is spying on a nest of vampires when she falls through the skylight into their midst.
      Sunday: I must say, you've really got me now. I mean, it's a diabolical plan, throw yourself at my feet with a broken arm and no weapons of any kind. How'm I going to get out of this one?
      Buffy: You got a nice set-up here, but you made one mistake.
      Sunday: Yeah? What was that?
      Buffy: Well, I'm not actually positive, but statistically speaking people usually make at least— (Sunday makes Buffy Talk to the Fist).
  • On the Firefly episode "Jaynestown", the contact Mal meets up with is upset the townspeople have embraced Jayne as a hero. Mal assures the contact that it's all according to their new plan.
    Kaylee: (after the contact leaves) Sir, how exactly is this part of our-
    Mal: Still workin' the details.
  • Doctor Who
    • During a conversation at the beginning of "Genesis of the Daleks", a Time Lord smugly tells the Doctor that he is a "special case" in Time Lord history, that they "allow" him his freedom to roam about the universe doing whatever he feels like. Never mind that he ran away in a stolen TARDIS before anyone could stop him. Not to mention the Master, or the Rani, or the Meddling Monk. It turns out he's referring to what the Doctor is allowed to do after he was caught and served his penance on Earth.
    • In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", the Doctor is forced to give the lone Cyberman what it wants to stop him destroying the world, despite being specifically warned not to do this by Jack Harkness. When his companions beg the Doctor to say this was all according to plan, she says it was...and Step Two of that plan is fixing the mess she just created.
  • While not necessarily a villain, Barney Stintson in How I Met Your Mother suffers the worst possible bachelor party, complete with a terrible hotel room, the worst entertainment (including the stripper being his ex-fiancée), losing a ton of money in a gambling game, and ultimately Robin seemingly ending their engagement. It's not until after this final devastating blow do we find out that it was all orchestrated by his fiancée Robin in order to exceed Barney's unrealistic expectations for his bachelor party.
    (After Barney's life has seemingly fallen apart)
    Robin: (on the phone) Ted... We're right on schedule.
  • In Episode 5 of The Frantics' television show Four On The Floor, a sketch involving two burglars breaking into a building to crack a safe parodies this by having the mastermind repeatedly inform his partner that everything that happens, including a security guard conveniently dropping dead from a heart attack at just the right moment is "Just like I planned it!"
  • Deus Salve O Rei, Catarina's great plan to control Montemor goes up in flames when Rodolfo marches in and steamrolls all resistance and she is taken prisoner. Turns out the conflict was engineered between the two monarchs with Catarina being supposed to lose and then they would later marry, officially uniting the two crowns. What Rodolfo didn't expect is that Catarina would find a way to dispose of him so that she could rule by herself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • This is part of the Tzeentchians' hat. Tzeentch is essentially the God of Evil plans, gambits and other schemes, worshipped by sorcerers and the ambitious, who sees so far into the future that all his plans are mutually contradictory: the success of one means the failure of another and vice versa. It is customary, when reducing your opponent to incoherent rage and skyward screaming, to smile smugly and declare Just as planned." (Gendo glasses and hands optional). More information here.
    • Games Workshop has hinted that the failure of all thirteen Black Crusades, which has given Abaddon the Despoiler a reputation as a General Failure, were actually this trope. How better to gauge your enemy's strength over the millennia? Moreover, the assumption that the Black Crusades failed contradicts the manifest unwillingness of the Chaos Gods to tolerate failure, and their equally manifest willingness to allow Abbadon to remain Warmaster for 10,000 years. This line of thought makes Abbadon even more horrifying than he prima facie is: he has convinced players of the game that he's incompetent, even while giving his unholy patrons exactly what they want.
      • To clarify: the Imperium, and many players, interpret the Black Crusades as failures because the invaders are always driven back and never hold territory. What's actually happening is that the vast bulk of the invaders are independant forces joined together by the most fragile of alliances, and so most of the war is little more than a smokescreen from Abaddon's perspective. Once he and his actual loyalists have achieved whatever their real objective is they return to their own territory and leave the rest of the Chaos forces to their own devices, where lacking any central leadership or direction they are inevitably defeated eventually.
      • This was confirmed in the The Gathering Storm supplement. He'd been systematically demolishing an ancient anti-Chaos pylon network the Imperium didn't know about, so that finishing off the main cluster on Cadia unleashed a warpstorm that covered the galaxy.
  • This trope is played for laughs in one of the margin-quotes from Nobilis.
  • In the Dune board game, when playing the Bene Gesserit faction, at the beginning of the game you secretly write a faction name and a turn number on a paper. If the written faction wins the game on the written turn, you reveal it and win the game instead, showing that everything that happened had in fact be been planned long in advance by the Bene Gesserit to serve their own goals. This is one of the most pleasant ways to win the game.
    • It is very rare to actually win a Dune game this way, but it can be used for manipulative ends ("Wait... It seems I can win now, but could it be some Bene Gesserit trick ?")
    • The worst thing (or the best, if you're playing BG), is that it works even if the predicted faction wins as part of an alliance, and even if the Bene Gesserit are themselves part of that alliance. In this case, the Bene Gesserit is the only winner instead of winning as part of the alliance. This make many players quite distrustful of the Bene Gesserit as allies.
  • This is part of the Scorpion Clan's Hat in Legend of the Five Rings. They would have people believe that everything they do is part of a Xanatos Gambit, including the clear failures where the "just as planned" benefits cannot possibly be worth the costs.

    Video Games 
  • After he has the negative emotion of Prometheus and Pandora sucked into the Model Ws in the background, awakening them and forming the Ouroboros, Master Albert from Mega Man ZX Advent said:
    Just as I planned!
  • Similar to the Nobilis quote above, Arthas of World of Warcraft plans himself right into a grave. Spending half the Wrath of the Lich King expansion killing off sub-bosses as if they were mooks, until finally when the players in their 10 or 25 man group face him, claims it was all according to his plan to train and equip the most powerful people in the world so he can kill them and use them as generals in his army. He nearly succeeds, though, letting you cut him down to 10% health before instakilling the raid and putting all your souls in his grip, ready to implement his plan... and it takes something of a Deus ex Machina for his plan to finally be derailed.
    • Kil'jaeden's plans are pretty much ALL this. Even failures, because he EXPECTS most of his minions to fail. If they succeed, great. If not, well, he hadn't planned for them to succeed, so no real loss. He's also immortal and plans really, really long-term. He finally lost his cool when he honest-to-goodness for real failed when he came to Azeroth...which is also where his brother, whom he's been chasing for 25,000 years currently resides. Said brother ends up having a hand in his defeat, so yeah, Azeroth was literally his ONLY real failure in over 25,000 years. And he still isn't dead. All it takes for him to come back is some schmuck opening the Sunwell portal. Blood Elves never have been too responsible with magic...
  • In Tsukihime, Kohaku pretty much says this once it's revealed that she was behind almost the entire plot of the Far Side routes.
    That's right. All of it was something I wished would happen, Shiki-san.
  • Ocelot in nearly every Metal Gear game he appears in. There's a reason he's renowned for his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • The Half-Life series started with an accident when a sample of an unknown material was rushed through an experiment, which happened to fall on a day when the computers had crashed earlier and where still acting somewhat strange from time to time. Which lead to the scanning machine and the material sample acting as a kind of teleportation device, opening an interdimensional rift through which aliens invaded Earth. The sample happened to come from another project at the research facility, which used the crystals in interdimensional teleportation devices, and at the same time a human looking alien manipulated things in the background so the protagonist Gordon Freeman would kill the leader of the invading aliens, which benefited another unknown power he was working for. 12 years later, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 reveals that it wasn't an accident at all and the strange alien had set everything up to cause the interdimensional rift from the very beginning.
  • In Kirby Super Star, we have Marx. In Milky Way Wishes, the sun and moon are fighting. A little puffball named Marx asks Kirby to summon NOVA to wish for the sun and moon to stop. In the end, when Kirby finally gets to NOVA, Marx pushes Kirby out of the way, and wishes to control Popstar. Cue him morphing into an Eldritch Abomination and saying this:
    I did it! It all went according to plan! I got the sun and moon to fight. I got you to go into space... It was all according to my perfect little plan!
  • Subverted by Kuja in Final Fantasy IX. He says this trope, almost word-for-word, as his common catchphrase, but later it's revealed that he wasn't as in control as he thought. (Or, more accurately, it really did go all according to plan as far as using the heroes was concerned, but he didn't account for his boss predicting his actions.) Fortunately for Kuja, while his Chessmastery needs polish, he plays a damn good game of Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • When Robert Baxter is revealed to be the Big Bad of Time Crisis 5.
    If you had just died this would all have gone according to plan.
  • Happens in Persona 5. Albeit a heroic example this time. Joker has been arrested, The Dragon has just finished scraping his brains off the interrogation room floor, and there is nothing standing between the Big Bad and the Prime Minister's seat... right?
    Ryuji: You're shitting me... we got 'em.
  • In Guild Wars 2 after he was Awakened by Joko and bound to serve him, Koss took every opportunity he could to flout orders and make life hell for his superiors. This culminated with him finally being banished to "guard" an empty cave for the rest of eternity - exactly what Koss had wanted as he found it preferable to serving Joko.
  • Pokémon Stadium 2: In the Gym Leader Castle, the first Rocket Grunt you face on the bridge will say "Just as I planned it." whenever one of his Pokémon faints, unless you knock out said Pokémon with one attack. Granted, his strategy is using Explosion and Self-Destruct.

     Web Animation 
  • At the end of episode eleven of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor is shown sitting on his throne and musing that everything is going Just. As. Planned. So far, the viewer's idea of what the plan is is pretty sketchy. However, looking back a dozen plus episodes later and he really did have all of his pieces in motion by that point; the question is how much further the chain reaction will go now that the "Holy Shit!" Quotient has topped itself at Beyond the Impossible so many times.

  • Subverted in the Errant Story strip "Nick of Time":
    Sarine: Whew! Oh thank Anilis! I thought I was about to die any second... ...
    Sarine: -I mean, just as planned.
  • Used a lot in Touhou Nekokayou. It even got inverted in one of the newer strips.
  • The Prime of Ambition Christmas Episode filler had this twice in a row. Oh, well...
  • Discussed in Monster of the Week:
    Sexy informant: My triple-dog agenting against Skinner went according to plan, sir.
    Cancer Man: You don't know the plan.
    Sexy informant: Eh, everything always turns out to be according to plan.
  • Homestuck: John meets the ghost of Meenah, a troll girl who is an alternate-universe counterpart of the Condesce. When she finds out she's dead, she exclaims happily that her plan worked. Turned out her plan was to kill herself and the rest of her session's players with a bomb to avoid oblivion when the Scratch happened.
    • Previously, Doc Scratch managed to pull a version of this on the entire cast, with the event that went as planned being the entirety of Acts 1 through 5. It's only after his own death that the full machinations of Doc Scratch are finally revealed; in fact, it's Doc Scratch's death that allows his master, Lord English, to finally make his appearance. It's his final line that really sells it:
  • Augusgus from Tower of God utters this regarding the outcome of the Room Game and FUG's plans.
  • In Helper, the main character's catchphrase is "as expected, as expected", hinting that he's actually much smarter than he appears.

    Web Original 
  • Referenced in the Rifftrax commentary for 300. ("I know it looks bad but its all part of the plan!" during one of the many scenes when Spartans are slaughtering large numbers of Persians.)
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has this happen in Episode 60, where it's revealed that practically all of the Cell Saga was a gigantic Batman Gambit set up by Goku of all people, who wanted Gohan to replace him as Earth's protector since he knew he wouldn't be around forever. However, he missed one important detail: Gohan is a kind-hearted intellectual and not a fight-happy martial artist like his father, which almost causes the entire thing to go pear-shaped. Lampshaded by having a parody of the Death Note example above, or more specifically the memetic mock fansub version "All according to keikaku" except, Goku being Goku, he says "cake" instead, and is promptly corrected by translation notes.
  • In two of the endings of A Heist with Markiplier, either Bob or Wade breaks Mark out of jail.... as part of a master plan to get Mark permanently sent to jail.

    Western Animation 
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door Cree says this when modifying the garbage disposal rocket she was inside to fly towards the KND Moonbase.
  • Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne", when Bruce Wayne is chained and Alfred is tied in Doctor Hugo Strange's basement:
    Alfred: Oh, Master Bruce! I am so sorry. This is all my fault!
    Bruce Wayne: Nonsense, Alfred. Believe or not, this is working out just as I planned.
    Alfred: How reassuring.
  • In The Legend of Korra "And the Winner Is...", when The Lieutenant tells Amon that the city is defying his threat.
    The Lieutenant: We just got word. The council has defied your threat. They're leaving the pro-bending arena open.
    Amon: Perfect. Everything is going according to plan.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Innocents of Ryloth": When one of the battle droids tells the tactical droid that the gunships are still headed their way despite the barrage the tactical droid responds with "Just as I calculated".
  • Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels is fond of this trope, assuring the audience that despite the loss the empire took this week it's all somehow still working towards his greater plan. A contrast to how he was originally presented in The Thrawn Trilogy where he would actually display said clever plans.
  • The W.I.T.C.H. episode "Q is for Quarry" begins with a battle which results in defeat for the resident villains, leading to this exchange:
    Shagon: We were soundly defeated. Cadma will be quite proud of herself.
    Nerissa: Then everything's going according to plan.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures episode "Black Magic", Tarakudo says this after he has tricked the resident Oni Mask wielder Captain Black to summon the Sumo Khan (beginning his corruption by the Oni General) and allowed him to take the Enforcers into custody and imprison them in Section 13 where three other Oni Masks are stored.
    Tarakudo: Ahh, things are going exactly as I envisioned.
    Finn: This is the plan?
  • Subversion in the opening of Count Duckula:
    Narrator: This latest incarnation did not run according to plan.
  • Parodied in an episode of Rugrats where Angelica, imitating a villain on TV, says "Everything is going accordion to plan."
  • The Duck Dodgers episode "Corporate Pigfall", when the Eager Young Space Cadet becomes the head of a powerful corporation, Dodgers decides to bring him back, and drags the new cadet (Egghead Jr from Foghorn Leghorn cartoons) into it, despite deriding all Egghead Jr.'s carefully-drawn plans. In the end, Egghead Jr. is given the Cadet's position with the company, enabling him to return to the Galactic Protectorate, and the final scene is him writing on his drawing board "Exactly as I planned".
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil
    • Toffee of Septarsis
      • In "Storm the Castle", not only does he successfully get Star to come to his territory, but gets her to destroy the wand to save Marco. Even being destroyed by the resulting explosion was to his benefit, as he gained possession of half the wand in the process.
      • Almost everything he does in Season 2 and "The Battle For Mewni" falls under this as well. Only one thing goes truly awry in his plan: he intended on gaining both his finger and Star's half of the wand so that he can be resurrected and have full power over the corrupted magic. But Star was smart enough not to bring her wand with her when she confronts Ludo, and Ludo is sensible enough to listen to Star about what's going on and allows her to perform the Whispering Spell on his half of the wand. With a full-powered wand no longer a possibility, Toffee settles on just resurrecting with his finger and leaving Star stranded in the Realm of Magic, only for her to claim the last spark of uncorrupted magic, achieve Super Mode, and return to defeat Toffee.

Alternative Title(s): Just As Planned, Exactly As Planned


Superman kills The Joker

All it took was one bad day…

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / BreakThemByTalking

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