Follow TV Tropes


Awesomeness by Analysis

Go To

"Snipers aren't deadly because they carry the biggest guns; they're deadly because they've learned how to weaponize math. [...] It's factoring in an astronomical number of variables and arriving at a mathematically sound solution, and then using that math to explode somebody else's head."

Some people learn by flipping pages. Some people must gain knowledge through pain. Some people study by television. And then there are those who just observe... See, when you are Good with Numbers you can substitute careful examination in place of careful practice, with the same results: success.

Need to make a million-to-one shot to stop the Doomsday Device from exploding the world, but have never even fired a gun? Just run off some mental calculations about your gun's firing speed, friction, gravity, and the slightly-off-kilter scope (how exactly the analyzer knows all those variables is handwaved), and it's a done deal. Need to defeat a jujitsu master? Logically anticipate where his next strike will come from and remain one step ahead. Need to deduce the Secret Identity without peeking behind the mask? Simply go through all the people with the correct body type, who live in the right area, and who might have the right means and motive to do what they do, and hey presto, it might as well have been an Open Secret all along.


If he has time to explain himself, it always sounds something like "If My Calculations Are Correct". Explaining it gives it a chance to fail. Relatedly, two awesomeness analysts don't really need to explain anything to each other, they can do it by Talking Through Technique.

The most common cause of Badass Bookworm, and often results from The Professor having a doctorate in general knowledge rather than any one field. The Clock King can do this thanks to precise attention to detail and patterns. Characters who get to skip the analysis altogether due to some form of copycat power are Power Copying. Exactly What I Aimed At usually comes from this trope. They are most likely screwed if the opponent knows Confusion Fu or is at least enough of a Magnificent Bastard to use the Batman Gambit on a regular basis successfully. The Profiler does this with people. An author may use Super-Detailed Fight Narration to demonstrate that a character possesses this ability.


Compare Sherlock Scan. Contrast with Failed a Spot Check. Not to be confused with this site's very Analysis page.


    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Mechamato: Mara deduces that Paintasso's hideout is an abandoned warehouse in a grafitti-ridden alley since he'd like to store his stolen artwork at such a place. Amato and Pian are further impressed when she turns out to be correct.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • The Authority:
      • The Midnighter starts every battle by first running the whole thing through the supercomputer in his head a few million times, analyzing every possible outcome, so he'll know precisely how the battle will go, and what he'll have to do. He's particularly fond of telling people that he's already beaten them a few million times, so doing it once more will be simple. He even put this on a business card once in an effort to save time. This failed, as the card ended up in his forehead.
      • This was rather effectively inverted in Captain Atom: Armageddon. The Midnighter saw Captain Atom as just another target for a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Instead, Captain Atom treated the Midnighter (and his boyfriend/husband Apollo) to a total Curb-Stomp Battle, showing that sometimes Awesomeness by Analysis is no match for raw, unadulterated, world-shaking power, especially when the wielder of that power also out-thinks you.
      • And it fails when a supervillain summons the Joker, who despite being human is so psychotic and unpredictable that the only thing Midnighter can do is stand there staring at him.
      • Another failure comes about in the miniseries Human on the Inside, in which Midnighter's opponent thwarts him by declining to make the first move, reasoning that Midnighter can only derive the possibilities for the fight once his opponent makes an opening move. Fans seem divided over whether that's really how the power was supposed to work.
    • Batman:
      • The titular Batman is said to have a second major in this, as he is very very much a detective and criminologist when his preplanning everything didn't succeed immediately. An example of this trope in action comes in Batman: Year One when Bruce Wayne first encounters street hooker Selina Kyle and quickly realizes "She knows Karate... only Karate."
      • The same goes for Batman's Evil Counterpart Prometheus, who has created technology that analyzes an opponent's fighting style, allowing him to simulate it perfectly.
      • The Batman villain Bane became a master of several martial arts and sciences simply by reading every book he could get his hands on. After Bane holds his own against world-class swordsman Ra's al Ghul, Ra's criticizes his lack of flair and implies that Bane learned sword fighting entirely from reading books on the subject.
      • Cassandra Cain and her mother both possess an ability to "read" body language, allowing them to perfectly predict every move made by their opponents. Cassandra has gained this ability by undergoing Training from Hell that left her with severe disabilities as a consequence, while Shiva has it from simply being that good at martial arts.
      • The Clock King is known for his Ludicrous Precision, to the point that he fought Batman to a standstill because he'd analyzed all of his moves.
      • Bruce Wayne (out of costume and with no gadgets) was able to hold off several Talon assassins by simply figuring out that their techniques, while accumulated through years of experience through technical immortality, were outdated. Once he figures out that were pretty much undead, meaning he wouldn't really be killing them, they stand no chance. However, one of them, the great-grandfather of Dick Grayson, was a bit more of a challenge the first time around.
      • In Batman: Curse of the White Knight, the moment the Joker sees that Harley was pregnant, he correctly guesses that she is having twins.
    • Early on in Blackest Night, Mera deduces on her own that the Black Lanterns are drawn towards strongly emanating emotions (in the same manner that sharks are drawn towards blood), before any actual Lanterns from the Corps drop in to save the day and go into actual detail about the undead Lanterns.
    • In Legion of Super-Heroes, Karate Kid prides himself on learning every martial art in existence. Since he is male, he's not allowed to learn Amazonian martial arts. He was nonetheless able to figure it out by watching other people using it.
    • Superman:
      • In War World, Superman and Supergirl deduce the way to beat super-villain Mongul by observing a mass graveyard located at the titular weapon-satellite.
        Superman: Do you remember that mountain of graves we noticed on Warworld? That's what gave me the answer! The Warzoons weren't buried in a mass grave as there'd be if the race was destroyed by some great illness!
        Supergirl: You're right! The Warzoons must've died one by one! They buried each other — except for the last one buried by the peace-loving Largas!
        Superman: Precisely! And there's only one thing on that entire satellite capable of killing the Warzoon one at a time — the control helmet in the command console!
        Supergirl: The massive energy-drain must've proven too much for their minds to endure!
      • Superboy (New 52): Kon taught himself to talk and communicate by watching others do it.
  • American Pi in Troy Hickman's series Common Grounds has this as her superpower.
  • Destiny Ajaye in the upcoming Top Cow series Genius has this ability which she uses to coordinate gang warfare on a national scale.
  • This is supposedly how Helix sees the world in G.I. Joe (IDW). It is the explanation for her kickass combat abilities that make her a match for Snake-Eyes.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Finesse from Avengers Academy has a similar ability to the Taskmaster's: the ability to master any physical skill she sees performed. So much so that she actually wonders if she might be Taskmaster's daughter. She also has his memory problems.
    • The Beast defeated Hawkeye at billiards in The Avengers through calculation of angles.
    • Like Karnak, Mantis from The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy can instinctively sense weak points in her opponents. In one of her first appearances, she took down flippin' Thor by locating (and then punching) sensitive nerve clusters in his neck.
    • Fantastic Four:
      • Mr. Fantastic lives on this trope. Being a Rubber Man who's Immune to Bullets is a pretty impressive superpower by itself, but Reed benefits heavily from his massive intellect, which allows him to apply his powers with tremendous creativity and swiftly identify the weaknesses of any opponent that he faces.
      • When he's not busy building robots, this is the Mad Thinker's shtick (combining it with Xanatos Gambit). He's an evil super-mathematician. During Civil War, when Reed Richards admits to having basically invented psycho-history and wants someone to check his figures, he realizes that the Mad Thinker is the only qualified person around. The Thinker is bowled over by the scope of Reed's calculations.
    • The Incredible Hulk:
      • Bruce Banner has this when he isn't the Hulk, to the point that Norman Osborn considers Banner a bigger threat than the Hulk.
      • Amadeus Cho claims that the Hulk actually does this subconsciously, since he still has access to all of Banner's smarts, and that that's why in all the seemingly random destruction he causes, innocent people usually escape unscathed. Immortal Hulk brings this concept up, with several characters noting that this is ridiculous... but then again... when asked about it, the Hulk states that it makes sense. For the nicer Hulk, which he is decidedly not.
    • Amadeus Cho from The Incredible Hercules has this as his superpower. He can stop a charging rhino with a grape seed.
    • Karnak of The Inhumans has the ability to find the one weak spot in any material or object, allowing him to shatter it with a (non-superpowered) karate chop. He's been shown to damage Ultron with a well-placed strike. And pushing the awesomeness even further: this is not a "superpower." He was never exposed to the Terrigen Mists, like other Inhumans, so his abilities are the result of training and discipline. Later stories show him to be able to detect the flaws in more abstract things, such as plans and concepts. And after he was Driven to Suicide in Inhumanity, he came back after finding the weak spot in death.
    • Ms. Marvel (2014): While Kamala Khan has quite the impressive shapeshifter powerset, being a nerdy and intelligent teenage girl, she pretty much specializes in using the laws of physics to her advantage as part of her superheroing style.
    • Spider-Man: In a prelude to Spider-Island, when Shang-Chi teaches Spider-Man martial arts, Spider-Man attempts to take this approach, although Shang-Chi disagrees, believing that Spidey is Measuring the Marigolds:
      Spider-Man: Think I got this. It's mass, acceleration, leverage and a knowledge of human biology. That's science, and I'm great at science.
      Shang-Chi: No, Spider-Man, it is so much more. This is no mere application of brute force. It is an art, and an expression of the self.
      Spider-Man: What if most of myself is science?
    • Taskmaster can do this with any physical skill he has seen at least once and is physically capable of duplicating (and some that he shouldn't be). However, what makes this Awesomeness by Analysis is that he's founded a thriving business teaching other supervillains (his latest job is training the recruits/draftees of the Initiative and latter Osborn's Camp HAMMER) something he couldn't do if he didn't gain a deep insight into the skills he picked up. In fact, he's so good at it that governments have been shown to hire him to train law-enforcement to take down supervillains. This power, however, requires the subject to act sanely and in a recognizable pattern. Daredevil once defeated him by acting at random (eventually tricking Taskmaster into stepping into traffic), and he is powerless against Deadpool's Confusion Fu.
    • X-Men:
  • Top 10's Detective King Peacock has the ability find a weakness in any object, although his justification is he apparently talks to Satan.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers (Marvel): Shockwave was able to calculate probabilities of situational outcomes to exact percentages. It didn't hurt that he was an actual computer.
    • The Transformers Megaseries: IDW Shockwave is no slouch at this either, and not just for calculating probabilities or discovering weakness, either. During a fight with the Dinobots, he is astonished by the irrationality of their attack and deducts that it's driven by anger, an emotion that he finds irrational and normally pointless. However, once he sees how it seems to drive up their ability to fight, he patches together a "rage" emulator into his mind and goes absolutely berserk, singlehandedly dominating the Dinobots, and then puts this so-called "anger" on the back-burner for later analysis.
    • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Skids has the ability to learn and master new skills quickly. He has used this to analyze an opponent's fighting styles and overcome numerous, powerful enemies. However, there is a drawback: Because he learns skills so quickly, he gets bored once he learns everything he can about a subject.
  • In Watchmen, two such characters exist. One is Ozymandias, the other the God-like Doctor Manhattan. The latter is Blessed with Suck when he can analyze everything, even the future he will take, and finds everything to be meaningless on a grand scale.
  • Paris of Stormwatch PHD developed his talent for precision violence via innate instinct, Training from Hell and a really bad childhood. Wanda Durst, his teammate, has a similar origin that resulted in her particular skill set.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • In chapter 5 Rei notices that Shinji and Asuka smell of chlorine, ammonia, dust and each other. Quickly she deduces that: they just had sex; they are together; they are keeping it a secret, and the reasons for the secrecy. And she guesses all that just by sniffing their scent!
    • Later Shinji and Asuka realize their mothers are stuck inside their giant robots just by talking about their pasts and their experiences piloting Eva and comparing notes.
  • In iFight Crime With Victorious:
    • Freddie Benson has this as his main power, and it doubles as healing and triples as an Adaptive Ability. He uses this to diagnose the functions of his own ability and the abilities of his friends.
    • Neville Papperman performs a similar task with his "fear-sense", but he does this by figuring out the person's vulnerabilities and concerns over their power and working out how it functions. He analyses their fear, which typically relates to their new-found power.
  • In a Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality omake about what it would look like if it was about The Lord of the Rings, Frodo implied that even if Evil Could Not Comprehend Good intuitively, that won't keep Sauron from figuring it out this way.
  • In the Journeyverse story When Titans Clash, Jarod shows this as he is able to quickly determine the nature of his opponents as millennia-old immortals while defending himself from the same.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Chapter 70 of the first book has Albus Dumbledore casually analyse the casting styles of four HYDRA assassin wizards sent to kill him, defeat them with a couple of spells, then destroy their wands with another, without even giving them more than half his attention.
    • The Winter Soldier's inner monologue is depicted as a computer-like piece of tactical analysis, interspersed with rare moments of humanity, which he uses to systematically discern and target his enemies' weaknesses, usually to lethal effect.
    • This is part of the core of Strange's modus operandi - he figures out exactly what makes people tick, aided by his powers as a Seer, and then proceeds to use both sources of knowledge to play everyone like a harp (which, since he was a literally legendary bard as a hobby when he was known as Taliesin, means he's really good at it).
  • In the Children of Time rewrite of "The Shakespeare Code," William Shakespeare is more awesome than ever, able to deduce quite a lot about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls happens quite often, but the most prominent examples:
    • Rarity, who defeats Blueblood, a Captain of the Gotei 13, not through brute force but by carefully observing his movements and the workings of his Shikai in order to eventually neutralize him before he can activate his Bankai.
    • Twilight naturally is able to do this thanks to her incredible intelligence working with the battle adrenaline allowing her to analyze and predict the most likely course of action they'll take.
  • In A History of Magic, Queen Himiko studied other Puella Magi to learn their skills and abilities.
  • In By Royal Command, Trixie turns out to be an excellent profiler and personality reader, as part of her chosen occupation. When she receives an incredibly indecent letter without readable signature and the claim of being written by a princess, Celestia asks her what she could determine about the author—Trixie determines that the writer is female, extremely educated, was socially undeveloped for most her life and only lately started to develop interpersonal relationships outside of her immediate family, and has no sexual experience whatsoever. It doesn't take much work for Celestia to figure out who that is.
  • In Imaginary Seas, both Chirons are capable of this. Lostbelt Chiron smugly points out the delay between Percy's swing the lasers coming down from the sky, alternating his rate of fire to in an attempt to overcome Percy's defenses. Pan-Human Chiron runs the same calculations to counter Lostbelt Chiron's arrows and runs a Batman Gambit based on what he knows about himself and the gods of the Lostbelt to keep Artemis from simply nuking the island.
  • In Ruby and Nora, Pyrrha manages to figure out Mercury’s legs are prosthetics before she even uses her semblance on them.
  • In Mass Effect: Human Revolution, Adam has a Sherlock-like ability to read an opponent's fighting style and plan an elaborate counter. And just like Downey's rendition of Holmes, it falters when he can't read the foe or isn't given the time and space to plan.
  • In A Great Endeavor, Twilight ends up as an adviser to the Allied forces at Bastogne, initially treating the strategy "as a big logic puzzle".
  • Reggie in Pokéumans delivers a beatdown to the MSN Gang while analyzing their (appalling) tactics as he went and giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Levels in badass were taken.
  • In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Shikamaru (who already has this going for him in the canon Naruto series), ably demonstrates this during his fight with Tenten in Sasuke's tournament; specifically, he deconstructs her constant pattern of attacking without defending while he takes every opportunity to grope her in order to prove his point.
  • Pretty much the Omega's main advantage in Left Beyond: the distributed AI are capable of generating excellent, although not perfect, probability spreads for the sysadmins' plans. Somewhat subverted in that the Omega are fighting God in-universe... and the dice out-of-universe, in that God keeps getting ridiculously good rolls.
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion: As in Jojo canon, Anubis has the power to memorize and counter any attack after it's used against him once. As Anubis Requiem, this also applies to any plan or technique known by anyone in the radius of Mao's mind reading geass.
  • A Moon and World Apart: In chapter 24, Twilight and Shining Armor teleport out of her apartment and into one of the other domes together. Seconds later, Sunset Shimmer teleports after them, having traced the initial teleport and followed it; when she explains this, Twilight is quite impressed.
  • In the Naruto Self Insert story Vapors, most people think of Aiko as a Fragile Speedster with Whip It Good ninjutsu. But while she doesn't often flaunt it, Aiko is very good at this, as evidenced by her ability to recreate and improve the Hiraishin on her own, successfully plan to take out most of the Akatsuki, learn how to seal a biju in under a month, and direct Danzo's Root seal until she can remove it and reapply it with ease.
  • In the Worm fanfic, Intrepid, Taylor triggered with this ability during combat situations. She can analyze and process information enough to predict where bullets will strike, how to block or deflect them, and just be a plain badass.
  • Saito, due to his work as a military spy in Soldier of Zero is quite adept at figuring out both people and powers, though he sometimes makes mistakes due to differences between his world and Halkagenia. For example, in his world making a golem is one of the most difficult pieces of magic there is, but in Halkagenia it's fairly basic. On the other hand, he figures out Tabitha's life story from a minor story about her dueling Kirche once and looking at her habits. Such as Tabitha having to go with little to no food at times from the fact she's sixteen but short enough to be confused for a preteen (a sign of malnourishment).
  • Akane and Shampoo show this in a later chapter of Desperately Seeking Ranma. It results in Akane screwing over some crooks before they can even start their heist.
  • The Totally Amazing Spider-Man: Sam is able to pick up on Spider-Man's spider-sense by noticing how he was able to shoot his web- or from her perspective, "fire his cable", without even looking where he was firing.
  • Wonderful (Mazinja): Lisa has the ability to find out information about people or things. She only needed to observe a house-sized tank to discover its strong and weak points.
  • Jedi Master Sinube in The Havoc Side of the Force shows he was sent to speak with Harry Potter for exactly this reason. From a brief conversation, along with comments by others, he figures out pretty much the entirety of Harry's life story (at least on a general level) including that he's from the distant future and was himself a child of prophecy.
  • This Bites!:
    • Scratchman Apoo figured out Soundbite's transponder number by a slight noise he makes during SBS broadcasts which told him what model the transponder is, then calling shops in Loguetown to find out who sold it. During the Enies Lobby arc he was able to figure out that Foxy is allied with Cross and then coordinate an attack with both them and the Kung Fu Pirates on 'Task Force Cerberus' before they can join the forces on Enies Lobby.
    • Law determines Luffy isn't dead yet while fighting Lily Carnation because he can tell where each attack hit purely by sound and none are instantly fatal.
  • Tsukune in Here In My Arms demonstrates this trope to defeat Inner Moka.
  • Ash in Common Sense since he was Taught by Experience from his battles with Team Rocket. And after Pikachu demonstrated a knack for it too, he started training all of his Pokémon to do so when commanded to "analyze". This led to him beating Lt. Surge on his first try with Pikachu.
  • Lucius Malfoy in Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches is a retired duelist who can learn a great deal about someone from their casting and dueling techniques. After seeing Lord Slytherin duel once, he realizes the man fights exactly the same way Voldemort does. After the dueling tournament, he notes the same of Harry Potter, causing him to believe both are people who were taken over by one of Voldemort's horcruxes. He's wrong but literally the only other person to figure either out was Voldemort after spending months observing Harry.
  • Hinata's new technique in A Drop of Poison relies heavily on trigonometry to calculate how her chakrams will ricochet around an area, eventually building in dozens of the blades flying through the air as she catches and flings them around. While it has a bit of build-up time, once she gets going, it's near impossible to approach her due to all the razor-sharp metal flying around.
  • Avis in Code Geass: Ashikabi of the Amour determines humanity's evolutionary history by feeling Lelouch's bone structure, even able to tell that Earth's creatures have an unusually high amount of calcium in their bones.
  • In Quirk: Sequencer, Nezu quickly figures out Izuku's lying about his Quirk by analyzing his Combination Attack and figuring out all the discrepancies between his previous uses of Plasma Cannon. This is all before he spots footage of Izuku creating a raven from the ink on his back. On a lesser scale, Izuku's classmates notice how odd it is that his Plasma Cannon usually has no noticeable recoil but other times he uses it to get a Recoil Boost. Izuku has to quickly make up an explanation to hide his other Quirks.
  • Izuku Midoriya in For Great Justice manages to figure out the secret identities of everyone in the Justice League by the time he meets them along with the rough location of the batcave. Batman suspects the boy's probably calculated the locations of Themyscira and the Fortress of Solitude.
  • A common sight in the For the Want of a Nail Series:
    • The premise of Mastermind: Strategist for Hire involves Izuku putting his analytical skills to use making plans for other Villains, which leads to him rapidly becoming one of the most respected and feared Villains in Japan.
      • During the USJ attack, Izuku rapidly works out Shinsou has some form of brainwashing that is likely triggered by talking to him.
      • Later on, whilst the League of Villains are planning an attack on a UA training camp, Izuku works out Dabi's true identity as Touya Todoroki, Shouto's brother, from his teal eyes, his Quirk and his hatred of Heroes, particularly Endeavor, to Dabi's shock.
    • In Deku? I think he's some pro..., Izuku's skills at analysing Heroes and Villains initially get him mistaken for a retired Pro Hero with an intelligence/analysis Quirk by several underground Heroes. Their shock at them finding out he's a Quirkless teenager ends up growing when they learn he was using only the evidence they had sent him for analysis (meaning, among other things, he had provided a sufficiently in-depth analysis to catch a serial killer with only 15 seconds of video to work with)
    • Cheat Code: Support Strategist has Izuku attending UA's Support course, choosing the Intelligence and Analytics Track, with the intent of putting his analysis abilities to use helping other Heroes.
      • Early on, Izuku passes the written portion of the Entrance Exam with flying colours, with Power Loader describing his portfolio as impressive.
    • Iuzku showcases his investigative prowess early on in Shadows: The Horror Movie Heroes - driven by his curiosity regarding Shinsou's brainwashing, he manages to find out which school he went to and track down where he lives less than a day after meeting him.
  • Hero Class Civil Warfare: Izuku, assigned to be the leader of the Villain Team in the game, turns in an entire booklet to their teacher before the exercise that, to their teacher's astonishment, describes everything that is about to happen in the game, every tactic Izuku suspects the other side may use, every backup plan for his backup plans, who each of his teammates should fight or flee from based on their abilities, fighting style, and psychology, and an intensive analysis of every single player in the game, along with their strengths, habits, and weaknesses. The booklet is titled "Stage Directions." Armed with this knowledge, Izuku proceeds to become the first Invincible Villain the exercise has ever had.
  • Heroes Never Die: Izuku is even better than in canon, since he's been trapped in timeloops on a regular basis for his entire life and had to find ways to escape.
    Ashido: [thinking] He wrote out five different play-by-play scenarios in the time it took us to walk here? I'm glad he's on my side.
  • Fate/Gamers Only: One of Rikku's greatest strengths is her ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy Servants. She credits it to playing lots of video games. It subsequently turns out her analytical skills are boosted by her magical enhancement.
  • Locked In Digital: Canon!Izuku is already shown to be a very skilled analyst, being able to quickly deduce strengths and weaknesses of quirks and fighting styles. Here, this skill has been further honed by his simulation run, to the point he can find minute details and come to accurate or near-accurate conclusions. For example, he immediately figured out that All Might has a Game-Breaking Injury on his torso that was received between 2 to 8 years ago, and pinpointed Yaoyorozou's self-esteem issues, both based on their body language.
  • In Ordinary Girl, with nothing but stray documents to go on, Jesse was able to figure out that Unless You — a novel being passed around amongst Bureau staff — is actually an Altered Item that is killing its readers and manages to get it away from Emily before it could take effect.

    Film — Animated 
  • Basil has a very pronounced moment of awesomeness near the end of The Great Mouse Detective. He prattles on about some sort of forces and equilibrium and defeats Ratigan's fiendish Rube Goldberg death machine by setting it off at precisely the right instant, setting off a seemingly unpredictable chain reaction that frees him, his partner, and the little girl. And then, just to rub it in Ratigan's face, he grabs Dawson and Olivia, cheerfully cries, "Smile everyone!" and poses with the two of them with a massive shit-eating grin on his face, in front of the camera that would have photographed the moment of the final blow. Dawson deserves some of the credit; Basil's wrapped up in self-pity before Dawson finally snaps him out of it by frustratedly yelling that if all Basil's going to do is lie in the trap feeling sorry for himself, they might as well set it off now.
    Basil: [bitter] Heh, set it off now... [realizing] Set it... off... now?
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • Hiccup is able to observe how dragons behave close up and with that in-depth observation, he is able to do things with dragons that his village thought were impossible.
    • Fishlegs also demonstrates this trait, having read all available dragon-fighting manuals and making detailed observations about newly discovered dragon species. In the final battle with the Green Death, Hiccup tells Fishlegs, "Break it down," and Fishlegs immediately spells out the giant dragon's strengths and possible weaknesses.
  • This is how Mikey catches the scare pig in Monsters University: calculating the right moment to throw a football to knock over a row of bikes to catapult a garbage bin into the path of the pig.
  • The Omnidroid in The Incredibles is the embodiment of this trope. In addition to being horribly strong and tough, it analyzes its surroundings and enemy moves to become a ruthlessly efficient Combat Pragmatist. When Syndrome attacks the final version as part of his Engineered Heroics scheme, we see that it quickly analyzes Syndrome's attack and realizes that Syndrome's remote control was giving him the advantage. The robot quickly negates the problem by blasting the remote off of Syndrome's arm.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Po is able to learn advanced martial-arts techniques like the Wuxi Finger Hold by seeing them performed and just a small amount of practice.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2:
    • Po only sees Shifu demonstrate the technique of "inner peace" to him once. Even though Shifu said it took him years to master, within weeks, Po is able to utilize the technique to deflect cannonballs fired at him.
    • In the DVD short Secrets Of The Masters, Master Storming Ox is revealed to defeat his opponents by spotting their weak spots.
  • The Huns in Mulan prove their tracking prowess when Shan Yu tosses them a doll his falcon retrieved and asked them "what do you see?" Black pine from the high mountains, a white horse hair from an Imperial stallion, and the scent of sulfur from cannons mean the doll came from a village in the Tung Shao Pass, where an imperial army is waiting to ambush them. Thus it is established at least Shan Yu's elites are not Dumb Muscle, but thoroughly professional and highly dangerous soldiers.
    • Mulan also shows herself as a tactical genius, by figuring out the means to reach the arrow, as well as defeating the majority of the Hun army with just one rocket, by using it to cause an avalanche.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Sutwell from Beach Party does calculations in the sand involving things like water pressure before his first attempt at surfing. The first time, he forgets to carry the two, resulting in a Failure Montage of him falling off his board before he realizes his mistake. Once it's corrected, he's able to surf successfully.
  • The Bourne Series: Jason Bourne is a master at this, calmly assessing a situation before springing into action, such as in The Bourne Supremacy when he stops to study the train schedule in Berlin while being chased by cops.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
    • Steve's extremely rapid realization of what is about to go down during the elevator fight scene in . All it takes is one glance at an agent who's nervously gripping his taser for Steve to know he's about to be attacked. Look at his facial expression right after this, when the elevator doors open to let other rogue agents on. They've completely lost the element of surprise and don't even know it.
      Cap: Before we get started... does anybody wanna get out?
    • This trait of Steve's is implied in one of his most common basic actions: throwing his shield. He would have to be doing advanced math in his head — possibly reflexively and unconsciously, but nevertheless — to achieve some of the fancy attacks he has shown, and still catch it.
  • This is the whole premise of the Thai martial arts film Chocolate, in which an autistic girl is able to become a face-kicking machine by memorizing techniques she sees when watching Bruce Lee movies and observing lessons at a nearby Muay Thai school.
  • Richard B. Riddick's badassitude stems not only from his fighting skill but also from his deductive reasoning. In The Chronicles of Riddick it is hinted that the entire series of events that transpired at the Crematoria prison was a Gambit Roulette masterminded by Riddick. The Crematoria prison escape begins with Riddick giving a detailed description of what the guys currently escaping the prison are doing, and concludes by saying it's a good plan. When a mercenary who didn't get out asks him how he knows their plan, he replies, "It was mine."
  • In the Kid N Play movie Class Act, uber-nerd Duncan becomes a star football player by using geometry and physics to kick perfect field goals.
  • In Cube Zero, Wynn has the ability to visualize and rapidly analyze complex systems in his mind. He uses this both to easily win a chess game by calculating all the moves and to figure out a safe route through the Cube when he's inside by mapping all the rooms.
  • The badass "Tetragrammaton Clerics" of Equilibrium are masters of the Gun Kata: through analysis of thousands of recorded gunfights, they know where bullets are most likely to be at any given time, and they simply aren't in those places. Likewise, they also don't aim so much as they shoot at all the places where people are probably standing. This is how it's described, anyway. The way they do it in practice is to stand mostly-still in the middle of the room and shoot in rigid lines; so unless their targets are always aiming at the Clerics' arms, it's difficult to imagine it working as advertised. The movie does, however, open with a silhouette of a man practicing a much more fluid, much less static form of Gun Kata; it was originally how the Clerics were supposed to fight, but was later ordered to be changed.
  • The winning shot Happy Gilmore uses to defeat Shooter McGavin is definitely awesome by analysis.
  • Holmes attempts this at several points throughout Holmes & Watson and fails every time. The scene in the ring is a parody of the boxing scene in Sherlock Holmes (2009), which fails because Brawn completely ignores the initial distraction. The others fail due to a miscalculation (the beehive), being drunk (pissing in the alley) or a distraction (the bomb on the Titanic).
  • The Hunt for Red October has Seaman Jones, whose sensitive ears can tell if people are singing on a distant submarine, can pick up unique submarine sounds that the computer thinks is a result of geology, and can tell if a torpedo is Russian just by listening to the pitch it makes as it passes over — although the last one is more of a Genius Bonus, as Soviet-design torpedoes did use smaller props operating at higher RPM, thus producing a distinctively higher pitch.
  • In Ice Princess, Michelle Trachtenberg plays a math and physics nerd who applies her skills to becoming a figure skater, utilizing it to figure out how fast an ideal spin is and how much power she needs to apply to do it, and so on. She goes from 0 to competing for a U.S. Nationals spot in a few weeks.
  • This is subverted in the film Im Juli. The main character, a physics teacher, must get a car across a river with a conveniently placed ramp. He does some calculations in the sand, drives the car off the ramp, and sails through the air...only to land in the middle of the river.
  • In Ink, the pathfinder is able to cause a car accident to happen despite barely being able to affect the physical world by being in sync with the flow of events. He creates a Rube Goldberg machine made out of people in order to shake up someone who sorely needs it.
  • Anybody who takes the Fantastic Drug in Limitless temporarily gains this.
  • In Little Big League, the 12-year-old Child Prodigy Billy convinces the Minnesota Twins' front office to allow him to field-manage the team by having Mac lay out a hypothetical game scenario for him to make a managerial decision on. Billy first asks for more details about the game situation, and when Mac proclaims Billy's answer to be subpar, Billy turns around and points out the flaws in Mac's answer.
    Mac: We’re playing the Yankees. No one out. Scales is on first, great speed. Lou’s up. 2-1 count. Abbott’s on the mound, lefty. Lonnie’s on deck, and remember he’s a switch hitter. What do you do?
    Billy: [thinking] What’s the score?
    Mac: Tie game.
    Billy: What inning? Home or away?
    Mac: 8th. Home.
    Billy: Who’s catching? Who’s rested in the bullpen? Who’s up in the 9th for the Yankees?
    Mac: Stanley. Everyone. 7-8-9.
    Billy: Okay. I let Lou hit away. With Mattingly holding Scales, he’s got that big hole to hit through.
    Mac: No. See, that’s what I’m talking about. You got lefty against lefty. Lou’s a good bunter. You only need one run, so you sacrifice the go-ahead run to 2nd with only one out.
    Billy: No. You sacrifice him to second, they walk Lonnie and bring in Steve Farr to pitch to Spencer. So you’ve taken the bat out of two best hitters, our 3 and 4 men. And you’ve got Spencer, a righty with no speed against Farr and his palm ball. Which means…
    Mac: Double play. (a pause) You could pitch hit for Spencer.
    Billy: Now you’ve taken the bat out of our 3, 4, and 5 hitters. Not exactly a great trip through the heart of our order.
    Arthur Goslin: Any questions, Mack?
    Mac: Yeah. What’s he need me for?
  • Downplayed in Man of Steel by most Kryptonians, but Zod is able to figure out the mechanics of flying and how to use heat vision, as well as using the heat vision's cool-down period against Superman.
  • In Pixels, Sam's mastery of computer games comes from him being able to spot, analyze and thus predict the patterns by which the enemies move. Subverted by the end of the film, as higher levels of Donkey Kong are randomized, rendering his pattern-spotting useless.
  • It's played with in Road Trip — Ruben calculates that the car will need to be going 50 miles/hour to jump the broken bridge. After EL spits over the gap — and causes the bridge to collapse further — he revises it to 75. They make the jump fine...but the car's axles break and, after they all get clear, it blows up.
  • In Rush (2013), while riding in future wife Marlene's car, Niki Lauda reels off an impressive laundry list of mechanical problems that he claims he sensed using his ass. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Niki Lauda performed a Sherlock Scan with his butt.
  • In Seven (1979), the Professor takes out his target from eight miles away by sitting on the balcony of his hotel room and calculating timing, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and a host of other variables, and then clicking the trigger of his customized gas gun.
  • Seven Samurai uses this during Kyuzo's introduction. As he and the arrogant young samurai who challenged him to a duel square off, Kambei, watching from the sidelines, mutters, "There's no contest". Indeed, Kyuzo takes out his opponent in a single move. This is our first sign that Kambei is significantly better-versed in the arts of combat than he first appears.
  • Sherlock Holmes has always had shades of this, but the 2009 movie makes it explicit by showing his analysis, step by step, of how to beat the living shit out of an opponent. The 2011 sequel, A Game of Shadows takes this even further with Holmes and Moriarty deadlocked in an Awesomeness by Analysis duel in their minds before a single punch is thrown.
  • Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball: Finbar immediately susses that Ariella is another assassin and that most of the people in the bar are feds.
  • For all that the franchise plays it straight with many characters, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan averts it for Khan himself. Spock observes that "he is intelligent, but inexperienced" in space combat, and notes his "two-dimensional thinking". Kirk then proceeds to kick Khan's ass in space combat, defeating or bypassing every single one of Khan's ship's advantages and taking advantage of Khan's unfamiliarity with the equipment and how to use it to best advantage. In this case, raw intelligence simply cannot defeat experience, knowledge, and sheer treachery.
    "I'll say this for him: he's consistent."
  • In the film The 13th Warrior, Ibn Fahdlan (Antonio Banderas) learns Norse simply by listening to the Vikings' campfire talk. In the book, he spends most of the story speaking Latin to the one Viking who knows it, and his comprehension of Norse slowly grows over time.
  • Juror #9 in 12 Angry Men, once convinced to examine the testimony and evidence more clearly, uses clues from the witnesses' appearances in court to poke holes in their testimony. The biggest example is realizing an eyewitness was glasses-dependent solely by the indents on her nose, and couldn't have seen the crime well enough to identify the murderer.
  • In The Wall (2017), this is how Ize manages to locate Juba’s hideout. He takes in consideration several factors like the delay between the bullet hitting the ground and the gunshot sound, the angle in which the bullet that hit him entered his leg and, most importantly, the background noise in Juba’s radio call.
  • Victor Creed, a clawed and beast-like creature with abilities similar to Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine faces John Wraith, a man who can instantly teleport. Creed uses his brain, not his mutant power, to predict the exact location of John Wraith's next teleport destination. Creed catches Wraith's spine mid-teleport, and comments on how Wraith's weakness was his predictability.

  • All for the Game has Kevin, a world-class Exy player who makes careful use of angles on the court.
  • Artemis Fowl:
    • In The Arctic Incident, Artemis performs an acrobatic slide across the ice-slick roof of a moving train by calculating momentum, angles, and friction.
    • In The Lost Colony, he saves Holly's life after she's killed in the middle of a glitchy time-spell breakup (which tears the island they're on apart) by calculating exactly when and where the next time-glitch is going to occur and firing a gun at the precise moment needed for the bullet to travel into the past and hit Holly's killer before he kills her.
  • Kiriyama of Battle Royale might be the ultimate example of this, as he possesses a prodigious intelligence that is able to master virtually any field of knowledge from biology to martial arts and combine them to incredibly deadly effect. Oh, and he's also a completely amoral and emotionless sociopath, which makes tangling with him loads of fun.
  • Colin Fischer becomes a basketball prodigy by calculating the trajectory of the ball.
  • The Demon Device, by Robert Saffron, has Albert Einstein using this method in a game of pool against Arthur Conan Doyle. Although Einstein has never played pool before he scores well, though it's not clear if he wins the game.
  • Lord Loss, the first book of Darren Shan's The Demonata series, features a subversion. The main character is playing chess against a Demon Lord in order to save the life of his brother. However, every move he makes is repelled and countered until he realizes that the only way to win is to stop thinking and simply play randomly, taking risks and not showing fear or sorrow, which is what the demon master craves. In this way he denies the demon master what he wants, and beats him, although in doing so he makes himself a life-long enemy of the demon master. Uh-oh.
  • Discworld:
    • In Jingo, Lord Vetinari pulls off a juggling act despite never having attempted it before. His excuse for this is that he's spent decades juggling different parts of his city's political and murderous groups. The fact that he's a trained assassin with excellent reflexes probably helps.
    • Lord Hong of Interesting Times, who is capable of learning and doing everything perfectly. No one else seems to focus.
  • One of the many things that makes the Archive so dangerous in The Dresden Files is her ability to rapidly analyze available data, being the living repository of all human knowledge. At one point, Luccio notes that the prevalence of mad female oracles throughout history was simply the result of previous Archives making highly-accurate conclusions based on analysis of the knowledge they possessed instead of predicting the future.
  • Dune:
    • The Mentats may be the most fundamentally realistic example of this trope in literature, though their feats of deduction and analysis are labeled as necessarily superhuman even within the context of the books. Miles Teg's T-probe induced, calorie-intensive "faster than the eye can see" mode could be described as exceedingly advanced prana-bindu training coupled with a version of this ability above and beyond even other Mentats, especially considering Herbert specifically describes "Mentat mode" computation as being calorie-intensive to a lesser degree.
    • In a prequel novel, the first Mentat Gilbertus Albans is forced to aid the fanatic Butlerian movement by its leader Manford Torondo, who has been given 200 mothballed Ballista-class battleships from the days of Butlerian Jihad. On the other side, unbeknownst to Albans, is his top student Draigo Roget, working for Josef Venport, the owner of Venport Holdings. Venport wants to use the abandoned Thinking Machines shipyard to build more ships, but Torondo is determined to destroy any trace of the Machines in the galaxy. As a result, a Space Battle ensues with the two Mentats squaring off against one another, commanding the fleets. Ultimately, Albans proves to be the superior strategist. This mirrors their virtual match earlier when both of them are commanding fleets of hundreds of ships in a video game of sorts throughout the whole system, using gestures to give orders.
  • In East of Eden, Charles, Cal, Abra, and especially Cathy are gifted at this, reading and manipulating the people around them to frightening effect.
  • In K. J. Parker's Engineer Trilogy, Ziani Vaatzes, the titular engineer, is excellent at this. Although a terrible fighter, one of the first things the reader sees him do is kill two guards attempting to behead him by calculating exactly how long an unseen overhead chop will take, allowing him to twist at just the right moment that the guard holding him loses a hand instead. Later, he manages to kill an assassin in a pitch-black room by deducing his logical exact location, throwing a lump of coal so the sound will make the assassin's head twist at just the right angle, then slashing where he expects the man's jugular to be with his one-inch penknife. He's right.
  • Error Of Judgment: Dr. Stiehl caught onto Prince and exposed him not due to personal exposure to a patient, but simply by studying his records and noticing that he had a significantly higher number of uterus removals than other doctors, with less cancer warning signs for many of them than women with actual ovarian cancer had.
  • The Gam3: Alan's AI Eve is dedicated to this, constantly scanning everything in the surrounding environment for threats and guiding Alan during combat. She typically expresses her observations to Alan as probabilities of different events. In many cases is effectively Prescience by Analysis.
  • Professor Derek in The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway, who claims to be so incredibly smart that, despite being an enormous nerd, he's able to emulate normal human behavior patterns through pure analysis.
  • Biddy from Great Expectations spends so much time watching Pip at his work that he pronounces her "in good a blacksmith as [Pip] was".
  • Horatio Hornblower uses this as his primary method of gambling, seamanship, and war. In one book, he makes an accurate judgment of a French captain's intellect and likely behavior by observing how he handles his ship and uses it to Batman Gambit the Frenchie into putting his own ship in irons. This is also what makes Hornblower an excellent whist player.
  • Literary (and to some extent, historical) example: In Claudius the God (the second part of I, Claudius, though it is downplayed in the TV adaptation), Claudius—who was frail and had spent years playing the fool before being forced to take the throne—leads the Roman forces to victory against the Britons through his extensive knowledge of historical tactics and his heavy use of intelligence about the enemy's social structure and favored tactics.
  • In "Improbable" by Adam Fawer, David Caine is already so good at calculating probabilities in his head that his graduate professor nicknames him "Rain Man". When Caine undergoes a last-resort experimental procedure to treat his epilepsy, his brain becomes able to access the collective unconscious. This lets him reach information on everything everywhere at any time, and (once he figures out what's happening to him) he can choose from among all the possible causes and effects to find the action most likely to make things go the way he wants.
  • In Inheritance Cycle, Roran is a Badass Normal and The Determinator to be sure, but if he didn't have brains, he'd be a dead a thousand times with everything he faces. One of the big reasons why he lasts so long and why he gets to promoted to captain is precisely because he's this, even if it does occasionally cause him trouble because he won't obey the orders of some of the rockheads around him. During one otherwise ill-fated battle, he manages to save the majority of his troops from his commander's awful strategy and later accomplishes the siege of an entire town in just days that Galbatorix's Empire had been flummoxing the Varden with for months. He is noted for being bold and willing to take risks but has an uncanny knack of just how to analyze and unbalance the enemy.
  • This is the secret weapon of Inspector Spector: he sold his soul to Satan to be the world's greatest detective.
  • In Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter, the Ingalls family is running out of food. Pa realizes that Almanzo Wilder is still hanging onto his seed grain by hiding it behind a false wall with a plug in the knothole. When Almanzo and his brother ask him how he knew, Pa, an experienced carpenter, answers that the dimensions of their room don't match the dimensions of its building and that there isn't anything else they could keep in such a small space and need to plug in the knothole.
  • The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series has the ability to "see" probabilities ever since a magical accident in his past. Therefore, to work out the most likely scenario in any given situation, he just needs to learn enough variables.
  • Vin does this to defeat Zane in Mistborn. Having already run out of atium, a metal that gives the person using it the ability to see and react a few seconds into the future, Vin counters Zane's attack by clearing her mind and reacting solely on instinct. She then watches his movements as he prepares to block her attack and strikes from the complete opposite side.
  • In Noob, Fantöm can beat bosses meant for a full Player Party due to figuring out their behavior patterns and planning for them no matter how complex they have been made.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain gives us the Audit, Penny's mother. She's Sherlock Holmes-style analysis to the extreme. Despite having no actual powers, she's perfectly capable of dodging bullets by being where they aren't, analyzing enemy weaknesses at a glance, and can break lesser criminals by giving them a speech about how precisely each crime they commit reduces their chances at a happy future.
  • In Red Storm Rising, US Naval intelligence analyst Bob Toland is able to piece together several seemingly-unrelated trends in the Soviet Union, namely:
    • A massive shortage of car and truck batteries in the Soviet Union, despite their largest battery factory operating 24 hours a day note 
    • Several colonels are shot for falsifying readiness reports, and several conscripts are similarly shot for insubordination or disobedience note 
    • A number of formerly collectivized farms are having the amounts of farmland given to individual farmers doubled note 
...and from these trends is able to conclude that the Soviet Union is gearing up for war.
  • Madame Ahnzhelyk Phonda of Safehold, later known as Aivah Pahrsahn, is able to deduce that Ahbraim Zhevons, a man she met in the fourth book, and Merlin Athrawes, who she meets two books later, are the same person through a combination of eidetic memory, careful examination of Character Tics, and making note of the times Merlin is absent compared to when she knows other members of his "seijin network" appear in the flesh elsewhere. The only true error in her analysis is attributing Merlin's ability to assume different identities to his status as a seijin, a type of holy man said to possess supernatural powers. Even that is Entertainingly Wrong, since Merlin uses exactly that idea to explain the abilities he has due to being a Ridiculously Human Robot, which no Safeholdian could even conceive of on their own due to Safehold's being in a near-millennium long Medieval Stasis.
  • Daylen in Shadow of the Conqueror, while inexperienced in using his powers, is able to figure out new uses for them by observing Lyrah using them, using his Hyper-Awareness and Photographic Memory to make it easier for him.
  • Sherlock Holmes is this trope's Patron Saint. At least once in every single story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote and every other story after that. Also, every copycat and fanfic with a halfway-decent mystery at least tries. Because he wouldn't be Sherlock Holmes without it.
  • In the Slingshot novels, one character does this several times. Toshi usually goes into a research frenzy and then later just collapses after staying awake for twenty hours and forgetting to eat or drink. Even Allie is in awe of his abilities in finding needles in galaxy-sized haystacks, and she's an AI.
  • Star Wars Legends: Multiple:
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn, from The Thrawn Trilogy, with the ability to find a species's weakness just by looking at their artwork. And, for that matter, figure out their general biological traits (dominantly left- or right-handed, number of fingers or limbs used, perceptual or biorhythmic flaws) as well as traits of those who created or even just favor a particular piece. Notably, another character who was supposed to have his tactical insight couldn't do a number of things Thrawn could, and never so much as looked at a painting.
    • Thrawn also had one "failure", where the inferences he'd made after looking at the art proved utterly wrong. In a dialogue with Pellaeon, Thrawn specifically says that his failure to understand a species's art led to him being forced to eradicate said race. Years later, he thinks he's finally starting to grasp their psyche. Such a pity.
    • Outbound Flight:
      • There's a scene where Thrawn and three Corellian captives/guests come to look at a very beat-up nonmilitary spaceship that came into his territory, attacked, and was disabled in such a way that all those aboard died. Thrawn asks the Corellians what they think, and one doesn't care, one thinks he killed poor people and/or refugees, and the third looks at the height of the dead aliens, looks at the wall and a point where sealant patterns change texture, and concludes that the people who repaired/maintained the ship were much shorter than the current owners. A bit of information later and he speculates that this was a slaver's ship. Thrawn is pleased.
      • A few pages later, Thrawn says he knows of this ship and these people only by reputation, and that, "The crew complement is smaller than one would expect for a vessel this size. That indicates that they weren't expecting trouble, but instead intended to go straight home. [Thrawn knew while fighting them that they were undercrewed, because...] I deduced it from the fact that their defense was sluggish and mostly ineffectual. They did little but launch missiles. A fully crewed vessel would have had laser gunners in place and would have shifted the defense pattern of their missiles. Clearly, they were expecting their escort to do any fighting that became necessary."
    • Thrawn retains this ability in the new canon, but his reliance on artwork is downplayed in favor of tactical genius and an ability to read people's body language, right down to perspiration and temperature fluctuations.
    • Thrawn's The Watson, Gilad Pellaeon, graduates to this in Hand of Thrawn. While not a match for Thrawn's ability, he successfully deduces that a fleet of attackers supposedly led by Garm Bel Iblis cannot be, by using one of Bel Iblis's own tactics to defeat it.
    • Thrawn's new Watson, Eli Vanto, is being groomed towards this along the book, bulding up from his understanding of trade, accounting and supply lines.
    • Sort of used and subverted in Star Wars: Allegiance, where the pirate leader called the Commodore floats in a pool with his eyes covered, the better to focus on the voice of his guest. He believes that doing this, damping down all of his senses but hearing, makes him more able to tell if he's being lied to and pick out hidden things about the speaker. But he's trying to gauge Mara Jade, who is able to subtly stir the air and water to interfere with his senses without his knowing, and so he misses the fact that she's an Imperial agent sent to find connections between these pirates and corrupt officials.
    • Mace Windu does this all the time. His main Force power is to detect "shatterpoints"; where to hit things, including situations or people's minds, so they break. On several occasions, he has been without a visible shatterpoint and still managed to come out on top. Just before the climax of his feature novel (guess the name!), there's a scene of him "looking" at the shatterpoints for himself, the people around him, the mountain he's on, the war the planet is in, and possibly the entire Clone Wars. It's Matt Stover's way of saying "Hold onto yer butts."

      Windu also notes that during the Battle of Geonosis, he sensed that for a brief moment the shatterpoint of the whole war was Count Dooku. Had he jumped up to the balcony quickly enough, he could've killed Dooku and stopped the war before it even began—but would've died in the process because Jango Fett would've shot him in the back. But by the time Windu had worked all this out, it was already too late and Dooku escaped. And afterward, killing Dooku was no longer the shatterpoint. Of course, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé would've died along with Mace.
    • Wraith Squadron pilot Voort "Piggy" saBinring, from the X-Wing Series. A mentally enhanced Gamorrean who happens to be Good with Numbers. During dogfights, while in the middle of a fight, he is able to keep track of his squadmates and enemies, often calling out recommendations. And they work, too.
  • Steelheart has David, an average nerd who has made it his mission to kill Epics like the one that killed his father. To that end, he obsessively collects and collates data on them, trying to discover the weaknesses unique to each and every one of them. He's shockingly good at it. He even overturns weakness theories and comes up with new, correct ones in the middle of battle several times in the series.
  • Szamanka od Umarlaków: This is Kwiatuszek's job description in WON. Her only magical gift is enhanced analytical skill, and she made herself a Badass Bureaucrat with it, pretty much becoming Man Behind the Man in the huge organization of wizards who throw fireballs and combat demons on a regular basis.
  • In The Thinking Machine, Van Dusen acquired his nickname when he defeated a Russian grandmaster despite never having played a game of chess just by reading the rules and then applying pure logic.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Miles Vorkosigan seems to have the ability to almost unerringly analyze and predict people. He's also had military training and excels at pure tactics (although he finds them boring because they're so predictable), but his greatest victories throughout the series have always been as a result of his ability to understand, persuade, inspire and predict the actions of other people.
    • While Miles tends to compare himself obsessively to his father and grandfather, this ability may well have been inherited from his mother. Cordelia Naismith, in her introductory book, successfully defused a Mexican Standoff hostage crisis by spotting the weak link in both the hostage takers (a man with conflicted loyalties) and Barrayarran psychology (they didn't think a woman could be a military threat) and exploiting them both brilliantly. She also managed, with only a few brief glimpses, to realize that the quantity and arrangement of supplies in the Barrayarran base could only mean that they were secretly preparing to launch an invasion... something even senior Barrayarran officers hadn't realized.
    • Miles's clone brother Mark assumes he also inherited this talent for military analysis and is proven disastrously wrong. Later, however, he discovers his own genius level aptitude for economics. It appears that their shared analytical skill is genetic but the field of application is influenced by their upbringing (Miles on the warlike Barrayar, Mark on the mercenary Jackson's Whole). Mark also shows an impressive eye for detail and an ability to make deductions from situational evidence... as long as he has time to stop and analyze. The implication is that that he has all of Miles's analytical skills but not his adrenaline addiction... meaning that high-stress situations interfere with Mark's ability whereas they enhance Miles's.
  • Qibli from Wings of Fire is very observant and analytic of other dragons...but only on the inside, as Moonwatcher sees in Moon Rising.
  • Worm: this is literally Tattletale's power; once she has just a little information, she can extract amazing amounts of data. It is so good that at one point she succesfully pretended to be able to read minds.

  • This is what Ranger is known as in Comic Fury Werewolf. He analyzes everyone's actions down to the last detail, trying to figure out the culprit. In his first game, he even went so far back as to read the first five games in-depth to figure out everyone's play styles. He only stopped because it became incredibly time-consuming to do it, as the first time he accomplished the feat was an all-nighter effort on his part. With the addition of the later games to add into the mix...
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Benedict's hyper mind superpower allows him to glean huge amounts of information about an object merely by glancing at it. One look at Nadine told him her general attitude, how she spent the previous night, and her relationship with Hyeon.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chess: Wilhelm Steinitz turned the game on its ear in the late 19th century. He was already skilled in the flashy, "romantic" style used throughout the ages, where games ideally finished with spectacular piece sacrifices, declining a gambit was considered unsportsmanlike, and Grandmasters were considered to be somehow divinely blessed with the ability to play so well. A bookworm at heart, he started poring over the games of old Grandmasters, and soon realized that there were certain identifiable, repeatable aspects of these games — that the flashes of brilliance were made possible in the first place by very mundane positioning of the pawns and pieces. He compiled his research into a new system, and quickly dominated the chess world, becoming the first world champion of the modern era in the process, and forever changing how the game is played by serious players.
  • The Smart Hero "Exploit weakness" talent from d20 Modern allows him to use his intelligence modifier instead of his dexterity or strength modifier, "as he finds a way to outthink his opponent and find weaknesses in his opponent's fighting style" (paraphrased).
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Many divination spells temporarily grant the ability to simply pull more information out of simple observation than other people, e.g. discern lies allows you to automatically succeed at the Sense Motive skill to know when someone is lying, commune allows you to derive simple yes/no conclusions entirely from context for a minute or two, and read magic allows you to perform the otherwise-arduous task of unraveling a caster's personal codes and languages with Spellcraft instantly.
    • The Duelist Prestige Class also shifts most of your combat modifiers (defenses, chance to hit, and damage) with certain weapons to Intelligence rather than physical stats, implied to be this.
    • The "Studied Target" class feat also allows a character to mark an opponent to gain various bonuses against them.
    • The "Knowledge Devotion" feat lets a character roll a Knowledge check to analyze creatures they face in combat and grants scaling bonuses to attack and damage rolls based on how successful the check is.
    • The "Insightful Reflexes" feat replaces the Dexterity bonus to Reflex saves with the Intelligence bonus, thus avoiding damage from widespread such as Fireballs and Breath Weapons not through agility but instant calculations.
  • Pathfinder: the Investigator and Slayer classes are largely built around this concept, focusing on a single enemy to gain bonuses against them by picking out their weaknesses.
  • Spirit of the Century has the Theory in Practice stunt for exactly this purpose. It has strict limitations compared to similar stunts, but allows characters to use their Science skill in place of any other skill provided they can come up with some plausible sounding Technobabble for how their analysis helps. The rule-book quote:
    Shooting a gun should be easy — it's just physics, right?
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Due to the various considerations that shape Dark Eldar combat philosophy, gathering and utilizing intelligence is a big part of their strategic doctrine. Because of their arcane technologies and standard Eldar Magnificent Bastardry, they are very good at it. When the Dark Eldar attack, it is often by complete surprise, with overwhelming force, at a weak-point in the enemy's defenses. This doesn't always work, however; if a particularly Genre Savvy enemy can give them bad info through effective counter-intelligence, they will fail spectacularly. Their reliance on knowing the enemy better than they know themselves leaves them highly vulnerable to traps that play on their typical Eldar hubris.
    • In a meta sense, knowing the abilities of your enemy, knowing your strengths, their strengths, and possible unit compositions, is key for winning. Not an easy feat with 9+ armies, hundreds of units, and hundreds of unique rules to keep account of.

    Video Games 
  • Any RPG with Leaked Experience implies that the characters that don't participate in the battle still become stronger by merely watching the fights.
  • Several times through Assassin's Creed Origins, Bayek manages to take in details around the scene and reconstruct events from there.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: Batman, again. More observable in the first two Arkham games, as he figures things out in his own thoughts without any visual aide, besides the use of Detective Vision to analyze evidence, like when he figures out how to isolate Deadshot based solely on the specific type of paint used in the boxes where he hid his gear. Whereas in the prequel, his cowl can recreate crime scenes based on evidence, be it a shooting scene or a helicopter that was sniped by a ricocheting bullet.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth, Supremacy units have the stated ability to autonomously share information and processing power to predict the enemy's actions on the battlefield and quickly decide the most effective response. This is represented in the game by Supremacy units getting a combat strength bonus if they are adjacent to a friendly Supremacy unit, and the effect is cumulative — Supremacy units are often an unsuitable match for Purity or Harmony units if isolated and alone, but can be very powerful if used in a Zerg Rush.
  • This is part of Dark Chronicle's Invention process. Max, a First-Person Snapshooter, can take pictures of ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) items, which give him ideas for creating new inventions. Some of them are easily missable, so you have to work quickly and think fast in order to get them all.
  • Minor original character Fracture from the second DC Universe Online trailer has this as a power. It briefly shows his vision, analyzing statistics, probability, and structural weak points to overcome a Brainiac drone in single combat. Apparently, it only works on threats he's aware of, since purported ally Luthor stabs him in the back moments later
  • In Descent: Freespace, this is what allows the Terrans and Vasudans to survive against the Shivans: reverse-engineering their shield technology, developing weapons that can penetrate it, and learning how to track their ships into subspace.
  • In Disco Elysium, this is tied to the Visual Calculus skill, which governs the Detective's ability at being Good with Numbers and combining it with a knowledge of physics and then applying it to various situations, most notably forensic recreation. When used successfully, the Detective can study a shattered window, and simply from a glance be able to make very qualified guesses as to the size, weight, and velocity of the object that smashed the glass.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is a trait of Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order. The Library of Jyggalag contained a precise and exact record of everything that any entity in Nirn or Oblivion would ever do, which Jyggalag compiled through nothing but simple but extremely thorough deductive reasoning and logic. This was one of the big reasons why the other Daedric Princes turned on him and sealed him as his own antithesis, the Mad God Sheogorath (who promptly had the library destroyed).
  • Fallout:
    • The in-universe explanation for how the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) operates in Fallout 3. It creates a real-time tactical overlay that scans the threat, assesses various weak points and comes up with the statistical probability of whether the operator will successfully land any hits.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • The appropriately named "Math Wrath" perk improves the efficiency of V.A.T.S. if the player's Science skill is high enough.
      • The Luck stat is explained to be this: the preternatural ability to predict probabilities. It translates to fine-tuning of one's aim to hit particularly vulnerable spots (IE: critical hits), or what amounts to card-counting, nuanced senses of the roulette wheel or tumblers at casinos. It's not entirely this though, as there are a few "dumb luck" moments, like miraculously performing surgery on Caesar's brain tumor without sufficient medical knowledge, randomly guessing the right password to call off a robot accosting you, or the inexplicable chances of finding extra ammo or money in containers via two luck-unlocked perks. Mr. House has 10 luck, the maximum possible, which enabled him to predict when the inevitable Great War would happen and was only off by a single day.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Scan spell (also known as Libra). Its effectiveness varies from game to game, but it's generally very useful to know your opponent's current hit points, immunities, and elemental weaknesses.
    • Final Fantasy X has Scan as a common weapon ability. There's even an optional dungeon full of monsters immune to scanning.
    • In Final Fantasy IV, a late-game goblin enemy will actually scan itself, revealing its weakness to lightning. Needless to say using lightning attacks on it is a bad idea. It's not lying - lightning does do extra damage to it - but hitting it with a lightning attack triggers its significantly more deadly AI script.
    • Characters with the Blue Magic ability can learn enemy magic by simply observing the ability in action or surviving getting hit by an attack.
    • Some games have opponents that will scan your own characters, but due to the way the AI is programmed, it really just ends up being a wasted turn because whatever boost it can get from this isn't enough to compensate for the fact that it's a turn in which it didn't get to do damage and meanwhile you get another chance to attack it.
    • The Web-based Flash Animation Final Fantasy A+ spoofs Scan in this regard by renaming it "Study Guide".
    • Libra makes its return in Final Fantasy XV as an ability available to Noctis, allowing him to analyze enemy weaknesses and resistances to elements and weaponry. It even comes with a (timed) Time Stands Still option. Upgraded sufficiently, it can instantly scan all enemies on the battlefield like a Sherlock Scan. Ignis also has this ability, and he uses it much more creatively and liberally (i.e. planning battle strategies and exploiting enemies' weaknesses as well as turning enemies' own strengths against them) than Noctis, whose strategy amounts to hitting the enemy with his weapons until they die. Ignis' analytical abilities don't just extend to combat: he can recreate dishes from a single taste as well.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the Dancer Tethys is extremely perceptive and good at catching details (Though this doesn't show in-story since she's a non-combatant.) In an example, as a teenager, she learned how to dance solely via mentally replaying a famous dancer's moves and practicing them from memory. She also deduces that her friend Marisa only pretends to be a southpaw, when in reality she isn't; Marisa is very surprised, meaning that no one else had managed to see through her.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening gives us the player character, Robin, whose skill as a tactician translates into being able to see the statistics and hit percentages and so on of yours and your enemy's units. Basically, it's their knowledge that gives the player all the useful information in the user interface.
  • On two separate occasions, Jin from Ghost of Tsushima learns how to use an extremely powerful sword technique by watching his opponent use it on him.
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy's "superpower" is her Focus. No, not superhuman concentration, but a piece of Lost Technology from the Old Ones that allows her to scan objects around her to learn how they function — including enemies' weak points, various secrets in the environment that might not be visible to the naked eye, and other pieces of high technology. Between that and the fact that she's a clone of a brilliant scientist from The Beforetimes, this elevates Aloy from merely a very good hunter to one of the greatest warriors in the land.
  • The Copy Copy Ability (no seriously, it's a Copy Ability that copies abilities) from Kirby Super Star. Once Kirby has this ability, he obtains an optical scanner that analyzes an opponent (complete with computer readouts and targeting reticule shown onscreen, no less) and replaces Copy with whatever ability the opponent has. If the enemy you try this on has no ability, you can analyze them to death.
  • If you choose the Dark Side Path in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, observe your character fight Jedi Masters in a one-on-one battle to the death and learn to perfectly copy the enemy's Lightsaber Fighting Style while taunting them and stomping them into the ground afterward. Probably with their own moves.
  • Mega Man (as well as Mega Man X) can copy the weapons of bosses after having defeated them.
  • Ocelot from the Metal Gear Solid series. He's a talented enough shot that he can shoot people from ricocheting bullets within a second of studying and analyzing the angle. Later on Ocelot's able match Snake at CQC, a technique he and The Boss spent years perfecting, simply by watching Snake use the moves and then mimicking them.
  • In No More Heroes, Travis Touchdown can learn new wrestling moves just by renting out wrestling tapes and watching them.
  • In Persona 5, Seijuro says that Futaba's mother, Wakaba, was so smart that she was able to improve his curry recipe just by looking at the ingredients.
  • Pokémon:
    • The ability Analytic can give any Pokemon this, giving it a boost to its attack power if it attacks last.
    • The abilities Download (ups a stat based on opponent's defenses), Anticipation (shudders depending on the power of its foe's attacks), Trace (copies the foe's ability), Rivalry (raises Attack if the foe is of the same gender), and Impostor (transforms into an opponent in front) all involve reacting to the opponent in some way. Telepathy takes this and applies it to ally Pokemon in Doubles.
    • An inversion exists in the ability Unaware, which completely ignored the foe's stat changes.
    • There are several moves that are used by analyzing the opponent. Detect requires the user to avoid the opponent completely by knowing what move they'll use next. Role Play allows you to copy the foe's ability just by pretending to be them. Mind Reader is said to do Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Predicting your opponent's moves is also a given for anyone wishing to compete in the higher levels of the metagame.
  • Emerl from the game Sonic Battle is a good example of this. He gains ALL powers of an opponent simply by watching them fight or being beaten up by them. In the final battle, Emerl takes all of Sonic's abilities, powers them up to the point where some of them instantly KO you, and becomes a star killing machine by seeing Eggman's battleship in action.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Latooni's whole shtick. Well, that and massive quantities of Shrinking Violet cuteness.
    • Bartolls/Valtols from the OVA and Original Generation Gaiden. Attacks become useless on them after they've been used once since they can dodge any future attempts of that attack pattern.
  • Fiona from Tales from the Borderlands has been a Con Man since she was a child along with her sister Sasha, and a life spent using her head to get out of tricky situations has led her to use information from her surroundings, as well as Combat Clairvoyance, to defend herself and her team.
  • Marisa from Touhou Project uses a combination of analysis and theft for her Power Copying. If it comes from a spellbook or an artifact, she'll "borrow" it. If it doesn't, she'll study it in action and invent a spell wholecloth to imitate it. The side series The Grimoire of Marisa has her notes on every enemy's spellcards, how each works, and other possible applications for them.
  • Welkin Gunther from Valkyria Chronicles achieved this in Operation Cloudburst. He drove his tank through a river, Oregon Trail-style, and all he had to do to make it happen was watch how the grass grew in the shallow parts and ask Isara to waterproof it. Being a nature lover sure comes in handy, and the surprise attack gave the imperial soldiers to watch a spooking.
  • In the Yakuza series, from the third game onward Kazuma and other protagonists can get inspiration for new combat maneuvers by watching other people perform out of the ordinary stunts (i.e. a middle-aged woman flipping on her motor scooter as the basis for a jumping attack, or a girl fending off a drunken pervert to learn how to counter grappling moves).

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • Junko Enoshima and Izuru Kamukura. They both excel in analytics to the degree where they can predict and plan for nearly anything several steps in advance, but it has also caused them to be bored with the world. Junko relishes in the emotion of despair because she finds it unpredictable and exciting; eventually convinces Izuru to partake in it as well; and genuinely enjoys inflicting it upon herself, others, and eventually the entire world. Izuru doesn't enjoy despair the way she does, but is instead more interested in watching despair fight hope (which he also finds unpredictable) to see which one is less boring.
    • The Ultimate Detective, Kyoko Kirigiri is a milder version. She regularly performs Sherlock Scans that lead her to correctly theorizing the identity of each killer, and manages to deduce the Mastermind's psychology, motives, intentions, and several exploitable weak points with no more information than the player is given. She also displays a Spider-Sense for when her loved ones are in danger, with it being explained in Danganronpa: Kirigiri that this ability stems from her deductive skills. When somebody is in grave danger, Kirigiri naturally turns her Sherlock Scan up a notch and jumps through most of the intermediary steps involved in a typical deduction to arrive at the conclusion almost instantaneously, with even her unsure how she got there. The details she has been passively collecting through her surroundings just raise a red flag and tell her to respond in a specific way.
    • There are some hints that Kokichi Oma of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony shares this talent for analytics, being extremely intelligent to the point of writing a script that correctly predicts everyone's words and reactions for Kaito to follow in the fifth class trial. And just like Junko and Izuru, he hates being bored.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Somewhat surprisingly, Archer fits this trope. This is mostly surprising because he's Shirou's future self. While his physical strength and reflexes aren't much when compared to the other Servants, Archer is able to use his battle experience and cunning to come up strategies to counter and even overpower his more capable opponents and their strategies. The game calls this ability "Mind's Eye (True)":
      "Capable of calm analysis of battle conditions even when in danger and deduce an appropriate course of action after considering all possibilities to escape from a predicament. So long there is even a 1% chance of a comeback, this ability greatly improves the chances of winning."
    • The alternate version of "Mind's Eye (True)" is "Mind's Eye (False)". While it confers similar abilities as the (True) version, it is purely instinctual and cannot be gained through experience: You either have it, or you don't. Two Servants, in particular, have this skill: Berserker (whose madness keeps him from remembering his experience in life) and Assassin (who as a fictional hero, never had the chance to earn experience in life). In a fight, Assassin was able to tell how long Saber's invisible sword was after observing how she was holding it and feeling the wind from her sword swings.
    • In the Heaven's Feel route, Shirou mimics this skill and uses it to defeat Dark Berserker in three seconds.
    • Both Archer and Shirou also apply this. They subconsciously scan any weapon when they see it and analyze it down to its creation, its history, its previous usage, and the wielder's skill. By compiling all that information and using it to create a copy, they not only produce a projection significantly superior to that of other magi but can also tap into the skills of past wielders to use the weapon more effectively.
    • Not exactly as Analyzing as the previous examples, but Shirou, in the beginning, managed to survive multiple deathblows by Lancer this way. One example being choosing to swing his weapon back just after jumping out of the window to block one, even though he's more-or-less guessing that Lancer would attack him right after, and a misjudgment in timing would result in death.
    • Also from the Nasuverse is Sion Atlasia, and the rest of the Atlas alchemists. Their particular brand of magic involves consciously partitioning their brains to increase "processing" ability, essentially turning each of them into human supercomputers. Sion usually fights by simulating her opponent's attack strategies and predicting every move they make before they make it.
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! has the Sibling Team Gale and Gates. However, while Gates is able to successfully predict Momoyo's first attack, it's so overwhelming that Gale is unable to defend against it.
  • Yume Miru Kusuri: During the climax of Aeka's route, Kouhei finds himself pinned down by two armed assailants, whilst Gaito attempts to rape Aeka. In a matter of seconds, Kouhei manages to analyze the situation, throw off his assailants and take a hostage to rescue Aeka.

  • Another Gaming Comic: Subverted when Joe tries to play Poker. He claims to have used his math skills to completely analyze the game minutes after first seeing the rules, but he still ends up firmly in last place.
  • The Croaking features a minor example: in flight class on his first day at military academy, Ky notices that all of his classmates take the same path through a laser parcour, leading to the larger ones getting singed in the process. So he takes a different path while capitalizing on his greatest strengh, dives, and finishes as one of the fastest in class.
  • In Darths & Droids, R2 reveals that he obtained the Lost Orb of Phanastacoria by calculating its trajectory from the explosion of the Peace Moon and tweaking Luke's ship's flight trajectory a week later to catch it unnoticed.
  • Sal's superpower in Dubious Company. As she explains here. She later uses it to get captured by a dragon and prevent Mary and Sue's Zany Scheme.
  • Guthrie Carroll of Fans! once programmed a spaceship the size of a 2' cube to engage in evasive atmospheric entry, dodging all enemy fire on the way down, then taunted an otherwise invulnerable foe to walk directly under it just as it slammed into the earth (all while being just outside the blast radius).
  • In The Gamer, the main character gains powers that turn his life into an RPG Mechanics 'Verse. He can see everyone's levels and basic status. While it at first seems to be a lame power, he and everyone around him quickly learn that he can potentially become ungodly powerful in a short amount of time by exploiting the mechanics. He quickly figures out how to exploit grinding, and can even master powerful magic abilities by "reading" books that describe them. We mean that in the Skyrim sense, in that he need only select "read" from the menu that pops up. The book will then vanish and he'll suddenly be able to skillfully make use of the technique. One of the earliest techniques he unlocks is observation, which lets him see the strengths and weaknesses and the very detailed stats of his enemies in combat.
  • Girl Genius:
    • This is Klaus's specialty: he's not specifically capable of duplicating physical feats, but he's very very good at examining other Sparks' inventions and improving them. This also apparently extends to neurology, as his current goal is to find out what causes Mad Science behavior in Sparks to begin with. It's implied that while all Sparks have specialties, Klaus's specialty is the Spark itself.
    • Tarvek Sturmvoraus is a more minor example. While he didn't necessarily improve on the design until he built the second head, the fact that he was able to reverse-engineer one of the Van Rijn muses without completely destroying the original is impressive, considering that Master Payne (who knows more about the Muses than most) made it clear that even master Sparks had tried and failed to discover any of the Muses' special capabilities, and most of the Muses had been lost in the process. Later on when he's accidentally captured by Klaus's forces and being led to the dungeons, he happens to briefly glance at an abstract operations table and informs his captors that a unit had been subverted and was about to cripple the entire army. They're so impressed they allow him to keep coordinating the army (under heavy surveillance).
  • Goblins: Biscuit, an orc who's over six hundred winters old, has quite the bonus to his Wisdom score (to the point of being a Genius Bruiser). He's been shown to apply it a few times, notably here.
  • Diamonds Droog from the Intermission section of Homestuck.
    • And then he aims for the bullet holes in the walls that are already there due to time travel shenanigans.
  • In Kevin & Kell, Danielle Kindle saw George Fennec knocked high and far into the air. After a glance, she calculated his trajectory in her head and got into the exact catching position well ahead of time. Because she's Good with Numbers.
  • Leslie does this in The Last Days of FOXHOUND, bouncing a bullet off one mook's gun into another's forehead. Her computation is aided by nanites in her brain.
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • Done by Blossom against Bell in Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi here. Doubles as a Shout-Out to Sherlock Holmes (2009).
  • Weak Hero:
    • In the battle against Jimmy, Gray is able to read his movements by watching the way his muscles contract. As Jimmy's style is based entirely on landing accurate hits, the sudden evasion knocks him off-kilter.
    • Thanks to his extensive knowledge of Yeongdeungpo's gangs, Eugene is able to accurately predict their future movements. He first shows off this ability after Ben's gang defeats Jimmy Bae, and he assumes correctly that Jimmy won't mount a counterattack.
    • Grape shows that his strongest asset in battle is his ability to read the opponent and suss out their weak points. He was the one to realise that Rowan was a one-trick pony without any fighting moves beyond his elbow strike.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue Recreation has Sarge deduce the problems back at base from a single phone call, begining with Simmons answering casually intead of following protocol. As shown in the video clip bellow.

    Web Original 
  • In Edict Zero Fis, Nick Garrett has degrees in psychology, criminology, anthropology, and philosophy, which results in his ability to read people through a psychological version of the Sherlock Scan.
  • Despite being considered Book Dumb by This Very Wiki, when the Game Grumps play Goof Troop, Arin's able to figure out most of the puzzles in seconds.
  • In Lovelace ½, Andi, the protagonist and recent recipient of some kind of Super Intelligence power, does a number of these (e.g., teaching herself the guitar by ear in minutes).
  • Pwnage: From Damian of all people. During their 2nd The Impossible Game playthrough he is able to study Kyle’s movements and do what took Kyle 22 attempts on his first try. Considering the difficulty of the game, that’s rather impressive note 
  • The Salvation War:
    • This is humanity's Hat.
    • In Left Beyond, it's what CATS first and Omega later (in the timeline where CATS fails) use to mount up a credible fight against YHWH.
  • Sanders Sides: This is Logan's specialty. Being the manifestation of Thomas' logic and rational thinking, he responds to any and every crisis by looking at it objectively, and only worrying himself with hard facts, often breaking out scientific studies and statistics to back his argument. While he doesn't always get his way, and Thomas can't be ruled solely by logic, Logan's ability to "out-logic" a problem is genuinely impressive whenever he gets a chance to show it off. Notably, he's the only character who's able to No-Sell the Duke, who's the manifestation of Thomas' intrusive thoughts, since Logan understands better than anyone that the thoughts the Duke represents are not real, and certainly don't say anything about Thomas' character. By refusing to be disturbed or intimidated by the Duke, he robs him of all his power.
  • Tech Infantry has Icarus Hicks, the smartest man in the galaxy, who despite being a middle-aged medical researcher with little military training (and that as The Medic), manages to hold his own against Space Marines in Powered Armor by combining the fine dexterity he developed as a surgeon with analysis of the weaknesses of their Powered Armor suits to think up a way to shut them down.
  • In the Whateley Universe canon, Chaka has the ability to see how Ki Manipulation work simply by watching them and can immediately duplicate them on her own. Similarly, a character named Loophole can determine the trajectory of bullets, bodies, and the like...and "jump into" anything mechanical or electronic to commune with it, understanding how it works in a matter of moments. Contrast this with Caitlin Bardue, who can understand any magical object/device without knowing how it works.
  • Worm:
    • Lisa/Tattletale has this as her superpower. When analyzing someone or something, she needs to have some information about the target to begin with, and her power fills in the gaps in her knowledge, allowing her to crack computer passwords, profile people around her, and make predictions about the most likely outcome of a given situation, among other things. She's very accurate, although not infallible. In the few instances where she makes mistakes, usually because she was lacking a vital piece of information or was working off of false information, she messes up pretty big. Also, she can become mentally overloaded if she tries to take in and analyze too much information all at once.
    • A few times, she goes up against someone with similar talents (or a power based on them). She has a truly awesome interrogation exchange with Cherish in which she responds to having chunks of her past outed by calmly reading her opponent for every single piece of information Cherish intended to use as leverage.
    • The Number Man/Harbinger's power gives him the ability to mentally calculate anything in seconds, from stock market fluctuations to the exact amount of movement necessary to dodge a strike and counterattack.
    • Most Tinkers and Thinkers display this ability to some degree in their fields of expertise.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Action Man (2000) computer animated series, Mann's brain runs a ridiculously complicated mathematical equation that sums up the world and calculates it in such a way that he can predict the future in ways beyond just physics. It turns into Cursed with Awesome when his ability turns him into the MacGuffin.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Right at the beginning of the episode "The Allergy", there's an Adrenaline Time sequence of analysis performed by Gumball during a pillow fight with his siblings, played out as an homage to the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey Jr. Gumball predicts Darwin's moves and devises how to counter them, but he fails to account for Anais who suddenly attacks from behind and grounds him, rendering the whole analysis pointless. Their mother, Nicole, then quickly charges to their room to tell them to go to school, but when the school bus stops at their house, she realizes they're running late and performs an analysis of herself as to how to throw the kids out the window to make the bus, only for the boys to simply run straight to the bus normally and to lose her a chance to do a quip—which is done better by her daughter Anais: "You just got schooled".
    • In the episode "The Parking", Anais pulls another one, this time more detective-y and with descriptive hi-tech graphics and all.
  • Arcane: As befitting the future Sheriff of Piltover, Caitlyn could effectively investigate a crime scene even as a rookie Enforcer, finding various pieces of evidence and visualizing Jinx's rampage on the airship, as well as locating one of Silco's goons who had been left behind.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka defeats Combustion Man using trigonometry and a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
    • Iroh figuring out how to redirect lightning with Waterbending principles applied to Firebending.
  • In The Batman, D.A.V.E. figures out Batman's secret identity through this. He simply narrows down Gotham's population using publicly-available information to find the one young male with the resources, fitness, and motivation to be Batman.
  • Ben's transformation Brainstorm, in Ben 10: Omniverse has this same ability as part of his super intelligence, being able to defeat the Vengers with minimal effort using everything around them when fighting in an alley, even a bitten apple.
  • Gadget had more than a few of these moments during Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, leading to an episode wherein she learned the valuable lesson to stop thinking so much.
  • Danny Phantom, was able to learn most of his powers/techniques almost instantly just by watching someone else use it (i.e. Ghost shield); some other though, required some practice to master, like duplication or simply simply appear when needed. It doesn't limit to powers only, he was also able to learn the body language of Samson, the purple back gorilla, by just looking at her in the zoo by one night.
  • The Dragon Prince: This is Callum’s forte. Despite having no magical training or education, he is able to learn new spells simply by seeing them performed once. His ability at observation also extends to more mundane activities; he’s able to perform a dancing ritual perfectly despite only seeing it one time.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Despite being by far the most feeble of the trio, Edd can often perform amazing feats with just a few calculations and some Bamboo Technology.
    • Ed, of all people, falls into this in The Movie when he defeats Eddy's Brother. Seeing that when he's trying to pull Eddy, who is desperately clinging onto a door, back to his position, the door is being pulled too, Ed simply unhinges one of the bolts on the door so it'll break off; Ed essentially turns the unwilling Eddy into a one-man slingshot, having the broken-off door slam Eddy's Brother in the head and knock him out.
  • Rex Salazar from Generator Rex, was able to complicated trigonometry calculations as easy as breathing; he explained to Noah when he scored an A on his first math pop quiz that it was like aiming his cannon. Of course, coming from a family of scientists is no surprise to see Rex is this intelligent, also able to take all the other high school courses with ease.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Heloise manages to ace skeet shooting thanks to this. After Beezy becomes smart, he repeats this process on a much grander scale.
  • Justice League:
    • The nanotechnological android based on the comic character Amazo takes this ability to its logical extreme—being able to analyze things on the molecular level while being able to at the same time alter its own structure at the molecular level. In short, you are so screwed. So screwed, in fact, that even a nanotech solution doesn't defeat him. Nor does anything else, and in the end the only way to deal with him is to talk him into a Heel–Face Turn. He's so powerful he had to eventually be Put on a Bus.
    • Justice League also subverts the trope in the person of The Question. A brilliant reinvention of the older DC hero, Vic Sage is genuinely strange. While sane, he honestly connects things that are completely unrelated, tending to sound like a total conspiracy nut. However, his actual reasoning works rather well when he tracks down actual connections, to the point he is reluctantly given credit for it by the rest of the League. Yes, by Batman as well.
  • Kaeloo: When Stumpy is granted intelligence by a spirit, he manages to analyze everything around him and predict the future.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Egghead Jr., a character that Foghorn Leghorn would occasionally be saddled with. A mute chicken lad with a spherical head, beady eyes, and huge glasses, he would quickly jot down some very technical-looking mumbo-jumbo and succeed at whatever he was attempting at the time... like throwing a 90 MPH fastball or winning a game of croquet with one swing. When playing hide and seek, Foghorn took a circuitous route and ended up in a dumpster, claiming "He'll have to use a slide rule to find me". Cut to Egghead using a slide rule. Humorously subverted in that he then turns around and digs a small hole, pulling Foghorn out of it. Foghorn is understandably confused and goes back to the dumpster, but decides against opening it. "I just MIGHT be in there!"
    • This was developed into the ability to calculate Gambit Roulettes to his own advantage when the character appeared in Duck Dodgers.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • While Marinette/Ladybug's Lucky Charm power is able to create whatever she needs to solve the current crisis, it's usually something improbable, forcing her to quickly formulate a solution using the object and her surroundings (which the show portrays by highlighting what she intends to use in red with black spots, like her suit). Ladybug's analysis skills don't come from her Miraculous, either — on at least two occasions, she's used them after losing her powers (once due to a fear-induced Power Nullifier, and once in her civilian form while under Laser-Guided Amnesia), showing that Marinette's just that good.
    • Pegasus, aka Max Kanté, has a similar sequence when determining what surfaces to bounce his horseshoe boomerang off of, highlighting them green with a horseshoe pattern. Given that Max is a bona fide Teen Genius who's Good with Numbers, calculating trajectories on the fly is likely also a skill of his own rather than a Miraculous ability.
  • The Owl House: Glyph magic is confirmed to lend itself to this once Luz starts taking students in the second season, with the resident Teacher's Pet's careful examination of their properties/interactions from first principles getting better results faster with less incidental property damage than her rival's method of "Slap them together and see what happens."
  • The Powerpuff Girls: One of Him's riddles to the girls (episode "Him Diddle Riddle") is to pick which of two Ms. Keanes who are suspended over a vat of boiling acid is the real one. Blossom asks which of them would say was the real one, and each giving a different answer. Blossom instantly deduces through analysis which is real Ms. Keane (the one who said "She would say she was the real Ms. Keane," but Blossom actually chose the other. She was so confident and convincing that Him gave it to her anyway.)
  • Kinda obvious with Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Interestingly it happens to Sherlock himself, when Wiggins of the Irregulars easily deduces that Holmes is a Fish out of Temporal Water simply by paying attention to his choice of language and dress.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) incarnation of Master Splinter was not originally Hamato Yoshi the ninjitsu master as most incarnations are, but was Hamato Yoshi's pet rat, who learned ninjitsu just by watching his owner. For a regular, unmutated rat, that's pretty impressive.
  • The Robot Foot Soldiers, or simply the Foot-Bots, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) also come with function. More specifically, they're programmed with all known traditional Martial Arts/Ninjutsu techniques, meaning they can defeat any ninja, and even better, they're programmed to learn how to read and predict their opponents movements as they fight them, so they eventually learn how to predict the turtles' unique not-so-ninja-like fighting styles after a single fight, and these go from Mikey's crazy unpredictable dance movements, Donnie's highly calculated attacks using their surroundings to bounce shurikens and Raph's so NOT ninja-like aggressive techniques that involve throwing his sai. In other words, the Confusion Fu card only works once on them. Of course, this brings up the question, how can they defeat in all following chapters? Well, given who they are, is it really a surprise they can beat the foot-bots even when they can predict their attacks?
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry would occasionally try to out-analyse Jerry's antics, except that either interference from Jerry, or just plain old malignancy and Sod's Law, would cause it to turn on him.

    Real Life 
  • Toddlers and young children are like this by default. This is what helps them learn how to learn. Disabilities like Down's Syndrome result in the child lacking this ability.
  • Humans in general. We have no particular advantages over creatures like lions, or tigers, or bears (oh my!), yet we are the ones who control the earth using only a combination of opposable thumbs and a larger-than-average brain. Everything mankind has built is a result of analyzing the environment and utilizing it to our advantage, from harnessing fire to nuclear power.
  • Visual learners, who learn things through watching techniques and looking at images, as opposed to kinesthetic learners and auditory learners.
  • From the reality show Survivor, contestant Yau-Man Chan, despite being a small man in his 50s, was able to excel in many of the physical reward challenges because he calculated things like arrow trajectories. Early in the game, he opened a supply crate that several younger men couldn't open—lift the crate over a rock, drop the crate corner first, and let gravity crack a weak spot.
  • According to this Sports Illustrated article, Raymond Berry pulled off some truly amazing stunts in American Football through sheer power of preparation and training. Unfortunately, he managed to not get his 1985 New England Patriots a Super Bowl ring in rather humiliating fashion...
  • When working on the swashbuckler parody The Court Jester, Danny Kaye was trained in fencing by co-star and skilled fencer Basil Rathbone. Thanks to his coordination, which aided him in physical comedy, Kaye was able to become as competent at doing the fencing routine as Rathbone with about a month's practice.
    • In real life, fencing has been described as "high-speed chess", so fencing itself would fit this trope.
  • One of the contestants (Hironori Kuboki, Ninja Warrior 7) at Ninja Warrior failed in his first run at the Warped Wall obstacle. Defeated but not conquered, he took measurements and ran the trigonometry of the wall through its mathematical paces. Next year, he beat the wall, with math!
  • Professional basketball:
    • Think those fancy dribbles are for show? Most elite dribblers actually have a plan when "sizing" up a defender, using a chain of moves in order to feint a defender in a particular way to get them off-balance or clear their path to the basket by watching their body language as they defend. Similarly, defenders and teams actually gameplan how to take away specific tendencies of a player even in motion; a favorite hand, a favorite spot on the floor, etc., tendencies born of both lots of studying tape and data, but also what their body language is showing during the flow of the game.
    • Dennis Rodman is considered the greatest pound-for-pound rebounder of all time. Despite a slight frame of 6'7", 210 and playing forward — whereas most rebounding leaders play center, push several inches taller, and tens of pounds more — Rodman led the league in rebounding for seven straight years. Rodman said he did this by studying the tendencies and angles of missed shots from many shooters and could read the spin of the ball as it was shot to determine mid-flight which way it would bounce, beating much bigger opponents to the right spot.
  • An AI programmer named Doug Lenat used his program, Eurisko, to win the Traveller Trillion Credit Squadron tournament two years in a row, despite not being a wargamer. He only stopped because the traditional wargamers there found his strategies distasteful and threatened to stop having the tournament if he won again.
    • Further details on this feat can be found here.
  • The astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson tells a story in his autobiography about how, one time, he was on a bus going along the single narrow road connecting two towns on the coast of Italy. The road was blocked by a carelessly parked car whose owner was nowhere around. The bus came to a stop and everyone got out and wondered how they were going to get to their destination. Tyson realized he could move the car: he knew that the rear end of a car is much lighter than the front, and from experience wrestling, knew how to lift things using your leg muscles. He lifted up the rear bumper, rotated the car around its front tires, and pivoted it off the road. It looked really impressive but the secret wasn't abnormal strength so much as figuring out the right way to go about it.
  • Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell, was Winston Churchill's numbers man during World War II; as Churchill was as backward in math as he excelled at English, the Prof's charts and figures on every aspect of supplies, munitions and manpower cannot be underestimated. But the Prof's true Moment of Awesome came when he studied aircraft tailspins. At a time when no one had survived one, Lindemann figured out a technique by doing the math, then took flying lessons for his solo license, took a plane up, then put it in a tailspin before recovering control with his technique, which is taught to this day.
    • Averted with members of Hitler's staff who filled the same role as Cherwell. Whenever Hitler met with his generals, he had extensive and detailed files prepared by his staff about the state of German industries, manpower, supply situation, etc. that no general could defeat his arguments. However, the actual situation on the fronts seldom resembled the official figures, as, even if the figures were correct, difficulties in transportation and deployments often meant that the actual troops had no access to the supplies in question. A case in point, in an argument with one of his generals in early 1942, Hitler showed that sufficient winter gear has been assembled and sent off to the front. Unfortunately for the actual German troops, the lack of rail transport (combined with the change in gauge at the Russian border) meant that most of the winter gear was piled up at train stations and warehouses in Poland.
  • Science. Through systematic investigation of the nature of the universe, this enterprise has made possible achievements which would be unimaginable in earlier ages, from the miracles of modern medicine to space exploration to TV Tropes.
  • Mostly averted in Real Life, because if you think too much about something you become unable to do it properly. Also, to use Physics (or at least Mechanics) to work out trajectories, and pointing things in exactly the right direction is damned hard, and all Physical equations are approximations anyway, or they would be far too complicated. To be fair, many of those approximations are very, very good. The point remains that measuring and calibrating everything involved by hand usually takes longer than you have.
    • If the other guy has rigged a computer to do his number crunching on the fly for him though, try not to get on his bad side.
    • It's also worth noting that if actually practiced, you're able to get over the Dilemma pretty quickly. Intentionally invoke it enough and you're able to use both parts of your brain.
    • There's also the whole issue with that mathematical calculation is only useful to the degree of precision of one's coordination, which is a large part of what practice develops in physical activities.
    • Another way to consider it is that this is what everyone who is any good at things does all the time. Practice doesn't lead one to have better intuition, whatever that is: it burns the math into one's unconscious so that the result is "just obvious", in the same way, that nobody needs to do complex numeric calculations to coordinate the intricate computational nightmare that is their arms and legs. Having to do the math consciously is arguably being too slow.
    • There is a phenomenon, much in the same style as the aforementioned Centipede's Dilemma, called Paralysis by Analysis. People who train for extreme situations - Firefighters, Soldiers, Police, Doctors and other Medical staff, Bomb disposal technicians, almost anyone who has to make the right call very quickly under extreme stress - can, when faced with the thing they have specifically trained to be ready for, suddenly come to a complete mental and physical halt, because they're trying to figure out the best approach based on what they've learned, and end up doing nothing. This can, on occasion, have fatal consequences. The general consensus is that when faced with extreme circumstances, being trained is valuable, but not as valuable as being experienced.
  • Similar to engineers, artillerymen, who use propellant and trigonometry to drop heavy explosive shells on targets miles away, often using information relayed to them by forward observers. It is worth noting that the word "Engineer" comes from the guys who operated siege engines such as Trebuchets and Catapults. It took the geeks of the day to figure out how to build a device to lob a cow at an enemy city.
  • This is how military general staffs work, as they analyze the potential situations in detail and ensure that enough of the appropriate troops, equipment, and supplies are available for necessary missions (and determine the missions needed to accomplish military objectives.)
  • Sniping tends to work this way. It's often described as 90% mathematics and 10% actual shooting. The snipers' spotters also have to be equally proficient, and carry calculation sheets with them as part of the standard kit.
    • And one knows it is involved when one has to take the rotation of the earth into account along with one's own heartbeat.
    • And slight precession from the spinning of the bullet. Snipers also often shoot from elevated positions which means that bullet drop becomes a much more complex and counter-intuitive calculation.
    • Temperature, humidity, wind direction, lead's not just the physicality that makes sniper training some of the toughest in the military. There's a very good reason why dropout rates for potential sniper students tend to be appallingly high; if you don't possess any of these required attributes then you might as well consider finding a more appropriate position for your field.
  • Similar to snipers, many aircrew positions, including pilots, gunners, and loadmasters, require substantial skill and practice in math. The pilot has to be able to calculate wind drift, fuel consumption, and myriad other factors to effectively fly his plane to the destination. The gunner has to be able to quickly do the mental math to have any hope to hit a fast-moving enemy fighter from a fast-moving gunnery platform (aerial gunners in WWII were trained in skeet shooting as a primer), and loadmasters have to figure out how much weight can be loaded in which part of the plane along with fuel and passengers. Even a relatively small amount of weight loaded too far off the center of lift can cause a plane to become unflyable.
  • In World War II the US Army Air Forces established an Office of Statistical Control that studied the effect of aerial bombing missions and how to make them more efficient in weakening the adversary. Part of this effort included a study that indicated that using the B-29 strategic bomber in low-level incendiary attacks would prove much more effective than bombing from high altitude for which it had been designed. General Curtis LeMay agreed and in the final 7 months of the war, the change in tactics devastated the better part of 67 Japanese cities, killing as many as 500,000 and rendering some 5 million more homeless.
  • Another example from WWII was the analysis the RAF performed on aircraft returning from combat. They studied the battle damage sustained by their aircraft, made a graph of the various parts of the aircraft, and resolved to reinforce the areas that seemed to be shot up the most. Then one bright fellow said they had it completely backward. Since those areas were found the most on returning aircraft, it was deduced that they were actually the least critical. Areas that needed reinforcement were actually the areas that were lowest on the graph, as the aircraft receiving damage there did not make it home. This was followed and survivability increased.
    • The Royal Navy did the same thing in World War II with their Operations Research department that mathematically concluded that the best size for convoys is bigger than normal. They came to that conclusion after mathematically analyzing U-boat attacks and determined it was the number of naval escorts that meant the most in defense. By enlarging the convoys with that in mind, they could concentrate more escorts to better defend the cargo ships while the U-boats would not be able to sink more ships despite the larger concentration of targets because their offensive resources would still be the same, and now they would have to deal with tougher defenses too.
  • Averted by many would-be (and some professional) game designers. Though one can beat a game with math, making a game fun purely on the math is generally unsuccessful.
  • Michael Larson, an ice-cream truck driver who won $110,237 on Press Your Luck, by analyzing and memorizing all the patterns and safe points, due to the computer not being truly random.
    • Similarly, an engineer named Joseph Jaggers in 1873 discovered a roulette wheel in Monte Carlo that was slightly unbalanced, causing some numbers to come up more often. It netted him a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • Richard Feynman told a story of his father reading a book on swimming, and then going into the water and swimming successfully for the first time in his life. This was intended to demonstrate the power of book learning for his children. It worked.
  • In 1994, Canadian computer programmer Daniel Corriveau analyzed the Keno drawn numbers of the Montreal Casino and found buried in the seemingly random results a pattern that allowed him to win $620,000 with a single bet. After a few weeks of inquiry, the casino admitted he had beaten the system fair and square. They gave him a cheque for his winnings and hired him to fix the problem so no one else could pull off what he had just done.
  • The crew of HMS Venturer during WWII — Venturer is the only submarine ever to sink another submarine while both boats were submerged. Not so impressive in modern subs, which are designed to do this, and the only reason it hasn't happened again is that (thank God) a major war hasn't broken out yet. But in a WWII sub, having calculated (i.e, with paper and pencils) a firing solution in three dimensions, a feat previously thought impossible in combat conditions? Awesome.
  • This seems to be a very common ability amongst professional gamers. They become so adept at analyzing all of the information that they see that they will predict exactly when and where an enemy will attack. Their sense of what the enemy is doing without any direct information can be pretty astonishing to casual players.
    • In something of a subversion, inexperienced players are usually more random and thus harder to predict. Depending on the game, this can be something of a problem for more experienced gamers.
      • This weakness does take some of the shine off the genius of the pros, as it shows that their predictive abilities rely on both the inherent constraints of the game (there are so many options available) and the metagame (they mainly study the options that other pros find most advantageous).
    • In the field of poker, many of the top players can often tell what kind of hand an opponent has by analyzing their betting patterns. Thus, some can tell you what your hand is to the rank (sometimes even to the suit!) without you even giving them a classic tell.
  • According to most (including the man himself) this is what made Wayne Gretzky so great, despite having admittedly subpar (for an elite level player) physical gifts: he could figure out where the puck was heading on the fly, allowing him to be in optimum position for shots on goal (and helping him avoid incoming defenders looking to clobber him).
  • Cracked explains, in their article on Myths About Weapons, that snipers essentially use math and physics for their sniping.
    • Cracked did an article on how to win game shows that boils down to exactly this trope. Turned out that even beating Jeopardy! — allegedly a game completely based around knowing "obscure" trivia — is not a matter of memorizing every trivial fact ever, but rather, to know which parts of general knowledge trivia you are weak in... and do a bit of really casual reading on just those areas. The man who figured this out, Roger Craig, did so by feeding hundreds of hours' worth of Jeopardy! questions into a computer to put together statistics on the kind of questions you're likely to get asked, and then had it spit it out as a graph. Then he proved his theory was right by using said graph to study and subsequently win the game. Twice. Including beating the one-day record and then winning a quarter million dollars in the Tournament of Champions.
  • This is partly how the US beat the feared Japanese Zero fighter. This happened when the US military found a nearly intact abandoned Zero fighter in the Aleutians, which was called the Akutan Zero. The US military analyzed every detail about the fighter class to discover its weaknesses and develop better tactics and planes to take the best advantage of them.
    • In particular, it was discovered that the Zero's controls tended to lock up at high speeds and that even with more engine power the Zero was an inherently slow fighter. As a consequence, the majority of late-war US fighters could simply choose to outrun the Zero and attack at a more fortuitous moment. But what about sluggish early-war fighters, such as the P-40 Warhawk and F4 Wildcat? It turned out that US aircraft could sustain higher speeds than the Zero in a dive, and so amongst other tactics, pilots found that a "boom and zoom" technique — attacking the Zero in pairs, while in a shallow dive, extending away each time — could effectively counter the Zero's superior agility. US pilots only needed to score a few hits on the Zero's thin structure to take it out of the fight.
  • Professional baseball:
    • Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, according to the film and the book Moneyball, considered the usual methods of statistical analysis in baseball to be subjective, unreliable, and relics of a 19th century view, preferring to use on-base percentagenote  and slugging percentagenote , which are cheaper on the open market than the traditional indicators. How successful was it? "Moneyball" is now a slang term in baseball, and Beane is depicted in the movie by Brad Pitt.
    • Hall of fame baseball player Cal Ripken Jr. was able to be a very good defensive shortstop in his prime, despite his lack of physical speed, because he studied both opposing batters, and his team's own pitchers, to make sure he was always in the optimal position to make the needed play.
    • Greg Maddux was an exceptional control pitcher who had once gone through as many as seventeen seasons with at least fifteen wins. He possessed an immensely good command of his pitches, sported excellent discipline, and knew where to find the strike zone consistently that he rarely gave up walks on opposing hitters. But what really puts him here was his uncanny ability to read players just by studying their body language and their mental capacities to figure out what they were about to do. There's a good reason why one of Maddux's nicknames is "The Professor".
  • Many teachers -even at university level- use the same exam questions for years, sometimes even use the exact same sheet multiple times, even in the same semester. If this exam goes into circulation, it allows students to pass difficult subjects with only a few hours of studying/memorizing answers.
  • A stalker of a Japanese idol singer tracked down his victim's residence by observing reflections in her eyes, then used photographs showing the position of windows and the angle of incoming sunlight to determine which apartment was hers.
  • ADHD/ADD can cause one to develop this way of thinking — it's sometimes seen as both its best and worst symptom. On one hand, it compensates for the difficulty regulating one's attention span caused by the disorder, and thus lets those who zoned out during an important activity to catch up by analyzing the surroundings. Combined with a stronger knack for associative thinking, this can also facilitate connections that would otherwise be difficult (or even impossible) to reach with a more linear thinking pattern. On the other hand, since people with it are always subconsciously absorbing information, it makes it even more difficult to focus on one thing.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Awesome By Analysis



Brainstorm analyzes the behavior of his opponents and his surroundings to win a fight.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / AwesomenessByAnalysis

Media sources: