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Crazy Enough to Work

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Ramping a PT boat off a derelict tanker in order to torpedo a helicopter. Who would see that coming?

"While most agree that the financial theory behind the scheme is 'crazy,' others counter that the idea of flying a hot-air balloon filled with dry ice over Wall Street is so outside the realm of conventional thinking that, paradoxically, it just might work."

In real life, when someone is in serious trouble, they, even on the fly, have to think of a logical, sensible, and reasonable strategy that can get them out of it with as little loss as possible and in the best conditions possible.

In movies, the characters can make the most irrational, nonsensical, or plain dumb decisions, and it works!


Because it's Crazy Enough To Work, that's why. Sometimes characters will even credit it to it being crazy (enough to work). A possible example would be something along the lines of "What about patching up the nuclear reactor with a pack of gum and peeing on the fire from the top of the reactor? That's so crazy, it just might work!"

Although heroes of every genre will come up with these, expect a lot of them from Badass Unintentionals, since they lack the knowledge, strength, and sometimes even the courage to come up with a better idea.


Lampshaded frequently enough that it's become a Stock Phrase (especially if one of the characters is Genre Savvy — it's not uncommon for In-Universe media to have a love for this kind of thing).

Routinely pulled off by Cloud Cuckoolander characters. Compare Million-to-One Chance; the less probable a plan is to work, the more likely it will succeed in Hollywood conditions. See also It Runs on Nonsensoleum and Refuge in Audacity (which run on a similar premise) and It Will Never Catch On (which is a specific type of joke that invokes a similar reaction in the audience). See also Actually a Good Idea when people acknowledge its effectiveness and Confusion Fu for people who weaponize this trope.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Millennium Snow, Chiyuki suggests Satsuki should carry his grandmother to the hospital in his werewolf form. Toya thinks the plan is crazy, but Chiyuki says "CRAZY just might work!"
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • If smashing a small robot into a big robot's head, almost impaling the pilot of the big robot (who, by the way, was the one who thought of this) in the process is not Crazy Enough To Work, then nothing is. Oh, and they also run a walking, nonflying battleship up a mountain and jump through the air for a good half a mile just to get a chance to kick an Airborne Aircraft Carrier. This universe runs on Rule of Cool, so it was destined to succeed.
    • And when the flying kick only scratches the side of the Airborne Aircraft Carrier? They at once make the captain fling the wheel over in the most exaggerated way possible, turning the flying kick into a flying roundhouse kick that of course succeeds.
    • Everything that happens in Gurren-Lagann is too crazy to work. And yet it does... Their universe operates in these rules, seen as at some point there are literal giant robots piloted by giant robots!
  • Bleach: In episode 135, we see Matsumoto, with Kon by her side, saving the life of a girl that was about to drown when falling in the water after her plushie. How? By removing Kon from his plushie body and tossing him in the mouth of her plushie, to get Kon—as the plushie—to go save the girl instead of, say, going in there herself. She offered a weak rationale ex post facto, and simply let the hilarity ensue.
  • Black Lagoon:
    • In the first arc, when the title ship is cornered by an attack chopper, the two badasses and the tech nerd onboard were getting ready to kiss their asses goodbye when the timid loser businessman they had taken hostage comes up with a plan to charge the copter head-on and use a shipwreck as a ramp to launch them high enough that they can hit it with a torpedo. Not only does it work, but it works with flying colors, and the businessman soon joins the crew afterward.
    • Rock (the businessman in question) repeats it in the Abu Sayyaf arc. Abu Sayyaf intercepts them in a hijacked freighter on the way to the Philippines. Rock suggests torpedoing the freighter only for Dutch to tell them he removed the torpedoes. So Rock has Revy attach all their explosives to a grappling gun and fire it into the freighter's waterline at close range for remote detonation, sinking the freighter.
  • In Eyeshield 21,
  • Isaac and Miria in Baccano! usually get away with their crimes because they are so absurd that no-one can take them seriously, or believe that they could pull something like that off. For example, they robbed a Mafia money delivery dressed up as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, and knocked out the wise guys with baseball bats in the middle of the day on an open street only a few yards from their office.
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji's plans CAN be carefully and thoughtfully planned strategies, but many times his plans are an Indy Ploy or... this. One example happened in episode 32: Mazinger Z got the crap beaten out of it by Gelbros J3, a flying, three-headed dragon-looking Mechanical Beast. Mazinger could not fly -yet-, so Kouji could not fight back. His plan was... equipping Aphrodite A with even bigger Torpedo Tits. During the battle Sayaka shot them, Mazinger latched on the giant missiles and was propelled it skywards, where he was capable to reach the Robeast and shooting it down.
  • In the Dragon Ball anime-only ending, Goku and Chi-Chi have to scavenge to find the magic Bansho Fan when the couple and the master's Turtle come across a book by Kame Sen'nin detailing the instructions on how to build one. Although the master later berates the Turtle because he was drunk when he wrote it, the scavenge does lead them to the Fan and its original purpose (to fan the Furnace of Eight Divisions). The scattered elements of Kame Sen'nin's instructions were actually on the right track, but their ultimate purpose was misguided.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • After a completely even fight, Goku gives up on fighting Cell and makes Gohan take his place in the fight. Everyone reproaches Goku for making his own son do such a thing and it takes Piccolo's admonishment to make him realize that Gohan is not driven to fight as Goku is and that he was mistaken in doing such a thing. Albeit it does work, as Gohan ends up being strong enough to overtake Cell ultimately (twice), it ends up costing Goku his life in an effort to defeat him.
    • In the Buu arc, much of the behavior and actions of Goten and Trunks (and Gotenks for that matter) are fueled by this.
  • Getter Robo: Practically the Getter team lives -and survives- on it! Ryoma usually comes up with some absolutely crazy maneouver and his teammates simply go along it. And it works! One example (from Getter Robo G) was when they trapped a flying Mecha Oni by allowing it to impale their Humongous Mecha.
  • Several of Misato's plans in Neon Genesis Evangelion, particularly her idea to deal with Sahaquiel, the butterfly-like Angel going for a suicide drop from orbit, by using Evas to catch it on its descent.
    Asuka: What are you basing this off of?
    Misato: Woman's intuition.
    Shinji (aside): She plays the lottery all the time and she never wins.
  • When the Epic Hail signaling the war's end fails to stop two armies from charging at each other and re-igniting the war, Kanata Sorami tries The Power of Rock. It works long enough for The Cavalry to show up.
  • In High School D×D Issei is the one most prone to coming up with these kinds of schemes. Devils gain power from their desires, and sacred gears evolve in accordance with their wielder's desires, and what Issei desires is usually something perverse. This leads him to develop powers like a Clothing Damage spell that can also destroy magical bindings, or using his girlfriend's boobs as a power battery, but it also shows through by less perverse means. His plan to defeat Raiser Phenex, for example, involved sacrificing his arm to gain a power-up from his sacred gear and then attacking Raiser with a cross and holy water, which would normally be extremely painful for a devil to touch except that he used his sacrificed arm like an oven mitt.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • A lot of Miho's plans count, as she's generally taking on teams with both numerical advantages and superior equipment, but the crowning moment comes when the Ooarai girls Tankery team runs into a gigantic Maus tank. It promptly knocks out two of their tanks with little effort and forces them to retreat. Saori reads up on it, then laments that it's like a tank on top of a tank. Which gives Miho a crazy idea based on what her friend just said. They have one tank go underneath it to prevent it from moving its tracks, then a smaller tank on top to prevent them from turning their turret, then Miho's tank knocks it out by shooting at one of its exposed grills.
    • Der Film includes many more crazy plans, and not all of them from Miho. Things like catapulting a Hetzer off an L3 Tankette in order to shoot down the barrel of a Morser-Karl, having a tank ride a rollercoaster track to act as a lookout, disguising tanks with inflatable duck heads as camouflage, or blasting a Ferris Wheel of Doom off its supports to break up the enemy formation.
    • The pinnacle of crazy plans from Miho comes in the form of having her sister's Tiger I shoot a blank shell directly behind Miho's Panzer IV to give it a speed boost so it can ram the Final Boss' Centurion tank and deliver a point-blank killshot. It succeeds spectacularly.
  • The "Daedalus Attack" in Super Dimension Fortress Macross. It involved the titular ship covering its right arm (which was a submersible troop transport ship named the Daedalus; long story) with Deflector Shields, then ramming it through an enemy ship's hull, opening ports once inside and firing missiles all over the place. In other words, the giant mecha spaceship punches an enemy ship and then makes it explode from the inside. It was basically a desperate, last-ditch tactic thought up when the Wave-Motion Gun was down, but it was so effective that they end up re-using it several times throughout the show, and it even makes appearances in later Macross seriesnote  on occasion.
  • Attack on Titan: Armin devises two in Episode 8, and a third one in Episode 11.
    • The first is to help lure the Rogue Titan towards the supply base, so it can help them relieve the siege. It works, as the Titan rushes towards the area when it sees how many there are congregated there.
    • The second is when he develops a plan to kill the remaining Titans in the supply base so they can restock their gas canisters. He has many of the remaining soldiers all inside a lift elevator, whose goal is to fire their guns into the eyes of the seven Titans, blinding them in the process. Then, a group of seven of their best soldiers hidden nearby would strike and take them down. It works, but Sasha and Connie miss the neck, so they don't quite finish off their targets. Fortunately, Mikasa and Annie finish them off.
    • While attempting to go over the plan to seal the gate of Trost, Armin mentions that Titans seem to be drawn most towards large groups of people. So he advises that they have a large group of soldiers stand up on the Wall and try to lure most of the Titans towards them, and have a small group of elite soldiers guard the attempt to seal the gate.
  • All over the place in Code Geass. Zero's plans often seem so impossible or amazing (and are always assisted with use of his geass) that he earns the name "Miracle Worker" for pulling off so many insane stunts. In fact, early on Zero has a hard time recruiting people since his plans sound so insane, most people aren't willing to risk their lives on what looks like suicide missions.
    • Rescue a political scapegoat in the middle of a massive military escort to his trial with only two men and a van? Use psychic powers, blackmail and false threats to win.
    • Save a hotel full of hostages from terrorists who are also Japanese resistance forces? Waltz right past the princess's blockade to make diplomatic talks with the hostage-takers, then have your men rescue them while you personally keep the commander distracted!
    • Take out an entire battalion of Knightmares and kidnap the princess? After putting himself in a position where he's surrounded by the enemy and cannot simply retreat? Start a landslide.
    • Launch a full-scale invasion of occupied Tokyo after a peace treaty gone horribly wrong forces his small army to fight unexpectedly with no plan? Sabotage the city's anti-earthquake system so that entire buildings collapse at his command.
    • Recently retrieve his memories while surrounded in an empty casino under siege, deep in enemy territory, with only a handful of Knightmares? Knock the building over to build a bridge to the Chinese embassy and make an alliance there, under diplomatic protection.
  • Similar to Lelouch, as he is in many ways, L-elf of Valvrave the Liberator tends to use these. The best is when he is up against X-eins, a former teammate of his who is a master of these in his own right. The only thing that can stop X-eins' crazy plan is an even crazier plan from L-elf.
  • Panzer World Galient: In chapter 6, the main characters are trying to come up with a way to prevent the Marder's army from attacking White Valley. Hilmuka suggests that they raid Marder's weapons factories to draw the enemy's attention to them. What is the catch? She wants to assault a vast, heavily guarded fortress with two adult soldiers, two teenagers, and a Humongous Mecha. Windu protested that her plan was crazy, but Jordy decided to try Hilmuka's idea anyway.
  • In Private Actress, Shiho Kobayakawa is such a good actress that she manages to pull off ridiculously great private acting gigs that no actresses her age would be able to do. i.e., once she's hired by a young woman whose sister was murdered as a little girl, with the plan of having Shiho play the role of said dead sister's reincarnation to help the client's mentally unstable father deal with the immense pain coming from such a loss... and not only does it work perfectly, but they manage to find and help apprehend the original girl's murderer.
  • The Saga Prefecture needs help, and Kotaro Tatsumi has a plan: Make a regional idol group to boost Saga's popularity. Seems reasonable enough, so how is he going to get seven talented women to sing for him? Why, he'll just raise them from the dead of course! And so Zombie Land Saga sets its tone...
  • Rebuild World: Akira setting his gun on an automated firing pattern and spinning it through the air, shooting everyone inside the room of the enemy unit including himself in the hopes of creating an opening when he throws his second, actually broken gun. This Batman Gambit is actually the pay off to a subplot where his opponents main weakness was discovered and told to Akira. That being Sheryl using a Honey Trap on Katsuya and finding his Fatal Flaw of Chronic Hero Syndrome.

    Comic Books 
  • When the Justice League uses a crazy superhero to predict the actions of completely crazy bad guys, at least you have the "crazy" part covered.
  • Deconstructed, discussed, and ultimately played straight in Hitman. Tommy suggests that they "do something completely and totally crazy" to escape the SAS at the end of #24. The cover of #25 is Tommy hung upside down and bleeding and Nat unconscious on the floor with the SAS soldiers behind them holding automatic weapons.
    Nat: We keep hittin' Louie's places 'til we got him so pissed his ass goes nuclear. Then, when the dudes got Sean call us an' arrange a meet, we lead Louie's boys onto 'em an' start the mutha of all firefights. In the confusion we get Sean out an' slip away while the S.A.S. an' the mob shoot the hell outta each other. We go home. That about it? [Well] You know how in movies when some dude says "in the confusion"— Like, "In the confusion we gonna rescue the princess, pop a cap in lord Vader an' do a bunch of stuff to mess up his scary-ass death star"— you know why it always works out just like the dude says? 'Cause it's a movie, Tommy. We got two sets of badasses trynna kill us. We bring 'em both together with us in the middle — what's gonna be so confusin' about that?
  • In the finale of Superior Spider-Man, Spidey attempts to reconcile with Miguel during the finale, telling him the honest to goodness truth, that "It was Doc Ock hijacking my body" along with everything else. Miguel points out that it's so stupid that it has to be true and all is forgiven.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: In his first superhero fight, the Green Goblin took Spider-Man, flies with him to a high altitude, and then throws him to his death. What can he possibly do? Create a net of webs below? That's so crazy... of course it worked!
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe examples:
    • According to his nephews, Donald Duck's sane ideas never work, but the crazy ones do. He demonstrates again and again that his crazy ideas do indeed work. For example, the above statement was a comment on Donald taking an angry mouse and bug spray to go after an armored man armed with swords, muskets, and a cannon... And it ended with his foe completely unarmed and unarmored while Donald is training his own cannon on him.
    • In some Italian stories, Scrooge reached the conclusion that if money moves people and goods in the desire to obtain it, then fuels and propellants obtained from it would be incredibly powerful, and started making Dollarite from his own money to power spaceships. Dollarite is just as powerful as Scrooge thought, much to his nephews' confusion... And that was before he came up with the Super Dollarite.
  • The plan of the villain in Watchmen is simple enough (unite the world against a common enemy, so humanity won't kill itself) but his method is... odd, to say the least. It involves a genetically engineered giant squid with the cloned brain of a human savant, capable of transmitting nightmarish images directly to any brain within a large radius. The idea is that when teleported to New York, this thing dies instantly, but explodes with enough force to kill millions, causing the world to unite against the threat of an alien invasion. It works, although not necessarily perfectly. Averted in the film adaptation, as while the plan is still the same, it's done in a much more realistic way, by destroying several cities with nuke-level explosions that mimic Dr. Manhattan's energy signature, framing him instead of an alien race.
  • This, alongside never-ending wisecracks and his entire existence being pain, is one-third of Deadpool's entire thing. Some of the plans and tactics he comes up with are sheer lunacy, but he makes them work. During the Dark Avengers era, Bullseye (dressed as Hawkeye) fires a rocket launcher at Deadpool, who is in a moving vehicle, so what does Deadpool do? He pulls the brakes, turns the car sideways and rolls down the windows, which allows the missile to fly through the windows past the driver's seat and harmlessly explode against a hillside. Bullseye even laughs at this and says no one else could have pulled that off.

    Comic Strips 
  • Subverted in a The Far Side comic where two scientists are running away from an explosion, one scientist remarking "I guess it wasn't crazy enough to work after all."
  • One Zits storyline started off with Jeremy volunteering to work as a receptionist at his Dad's office for a bit. Walt says it's just crazy enough to work while Connie only agreed with the first three words of that line. It did ultimately work out.

  • A Crown of Stars: Shinji and Asuka were trying to free their world from the dictators and thugs ruling it after the end of the world, but their army was cut off and they were unprepared and outnumbered. So, how did they seize Buenos Aires? Misato and other commanders came up with the idea of pretending that they were preparing a rock concert to lure the enemy troops into a stadium. It worked. And it was very awesome, indeed.
  • Advice and Trust: In chapter 7 Rei was fighting Zeruel alone because Shinji and Asuka got fired. Despite her most valiant efforts Zeruel was trouncing her. Shinji and Asuka could not seem to help her because they were out of the Geofront, and even if they made it they could not use their giant robots (Rei was piloting Unit 01 and Zeruel had butchered Unit 00 and 02). Then Shinji got an idea: driving to the base as fast as possible and hijacking Unit 03, an Evangelion that neither had ever so much as TOUCHED before that day and could be contaminated by an Angel, hoping that maybe Hikari -who was stuck inside- would help them to move it around given her connection to both. It worked after a fashion: they did not win but they kept Zeruel distracted, allowing Rei to kill it.
  • In Asuka Quest, most of Asuka's AT field tricks are this. Constrict AT fields to create ultradense matter usually found in the cores of neutron stars? Why not. Cause a Reality-Breaking Paradox? Only in the sims, bucko. Cause massive explosions by setting AT fields to block only certain subatomic particles? If you can stand the explosion. Hit Sahaquiel with AT fields formed into the bat? Result: Home run. Rant to Lorenz Kihl in Sophisticated as Hell language to get the drop on him? It does result in a hit. Of course, some of her ideas don't work and end up causing problems, like getting Shinji drunk before the Matariel fight.
  • The Child of Love: Asuka's plan to deal with a flying Angel shot light beams was… getting a giant mirror to reflect its light beams back towards it. Since they had no giant mirrors Asuka thought of using two solar panels.
  • Child of the Storm has many examples. And all of these, somehow, work.
    • How, if you are Harry Potter/Thorson going to escape the Disir once they kidnap you and a couple of friends? Annoy them, taunt them, hit them with a spell you have no idea will work, then run like hell.
      • If you deem the Ravenclaw Quidditch team to be responsible for/compliant in bullying your friend (Luna Lovegood)? Wait until the next Quidditch match, fly as close to a bludger as possible, then use it to take out the entire opposing team. Apparently this is actually an accepted, if insane, Quidditch strategy, referred to as the 'Dangerous Dai Decoy'.
      • If you are facing an immortal Ax-Crazy Necromancer with God of Evil level powers and a Healing Factor that makes Wolverine's look pathetic, how do you defeat him? Re-enact an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
      • If you are trapped in another dimension (but you don't know which or how to get out), surrounded by the hostile forces of the Red Room, and Sinister, who knows you inside out on a genetic level, including a psychic even more powerful than you, and have a number of civilians to serve as The Load, how do you escape? Start a fight with said psychic, staying just out of her grasp enough to prevent being overpowered and using psychological warfare largely based on guesswork to throw her off, relying on the combined psychic power being thrown out to serve as a giant beacon to the Avengers. It works.
      • However, it's subverted if you end up playing Spanner in the Works to your own plan.
      • If you are facing Dracula, a Vampire Monarch you know is well out of your weight class and skill level (something he has proved in a previous fight, impaling you like a kebab with your own sword and turning your sole serious back-up (Professor Xavier) to mince in the process) and who is backed up by a number of seriously powerful right hands and a small army of at least Super Soldier level allies, while you only have a few allies, only three of whom have more than minimal powers, and only two of those are actually trustworthy... what do you do? Distract Dracula by playing on his fears and pretending to be the Dark Phoenix, while an ally swipes his hostage. This also works.
      • If you are facing an ancient dragon capable of killing planets, how do you kill it? Distract it, and turn yourself into a living bullet, fired from orbit, aimed at its one vulnerable part: its eyes. Specifically, so as to get at the brain. This one works, though not at first.
      • This is pretty much the essence of Harry's plans, with their insane nature becoming a Running Gag.
    • If you are Harry Dresden, how do you kill a Nigh-Invulnerable demon that just refuses to die? Grab a high voltage power line and channel the electricity through you into the demon.
      • If you are facing the previously mentioned Necromancer, how do you hurt/kill him? Meld fire and force magic with Soulfire to create a holy lightsabre.
    • If you're Tony Stark, how do you, having spent several days drugged up in a HYDRA Dungeon defeat a demonic dragon? Fly into its mouth and blast your way out from the inside.
    • Doctor Strange's entire Xanatos Gambit, culminating in Chapter 78, seems to run on pure, brilliant lunacy.
    • In the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, Thor's entire plan for defusing the situation after Harry briefly goes Dark Phoenix and is deemed a threat (for fairly logical reasons) by the Council Elite of Skyfathers/making them back off. Get Doctor Strange, who by this point seems to have genuinely gone round the bend, assume he has a plan, give him the Tesseract, and let him run wild. Which, of course, Strange has planned for you to do.
  • Company0051 has grenades taped onto dodgeballs. Granted, it'd just be easier to throw the grenades themselves, but it does allow the Kid Soldiers to show off their mad dodgeball skills.
  • Evangelion 303: During their dog fight, Asuka was chasing Shinji and coming on his heels. Then Shinji abruptly braked and flew backwards. Asuka got frightened and swerved to dodge him, allowing Shinji to tag her.
  • Paper Mario X: In chapter 54: "Hmm…that's crazy enough to work!" pondered Samus.
  • Every single one of Takato's plans in the Tamers Forever Series and I use the word 'plans' in the loosest possible terms.
  • The whole plot of Decks Fall Everyone Dies is to pull off a plan that's so crazy it might work to bring card games back.
  • In Vengeance from the Grave Harry suggests that a couple of his fellow Unspeakables deal with several giants using their Animagus forms by having the panther slash the giants' Achilles tendons after which the bull will push them over. The team leader comments "That's just stupid enough to actually work."
  • Chapter 81 of the Halo fanfic The Life involves the protagonist's team dropping without him. He convinces the captain of the ship to do a flyover near the position of his squad. He jumps from the cargo bay of a frigate with a jetpack that he doesn't know how to use and a tank with parachutes attached to it. While playing "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath on the helmet's speakers.
  • Somewhat inverted in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    Mom: Well, that's nice, but you don't need to broadcast it coast to coast! Just look for him (Hobbes) quietly.
    Calvin: Of course! If I continue to shout for him to show up, he'll know where I am and get farther away from me! On the other hand, absolute silence means absolute secrecy! It's so crazy it just might work!
  • In NGE: Runaways Misato needs to come up with a plan to break Rei out of Nerv while Shinji escapes to rescue Asuka. Something all but impossible. Then she says: "You know, this might be total madness, but I actually might have a plan..." What is her plan? Later we find out:
    Rei: "Are we stealing an Evangelion?"
    Misato: "Yes we are, because we are insane."
  • From Bajor to the Black: Kanril Eleya takes out a Borg probe by charging it, neutralizing its shields with those of her own ship, and beaming a photon torpedo aboard, then running like hell before the torpedo blows.
    Captain Jay Yim: Lieutenant Kanril, are you insane?!
    Eleya: It worked, didn't it?
  • Oddly enough, the flat-out aversion and even defiance of this Trope (be it because Reality Ensues or because the good and bad guys are that Crazy-Prepared or good at Xanatos Speed Chess) is a minor Running Gag on the Nanoha fanfic Game Theory.
  • The aversion of this trope (and Lemony Narrator pointing out why "Crazy Enough To Work" is plainly not going to work) is also a minor Running Gag amongst the writings of EarthScorpion. The one time this is played straight, on the Neon Genesis Evangelion/CthulhuTech crossover Aeon Natum Engel, it actually makes the one who gives the idea (a Misato Katsuragi so drunk and full of despair at the oncoming Angel that she proposes equipping the Evangelions with plasma miniguns, which would need to be built from scratch (and later are)) to do a Double Take.
  • In Harry Crow Hermione suggests that they all wear mirrored sunglasses, blind the basilisk with an illumination spell and cast at its eyes as fast as they can.
    Padma Patil: Hermione, that's so bloody crazy it just might work!
  • In My Short Story Haven Godric Gryffindor's spirit suggests kicking Dumbledore out of Hogwarts and making baby Harry the new Headmaster (and his guardian Severus Snape interim Headmaster) as a distraction, allowing him and the other Founders to improve the school behind the scenes.
    Salazar Slytherin: That idea is crazy.
    Godric Gryffindor: Well?
    Salazar Slytherin: Yet it is so crazy that it might actually work. The way your crazy ideas usually do.
  • In chapter 25 of Son of the Seven Kingdoms, William Baratheon uses the Storm Call Shout on the Iron Fleet, knowing that he is risking the destruction of his own fleet, or even King's Landing. Fortunately, it pays off.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: While caught in the middle of a fight between Megas and Yuuka Kazami, Reimu decides on a risky plan to end the fight without any casualties. She knows there's a strong chance it'll end up killing her (and wiping out Gensokyo by extension), but decides to do it anyway with no other justification than "this entire evening has been stupid enough to begin with". Her plan? Using herself as an extra power source for Megas, transferring her ability to fly into its systems and giving it the ability to do meaningful damage to Yuuka.
  • In Beyond the Veil Volume One: Arrival Harry and Deadpool are up against a feral Wolverine and Sabertooth.
    Deadpool: Don't know why I'm doing this, maybe you can magically amplify my bullets to actually break through the healing factor. I know, nutty and off the wall, but...
    Harry: It just might work.
  • In Hawk-Eyed Charlie Charlus Potter decides that Neville's parents are suffering from a magical version of PTSD and he and his mostly-Muggle fellow veterans should kidnap them from St. Mungo's so they can recover among friends.
    Old Harry: It's so crazy it just might work! Hell, it helped Danny boy when he came back from 'Nam when his own kids wanted to ship him off to a nursing home!
  • The Death God Alliance had the problem of Nico di Angelo going missing after an attack by magicians. Hades becomes quite angry and prepares to destroy the magicians of the House of Life, which would end badly. However, Nico can't simply pop in and say he's fine because he got part of Anubis's soul stuck in him and Hades would react badly to that. His solution: Make it seem like he had simply been playing Mythomagic for a week with Anubis and hadn't noticed anything amiss. This worked, despite even Percy Jackson thinking the plan was completely ludicrous.
  • The Night Unfurls: Chapter 11 of the original has Sanakan suggest that the Alliance troops should just "break through" the orcs in front of the gates of Ansur. One of their members, Alaric, thinks she's going to pull a Leeroy Jenkins. Sanakan reminds him that they have magic artillery (Olga), so it will be fine. Alaric internally notes that "this crazy plan was probably going to work after all". And boy it does.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Par for the course for Ash. Even if he has everything against him, he won't rest until he finds a way out. Some of his most impressive victories include:
    • In the Celadon Gym, Erika's Leafeon summons a long-lasting Rain Dance, that hampers Ash's Pokémon with type advantages against Erika's Grass-types. When he realizes he won't be able to win if he doesn't get rid of the rain, he does... with his own Rain Dance. This sounds absurd at first, but it works, because the resulting downpour gets rid of the moisture in the air, meaning the rainy conditions can't be sustained any longer.
    • In the semifinals of the Fuchsia Tag Tournament, Ash and Pikachu's opponent is a Mudsdale that has just about everything on its favor: has a type advantage as a Ground-type thus rendering his Electric attacks useless, has an ability that boosts its defense every time it takes damage and on top of that hits hard.. What does Ash do? Have Pikachu store as much electricity as he can in his tail, and then attack the battlefield, sending out a barrage of rocks over Mudsdale, damaging it enough to end the battle with one last Iron Tail.
    • Later in the finals, faced against Paul's Torterra, Ash tells Red that in order to win, Red needs to evolve his Charmeleon. Red and everyone else thinks he's crazy, but Ash insists that he can see his Charmeleon has the power to evolve and just needs the motivation to do so. Red then awkwardly gives Charmeleon a pep speech, and to everyone's shock, he does evolve, becoming strong enough to overpower Torterra.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Vix-Lei's plan during the late stages of the battle with the Nightmare. It involves setting her hammers on fire and using them to pound their enemy.
  • In Missing Persons Harry offers to pretend to be a captive so that Emma can infiltrate a kidnapping ring.
    Katie: Harry, that's crazy!
    Neal: It's just crazy enough that it might work.
  • In Harry Potter and the Rule of Three Harry, Hermione and Susan decide to form a triad.
    Susan: It's crazy, but it's just crazy enough to work.

    Films — Animated 
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • Has it like this:
      Astrid: What are you going to do now?
      Hiccup: Something stupid.
      Astrid: Okay,'ve already done that.
      Hiccup: Then something crazy.
      Astrid: That's more like it.
    • Shortly after that, when the other kid Vikings figure out Hiccup's plan to have them train their own dragons:
      Ruffnut: You're crazy! (leans in closer) I like that.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Argo: Lampshaded In-Universe by one of the hostages after hearing about the plan to pretend they're Canadian filmmakers to sneak them over the border. "Is this the part where we're supposed to say this is so crazy it might work?" (and given it's a true story...)
    • As the main character points out, these types of operations run on this type of trope. Getting people out of countries is not something to ever be taken lightly as the stakes are so high that you have to be above reproach in your operation. The fact that he tore apart the problem with the initial plan (biking through a very mountainous country during winter for 300 miles) results in the following conversation:
      "You don't have a better bad idea than this?"
      "This is the best bad idea we have, sir... by far."
    • It's not much better from the Hollywood side either as the first crazy thing in the very long list of crazy needed to pull this off is discussed:
      Chambers: If you're gonna do a 20 million dollar Star Wars ripoff, you need somebody who's a somebody to put their name on it. Somebody respectable. (beat) With credits. (beat) Who you can trust with classified information. (beat) Who will produce a fake movie. (beat) For free.
  • Star Trek:
    • James T. Kirk is the living embodiment of this trope. This exchange from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
      McCoy: So you're saying you want to go backwards in time, find some of these whales, bring them forward in time, drop 'em off and hope to hell that they tell this probe what to go do with itself?!
      Kirk: That's the general idea.
      McCoy: But that's crazy!
      Kirk: You've got a better idea? Now's the time.
    • Star Trek (2009): Kirk from the "Kelvin Timeline" still shares the same audacity. Ordinarily, when a mining ship from the future commanded by an Ax-Crazy Romulan shows up and starts laying waste to ships and planets, most folks would decide to steer clear of the damn thing. Kirk, however, decides that the best course of action is to take them head-on.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: The Black Pearl is closing down on our heroes. Since they've already thrown the ammunition overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship, Will orders the crew to make a stand and fight, loading the cannons with anything they can find. Then, when it becomes clear that the Pearl will catch them before they can even try to fire on it, Elizabeth tells Anamaria to club-haul the ship, an extremely risky nautical move.
      Anamaria: You're daft, lady! You both are!
      Gibbs:: Aye, daft like Jack!
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: When Jack Sparrow uses the recoil of a cannon to toss him from one ship to another, it prompts this exchange between him and Lord Beckett:
      Lord Beckett: You're mad!
      Jack Sparrow: Thank goodness for that, 'cause if I wasn't this would probably never work.
      • And upon landing in front of his bewildered crew:
        Jack Sparrow: And that was without even a single drop of rum!
      • And then the full scale of the insanity hits:
        Lord Beckett: How soon before we can follow the Pearl?
        (Then Beckett's mainmast breaks and falls over, having been hit by the cannon shot from Jack. Beckett stands absolutely stone-faced.)
        Beckett's captain: (admiringly) Do you think he plans it all out, or just makes it up as he goes along?
  • Star Wars:
    • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Han and the Millennium Falcon are having a tough time outrunning the huge Star Destroyers chasing them, so...
      Leia You're not actually going INTO an asteroid field?!
      Han: They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?
    • And then he pulls another crazy stunt by going into a strafing run against another Star Destroyer. This confuses and distracts everyone long enough for Han to hide the Falcon on the back of the Star Destroyer's hull. When the Imperial fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace, thinking the Falcon had somehow already escaped, it dumps its garbage as per standard procedure and the Falcon with powered-down engines floats away in the middle of the trash field. Too bad Boba Fett stuck around long enough to see them when they powered up their engines again.
    • Lando had one in Return of the Jedi when he commanded the Rebel fleet to attack the Imperial Star Destroyers at point-blank range, guessing that A. The Death Star wouldn't fire on them for fear of taking out the Imperial ships in the process, B. The Empire would actually think the Rebels knew what they were doing more than they let on (this was elaborated on further in the novelization), and C. Even if it didn't work they could at least take some of the Imperial fleet down with them.
    • Deconstructed in The Last Jedi: Poe and company, being pursued by the First Order with no way to shake their tracking - even by hyperspeed - come up with a plan to track down a famous hacker, sneak onto the enemy vessel, and disable their tracker; it's just crazy enough to work! It ''doesn't''. Not only do they fail to find the hacker, but their replacement sells them out at the last second; if Leia and Holdo hadn't stepped in, Finn and Rose would've been executed on the spot. To be fair, Leia and Holdo's far more reasonable plan - hole up in an abandoned Rebel hideout and call for reinforcements - also fails when no one is willing to answer. Reconstructed in the final act when Luke saves them with an even crazier plan: create an illusion of himself from across the galaxy, the strain of which proves fatal, to distract the First Order long enough for Rey to evacuate everyone on the Millenium Falcon, banking on Kylo Ren's overwhelming hatred for him to give him tunnel vision. Ultimately, its a Decon-Recon Switch.
  • The basis behind the plan to rescue Morpheus in The Matrix. Complete with call out.
    Trinity: Nobody has ever tried anything like this before.
    Neo: That's why it's going to work.
  • Parodied in the Dana Carvey film The Master of Disguise. The line is repeatedly used for the most simple and straightforward plans. Dramatically.
  • Iron Man: Okay, so you're a rich playboy snarker who's out for a relaxing afternoon drive in the deserts of Afghanistan, when a bunch of psycho terrorists blast the crap out of your armored truck, fill your chest with shrapnel, hook you up to a car battery, toss you in a cave, and then tell you that if you don't make a missile for them, they're gonna feed you to the hyenas. Sounds like you're screwed, don't it? Here's what you do: build a tiny chestplate that puts out more energy than the warp core of a Federation starship, forge some iron and heavy metal by hand, and design a badass suit that's capable of kicking doors off hinges, bitch-slapping terrorists by the dozen, equipped with a rocket launcher, a pair of flame-throwers and has a rocket pack so that you can blast off after wreaking havoc. Oh, and you have to do this while trapped in a terrorist bunker being monitored 24/7 on camera, meaning you have to build a convincing replica of the missile at the same time. Most people don't have the audacity to attempt something so brazenly outrageous. But then, Tony Stark ain't most people!
  • Indiana Jones cutting the rope bridge in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and many other Indy Ploys fall under this category.
    Willie Scott: (sees Indy raising his sword) Oh my GOD! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD, is he nuts?!
    Short Round: He no nuts, he's crazy.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: They're about to suicidally attack Sauron's far superior army to distract him while Sam and Frodo try to complete their insane plan of attempting to simply walk into Mordor, somehow bypass the tens of thousands of bloodthirsty orcs, climb up an active volcano barefoot, and destroy a telepathic Artifact of Doom before it takes over their minds and/or gets stolen from them and handed to Sauron, which would grant him godlike power. Not only does it work, but all the heroes survive, except for Gollum and a bit of Frodo.
    Gimli: Certainty of death, small chance of success... What are we waiting for?
  • Batman: The Movie: Catwoman says this phrase almost word for word about the Penguin's Unspoken Plan.
    Catwoman: I say it's crazy. But I also say let's try it.
  • Sahara (2005): Pulling a Panama? Okay, believable, considering gas is just as flammable today as 2005. But using a box of tools to convert a one-winged, at-least-as-old-as-you airplane into a windsurfing desert-crosser? Really? That's actually pretty standard for Dirk Pitt.
    • And that's not counting taking on a modern military with a 19th century cannon. And winning!
  • Ghostbusters (1984) had this when Egon suggested that they cross the streams to defeat Gozer. When Peter reminds Egon that he previously warned them not to do that, Egon points out there's definitely a very slim chance they'll survive.
    Peter Venkman: I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it! Let's do it!
  • During Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves this is invoked by Will Scarlett (Christian Slater) after he launches Robin (Kevin Costner) over the castle wall with a catapult... "Fuck me, he cleared it!"
  • Lawrence of Arabia invokes this when planning his raid on Aqaba. The Turks at Aqaba are operating under the assumption that they're in no danger of a ground attack, as they've paid off the one local Arab tribe and the impassable Nefud desert stands between them and any other tribe, so they haven't bothered to set up any defenses against that possibility. Lawrence realizes that if they can do the supposedly impossible, they can mount an ambush where the Turks won't be prepared for it.
    Ali: [Aqaba] cannot be approached from the landward side.
    Lawrence: Certainly the Turks don't dream of it.
  • Parodied in the film adaptation of Sgt Bilko when Steve Martin's title character utters a variation of the Trope Name upon learning the new recruit to his motorpool division actually is a trained mechanic. "A real live wrench-turner in the motorpool? It's so crazy it just might work!"
  • In The Great Escape, this is Mac's analysis of Hilts and Ives' first breakout plan.
    Mac: Why didn't anybody think of that before? It's so stupid it's positively brilliant!
  • The comedy Down Periscope centered around an officer being tasked to test the abilities of the US Navy to adapt to unconventional warfare because he had a tendency to think this way.
    Seaman Sylvesterson: Actually, sir, I think we prefer to go with the bizarre and risky. Worked for us so far
  • From Guardians of the Galaxy: Big Bad Ronan The Accuser is about to use the most powerful weapon in the galaxy to destroy a planet. So what does Star-Lord do? Challenge him to a dance-off, completely bemusing Ronan and distracting him for long enough for Rocket to MacGyvering a gun, knocking said weapon (an infinity stone) away.
    Ronan: What are you doing?... What are you doing?
    Star-Lord: I'm distracting you, ya big turdblossom!
    • This film also gets a meta-version. Think about it: it's a movie about a gang of superheroes even a number of Marvel fans had never heard of beforehand. Honest Trailers lampshaded this and more: "We'll take that chubby guy from Parks and Recreation and turn him into a ripped sexy action hero! You like Vin Diesel and his awesome voice? We'll have him repeat the same line over and over the whole movie!" Despite all that, GOTG not only received 92% on Rotten Tomatoes from 227 viewers but became the highest-grossing MCU movie of 2014, beating Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Avengers: Endgame has the attack on Thanos (lampshaded by Captain America, who replies to "This is gonna work" with "I know it is. 'Cause I don't know what I'm gonna do if it doesn't."), which ends up working too well because to the heroes' surprise, Thanos is completely alone and much weaker due to destroying the Infinity Stones having cost the majority of his strength. And in a bigger level, the plan to "Time Heist" the Infinity Stones from the past, which everyone goes along with because no matter how bizarre, it's their only chance to return things to normal.
  • In Harrison Ford's Air Force One, when the generals are scrambling to get the President out of Air Force One before it eventually crashes into the sea, one does come up with a plan that even he thinks it's crazy: Basically, have an Air Force aircraft set up a zip line between the plane and Air Force One all the while in mid-air. And this is while the latter plane is losing altitude.
  • Snakes on a Plane: The titular plan to have some motherfucking snakes run amok on a motherfucking plane and (hopefully) kill the federal witness within is lampshaded by The Hero Agent Flynn as something so insane that no security check would have been able to see coming. It's even pointed out that the Animal Assassin horde doesn't need to physically get to the witness in order for him (and all other passengers) to die — they could just as easily damage the plane's sensitive avionics by slithering around rough-shod and make it crash (and this almost happens).
  • Godzilla 2000 sees Godzilla himself have a moment of this: after seeing the damage his atomic breath does to Orga instantly be undone by Orga's Healing Factor and Orga open its mouth to prepare to swallow Godzilla, Godzilla looks like his mulling over his options before heading right into the mouth to fire a nuclear pulse that ultimately kills the monster.
  • Most of the attempts to figure out the question in Exam are subverted; the plans are crazy, but they just don't work.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • What do you do when some of your enemies have survived your flaming deathtrap and are beginning to storm up towards your capital city from your shores - oh, and the leader of your men refuses to go near them, as he's suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder from being set on fire himself in the past? Oh, and you're a dwarf who can't even walk properly? Say "to hell with this" and lead the charge yourself, shaming nearly everyone else into following you. What happens when your enemies on land are all vanquished, but some of the ones from the flaming ships are leaping across the wreckage, swords at the ready? Meet them on the wreckage in single combat, getting your face horribly scarred in the process while you nearly drown.
    • Also, any desperate plan Daenerys ever makes, especially the ones involving dragons or their eggs. Copycats aren't so lucky.
  • Animorphs invoked this frequently — pretty much every time Rachel came up with a plan it was this. Marco says it word for word more than once. What to do when one of your friends has been kidnapped, held prisoner in a ridiculously well-guarded underground base, and you have less than two hours to rescue them, all while your leader isn't even around? Impersonate a jet pilot, steal a jet, fly it straight down into the ground through a building, then bail out and jump into battle. Even then, it only worked because they made the Big Bad's day when they killed a political rival in the process, and he didn't bother to stop them from leaving the mess. Rachel, folks.
  • Discworld: 'It's a commonly known fact that million-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten.' It has to be exactly a million-to-one chance though.
    Sergeant Colon looked wretched. "Weeell, what if it's not a million-to-one chance?" he said.
    Nobby stared at him.
    "What d'you mean?" he said.
    "Well, all right, last desperate million-to-one chances always work, right, no problem, but...well, it's pretty wossname, specific. I mean, isn't it?"
    "You tell me," said Nobby.
    "What if it's just a thousand-to-one chance?" said Colon agonizedly.
    "Anyone ever heard of a thousand-to-one shot coming up?"
    Carrot looked up. "Don't be daft, Sergeant," he said. "No one ever saw a thousand-to-one chance come up. The odds against it are—" his lips moved—"millions to one."
    "Yeah. Millions," agreed Nobby.
    "So it'd only work if it's your actual million-to-one chance," said the sergeant.
    "I suppose that's right," said Nobby.
    "So 999,943-to-one, for example—" Colon began.
    Carrot shook his head. "Wouldn't have a hope. No one ever said, 'It's a 999,943-to-one chance but it just might work.'"
  • In Redwall's Martin the Warrior, Feldoh says this after hearing the Rambling Rosehip Players's plan.
  • In Hammer of the Witches, the covert operations team's boss says that the proposed plan to hunt down a target is so crazy his superiors might just approve it.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Tybalt's suggestion to escape the Calvarian navy via a passage inhabited by a sea monster in Reynard the Fox is finally accepted using this sort of logic.
  • The majority of plans crafted by Codex Alera's hero, Tavi of Calderon, hinge on this. So much so, in fact, that his lover is able to correctly reason Tavi's chosen location for the series Final Battle by thinking of a place that only a lunatic would willingly enter.
    • You want examples? Of course you do! Take, for instance, his role in the defense of the Elinarch. Due to a lot of things going wrong at once, he ended up in command of a single, inexperienced legion (about 7,000 soldiers) who had to hold a bridge against an army of more than 50,000 Canim: centuries-old, enormous, and incredibly dangerous wolfmen. First, to stop them from crossing the river anywhere else, he had all the butchers in the camp and the towns at either end of the Elinarch throw buckets of blood into the river to attract sharks. Any Canim trying to swim across quickly learned the error of their ways. He also went out to try to negotiate with the leaders. By himself. He proceeded to use his knowledge of their culture to laugh in the face of an Evil Sorcerer and exploit a division in their leadership. Then he sat for an hour and played chess with Nasaug during a truce to let them remove their dead from the fieldnote , in order to buy time for his men to set up his next tactic: sawdust and fire furies planted in every building on the Canim side of the bridge, which he then had his only Knight Ignus blow up while the Canim were trying to move through them. He'd made sure they were all in the buildings by having everyone in the legion hold tiny firecraftings over the main square so the stones were superheated and anyone trying to step on them would get fried. And the battle ended when he had his Knights Aeris bend the air to form a quarter-mile-wide magnifying glass, concentrating the sunlight into a Death Ray. The general consensus among the characters seems to be that Tavi is completely insane.
      Ehren: "This plan is insane....You are insane....*looks around* I'm going to need some pants.
    • And that thing mentioned above about going into the most suicidal place he could think of? His plan was to piss off the Eldritch Abomination-like Great Furies Garados and Thana and use them against the Vord Queen. It only really works when she tries to claim the furies and he has the even crazier idea of cutting her connection and letting them go free to wreak random destruction. They are very pissed about the attempt to control them, and Thana, an enormous, sentient thunderstorm, pretty much literally chews the Vord Queen up and spits her out.
  • Harry's plans in The Dresden Files are often of this variety. Since they are written by the same man as Codex Alera, this is far from surprising.
    • Zombie Tyrannosaur, anyone?
    • "Challenge everyone (White Council, White Court, Shagnasty) who shows up in one place at the same time, just to try to draw out a single baddy who won't be able to miss the opportunity". Particularly since the thing that worked in the end was hiring a plain old vanilla mortal private investigator to take pictures of everyone going through the Ways to the island. And then presenting his dog (a magic temple dog at least as smart as a person, admittedly, but still a dog and not capable of speech) to corroborate the photo evidence.
    • Possibly the craziest - or at least the riskiest - was in the third book when one of his plans hinged on deliberately ingesting lethally poisonous mushrooms.
      Thomas: I thought you were lying. Bluffing.
      Harry: I don't bluff if I can help it. I'm not too good at it.
    • In Cold Days:
      Karrin: You want me to drive into the lake.
      Harry: You have to admit, it isn't the craziest thing I've ever asked you to do. It isn't even the craziest thing I've asked you to do tonight.
      Karrin: You're right. Let's go.
    • Ghost Story hangs a giant lampshade on this. There's a rule in the series that only insane ghosts can manifest physically. Ghost Harry realizes he can pull this off precisely because he's pulled off so many utterly batshit plans!
  • John Dies at the End has this come up a lot, usually for John's plans. About a third of the way through the book, after the heroes decide to fight a ballroom full of monsters with The Power of Rock, he even speaks a variation of the Stock Phrase:
    John: I'm lead, Jim is rhythm, Jen sings backup. Jen, just repeat everything Dave sings, only like one second behind. The sound system will be on the stage. We duck out there and plug in and wail. Okay? Guys, this is just retarded enough to work.
  • X-Wing Series. Wraith Squadron specializes in these plans. Just during their first active mission, they fake the Millennium Falcon to decoy a Star Destroyer away from an evacuating Rebel base, then proceed to capture (and utilize in a False Flag Operation) a Corellian Corvette pocket carrier with an X-wing's laser cannon carried by the squadron's resident Gamorrean - who they got onto the corvette by ripping the smuggling compartment out of a shuttle and attaching the rockets from an X-Wing's ejector seat to it to turn it into a makeshift boarding pod.
  • Kelsier of Mistborn pretty much can't go a single chapter without someone saying he's nuts, usually because of the sheer, ludicrous Refuge in Audacity. His plans usually work for exactly that reason.
  • In A Hymn Before Battle, during the events of the defense of Diess, Lt. O'Neal had acquired a reputation for plans that sounded crazy but were thought to possibly work, due to the successes of his unconventional campaign against the Posleen.
  • The Flight Engineer: Early in The Rising, Commander Peter Raeder drives a Space Pirate fighter away from a damaged freighter by landing a repair scooter on it and bashing its sensor arrays to pieces with a hammer and a set of tin snips. As he runs the heck away, the pirate radios its buddies that the Merchant Marines have developed a new weapon of some sort. (Raeder had a fun time explaining that line to Intelligence.) This sets the stage for ever more ridiculous plans by Raeder, such as nuking a Fibian fleet by having fighters shoot up ice asteroids with their cannons until the hydrogen in them undergoes fusion.
  • In Small Gods, inhabitants of Ephebe believe that crossing the desert is impossible, so they keep all their military forces focused on the sea. Vorbis sends several caravans to leave supplies along the way, which lets Omnian soldiers cross the desert and take Ephebe completely by surprise.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth elaborates on Gandalf's role in arranging the journey of The Hobbit in "The Quest of Erebor". He talks Thorin out of a military expedition against the dragon and proposes a mission of stealth and burglary instead. When the dwarves grouse about the unlikiness of success, Gandalf admits it, but says that he's done them a huge favor by changing their task from impossibly difficult to absurdly difficult.
    • The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf´s gambit of sending Frodo into Mordor straight under Sauron´s nose is pretty far out. Denethor lampshades it prominently:
      Denethor: At this hour, to send it in the hands of a witless halfling into the land of the Enemy itself, as you have done, and this son of mine, that is madness.
      • Gandalf himself admits it's a crazy idea when proposing it, and argues that because it's such a mad idea Sauron will never see it coming.
      Gandalf: You say this is folly. Then let folly be our cloak; a veil before the eyes of the Enemy!
  • In Romeo and/or Juliet, Juliet's nurse has the option of jamming really firm sticks into the mouths of several ferocious dogs and a lion. Both the narrator and gatekeeper are shocked that she managed to even get the sticks in the animals' mouths, let alone avoid getting killed by them.
  • Troy Rising. As an underdog on the galactic scene, almost every single one of humanity's schemes ends up like this, by necessity. Using a solar-powered mining laser to drive off alien invaders? Inflating a nickel-iron asteroid into a battlestation 10km across? Making that battlestation mobile with an ORION drive? Lampshaded in one conversation between a human and an alien-based AI:
    Tyler Vernon: If it's crazy and it works...
    Granadica:'s not crazy. You humans are only sophonts in this galactic region to have that saying. Most people just go with "that's crazy."
  • In Lawrence Block's The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian Bernie asks Denise to forge a Mondrian so he can cut it out of the frame and then swap the frame for an actual Mondrian.
    Denise: This whole business is crazy, Bernie. You know that, don't you?
    Bernie: Yeah.
    Denise: All the same, it just might work.
  • Subverted in The Disaster Artist. Just before filming on The Room begins, Tommy Wiseau makes it clear that he'd much rather see his best friend and line producer Greg Sestero in the role of Mark, rather than Don, the actor who was cast. His plan is to avoid making waves by simply never telling Don he's been replaced, not rolling film when Don is performing and then reshooting every scene with Greg in his place, claiming it's a demo reel for the producers to look at. Greg calls the plan "just crazy enough not to work at all", and indeed, Don realizes what's going on by the end of the first day on set.
  • In Rich Man's War by Elliott Kay, the good guys are facing 2-to-1 odds just on numbers, and their ships are smaller and weaker than the invaders, making it more like 20-to-1 or more on firepower. What does the defending admiral do? She personally leads most of her ships in a desperate Hold the Line to tie them down while a few other ships strip escorts off the enemy's big guns, and has her corvettes (tiny ships) circle around and make a mass run in. Initially, the attacking admiral on the battleship thinks they are trying to kamikaze, but instead they are getting in close to drop off boarding parties. It turns what was supposed to be a Curb-Stomp Battle into a victory when they manage to take control of key places like fire control and start shooting up the invading fleet with their own battleship. However, the corvettes lose ~2/3 of their number, and judging by descriptions of the action, the boarding parties probably suffer more than 50% dead. It's explicitly described in a later book as overturning a century of tactical dogma.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel. The plan to capture Angelus has to qualify. It involved Faith doping up during a fight, allowing herself to be fed on, then Angelus getting high off the drugs she took.
  • The A-Team. Period. Consider this quote from the Movie.
    Lt. Templeton "Face" Peck: This is nuts, boss.
    Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith: It gets better! (starts laughing)
  • This happens a lot in Blackadder, always prefaced by the words "I have a cunning plan". Subverted as these plans usually fail, or are so stupid that is no way to actually enact the plan. "Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic! Contemptible! Worth a try!"
  • Boy Meets World has an episode where Shawn tries to escape Cory's house through his bedroom window which leads out to the backyard. The problem is, the parents are out there. After freaking out for a minute, Shawn is reminded by Cory that he could just go out the front door. Shawn questions this for a second and then states that it's crazy enough to actually work. It does of course.
  • Lampshaded in Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    Cordelia: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.
    Oz: We attack the mayor with hummus!
    Cordelia: I stand corrected.
    Oz: Just gettin' things in perspective.
  • Some of the stuff that Chuck Bartowski comes up tests the very limits of sanity. But somehow, it works. There are reasons why it works.
  • Corner Gas. Many of the schemes tried by Brent LeRoy and Hank Yarbo (and a pretty significant chunk of the schemes everyone else in the main cast try) fit into this trope. Most of the time the plans fail miserably, but even when they work, the success just creates another problem they hadn't anticipated.
  • On The Daily Show, when John Hodgman (Resident Deranged Millionaire - no, really, it's his actual title) suggests that America fake its own death to avoid debt, Jon Stewart said "Wow, that's so crazy... it just might be fucking crazy."
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Time Crash" (though it happens more than you might imagine):
      Fifth Doctor: You'll blow up the TARDIS!
      Tenth Doctor: Only way out.
      Fifth Doctor: Who told you that?!
    • Doctor Who runs on Crazy Enough to Work, but even they outdid themselves with the grand plan to save Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor". The Doctor(s) plan(s) to use the TARDIS(es) to trap Gallifrey in a single instant in time and store it in a pocket universe, hiding from the rest of the universe and allowing the Daleks who have the planet surrounded to blast themselves to smithereens. The Time Lord General's reaction to this is priceless: "I'm sorry... WHAT!!??"
  • A rare serious version occurs in the season 3 premiere of Falling Skies:
    Pope: So you think we can just sneak in from behind and take the Espheni by surprise. Well, that's insane.
    Weaver: Which is exactly what the enemy thinks. Which is why they have left the back end of the plant undefended.
  • Mentioned by Steve Harvey sometimes on Family Feud. Once all the reasonable answers have been found, the last one or two are the "ignant" ones which, at best, are based on some kind of Moon Logic. So the only way to guess those is to be just as crazy as the people originally answering the survey.
  • Farscape: See John. See John have a fight with a large empire. See John strap a nuclear bomb to his chest and walk into their headquarters as a diversion. See John Win.
  • Firefly: The crew of Serenity practically does this for a living. The maneuver "Crazy Ivan" is called that for a reasonnote , jumping onto a moving train is risky enough when it's not a hyper-fast futuristic train, injecting yourself with adrenaline to stay conscious long enough to call for help can be suicide, fighting off about thirty seasoned fighters with a bunch of prostitutes needs no explanation, and even Jayne didn't think it was possible to get Mal out of Niska's skyplex.
  • Also pretty much every episode of Hogan's Heroes.
    Hogan: Well, we've got to stop Williams, but use him as a diversion so we can knock out that gun.
    Newkirk: With all due respect, sir, you're dreaming.
    Hogan: If you've got a better dream, I want to hear it.
  • The Knick:
    • Dr. John Thackery needs to perform surgery on a man with bronchitis, meaning that he can't be given ether. His solution? Inject cocaine into the man's spine. In-universe, this procedure has only ever been tried once, on a dog. And the dog died. His colleagues think he's insane but, obviously, it works perfectly.
    • This is deconstructed in the season one finale. Thackery once again performs a revolutionary new procedure on a patient but this time he kills the patient. He drew incorrect conclusions from his research and he was too stubborn and paranoid to consult with other experts in the field. In addition, the patient's life was in no immediate danger so there were no extenuating circumstances to justify him performing such a risky experiment on a patient without her consent.
  • Diamondback in Luke Cage (2016) is generally crazy and unstable, but damn if his plans do work out. When Luke is framed for cop-killing by Diamondback, the latter takes an opportunity to pin him inside a club full of civilians and hold a couple of people hostage until they can take him out. This strategy is heavily criticized by his Dragon Shades because they are risking themselves getting directly exposed by the police and his boss is just making things up as they go along. Against his expectations this plan works: after enough stalling, the police storms in, arrests Luke and Diamondback escapes, though he loses a couple of mooks in the process, Shades included ironically enough, who didn't have enough faith in his plan. Even though Luke also manages to escape the police again in the following episode, it was due to circumstances beyond Diamondback's control, whose plan worked out in his favor.
  • Every single episode of MacGyver, of course. Crazy Enough to Work is the driving principle behind MacGyvering.
  • This seemed to be Dino's preferred method in the U.S. Season 8 of MasterChef. His cooking was often wildly inventive and often went in directions that had never been done before and theoretically just should not have worked. When he failed, it could be spectacular, but his success was enough to carry him to the finale and win in the end.
  • Many of the myths tested on Mythbusters turn out to be this. For example, if a car goes fast enough, can it skip right over the surface of a 120-foot lake and keep driving when it gets to the other side? The Build Team didn't think so either. Then they tested it. Can you fool a highly-sensitive sonar motion detector by holding up a bedsheet in front of you to absorb the sound waves? Guess what...
  • Discussed and parodied in an episode of The Office (US), when Michael badly wants to know what is going on in a meeting he is not allowed in.
    Michael: You know the plans people say are "just crazy enough to work"? Well, I don't believe in doing those plans when you can go with a "sure thing" instead. That's why I'm having him wheel me into the meeting inside of this cheese cart.
  • Any and all prison escapes by Michael Scofield of Prison Break. Features of his plans include structural engineering know-how, coded phrases, and last-minute improvisations due to being failed and/or betrayed by other people. Over the course of the series, he has broken the safety railing off a prison infirmary window by having an elevator pull it down with a fire hose, broken into a courthouse and threaten an FBI Agent with a painted squirt gun while knowing there was a trap waiting for him and his brother there, botched an associate's helicopter escape attempt by weighing him down and hoping the sharpshooter couldn't get a clear shot at him from above, lured one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world down to the hiding spot of his most prized and protected possession and tattooed his worst enemy's face on his hands to fool the guy's facial scanner.
    • Special mention goes to the time he bought a would-be Sex Slave from a group of human traffickers, offered to marry her so she could get a green card (which she accepted), and helped her start a relatively decent life in America all in exchange for her sneaking a prison key card disguised as a credit card into the conjugal visit room.
    • As crazy as Michael's plans get, they are nothing compared to the schemes T-Bag comes up with. Escaping from prison and suspecting that one of your teammates will kill you the moment you get out but don't have any leverage? Handcuff yourself to the guy who HAS leverage! That Brilliant Idea led to your hand getting chopped off? Threaten the first doctor you find into surgically reattaching it without anaesthesia. Want to leave the country but you're a wanted fugitive with your face plastered all over the place? Find someone who looks slightly like you, say, that therapist from the ads, kill him, steal his glasses and money and identification and board a plane like it's nobody's business. Your teammate double crossed you and now you're left back inside the Hellhole Prison with an injured drug lord as your only hope? Convince him that the new general in charge is corrupt enough that money can buy anyone a way out so the drug lord reveals the location of his secret money stash, then kill the drug lord and splash a big portion of the cash around to the prisoners and eventually start a riot and set the place on fire so that you can escape with help from the prostitute who occasionally comes in disguised as a nun.
  • Pick any (and we do mean any) of the plans hatched by the folks on Stargate SG-1.
    • Blowing up a sun; using every Stargate simultaneously to propagate a wave capable of disintegrating matter across the whole galaxy.; sneaking into a conference where all your major enemies are gathered; storming an enemy mothership with just four people. Believe it or not, these aren't the craziest ones.
    • One later season episode lampshades the escalating ridiculousness:
      Col. O'Neill: All I'm saying... just for the record... this is the wackiest plan we've ever come up with. [He turns and starts to leave the room]
      Maj. Carter: Wackier than strapping an active Stargate to the bottom of the X-302?
      Col. O'Neill: [As he walks out the door] Oh, yeah.
      Maj. Carter: [Calling after O'Neill] Wackier than blowing up a sun?
      Col. O'Neill: [From the corridor, unseen] Yep!
      Maj. Carter: [to Jonas and Daniel] ...He's probably right.
    • Invoked by the Asgard Thor, who will occasionally "borrow" SG-1 to deal with an Asgard problem when they are totally stumped. Because as a highly advanced and logical race, he feels the Asgard lack the capacity for "stupid ideas" that end up being extremely effective, which SG-1 has a history of coming up with on the fly.
  • A fair number of Star Trek adventures feature somebody coming up with plans that are Crazy Enough To Work.
    • In Star Trek: The Original Series, Scotty especially had a habit of making stuff work that simply defied the laws of physics, though he admitted to Geordi La Forge in his cameo appearance in the Next Generation episode "Relics" that, like any smart engineer, he always left a decent safety margin that he could exceed in a pinch.
    • As mentioned above, James T. Kirk is the patron saint of Crazy Enough To Work. From corbomite to fizzbin, most of his plans are completely insane when viewed from a distance (and pretty often he's so damn lucky that they work for him and only for him—the infamous Bamboo Technology cannon from "Arena", for example, has exploded in the face of everybody else who has tried to create it and use it in a similar way on training exercises afterwards (they have gotten a bit luckier using it as a pipe bomb)).
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation has its fair share of these as well. A particularly notable one happens in "Best of Both Worlds": the Borg have kidnapped and assimilated Picard, along with all of his knowledge and experience. This leaves Riker facing an opponent who has superior technology and the ability to anticipate his tactics. The only solution is to come up with a plan so risky and unorthodox that even Picard wouldn't see it coming.
    • Played with in Star Trek: Voyager. Former Maquis, who made up a lot of the crew, had to make do with next to nothing a lot, so they came up with ways to do the mission that'd make regular Federation officers protest like mad. Janeway was smart enough to let her Maquis people do their thing when needed, but even then it didn't always work.
    • Subverted in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant". The Red Squad cadets cook up such a plan to destroy a Dominion battleship, but since they're all a bunch of stressed out, inexperienced newbies and not the highly trained professionals of other Starfleet vessels, the plan fails miserably and they all end up dying for their troubles.
  • Major Bunny Colvin comes up with a pretty interesting plan in season 3 of The Wire. Faced with the drug trade sprawling over more and more of his streets, as well as an increasing pressure to get crime rates down, what plan does he come up with? Legalize drugs. More specifically, he sets up three "safe zones" in his district and makes a deal with the dealers: if they move all their trade there, the police won't touch them. And it works. Dangerous street corners are cleared for ordinary people and his men can focus on fighting crime more concretely, as opposed to making endless futile drug raids. Crime goes down 14%. But in the end, The Wire is too naturalistic for such a Zany Scheme to be workable: once his superiors find out about the whole thing, "Hamsterdam" is shut down, Colvin is disgraced and the streets return to normal. Major Rawls even comments that his plan was brilliant - insane and illegal, but brilliant.

  • In the Firefly game of Cool Kids Table, Mickey's plan to slingshot the Reaver ship into the Hands of Blue ship and beat them to the Zelda is dubbed "just stupid enough for Firefly".
  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, most of Taako's plans are like this.
    • One sequence had the players needing to get into the caboose of the moving train they were on while unable to simply walk through to the back due to magic. Word of God has confirmed that Griffin had planned (and expected) them to climb on top of the train, but Magnus' unexpected solution was to rappel sideways down the cars using rope and the power of wind, reaching the caboose, swinging around to the inside, and distracting the caster long enough to allow the spell to break and the rest of the party to enter. This was such an unrealistic plan that Griffin confirmed Magnus would be Killed Off for Real if he failed his roll. Of course, he didn't, and the rest was history.
  • In episode one of Mystery Show, Starlee uses some questionable logic to choose a children's clothing store to go into and question the clerk about the mysterious video store she's looking for.
    Clerk: I was their first customer.
    Starlee: [voiceover] I can't believe that worked.

  • Destroy the Godmodder:
    • Lots and lots and lots of these. Enemy not taking damage from guns and swords? Hit him with a chair. The godmodder deflects nukes? Throw a nuclear snowball. Giant universe eating demon with infinite health? Burn his overcoat.
    • TT2000, who happens to be the original creator, whose inherent effectiveness stems entirely from the total lack of effectiveness that his actions inherently possess.
  • In Cartesio: Need to compare suspect footprints while stuck in the trial room? Get Bolin to earthbend the mud off everyone in the room and make a pile so that they can check their footprints in it.
  • The Ballad of Edgardo: Edgardo from the self-titled story. He wanders into a forum full of violent, edgy jerks playing an idealistic shonen anime brawler and, upon immediately arousing the anger of the rest of the players there, attacks them despite being massively under-level and stuck with cripplingly bad stats. Then when in the process of trying to take his revenge, he discovers that his supposedly useless ability is actually the strongest build in the entire forum and uses it to kill every high-powered magic user and godlike warlord who threatens him by punching them really hard in the face. To reiterate: Edgardo's player managed to turn a build that everyone thought was functionally useless into an unstoppably powerful attack that no one can resist — by accident.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey: One side-quest has the main character faced with a jealous suitor having rendered a rival bald via a "love potion", gloating about how she's gotten away with it all. The player has three choices: Try and kill the woman herself (not a sensible idea at a crowded party), decide the insanity isn't worth it and leave, or... tell the guards that the woman's a witch, and have them get her. This actually works (and her decidedly ex-husband just goes "you know, that explains a lot...").
  • Baldur's Gate II: to defeat Irenicus during your first confrontation at Spellhold, you are told that only an army could manage to give you a chance. And you are also told that there is such an army available: all the inmates of the asylum, mad sorcerers and wizards that in other circumstances would be unwise to unleash. The plan works, although Irenicus manages to escape.
  • In Crysis 3, Psycho says that going straight through the front door into the Liberty Dome will work because it's so crazy that CELL will never see it coming.
  • Daughter for Dessert:
    • The protagonist breaks into Mortelli’s office to find out what his friend isn’t telling him.
    • Also, Lainie had a scheme, with the protagonist as an accomplice, to get startup capital for the diner from her family, even though her lawyer had previously denied her request.
  • Double Homework:
    • The protagonist evacuates his summer school class to safety from an avalanche on skis. Bonus points for taking place only a few months after another avalanche on the same mountain claimed the lives of all but the best skiers (himself and Tamara), giving both of them PTSD, and the presence of three rookie skiers in the group, one of whom goes down the mountain without a partner guiding her.
    • Double subverted with the break-in of Dennis’s apartment to find his storage device. The protagonist, Henry, and all the girls masterfully plan the caper, only to find no sign of said device. Then, Dennis suddenly comes home in a huff, carelessly throwing aside a portable hard drive. The protagonist, realizing that this must be the device they were looking for, takes it before they all sneak out.
  • This trope sums up Laguna Loire's plan to defeat the Big Bad of Final Fantasy VIII, an Evil Sorceress from the future whose consciousness possesses people in the present and is trying to compress time into a singularity in which only she can exist. Since they can't touch her in the present, what is Laguna's plan? Give her what she wants, so that a team of combat specialists can get to her through compressed time and kill her, then rely on the Power of Friendship to get them back to the right time when the timeline decompresses. Squall, the leader of the team, tells Laguna up-front that the plan is ridiculous, but goes along with it anyway because it's still their best shot.
  • Subverted in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Ephraim, along with his 3 bodyguards, plans to raids the enemy castle and take it over, on the basis that "If the enemy thinks the same [that the plan is insane], there's our opening." Unfortunately, it turned out that one of the aforementioned 3 bodyguards was The Mole, and therefore the enemy was completely prepared for the siege.
  • Justified in Fire Emblem Awakening's second act: facing an invading army from the neighboring continent, still convalescing from a recent war, the chief strategist of the Ylissean Halidom builds his/her whole strategy upon the reasoning that careful planning will merely delay the final defeat and decide to mobilize every force he/she can muster (including the fleet of the neighboring kingdom against which his country just fought two devastating wars) and head straight into the enemy's home turf with an army hopelessly outnumbered directly helmed by him/herself and the Halidom's ruler.
  • Halo:
    • Halo: Combat Evolved: Flying a Pelican dropship through a network of underground tunnels to get the Master Chief to the map room.
      Cortana: Look on the bright side, Foehammer. The last thing the Covenant will expect is an aerial insertion... from underground.
    • In Halo 2, the Master Chief dives out of Cairo Station with a bomb larger than himself and falls into the engine of a Covenant Carrier, detonates the bomb, and falls again to land on a UNSC ship that is minuscule by comparison.
      Cortana: I know what you're thinking, and it's crazy.
      Master Chief: So? Stay here.
      Cortana: Unfortunately for us both, I like crazy.
      Sarge: For a brick, he flew pretty good!
    • In Halo: Reach, Kat proposes a way to take out a Covenant supercarrier that involves "the single most expensive piece of equipment made by man".
      Carter: Even for you, Kat, that's...
      Kat: ...inspired?
      Carter: Not the word I would use.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star, the villainous Tohri Nishikikouji is using Anghel's power of bringing people into a shared mass hallucination to power a laser to destroy St Pidgeonation's. This could qualify on its own. The heroes then realise that it might be possible to use those same powers to repel the laser. They do so by having Anghel bring them into a hallucination where they are "Pretty Coore" magical girls, able to use the power of love and friendship to save the school. It works.
  • The Henry Stickmin Series frequently zigzags this trope with its choices. Sometimes, the one choice that lets you progress is the least flashy one, while other times, the weirdest option gives you the best outcome by virtue of this trope.
  • What the player fleet has to do in the first Homeworld in a nutshell. The Kushan homeworld of Kharak has been wiped out by a fringe fleet of the Taiidan Empire, the galaxy's strongest military power with far more advanced technology the Kushan have, the Mothership with the last survivors is practically unarmed and is being hunted down by Space Pirates, the largest and most powerful warship the Kushan have access to is the assault frigate copied from a Taiidan one they captured through surprise, and the final destination of the Kushan voyage, their ancestral homeworld of Hiigara, is somewhere deep in Taiidan space, so what do they do? They destroy the pirates and the fleet that wiped out Kharak taking advantage of the fact they suffered losses in the attack and don't expect to be hunted down, then they make a beeline for Hiigara - whose exact location the Kushan don't know - while reverse-engineering as much Taiidan technology they can and destroying any Taiidan ship they find. It works, partly because the Taiidan are utterly dumbfounded until after the Kushan have already entered their space and partly because the Taiidan have made various enemies that find a common cause with the Kushan.
  • Most of the escape from Peragus in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Pointed out once or twice by Atton.
  • Played with in Left 4 Dead 2. Coach comes up with an idea to start up a band's pyrotechnics in order to call for a helicopter. After hearing this, Nick drops this line.
    Nick: Coach, that has got to be the stupidest idea I have ever agreed with.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II has Rean who is crazy enough to escape the Pantagruel, carrying the princess who was abducted by the Noble Alliance despite the overwhelming odds. Everyone on the ship lampshades at how crazy the kid is and praises his guts for it. He's also crazy enough to jump from a tall building and be caught by Valimar and his own friends lampshade it as well.
  • In Minecraft, it’s definitely possible for the player, out of all things, to pull off crazy contraptions and ideas that seem so inexplicably stupid, yet they work anyways. This is due to plenty of Good Bad Bugs that aren’t patched yet. Same thing goes for Kerbal Space Program, too.
  • In Namco × Capcom, the party needs to escape from the exploding Balrog ship. A dragon powered lens piloted by Zuhl is nearby but he can't get in closer because of the interference from the Psychopower. Hiryu's suggestion? Get to the dragon using the catapult and toss themselves towards the dragon. This stunt is repeated in Project X Zone 2: Brave New World where Hiryu suggests the same thing again with the newcomers utterly baffled at the idea while the ones who already did it before just gave up arguing about it and just did it with Chun-Li remarking that this one's easier because the other side of the ship can pull in the characters.
  • In The New Order Last Days Of Europe, Kemerovo is a bizarre neo-Muscovite kingdom run by an ex-Soviet colonel who believes he is the reincarnation of Rurik, the Viking chieftain who unified Russia in ancient times. Despite "Rurik II"'s obvious eccentricities, Kemerovo is a strong contender for unifying the fractured post-Soviet Russia and taking the war to Nazi Germany, between its large industrial base and its ability to form a very competent staff room from taking Four-Star Badass generals from other regional unifiers. Given that Rurik II's insanity is eventually revealed to (maybe) be an act...
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous: Azata PCs can recruit all manner of non-stereotypical allies to the Crusade, from halfling and gnome knights to treants and mimics—the latter of which causes even your azata observer Early Sunset to comment that he must be going insane. Not to mention solving all kinds of problems by spontaneously singing the Song of Elysium. A lot of what they do works at least in part because the demons are used to asymmetric warfare against the nominally Lawful Good Mendevian Crusaders (who fight in very disciplined and therefore fairly predictable ways), but have no idea whatsoever how to handle a Chaotic Good army that barely knows what they themselves are going to try to do half the time.invoked
  • In the fourth case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Prosecutor von Karma jokingly suggests that Phoenix cross-examine a suspect's pet parrot because he has no other options besides throwing the case. Guess what causes von Karma to lose the case.
  • Normally, the Noble Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus would be calmed down by having their respective wardens present offerings of their favorite foods to them. However, the Nobles' frenzied states make them too dangerous to approach, thus making the offerings useless. Professor Laventon's solution? Turn the offerings into balms and throw them at the Nobles. It catches the Diamond and Pearl Clans off-guard, but it works.
  • In Sunrider Mask of Arcadius, Kayto Shields holds this opinion of the plan Ava proposes to take down the Pact flagship Legion. Since their target is too heavily armored and shielded to take down conventionally, the plan entails firing a point-blank shot from the Sunrider’s Vanguard Cannon straight down the barrel of the Legion’s own Wave-Motion Gun. This will start up a chain reaction within the Legion’s power generator and destroy the ship from the inside out. The plan’s success depends on whether or not Kayto lets Ava go down to a compromised section of the ship in order to fire the Vanguard Cannon manually after a direct hit from the Legion’s laser batteries knocks out the bridge firing controls.
    Kayto: So in other words, the only way to kill that thing is to fly right in front of its primary weapon and shove a Vanguard down its maw, huh. Absolutely insane. I approve of this plan.
  • In Tales of Vesperia this is intentionally invoked when Brave Vesperia formulates the best way to destroy the Adephagos by using Spirits and the removal of blastia from the world, something that would be all but impossible. However, it works, and the world is saved.
  • This is how the UberCharge system in Team Fortress 2 came to life, as revealed in "Meet the Medic".
    Heavy: Doctor! Are you sure this will work?!
    Medic: HA HA! I have no idea!!!* At the end of Tomb Raider (2013), Lara's plan to escape Yamatai involves incinerating the corpse of the last Sun Queen so that her spirit can finally pass on and stop causing the bad weather that keeps trashing all ships that try to leave. She admits that it sounds crazy. Reyes agrees that the plan is crazy, but then concedes that they'd run out of sane plans, so they might as well give it a shot.
  • At the end of Tomb Raider (2013), Lara's plan to escape Yamatai involves incinerating the corpse of the last Sun Queen so that her spirit can finally pass on and stop causing the bad weather that keeps trashing all ships that try to leave. She admits that it sounds crazy. Reyes agrees that the plan is crazy, but then concedes that they'd run out of sane plans, so they might as well give it a shot.
  • Lieutenant Welkin Gunther, the effective Player Character of Valkyria Chronicles, has a knack for this. In the battle in chapter four, Operation Cloudburst, the Militia is ordered to take an enemy bridgehead on the far bank, and everyone expects the result to look rather like Burnside's Bridge. Welkin decides to mount an amphibious assault under cover of fog instead. With his hastily waterproofed tank driving along the river bottom. His own squad, who don't really like him yet, basically call him nuts.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: Nines Rodriguez has been framed for killing the Malkavian Primogen and a Blood Hunt has been called on his head as a result. Where does he, a highly recognizable figure within the Anarchs, decide to hide? Griffith Park, which is werewolf territory. In this setting, werewolves kill vampires on sight, and a single werewolf is enough to wipe out a score of vampires, so no vampire would be crazy enough to hide even in the fringe of a forest full of werewolves. But that's exactly what Nines does, and it works until the player character is tricked into finding him, which gives their enemies the opportunity to kill them via forest fire or werewolf.
  • World of Warcraft: In Uldum, Budd's plan to escape from the Neferset (the cat equivalent of centaurs) is to dress the captives up in a few pieces of Neferset armor with two of them carrying the third person between them so that their shapes are vaguely similar to the Neferset, and then walk out the front door hoping nobody notices. The sheer stupidity of this plan is lampshaded by the other party members, with himself Budd actually going as far as to say nothing can possibly go wrong. Nothing does.

    It works partly because your character, the best fighter in the group, went along slaughtering guards and setting the city on fire just a few minutes ago. In the smoke and chaos, no one looks closely enough at your party to realize they're groups of three humans playing Neferset horsie ride. You'll notice that the next time your character canonically enters the city, they've stepped up the guard patrols quite a bit.

  • Annyseed uses a love potion in order to deter someone from her, rather than attract someone to her. Winston, you're a genius! Mmwa! Page 61.
  • 8-Bit Theater
    • Most of Red Mage's plans; constantly lampshaded. A most notable example is when he explains his plan has to work because it has no logical basis whatsoever on which it could fail, explicitly because it has no logical basis in reality.
    • Also frequently subverted on the frequent occasions when these plans spectacularly fail to work.
    • This.
  • So many things in Sluggy Freelance. One of the best examples is the Ferret Bazooka, where Caffeine Bullet Time is weaponized by putting a hyperactive ferret in a cardboard tube, pouring in a pixie stick, then pointing the tube at whatever you want destroyed. If all goes as planned, a ferret on a serious sugar rush will shoot out of the tube at supersonic speeds.
  • Parodied in xkcd. When Nathan Fillion wants to try the Crazy Ivan maneuver from Firefly on his electric skateboard, he insists it's so crazy it has to work. Jewel Staite replies "No, that's the opposite of true." She was right.
    Alt Text: "Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously."
  • Also parodied in Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire when Buck is dropped out of the sky.
  • A lot of the inventions the Sparks come up with in Girl Genius fall under this trope. Granted, they probably make perfect sense to the Spark making them, but to everyone else...
    Agatha: This has a small, but fascinating, chance of actually working! Let's do it!
  • Darths & Droids:
    • The "party" of (and quite a few actual Tabletop RPG parties) runs on these kinds of ideas. In this comic Pete points out that Jim is their group's resident master of this trope.
      Pete/R2-D2: Everything's already totally screwed. This is exactly the time when his ideas work best. Everyone, think like Jim!
      Ben/Obi-Wan: My brain just broke.
      Pete/R2-D2: That's the spirit!
    • When they try to mimic what Jim would do, Annie keeps doing things to try to slow half of a spaceship's fiery descent from orbit. Each time, Pete responds with "Not crazy enough!" Finally, her plan is to fire all of the ship's missiles at the ground just before landing, using the explosion to cushion the fall. Pete's response? "Too crazy!" It works.
    • This starts to become a problem with Jim later on. He subscribes to this so much he only uses plans crazy enough to work, sabotaging many perfectly sensible plans in the process.
  • Trust Wonderella to come up with one of these to stop an Omnicidal Maniac bent on destroying the whole universe.
  • Mal from Cthulhu Slippers straps the Necronomicon to his chest in this comic reasoning that since the book is indestructible it makes for a pretty good bulletproof vest. He is yet to be proven wrong.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: U17 Cell rips off his own head to avoid U11 Dabura's stone spit.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Subverted with Maxim 43. "If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky."
    • On that same vein, subverted with Petey's worldforge, and how he's going to create a non-sentient Eldritch Abomination to power it.
      Elf: That sounds like a terrible idea.
      Kevyn: If my time clone is on the job, it might just work.
      Schlock: If your time clone is on the job, it's definitely going to work, and it's still a terrible idea.
      Kevyn: It might save the galaxy, though.
      Schlock: You gotta figure out how to do that using good ideas.
  • Ganondorf of Zelda Comic thinks this of the idea to invert the Sorting Algorithm of Evil and simply send his strongest minions after Link while he's still at his weakest. His advisor has to point out that it really isn't that crazy of a plan.

    Web Original 
  • The Onion Radio News' clip "Area Idea So Crazy It Just Might Work".
  • In Dark Dream Chronicle, Hanna tends to resort to this immediately when running doesn't work.
  • About half of Generator's plans in the Whateley Universe. Of particular note is her plan to defeat the killer simulation they were given at Whateley Academy. Three words: Radioactive Condor Girl. Not only was it crazy, but it worked so well the simulation staff banned the technique. Her Hello Kitty makeup compact that is also a flying attack weapon might count too, along with her stuffed cabbit. Which she weaponized.
  • Ultra Fast Pony references it.
    Twilight: That's all you know [about Pinkie Sense]?
    Applejack: Well, if you want, you can just try asking her.
    Twilight: That idea isn't crazy enough to "just might work"!
    [14 hours later...]
    Twilight: Pinkie, can you tell me how your Pinkie Sense works?
    Pinkie: Yeah, okay.
    Twilight: I can't believe that worked!
  • AestheticGamer sometimes comes up with rather strange ideas to proceed in videogames. In his playthrough of Scratches, his immediate idea to gain access to the bricked-up room is to use the acquired rope to dangle it from the roof and climb into the room through the window. And he was absolutely correct.
  • DSBT InsaniT: This is Robo's reasoning for trying to pull off a Game-Breaking Bug in the game he and Balloon are playing in 'VRcade'.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars. After Optimus Primal jumps, in beast mode, from a flying island that's just more or less gone nuclear, in the hopes of catching a tree branch on the way down before he and Rattrap go splat or get charred to a crisp. He does.
    Rattrap: Of course you do know that was crazy.
    Optimus Primal: Sometimes crazy works.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: Dick Dastardly will usually make this assessment on Klunk's latest invention to catch Yankee Doodle Pigeon. We all know how that turns out.
  • Parodied in Drawn Together. When Spanky fills in every blank in a mad-lib with "Penis", Wooldoor suggests using words other than penis, to which Spanky replies "That's crazy, Wooldoor! Just crazy enough to penis."
  • DuckTales (2017): During an invasion from the Moonlanders, Glomgold's plan to stop them (involving sharks in parkas, Launchpad disguised as a boulder being launched by a giant slingshot, and Scrooge dressing as Santa Claus) actually goes off without a hitch and almost flat-out succeeds (in part because Lunaris thinks it's too stupid to be anything but a decoy).
  • Family Guy:
    • In the pilot, Peter attends a stag party, and brings a porno on VHS. It turns out Chris has taped over it, and so the only stimulation they have is a documentary about the Statue of Liberty. Peter suggests they "drink 'til she's hot", and Quagmire says this exact phrase in response.
    • Peter says this before putting his hand in a waffle iron. Needless to say, that didn't solve the problem at hand. However, his second idea does. But it caused a problem at hand.
  • In an episode of Futurama, the Planet Express crew and the Globetrotters are trying to solve the problem of "time skips" that jump everyone in the Universe forward in time, leaving them with no memory of what went on in the interim. At one point, Hermes Conrad says, "Say, I'm no physicist, but I think I know how to stop the skipping. We'll just—" after which time skips, everyone but Hermes is nude and in a conga line (Hermes is in a Hawaiian shirt, playing a steel drum) and Hermes cries, "I don't know how this was supposed to work!" Of course, most of the (often successful) plans in Futurama — especially if they're by Farnsworth or Fry — are usually Crazy Enough To Work.
  • In Grojband, Corey Riffin would say that he's "got a crazy plan that just might work", amazingly they do work.
  • Used often in Hey Arnold! Usually with the phrase, "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Let's do it!"
  • Although it doesn't always result in success, eponymous Invader Zim invokes this trope on numerous occasions, such as flattening a city with a water balloon, altering the past with rubber piggies, and setting a giant hamster loose in the city to create havoc.
  • Parodied in Johnny Bravo:
    Carl: Johnny, I have a plan.
    Johnny: It's just crazy enough to work!
    Carl: But you haven't heard it yet.
    Johnny: Enough talk! I need action!
  • In Kim Possible, Shego says of a plan by Dr. Drakken, "I know I'm going to regret saying this, but I think you may have finally achieved 'so dumb, it just might work.'" Ironically, Ron's plan for foiling Drakken's is the exact mirror, prompting Kim to comment, "Ron, this is so dumb it can't work."
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Wolf and the others quickly, if somewhat begrudgingly on Wolf's part, come to deem all of Kipo's plans as this after enough of her insane ploys actually manage to succeed.
  • Seen in the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "The Asteroid":
    Jumba: That's crazy!
    Lilo: So crazy it just might work, right?
    Jumba: No, just crazy.
  • Played with in Maryoku Yummy when Maryoku and Shika are searching for Bob. Shika starts out by systematically checking every spot in Nozomu, but Maryoku suggests starting with the places they'd usually find Bob.
    Shika: Well, it sounds crazy, but—
    Maryoku: Good! Follow me!
    Shika: But I said it sounds crazy!
    Maryoku: Yet you're still going to give it a chance. That's so nice.
  • One episode of Megas XLR (itself a big parody of sci-fi and anime clichés) found the titular robot with a critical part badly damaged, so they scrounge around a junk planet for a replacement. Ultimately unsuccessful but in need of the part to win a fight, Coop goes down below. When he comes back up, Megas is back up and running and proceeds to kick butt. When Kiva asks how he fixed Megas, he replied, "When in doubt…duck it!" Kiva is uncharacteristically impressed, "Primitive…but amazing technology!"
  • Used almost word for word in an episode of the 2010 Pound Puppies:
    Strudel: An adoption fair? How crazy is that?
    Lucky: So crazy, it just might work.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer Defined": Having failed to pay attention to his training, Homer resorts to the "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" method to press the right button to avert a reactor core meltdown, saving Springfield. After being hailed as a hero and brought in to the Shelbyville nuclear power plant to give a speech, he uses the same technique to stop a meltdown at their reactor as well (at which point it is discovered that his heroism was just dumb luck).
    • In "Lemon of Troy", Bart is trapped at the Shelbyville Zoo where he must escape or face the Shelbyville boys chasing him and tigers. Because he left during the lesson on Roman numerals, he can't find the correct door (number 7) because they're labeled in Roman numerals. He resorts to the Rocky film series, which had the numbers, and he's successful.
  • Spoofed in one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Patrick suggests moving Bikini Bottom to avoid an attack from a giant worm. Squidward says, "That idea may just be crazy enough... to get us all killed!" They do it anyway. And it fails. It's worthy of note that the only reason it failed is that the worm was lured over the cliff the city was pushed under.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "Storm Over Ryloth": Anakin's entire strategy for the second attempt at the blockade, involving ramming the command ship with the damaged Defender and putting Ahsoka in charge of the only remaining cruiser (with all the remaining men bombers and fighters aboard) with the expectation she'll be able to come up with a sound plan to take out the now leaderless Sepratist frigates.
    • "Cargo of Doom": Anakin tops himself when he decides to board a Separatist frigate under the command of Bounty Hunter Cad Bane. However, the Resolute doesn't have any boarding craft equipped because they were supposed to land on Devaron… so Anakin decides that they'll use the AT-TEs as impromptu boarding vessels, something even Ahsoka and Rex, used to Anakin's crazy plans, are initially skeptical about. After the idea is suggested, Admiral Yularen is clearly thinking he must be the Only Sane Man among the high-ranking personnel on the Jedi Cruiser.
  • One Tiny Toon Adventures episode has Babs and Buster consulting a computer on how to rescue a friendly flea living on Furball from an evil, carnivorous bug. The computer reads, "Cliché #1: Shrink our heroes." After Babs says it's crazy enough to work, Buster says "That's Cliché #2!"
  • W.I.T.C.H.
    • In "A Service to the Community", the girls take a battered Mr. Collins that they beat up (long story) and try to think up a cover story to explain their teacher's Clothing Damage. They end up going with a plan that involves Collins' lizard and its lunch.
      Will: OK, we lock the door, fly out the window, have his car towed and tomorrow, we'll put the papers in his desk. He'll think he dreamed it!
      Taranee: What about his clothes?
      Cornelia: Sprinkle him with crickets and release the lizard so he thinks Mr. Scales ripped them up?
      Will: That's crazy! Do it.
    • In "The Key", Will's plan to clear Vathek of helping Caleb escape boils down to framing a highly respected guard by slipping the key into his armor and having Vathek fake being attacked... it works.

    Real Life 
  • In the 2018 Edition of the Giro D'Italia Chris Froome went into the race as a favourite but crashes before the race even began and further crashes during the race along with a somewhat poor performance during the middle stages most had ruled Froome out of even a top 10 finish. A stage 14 win would bring him somewhat back into the race but he would follow up by losing time the following day. What no one expected was that on Stage 19 with over 80 kilometers of tough mountain riding to go Froome would launch and attack so aggressive that it quickly dropped some of the best climbing cyclists in the world. Froome would then continue to gain time on everyone else and move from fourth position in the GC to First gaining over three minutes on reigning champion Tom Dumoulin. He would successfully defend and extend his lead the following day to secure his win and secure a place in history as the first British cyclist to win the race the seventh cyclist in history to win all cycling grand tours and the third in history to hold the titles of all three tours and the only one to do so in the modern era calendar.
  • Many variants on this are attributed to Niels Bohr, notably to Wolfgang Pauli, on Pauli's nonlinear field theory: "We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct." Reputedly, when Lee Smolin was running around proposing that black holes give birth to new universes, Murray Gell-Mann said, "Smolin? Is he that young guy with all the crazy ideas? He may not be wrong."
  • The Halloween gambit in chess is a perfect example of this trope: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5?! Instead of the standard knight game, white sacrifices one of their valuable knights to try and seize the center with pawns and force the opponent's knights back. The faces of people who've seen this opening — right before they are flattened by a march of pawns — is something to be seen.
  • Back when legalized racism was rampant in the USA, no shortage of people were trying to find ways of eradicating it. You wouldn't have thought that simply not taking the bus would make a difference. Martin Luther King Jr. and those who worked with him proved otherwise.
  • Nintendo. The company's willingness to try anything out-of-the-box, especially after failures like the Virtual Boy and Wii U, makes Nintendo an unpredictable wild card with balls of Nintendium.
    • After The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, stores refused to sell video game consoles and people were wary of buying video games. So what did Nintendo do? They packed in the Robotic Operating Buddy (which was a piece of garbage that only worked with two games) with the NES, so they could tell stores it was a toy, and they made it a front-loader so it resembled a VCR more than a gaming console. Nintendo is now considered to have single-handedly saved the video game industry in North America and is one of the richest companies in the world.
    • Fast-forward to 2004. A handheld gaming console with a flip-case design and dual screens, the lower one being a touchscreen? Was Nintendo seriously following up their successful Game Boy line with that? Sony's PSP would kick them out of the handheld gaming market! Turns out touchscreen gaming was a good enough hook for the Nintendo DS to become the second best-selling gaming console of all-time.
    • Come 2006 and we have a console controlled by a motion-sensing remote. Seriously? And it's not even HD? Ridiculous! Ridiculous enough to sell 67 million units in three years.
    • In 2017, they released the Nintendo Switch, a home console that is essentially half-console, half-handheld. Despite early criticism on how viable it would be, since it was effectively just a portable Wii U (you know, that aforementioned failure), it managed to completely outsell said predecessor within its first year.
  • Ted Turner, the "Mouth of the South", always seemed to face resistance to his ideasputting his Atlanta TV station on the satellite for national distribution, starting a 24-hour news network, a 24-hour animation network — and inevitably he'd strike gold in some fashion.
  • When they released the Citroen 2CV in Africa, they included a manual for alternative solutions when parts weren't available, which included things like shoe-laces (because Africa is mostly wilderness, having to resort to a bush repair is a very real possibility).
  • Politicians, scientists, and relief workers have been trying for nearly a hundred years to bring Africa out of the third world. One young boy, William Kamkwamba, decides to introduce the first ever-steady electric power supply to his famine-devastated cholera-torn village. And he did it with a box of scraps!!! The villagers called him "misala", meaning crazy, right up until the first light bulb lit up in his hands. Okay, he didn't do it in a cave, but he's still a bigger badass than Tony Stark 'cause he did it for real.
  • Wait, are you going to play your amp loud, resulting in distortion and then make the guitar loudest in the mix? When Eric Clapton did just that back in the Blues Breakers in 1966, he ended up inventing modern rock guitar as we know it.
  • Similarly, Jimi Hendrix stood with his guitar facing the speakers, becoming the first guitarist to use feedback deliberately in his music.
  • Alexander the Great's Siege of Tyre. The city was impregnable from land and sea. It was a goddamn island. So what did Alex do? Turned it into a peninsula. You can just hear the Tyrian general's Flat "What" as he saw it going on. The Tyrians reacted quickly to the situation and managed to hold off Alexander for a while by employing their sea advantage to hold up Alexander's initial attempt at a causeway. Only when Alexander tried again, this time with ships helping in the work, were the Tyrians defeated.
  • The Romans later did something like this during the siege of Masada. The fortress of Masada lay on top of a mountain and could be accessed only from a narrow road, meaning it couldn't be conquered by force, only by trickery (how the Jewish rebels had conquered it in the first place: they entered with a supply caravan), and trickeries couldn't be attempted in that situation. The Romans built a mountain-sized siege ramp to reach the fortress in force and with their siege engines, at which point the defenders killed themselves before the Romans could breach the walls.
    • During the Siege of Alesia, the besieging Roman army under Julius Caesar received news that a massive Gallic relief force was coming. What did Caesar do? Break the siege and withdraw? Finish the siege before reinforcement arrived? Nope. He instead doubled down and built another layer of wall, so that when the relief force arrived, they had to besiege the Romans who were besieging Alesia. And it worked! Despite repeated assaults from both sides of the wall, Caesar's army held out long enough for him to lead a decisive cavalry rear charge that routed the entire relief army. The defenders surrendered shortly thereafter.
  • Generals throughout history could occasionally get away with pulling off ostensibly insane stunts by exploiting this trope, usually involving an attack so unlikely (say, through a seemingly insurmountable desert, swamp or mountain range), the enemy is caught completely off guard (think the Blitzkrieg in the Ardennes Forest). If it's crazy enough, the enemy will never see it coming, and it just might work.
    • This is what Hitler was hoping for in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944: he ordered an offensive feint north and south of the Ardennes Forest, and then concentrated the majority of his troops to attack through the forest. Tracked vehicles (like tanks) are not generally able to make good time in forests, which would stall any attack, and it was also the dead of winter, meaning even infantry movements would be slow and perilous. Hitler's hope was that Allied Command would get reports of an attack through the Ardennes and dismiss it as completely ridiculous since it was a strategic nightmare, and by the time they realized it was real, Hitler's forces would have broken through and been on the offensive in Allied territory. Eisenhower, however, decided that the first report he received of an attack through the Ardennes signaled a major offensive, and sent all available forces in reserve (at the time, not a lot) to counter the attack while continuing the true offensive north and south of the forest. The result was the Battle of the Bulge and the effective shattering of German offensive power for the remainder of the war: Germany ended up on the defense for the next 6 months before they collapsed completely.
  • George Washington's desperate attack at Trenton during The American Revolution should have been a suicide mission. The weather was awful, and his army was small, undisciplined, had lost every recent battle it had fought, and needed to launch a coordinated attack across an ice-choked river at night. And do it all on the sly. Of course, the unwitting Hessians knew all this too and thought that because of all this, Christmas of 1776 would be a fine time to let their guard down. It wasn't.
  • In the Eastern Theater of The American Civil War, the Confederates put this trope to work early and often. The Union always had more men, so the only way for the Confederates to win battles was to innovate- often to the point of weirdness. It sometimes meant luring the Union generals into making fruitless attacks, and sometimes meant making their own unorthodox attacks at vulnerable spots. Robert E. Lee was a fan of the trope, and Thomas Jackson was the master gamesman of it. Ultimately, the trope was subverted. Jackson, the best practitioner of it, met an untimely death, hurting the Confederate's ability to deliver these types of battle plans. Also, for most of the early war these tricks were being played out against George McClellen, who was perhaps the worst wartime general in American history, as despite having an army that was much larger and better equipped than Lee, he was paranoid that he was always on the verge of being outnumbered and therefore was extremely prone to hesitation and ordering preemptive retreats, making it quite easy for Lee and Jackson to psych him out. By the time he was finally removed from his post, his replacements in the Union Army had learned to simply expect the unexpected from the Confederates, and to retain the initiative in spite of it.
    • General Grant, the General that would eventually win the war for the North was also known for this. Unlike many of his predecessors, he wouldn't retreat after a loss with General Lee. Instead he just kept marching. He had the manpower to continue flanking Lee until the South simply ran out of troops. General Sherman too, was a modern day general. He separated himself from his supply line and his men foraged and stole their supplies instead. He pillaged the country and destroyed the civilian infrastructure that the Southern armies relied on for their supplies, an incredibly forward thinking concept of scorched earth policy.
  • In World War II, like the French, the Belgians figured that an attack from the Germans was coming sooner or later, and they built a fortress to cover the most likely avenues of approach. The Germans responded by coming at it from what at the time must have seemed like the most unlikely avenue — the top.
  • Zhuge "Sleeping Dragon" Liang was a Chinese general famous for his masterful battle strategies and deceit. Once during the War of the Three Kingdoms, he was trapped in a town with only a handful of soldiers and an opposing army of a hundred thousand men approaching fast. He immediately sat himself atop the city walls with the gates wide open, calmly playing a lute. The leader of the enemy army, Sima Yi, was quite familiar with Zhuge's ingenuity and, thinking this was all a big setup for a deadly ambush, immediately retreated. Keep in mind that Sima Yi wasn't an idiot as he and his family would be the ones to eventually succeed in conquering all of China.
  • The fate of Apollo 13. So your Cool Ship has an explosion literally halfway to the moon. Here's the plan: 1) Use a machine designed strictly for landing and taking off as a lifeboat, even though it will have to support three people for four days when it was designed to support only two people for only two days; 2) Shut down all electricity, subjecting your crew to near-freezing temperatures (not to mention the havoc the frost is sure to wreak with the electronics when you have to turn them back on); 3) Kitbash a working carbon dioxide filter out of whatever you have lying around because the ones in the lifeboat can't handle the workload; 4) Carry out course corrections with an engine unsuited for such fine maneuvering, using such high tech navigational methods as "placing your thumb over the Earth and lining it up with your window frame"; and 5) Literally invent a new procedure to restart all your electronics so as to not blow every fuse in the craft, thus stranding yourself in space. The Subversion of this is, in the hands of ordinary people, yes, it would be Crazy Enough to Work. In the hands of NASA's highly trained corps of Steely Eyed Missile Men, it came off as... almost commonplace. The reality is somewhere in between; they weren't Crazy-Prepared for this type of situation, but they were trained enough not to panic even when Murphy's Law struck (note the tone of the now-famous line, "Houston, we've had a problem."—concerned but not freaked out), trained enough to coordinate with mission control, work out a solution, and get home alive! Apollo 13 was a technological disaster but a human triumph.
    • That may or may not be the point of the Steely Eyed Missile Men; create unusual and ingenious solutions to unexpected problems under tight deadlines. Besides which, while the vague concept may be "just crazy enough to work", there's a helluva lot of effort put into making sure that everything is within the bounds of reality.
    • It was said later that if they had written the Apollo 13 situation up as a training simulation, it would have been rejected as unsolvable. That realization caused an official change of NASA training policy from "anything that's possible to solve" to "anything whatsoever".
  • Hannibal's conquest of Italy in 218 BC. The Romans never expected anyone to be crazy enough to march over the Alps, and certainly not for it to work. He did lose half of his army and most of his war elephants doing it, but he had Rome on the run for nearly 15 years.
    • In the end, the Romans won by outcrazying Hannibal. Invade Africa and attack Carthage directly (either getting Hannibal's leaders to surrender or forcing Hannibal to return home to defend them)? Costly, but doable. Invade Africa with only infantry and raise cavalry among Carthage's allies? A bit crazy, but Carthage's allies were more favorable to Rome, and with a few legions in support, they could finally rebel. Invade Africa with an infantry army composed of fresh recruits and the survivors of Hannibal's greatest victory? Crazy. Yet, Scipio destroyed Carthage's home troops and forced an armistice before a frantic Hannibal could return, and when Carthage broke the armistice and sent him Hannibal he defeated him too in spite of being outnumbered.

      Notably, when Hannibal's army had just annihilated their best legions and was actually at the gates of Rome, leaving only a skeleton crew to defend the city itself, they sent an expeditionary force off to reinforce one of their overseas colonies. (Probably done solely to psych Hannibal out, but even so...)

      This was done because the Romans knew Hannibal's one weakness: he lacked the numbers to sustain either a siege or an attrition campaign. Hannibal could deal with the attrition campaign by outrunning the Romans, but he could never conquer a Roman stronghold (as shown by the strongholds of Placentia and Cremona, placed in Hannibal-friendly territory. The first resisted to the Gauls' siege for years, and the second resisted the entire war), much less Rome itself and the Roman-friendly populations around her. In the above-mentioned situation, the Romans didn't just send an expeditionary force to reinforce their overseas colonies (cutting off Hannibal's possible reinforcements in the process) precisely because they knew this, but auctioned the land he was camping on to drive the point home (the land was sold at the price of free land).
  • Taking a page from the Steely Eyed Missile Men, a number of folks in commercial aviation likewise summon crazy calm resolve to combat problems that arise. A most recent example, something, probably geese, gets caught in the engines of your loaded Airbus and blows them out. You can't circle back to the airport you left and you won't make the closest alternative. What do you do? Why, you just land the thing in the Hudson River. Captain Chesley Sullenberger and the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 did it.
    • With the help of the US Coast Guard a similar feat was pulled 52 years earlier in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And like the above, all survived (except forty-something unlucky canaries in the cargo hold).
    • In the USSR in '63, a TU-124 (Tupolev Construction Bureau Mk 124) jet plane landed on the Neva river in St. Peters... sorry, Leningrad at that time, right between the two bridges on it (distanced about one mile apart!) and having passed just 4 m (13 ft!) above one of them. Originally they were to land in Pulkovo airport after burning out the fuel left in their reservoirs, but when their engines stopped suddenly, they had no other choice but the river... And here's the crowner: the name of the plane captain in question? Viktor Mostovoy (surname derives from 'most' (мост), Russian for 'bridge').
    • Much like Capt. Sullenberger above, there was the incident of the Gimli Glider. on July 23, 1983, Air Canada flight 143 had accidentally taken on far less fuel than they would need to get to their destination note  and had run out completely over Ontario. The pilot should have been thinking Bring My Brown Pants, but his co-pilot, First Officer Maurice Quintal was a glider pilot. He noted they did not have enough remaining fuel to get to Winnipeg (the nearest airport), but that in their flight path was an old RCAF base, the disused RCAF Gimli, and decided to use the tarmac there to make a glide landing. Unbeknownst to Quintal, Pearson or ATC, the base had been repurposed as a go-cart, motocross, and auto racetrack. And it was in use at that time with spectators and competitors racing. Worst of all, right in their path were two boys on bikes who were so close on their approach that the cockpit crew could see the looks of sheer horror in their faces. And, a gliding 767 is virtually silent. Captain Pearson, with Quintal's help, was still able to execute a perfect side-slip glide landing (something never even attempted in a plane that large) and brought the craft down safely (albeit with the nose landing gear failing), and with zero deaths on the plane or on the ground. (Those two boys who by any sane reckoning should have been dead? They lived!) As for Pearson and Quintal? Pearson was demoted and Quintal was suspended due to the initial fuel gauge error that caused the emergency landing in the first place. They were shortly reinstated after appeal and given high awards from international flying associations for their act. Even crazier, their maneuver was attempted by experienced pilots over and over again in simulations and every single time lead to fatal crashes. This is one of the reasons they were reinstated, they weren't crazy for trying it, they were just that good to be able to pull it off in the first place.
  • In robot combat (think Robot Wars and BattleBots), heavy spinning weapons are unquestionably the most dangerous weapon type, with the most powerful ones capable of tearing through metal armour like paper. The accepted tactic for dealing with such heavy spinners? Drive headlong into them. A thick angled wedge or scoop will handily deflect the spinner, slowing or stopping it completely, and also causing the attacking robot to take recoil damage from the impact. You can then just keep on doing this until the opponent's weapon breaks down, leaving them helpless. British robot Behemoth was famous for this tactic, and Robot Wars 2016 champion Apollo used this exact tactic to beat deadly spinner Carbide in the Grand Final.
  • In Association Football, there's the Panenka penalty, in which, instead of aiming to the left or right, you simply chip the ball straight down the middle, relying on the fact that a) goalkeepers will invariably dive to either the left or right, leaving the middle of the goal wide open, and b) they'll generally have to dive before you even kick the ball, and by the time they realize what you've done, it's too late for them to change course. It doesn't always work, but when it does, the goalkeeper is left humiliated.
    • Free kicks are arguably the most difficult set piece in football to score from, even more so than penalties, due to the presence of a wall of players ten yards in front of you who will try and block your shot. The sensible approach is to try and hit it over or around the wall, with enough spin that it'll curl round and (hopefully) hit the back of the net. The insane approach, as practiced by Lionel Messi, is to hit the ball along the ground - the wall will reflexively jump, expecting you to try and hit it over their heads, and the ball will pass right underneath them!
  • In World War II, the British were seriously thinking about making aircraft carriers out of ICE. The idea was that they would mix sawdust with the ice (see Pykrete in the Other Wiki), which would hold off the ships from melting long enough, and be strong enough to double as armor. The main reason they were going forward with it was that it would require far less steel, which the blockaded Britain had very little of. However, it was subverted when they figured out it would take more steel to make refrigeration units needed to construct them than it would take to an aircraft carrier. Ultimately averted before any serious work began. By this time America with its unfettered industrial might was chipping in, and improved Allied air power was steadily one-upping the Wolfpacks. The situation no longer required such desperation.

    Mythbusters decided to recreate this. They ended up substituting newspapers for sawdust, which on the small scale was much stronger than the sawdust. It worked better then they hoped and they were able to stay afloat for almost an hour. Adam Savage proclaimed the myth "Plausible, but ludicrous" as it wouldn't have been practical to do.
  • Murphy's law of war states: "If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid."
  • The Canadian 85th Highlanders of Nova Scotia battalion in the Battle of Vimy Ridge captured a vital linchpin in the Germans' defence, Hill 145. In the snowy battle, preceding attacks on Hill 145's artillery fire failed to suppress the defenders, who shredded the unfortunate infantry attacking their position, and with few men available, the 85th Highlanders were called up to take the position. Unbeknownst to the 85th, their preliminary artillery barrage was canceled due to the close proximity of their jumping-off trenches to the enemy lines, so the zero hour of their attack was met with silence...and nonetheless a battle cry rang out among them and they charged forward, largely surprising the Germans defending Hill 145 who knew that significant artillery barrages meant an attack was happening and figured no one in their right mind would attack without them. It probably helped that the unit was up until this point, totally green and used only for work parties.
  • One would think that the Live-Action TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes would have gone into Dude, Not Funny! territory right out of the gate. Instead, the writers, cast, and crew got it to work hilariously.
  • Napoleon's standard modus operandi was this, earning him a lot of apparently impossible victories (and half of his four decisive defeats when his foes were smart enough to realize what was going on). Some examples:
    • He's facing a well-equipped Royalist insurrection in Paris with an outnumbered army. To counter this, he fired cannons loaded with grapeshot (essentially transforming them into giant shotguns), causing the Royalist attack to lose any semblance of cohesion due to surprise and the losses incurred (a cavalry charge finished the job, causing the insurrection to dissolve). Grapeshot was not the crazy part (in fact, it was a standard load for cannons of the era), but using them in urban warfare was.
    • In his First Italian Campaign, he won at Montenotte because he loaded his cannons near the breaking point to fire at extremely long ranges, knowing he would be able to replace the damaged cannons with ones captured in battle. At Lodi, he won by charging the enemy guns (he had timed the enemy's reload speed, and knew that they could only fire once before his men were on them). At Arcole, he won by losing a few battles on purpose to lure his enemy to a prepared killing ground. To cap it off, he conquered the fortress of Mantua by forcing enemy relief forces into the fortress, causing them to exhaust their food supplies faster.
    • The Egyptian Campaign started with Napoleon running Nelson's blockade by having his fleet set sail during a storm (he knew the harbour better than Nelson, and knew that the only refuge for the blockade ships would have prevented them from noticing him slipping away). Napoleon's army was starved, demoralized, and fighting against the strongest cavalry in the world. The square formation solved that, as did pointing out that the members of said cavalry went to battle wearing all of their jewels (the Battle of the Pyramids was such a Curb-Stomp Battle that the name of his foes, the Mamelukes, is now synonymous with 'idiots' in Italy). Then, Nelson destroyed his fleet, preventing him from receiving reinforcements or returning home in case things went bad. No problem, he would just return to France by conquering the entire Ottoman Empire, using locally-raised troops to replenish losses. The latter was one of his decisive defeats because British admiral Sidney Smith, who Nelson had left to keep an eye on the situation, realized what he was planning and reinforced/resupplied the fortress of Acre enough that it repelled Napoleon's siege (Napoleon would later be forced to abandon his army to return to France with a single ship).
    • The Second Italian Campaign started with another, with the Austrians blocking the way to Italy near Nice and him pulling a Hannibal and entering Italy over the Alps (something supposed to be impossible with cannons). Also, at Marengo, the Austrians had all but defeated him when Napoleon noticed he was about to receive reinforcements and had his troops launch an immediate counterattack right when the Austrians were preparing for the post-victory pursuit (though the timing of that counterattack owes much more to Generals Marmont and Kellermann Junior: together, with eighteen guns loaded with grapeshot fired at point-blank range (Marmont did learn his artillery tricks from Bonaparte) and something like two hundred heavy cavalrymen, they managed to hold off the attacking Austrian column (more than 5000 men) long enough for General Desaix to get the reinforcements into battle formation).
    • At Austerlitz, Napoleon was outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied army. His opening move was to retreat from the Pratzen Heights that dominated his chosen battlefield and letting the Russians occupy it. Between that, Napoleon feigning being hopelessly outmatched and knowing it and some of his troops retreating at what appeared to be the wrong moment, the Austrians and the Russians launched their attack... leaving the Pratzen Heights free for Napoleon to reoccupy while placing themselves in the best place to be shelled. In a partial subversion, Russian general Kutuzov had seen through Napoleon's plan right away, but his plan to retreat to HIS chosen battlefield was overruled and, after placing all the troops under his command on the Pratzen, he was ordered to abandon them.
    • At Somosierra, Napoleon faced a highly fortified, windy mountainous ravine that was his only way towards Madrid. Instead of assaulting in full force, he sent his personal retainer unit of cavalry (several hundred at most). Taking the Spaniards completely by surprise, they scattered the dumbfounded defenders for long enough that the rest of the army could secure the positions. Notably, historians debate whether this was the plan, an awkward result of misunderstood order to scout ahead, or the cavalrymen wanting to show off.
    • The Russian campaign was supposed to be another: a sharp attack into Russia (something that was considered a suicidal attempt) to destroy the Russian army and force the Russians to join the alliance against Britain. Sadly for him, after the first few defeats, the Tzar placed Kutuzov into command, who completely outmatched him at a strategical level and ultimately kicked him out of Russia, aided by Scorched Earth tactics and General Winter.
    • Leipzig was the result of the Sixth Coalition pulling this on Napoleon: left with no generals capable of defeating Napoleon on the battlefield (with Kutuzov dead by an illness and the future Duke of Wellington being busy in Spain), the Allies fixed a few strategic objectives (including avoiding battles with forces commanded directly by Napoleon until they had mustered overwhelming force) and left to their armies to try and achieve them independently from each other. This not only gave them the overwhelming superiority they aimed for, but, when used on a tactical level at Leipzig, resulted in Napoleon rebuffing an Allied attack only for two other Allied armies showing up to prevent him from finishing the job on the first Allied army, ultimately forcing him to retreat with a crippled army and leaving almost half of it (including one of his marshalls) dead, wounded or captured. The gambit worked partly because the coalition had the help of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a former buddy of Napoleon who had been elected the crown prince and regent of Sweden, who knew the tactics of Napoleon inside-out, and therefore Out-Gambitted his former boss.
    • The very fact that Wellington fought at Waterloo was crazy: his army was outnumbered and outgunned, most of it was comprised of raw recruits (while Napoleon's army was entirely composed of veterans), and he had no heavy cavalry. On the other hand, the plan was to resist and bleed Napoleon long enough for Blücher to bring his army on Napoleon's flank while he was fully committed, and that was exactly what happened.
    • Napoleon's Marshals could come up with crazy plans of their own. The most famous example has to be Lannes and Murat seizing a vitally important bridge... by walking on it and claiming that there was an armistice.
  • Similar to Hannibal's example above, the Maginot Line during World War II was very lightly defended near the border with Belgium, in part because it was believed nobody would ever be crazy enough to try to send tanks over the uneven and heavily forested Ardennes. Which, of course, was exactly what German forces did, bypassing the strongest part of the Line and sending the French forces into chaos trying to repel it.
  • Operation Chariot during World War II, also known as "The Greatest Raid Of All". The town of St. Nazaire in France had the only drydock capable of holding the massive Nazi battleship Tirpitz and thus the only port from which the battleship could attack Allied convoys supplying Britain with food. So, it was decided the drydock had to be destroyed. Unfortunately, a naval operation would be too dangerous and an air-raid too inaccurate. So, the British Commandos - the forerunners of the SAS - decided on a new plan: they would embark 265 of their best men onboard a flotilla of Motor Launches, tiny wooden ships with practically no armor and minimal armament. They would be accompanied by the ancient HMS Campbeltown, a WWI-era destroyer that began her career as the USS Buchanan, which would be packed with large amounts of high explosive and disguised as a German destroyer. The destroyer would ram the dock gate and then explode, taking the drydock out of commission. Meanwhile, the Commandos would run around breaking things before embarking on the Motor Launches for the return to Britain. It was Crazy enough to half-work - the gate was rammed, the Commandos destroyed things... and then found that most of their tickets home had been sunk. Most of the survivors surrendered after being surrounded and running out of ammunition, with 5 escaping overland to Spain. The Campbeltown, embedded in the dock gate, waited until the following day to explode, by which point it was crawling with enemy troops. The explosion totally wrecked the dock gate, and scattered bits of German so far and so high that human remains were still being found in 1968. The drydock was disabled for the rest of the war. The entire operation was so ballsy that the Germans sent messages to the British recommending that the raiding party be decorated for their gallantry and the British handed out medals based on those recommendations.
  • The Inchon landings in The Korean War. The difference between high tide and low tide at Inchon was very nearly 30 feet in the late summer — not really suitable for amphibious landings since the ships launching landing craft would be likely to get stuck in the mudflats when the tide went out (and get stuck period six months later). So, the North Koreans weren't concerned with defending it. That was exactly why Douglas MacArthur expected it to work. Using Japanese tidal charts, the UN forces were able to accurately predict high tide and when ships could move in to release landing craft, then pull out before they got stuck in the mudflats. The result led to the first major turning point in the war.
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi once decided to conquer the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (the southern half of modern-day Italy) with a thousand under-armed people (one of them was a woman), facing off against one hundred thousand well-armed soldiers who knew he was coming. About six months later, Garibaldi had an army of fifty thousand, half of which defeated the last, under-armed, and demoralized remnants of the army of the Two Sicilies. It succeeded for just one reason: the enemy knew the enemy force was coming but not that Garibaldi was in command. Two years earlier Italian unification patriot Carlo Pisacane had led a similar expedition that had ended with the lynching of the invaders at the hands of the citizens (it helped they had broke out a number of inmates from a prison, thus adding plausibility to the government's description of them as a mass of brigands and murderers), and the Two Sicilian commanders expected a repeat, assuming that the invaders actually ran the blockade (they did), and thus warned the people. The one difference was that Garibaldi was well known as a freedom fighter and had been smart enough to invade Sicily proper, that didn't like the government of Naples and was thus able to start an insurrection and cause mass desertions in the enemy army.
  • The Sardinian and later Italian militaries love this. A few examples:
    • Sardinia was scarce in cavalry, as both Sardinia proper and the mainland were mostly mountainous lands with little space for the horses. They raised the Bersaglieri, assault infantry noted for their good aim ("bersagliere" is Italian for "sharpshooter"), their wide-brimmed hat decorated with capercaille plumes (that shielded their eyes from the sun and helped aiming), and running all the time, and expected them to hold off cavalry charges with a square formation and then countercharge as they regrouped. They had the chance to try it only once, but when they did they routed a Russian Army.
    • During World War I, the Italians mounted torpedoes on commercial speedboats, called them MAS and used them as patrol ships and harbour raiders. The Austrian flagship was sunk by two of those speedboats.
    • The Maiale (Italian for "pig") was a long-ranged but slow-moving torpedo with a detachable warhead that is supposed to be steered in an enemy harbour by two frogmen, who then detach the warhead, place it on the hull of an enemy warship and then leave before they explode and sink the ship. In World War II, two British battleships were sunk in Alexandria's harbour during a failed raid (the main target were the carriers, who weren't in harbour), among similar raids performed by the Decima Flottiglia MAS

      The effectiveness of these kind of raids was such that the Allies tried to copy them with mixed results, and when Italy switched sides they called in the members of the Decima who remained with the King's government and had them train their special forces.
      • Barely less crazy was the British attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto a little over a year earlier. It was an attack considered to be impossible due to the limited depth of the harbour, until the British figured out how to compensate.note  Result: only two attacking aircraft lost for a cost of one battleship sunk, two more damaged, and more damage to several smaller ships.
    • The Decima also raided Gibraltar successfully six times. That is not the crazy part, as by then the tactics were tested. The crazy part went with the last three raids, as they came not from a submarine as usual but from a derelict merchant ship on the Spanish coast near Gibraltar that had been modified in a base.
  • Norwegian Constituent Assembly: The greater powers had handed Norway over to Sweden in January 1814, while the Danish Governor/Prince Inherent Christian Frederick has a gambit going on to prevent this, and secure Norway for Denmark. So, while every major power in Europe sided with Sweden, pushing Denmark pretty far because of her "international obligations", the Norwegian officials plotted on independence, with support from the Danish governor/regent, making him king of an independent Norway. This triggered more than one Berserk Button, and might as easily have devastated Norway in a destructive war, had Sweden gotten her way. Thus, the plan of drafting a democratic constitution to secure the power base of a Danish prince that was already planning a coup d'état was pretty crazy to begin with - especially when every major power in Europe worked against Norway. It almost worked, considering than internal independence was preserved and that the union with Sweden became looser than originally intended.
  • The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, during The Crimean War. Lord James Scarlett maneuvers his brigade (roughly 800 strong) into position, only to see 3,000 Russian cavalry appear on a rise to his left, thus having the advantage in numbers and terrain. Scarlett patiently forms his unit, then charges uphill and puts the Russians to rout. Scarlett's foolhardy but courageous action nearly won the battle for the Allies, until an equally reckless, but far less successful cavalry charge later in the day.
  • Germany, 2005. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic government was unpopular and behind by around 20 points in the polls against their rivals in the Christian Democratic Union. So what did Schroeder do? He arranged to lose a vote of confidence, knowing this would trigger an election while his party was getting massacred in the polls. Results? The Social Democrats, instead of losing a landslide, came in only 4 seats behind the CDU; as a result, the only viable government was a grand coalition of the SPD and CDU. Quite impressive when you take into account the whole "losing by 20 points" thing from before.
  • And speaking of Germany, or more specifically, East Germany, many of the escape attempts over the Berlin Wall were these, from tunnels to zip lines to being smuggled in the trunk of a car. But the absolute biggest example has to go to the 1979 Ballonflucht, in which two families escaped in a hot-air balloon they had assembled in their attic with a burner and basket they had built entirely from scratch. Their flight lasted 28 minutes, but it was enough to get them into the West.
  • Writer Stetson Kennedy's plan to beat the KKK in 1946? Have Superman do it. Kennedy infiltrated the Klan and sent details on their rituals to the producers of the Superman radio play, who then wrote in a thinly-veiled Klan stand-in for Superman to defeat. The impact on morale from seeing their children playing "Superman vs. the Klan" like it was Cops and Robbers, plus the loss in mystique from having their secret rites broadcast to the country and revealed to be fairly lame and pedestrian, left the Klan largely out of the picture for several years.
  • Long story short, NPR's radio adaptation of Star Wars ended up as this, with such highlights as the sheer luck that George Lucas was generous enough to sell the network the radio adaptation rights for one dollar and the fact that NPR was somehow able to make a two-hour movie work as a 13 half-hour serial.
  • After the USSR broke up Georgia (the country) became notorious for having the most corrupt traffic police in Eastern Europe. So in 2004, President Mikheil Saakashvili came up with the radical idea to fire 30,000 cops. Many feared that this would create an opening for crime syndicates and further destabilization of the country. Yet miraculously, this plan worked with crime significantly dropped as most of the corruption was caused by dysfunctional law enforcement. Three months later, Saakashvili brought in a new police force and made Georgia one of the most stable ex-Soviet countries.
  • Operation Paul Bunyan was a reaction to the murder of two USA officers killed by North Koreans in the DMZ. The officers were killed while trying to cut down a tree that blocked two outposts view from each other. In response to the murders, the US launched a major operation of hundreds of men... to cut down the tree. All they left behind was a stump and a plaque for the dead men. North Korean leader, Kim IL-sung apologized for the killings in response to the show of force.
  • Exploited by Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who claimed to have managed to fly across the Atlantic Ocean from America to Ireland without knowing he was doing it until he looked down about three-quarters of the way to Ireland. Corrigan, who had formerly worked as a mechanic for Charles Lindbergh's Trans-Atlantic flight, had actually dreamed of following in his hero's footsteps. However, the home-modified plane in which he had hoped to carry out the flight was deemed so unsafe by the Bureau of Air Commerce that they would only approve flights within the continental United States. Thus, while carrying out a flight plan that should have taken him from New York to California, Corrigan disappeared while flying eastwards off Floyd Bennett Field, stating that the weather would have made it impossible for a more direct take-off route. Upon arrival in Dublin, he claimed to have followed the wrong end of his cockpit compass, and thus had gone east instead of west. Corrigan's safe landing was followed up by his immediate arrest and his plane was thereafter packed into a crate for a long voyage back to New York by cargo ship (the Irish court forbade Corrigan from flying home). While few actually believed Corrigan's story, which he maintained until his death, his daring won him many admirers at a time when the United States was reeling badly from the effects of the Great Depression.
  • The Molasses Gang was a gang from New York during the 1870s. They would ask the owner of the shop to fill their hat with molasses (saying it was a bet to see how much would fit). When the hat was full the gangster would shove the hat onto the shop owner and take what they wanted with no resistance. Also Refuge in Audacity, as they were able to do it for six years because nobody took them seriously.


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Alternative Title(s): Stupid Enough To Work


Lykan Hypersport escape

When Deckard Shaw gatecrashes the party, the only place Dom and Brian can escape is through the windows in the Lykan Hypersport, which they did.

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5 (8 votes)

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Main / CrazyEnoughToWork

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