Max: And. Loving it.
A standard television plot. An assignment is received in The Teaser. A planning session is held (Avengers, Assemble!). Then comes The Caper or The Con, using a Master of Disguise and an A-Team Montage. The resolution is as close to end of The Tag as possible. At about the 40-minute mark, there is a Pseudo Crisis.
The trope takes its name from the classic Mission: Impossible television series, whose Impossible Mission Force did one of these every week. As such, note that not every impossible mission is an Impossible Mission.
For missions that actually are impossible, see Impossible Task.
- The Midnight Verse story Diamonds in the Desert is one long example of this.
- The movie Inception has this as the "inception" itself.
- As with its source material, the Mission: Impossible movies invoked this trope.
- The National Treasure movies regularly fell into this, with plots like stealing the Declaration of Independence and kidnapping the President of the United States.
- Paths of Glory combines this with Suicide Mission.
- The League of Gentlemen may be seen as an Ur-Example.
- Not surprisingly, the Mission: Impossible television series featured this on a regular basis.
- Despite its few episodes, Firefly did two of these, in "Ariel" and in "Trash".
- Similarly, this occurred regularly on Alias
- Mercilessly parodied in the Whose Line Is It Anyway? game "Improbable Mission," which had agents given missions involving high stakes but ordinary tasks, such as doing laundry or mowing the lawn.
- Every mission of Breaking In seems easy at first, until complications pile up into this.
- In the South Korean television show Dating Agency: Cyrano, the case for Choi Darin seems to be like this, since the girl he likes hates him a lot. However, the Dating Agency guarantees a "100% success rate"...
- Many episodes of Dinner: Impossible fall into this pattern.
- In Borderlands 2, the task of entering the bunker where Handsome Jack is holding Angel prisoner is framed this way, with the next several story missions involving rounding up the tools and talent needed to break in.
Roland: If it was a trap, she would at least have made it sound possible.