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Logical Extreme

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This is a Trope Trope.

Some tropes have a logical extreme that:

  • Fits neatly within the description of the trope
  • Requires no exaggeration
  • Usually has at least one example of that extreme (indeed, the Logical Extreme might be quite common, even to the point of being a Sub-Trope).

Note that sometimes a trope can have more than one Logical Extreme that fit the trope in different ways. For example, the Logical Extremes of Reclusive Artist include artists who no one knows who they are, artists who no one knows where they are, and artists whom no one knows whether they're alive or dead. In other cases, two distinct tropes can have the same logical extreme: for instance, Science Fantasy serves as the logical extreme for both soft science fiction and Sufficiently Analyzed Magic.


For obvious reasons, this cannot be used on YMMV items.

Compare Deconstructed Trope, where tropes are played realistically and sometimes by straining them in the logical extreme. See also Exaggerated Trope, which is the "Illogical Extreme", and the TV Tropes section of Literal Metaphor.


"The critics deplore that in the three Kafka novels many intermediate chapters are missing, but recognizes that those chapters are not essential. I have for me that this complaint indicates an essential ignorance of Kafka's art. The path of these "unfinished" novels is born specifically of The Infinite number of obstacles that stop and return to stop their identical heroes. Franz Kafka does not finish them, because the main thing was that they were endless. Do you remember the first and clearest of Zeno's paradoxes? The movement is impossible, because before reaching B we must cross the intermediate point C, but before reaching C, we must cross the intermediate point D, but before reaching D ... The Greek does not list all the points; Franz Kafka does not have to list all the vicissitudes. It is enough to understand that they are infinite like Hell".
  • One-Hit Wonder: One-Book Author, the artist had a hit—and is known for nothing else because there is literally nothing else to be known for.
  • Oven Logic: Freefall brings you cooking with explosives! Predictable results ensue.
  • Moral Guardian: Knight Templar, where the Moral Guardian will do anything to protect.
  • Reclusive Artist:
    • Identities Unknown:
      • Scholars are pretty sure B. Traven died in 1969 and that he was male. As for where and when he was born, what his real name was, or whether the original language of his books was German or English, on the other hand...
      • The Residents are also unknown. Nobody has a clue who they are.
      • Graffiti artists who manage to keep their anonymity in spite of developing global fame, for example Banksy.
    • Whereabouts unknown:
      • Richey James Edwards went missing in 1995 and was declared Legally Dead in 2008.
      • Author Salman Rushdie went into hiding several years ago after a fatwa was declared against him. His location is still unknown, though he makes public appearances.
    • The logical extreme of both would be, of course, works which were published anonymously, or where knowledge of their original source has been lost permanently. Many examples exist from mediaeval times: most mediaeval painters are only known by ad hoc "names" like "Master of the Legend of the Magdalen", named after his most famous painting.
  • Revolving Door Band: When a constantly changing lineup is inherent in a band's structure. For example, Menudo was meant to be a Boy Band, so any member who got too tall, grew facial hair, experienced a vocal change, or turned 16 was dismissed and replaced. The Vienna Boys Choir was similar.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Seen in the vaudville version of Gertie the Dinosaur, which combined animation, live-action film, and Winsor McCay live on stage.
  • Satellite Love Interest:
    • When Loving a Shadow meets Shadow Archetype with a bit of The Dulcinea Effect: Nobody is more shallow than a shadow. Example: Dulcinea was a character Don Quixote invented as a Love Interest inspired in a real girl named Aldonza Lorenzo. At the first part Dulcinea is only a pretext for Don Quixote to get into adventures, but later he believes she is real and looks for her (Did we already mention Don Quixote is crazy?)
    • Alternately, the love interest never actually makes an appearance onscreen, effectively serving as The Ghost. Example: Gloriana, The Faerie Queene.
  • Schedule Slip: Orphaned Series.
  • Science Fantasy: Most soft science fiction makes liberal use of Applied Phlebotinum which simply makes no sense from a scientific perspective, and may as well be magical. When an explanation is given, expect it to contradict physical laws because the writer either doesn't know as much about science as they think, or are disregarding it for the sake of a better story. Science Fantasy is therefore when a work actually admits this. Depending on how you look at it, it is also the Logical Extreme to Magic A Is Magic A and Sufficiently Analyzed Magic, as "classical" fantasy stories are inspired by mythology, and therefore never give any explanation for why the magic works the way it does. Again, in Science Fantasy, the setting is inspired by science instead.
    • The “One Big Lie” subtrope of soft science fiction has another logical extreme, in the Orthogonal trilogy by Greg Egan. The setting has precisely one physical law changed from the real world, in the smallest way possible (a single minus sign in an equation becomes a plus sign) but even though all other laws of physics are the same as our world, this causes everything on the macroscopic level to be so different as to be unrecognizable.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The shotgun, despite firing rounds, can only be used as a melee weapon.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Go crazy and add anything you can find. Path of Exile is both famous and notorious for having what is essentially a skill forest.
  • Spiritual Successor: Serial Numbers Filed Off. The new series effectively is the earlier one save a few minor details.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: A Once an Episode Catchphrase isn't able to be said at all.
    • Example: When The Nostalgia Critic starts his reviews, he usually says, "Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to." The subversion for the film Cool as Ice was him cracking up mid-catchphrase. Barb Wire had him say, "I remember it so you don't boobies." When he reviewed The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, however, he simply had his face buried in his hands, before saying, "I've got nothing. I have absolutely nothing."
  • Totem Pole Trench: Instead of two or three people teaming up to pretend to be one person, thousands of tiny people work together to form one "person" (also a trope as well: The Worm That Walks).
  • Unconscious Objector: Died Standing Up. He doesn't just rise to keep fighting while unconscious, he rises to keep fighting while dead.
  • Unexpected Successor: When the very need for a successor is unexpected.
    • William Henry Harrison taught the United States the hard way that a President can expire before his term does.
    • In Dungeons & Dragons, Vlaakith CLVII is the Lich-Queen of the Githyanki. Being undead, she has no need for a successor. It's mentioned in at least one sourcebook that if Vlaakith is killed, the githyanki will be thrown into chaos.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Flock of Wolves. Everyone is an imposter or a spy.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Moff’s Law; instead of warning consumers not to think too deeply about a work's theme, they outright deny there's a theme to think about at all.
  • Written-In Infirmity: The Character Died with Him (that is, the actor isn't just ill or injured, they're dead).