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Lunatic Loophole

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"God looks out for fools, drunks, little children, and the United States of America."
Winston Churchill, or Otto von Bismarck... somebody said it...

So you've organized this major heist, with a motley team of criminals of all different personalities, which has Gone Horribly Wrong, and the whole Bolivian army is at your doorstep. Things look dire. But you can be assured of one thing: The batshit insane one will get away, and probably go on to have adventures of his own.


Maybe crazy people are invisible to police, or maybe God has a plan for this individual, though what that plan is is anybody's guess. Or maybe God just loves a lunatic.

Obviously, this is a sub-trope of Success Through Insanity and Karma Houdini. Also related somewhat to Joker Immunity. Also sort of related to The Fool, except this character's insane, not stupid. Also similar to Insanity Immunity.

This is most obvious as a Death Trope (everyone except the lunatic dies), so expect UNMARKED SPOILERS!!!



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    Comic Books 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Armageddon, crazy Russian guy is one of the few guys that survives. Also Steve Buscemi's character, who gets "space dementia." It helps that the rest of the crew duct-taped him to a chair because of it.
  • In Braveheart, before the Battle of Stirling Bridge, crazy Irish guy declares that God told him he would survive the battle, but he wasn't so sure about the main character. Turns out both of them survive. This turns out to be foreshadowing, since at the end of Wallace's revolt he's brutally killed while the Irish guy looks on helplessly (while not dying).
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal's character, Raven, in Cecil B. Demented definitely qualifies as the craziest of the Sprocket Holes (and that's saying something). Making this example particularly egregious is when Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith's character) is being arrested, Raven actually calls to her, to tell her the movie's finished, and throws Honey a devil-kiss, and not one cop notices her, as she then hides in the back of a hearse.
  • Garland Greene, Steve Buscemi's character in Con Air. At the end, when all the other convicts are either dead or being arrested, Greene just walks off into the Sunset Strip and starts gambling. In spite of being a famous serial killer, he was never a part of the escape plan and never does anything bad during the course of the film.
  • In Menace II Society, pretty much every main character, both sympathetic and not, dies by the end, except for the main protagonist's completely unsympathetic, psychotic, trigger-happy partner, who gets arrested in the end.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Captain Jack Sparrow rides on a wave of such loopholes through the movies.
    • In the fourth one, efforts are made to make it look more planned than stumbled through. YMMV on how good of a choice that was.


    Live Action TV 
  • Murdock of The A-Team occasionally escaped arrest when the rest of the team was arrested.
  • Doctor Who. The Doctor's not completely crazy (probably) but it has been proposed that one of the reasons that the Big Bads generally spare his life is that they're genuinely curious about the way his mind works. (Of course, narrative causality probably carries a bit of weight too...)
  • Averted by Haywire in Prison Break, who does make it out of the prison at the end of season 1, but is unceremoniously killed off halfway season 2.

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