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!!!
- Johnny from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, manages to avoid being arrested for or even suspected of any of his murders. This trope is taken to an extreme as said murders include draining the blood of a flower vendor, on a crowded street in broad daylight, with numerous horrified witnesses present.
- By the end of Marvel Zombies 4, it appears that the severed head of Zombie Deadpool has escaped the destruction of all the other super-zombies.
- In Armageddon (1998), 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.
- David Gemmell's Echoes of the Great Song has an Elric-style Failing ex-Master Race. They are attacked by invaders from another world and the book ends with a suicide mission to blow up the enemy ammunition dump. The only survivor is the one who disabled the Stun Setting on his Laser Bow because he can't think of any time he would point it at anything without wanting to kill it.
- Star Wars Legends: In The Thrawn Trilogy, the titular Grand Admiral muses that perhaps the greatest reason why the Rebel Alliance, now the New Republic, was so successful and stayed alive where other rebellions failed was because they had the audacity to enact strategies that looked absolutely insane (such as sending a bunch of snub fighters to take on a planet-destroying battlestation).
- 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.
- BIONICLE: A repeated occurrence with Vezon:
- Out of the Piraka, he's the only one who doesn't get mutated into a sea snake and then fused into a golden-skinned Skakdi God.
- He is one of the four group members of Order of Mata Nui strike team sent to free Makuta Miserix to not die or betray the group.
- When he gets sent on a suicide mission to Destral to distract Makuta Tridax long enough for the Order of Mata Nui to begin laying siege upon Destral, he ends up surviving long enough for Mazeka and Tobduk to kill Tridax, with Vezon stealing Tridax's Kanohi Olmak (A Mask of Power that opens portals to other dimensions).
- Immediately after that, Vezon opens a portal and arrives in front of a massive wave of Energized Protodermis, which he survives yet again (albeit fused with the Olmak and now becoming a walking dimensional gateway opener).
- He then travels through countless alternate universes until he is summoned by a Great Being from his home universe to free him from his prison, eventually also rescuing a host of power players who had been expelled from the Matoran Universe by Makuta.
- After that, he and everyone else escaped the fortress where the Great Being was imprisoned when it was blown up by another Great Being.
- In The King of Fighters, Canon Foreigner and complete nutcase Ryuji Yamazaki is the only one of the Eight Kings of Orochi to actively challenge and disregard him... and survive to tell the tale. He is also the only one of the Eight Kings to be alive as of the beginning of KOF XIV; Vice and Mature are only apparitions, all of the Heavenly Kings have been Killed Off for Real for some 20 years, and Gaidel was Doomed by Canon.
- Joan of Arc. One of the reasons she was so successful in warfare was because her strategies were so crazy that her enemies were caught completely off-guard.