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Violation of Common Sense

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Video game logic is not real-world logic. Sometimes they allow you to do something suicidally dangerous (or at least utterly pointless) and, far from forcing you to face the consequences of your actions, they reward you for this behavior. On the flip-side, the player finds themselves in a scenario where they feel obligated to make a practical decision and, far from avoiding Too Dumb to Live, they are punished for this behavior, sometimes by death. This is a Violation of Common Sense; one does not expect to be rewarded for otherwise nonsensical actions, or to be punished for otherwise sensible ones.

Sometimes this is an unexpected result of Video Game Physics, but just as often it's a deliberate solution to a puzzle or a way to collect useful items. As always, Tropes Are Not Bad — a Violation of Common Sense can be entertaining and amusing when well-executed, just as it can be confusing or annoying when not properly set up. Comedy Video Games can make this trope part of the fun, just as more serious games won't get away with this nearly as easily.


Compare and contrast both Press X to Die (where an obviously stupid action has harmful results), Stupidity Is the Only Option (where the player is forced to do something stupid in order to continue the game), and Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay (where following common sense is expected, but surprising in the context of the game). Also compare Moon Logic Puzzle (where the solution to a puzzle makes absolutely no sense from a normal standpoint). Examples of things that make no sense in general (but that we accept because it's a video game) belong in the work's Headscratchers tab or in one of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality subtropes.

This trope is not to be confused with Insane Troll Logic. It's also not to be confused with Too Dumb to Live, though it can be seen as an aversion of this trope (where you get the appropriate consequence - namely, death - for doing something reckless).


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Video Game Examples:

    Action Adventure 
  • An early section in Batman: Arkham Asylum requires you to save a doctor who's trapped in a room whose only exit is into a room full of Joker Toxin. You have to activate the three ventilation fans by hitting their power boxes with your Batarang. The problem? One of those boxes is itself in an enclosed room. The correct solution is to Batarang the rope that one of the Mooks is hanging from, knocking him down through the roof of the room and right into the cloud of poison gas. Even though you're Batman, and Batman never kills. On the other hand, Joker Toxin isn't instantly lethal, and there's a line of dialogue about how you have to act quickly to save his life, so there's some explanation at least.
  • At one point in Cave Story, you see Professor Booster falling off-screen into a deep pit, and you have the option to either drop into the pit and help him, or just leave him to his fate. Your decision determines whether he lives or dies from his injuries, except the results violate logic: if you drop into the pit to help him, he gives you a prototype Jet Pack and one last speech before dying on the spot; if you leave him, he recovers on his own and meets you later in the game, alive and well, and gives you an improved Jet Pack. One of the conditions to get the Golden Ending requires you to have the improved version, which means you must ignore Booster when he falls into the pit.
  • Go Vacation has a Golden Key called "Big Ball of Painful Memories,'' which you get by repeatedly violating common sense. It requires you to crash your vehicle into water 50 times, flub a trick 50 times, and, most dauntingly, jump off 4 secret special cliffs. One of which is a two-hundred-foot-tall waterfall.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Pretend you're way above the ground with the paraglider in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you're almost out of stamina, and the fall from this height will kill you. What do? Put away the paraglider, fall to the ground like a meteor, and save that last little bit of stamina to reopen it the second before you hit the ground. Falling from 1000 feet and hitting the ground with that amount of force? Lethal. Falling from 1000 feet and putting the strain of all that force on Link's arms? Harmless.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
      • There's an unusual method to avoiding ReDeads: Equipping the Iron Boots before getting close. ReDeads detect you based on sound, not sight. The Iron Boots are clunky and noisy the player. But the ReDeads will ignore you. This is because the game registers the sound of Link's slower walking animation differently from that of his regular walking- as far as the game is concerned if you're moving slowly, you're tiptoeing, even if you're actually plodding around with heavy weights on your feet. As long as you don't pull out or put away a weapon, you'll be completely invisible to them (alternatively, this can be interpreted as the Iron Boots being so loud that they deafen/blind them).
      • The Death Mountain Crater is so hot that if you don't leave before the time expires, you'll instantly die unless you wear the Goron Tunic. Falling into the lava is like falling into a Bottomless Pit, thus the game resets you back to the last entrance you came in from. Savvy players that are speed running or simply wanting to save time can jump into the lava to reset the timer and act as a quick warp to the exit with only a loss of one heart. The heat of the crater is more deadly than the lava itself!
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • There's a part where you're on an oil-covered bridge that is ignited by an archer mook. With no apparent way out, you push a conveniently located crate over to the side of the bridge and jump off into (the almost entirely dry) Lake Hylia below. It's a good thing Link doesn't have to worry about smashing into the surface of the lake.
      • In general, the first time Link decides that jumping off a high cliff with a cucco over his head is a good idea.
    • The Legend of Zelda has "Pay me and I'll talk" NPCs. Obviously, the lowest option doesn't net you any info since you're a cheap-ass for picking it, so logically, picking the highest option is the best since it means you're willing to pay anything for information, right? Nope! The NPC says "Boy, you're rich!" and that's it. To get an actual hint, you have to pick the middle option.
  • In Metroid, there exist quite a few expansions and power ups hidden under fake pools of acid or lava, most of which you have to go out of your way to fall in.
  • Lampshaded in Ōkami at certain points, usually when Amaterasu has to jump down a hole. This is done to the point of Issun claiming that their motto is "Leap before you think." This would be justified by the fact that Ammy is a god, but there are some falls that won't kill you and some that will. Sometimes Issun reciting his motto is the only indication that you won't die if you jump right there.
    • There are several methods of teleporting, none of which Amaterasu can use to reach Oni Island before it disappears. Absolutely no reason is given why, Issun just yells that Amaterasu doesn't have time for such "distractions". In a game where using magic to succeed is necessary at many points, running on foot through an entire city just seems arbitrary.
  • Tomb Raider III: During some levels, when triggering boulder traps, you must violate all instinct by sprinting towards the object about to crush Lara before ducking at a small raised step on its path, allowing the boulder to pass over Lara safely.
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has you play a mini-game against a spirit before you can progress. You move on whether you win or lose, but the path you take for losing has one of the game's many secrets. If you plan to get 100% Completion, you have to lose the mini-game on purpose.
  • Tomb Raider Chronicles has a door that can only be unlocked with two keycards and you have to convince a worker at gunpoint to use his keycard in tandem with yours. Killing him opens up an alternate and more difficult path while your partner chews you out for killing the hapless worker. However, killing said worker is the only way to get to the level's secret.

    Adventure Game 
  • One of the early puzzles in the original text adventure Colossal Cave is shown in the page quote. This puzzle is actually much, much harder to any modern gamer than it was at the time, since "With what? Your bare hands?" has become the default response to attempts to kill something without specifying a weapon (it was in Adventure, too, but at least it was new enough there to make players think about it — today, nobody is likely to consider treating it as a real question).
  • The Infocom The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1984):
    • To pass one obstacle you first have to remove your common sense in order to be carrying both tea and no tea at the same time (something your common sense tells you can't do).
    • You are required to enter in an illegal command at a certain point in the game. As anyone who plays a text game can tell you, normally, you do not want to do that.
    • Douglas Adams loves this trope. His adventure game Starship Titanic also has several examples.
  • There's a Christian text adventure called "Keys to the Kingdom" where you have to deliberately try to walk across a river that is trying to block you. At first the game will tell you that you can't go that way, but if you try again, you'll make it across because you had faith (ala Peter walking on water for a bit when Jesus told him he could). Just don't look down!
  • In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, the player must cross a boiling pond, defeat a living statue, and cut down an ever-growing hedge, all without a good reason. He ends up on the grounds of a castle. The castle's owner points out that he clearly wanted privacy, and the player character can only suppose that he breaks through traps because it's what he does. The owner's had enough adventures to know how they go, so he sighs and accepts the explanation.
  • Several actions the Monkey Island adventure games require you to take are questionable in their wisdom. Over the course of the series, Guybrush has: ridden a rope across a chasm using a rubber chicken (with a pulley in the middle), deliberately mixed medications to put himself in a coma (twice), fired himself out of a cannon (thrice), triggered a volcanic eruption at point-blank range, soaked an irritable undead pirate with root beer, and gotten himself eaten by a giant snake, only to escape in a common-sense violating manner... Thankfully, the games make it almost impossible to lose, no matter what you do, so the player can experiment without fear. Let's face it, the Monkey Island series was one big Violation Of Common Sense. You're supposed to start the game, solve the first puzzle, realize that common sense just doesn't work in the Monkey Island world, and then gleefully throw all good judgment out the window and just try the most outlandish things you can think of. It's more fun that way.
    • One of the most infamous puzzles in the series (and the only one where you can actually die if you fail to solve it) comes when Guybrush is thrown off a pier into the water with a heavy stone idol tied to his ankle. Fortunately Guybrush can hold his breath for 10 minutes (which gives you a 10 minute time limit to solve it) but while any number of sharp objects you could use to cut the rope are scattered around near you, none are within reach. The solution? Pick up the idol and store it in your Hyperspace Arsenal like any other item, leaving you free to just walk out of the water!
  • Obsidian mostly takes place in artificial worlds based upon the dreams of the protagonist and her boyfriend. As the game's tagline lampshades: Your rules do not apply here.
  • Peasant's Quest, as an Affectionate Parody of old-school adventure games, features a lot of this. The most famous (though technically optional) are probably the various uses of the baby you find, including throwing him into a lake. Inexplicably, the baby then swims out, carrying a useful item.
  • On a related note, several of the things you can do in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People verge on this — most notably, in "Strong Badia the Free" you can light a smoke detector on fire — it's purely optional, but even Strong Bad notes "That doesn't make me feel very safe!" and "To be fair, that fire's not actually smoking."
  • In the white chamber, you're required to collect a body's worth of loose body parts, without any motivation. Once you have the complete set and assemble them on a hospital bed, the protagonist will remark that she had no idea why she did all that.
  • In DARQ, early in the subway level you pick up a small wristwatch. Later on you reach a gap in the floor with a contextual inventory use icon over it, but you haven't picked up any planks or ladders or other things that could serve as a bridge. You're actually supposed to use the wristwatch, which is suddenly and inexplicably twenty times the size it was when you picked it up, to serve as a makeshift bridge by stretching its wristband over the gap. Then again, this is a game where you're trapped in a series of surreal nightmares- real-world logic has no power here.

    Collectible Card Game 
  • The main mechanic of the Portalcraft class of ShadowVerse is special token cards called Artifacts. They have powerful stats and abilities for their play point cost; however, rather than being summoned to the field or added to the hand, Artifacts are added to the player's deck. Anyone who knows the basics of collectable card games can see how this can backfire since adding more cards to the deck makes it less likely that you'll draw the card you need. However, this ties into the other mechanic of Portalcraft: when the number of cards in the deck is even, certain cards will gain special effects, and adding and searching for Artifacts allows you to manipulate when Resonance activates. In particular, the card Deus Ex Machina allows the player to what's normally a stupid idea into a nigh endless wave of value followers, while the deck-filling mechanic safeguards the player from losing by deck-out.

    Fighting Game 
  • Blazblue:
    • Amane's Drive attack is all about chip damage from blocking. As in, 'a quarter of your health bar at Level 3 on block' chip damage. Once his Drive reaches Level 3, you can actually take less damage by just letting it hit you. This is especially pronounced if you Barrier block it on instinct - Amane's Drive shreds Barrier meter, and depleting the meter multiplies all damage you take for a while.
    • To find Carl's true ending in the Calamity Trigger Story Mode, you actually have to lose the first fight against Taokaka. Instead of a Game Over, he comes to in Litchi's clinic where he meets his Parental Substitute. Hakumen's true ending also requires you to lose against Tager, despite the story indicating that this is exact opposite of what Hakumen ought to do in this situation.
  • In The King of Fighters '95, the chip damage from blocking super moves scales up with their original power. Too bad this system is ruined by illogical programming, and in some cases you take more damage from blocking it rather than letting it hit you!
  • The Updated Re-release of Sango Fighter adds the Soldier as a Breakout Mook Character. He has a unique damage table that makes him take no damage from a handful of attacks from other characters. In addition, the game mechanics dictate that he will always take 1 point of damage when he blocks an attack. Hence, on some occasions, he can No-Sell the opponent's attack by not blocking the attack and letting it hit him instead.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Ness and Lucas' PK Thunder attack have them launch a steerable ball of lightning. It can be guided toward opponents and destructible items, or it can be steered into the user, turning them into a human missile that can damage opponents and be used to recover.
    • All three versions of Link can use an advanced technique called the "bomb jump." Each character has a recovery move that lets them rise in midair. Link can throw a bomb, then use his recovery move to rise up into it. Why would he do this? Because when the bomb explodes, he takes damage, letting him use the recovery move again.
    • The above also applies to Snake, who can drop Grenades and/or C4 offstage to launch himself upwards and recover from helplessness.
    • Fighting the Cruel Melee or Brawl? Not good enough at playing hit-and-run (or other defensive) tactics to defeat even one foe fair? Abuse the hyper-aggressive AI by jumping off the stage - the drones will follow, and your character will have a recovery move that will get you back to the platform, but the drones don't unless you're good enough at the mode in Brawl, where you have to fight another character instead of a Fighting Alloy for the 25th opponent.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate changes the way that perfect shielding works; now, instead of putting your shield up right before an attack, you want to put it down and get hit during the "putting your shield down" animation.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Battlefield 2 has some questionable airplane mechanics:
  • In the BioShock series, the camera's Enemy Scan ability rewards more points for action shots (enemies are attacking or affected by your powers in some way) and multiple subjects (more than one enemy in shot), leading to the ridiculous notion of a massive firefight becoming the ideal time to take some photos. The game at least helpfully pauses the actions between shots. The sequel fixes this by having you start recording first, then attacking.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • Near the end of the main campaign, there's an optional quest where Handsome Jack asks you to off yourself by jumping off a cliff. You can choose to decline by getting counseling from a hotline located on a shack near the cliff and save on the thousand or so dollars you'll be charged to respawn in exchange for more XP, or you can go through with it and get paid 12 Eridium. Jack lampshades this, calling you a sellout if you go through with it.
    • Jumping from a ludicrous height, as in contrast to more realistic shooters you take absolutely no damage from the fall. This is lampshaded late-game when Brick suggests you simply jump off the tallest structure in Sawtooth Cauldron to get out of the area faster, and he'll be impressed if you comply. This may well be because in Brick's native game, there was fall damage. He may be genuinely impressed that you landed from that absurd height without issue, while he'd be short a few thousand on respawn fees if he attempted it.
    • The gameplay of the Breakout Mook Character Krieg the Psycho is all about playing in ways that are contrary to common sense even for video games. Run headlong into enemies! Set yourself on fire! Don't have your lifesaving energy shields up! Go into melee range against hordes of heavily armed Mecha-Mooks! Carry a gigantic bundle of lit dynamite around with you at all times just in case you want to blow up yourself and everyone around you! His skills and abilities actually encourage this sort of reckless insanity, as he gains more strength the more vulnerable he becomes. Being shot recharges his action skill, shoving a buzzsaw-axe into an enemy's head refills his health, having an empty magazine in his gun causes him to deal more melee damage... the list goes on. Word Of God is that they wanted to make him one of the initial four Vault Hunters, but thought his playstyle would turn away more risk-averse players.
    • Similar to Krieg, the Love Thumper Shield (which is often paired with him) is this. Having an above average shield capacity for a Rare-level shield, it also boasts an extremely long recharge rate, so high that if it goes down you might as well stay naked. However, it's a Maylay shield, meaning it boosts melee damage when the shields are down. The idea is you tank damage with the shield until you get into face-beating distance, then beat face until everyone is dead.
    • The Love Thumper's style is mirrored by the "Flame of the Firehawk" legendary shield, only instead of boosting melee damage, it sets off constant waves of fiery death while it's down. It is also paired with Krieg frequently, especially since Krieg has a skill tree entirely about fire.
    • Subverted early in the game where Claptrap suggests that you can get through an electrical barrier if you sprint face-first into it. You quickly learn that colliding into the barrier will stop you cold, but Claptrap suggests you run into it again, leading to Angel telling you not to trust any of Claptrap's ideas.
    • Gaige's Ordered Chaos skills follow the same philosophy as Krieg, with vastly different and more mind-shattering execution. Don't ever manually reload! Kill-streaks reduce your accuracy! Keep it going and your gun will literally shoot sideways and/or backwards! Yes this is desirable!
  • In one sidequest in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, a reporter asks you to jump with a jump pad and use your slam ability on a basketball hoop. You also get extra credit for doing it while on fire, and there are incendiary barrels around the area provided specifically for this purpose.
  • When searching the Family Jewel in Borderlands 3 for a Vault Key Fragment, GenIVIV blocks your route through and BALEX suggests grabbing a pair of wires. Doing this kills you, but it also summons a medibot to get you back on your feet through the very door GenIVIV locked on you.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
    • One of the Face Off downloadable maps, "Vortex", has Delta Force and Spetsnaz fighting over a ranch house while a tornado rages on within viewing distance.
    • It gets better for Black Ops II on "Magma", where you fight in a Japanese village being ravaged by lava. One would think that this is insane.
  • Counter-Strike:
    • Unsheathing a knife to run faster. Instead of slicing yourself up, carrying an unshielded blade in your hand while you sprint around lets you go even faster!
    • In Counter Strike: Source, at least, if you run around with the less powerful of the two snipers (The "Scout"), you actually move slightly faster (though not by much) than the knife... despite the fact that the 100 rounds of ammo alone should weigh more than the knife. The rifle is obviously much less maneuverable.
    • This is parodied in Magicka with the "Knife of Counter-Striking." Carrying it makes you run at double-speed, for no particular reason; but if you run down a flight of stairs with it, you'll trip and injure yourself.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Since downed players are entirely immune to damage while still drawing aggro, leaving your companion to get chewed on by dozens and dozens of furious insects so you can shoot at them and thin them down is a valid strategy. Throwing a grenade or even a satchel charge at your heavily injured companion screaming for help is an even better idea, in fact, since he won't be damaged by the explosion in this state.
  • The secret level exit in Doom level Mt. Erebus is contained within an enclosed space that can only be accessed from above - namely, by standing at close range to a particular wall (with a reasonable amount of health left), firing the rocket launcher and propelling your burnt self backwards into the enclosure. There are two Invincibility spheres in the level, mind you.
  • Far Cry 4: You're an American twenty-something kidnapped by the psychopathic dictator of the third-world Nepalese micronation you were trying to sneak into. He's sat you down for crab rangoon and led your guide off elsewhere, telling you to just wait a moment. The events of the game are kicked off by you following him to investigate those horrific screaming noises coming from the basement. Doing as the psychopathic dictator says and waiting for him to come back leads to him politely wrapping up the story between him, your deceased mother and your father, and how he came to control the country. He then leads you to a helicopter and flies you to the lake where you can lay your mother's ashes to rest. He caps it off by inheriting Kyrat to you, leaving you with everything you wanted without shedding a single drop of blood. Roll credits.
  • Killing Floor:
    • Buddy of yours swarmed by zombies? Eh, toss a grenade in there, it won't even ruffle his lapels as it reduces the zombies to a fine mist. Or, if you're a Firebug, just hose him down with your flamethrower. He'll be fine.
    • If he's taken damage from the zombies? Jab him with your Healing Shiv. You'll get money for healing him. In fact, healing teammates with your syringe is more effective than healing yourself.
    • Best way to deal with those Chainsaw Good Scrakes? Charge them with a sword and wildly swing at them, as it stunlocks them.
    • About to fight the end-boss, the Patriarch, and not sure your team has enough coordination or power to take him down? Throw a bunch of proximity-based pipe grenades on your head like a hat, and run headfirst into him! You're guaranteed to die from it, but if you have enough pipe bombs, it can kill him on the highest difficulty with the highest HP-playercount multiplier, to the point where that exact strategy was so effective and consistent, it had to be nerfed multiple times!
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • Is a survivor in black and white and will die within the next hit or two, but you don't want to waste a health kit on them because the safe room is right there? Kill them, and they'll come back in the next level with 50 health! Left 4 Dead 2 makes it even dumber by adding the defibrillator, meaning that the best thing to do when one survivor is in black and white, and you find a defibrillator, is to kill the survivor, and then revive him/her with the defibrillator, allowing the survivor to return to 50% health and not lose any of their equipment.
    • Mobbed by a swarm of zombies and no place to escape? Get that Molotov out and set yourself on fire! It'll do way less damage to you than they were. Likewise, using the Grenade Launcher if you get swarmed will do some damage to you and clear out the zombies, which can be far better than trying to melee them off and suffer more damage from the attackers.
    • The Witch will instantly kill players on Expert and/or Realism mode. However, if someone startles the Witch and they go down before she attacks them, she will then attack the downed survivor for damage and not kill them in one shot. Some people will shoot a player who disturbed the Witch until they are incapacitated so that they won't die instantly from her and the rest of the team can bring her down.
    • A player that disturbs the Witch can force themselves to hang from a ledge, which counts as being immobile by the game. Due to this, the Witch will still damage the player, but they won't count as having being knocked down once they're taken off.
  • This is standard for the most of the gameplay in Team Fortress 2.
    • Apart from Rocket Jumping (available to four of the nine playable classes), you can set allies on fire if you suspect them of being a disguised Spy (which, if they really are teammates after all, doesn't hurt them), hit enemies in melee combat with a handheld grenade and stand still in the middle of battle to regain health by eating a sandwich.
    • The Trolldier loadout: replace your primary with a weapon that does no damage (the Rocket Jumper, which is intended as a training tool) and your melee with a very Situational Sword (the Market Gardener, which deals crits while rocket jumping), and rocket into enemies to hit them with a shovel before you touch the ground. Adding in the Mantreads takes up your secondary (meaning you have no damage source other than the Market Gardener), but also lets you Goomba Stomp foes. One of the build's greatest strengths is its unpredictability and lots of surprise burst damage, so expect plays that would make little sense for anyone else.
    • The grenade one is even lampshaded, saying a sober person would just throw it. Ironically, it's an even bigger Violation of Common Sense than the flamethrower: It's the perfect spy-checker since it will definitely kill the interloper, but who goes around smacking his friends with a pressure-trigger grenade?
    • Spy-Checking is also lampshaded in the Meet The Spy video. The BLU Soldier blows the head off of a BLU Spy with a shotgun. When his teammates react with visible shock, he defends himself with "What?! It was obvious! He's the RED Spy!" He then acts confused when the BLU Spy does not turn red after a few seconds. Valve is aware of how shooting at your teammates to find Spies is completely insane - appropriate that they used the most psychotic member of the cast to show us this.
    • Several of the cosmetic items in the game would be extremely impractical and/or dangerous to wear in real life, and this is often lampshaded in their descriptions, such as the description for the Head Warmer pointing out that since the Pyro wears it in combination with his gas mask, the combined heat would cause hallucinations and eventual brain death, and the Googol Glass Eyes pointing out that unclean pieces of metal in his eyes would cause serious infection. Then there's the Bunsen Brave which is basically a feather hat made out of a set of flame throwers a bit too close to the wearer's forehead! Logically this should be excruciating to wear due to the metal frame getting too hot.
    • Some players damage themselves intentionally (such as with explosives or the Scout's Boston Basher/Three-Rune Blade), since Medics build Ubercharge faster if they're actually healing someone instead of simply having their healing beam on someone who has maximum overheal. Some competitive guides even say that Pocket Soldiers should only have maximum overheal if they're seconds away from entering a fight, otherwise they should be constantly damaging themselves to maximize their Medic's build rate.
    • The Gas Passer it's an unlockable item for the Pyro. As the name implies, it's a container with gasoline inside that works similar to the Jarate and the Mad Milk, as you throw it away to coat the enemies with gasoline so any attack they receive will make them burst into flames...or you can use it (again, like the Jarate and the Mad Milk) to extinguish the flames of your teammates. Needless to say, in real life, when someone is on fire, the last thing you'd want to do to put down the flames is to coat the person with gasoline for obvious reasons.
  • In the Half-Life mod They Hunger, there is ammunition for the revolver. In a fire. Jump in and out to collect those six rounds!
  • In Rising Storm, American and Japanese machine-gunners change their weapons' overheated barrels with their bare hands. Surprisingly, they don't flinch when pulling the smoking-hot barrel out, and instead this action allows their guns to continue firing without penalty.

  • City of Heroes has a rather interesting instance of this- in one game event, Rikti (evil alien) ships fly over the city, bombing the hell out of it. It's brutally difficult but just barely possible to kill the bombers. Only thing is, that doesn't give you anything (other than a fairly spectacular lightshow), and what you're actually supposed to do for the event is to hunt down bombs that failed to detonate on impact. And then beat them to death with your bare hands (or whatever weapon your hero favors).
  • In Dragon Nest you can get titles for accomplishing certain achievements which can provide you with some extra stats. One title requires you to collect 8 other seemingly pathetic titles that provide no stats whatsoever. To get them, you'll have to kill a goblin you're supposed to protect, get killed by a hound, get run over by a minotaur, get killed by a stone thrown by a blue goblin (whose aim is so bad you actually have to run into the little pebble yourself, get killed by an ogre boss, get killed by hounds again and lastly, get killed by an orc challenger who is afraid to even actually hit you, especially if you're a little higher levelled. And after all this, what do you get? One of the best - if not the best - titles you can get in the game; providing you with 20-25 stats and 40 damage and magic attack. Guess the devs figured that if you managed to get those achievements you're going to need that buff.
  • In Elsword one title requires you to drown just to discover it.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • Eureka has monsters that can aggro you based on various factors and they will not stop chasing you unless you cover a lot of distance from where they spawned. In a party, if a player is engaged with a mob and another player performs an action on that player such as healing, that player will also get aggro from that mob. Eureka tends to have very strong mobs, so rather than assisting a fellow party member knowing that you can't keep them alive and risk getting killed yourself, it's better that you let that party member die so that the aggressive mob resets and wanders back to their spawn point. From there, you can revive the player with little trouble.
    • In order to spawn an S-rank hunt target, not only does the timer have to have expired, but players have to participate in certain actions within the area. Some of these are simple, such as killing a certain number of an enemy. Some are a bit more obscure, like mining ore or gathering items within the region. One requires a certain number of items to be discarded; one needs characters to die; one requires players to drop to one HP — and the fastest way to do the lattermost is to leap off a tower repeatedly and enjoy the 'crunch' sound.
  • Player characters in Kingdom of Loathing are insane.
    • How would you react if told to "use" a bottle of bubble bath? Easy. Drink it. The game is actually inconsistent about it; when you try this with certain items, the game will, in fact, call you an idiot for trying to eat them.
    • There actually is one drink (the world's most unappetizing beverage) whose intended purpose is to make you 'Literally Insane' ... since only someone literally insane would deliberately drink their own hair dissolved in depilatory cream.
    • The game does have the advantage of being consistent. If it's bubbly - or fizzy, or the like, then it'll let you recover MP. This does become rather insane, though, when one's snorting beer-soaked teddy bears.
  • In The Lord of the Rings Online you receive the "Unwise" title for eating barrow-brie, which poisons your character so severely you'd need to use healing skills like crazy in order to stay alive.
  • In Mabinogi you can mine sulfur ore and fossils from the sulfur pits in Zardine. If you stay too long you'll get sulfur poisoning which will take your health down past "Deadly". Common sense would tell you to leave before this happens, but if you stay long enough for it to happen you'll get a title for it.
  • PlanetSide 2:
    • The socially accepted way to ask for a lift in a friendly vehicle is to shoot it. In a game where Friendly Fireproof is most certainly not in effect. The reasoning behind this is small arms do Scratch Damage to vehicles (Sunderers and Galaxies, which are the most common targets, are outright immune), and it lets the driver know that it's him specifically you're trying to catch, whereas the "I need a ride!" voice command could be address to anybody in the general area, so most people ignore it.
    • The best way to take out enemy vehicles for most classes is to run or jetpack (as Light Assault) right next to it, toss C4 explosives and often get yourself killed in the process (you have to be quick about using the detonator before you get gunned down or run over).
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • In the boss battle against Project Sav-Rak, the players face him on a platform suspended high above lava. Bad enough, but he also utilizes a Shockwave Stomp that sends players flying, possibly over the edge. So the only safe place? Right where he lands! How far you go flying is based on how far away you are from his impact point. Letting a two-story tall fifty-ton mutant land on you will result in 94% less being dead than staying as far away as humanly possible.
    • On Tatooine, you can obtain the title "Worm Food" for offing yourself in the sarlacc pit.
  • Massively multiplayer online third-person shooter Warframe occasionally makes really dumb decisions into the most tactically sound ones. For instance, there's Harrow, who flagellates himself to buff allies and debuff enemies, at the cost of his own health (something you obviously want to retain). However, he's designed to do that. What the game probably doesn't expect you to do is coming up with creative ways to refresh Rhino's Iron Skin ability. Iron Skin cannot be cast until it is completely lost, so 'topping off' is not an option. Instead of continuing to fight as normal and wasting time to return to dropped energy cells when needed, more than one Rhino player has deliberately blown themselves up with a nearby Exploding Barrel. This doesn't actually hurt Rhino but shaves off those last few points of Iron Skin, allowing him to cast a fresh Iron Skin, take the energy cells, and continue without having to slow down or double back.
  • In World of Warcraft, a number of quests depend on this.
    • One example is that quest in Howling Fjord where you shoot a harpoon off a cliff and over a very cold lake, and ride it like a surfboard into the town below. While it's on fire. The NPC at the bottom lampshades this, pointing out that you're absolutely out of your mind.
    • The fast exits from the boss rooms of several dungeons also require leaping off intimidating cliffs or into shafts dropping straight down. Later dungeons add water pits at the bottom to soften the blow. Earlier ones require considerable faith that the fall will merely be massively damaging instead of instantly fatal.
    • Blackrock Spire does this best, it has a pitfall that you can jump into and exit the instance. There's one ledge from Upper Blackrock Spire (connected to the Rookery), where the fall would normally kill you, but the loading screen for exiting the instance cancels the fall damage.
    • The quest chain before you meet Matthias Lehner has you helping the Argent Crusade infiltrate Icecrown Citadel and ends with you activating highly volatile explosives. When you realize you need to get away from the ensuing explosion (they don't actually go off after you activate them, of course) you're encouraged to jump down the shaft in front of you and hope the fall doesn't kill you... not that it does because there's water below.
    • Some dubious achievements are awarded for mistakes and other stupid things, which leads to players trying to do these intentionally. These achievements include falling a huge distance without dying, falling a huge distance without dying while drunk, and getting killed by Deathwing.
    • There's also a quest in Darkshore which you can only acquire by jumping into a giant whirlpool. And there's nothing in particular about anything in the zone that indicates there might be anything down there except a painful watery death.
    • A fair number of boss fights require players to "soak" otherwise avoidable attacks, generally to prevent raid-wide damage. For example, in the fight against Malkorok, after the boss does an Arcing Smash, several swirls will appear, doing damage to any players within them and doing raid-wide damage if they do not have any players within them.
    • In most encounters, it's generally best to dispel debuffs ASAP (unless they trigger an effect of some sort upon expiring). In the fight against the Lich King, however, the best way to deal with the adds was to have the player with Necrotic Plague run over to the Drudge Ghouls, dispel it and have it pass between each of the ghouls, killing them in turn, before passing to the Shambling Horror with enough stacks to kill it. Of course, this largely became unnecessary in future expansions, when players had more than enough DPS to kill the adds.
      • This was actually done earlier with Hakkar. The main way to damage Hakkar isn't to just attack him - he's much too bulky for your 20-person group. So how do you do it? Kite a mob over, kill it, have everyone stand in the cloud so they get poisoned just when Hakkar decides to start draining blood from you... so he instead drains poison. Yes, you literally kill the boss by making it Suck Out the Poison from you.
    • In the Maiden of Vigilance encounter in the Tomb of Sargeras, there is a large hole in the center of the room that will take you to the next encounter once the Maiden is defeated. During the fight, you must intentionally throw yourself into the hole whenever you're afflicted with an ability that will afflict raid-wide damage to nullify it and allow the explosion to launch you back out. If you mis-time the jump, though, you'll blow up the raid or fall to your death.

    Parlor Game 
  • Goose Goose Duck: Every time a body is discovered or a meeting is called, players have an opportunity to vote on who, if anyone, should be Thrown Out the Airlock or given Cement Shoes. The normal objective is to do this to the Ducks, the game's killer roles, and avoid looking suspicious so it isn't done to you. The Dodo Bird, however, wins the entire game by getting voted out, so they want to act suspicious and be voted out. As if to emphasize how counter-intuitive this is, the Dodo's icon in-game is a confused bird with question marks around its head.
  • In Mafia games, such as Town of Salem, the sheer level of I Know You Know I Know Metagame leads to behaviors that look ridiculous at first glance:
    • Almost all roles would try their best to not act suspicious so as to not get lynched in the day. The jester, however, should try to act as suspicious as possible so that he will be lynched- for getting lynched is his win condition.
    • If your role is a useful one for the town, you might want to deliberately act a little bit suspicious, not enough to actually get lynched, but enough that the Mafia decide they can easily turn the town against you, and so use their night kill on someone else.
    • Ordinary townies with no special power want to do their best to get the Mafia to kill them at night, because this is effectively Taking the Bullet for power roles.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party:
    • The Waluigi Island board in Mario Party 3 has a loop area in one of the corners where every space is the same and the effect of that space (Game Guy, Item game, Chance Time etc.) changes every turn. As demonstrated by Brainscratch Commentaries, with a decent bit of luck it is possible to win by looping constantly around this area and using effects like Bowser, Chance Time and Duels to constantly screw with other players (although it helps if you have the Bonus Stars turned on).
    • As demonstrated by the famous meme involving Luigi, there are several minigames in the Mario Party series that you can win against the computer by doing absolutely nothing. Not touching the control stick, not anything.

    Platform Game 
  • In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, one of the parts you can attach to your vehicle is a sail that lets you move around (slowly) without fuel (or wind, for that matter). The nonsensical part is that the sails work like jets, providing drive force no matter what direction they're facing. So when you point the sails face-up like wings so that the drive force pushes you up, you can turn your slow-as-molasses car into a cheap, perpetual flying machine.
  • In the otherwise somewhat-kinda realistic alien shooter Contra III, what's the best way to destroy a giant flying alien ship? Chase it with motorcycles, and then cling to a cruise missile that's heading for the ship! And then leap from missile to missile in the salvo as they impact uselessly on the alien's shield. Considering that you've mostly been running along the ground, climbing walls, and riding tanks so far, it's an unusually... brazen choice of attack.
  • In Cactus McCoy holding a chicken over your head somehow makes you magically capable of performing formerly-impossible jumps. Of course, this happens to be a game where enemies are just as likely to attack you with banjos or tumbleweeds as they are to use something sensible like a pistol or a crowbar, so...
  • The first three Crash Bandicoot games seemed to like this, especially the original:
    • In the first game, the level Temple Ruins has a side-area hidden off-screen with a stack of eighteen boxes that you can only cross by walking across an invisible crate bridge that reveals itself as you walk across it. This is only hinted at by a sole Wumpa Fruit hovering off the edge of a safe platform for seemingly no reason. The follow-up to this level, Jaws of Darkness, does it even worse. It does the exact same trick only this time there's no Wumpa Fruit hint, the bridge is now made of platforms that drop soon after you step on them, and the way back is to cross a second invisible bridge back to the main level!
    • Also in the first game, the level Road to Nowhere can only be fully completed after getting the Red Gem, which appears at the end of the level. Jumping on it simply takes you over the end vortex with a view to nothing. Unless you went backwards at the start of The High Road, there's no reason for you to expect that there are invisible yellow planks you can jump across with that will take you to the last boxes you need.
    • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, some of the Gems require you to fall down what appear to be the usual bottomless pits...with no indication which pits to fall into or that you even should in the first place. In Heavy Machinery in the original game, a section with several crates is also accessed this way, with the only clue being a pair of enemies hovering down the pit for no reason.
    • In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the secret Eggipus Rex level could only be found by letting Crash get caught and carried away by one of the easily-avoided pterodactyl enemies late into the Dino Mite! level. As per usual, there's no reason for you to want to do this.
  • The Donkey Kong Country games have a lot of this - you often find secret areas by jumping into bottomless pits or other improbable places. However, the games are usually kind enough to hint at which pits are safe to jump into... in the form of barely-visible collectibles just offscreen. Still, some of the secret rooms in Donkey Kong Country require luck or trial and error to find. For example, in Barrel Cannon Canyon, there's a secret room that you find by deliberately launching yourself out of a barrel at the wrong time, causing you to miss another barrel and slamming you into a wall and revealing the secret area. In the rest of the level, pulling off this move would simply rob you of an extra life. In Stop & Go Station, there's a Kong letter floating over a pit that is seemingly impossible to grab without dying — unless you exploit the ability to do a jump in mid air after performing a roll attack.
  • At one point in I Wanna Be the Guy, you have to jump into a cluster of the same deadly Delicious Fruit which has killed you repeatedly on previous screens.
  • In Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, one of the doors you can enter is boarded closed. Inexplicably, Kirby can still walk through it. He can also enter some seemingly-random bits of scenery as if they were doors, including the moon.
  • In the Treasure game Mischief Makers, you fight the wolf-man Lunar twice. The first time is very normal, but for the second one he's riding his transformable cerberus bike. Your solution: ride a cat. This is further improved by the fact that said cat can jump on Lunar's missiles, riding them like flying surfboards. Go Reality! In that game, you're generally encouraged to grab things which are fired at you... bullets, missiles, even huge sustained blasts from laser cannons... and throw them back.
  • Many of the levels in N force you to do this to pass a deadly trap by running full-tilt into another, or using a deadly trap as a lift.
  • The second stage of Pepsiman has the titular hero being told about a bunch of people trapped on the roof of a burning building. His mission is now to deliver them Pepsi. Instead of, you know, rescuing them.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Several games in the series have sequences in flooded areas which involve raising the water level to proceed. This doesn't seem wise when you can't survive underwater for very long, and whether there's any kind of obvious justification (such as a giant cork to ride on) varies.
    • There are multiple spots in Sandopolis Zone in Sonic & Knuckles where you dump a large amount of sand into the area you're in, then escape from said rising sand before it crushes you against the ceiling. Unfortunately, since you can't reach certain platforms without making the sand rise, this is the only way to proceed.
    • In Shadow the Hedgehog, the level Glyphic Canyon requires you to walk into a tornado. If you stand around for a while instead, Knuckles will specifically tell you to walk into the tornado... only to panic and start screaming for help when you do as he says, apparently not even realizing how bad an idea this would logically be until it happens.
    • Sonic Adventure requires the player to run towards a tornado destroying the scenery in Sonic's version of Windy Valley.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, the Air Necklace - an optional item which permanently prevents Knuckles from drowning - is situated in a tiny air pocket at the end of a long underwater tunnel in Aquatic Mine. The tunnel is so long that Knuckles will either drown before he gets the Air Necklace or be on the verge of doing so. Also, there is no indication the the item and air pocket even exist until you reach them. And although the stage is based around exploration, the game gives every indication that you don't need to explore this part of it in full, as the emerald shards you're looking for can't appear more than a short ways in; your radar will stop pinging if you go further into the tunnel, indicating that you have no reason to be there. In short, you have to decide to explore a place you obviously shouldn't be while drowning.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog, pressing forward while moving faster than usual (usually after being launched by a spring) will reduce your speed. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic CD fixed this on the ground, but it still occurred in the air. It wasn't until Sonic 3 & Knuckles that the problem was truly corrected.
    • The iOS/Android port of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 added a special hidden level to the game. How do you reach it? By falling into a certain pit in Mystic Cave Zone, which is deadly in all other versions of the game. In this version, you fall into another Zone instead of dying.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Wacky Workbench contains some large gray blocks in narrow corridors that slowly descend, then quickly slam against the ceiling. These do not crush you, as similar objects in other Sonic games (and later in the same game) do, and are not only completely harmless, but useful: letting them push you against the ceiling will drop you into an area below. It's even necessary to use one to reach the Robotizer in Zone 1.
  • The Super Mario Bros. series has quite a few examples of ridiculous things being necessary to grab coins or other goodies, ranging from jumping off the top of a mountain to leaping into a volcano or allowing yourself to sink into quicksand.
    • One particularly excellent example occurs in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. After Luigi obtains the power to create electricity from his hands, you open a warp pipe leading to the bottom of the ocean. In order to proceed, you have to give power to a conductive object. Underwater. The game doesn't seem to have any problem with this. Nor with Mario setting things on fire while underwater.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy, what do you have to do to get the last two purple coins in the Freezeflame Galaxy Purple Coin mission? Apparently, you have to do a long jump off the summit of a mountain to some conveniently placed columns a good hundred meters below. Considering the sheer amount of black holes and instant death pits around the rest of the mountain, this is more than a little suspect, even when the Toad at the summit actually encourages you to jump.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, several hidden stars require you to make suicidal leaps of faith. For example, one hidden star in the last stage of World 1 has you jumping into lava, causing Mario to bounce high enough to reach it.
    • In 3D Mario games, the best way to avoid falling damage is to do a Ground Pound, which makes you fall even faster. It happens because the Ground Pound pauses your momentum but still.
    • Super Mario Sunshine takes this a step further - Fall far enough while in Ground Pound stance and Mario will catch fire, similar to a spacecraft undergoing atmosphere re-entry. Some buttons have a flame symbol on them, and are activated by being hit by on-fire Ground Pounding Mario.
    • Super Mario 64 has Mario slowly lose life while underwater for long periods of time, then have it restored to its full level when he surfaces. This causes a rather fun loophole where the best cure to being beaten to a pulp is to dive underwater for about a second, then surface, where Mario will gain all his health back from said beating. (Future games in the series fixed this loophole by adding a separate 'air' meter.)
    • In Super Mario Bros. 2, Toad moves faster when carrying enemies, even ones as big as he is. There is also a shortcut in World 6-3 that takes you to the end of the level that you get to by sinking in the quicksand next to the wall at the start of the level.
    • Similarly, there is a bonus area in World 8-2 of Super Mario Bros. 3 that you get to by sinking all the way in a quicksand pit. Not only that, if you bypass said bonus area, the Angry Sun from World 2 will start attacking you midway through the level, despite all of World 8 taking place in the dark.
    • In Super Mario World, it's possible to beat Big Boos (towering ghosts that are at least 5 times bigger than Mario and normally immune to most things he can do) by making Mario slide down a set of stairs into them (never mind the physical impossibility of sliding down steps). Also, in Larry's Castle, Mario will miss out on the level's only checkpoint if he takes the door at the end of the first area, because it's actually hidden in the bottom of the pit right before said door!
    • Super Mario Odyssey frequently rewards risky or out-of-the-box exploration. There's a sinkhole in the quicksand, which has been instant death in several previous games? Well, that's actually the entrance to a hidden level. A conveyor of moving pillars blocking your Bullet Bill's flight across a chasm? Don't be so hasty to go through them—try riding the conveyor into the wall.
  • Unfair Mario, the Mario fangame, has one level where you are being chased by a ghost and you have to get killed by the ghost to progress.
  • Wario makes Guybrush look sane in his absolutely hilarious violations of common sense. These range from setting himself on fire to destroy obstacles in his path, getting crushed to the point of being flattened to go through tiny spaces, being stung by bees to float to higher places... Though it helps in two of the games that Wario is invincible throughout both games.
  • A good number of Mega Man bosses have their weakness be the weapon that makes the least sense to use against them. Some are fairly intuitive (water or ice-based weapons tend to be effective against fire-based bosses), or have some obvious tactical appeal (such as using a screen-nuke on an agile or shield-using opponent, or a slow-moving bomb on a Mighty Glacier) or are just gags to make weak weapons Not Completely Useless (using the hideously lame Bubble Lead or Top Spin to take down the Final Boss). But then you have the constantly ramming Dive Man, who is weak to a weapon that requires you to try and ram him yourself, or the near-always-airborne Tengu Man and Star Man, who are weak to weapons that can only hit enemies on the ground, or Wave Man, who is weak to a sliding charge weapon while he constantly spits out walls and projectiles to block your slide.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Mondo Medicals, full stop. As Madam Luna pointed out, this is a game that doesn't so much encourage you to think outside the box as encourage you to do the exact opposite of what it tells you to do. The very first level involves turning around and going the opposite direction that the arrows on the floor are pointing.
  • Tetris traditionally awards a substantial amount of points on a Tetris and levels you up every 10 lines, and additionally making Tetrises gives you substantially more points per line than lesser line clears, so the obvious strategy is to make tons of Tetrises, or at least multi-line clears. However, some Tetris games in Marathon mode, particularly Tetris Friends and Tetris Splash, most likely by poor design, flip this entire concept on its head. Marathon mode uses a "goal" system where instead of a level up every 10 lines, you gain "Goal" points by clearing lines, leveling up when you drain the remaining Goal point counter to 0, with the proportion of Goal points to lines cleared increasing the more lines you clear at once (a Single is worth 1 Goal point, while a Tetris is worth eight), and additionally the game offers bonuses for consecutive pieces that clear out lines. This results in an environment where the best way to score is to make combos of single-line clears most of the time, because if you make Tetrises regularly, that will actually hurt your score. Later games such as Puyo Puyo Tetris did away with this, instead just requiring you to clear 150 lines.
  • In Scribblenauts, some of the valid level solutions fall into this territory:
    • It's possible to finish a level while dying if you know where the Starite will appear upon completion and manage to stand in that exact spot (so that you automatically grab it before you lose due to being dead), and so summoning things which will kill you such as nuclear bombs, black holes, and meteors can actually be a functional way of completing certain levels.
    • Some puzzles have hilariously vague completion conditions. For instance, there is a level where you have to clean the park. The game defines "cleaning the park" as getting rid of the trash and housefly, and does not care what happens to anything else in the park (such as the trees, grass, and bench) or what tools you use for the job. As such, it is possible to clean the park by burning it to the ground with a flamethrower, despite the fact that this would normally be considered to be destroying the park rather than cleaning it.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In The Battle for Middle-earth, as production buildings leveled up from experience (earned from making units), had to be high level to make top tier units, and had a very low headcount limit. It was required to send waves upon waves of your lower level units repeatedly to their deaths. Ironically, this was especially necessary for Gondor, which relied heavily on its high level units, and less so for the forces of evil, which functioned on a We Have Reserves basis. Some missions had secondary tasks that involved giving several of your units a certain upgrade. The problem stems if you happen to be far too successful in keeping your units alive and carry them over from the previous mission. If they all happen to already have that upgrade, and you can't train any more units due to the Arbitrary Headcount Limit, then you have to send your experienced, upgraded units to die just to complete that secondary task.
  • Penal battalions in Company of Heroes are supposed to be expendable meatshield, yet their stats and costs are way higher than the conscripts that they are supposed to die for. Logically, the smart choice would be to use conscripts as meatshield and use Penals as your main infantry instead. In Soviet Russia, you are meatshields for cowards and war criminals.
  • Denying, the killing of your own troops to reduce the gold and experience available to your enemies, is a vital gameplay element in Defense of the Ancients. Never mind that even for Neidermeyers or General Rippers par excellence, We Have Reserves is one thing, outright killing your own troops yourself is another.
  • League of Legends:
    • Karthus' passive ability causes him to enter a state upon dying for seven seconds where he is untargetable, his (wide) Area of Effect ability is constantly on and all his other spells can be cast with no mana cost or cast times. Sometimes running straight into a crowd of enemies and dying is the best way for Karthus to contribute to a teamfight.
    • This is also the recommended strategy for Singed. A common rule of thumb for playing him is: Would you think doing X is a good idea if you were playing anyone else? If so, quit it. If not, you're good to go. But how else would you expect someone called the "Mad Chemist" to play?
    • Graves plays completely different than a normal marksman, including an ability that forces you closer to enemies when most ranged champions want to stay away. To compensate, he is also much tankier than a usual marksman, and melee carries that would usually want to get close to hurt a squishy marksman will find themselves quickly shredded by Graves' damage.
  • The Horizon Signal quest chain for Stellaris. The Worm is a particularly powerful and creepy Eldritch Abomination who can rapidly turn your game from Space Opera to Cosmic Horror Story, and the best things to do? Keep delving deeper into the madness it wreaks and embrace the Worm. The Worm loves you, in its own way, and you'll soon end up with awesome bonuses for relatively small — if really spooky — prices if you keep giving it what it wants and letting it do its work.
  • StarCraft II:
    • Units now have individual responses when attacked if they're not on-camera. Egon's is a particularly hilarious and panicky "Game over man, game over! Done, I don't wanna play anymore!", since he has no attack whatsoever. SCVs, if told to attack, get lines like "This is your plan?", "This is crazy!" and "What, you run out of Marines?".
    • The 10th Anniversary achievements often fall into this category, with some of them requiring the player to complete the mission while not doing certain things that would make it easier, such as not building the unit that is introduced in the mission (and will often be the absolute best unit in it), only building Worker Units and the new unit type (if that unit cannot attack air units), not building any anti-air units, and not using a certain Game-Breaker, among others.
  • Warcraft III's peasant is quite realistic about his chances in combat, with lines like "No-one else available..." and "That's it, I'm dead." Amusingly, he still uses those lines when ordered to take up arms as Militia. Said militiamen are while still low-hp, well armored and have a fair attack.

    Rhythm Game 
  • In the arcade versions of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA and its Playstation 4 port, some notes are marked as "hold notes", where holding down the button after hitting it will earn you points continuously until it reaches a certain value, which will then award you with lots of bonus points. Of course, you can't hit notes with that button while you're holding it down, so if the same button is needed before reaching the maximum hold score, you'll have to choose between keeping the hold and breaking your combo, or dropping the hold to hit the note. Surprisingly, the best choice may sometimes be to let your combo break and keep the hold, as the bonus points from maxing out the hold may be worth more than the notes you'll miss. This means that getting the highest possible score on a song is mutually exclusive with getting a perfect combo.
  • One of the more prominent Metagame tactics in Rock Band and Guitar Hero (as well as earlier Harmonix games like Frequency and Amplitude) is called "Squeezing", where hitting sustained notes just before they're supposed to be played, but still within the timing window, allows you to "squeeze" more points out of them (the score goes up as long as the sustained note is held and the sustain bar remains. Hitting it early starts the scoring earlier). Yes, playing slightly off-rhythm in a rhythm game gives you a better score.

  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Killing innocent beggars, blowing up corpses and wearing satanic symbols will increase your chance of getting an angel room, which is supposed to be a reward from God for your virtue. This is due to the way the game generates angel rooms: after a boss fight, the game will first decide whether a devil room will appear, and will then decide whether it will turn into an angel room. Because of this, 'evil' actions that increase your devil room chance will also increase your angel room chance.
    • The usefulness of items is completely unrelated to how powerful they would be in real life. For example, you'd think that a spear, a robot that fires lasers or a boomerang would be infinitely more useful than a blank piece of paper, a six-sided die or a VR headset, but you'd be very wrong. Many items also appear to mutilate you in some way, but instead of hurting you this just increases your stats. You can stab yourself with a coathanger, inject yourself with syringes, give yourself cancer and even let a parasitic spider replace your brain and it'll only make you stronger.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
  • Elona, being what seems to be a kitbash of Ancient Domains of Mystery and The Elder Scrolls with anachronistic tech, has many occurrences, from randomly generated quests to the 'solutions' to many seemingly mundane problems and enemies.
    • Dyes have so many uses... Also, if impregnated by an alien, you drink poison/dye to kill the child in your belly. Considering they attack with acid there's no indication something that simple will work.
    • The best non-cheating way to clear out respawning monsters in a city? Nuke it. If something is vulnerable to fire, one may also bring their pet next to hit then feed it molotovs, as a thrown molotov's fire will count as an 'attack' if any friendlies step on it. Having your pet burst into flames which consume the entire city, however, doesn't affect your karma in the least.
    • Nuking a city whose population is infected with chestbursting aliens makes (horrible) sense.
    • Increasing your karma decreases your taxes. Want to double your maximum karma? Repeatedly murder the little girl named "Gwen the Innocent", and she'll eventually drop the necessary rare item. Don't worry, murdering an innocent little girl has no impact on your karma.
  • Nethack:
    • Reading certain scrolls while confused actually has a good effect. Similarly, certain scrolls and potions have useful effects if used while they're cursed.
    • If you want to get rid of a metal ball which has been chained to your leg, it used to be a good idea to bury the metal ball. Instead of chaining you to the spot where it was buried, the chain would come loose. However, a new version (3.6.0) was released where this no longer works; you really do end up chained to the spot.
    • Want to know if you have the real Amulet of Yendor on your way to the four planes?note  Consume a cursed potion of gain level, which bumps you up a dungeon level (as opposed to its blessed and uncursed variants, which simply raise your Character Level), while on dungeon level 1. If you have the real Amulet, you get taken to the planes. If you don't, you'll safely remain where you are.
    • Slash'EM Extended has wooden getas that can be swung at monsters, dealing more damage than a freaking heavy hammer. Also, it's possible to bash open a locked chest or door with a soft leather sneaker, and the player character can throw torpedoes at monsters for a great amount of damage.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Several mid- to end-game enemies and bosses in Child of Light can counter interruptions, either with powerful attacks, stat increases or status immunities. In a game where every action has a casting time and interrupting enemy casting is an important strategy, it's an unpleasant surprise when your playable characters inconvenience themselves or get KO'd for using a practical battle tactic. Interrupt counters become a Scrappy Mechanic fast.
  • Recruiting Glenn in Chrono Cross compounds this and Guide Dang It!. He's probably one of the best characters in the game and has plot significance if you recruit him. To get him, you have to choose not to save Kid in what looks like a But Thou Must! moment. (Fortunately, she recovers either way, but you still might feel like a jerk.)
  • In Dark Souls II, there in an optional New Game Plus fight against two Pursuers at once. This obviously very difficult battle can be made much more manageable by simply... letting one of the Pursuers get you with his powerful Curse-inflicting grab attack. Assuming you have enough health to survive it, the animation for this attack is long enough to make the other Pursuer think you've left the room (since the animation makes you untargetable), so he will disappear. You can then fight the remaining Pursuer one-on-one, then rest at a bonfire and come back to fight the other one. Unfortunately since this was an exploit, it was patched out of the game and no longer works.
  • Digital Devil Saga has a bonus boss with an attack that will always hit and is impossible to survive the attack. Unless you use Cielo, you have Null Sleep (which makes him invincible so long as he is asleep and is put to sleep.) and put him to sleep. This is the only way to survive a Gaea's Rage attack.
  • One of the map events in Dokapon Kingdom is Roche, who will play roshambo (rock-paper-scissors) with you. If you lose he takes some of your money, and if you win, he gives you all the money he collected off other players. If you lose when you're in debt, though, not only will Roche not take money off you but he will also pay your debt off completely.
  • One sidequest in Dust: An Elysian Tail eventually afflicts the protagonist with a life-draining curse, and you're told that the only way to lift the curse is to get beaten by a monster, effectively killing yourself before the curse can. It actually works (you're revived after you die as if you'd used a revival stone) and when you go to tell the guy who gave you the idea, he reveals that he wasn't even sure it would work.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind has a Tribunal Temple quest which requires that you drown yourself. (You'll be just fine, however, as it was a test of faith.)
    • Oblivion has Molag Bal's Daedric quest. In it, he tells you to corrupt a man by provoking him into killing you with a cursed weapon, and he'll reward you by giving you his legendary mace. As an added bonus, he states that he'll probably stop you from actually dying in the process. You can choose to actually do this, which might not be all that bright, or to mess it up, and thus irritate what is essentially the God of Domination and Rape, which could invoke any number of horrible fates. (Given the reputation he has, you have probably invoked this trope from the moment you put yourself in a position to be asked...)
    • Skyrim:
      • Learning the properties of alchemy ingredients consists of you eating said ingredients you gather from the wild. While a few are strange but doable such as wildflowers and raw birds eggs, some are flat out dangerous such as Nightshade and others are just absurd. The Dragonborn can apparently chow down on deer antlers, bear claws, saber cat teeth and the parts of ghosts/ethereal beings whole and raw with the only possible consequence being the loss of an atom of health/magic/stamina.
      • There's a particular waterfall by the name of Bard's Leap, and if you take a dive off the ledge and survive, a ghost will pop up and commend you for pulling it off, rewarding you with a free boost in Speech.note 
      • In a similar fashion to Bard's Leap, there's a waterfall in a cave partway through the Dawnguard questline. Your companion Serana will comment that she doesn't like the look of the waterfall, and tell you to be careful. Naturally, the average Skyrim player is immediately going to quicksave and jump off the waterfall... which is an incredibly long drop that you can actually survive, resulting in Serana lecturing you for not listening to her.
      • It makes some kind of sense, in the game universe, that you can increase your Restoration-magic skill by doing something that hurts you, like jumping up and down in a blacksmiths' forge, and casting healing spells to keep yourself alive. Jumping up and down in a red-hot forge also, however, slowly increases your skill in Destruction magic. Figure that one out. (Well, you're gaining intimate familiarity with fire and how it causes damage.)
      • Fists in Skyrim cause Scratch Damage at best, and during the tutorial section of the game, one of the first things your companion will instruct you to do is to pick up a weapon. This is all fine and well... unless you're playing as a Khajit. Khajit have claws that far exceed the base damage of every one-handed weapon and most two-handed weapons (tying with an ebony greatsword), making the race a massive Disc-One Nuke as for a long time, your own body will overshadow any weapon you may pick up until you start improving both your weapon skills and your weapons themselves through crafting. This itself leads to yet another Violation of Common Sense that brings everything full circle: if you want to do things optimally, you need to fight with weapons instead of the much more powerful claws, keeping them in reserve for powerful enemies, such as those damn sabrecats and bears. Why? Because fighting unarmed does not grant proficiency in any weapon skills, meaning that if you rely too heavily on your claws in the early game, by the time your weapons do start to overpower them, your weapon skills will be trailing behind.
  • One Alchemy perk in the mod Ordinator — Perks of Skyrim, fittingly titled "That Which Does Not Kill You..." requires you to drink a poison that deals 150 damage per second. This would kill any level 1 character instantly and even most high level players would go down in seconds. If you can survive this (either by continuously guzzling healing potions or by creating a potion of Fortify Restoration to buff your healing spells so they can keep up with the life loss), you get a whopping 3 bonus perk points and a permanent boost to all potions you create.
  • At one point in E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution, the player approaches a strange body of water, and is given the option to drink from it. Literally everything about the surroundings suggests this is a bad idea: the Big Bad set up her death traps in the cave, monsters are roaming around, your fellow dinosaurs right in front of the spring have been turned into Slimes, and examining the water reveals that it's stagnant with more monsters swimming around. Merely looking at it makes your character uncomfortable. Yet you cannot advance until you drink at least once. In fact, you're rewarded for doing so with E.V.O. Genes. But watch out: diminishing returns set in, and if you drink too many times, you turn into a Slime yourself.
  • Fable III: The Sunset House quest begins when you walk into the mansion, see a skeleton hanging by a chain from the ceiling, and find a note warning the reader that if they are, in fact, reading this note, then the house came back from being burnt to the ground and that it's possessed by a purely evil and malicious entity. The note implores: "Whatever you do, do not sleep here. You've been warned." Well then. Clearly the only sane course of action here is to render yourself defenseless by taking a nap on the bed that's surrounded by flames and giant, creepy dolls while an eerie music box plays in the background. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3:
      • Moira Brown in Megaton will ask you to do several, obviously stupid and dangerous tasks so that she can use the results as a reference for her Wasteland Survival Guide. Doing so will result in several unique rewards, and going above and beyond by completing the optional—and equally stupid—task of irradiating yourself up to a certain level further enhances this by having random wanderers approach you and thank you profusely for what they essentially consider a sacred scripture. Your contributions here end up in the form of the books appearing in Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 to help your player character out there as well.
      • The ending of the main game inverts this, especially if you have the Broken Steel DLC. You alone have to handle the task of activating Project Puritynote , as opposed to literally throwing your radiation immune buddies in there. Doing so will net you mockery from the game, and people will treat you like you're a coward for taking the soundest, most logical course of action. At least with R-L3 and Charon it's not in their job description but Star Paladin Cross, your dad's old friend, won't do it and Fawkes, the super mutant who owes you "his" life gives you some hokey speech about how it's "your destiny" to finish your father's work when all you ever wanted to do is get back with your father, not die in a lethal water purifier! In Broken Steel he at least lampshades it but you're still a coward.
    • Fallout: New Vegas: All melee attacks are completely silent, making excellent stealth kills. This includes the Chainsaw, the Ripper (a chainsaw-knife) and the Ballistic Fist, basically a shotgun strapped to your wrist you activate by punching people.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Numerous games have an ability that makes your characters' attacks heal their target. While this would hurt undead, for what reason would you do this? Free heals as you club your own party members over the head and hit them, of course! The main reason for this, though, is the "Reflect" magic. If an ally or enemy has Reflect cast on them, any magic will bounce off them and attack the opponents instead. Reflect only works once, though, so a popular strategy is to cast Reflect on party members and enemies as well, then use healing magic on enemies and attack magic on allies, which will respectively bounce off to heal/attack the proper target.
    • To get through the volcano in Final Fantasy, you have to walk through magma. In fact, it's often a good idea to do so, since it prevents random encounters.
    • In Final Fantasy II, what is the most efficient way to level up your party members' stats? Why, beating up your own party members. Of course!
    • Final Fantasy IV:
      • The first fight against Rubicante. His title is the Fiend of Fire, he's red and wears all red, and his special attacks are all fire-based. Sounds like he'd be healed by fire attacks, right? Well, they do... but since he believes in a fair fight, he'll turn around and heal you if you cast even the weakest Fire spell on him. Common sense goes right out the window, however, when he puts his Cloak of Flame up - because rather than give him immunity to ice in addition to absorbing fire, it flips his elemental affinities, and the Fiend of Fire somehow becomes weak to his own element.
      • In yet another, even more blatant schmuck bait example, if you give in to attacking the Tricker goblin with lightning, what with it constantly telling you how it's weak against lightning, it will then respond by casting Haste on itself, and then repeatedly fry your party with Lit3 over and over and over until either you or it is dead.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, after your party splits up into 3 groups, the only way to advance in Sabin's part of the story is to jump down a waterfall. The game even lampshades this, since the menu option if you're not ready to advance is "You crazy!?" (Which is also likely a Shout-Out to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
      • At the D-District Prison, when Squall is being tortured for information he does not actually have, the player is given the choice between "I'll lie... I must live..." and "Just let me die...". Choosing the latter causes some friendly monsters to help you out later on, while you get nothing for lying.
      • The chances of being able to perform a Limit Break, as well as the strength of these Limit Breaks, is dependent on how much danger your characters are in. The more danger, the better. Clever players will realize this and invoke the hidden power of Squall and Co. by having them be beaten to within an inch of their life; as long as they never stop to heal their life-threatening wounds, they can easily use these god-tier attacks once per turn. Even casting the Aura spell, which allows players to use Limit Breaks just as frequently without being put in mortal peril, is not enough to dissuade this tactic. In fact, characters with Aura and low health will be able to unleash their most powerful Limit Break variations every time. Goodbye difficulty, goodbye common sense!
      • An optional example comes in the way the game is programmed, all enemies’ levels are directly dependent on the party’s levels. In other words, the higher your level, the tougher the enemies are. Thus, the game gets easier if the player sets Quetzalcoatl to learn Card as its first ability, doesn’t kill any enemies except bosses (which yield 0XP but a large number of AP), And once Quetzalcoatl has learned Card, simply turn every enemy that isn’t a boss into a card. This way, since the enemy wasn’t slain, no XP is awarded, but since it was defeated, AP is still awarded. The cards can then be refined into magic, which is equipped like armor and weapons. FFVIII is literally the only FF game where leveling up the old-fashioned way actually makes the game harder.
      • In order to advance the Queen of Cards quest for Triple Triad, it is necessary to lose specific rare cards to the Queen.
    • Final Fantasy X:
      • The game's summons have their stats almost directly proportional to Yuna's stats, making it completely logical to raise the party's white mage strength stat.
      • Dodging lightning strikes on the Thunder Plains. At first, it seems like it's just a way to avoid being annoyingly inconvenienced from being knocked back while traveling through there. In reality, the game expects you to dodge 200 consecutive lightning strikes in a row in order to fully unlock Lulu's Ultimate Weapon.
      • A certain boss fight, Yunalesca, uses an attack called Hellbiter, which damages the whole party and inflicts Zombie status. Zombie status causes healing items and spells to damage the victim instead, making it difficult to heal. Since Yunalesca is a difficult boss with some fairly damaging attacks, this makes things a lot harder, so a player's instinct would be to cure Zombie status straight away, right? Except in the boss's third form, they use an attack called Mega Death, which instantly KOs everyone in the party 100% of the time. Deathproof armor will protect you, but you're not very likely to have any. However, it doesn't work on anyone with the Zombie status, which means the best option is actually not to cure it.
    • Final Fantasy XIII:
      • There are certain bosses and hunt marks with obvious long wind-ups to extremely powerful attacks. Seems like the obvious answer then, is to activate a defensive paradigm so your party can defend and heal up. Right? Sure, in some cases, and it is indeed a safer bet. However, if you want a 5-Star rating from the battle, and thus better chances of getting better quality items, this is instead the point in which you throw caution to the wind, and go all out, filling the Stagger gauge to full and increasing the bonus damage to maximum. In a few of these cases, this also stuns the enemy, stopping their attack.
      • A specific example of this trope in XIII is the first fight with Barthandelus when he uses his strongest attack, Destrudo which can easily KO characters, a player will likely instinctively switch to a defensive paradigm to mitigate the damage, however if you quickly raise his stagger gauge enough by using an offensive paradigm first, Barthandelus will clearly groan and Destrudo will inflict much less damage. It doesn't just easily kill characters, it WILL kill a maxed out party of three sentinels (read: Tanks), all using protect with any defense buffs and the best possible equipment, because that's just what it does.
  • Some rewards and achievements in Genshin Impact require you to screw up and/or do something awful. Negative dialog aside, it's worth doing these things for the extra Primogems. Counting ships incorrectly gets an achievement and a book for the archive; there's also an achievement and unique food item for killing Timmie's pigeons. Getting struck by lightning also gives an achievement—this is surprisingly difficult, since thunderstorms are uncommon, and when they do occur, lightning strikes in random spots that are usually far away.
  • Golden Sun:
  • In Jeanne d'Arc, Marcel or Bellatrix can learn an ability that heals shooting them with an arrow. What makes this a violation of common sense is that normally, you'd expect to want to avoid any arrow coming at you, not standing in the path of an arrow from your own ally and hope it's going to be a healing arrow.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Valor Form levels up as you deal hits to enemies. This means that the best Keyblades to use when level grinding the physical-inclined Drive Form are the ones with the lowest Strength, so you kill enemies slower and can inflict more hits on them first.
  • In King of Dragon Pass, the player must re-enact religious myths by sending clan members to "heroquest" in the spirit realm. Unfortunately, the original characters in the myths were gods- much stronger than any human- so you must regularly order heroquesters to perform feats that are impossible for them. Retelling the myth accurately gives you much higher chances of success than just 'playing it safe'- especially since the spirit realm basically runs on dream logic.
  • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, there’s a point where you’re given the choice to save your friend Jaal from the crazed fanatic Akksul, or do nothing and let him get shot. Letting him get shot is the better choice; if you do, Jaal is only grazed by the bullet and Akksul is exposed to his followers as a madman, irreparably damaging the organization and inspiring a Heel Realization in Akksul. Contrastly, if you kill him to save Jaal, not only is he posthumously turned into a martyr (emboldening the other terrorists), but Jaal is pissed at you for not trusting him when he made it pretty clear he was planning a Batman Gambit. In fairness, he does expressly tell you not to shoot before the confrontation begins, but it's still really hard to let the interrupt lapse.
  • When your house is completely on fire in The Mirror Lied, what are you supposed to do? Go upstairs and sleep in your bed!
  • Fatalis of Monster Hunter has a special attack called "Demise of Schrade," where it blasts out an enormous torrent of flames that become a One-Hit Kill after a certain point. The first and second times, you have a big wall of metal to hide behind, but that's it. So how do you survive the subsequent blasts? Why, go through the fire and towards Fatalis, of course!
  • One of the quests in Neverwinter Nights presents you with an altar that supposedly leads you to the spirit world. How do you get across? Stab yourself in the heart! Also, there's a skeleton on the altar. Also, there's no clue on how you get back.
  • For most RPG players, common sense dictates that one shouldn't bother using instant death inflicting skills on most bosses, let alone the Final Boss, thanks to Contractual Boss Immunity. In Nocturne: Rebirth, casting the strongest instant death skill on the Final Boss certainly won't kill either of them in one hit, but it will get rid of their really annoying Illusory Barrier, stun their caster for a turn, and make the rest of the battle much easier to win.
  • OFF has you climbing a huge smokestack at least three screens tall, then jumping inside. While it's still spouting smoke, mind you. Luckily, the Batter seems to be immune to sudden stops.
  • Persona 4:
    • The game rewards you with stat bonuses for eating some rather... suspect things from the fridge. For what it's worth, the stat it boosts is courage. Not that this explains why it would even occur to the main character to eat Nanako's science project, which was a container of dirt with grass growing on it. Fortunately, the worst it does to you is send you to bed early for the day.
    • In order to unlock the choice of whether to romance Naoto, you must say "I'm glad you're a girl," a choice that doesn't improve your Relationship Values with her (by contrast, "Your gender doesn't matter" does), which initially gives the impression that Naoto didn't like to hear this.
    • In Golden, in order to max out the Jester social link in its true form, the Hunger Arcana, you have to run off and chat with a psychopathic murderer. Alone. Adachi even notes your stupidity in this case.
  • Persona 5: Given its sheer power and ability to tear apart your team like tissue paper, especially early in the game, the Reaper is one of the last things you would want to ambush you, given that even against weak enemies being ambushed will put you in a really bad position since they can act first. However, doing exactly that is the best way to fight him short of the Flu Season exploit, since if you can survive its first attack (Enduring Soul helps), it only gets one attack per turn as opposed to its usual two, removing a significant amount of the difficulty from the (still challenging) fight.
  • Pokémon:
    • Type match-ups usually make sense, at least when you really think about it, but a few stand out as initially bizarre.
      • What's your best choice of Pokemon to send out against the gigantic, beastly, kaiju-esque Dragon-Types? Why, a harmless-looking, adorable Fairy like Clefable or Azumarill, of course!
      • In most games, water is weak to ice. Here, water type Pokemon resist ice type moves.
    • Similarly, size is completely irrelevant. What is the best choice to fight a hundred-foot long flying water dragon (Gyarados) who could swallow a human whole? How about a 10lb yellow mouse? In game, electricity has double-type-advantage for a 4x damage bonus. However, Detective Pikachu shows just how lopsided this fight would be in real life.
    • This was much of the reason for the Physical/Special revamp in the fourth generation. Moves were classified by their typing rather than on an individual basis, with the intention being that physical moves used the Pokemon's pure strength, but special moves were based on energy attacks. This led to, for instance, it being a bad idea to teach Fire Punch to rough-and-tumble boxer Hitmonchan, when the frail Squishy Wizard Alakazam could make much better use of it, or an abnormally large number of powerful physical attackers deciding to instead learn to shoot Hyper Beams. The strangest case, though, was the Dark and Ghost types, where the former had lots of physically-oriented types learning moves like Bite and Feint Attack, and the latter had specially-oriented types learning moves like Shadow Ball and Night Shade. Yet Dark was considered special, and Ghost was considered physical.
    • For most games in the series, wild Pokemon appear as Random Encounters in long grass as you walk through. Pokémon Sword and Shield is the first game in the main series, however, where wild Pokemon are visible in the overworld, potentially allowing you to choose the encounters you want. If you run through grass the wild Pokemon will chase you, while sneaking (walking slowly enough - the animation changes to let you know) prevents them from doing so. Pokemon near the edge may also chase you even if you just run past the bush without going into it. Since sneaking can only be done in tall grass, this means that diverting through the long grass is likely the most effective way to avoid wild Pokemon in this game.
  • Ein has the opportunity to do many stupid things in Riviera. One of the more notable? Stick your hand in a blazing (blue) torch! Multiple times! What do you get for being an idiot? Why, increased stats of course.
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. After reclaiming one of the seven pieces of Star Road, you are met by the "townspeople", who turn out to be agents of Smithy in disguise and demand you give the Star Road piece to them. Saying "Get serious!" to their demands results in them tortur—okay, tickling, the town's elder, who's holed up in a shack with the rest of the real townsfolk. You then have to fight a second boss battle to get it back. It ends up being a case of But Thou Must!, and the real townsfolk share their unhappiness with you later should you continue answering negatively. However, the reason it counts as a Violation of Common Sense? If you willingly give up the star you are rewarded handsomely by the elder; allow the people to be "tortured" five or more times, and the elder shows his displeasure by "rewarding" you with a single coin.
  • Tales of Graces: In order to use Blue Earth? You have to make the Fodra Queen chain seven of the Maxwell extensions on you, typically something for overkill when you use it. If you do it right, you'll have several hundred thousand points of damage accumulated on your characters, so if you mess up, you get a game over. Then you counter with Blue Earth and end the battle. Now why on earth would you want to goad the boss into chaining SEVEN mystic artes on you when only one deals enough damage as is? To be fair, this is an Easter Egg rather than something required.
  • In Torment: Tides of Numenera, every companion who isn't a total Cloudcuckoolander will point out that taking Rhin, a child no older than twelve with no combat abilities and only a slight magical edge in stealth, on your adventures through the most vile and terrifying Eldritch Locations in the Ninth World is an awful idea, both practically and morally. Even otherwise back-stabbing or sociopathic ones are incredulous and a bit appalled by the irresponsibility. Eventually, you'll find a way to return her to her beautiful, peaceful homeland... but only after dragging her through a legion of horrific wretched hives and cursed lands, possibly even literally To Hell and Back.
  • Undertale relishes in this trope so much you have to wonder if the creator was a Cactus fan (among other reasons). For starters, it's an RPG where you can win every battle without attacking anyone, but they spelled that out in the marketing text and it's the game's major selling point. Beyond that, though...
    • The fight with Toriel: You have to keep hitting Spare until she takes pity on you and gives up; this will invariably whittle you down to your last HP, at which point her attacks deliberately evade you even if you try to steer into them. Most players would not think that she can be spared without acting or fighting unlike the other encounters before her, and she is programmed so that she will die after her health is down to a certain point, making it easy to kill her without meaning to. The only hint that you can and must spare her without fighting or acting comes from an optional conversation with an NPC that is easy to miss, and a message that results from acting if you have previously killed her and then reloaded.
      • This, however, is extremely intentional; it was designed so the vast majority of first-time players would either resort to killing her to progress or do so on accident. After all, it doesn't block progression, only locks you onto a route that won't net you the good ending. Her death results in a venom-filled goading speech from Flowey about the ruthlessness of the world, laughing at the death of a character who had thus far only helped you. This, in turn, was designed to make players so angry at his arrogance that they'd intentionally go back, reload their save, and Trial-and-Error Gameplay their way into the peaceful conclusion completely of their own accord, a perfect setup for the slam-dunk reveal after the fight that Flowey knows exactly what you did. For many players, this was devastatingly effective.
    • The fight with Papyrus: You can get him to spare you by surviving all his attacks, but he will decide to no longer try to fight you if you lose to him a few times.
    • Multiple lesser enemies expect you to persist in doing something that didn't seem to help the first time, like having a flex-off against Aaron. Some enemies may also require you to do more than one action in a certain order.
    • Undyne cannot be defeated nonlethally at all; you have to run away once the option opens up until you get to Hotland, where it's too hot for her to keep chasing you. This is despite the game treating the "Flee" option as "give up" in every other case. Though Undyne is the only Boss Battle apart from Toriel that has a "Flee" option, and not many players would even think of using it, especially not to actually get past her.
    • Similarly, one of the easiest options to deal with the first phase of Undyne, at least if you have a couple of curative items in stock, is to deliberately let her hit you in the back with her first attack. She'll keep getting increasingly frustrated, as she outright told you to "face danger head on" and you just turning your back to her and letting you hit her from behind is not only outright insane, but is robbing her of the fair fight to prove her strength that she wanted. She'll keep repeating that first easy attack (which can only hit once due to Mercy Invincibility), getting increasingly frustrated, until she more or less Rage Quits the first portion of the fight and the option to flee appears.
    • If you try to spare Sans, his response to this display of last-second mercy is to hit you with a completely unavoidable attack that instantly kills you. Then again, if you're fighting Sans, you're deep into the Genocide path and you totally deserve to get dunked on. The fight will eventually result in Sans deciding that they only way to stop you is to not do anything during his turn. How do you access the menu so you can fight him? Wait for him to fall asleep, then move the attack box to the "Fight" option.
    • In order to get a happy ending, the player has to get through the entire game without killing anyone - and they do have be very careful, as some enemies can die when attacked at certain stages of their battles, and a single death (except for Asgore and Flowey) is enough to miss out on the happy ending. Naturally, many players decide not to attack anyone. This strategy works fine for most of the game, but both Asgore and Omega Flowey require being fought in order to be defeated.
    • At the end of a Neutral run in which you've spared everyone thus far, you are presented with a choice - kill or spare Flowey. He has already attempted to kill the protagonist, destroyed Asgore's soul, and planned to use his universal reset powers in order to painfully kill the player again and again. He says that killing him is the only way, that he didn't learn anything and if the player spares him, he would kill them and everyone that they love. Choice seems pretty obvious, right? Wrong! Flowey will tell you how to get the best ending, and unless you know how to do so yourself, killing him is a bad move.
    • At first, wasting a ton of money to send a random monster to college doesn't seem to be a sensible decision. However, this allows said monster to sell you one of the best armor items available in the game. On top of that, the cost of said armor decreases with every death, which means that dying a bunch of times can make the game significantly easier.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, probably the only game in all history where in the end, handing the Big Bad the MacGuffin he needs to activate his Artifact of Doom and then just leaving results in one of the best possible endings. Please note by this point everyone in the game with some sense of wisdom from Beckett to Rosa has told you not to open it yourself.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Getting to Three Sage Summit. Run down a huge ice slide, up a ramp of ice and jump to fling yourself across a gigantic chasm at tremendous speed, straight into a wall. Surely you go splat? Nope, the wall is climbable, so if you got the timing down, you latch on with no problem and can slowly climb upwards.
    • Some of the achievements require this too, such as "Terminal Velocity", which requires you to fall to your death. You might quickly learn how much Death Is a Slap on the Wrist in this game. Another requires you to win in battle without doing anything, and yet another requires you to die 50 times.
  • West of Loathing: Some gear with decent stats can be obtained by sticking your hand into various filthy spittoons. The narrator repeatedly tries to disuade you from going through with it.
    Narrator: I don't... I don't understand what is wrong with you.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • How do you beat Battle Garegga on one credit? By refusing to pick up Power Ups on occasion and worse, dying on purpose. A lot. To elaborate, the game has a rank system that continuously increases with actions such as firing and collecting powerups, and the only way to lower the rank is to die. Fortunately, the game hands out extra lives every 1 million points (by default); learning the various scoring tricks is the key to having enough extra lives to sacrifice in order to keep the rank from reaching Unwinnable by Design levels. To put it simply: you die regularly in order to avoid dying too much later.
    • This is a trait common to all games Shinobu Yagawa made (Armored Batrider, Pink Sweets, etc) and another major thing in his games are how bombs are used: not as defensive safety measures used when absolutely needed, but as offensive scoring ones to be used when the opportunity presents itself. It helps that all the dying you do also gives you some bombs.
  • In the Hunt's Golden Ending requires you to use a continue at least once. If you clear the game with no continues, It's a Wonderful Failure for you; ergo, the game punishes you for playing well.
  • Not quite done, but definitely lampshaded by Sanae Kochiya in Subterranean Animism, the 11th Touhou Project game, with a certain line which has become the subject of memes, thanks in part due to the fact that Sanae started getting more and more frequent appearances (including playable ones) and increasing in importance after she said this line:
    Sanae: You can't let yourself be held back by common sense in Gensokyo, right?

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat is either in love with Airstrike Impossible missions or owes the trope money. There's at least one a game, and nearly always compounded by things other than the dam/ravine/tunnel walls to crash into trying to splash you.
    • The hunt for aces and parts in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception uses this too. Rush through an area filled with "Instant Death" Radius radar coverage circles on full afterburner? Ignore Xbox-huge Frickin' Laser Beams to go dogfight with enemy pilots? Why the hell not?!
    • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon: In Dubai, it's possible to engage an enemy plane in Dog Fight Mode, which will lead you through the arch of the Atlantis The Palm hotel. We're talking about an archway that is only a few feet wider than the wingspan of your average fighter jet. This rewards you with the appropriately titled "Checking In" achievement, but your wingman Guts will call you out on it. It would have easier and safer to just fly right above the hotel to continue the chase instead.
    • Also, one of the best ways to force a pursuer to shoot past you is to intentionally stall your own aircraft; this relies on aircraft being much easier to recover from a stall than real life.
  • Air Force Delta takes it above and beyond, due to taking the basic Ace Combat mechanic and injecting it full of Nintendo Hard situations. The most notorious seems to be a Shout-Out to UN Squadron/Area 88 as it is a dogfight both inside and outside a CAVERN buried deep in a mountain. All the mission targets are inside the mountain, but at least there's no instant-SAM-locks outside. However, you will run out of time attempting to draw everyone out one at a time. Thank goodness the unfinished weapon hanging from the ceiling doesn't move, at least.
  • Sort of falling halfway between Stupidity Is the Only Option and this trope is an infamous mission from FreeSpace, where Command instructs you to enter the Lucifer's docking bay while scouting enemy forces in a captured Shivan fighter. It's possible, though difficult, to do this and successfully escape, and the debriefing indicates that Command did receive some kind of useful information from the stunt, but it's never really explained in a way that would justify it.
  • In Growing Up, the only way to unlock the police station in Wendy's route is by cutting classes with her the second time she offers to take you to the movies. As the only other way to unlock it is in Vivica's route in high school, doing this in Wendy's lets you unlock it in middle school and thus give you more turns to pursue police or military training.
  • Jurassic World: Evolution features three different factions that give you jobs and help run your park, the Security, Science and Entertainment Divisions, which get you unlocks of dinosaurs and park equipment as well as cash bonuses. Some of these jobs make sense and improve the state of your park, such as researching a dinosaur's genome to a certain level. A great many of these jobs however involve doing things like deliberately allowing your dinosaurs to get sick, locking them up in unsuitable conditions to encourage them to break out of their enclosures and into tourist areas, and making dinosaurs fight each other, all while the park is in full operation and likely crowded with tourists. Aside from the generally amoral, questionable logic behind these decisions, completing these jobs can and will harm your park rating and your cash flow. You can refuse to do them, but you will not only lose out on valuable rewards, but worsen your reputation with the division heads, which may lead to them sabotaging the park out of spite.
  • No Man's Sky: This is what some of the correct choices during interaction with aliens boil down to without the optional cultural context. Let the Korvax scientist jam a long needle directly into your brain without any kind of preparation? You learn some new words and don't have brain damage! Aim your gun at an old Vy'keen that thinks you're puny? He thinks a little more highly of you, and gives you a new gun!
  • In Pharaoh you are tasked with designing towns in ancient Egypt. The basics involve marking certain areas for housing (which causes immigrants to appear and settle automatically) and providing amenities such as food, pottery, entertainment and so on to increase the happiness of your population. Most levels have objectives to build a sufficiently impressive monument or pyramid and to stockpile/trade certain resources along with targets for either population or happiness. If the game gives you a target for population but not happiness then once the other objectives are complete you can simply create massive, infrastructure-free slums that contribute nothing to your city but that automatically fill up with bodies to push you over the population limit. The inhabitants will be living wretched, pointless lives but at least they push your numbers up. The flip side is when the game asks for a high average happiness level. You could provide much-needed infrastructure to help your population... or you could start demolishing, starting from the poorest houses and working your way up, effectively kicking the sad people out of your city and therefore raising the average level of satisfaction.
  • In the original PC and SNES versions of SimCity, rails behave exactly as roads except they produce no pollution and handle more traffic. You can achieve higher populations by omitting roads entirely and using rails in their place. Later games in the series fixed this by adding other forms of transportation (buses, subways, highways, etc.) and requiring trips over rail to start and end at train stations as you'd expect.

    Sports Game 
  • In Blood Bowl, if you get the "blitz" kick off event, it is entirely possible for the person who kick the ball to run over where the ball will land, and catch it.
  • Golf Story: Need to hit onto a green, but there's water all around it? The best strategy is actually to hit one of the bunkers, where the ball will stick to the ground instead of bouncing. The Galf manual even alludes to exploiting bunkers for this purpose.
  • In EA Sports' NHL Hockey series, online games use an accelerated clock. However, to emphasize penalties, the clock winds slower when a team is on the power play. So, for a team that is losing in the final minutes, it is to their advantage to have a less offensively-inclined player commit an intentional foul. This not only gives you more time to even the score but it allows the shorthanded team to leave a cherry picking forward up ice without fear of accidentally icing the puck.
  • Ditto stunts in the SSX series of snowboarding games, many of which require detaching the board and reattaching it in midair.
    • The king of implausible stunts is the Guillotine. You not only take the board off, you make it spin around your neck.
    • Even more illogical than the Guillotine, one trick involves the boarder shoving the board into their flank and heaving it across to the other side, pulling it out again and then putting it back on their feet. With absolutely no injuries or physical signs that the act was even committed. Violation of Common Sense doesn't even BEGIN to describe it.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • The series has leaps of faith as part of its overall Le Parkour aspects. What this means is to get up somewhere really high and jump off into an inexplicably lifesaving pile of hay. And yes, you're rewarded for this nigh-suicidal behavior. As Brotherhood shows us, performing a leap of faith is part of becoming an Assassin. Ezio even makes his sister do it, who has never been trained to do this.
    • In the second game in the series your 'health' does not regenerate. The sane solution is to go out of your way to find a doctor and pay him to patch you up. However, if your character dies at any point then you will respawn in more or less the same place with full health and suffer no penalties whatsoever. Therefore the quickest and cheapest method of getting your health back is to get yourself killed.
    • In Black Flag, you have the option of battling legendary ships, which are ships that spawn in each corner of the world and are much tougher than the other ships you can battle. One of these fights, in the northeast corner, pits you up against two ships, so naturally, on their own they are much easier. Well, if you kill one, you get 10,000 Reales. If you die, you just start the fight over... with all that money. Which means the best method to grind for money and supplies is to get yourself killed by the same ship over and over.
  • Hitman:
    • Generally speaking, you often times can take advantage of your targets lapse of judgement to off them. From taking advantage of various Character Tics to what the targets do, the amount of ways to kill them is sometimes endless.
    • In Hitman: Codename 47, the tutorial level required the player to take down a guard and use his uniform as a disguise. It seemed reasonable to assume that shooting him would spill blood on said uniform and render it useless as a disguise, plus one still had a garrote in the inventory. It seemed that it was best to attempt to sneak up on the guard and kill him without spilling blood, but he would always discover the player character and disable him with a taser. Turned out, you were just supposed to shoot him, and wear the mysteriously spotless uniform as a disguise.
    • Getting the Silent Assassin rating on the final mission of Contracts requires you at one point to mug a paramedic for his clothes. The problem? There are at least a half-dozen civilians standing right behind the paramedic, looking straight at him as you subdue him. No one thinks to call the cops.
    • Yuki Yamazaki in Hitman (2016) is a walking billboard for this trope. Her carefree attitude offers a ton of ways to kill her, such as her love of fugu, or helping her with her smoking cravings.
    • NPC behaviour in general exhibits many grave violations of common sense in Hitman and Hitman 2. It is possible to lure a room full of people one at a time into a secluded area and deal with them using the exact same kind of distraction. Despite being a classic Dwindling Party scenario, the group will continue to send people to investigate that strange sound that 3 other people went to check and never returned from.
    • Robert Knox in Hitman 2 will stand on the firing range of an experimental Killer Robot to reassure an investor that the robot is safe. It's no surprise that one method of eliminating him is to prove him wrong about that. In fairness, the prototype android works perfectly at firing on scanned photo inputs should 47 not intervene in the demonstration. The only reason it attacks Robert Knox is because he's a relatively famous man, and 47 has been walking around collecting celebrity magazine covers…
    • Hiding obviously lethal items in a Briefcase is this, as it has the same rules as the frisks you're given. Hiding firearms such as the Custom 9mm gun or the poison syringes in the briefcase? Guards don't bat an eyelid at it. You Dare to hide a Letter Opener in your briefcase and the game won't let you get frisked.
    • The mission "Patient Zero" in the Hitman 2 GOTY Legacy Pack has a specific rules quirk that allows for the player to murder their way through the levels infected, and so long as the infected don't report your murder spree to a guard, then you still qualify for the Silent Assassin rating; the highest rating the game has!. This is because Hitman 2 changed the way Silent Assassin works between releases; targets don't make you lose Silent Assassin if they see you kill them, which isn't abusable in other missions as only a maximum of 4 targets are possible, but in "Patient Zero", everyone can become a Target due to the Virus being contagious.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. You are a martial arts expert. How do you avoid being choked to death by a wrinkled old doctor? If you guessed "getting out your Remote-Controlled Missiles and shooting them around yourself so that they hit the person choking you" or "Step on a mine because that scientist on your back is a wuss", or "throw gas grenades upwind so that they blow back into your face" you've just won the boss fight. Congratulations, you're as completely insane as Hideo Kojima.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
      • Eating Russian Glowcaps will recharge your batteries. This is even considered ridiculous in-game; Para-Medic and Sigint lampshade how that can't be possible.
      • If Snake is on fire, equipping a cardboard box will put the flames out. Seriously. The cardboard box also makes Snake immune to fire on the ground, which makes most of the fight against The Fury a joke. It can't stand up to a direct hit from The Fury's flamethrower, though; the force of the blast knocks the box off of Snake.
      • Deliberately drowning Snake to escape The Sorrow faster.
      • The most dangerous weapon to use against The Boss isn't a gun; it's the non-lethal Cig Spray. You remember, that thing you picked up at Graniny Gorki hours ago and never bothered using? It works with Snake's CQC combo, and The Boss can't disarm you. It can hit The Boss while she's on the ground, and can even hit her out of her shooting and walking animations. This can be used to exploit the game's programming, too. The Boss won't shoot when she's within CQC range. As long as you stay close and know how to consistently counter her grabs, she'll be finished in about two minutes. This turns one of the best and most dramatic fights in the entire series into little more than a high-stakes game of tag.
      • The Torch, of all things, works almost as well on The Boss as the Cig Spray. Apparently she can't see a huge, fiery stick despite it being a dead giveaway to Snake's position. It has a longer reach than the Cig Spray and can hit her out of animations, but its combo does less damage and can't touch The Boss while she's grounded. She can also disarm you, which is the biggest problem. However, it's surprisingly easy to beat The Boss - non-lethally - with a stick.
  • There is a level in Syphon Filter 2 where a drugged Lian has to escape from a hospital, with all her equipment having been stolen. The main objective is to reach an escape chopper whilst the secondary objective is to find a silenced weapon to aid your escape. It is actually possible to reach the extraction point without first recovering the weapon, whereupon the game will show the helicopter whisking the player off to safety... followed by a Game Over screen because you failed the objective to collect a weapon that you no longer need!
    • A level in Syphon Filter requires you to solve a rather tricky dilemma. An assassin is going after an important person, but you need both alive in order to complete the mission. You obviously can't let the assassin shoot the hostage, but killing the assassin will fail the mission. The solution? You have to shoot the assassin with your taser, but only for a very brief moment. The problem—and where it invokes this trope—is that the taser before this point has been exclusively used as a lethal weapon, with no effect if you use it for the brief amount of time that the game requires. This isn't helped by the fact that there are no hints that this is what the game wants you to do.

    Survival Horror 
  • Saving one of your friends and getting the Golden Ending in the original Clock Tower requires ignoring someone in danger. Specifically, when you hear a scream from outside in a hallway early in the game, looking out the window will show the girl falling from the second floor to her death. Do not look out the window, and she will inexplicably be unhurt.
  • In Fatal Frame, Kirie appears at the end of the night and leaves Miku locked in a small room, with no apparent way of escape. She's not just an unbeatable ghost at this point, but she has a One-Hit Kill. The player is supposed to go against the basic concept of the game - avoiding and fighting ghosts - by letting her touch Miku, which causes the game to proceed to the next night.
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's, the enigmatic Golden Freddy will instantly Non Standard Game Over you unless you immediately ignore it. Just go back to your security cameras, and it'll despawn. The same thing applies to it when it reappears in the sequel, as the Freddy head won't fool it like the other animatronics (excluding Foxy and the Puppet).
  • In the small indie horror game Intruder, after dealing with the titular antagonist, you go to check on your friend and find her in panicked hysteria and armed with a gun. You are given three choices: A) Shoot her first, B) Tackle her, or C) Let her shoot you. The correct answer is Option C: if you were paying attention, you'd have noticed that the empty bullet box in the office drawer were simple blanks. The other two options leave your friend dead and you in trouble with the law.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Some of the series' puzzles require this. A particularly metagame example is the infamous "Jill Sandwich" scene. In it, Jill triggers a trap by taking a shotgun from a mantle place on a wall, which triggers a trap in the next room which causes a Descending Ceiling to come down on her. Attempt to open the locked door a few times and Jill's partner, Barry, will rescue her at the last second, both rescuing Jill and getting the player a shotgun. While Jill would have no idea about the trap, most people playing the game certainly would, since the above mentioned scene is one of the most famous in the whole game. Trying to do this with Chris will just get him killed, and to get that same shotgun requires the player to do a much more elaborate series of events involving replacing the working shotgun with a broken one.
    • Grenades in Resident Evil 4 and 5 do not hurt you, but do hurt enemies. This means if you're surrounded, one of your best options is to chuck the frag or incendiary grenade right at your feet, killing your attackers but leaving you completely unfazed, your character just covering their face with their hands.
    • In the more action-heavy games, the method to descend ladders is to drop from whatever ledge you were just standing on, from 5 feet to a couple stories. This is also present in The Evil Within, along with the aforementioned grenade trick.
  • In Rule of Rose, the only way to get the good ending is to deal with the final boss in the most counter-intuitive manner possible (though it fits the game's theme very well): hand over a gun, the only firearm in the whole game, to an Ax-Crazy murderer who just slaughtered an orphanage full of children. He is overcome by guilt and shoots himself on the spot.
  • Silent Hill:
    • In Silent Hill, getting the Good+ ending can only be achieved by using a certain object on a certain person at a certain time. It happens to be during one of the game's most dangerous boss fights. You are given absolutely no indication that there is an alternative outcome to the obvious solution of beating the boss with force. The item needed is found hours before, and the game only makes an effort to hint to the player what that item's purpose is in the game after it's too late to matter to the player. That is mostly done as a way to make the player go through the game at least 2 times. However, since both best and second best endings are equally canon and lead to the same place, it is not that big of a deal.
    • In Silent Hill 2, there's James' famous "I'll just stick my hand into this filthy toilet and fish around for a bit" decision. This is then lampshaded for laughs in Silent Hill 3 if you have a Silent Hill 2 save file on your memory card. If forced to interact with a toilet, Heather would reach towards it but change her mind in the last second and mutter while staring at the player "who would do something like that anyway?"
  • GTFO is a game that's very heavy on stealth gameplay where even slight movement from players who are crouched can easily be detected by enemies who detect players by sound. There's also one enemy called a "Scout" who moves around and periodically releases its tentacles around it and if it touches the player, it will summon a bunch of enemies towards the player. So what's the best way to kill the Scout without waking up the sleepers? Why, use a Mine Detector; plant a mine towards the path of the Scout, wait for the Scout to walk by it and it dies when the mine's tripped. This doesn't wake up any sleepers despite the fact that there's a really loud explosion in the area.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Civilization VI:
    • The only requirements for building a Ski Resort is that they have to be built on a Mountain and not next to another of their kind. There's nothing stopping you building a Ski Resort in the middle of the desert.
      • Several tile improvements can lead to this kind of thing (Visit our golf course! It's right under an active volcano), but a prime example is the Sphinx: You can't build it in snow, but you can build them in the arctic tundra. If anything, they make a good way to fill these difficult areas with something fruitful.
    • Downplayed (you still incur diplomatic grievances), but due to the unique way they interact with the diplomacy system, nuking Canada is not a declaration of war.
  • In the Final Fantasy Tactics series, mages usually have abilities that can target more than one person, which can also cause friendly fire damage to your team if they are in the way. Sometimes, you're better off aiming magic directly at your party members if they're surrounded by multiple enemies. That way, you can wear down the enemy team faster while you use your healers to easily fix the friendly fire damage.
    • Specific to Tactics itself is Ramza Beoulve. A very kind-hearted soul who does not judge people for their birth despite being highborn, and would take every option to settle things without combat if the choice were presented to him. At several scripted battles, his party members ask him for the course of action when they discover somebody (or someone) being attacked. Choosing to disregard the victim raises the Bravery stat of all involved units, including Ramza himself. Choosing to help the victim results in Bravery being lowered. (The first example is passable courtesy of the victim being Argath Thafaldus, Bastard in Sheep's Clothing, but the innocent chocobo has no excuse)
    • Or the biggest one, grinding experience and job points. Because of the way units gain experience by performing an action, one could grind by leaving a single enemy alive and have your units beat each other up for extra experience, especially with Rock Throw due to dealing very minimal damage.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Recruiting Shinon in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance requires you to talk to him with one member of your army, then have Ike defeat him in battle. Normally, fighting a recruitable enemy is the exact opposite of what you want to do, so this comes across as a major Guide Dang It!.
    • Recruiting Oliver in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn requires you to send your completely defenseless heron Rafiel wading into their attack range. Such an action would normally almost certainly get him killed, but the boss instead talks to him and forces their way into your army.
    • In the Updated Re-release of the first game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, simply called Shadow Dragon in the west, all but one of the secret missions are blocked to you if you have too many units in your standing army, forcing you to get some of them killed in order to access them. The last one requires you to do yet more self-destructive acts like losing the Falchion and getting Tiki killed. However, previous games in the series emphasized protecting your units from death at all costs, so most players wouldn't want to let so many characters die. Not only that, the requirements for how many units is "too many" remains consistently at "more than 15" for all secret chapters but the last; in a game with over 50 unique characters and technically-infinite "replacement" characters, even players who were OK with losing units would probably never see the secret chapters without intentionally killing almost every unit in the game (including, most likely, the very units you could recruit in the secret missions).
    • One story example that's lampshaded in-game in Fire Emblem: Awakening: One side chapter also gives you the choice of allying with one mercenary group to fight another and quickly resolve a dispute, but you get the most reward out of choosing to fight against both of them, despite the fact that they not only severely outnumber you, but they also start off with a terrain advantage. Chrom is understandably concerned if you choose this course of action.
  • In Master of Orion II, you can, eventually, be able to terraform any planet all the way from a barren (Moon-like) or irradiated (Moon-like plus heavy radiation) rock to a paradise world. With one exception - toxic worlds. Apparently, clearing a world of toxins is infinitely more difficult than building a planet out of asteroid chunks like a giant jigsaw puzzle. So, some savvy players have figured out that, if you want to capture an alien colony but don't want to have a toxic un-upgradable planet, just blow it up with a Stellar Converter, colonize a planet in the same system, and rebuild the destroyed planet as a barren world. Easy, right? The best part is that no matter the original size of the planet (Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, or Huge), the one reconstructed from the resulting asteroid belt will always be Large.
  • Phantom Doctrine: There is an Achievement for being betrayed by an enemy mole on a tactical mission. If you want 100% Completion, you have to deliberately put a potential traitor on your team, and hope that they don't cause too much grief when things kick off.
  • More of an in-universe thing but in Project × Zone 2: Brave New World, the Singing Symphony ship is burning in space. Segata Sanshiro's advice for putting out the fire? Walk towards the fire and take the damage that would put a unit with only 1 HP left.
  • In Six Ages, a lost heroquester can interrupt a battle between a man and a (sapient) lion. If you direct the heroquester to join the battle, they have to pick which side...and the best side, objectively note , is the lion. Which isn't...inconsistent with the lore of the setting, where animals are just as likely to be virtuous as humans, but it is very unexpected for a lion to be helpful and a human to be dangerous. Especially in a game fully about humans saving the world and interacting with other humans.
  • In Super Robot Wars games, there are pilots who can pilot repair units to help gain levels. And then there are units who are equipped with MAP weapons, which target the field rather than just one unit. Normally, players would never fire MAP weapons near friendly allies as this will injure them and/or kill these units. However, intersect the two and the repair units will be able to gain a lot of levels just by hitting themselves with a MAP attack over and over again. This is slightly nerfed in Third Super Robot Wars Z Heaven's Chapter where the MAP attack will not show up unless there's an enemy in range of the MAP attack.
  • XCOM Ufo Defense, the player can only restore health by treating a soldier's bleeding wounds with a medkit. The means that to restore more health, the player must hope that the soldier in question has multiple bleeding wounds.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Ace Attorney series, you hang on to items long after they've seemingly lost their usefulness, only to have them turn out to be useful evidence later. For some items it's just minorly odd, for items like Trucy and Little Plum's panties it seems outright bizarre that you wouldn't give them back immediately.
  • The fifth trial in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc presents you with a choice: either take the fall for a murder you didn’t commit, something the game has established will get everyone but the real killer killed, or point out the lie that the suspected killer has told to save yourself. If you chose the second option, you get a Bad Ending and are sent back to the decision. If you choose the first, you’re declared guilty and sent to be executed despite being innocent, as the mastermind was trying to frame your friend for a murder they committed and can’t just back out now, and you’re saved by the AI you thought was destroyed and rescued by the person who you were willing to die for when you’re then dumped in the garbage. Rather brilliantly, this ties into the game’s main theme: Hope.
  • The Tiger Dojos in Fate/stay night, actually encourage the player to act like this. Frequently after you get a Bad End, they advise you to go back and choose the more reckless, immature option.
    • Except when they don't, which can make a player that has received a bunch of "take risks and go for it!" try to do that such as attacking the shrine and they get punished and die for it, then try to play it safe like not venturing into the basement of the church and get punished and die for it, rather irritated because it seems like the game can't make up its mind if it wants you to play cautious or reckless. Incidentally, this too is lampshaded in the Tiger Dojo segments, with it being explicitly said that you can be punished for both playing on the offensive or defensive, depending on the situation.
    • In-Universe, during the Heaven's Feel route, Shirou teams up with Kirei Kotomine to rescue Illya. As they make their escape, Kotomine jumps out a window several stories above the ground (he has magically reinforced his body and can do such things)... and Shirou follows. After landing hard, Kotomine asks why in the hell Shirou would to that when he doesn't have the magic enhancements Kotomine does, and Shirou rather lamely says he just didn't want to look bad. Everyone present stares at him like he's a total idiot.
  • During the first chapter of Hakuouki, Hijikata informs Chizuru on more than one occasion and in no uncertain terms that if she tries to escape the Shinsengumi, he will kill her without hesitation. Trying to run away at the first possible opportunity not only does not lead to any negative consequences, it earns Chizuru affection points with Hijikata, who admires that kind of defiant conviction.
  • Katawa Shoujo has Hisao (who suffers from severe arrhythmia) overexerting himself while exercising, which he's already been told can cause a heart attack. This earns him a What the Hell, Hero? from both the nurse and his science teacher, but is also necessary to reach Emi's route.
  • In My Harem Heaven is Yandere Hell, the severely depressed protagonist is given a choice between just going to sleep like normal (in his house, which several criminals have broken into before) or taking a walk. The mentally healthy thing to do is to take a walk, expose Yuuya to some new scenery, right? No. If he does that, he'll die through a logical but complicated series of events. If he goes to sleep, he will get kidnapped...but he won't die, and he'll hear the exposition needed to progress the plot.
    • From a certain perspective, however, that decision makes sense. It's never a good idea to go walking at night- even in populated areas, as Yuuya did- and getting sleep is psychologically important too.
  • Nameless has one last CG and extra route to unlock, after completing the five regular and one Secret route. In order to unlock it, the player needs to delete their save file, which also has the effect of forgetting the titular character's actual name, which was the whole point of playing through those routes. Then a new game must be started, using the same name as before.
  • In Virtue's Last Reward, you are regularly forced to play a Prisoner's Dilemma game with the various people you have been trapped in the game with. Generally speaking, betraying characters who trust you tends to lead to bad endings, but there are a few times where you have to betray the other person to continue. The biggest example is when you play the game with your closest ally Phi. You have to betray your her in one timeline to make the other timeline where she betrays you make sense. The narration even states that you have no idea why you did it, though if you did the other path where you allied with her and she betrayed you first, then your character is confused about why she chose ally in this timeline when you picked betray since the other timeline was the exact opposite.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Contrary to past Animal Crossing games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has one blatant violation- having too many trees can hurt your island's reputation. Dataminers found that the game stops awarding points for trees if you pass 190 trees and actually starts deducting points at more than 220 trees. For a game called Animal Forest in its home market of Japan... What?
    • Even weirder is that shrubs count as trees. So someone who makes elaborate shrub displays can wind up getting the same penalty.
  • In Dead Rising 2, Chuck Greene is depicted as a loving, responsible single father of a young daughter. What loving, responsible single father gives his young daughter a fully grown Bengal Tiger as a gift - especially one that has been surviving on a diet of human flesh?
  • Endless Ocean: Blue World gives you access to the entire planet when choosing diving locations. It also allows you to change your swimwear back at Nineball Island, with men having access to trunks and women to bikinis. Feel free to be so attired while diving in the Arctic or Antarctic; you won't suffer any penalties for it.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, jumping up/down stairs is actually a quicker and more efficient way to navigate stairs compared to just walking up and down them. In real life, you'll either just tire yourself out faster (going up), and potentially sprain/fracture/break something (going down).
  • Glean: You collect Small Lava Globules by touching lava droplets dripping from lava pools, damaging your ship in the process. What's even better is that you use them to upgrade your ship's cooling systems, which is necessary to drill deeper.
  • Just Cause:
    • If you're falling from a great height, you don't need your parachute! Simply fire your hookshot at the ground, and it will pull you down to safety, even though all it should do is make you hit the ground faster. In fact, it's better than the parachute, since you're easier to shoot when you're slowly drifting through the air.
    • In order to progress through a tutorial in the second game, you have to take a ride with a guy to get to your destination. Oh no! The police are here! Do you think Rico Rodriguez would jump into the passenger seat and shoot from there? Hell no; he hops onto the car's roof and begins shooting, disregarding such minor things as inertia, and making himself a larger target.
    • When trying to land an airplane, you're likely to end up roasted to death in a flaming fuselage due to an error in judgement or just outright impatience. The safest, and fastest, way to exit a plane is to leap out of it in midair and parachute or grapple to the ground - even if the plane is only a few meters up and moving horizontally at top speed (again, ignoring inertia). Plus, it makes for an epic view watching the explosion on the way down.
  • In Minecraft, you have to punch trees with your bare hands in order to get the tools you need to survive. That's just the start.
    • Bonus points are given to the mechanism by which you garner magma for various purposes: you carry it around in metal buckets.
      • Remember that lava that you just collected? You can redirect its flow using wooden signs and ladders, with no repercussions. The hilarious part? Lava causes trees, wooden planks/stairs/slabs, and wood doors to burn.
      • Lava can also be safely contained by blocks of glass or sand. Heating sand in a furnace melts it into glass, and you can do this using a bucket of lava, but for some reason sand can sit right next to lava without melting. If that's not confusing enough for you, try throwing sand or glass (or anything else) into lava — this will vaporize it. The inventory has no direct means of deleting items, so it's common practice to dispose of unwanted items by tossing them into lava.
    • You know Netherite? That incredibly rare material made from the hard-to-get Ancient Debris and makes your diamond equipment survive lava? Yeah it fell on a cactus and now its gone. better go make a new one.
    • You can make an infinite source of water. The requirements being a measly two buckets of the stuff.
    • The game's final boss has a set of magic crystals on towering spires that restore its health. Throwing a single snowball at one will destroy it. (Snowballs don't damage anything else, except blazes, which makes sense since they're made of fire.) This is actually a common strategy because snowballs are much easier to stockpile than arrows, and can be thrown in quick succession. In old versions of the game, the boss itself also took damage from snowballs.
    • Are you about to take fatal Fall Damage? Well, you got that bucket of water in your inventory, right? Just place down some water right before impact. You'll be fine. Doesn't matter that you just fell about a thousand feet into a knee-deep puddle of water that wasn't even there literally half a second ago.
  • In Need for Speed: Underground 2, There are drift races that takes place on a mountain side. You gain more points by drifting near pedestrian cars, and mountain barriers.
  • Several of the buildings where John Marston can safely sleep in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare are actually on fire while he's inside.
  • Starbound: You think you can build a processor board outright? Nope. You gotta build a robot with a Brain in a Jar and various parts, activate it, have it go apeshit on you, beat the tar out of it, pry the board from his corpse and only then can you have your board.
  • Some side-scrolling sandbox games with Falling Damage where a Grappling-Hook Pistol is an item you can acquire — Terraria and Steamworld Dig 2, for example — allow you to use the grappling line to break your fall using the Just Cause 2 technique of firing the hook into the floor and ziplining down to it.
  • Speaking of Terraria, it's possible to avoid drowning in that game by drinking bottled water. The Labor of Love update even introduces an achievement for doing just that.
    Unusual Survival Strategies: Delay death from drowning by drinking water. It doesn't make much sense, but you did what you had to do.
  • Far Cry 5 has a system whereby using non-firearm weapons to kill wildlife will net you more valuable pelts and skins than if you use a firearm. It's intended to encourage the use of a bow to hunt, as this was also the case in prior games, but the game also introduces a new, expanded melee weapons system that prior games didn't have, which also counts for non-firearm animal kills. With the right perks and consumable buffs, it actually becomes more efficient to run up to wildlife and start wailing on them with a shovel than it is to shoot them with a bow, especially large, aggressive animals like bear and moose as they won't run from a player attacking them in melee like they would if you were peppering them with arrows.

  • This is par for the course in speedruns. Taking damage and dying are valid and common strategies, and sometimes, it's actually faster to not collect power-ups, even the ones supposed to be critical to the level. Playing the game in the intended order is often slower, and if you doubt that hopping backwards throughout a game can ever be helpful, you're probably not yet in the speedrun mindset.
  • The entire point of My Youthful Sicko Test. Where the game tests how much the player can, intentional or not, play this trope straight.
  • Progressbar 95: There's nothing stopping you from collecting orange segments and clearing a level with them despite them being called wrong by the game. Collecting a symmetrical amount of blues and oranges grants the 1000-point Yin-Yang bonus, collecting a pattern of blue>orange>blue>orange or vice versa grants the 5000-point Zebra bonus, and collecting only oranges grants you the 4000-point Nonconformist bonus. That said, in the later levels blue segments give more points than any of the orange-segment bonuses as well as an extra life, so it's better to get only blue segments anyway.
  • Overcooked!: Part of the game's hectic nature is managing the limited amount of counter space available in the kitchens to put things on. However, there's actually nothing stopping you just putting ingredients on the floor until you need them later.
  • Early Environmental Narrative Game The Path has a single instruction, presented at the beginning of the game. The only way to win (in so far as there is a win condition) is to ignore it.
  • On Neopets, pets can only have one disease at a time, with new ones overriding old ones. This means that if your pet gets an illness which is difficult to cure, the best solution is to get some Poisonous Jelly and Medicinal Soap (both of which are cheap), feed the Poisonous Jelly to your pet to give them Neomonia, then use the Medicinal Soap to cure their Neomonia.

Non-Video Game Examples:

    Fan Works 
  • PMD: Another Perspective: While fighting a Pidgeotto, Purry tells Blazy not to dodge its attacks so her Blaze ability can activate and make her Ember attack stronger. Blazy refuses to do so, mainly because Purry doesn't initially explain why she's telling her to stand still. Purry doesn't explain her plan until after pushing Blazy into the path of the Pidgeotto's Quick Attack.
    Purry: I told you not to dodge!
    Blazy: I'm not gonna let myself get hit on purpose!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • London Has Fallen: With him and President Asher out of heavy ammunition and pinned down by gunfire in Kamran's hideout, Banning orders the Delta Force/SAS extraction team to prematurely detonate explosives that set off a raging fireball which quickly begins to consume the place. Upon feeling the explosion, both he and the President make a break for a side elevator shaft, located closer to the source of the explosion. Cue the two men having to run towards an advancing wall of flame, a move ridiculous enough for a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the President looking horrified at the oncoming flames before the both of them drop down the shaft to safety.
  • Ready Player One (2018) features a race which, in order to win, you have to go in reverse at the start, which leads to a shortcut underneath the track, bypassing all the hazards on the main course.
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over: The entrance to Level 5 is found by falling into the lava and swimming in it.
  • In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Lando orders the Rebel fleet to take on the Star Destroyers at as close a range as possible. This baffles the fleet, but Lando's logic (elaborated a bit more in the novelization) is sound; with the Rebels right on top of the Star Destroyers, the Empire can't use the Death Star superlaser because of the risk of hitting their own ships, and that laser is deadlier than anything the Star Destroyers can throw at them at any range.
    Lando: Yes, I said "closer"! Get as close as you can and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!
    Ackbar: At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!
    Lando: We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star, and we might just take a few of them with us!

    Board Games 
  • In the Pantheon expansion to 7 Wonders Duel, Anubis has the ability to destroy a Wonder belonging to either player. As building the Wonders is an important part of the game, you might assume that you should destroy one of your opponent's, but since almost all of the Wonders have useful effects that trigger when they're built, it's often more beneficial to destroy one of your own Wonders to rebuild it and get its effect again.
  • Chess:
    • Beginning players are taught several basic principles (control the center of the board, don't exchange stronger pieces for weaker ones, don't expose your king in the opening or middlegame, etc.). However, principles like these are only correct most of the time, and master players are known to sometimes make moves that look insane to beginners but are actually brilliant. One notable example was in the Candidates Match between Bobby Fischer and Tigran Petrosian in 1971, where the former exchanged his extremely well-placed knight for the latter's bishop, which wasn't doing anything useful at the time. Many grandmasters observing the game were confused, until it soon became apparent that the exchange allowed Fischer's rooks to get a huge amount of activity, which was enough to win the game for him.
    • Exaggerated by GM Hikaru Nakamura, who sometimes during blitz games plays the Bongcloud Attack (1. e4 e5 2. Ke2). The opening violates virtually every opening principle, but because of that, many players are caught completely off guard by it and lose time thinking about how to respond, which is deadly in a three-minute game.WARNING 
  • Magic: The Gathering has many actions that might sound completely insane to an observer with only casual knowledge of the game, but can be extremely powerful and useful in practice.
    • One of the first and most important lessons a Magic newbie learns is the importance of "card advantage", that is, having more cards available than the opponent. The more cards you have on hand, the better you can respond to what your opponent does. A card like One With Nothing, which does nothing but discard your hand, sounds like a terrible idea - Magic The Gathering is not Uno. However, there are a few effects that can actually reward you for this seemingly counterintuitive play: cards with the "Madness" keyword can be cast at a reduced mana cost if an effect would discard them, and cards with the "Hellbent" keyword grow more powerful if there are no cards in your hand.
    • Donate, Bazaar Trader, etc. Considering that the game is all about destroying your opponent through magic and might, why oh why would you ever give the opponent your own hard-earned creatures, artifacts, and the like? Well, turns out there are more than enough cards in the game that can be more of a hindrance to the opponent than anything, such as Phyrexian Negator, Steel Golem, Demonic Pact, and so on. The Trix deck, one of the most powerful and infamous combo decks of all time, focused on playing Illusions of Grandeur, gaining a massive amount of life points, then donating it to the opponent, making the ever-rising cumulative upkeep and subsequent loss of 20 life (instantly lethal to any deck without life gain) their problem.
    • Abyssal Persecutor. "You can't win the game and your opponents can't lose the game?" Who would ever play this?! Left unsaid, however, is the fact that a 6/6 trample flying creature for a grand total of 4 mana is insane amounts of value, and that the same black mana used to play it can also fuel about a million effects to get the Persecutor off the board once he outlives his usefulness and it's time for the opponent to actually lose the game.
    • Drawing a card while your library has no cards in it normally causes you to lose the game, flavored as the player getting Mind Raped into an Empty Shell. But Laboratory Maniac, who is already insane, turns that into a win condition, thus giving several other cards that could themselves be considered violations of common sense - such as Thought Lash or Leveler - their time to shine.
    • The minimum number of cards for a Constructed deck is 60. Almost everyone advises you to stick as closely to that as possible, since the more cards in your deck the harder it is to get the ones you need. But how about playing over 200? Meet Battle of Wits, a card that, if you have over 200 cards in your deck at the start of the game while it's in play, wins you the game automatically. It's also a Blue card, Blue being the color of deck searches and extra draws. (Bear in mind that you'll need to play significantly more than 200 cards to ensure you don't go below the limit before you can play Battle of Wits. On the plus side, all the extra cards give you plenty of room for back-up plans.)


    Game Shows 
  • For most of its run, Press Your Luck featured the "Pick a Corner" space which, when hit, allowed you to pick any of the other three corner spaces on the board. For a while, one of the choices could potentially be a Whammy, and while it seems like no player in their right mind would ever willingly pick it (and indeed, no one ever did), astute viewers have pointed out that doing so could actually be a viable strategy to transfer a large number of passed spins (which the player was obligated to take) to the Earned column, assuming the player in question had a negligible score to lose and had hit no more than one Whammy prior to that point.

  • The Queen song '39. Write your letters on the sand for the day I'll take your hand in the land that our grandchildren knew. At first glance the lyrics make no sense. But the song actually is about a space voyage on relativistic speeds, and describes the effects of time dilation at velocities near c. The song has been described as the most painless introduction to Einstein's theory of relativity ever made.

  • The "Special" is a major award found on most pinball machines made available either by being very skilled or very lucky, and most often, they are located in an outlane, which leads to the drain. That is, you have to lose a ball to earn the Special. (The Special is a free game by default, but the operator can change it in the settings to award an extra ball, a fixed points value, or absolutely nothing.)
  • Gobble holes are holes that consume your ball, ending it instantly, but are not located at the bottom like the drain. Rather, you're supposed to deliberately bring the ball there, as they are always worth a very large points award that easily dwarfs anything else on the table, and sometimes with extra balls or free games on top of that. They were common during an era when games were short and unpredictable, so the gobble hole was a low-risk guaranteed award.
  • Nudging the machine isn't just a way to gain an advantage, it's a tournament-standard technique. Yet to non-players, rocking the table looks completely unnecessary and violent, especially since if you tried to nudge a redemption machine, for example, you'd probably set off alarms and get kicked out of the arcade; on a pinball table, as long as you aren't straight up lifting the machine or otherwise being extremely brutal, the worst that happens is that the game quietly disables the playfield and voids your current ball.
  • In Avatar, the "Final Battle" Wizard Mode requires the player to hit enough targets on the playfield, then shoot the Unobtanium target for the Jackpot. If the player chooses instead to let the ball drain down an outlane with a lit Unobtanium light, the Jackpot is increased and the ball is automatically returned to play.
  • A Skill Shot in Congo has you launch the ball into play so it lands the outlane drain on the other side. Doing so gets you an instant 25 million points. Granted, there is a big arrow-shaped light pointing towards it when you begin, but it isn't clear if you've never seen the game before that there's a solenoid that will shove the ball back out again.
  • The objective of Whirlwind is to guide a tornado to your area. No explanation is given as to why this is a good idea.

  • Girl Genius: Ghengis Ht'rok-din, founder of Mechanicsburg and the Heterodyne Family learned of the spring that eventually became the source of the River Dyne. The locals were superstitious about it: those who bathed in it often went mad. What did Ht'rok-din do? He drank the water, and thus became the founder of Mechanicsburg and the long lived independent family of Mad Scientist conquerors that the Heterodyne family is.

    Web Original 
  • Dream: Happens in "Minecraft Speedrunner vs Hunters GRAND FINALE", when Dream finds himself cornered in the Nether, and somehow manages to hop across lava using nothing more than 'FOUR BOATS' - and it actually works, much to the surprise/confusion of the three Hunters.

    Web Video 
  • The Outside Xbox Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, being a troupe that is more comedic, runs on this. Best exemplified in the third story, where paladin Egbert hits a lit bomb with his mace like a baseball to launch the bomb into a giant mechanical beetle's gob. And it worked.

    Real Life 
  • Certain pods of orcas and bottlenose dolphins are the only whales on earth that deliberately beach themselves. Both do so as a hunting strategy, but only on specific beaches at specific tide levels and in the orcas' case at specific times of the year. The dolphins hunt fish by driving them into the shore while the orcas hunt baby fur seal pups that are too young to have learned the dangers of getting too close to the water at high tide. In both instances, the composition of the beach and the tides means that they can grab their prey, then shift themselves back into the water without stranding themselves.
  • A lot of knowledge humanity has accumulated is due to people violating common sense. Look, someone's eating those plants/animals that don't look appetizing. Did they die or live? Either way, we've learned something that acting in a "safe or sensible fashion" wasn't teaching us.
  • Humankind has been quoted as having this trope as its actual main forte. Take a look at early beyond-the-horizon maritime exploration. "Hey, look at all this expanse of water that goes farther than the eye can reach. Yes, the one that all who have tried to cross have never returned. Let's build a ship and try to cross it!"
  • Certain medical treatments can come across as this, since a few use harmful substances in small amounts, or seem to cause injury to a person in order to heal. Certain heart conditions, for instance, can be treated efficiently with carefully managed amounts of the compound nitroglycerin, most famously used as a powerful explosive. Cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy, which is essentially a (hopefully) non-lethal dose of poison, and radiation that can fry a person if it weren't targeted very carefully. Leeches can be used as a therapeutic treatment to help a person heal after skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, or treat varicose veins and other conditions. Maggots are sometimes used to treat gangrene. One that most people are familiar with is defibrillation, a treatment which involves using powerful electrical currents to treat ventricular fibrillation by delivering a "countershock" to the heart. This doesn't fix the fibrillation. It actually causes the heart to stop completely so that it can restart on its own without the irregular beat.
  • When in a fist fight it is actually a good idea to move closer to your opponent when dodging a punch. While this is counterintuitive it makes sense because if they actually manage to hit you they won't have extended their arm as far and thus the punch won't have as much force as it would if their arm was fully extended.
  • Survival skills can be this on occasion, because human instinct tends to react to the threat that's visible at the moment, which is often only part of the overall threat picture.
    • One famous example is the Karpun ski tram fire. Since the fire was at the rear of the upward-bound train, most of the escaping passengers chose to flee upwards, away from the fire, rather than going downwards which would have required them to pass the burning section of the carriage; however, one small group of escapees included a volunteer firefighter, who instructed the others to do the counter-intuitive thing and go down, even though it meant passing the fire. This was exactly the right call; what the firefighter knew through training was that the greatest danger came not from the visible flames, but from the smoke and toxic fumes, and those gases are lighter than air and will rise. All of the people who fled upwards died of asphyxiation - there were even casualties from people 4 kilometers away, as the tunnel channeled smoke all the way to the top of the hill - while the few who went down stayed below the smoke and survived.
      • Similarly, rangers who deal with wildfires tell you that if there is a hill on fire, you want to go down the hill - even (or really especially) if that's where a fire is - fire spreads quicker uphill.
    • As mentioned in an episode of Seconds from Disaster, if there are potentially lava or pyroclastic flows, you'll actually want to go uphill.
    • If you're caught in a riptide, don't fight it - swim parallel to the shore. No human is strong enough to swim against a riptide, but they're usually fairly narrow and they don't prevent lateral motion, so swimming parallel to shore is usually possible and will get the swimmer out of the riptide area. Then, once you're clear of the riptide, you can swim to shore.
    • If you want to cross a river but there's no bridge in sight, go to the place where the river is the widest. It may be further to walk crotch-deep in water, but you're less likely to be ripped downstream.
  • What's one way to deal with a wildfire? Initiate a controlled burn to starve the wildfire of materials to burn through.
    • Another way? Using an explosive on the fire. The idea is the blast wave either displaces the oxygen needed for the fire to burn or cuts the fire off from its fuel source. It's used in wildfire management and oil well fires.
  • How to rejuvenate prairies damaged by centuries of agriculture and poor management? Plant prairie grasses and then burn them, as they've evolved to rely on fire to spread their seeds and progenate.
  • In the event of a tsunami, a boat far enough from shore (or with enough advance warning) has the best chance of survival by attempting to sail directly towards it, and climb over the wave before it crests, as it becomes much higher as it reaches the shallower waters next to the shore.
  • The so-called "Water fryer." This is a type of fryer that uses water to enhnace the fryer's efficiency and keeps the oil clean at the same time. However, anyone who's dealt with frying with oil will tell you that mixing water and hot oil is a terrible idea. But the water fryer takes advantage of the fact that oil and water don't mix and oil is less dense than water, so it floats. So the idea is fill a portion of the fryer with water, then fill the rest with oil, have the heating element in the oil side, and stir the two separately in opposite directions. Some how this all works out such that the oil is still hot enough to cook, the debris from frying fall into the water layer, clean up is easy, and overall seems to work better than a traditional oil fryer. Of note though: Do not do this with a oil-only fryer, you need a specialized water/oil fryer to do this safely!
  • The concept of "induced demand", a favorite among urbanists and transit advocates everywhere, states at its core that travel demand scales in response to the accessibility of mobility options instead of being a response to pre-existing demand. For example, expanding a road will initially make it faster and more efficient to drive on, but those traits will then subsequently encourage new trips that were previously difficult and unnecessary, inevitably causing the road to become congested again anyway. It has been observed that the idea has struggled to catch on outside of these niche professions precisely because the concept that expanding capacity actually causes congestion is so counter-intuitive to our instincts. Places around the world that have limited traffic congestion are generally those that have limited the size of roads and complemented them with walkable and transit-based alternatives, rather than places that expand roads to seemingly match capacity.

Alternative Title(s): Gameplay And Logic Segregation