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Quotes / Contrived Coincidence

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"A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility. The story should never be made up of improbable incidents; there should be nothing of the sort in it."

Wrath: What is your real name?
Scar: Hmph... Jugemu-jugemu Gokōnosurikire Kaijarisuigyo-no Suigyōmatsu Unraimatsu Fūraimatsu Kūnerutokoroni-sumutokoro Yaburakōjino-burakōji Paipopaipo-paiponoshūringan Shūringanno-gūrindai Gūrindaino-ponpokopīno-ponpokonāno Chōkyūmeino-chōsuke.
Wrath: What a coincidence. My name is also Jugemu-jugemu Gokōnosurikire Kaijarisuigyo-no Suigyōmatsu Unraimatsu Fūraimatsu Kūnerutokoroni-sumutokoro Yaburakōjino-burakōji Paipopaipo-paiponoshūringan Shūringanno-gūrindai Gūrindaino-ponpokopīno-ponpokonāno Chōkyūmeino-chōsuke.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (non-canon short)

Largo: I knew it! You are our enemy from 'Endgames!'
Miho: Don't be ridiculous, Largo. What are the chances of that being true? You'd be more likely to get hired by the brother of your girlfriend's ex, whose daughter happens to have a crush on your best friend.
MegaTokyo Cliff Notes

Marty: That's right, Doc. November 12, 1955.
Doc: Unbelievable, that old Biff could have chosen that particular date. It could mean that that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum! On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.

"Every story gets to have a really big coincidence and here's ours..."
Narrator, George of the Jungle

"Think of the odds... Once I tried to calculate them but they're astronomical. I mean, think of the odds of me, going in, sitting down, that night, in that bar, next to that man."
Walter, Breaking Bad

"What could I do? The feelings of Sophia were at that time so exquisite, and the tenderness she felt for Augustus so poignant that I had not power to start any other topic, justly fearing that it might in some unforeseen manner again awaken all her sensibility by directing her thoughts to her Husband. Yet to be silent would be cruel; she had entreated me to talk.

From this Dilemma I was most fortunately relieved by an accident truly apropos; it was the lucky overturning of a Gentleman's Phaeton, on the road which ran murmuring behind us. It was a most fortunate accident as it diverted the attention of Sophia from the melancholy reflections which she had been before indulging."

"Watch Brad Pitt survive an un-survivable apocalypse thanks to a constant stream of lifesaving coincidences like: never hitting traffic in the middle of mass hysteria; finding an RV with the keys and a loaded gun inside; this friendly mugger showing him where to find medicine; this friendly Mexican family taking him in, no questions asked; these fast zombies who slow down as soon as they are about to catch him; this small child headshotting a zombie on top of him; this plane dropping a ladder down to save him at takeoff; this Israeli soldier killing a zombie about to eat him; surviving this car crash; surviving this plane crash; surviving a spike through his stomach; and shooting up with a randomly picked virus that happens to be curable while also serving as zombie camouflage."

"Events have the mark of bad storytelling in that they rely almost entirely on coincidence and behavior that would take considerable solvent-sniffing to seem rational."
Zero Punctuation on Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

V: It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.
Cinema Sins: Writers almost always write something like this when it comes to coincidences like this.

Angel: How is it a sword from the Third Century is conveniently located here in Los Angeles?
Cordelia: I don't think it is. I mean, I get the impression that somehow it's accessible from like a hundred points all over the world.
Connor: How's that work?
Cordelia: I don't know. I just get the visions, not the Cliff's Notes.
Angel, "Awakening"

In Wolverine #69, Jubilee read and badmouthed Charles Dickens' masterpiece David Copperfield, thereby confirming what we all suspected about her taste and brain power. "Does this kid live in the Alternate Universe of Amazing Coincidences, or what?" she asked. Uh, Jube, people who live in Marvel Universes shouldn't throw stones.
Marvel Year in Review 1993

"Now let's explore the improbable chain of events that led to this amusing yet tragic farce."
Ray Magini, The Simpsons, "Don't Fear the Roofer"

"...since when is Little Richard Denise’s uncle? Seriously, that never came up before? She never mentioned him before ten seconds ago, immediately preceding when he just happened to be picking her up at the full house, which also happens to coincide with them needing a celebrity guest for an event, plus also Jesse just having lost the tickets to his concert? It’s not like he’s even supposed to be in from out of town or anything, he’s just Denise’s uncle who she apparently sees all the time."
—Blogger Billy Superstar summing up how this trope works in a review of an episode of Full House

Navin: But how did you guys find me?
Dad: I dunno. This is the first place we looked.

"Yugi, wait. Wouldn't you say this is all a bit strange? We just happen to win a trip, our plane happens to crash, then we happen to meet the last man to see your grandfather before he disappeared? It's all too convenient."

"What are the odds? Seriously, what are the fucking odds?!?"

"Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating."
— One of Pixar's 22 rules of writing.

"At least we managed to send out a distress signal. Hopefully somebody will pick it up! And if I’m insanely, ridiculously lucky, I might even be picked up by the galaxy’s foremost Josh Swollen expert."
Chris Hemsworth (Thor), The Editing Room’s abridged script for Avengers: Infinity War

Ross Marquand (Red Skull): Bad news. Unlike the other Stones that don’t give two flying fucks who uses them, the Soul Stone is on some kind of diva trip and has certain demands. You must sacrifice someone you love to get it.
Josh Swollen (Thanos): Well that’s handy! I only love one person, and she happens to be currently standing four feet away from me. Seriously, this is one humongous piece of luck.
The Editing Room’s abridged script for Avengers: Infinity War

Hank: Relax, Drover. We’ll never see that creep again.
Drover: Yeah? How can you be so sure?
Hank: Because it would be too much of a coincidence. All the odds are against it. Things like that just don’t happen in the real world.
Hank (as narrator): And sure enough, we didn’t see the big oaf again...until twenty minutes later.
Hank the Cowdog, "The Case of the Raging Rottweiler"


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