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Jul 10th 2016 at 2:58:55 PM •••

Just a question: does the person who is the Spanner in the Works HAVE to be someone who is classified as an idiot, according to the trope's description on the main page? I have seen examples of SMART people being listed as this in different media, such as Fujitora from One Piece.

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Jul 11th 2016 at 8:50:56 AM •••

This trope is about someone's blundering accidentally ruining carefully laid out plans. A smart character could qualify if they were, say, an unpredictable but intelligent Cloud Cuckoo Lander.

But if the character's intelligent and his own plans can ruin someone else's it would be Didn't See That Coming.

Edited by Larkmarn
Nov 6th 2016 at 1:29:31 PM •••

As far as i can tell inteligence of a character is irrelevant, the bare bones of this trope is that someone messes someone else's plan by accident, without intending to. Idiots are simply more prone to this.

Nov 8th 2015 at 1:30:46 AM •••

As a non-native speaker, I was having trouble understanding the trope's name: the "-er" suffix in the word spanner indicated to me a PERSON that is doing spanning, and "in the works" sounded like "working"

While in fact, spanner is a tool, and "works" in this instance means an engine, so basically, this is "throwing a wrench in a clockwork engine".

What would be the best way to include this explanation in the trope's description?

Dec 22nd 2011 at 7:45:08 PM •••

This trope seems to apply to someone ruining a villain's plan- what would we call it when a dopey character or Cloudcoocoolander ruins the hero's plan?

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Jan 19th 2011 at 10:40:25 AM •••

Star Wars Expanded Universe. Thrawn not knowing that Leia was Darth Vader's daughter would qualify as this trope.

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Apr 18th 2016 at 11:17:40 PM •••

Then add it. If someone didn't in a meantime.

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