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Sometimes in Sarcasm Mode, other times a Badass Boast. This is when the chances of survival, or the level of opposition, are presented to a character and he is apparently at a disadvantage. He responds that he wouldn't have it any other way or that it is actually in his favor. Often, they'll remark that they've beaten worse odds without breaking a sweat. For an added bonus, he might boast about giving himself a handicap just for fun.
Sometimes comedy will use this for somebody who doesn't really care how poor the odds are and will just go ahead with it anyway despite being told how terrible their chances are. Alternatively they may not be listening, or they'd actually prefer the failure.
This often works out for him due to the Law Of Conservation of Ninjutsu. Sometimes though, odds come through.
Anime and Manga
- As part of the big flashback in Mahou Sensei Negima, The Redheaded Hero is saving the princess; meanwhile, the rest of Ala Rubra has to hold off the forces overseeing the execution, leading to this exchange:
Head Mook: Do I have the necessary forces? You Fool!. The guards for this event are more numerous than those you see here. There are two entire fleets stationed over a surrounding area of tens of kilometers, not to mention elite troops numbering around 3,000. You may be powerful, but even you cannot...
Jack Rakan: Like I said. Are you seriously telling me you think that's gonna be enough?!
- The very first sequence of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
- From One Piece, we have this little gem from the Enies Lobby arc.
Marines: Hey, Straw Hat Luffy... how many dozens of your cohorts did you bring? Ha ha ha. There are 10,000 soldiers on Enies Lobby!
Luffy: Yeah... I'm by myself. Get out of my way!
- A couple of hundred chapters later, when the crew finally enters the New World, all of them do it:
Usopp: This weather is the worst!!
Brook: Yohoho!! There's a thunderstorm in the skies!!
Robin: The wind's a gale!!
Franky: The sea is raging!!
Nami: The needle's completely off!!
Chopper: I can see a red sea!!
Sanji: The surging sea of flames!!
Zoro: Looks like the entrance to Hell.
- Kumagawa of Medaka Box lives and breathes this trope. Born Unlucky, he feels uncomfortable when the odds aren't stacked against him.
Kumagawa: This is perfect. I have always fought with cards like these. I have never been blessed by luck or coincidence; I have fought without relying on miracles or fate. You say I've lost the moment I was dealt? That's just the same as always.
- As a student, Largo Winch once got in a fight with a bunch of upper-class douchebags, and when asked what he had to say for himself, he admitted to using an unfair advantage like a true coward by outnumbering them: "They were only three."
- Inverted in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, because young Scrooge is just that Badass.
Guy #1: "Let's see--are there enough of us to handle him?"
Guy #2: "For Pete's sake, there's two dozen of us!"
Guy #1: "You're right! Smitty, go round up another ten men!"
- A strange blend of Kim Possible and Conan the Barbarian fic called Ron Man the Barbarian has this trope as his default Badass Boast. Also the boast of his people, the Actuarians (bonus to those who know what the name means IRL) who are NOT kidding when they say this.
- The ending dialogue of Three Hundred. "The enemy outnumbers us a paltry three-to-one: good odds for any Greek!"
- Considering the abuse the Persians took when they outnumbered the Greeks hundreds or even thousands-to-one for the bulk of the movie, without the contex of differing tactics, it would be surprising to the viewer that they didn't just kill their commanders and run.
- This happens in Star Trek Generations, which is certainly a common attitude Kirk has since he enjoys bluffing his way out of the unwinnable scenarios.
Kirk: I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim.
Picard: You could say that.
Kirk: If Spock were here he would call me an illogical, irrational human being for taking on a mission like that... Sounds like fun.
- The 2009 Star Trek movie:
Cadet: There's four of us and one of you.
Kirk: Well, get some extra guys and then it'll be a fair fight.
- The film of Return of the King has Gimli do this when it's announced that Gondor's army will attack the Black Gate to provide a distraction for Frodo and Sam.
Gimli: Certainty of death, small chance of success... what are we waiting for?
- In Batman Begins, Ras al Ghul motions for two of his henchmen to fight Batman as he makes his getaway. Batman says, "I can't beat two of your pawns?", to which Ras says, "As you wish", and motions for two more henchmen to join the fight.
- In the Kurt Russell movie Soldier, Russell's superior is having his Soldier in a fight with one more "evolved". The evolved soldier's superior says they're not fair odds and asks the other (general?) to bring two more.
- The Three Musketeers 1993. The Musketeers comment amongst themselves that five soldiers against the three of them is hardly fair. D'Artagnan, missing the point, tries to point out that there's four of them.
Porthos: Five of them and three of us, hardly seems fair.
Aramis: Perhaps we should offer them a chance to surrender.
Lloyd: I want to ask you a question... straight out, flat out... and I want you to give me an honest answer. What do you think the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary: Well Lloyd... that's difficult to say... you really don't...
Lloyd: Hit me! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: (gulping) You mean not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like... one out of a million.
Lloyd: (Beat, then grins happily) So you're telling me there's a chance.
- In The Right Stuff, as Alan Shepard is recruited as an astronaut:
Shepard: Sounds dangerous.
Recruiter: It's extremely dangerous.
Shepard: Count me in.
O'Dell: God’s honest truth, Homer. What are the chances a bunch of kids from Coalwood actually wining the National Science Fair?
Homer: A million to one, O’Dell."
O'Dell: (Beat) That good? Well why didn’t you say so?
- The entire House of the Dzur in the Dragaera novels. Tazendra gets most of them on the page, but that's just because she's the most prominent Dzur character.
- In The Colour of Magic, Hrun the Barbarian declares he'll fight both dragonlords at once:
Liartes: That's pretty uneven odds, isn't it?
Hrun: Yah. I outnumber you one to two.
- In The Science of Discworld the wizards are informed that the chances of the new thaumic reactor (they're planning on using to heat the building) from going critical and blowing up the entirety of creation is 50-to-1. They think that this is entirely reasonable since "I wouldn't bet on a horse at those odds". Apparently an inch of ice on the inside of your bedroom window gives you a very personal perspective of risk.
- Moist Von Lipwig of Going Postal and Making Money likes to invoke this trope for the purposes of entertaining the crowds that invariably appear around him. For instance, a stable owner who took offense to something Moist said about his horses decided to get back at him by bringing him the most evil-minded, vicious horse he owns. Moist's response? He asks the grooms to take off the horse's saddle, because it'd just slow him down.
- Also, in Interesting Times, Twoflower points out that there's only one possible outcome when seven old men take on the thousands-strong army that's surrounding them: They'll win. Otherwise, the world's just not working properly.
- In The Vicomte De Bragelonne, d'Artagnan proposes to raise his own army of forty men and restore Charles II to the English throne (for profit!). Planchet, who is putting up half the money, protests: "Forty against forty thousand! That is not enough. I know very well that you, M. d'Artagnan, alone, are equal to a thousand men; but where are we to find thirty-nine men equal to you?"
- In Starfighters of Adumar:
Wedge: Tycho, what are we facing?
Tycho: A hundred fifty, more like two hundred, easy. So, fifty to one odds.
Wes: Not too bad.
- In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, when Mike tells the main characters that the chances of having a successful revolution are of 1 to 7, they immediately cheer. This is because a Loonie (a Moon inhabitant) will always accept a bet if the odds are greater than 1 to 10.
- In The Fall of Reach: “Four of us,” Blue-Two whispered over the link. “And a thousand of them? Piss-poor odds for the little guys.”
- In Towers of Midnight Birgitte tells Mat that the odds of getting back from the Tower of Ghenjei are one in a thousand. Mat responds by taking out "two dozen" coins and predicting that when he throws them every single one will land heads up (1/16777216 chance if there were exactly 24). They do, and Mat remarks that "One in a thousand is good odds, for me."
Live Action TV
- Done twice in Angel, the second time in the finale.
Gunn: I'll take the 20,000 on the left....
- A Running Gag in the 1960s Batman series, as the Dynamic Duo faces hordes of Mooks. In one episode it got inverted: Either the Riddler or the Joker said to Batman, "There's six of us and only two of you. But we're not afraid!"
- Inverted in a Burn Notice episode. Russian Black Ops, when discussing if they should surrender note that <He's Michael Westen, there are only four of us>.
- And again in "Where There's Smoke":
Michael: It's one of you against four of them!
Fiona: Don't feel bad for them, Michael.
- In Doctor Who this comes up when the Daleks declare war on the Cybermen.
Cyberman: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
Cyberman: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
Dalek: WE WOULD DESTROY...THE CYBERMEN...WITH ONE DAL-EK! YOU ARE SUPERIOR IN ONLY ONE RES-PECT.
Cyberman: What is that?
Dalek: YOU ARE BET-TER AT DYING.
- And then promptly gets turned around:
Rose: Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? Now you're scared.
- In Friends, in the chapter where the guys buy many lottery tickets as there is a lot of money on the jackpot, Ross says he won't join, because it is "42 times more likely" that they will be struck by lightning. Chandler answers that, as they are six, it would be only 7 times more likely. Joey says the trope verbatim.
- Power Rangers RPM: Faced with a small army of Mecha Mooks, all Dillon has to say is "Venjix should've sent more."
- Farscape: While John isn't exactly happy about it, he does believe they can beat the bad odds since they have before.
Crichton:This Eidelon education program... What are the odds it'll work?
Aeryn: Not good.
Crichton: "Not good" is the best odds we ever get.
- The quote for the Killer archetype in Feng Shui: "Forty of them, one of me. Looks like the odds are about even." Of course, Feng Shui was the first RPG to incorporate rules for Mooks...
Kongu:Five of us, 5000 of them. I like your idea of fair odds, Hahli.
- Play a video game. It's one 'you' against a million enemies or so. You take the job and you invariably win.
- In the ship level of Command and Conquer: Renegade, a prisoner Havoc just freed asks him if he intends to take on the ship's crew alone.
Havoc: Don't seem fair, does it? Maybe I'll shoot with my left hand.
- Itself a reference to the famed commando line from the original game:
That was left handed.
- Mass Effect 2, during Grunt's recruitment mission:
Jedore: There are three of them! Three! Anything can be killed if you'd just do your damn jobs!
Shepard: Three against one, pal. It's over.
Kai Leng: No. Now it's fun.
- Guild Wars: Nightfall has this in the first mission, when you get a good look at the opposing forces:
- In Kingdom Hearts II, Leon and Cloud do this during their Back-to-Back Badasses moment while surrounded and vastly outnumbered by Heartless.
Leon: Think you can handle this many?
Cloud: Well, might be tough if one more shows up.
Leon: Then that'll be the one I take care of.
Cloud: What, you're fighting, too?
- From Halo 3:
Elite: "Shipmaster, Brute Ships. Staggered Line. They outnumber us three to one!"
Half-Jaw: "Then it is an even fight."
- In Jagged Alliance 2, every mercenary has a special line when they can see 3 enemies simultaneously, usually suggesting retreat, or something like, "I'm fighting a losing battle here!" Magic takes the opposite stance, exclaiming, "This is when I'm at my best!"
- Super Robot Wars Compact 2: It doesn't matter how long the odds are... Kyosuke Nanbu doesn't mind betting on them.
- From Sly Cooper:
Murray: Outnumbered...fighting impossible odds...it's perfect!
- In Neverwinter Nights 2, you arrive at an inn just as a fight is about to break out between Khelgar, a lone dwarf, and four thugs. When you point out that four against one isn't fair odds, Khelgar agrees... and asks the thugs if they've got any friends who might like to join in.
"Upon reflection, Redglare showed the foresight of a true seer in thieving my arm before the trial. It permitted a fair fight."
Cador: The Roman vessels ournumber us three-to-one.
Lancelot: Only three-to-one?
Cador: Don't they learn?
General Goomblast: Feh. Diz hardly seems fair.
Soldier: C'est la guerre, general.
General Goomblast: (disarms the soldier and flicks his poisoned dirk into another's chest) Hy dun mean for me.
- Mighty Max has Norman say "Six against one, hardly fair. I'll fight with my eyes closed."
- In the first episode of Megas XLR, a large number of Glorft surround Megas and Kiva's mech. Coop's response is to agree that the fight isn't fair... and smash Kiva's mech. "Now it's fair."
- The Simpsons:
- In "Lisa's First Word," Krusty the Clown vows (on TV) to "spit in every fiftieth burger" and Homer replies, "I like those odds!" Actually a subversion, in that Homer really does think those odds are pretty good, or maybe he just isn't very grossed out at the prospect of eating Krusty's spit.
- Also, Chief Wiggum uttered the exact phrase "I like those odds" when he asked if he had a chance of taking the bait out of a dangerous trap, and his smarter sidekick Lou warned him "It's a million to one, chief." Wiggum's tone also seemed more like naive confidence than devil-may-care boasting, and in that case, one possible interpretation is that Wiggum misunderstood Lou's remark and thought he meant that the odds were a million to one in favor of success.
- In "Bart the General," when Bart's looking for a guy with military experience to help him deal with a bully:
Bart: Grampa, I think this guy's a little nuts.
Grampa: Oh, yeah? Well, General George S. Patton was a little nuts. And this guy's completely out of his mind! We can't fail!
- The Penguins of Madagascar
- "Roger Dodger" has:
Private: So, after Rico trounces the rats inside Roger's body, we switch them back?
Skipper: Exactly. It's 100% fool-proof.
Kowalski: More precisely, it's 2.7% foolproof. There's a 97.3% chance that this will backfire and result in a horrific abomination that will be an affront to the most elemental laws of nature and the universe.
Skipper: I like those odds.
- Considering Skipper's idea of a perfect future is a post-apocalyptic wasteland involving zombies, he probably did like the high odds of facing an abomination. Incidentally, Kowalski is pretty much right.
- A similar exchange in "Snakehead":
Kowalski: I have an idea, but I'm not sure how safe it is.
Skipper: I like it already!
C-3PO/Quagmire: Sir, the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are 2-1!
Han/Peter: Never tell me the o... well that's not bad.
- Justice League, "Starcrossed, Part 3": Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are heading straight for the Thanagarian mothership (and the dozens of smaller ships around it).
Wonder Woman: Pretty bad odds.
Superman: Yeah, they don't stand a chance.
- Jonny Quest episode "Monster in the Monastery". After Jonny and Hadji tell Dr. Quest and Race that there are nine enemies left in the monastery, Race says to Dr. Quest "That makes the odds about right, sir". Two men, two kids and the Raj Guru (who's basically a non-combatant) against 9 armed men, and the odds are "just about right"?
- Sure, Race takes out eight of the guys while Benton and the boys take the last one. Or they would have if the yeti hadn't beat them to it.
- G.I. Joe Extreme featured this a lot. "The odds are a million to one. Just the way we like it."
- In the original series episode "My Brother's Keeper," Sgt. Slaughter says:
"Outmanned. Outgunned. I love it!"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had Leonardo fighting a dozen ninjas.
Donatello (watching through a window): This doesn't seem fair.
Michelangelo: Well yeah there's only 12 of them.
- In the Teen Titans episode "How Long Is Forever?", Starfire tells Nightwing that the time travelling thief they are up against believes in You Already Changed the Past and that history cannot be changed.
Nightwing: So it's impossible? ... Good our records show we've done the impossible before.