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"Even a broken clock is right twice a day." [1]

Okay, so one of the characters is a little... odd. He's a Talkative Loon who rambles, talks to people and things that aren't there, and rarely pays much attention to what's going on around him. So it's just natural that the other characters ignore everything this guy has to say...

Until, in a strange twist of hindsight, it turns out he was right all along.

...

Sometimes the guy's truly the Only Sane Man whose condition is due to the frightening nature of the things he had uncovered. Sometimes he IS mad but still got one thing right (he's usually smart enough to notice that this one is somehow different from his usual delusions), but people who already know him will just dismiss this as another lie.

Compare Dumbass Has a Point, Jerkass Has a Point, No Mere Windmill, Mad Oracle, Cassandra Truth and Cue the Flying Pigs. Contrast Windmill Crusader. This trope may result in someone else Giving Up on Logic. When combined with Breaking the Fourth Wall, may result in Audience What Audience, and a meta-version of this can overlap with Accidentally Accurate. If it's the Madness Mantra that was right all along, perhaps you should be a little afraid...

Examples of The Cuckoolander Was Right include:


Anime & Manga

  • In Ponyo, Toki, one of the residents of the nursing home, says to Sosuke that when human-faced fish come out of the ocean, it causes a tsunami. Sosuke sees this as senile rambling-- but of course, she's entirely right.
  • Out of all the characters in Azumanga Daioh, Osaka is the only one who appears to be aware that Kaorin has a thing for Sakaki. At one point, she's also discovered to be a genius at word puzzles.
  • In Slayers, one of the main characters turns out to be a Mazoku. Everyone expresses shock and surprise and various levels of betrayal, except for Cloudcuckoolander Gourry, who says he knew it all along. Turns out he thought it was so obvious that it didn't deserve a mention.
  • During Digimon Adventure 02, Yolei pretty much flips out over feeling nervous and starts yelling and jumping around. Her assumed reason for Ken's base disappearing is that it flew away. No one really listens to her because she is so hyped up, but it actually turns out that's exactly what it did.
  • At some point in the third arc of Durarara, Walker and Erika casually decide that Simon and Dennis, the owners and staff of the local Russian Sushi restaurant that they regularly eat at, are secretly Former Regime Personnel on the run from The Mafiya. The next volume proves them completely right.
  • In Paranoia Agent, that crazy guy chalking random things on the ground? The only one who truly gets what the hell really happened.
  • In Turn a Gundam, Corrin Nander is quite crazy and violent besides. But he's also the only person to recognize just how dangerous the Gundam really is, having apparently survived a Gundam attack long before the series.
  • A common event in Katteni Kaizo. For all the times the crap that comes out of Kaizo's mouth has been true, you'd think the other club members would stop looking at him like a brain damaged idiot. Of course...
  • In Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo, in a long crazy spiel, Kaoruko Odagiri says the new transfer student is an alien who has come to Earth to abduct the main character's ex-boyfriend but given what else she was saying, why would anyone believe her?
  • In Bakuman。 the highly eccentric Nizuma is nevertheless often right about manga. When looking over works that Mashiro and Takagi, Fukuda, and Aoki and Nakai plan to submit to the Golden Future Cup, he predicts that two of them are tied for first place, but refuses to say which to avoid upsetting the one in third. He's correct, as Detective Trap and Kiyoshi Knight- Muto Ashirogi and Fukuda's work, respectively are tied for first place in an unprecedented result.


Comicbooks

  • I Luv Halloween - In the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse (which none of the cast care about as long as they get their Halloween candy), Finch's psychotic little sister believes that the "Chonklit monkeys" live in everyone's bowels and are responsible for replacing the Halloween candy with their poop. This later proves to be true, as a pair of monkeys pop out of a zombie's stomach and discuss their plans for another poop takeover.
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach and The Comedian both play this role to an extent.
  • Sandman: Delirium of the Endless is one serious cuckoolander with bipolar tendencies. Nevertheless the members of the Endless family tend to embody not only what there names might suggest (dying, despairing, destroying) but also the opposite (being born, hoping, re-/creating). Delirium claims more than once to know things that even Destiny - the guy who has everything about the universe written down in his big book of all that was and will be - does not. Is she just boasting? Or is she - due to Endless's duality - the queen of the cuckoos and secret keeper of true enlightenment combined?
    • Destiny seems unconcerned about everything except the immediate future; While he knows what does happen next, Delirium might know everything that could happen.
    • Delirium is capable of becoming sane at will, but it causes her great pain to do so. This might suggest that the other half of her dual nature is in fact the sort of merciless, soul-crushing reality that makes people go crazy in the first place.
  • Deadpool is convinced that he's a fictional character in a comic book, but since he's insane other characters dismiss this along with his other delusional ramblings.


Fan Works


Film

  • Doc Brown's eccentric nature forces everyone but Marty to believe he's a crackpot (and in some ways - see the "mind-reading helmet" from 1955 - he really is), but he did invent the time machine...
  • In The Happening, the plants really were the culprit, just as the somewhat eccentric character claims in the beginning.
  • Mrs. Bickerman from Lake Placid.
  • In The Lion King, the Eccentric Mentor Rafiki convinces Simba to return home and take his rightful place as king by literally knocking some sense into him.
  • Star Wars: Sometimes Yoda is the Cloudcuckoolander, sometimes he's an Eccentric Mentor. Regardless, he's pretty much always right. When he's wrong, he goes into self-exile.
    • Really, most of his cuckoolander elements were there to test Luke. While he's not without a sense of humor, he's pretty serious during Luke's training.
  • When Dory from Finding Nemo attempts to communicate with a whale in his own language, she appears to just make a fool of herself. Turns out he caught every word and gives her and Marlin a lift to Sydney. Which eventually leads to this priceless moment with Marlin wishes to express his gratitude to the whale:

 Marlin: THAAAANKKK YOOOUUUUU SIRRRRRRR!

Dory: [Impressed] Wow. Wish I could speak whale.

  • In the film version of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, one of Luna Lovegood's weird magical creatures turns out to be real.
  • In the film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events, insanely paranoid Aunt Josephine turns out to be Properly Paranoid when every single ridiculous-sounding thing she worried about becomes an obstacle for the heroes to avoid.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? Blind Seer: "You will see a... a cooow... on the roof of a... cotton house, ha." Yeah right, a cow.
  • Nine. Nobody listened to 6. "GO BACK TO THE SOURCE!"
  • In Land of the Lost, Will suspects the alien is lying to them based on his policy of "never trust anyone wearing a tunic". The others dismiss his concerns, but later we find out that not only was he an imprisoned criminal but part of his punishment was to wear a tunic as a symbol of his distrust.
  • Grandpa Simpson in The Simpsons Movie--"Twisted tail...a thousand eyes...trapped forever... EEEPA! EEEPA!"
    • Lampshaded later on: "My god, the crazy old man in church was right!" By himself.
  • Justin in The Great New Wonderful. Although in his case, it would probably be more fitting to replace "Cuckoolander" with "outright dumbass".
  • In Scanners 2, when Peter Drak informs David Kellum of Commander Forrester's bad intentions, David dismisses it with "You're crazy!". Drak points out that while that may be true, it doesn't mean that he's wrong.
  • In R.E.D., Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich's character) is more then a little paranoid. Over the course of the movie, he thinks a helicopter if following them, that the CIA is tracing a phone call made on a pay phone, and that a woman at the airport is actually an assassin who is following them. None of the other characters believe him, but as it turns out, he's 100% correct, every time.
  • In the horror film Mother's Day, the eponymous character is the matriarch of a sadistic band of psychopaths, who is terrified of an imaginary monster named "Queenie". Little is made of this, until the main characters appear to have escaped danger...
  • Monty Python and The Holy Grail has Tim the Enchanter ranting about how dangerous a fluffy rabbit is, to the knights bemusement,at least until they try to get past it
  • Russell Casse from Independence Day:

 Reporter: Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. have been left in ruins.

Russel Casse: Good God! I've been sayin' it. I've been sayin' it for ten damn years. Ain't I been sayin' it, Miguel? Yeah, I've been sayin' it.

  • In Dark City, everyone believes Detective Eddie Walenski has been driven mad by the stress of his job, the horror of the serial killer case he'd been working on, and other pressures. Walenski, on the other hand, keeps saying that there is no case, his wife is not his wife, that things keep changing on a nightly basis, that everyone's past has been erased, and the only way out of the trap they're all in is to kill oneself. He is, of course, utterly and completely correct.
  • In the film Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson's character prints a newsletter called "Conspiracy Theory", filled with conspiracy theories about anything and everything under the sun. Everyone, possibly even including himself, thinks he's just another crackpot with an axe to grind. Then the assassins start chasing him.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, Marty is The Stoner, always talking about the "puppeteers" and how he isn't going to be controlled by them. He also plays the part of the Only Sane Man.


Literature

  • Catch-22 is the Trope Codifier. Yossarian finally figures out what Orr was telling him in the end.
  • Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter is a font of wisdom despite being a complete Cloudcuckoolander.
    • She's a Ravenclaw for a reason, and her answers to the Ravenclaw Tower's questions in Deathly Hallows were pretty smart.
    • She takes after her father Xenophilius, who is just as strange, but 100% correct about The Deathly Hallows.
    • Some of the stories from The Quibbler have a grain of truth to them. For example, Sirius may not be Stubby Boardman, but it does get right that he was an innocent man falsely imprisoned.
    • Also from Harry Potter, Sybill Trelawney is an amiable lunatic who everyone thinks is a complete fraud... until she issues two True Prophecies that affect the plot of the entire series. She actually predicts a lot of minor stuff, but she seems so much of a fraud that nobody seems to take her words for any merit; probably because she has the habit of hopelessly misinterpreting the actual omens she sees. It's heavily implied that she has the gift, passed down from previous generations, but just can't control it, making her most genuine prophecies in a trance-like state that she doesn't remember afterward.
      • Remember when she kept mentioning that big black dog that appeared as an omen to Harry? She (and some others) interpreted it as a Grim, but then the dog's true identity came out...
      • She does get a few right, but that's because she makes her prophecies deliberately vague, such as applying to just about anything that might go wrong on a certain date. Go back to the first class Harry has with her and look at all the minor prophecies she makes; for every one that in some way comes true, there's another that was a dud. The ones that get remembered are the successes.
      • It can't help that one of the few times she's right even she doesn't believe it: in HBP when she's reading cards and draws the Knave of Spades "a dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner" just as she's standing next to Harry's hiding spot, only to decide that couldn't possibly be right. She might actually have some talent [2] but is simply unable to differentiate it from her desperate guessing since she wants it so much.
      • This troper's interpretation of the "dark young man" quote above is that it was a reference not to Harry, but to Malfoy's attitude when asked questions two chapters later by Dumbledore about the former's year of activities, thus making the above moment not quite so much of a facepalm.
      • Another one she gets right is the tarot card of the "Lightning Struck Tower"- a card which figuratively means great calamity and/or change. And then there's the chapter by the tarot card's name, where a green bolt of "lightning" hits Dumbledore at the top of a tower and kills him. Yeah, that certainly changed things, and not for the better.
      • Pretty much the only reason for Trelawney having the teaching job, she has the 'gift' but its only shown up once or twice and she has to fake them the rest of the time, also the job is so she's protected in case she does have a genuine vision again.
      • Also, Ron Weasley's prediction in her class - that Harry will suffer but will be happy about it - sounds very much like what happens in the end, too.
      • Finally, in book 3 Trelawney predicts that Harry will DIE. ...And she is absolutely right - she's just four books early.
    • A meta example. Tara Gilespie, author of the notoriously bad fanfic My Immortal correctly guessed the final plot twist ( In her words "nd den hairy wil have 2 kommit suicide so voldimort will die koz he will rilly be a horcrox!!!!!". The only real innacuracies are the Voldemort did not die immediately, but merely became vulnerable, and that Harry got better.) in great detail.
  • Played with in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Ford Prefect appears to be a Cloudcuckoolander to the humans he interacts with - he spends a considerable amount of his life drunk, he tends to insult astrophysicists when he is, and he often lapses into distracted moods wherein he stares at the sky and claims he is looking for green flying saucers. However, when he flippantly informs everyone at a local bar that the world is about to end, he's absolutely right. Somewhat averted in that Ford Prefect is not what he seems - he's simply an alien trapped on Earth and desperate for a ride off the planet, so he has advanced technology and actually knows more about what's going on than anybody else around him.
  • In A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge, there's a galaxy-spanning UseNet-like network where various aliens discuss the book's crisis, from a number of different perspectives. One particular alien, "Twirlip of the Mists", is talking through several layers of auto-translation software on an extremely low-bandwidth connection, so most of what it says sounds rather bizarre. It's pretty much all exactly right, though, including such apparent nonsense as "hexapodia is the key insight".
  • Despite often engendering befuddlement and bewilderment in many he comes into contact with, Psmith almost never lets anything ruffle him, since almost any obstacle that comes his way he can eventually overcome. Even his most outlandish schemes seem to end as he intended.
  • Zeghorz from Will of the Empress seems crazy to start with, but it turns out that he actually hears and sees things on the wind, making all of his babbling completely true.
  • Donny DaCosta from Troubleshooters might be crazy and spot aliens all over the neighborhood, but when one of them turns out to be a terrorist...
  • The prisoner Numbers from Eoin Colfer's Airman only babbles apparently incoherent numbers, which are crucial for the plot development.
  • In Catching Fire, it turns out that Wiress's mumbling of "Tick tock" isn't just insane talk. She's actually figured out the configuration and theme of the arena and is trying to tell the other contestants. Katniss figures this out later on. "Tick tock, tick tock, the arena's a clock."
  • In The Faerie Wars Chronicles, Alan Fogarty is a crazy old man who believes that faeries inhabit his garden, that Little Green Men in flying saucers are kidnapping people all the time, and that the FBI is after him. The hero of the story humors him... until he discovers a fairy in Fogarty's garden. Later, it's revealed that demons from a Hell Dimension (who look oddly similar to the zeitgeist little green man) do in fact kidnap people regularly from their stereotypical flying saucer airships. Also that he used to be a bank robber, so his paranoia about the FBI is at least somewhat justified.
  • When Shin-tsu tells you he played cards with Santa, you better believe him.
  • Robbie, William Marsh's loony younger brother, gives Lewis vital clues as to what the hell is happening in London. However, it takes some time for Lewis to realise, since Robbie has wrapped what happened to him into a deranged fantasy.

  Robbie: 'They sounded like angels speaking in my head. They spoke about the tide. Oceans singing black songs and requiems for fallen God and empires. The dark tide shall rise, rise through the houses of the dead.'

  • G. K. Chesterton loved this trope, employing it in such works as Manalive and Napoleon of Notting Hill
    • Heck, Chesterton himself sometimes comes across as this due to his rather unique way of expressing himself.
  • Lysa Tully is crazy ten times over, but her warning to Catelyn about the Lannisters' treachery doesn't seem to be far off, only she lied. The murder of her husband, which was what supposedly tipped her off to the Lannisters, was perpetrated by her.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey runs on this trope and Obfuscating Stupidity.


Live-Action TV

  • The Log Lady from Twin Peaks issued dire warnings that turned out to be completely accurate.
  • River from Firefly, although in her case, she's messed up because she was kidnapped by the government and tortured in order to refine her latent psychic powers.
    • A specific and very clear example:

 River: They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see sky, and they remember what they are.

Mal: Is it bad that what she said made perfect sense to me?

  • The entire gang from The Office struggle to remember the security guard's name, only certain that it begins with the letter E. "Edgar?" "Elliot"? "Edward"? Resident Cuckoolander Creed interjects that his name is Hank, and Creed, of course, is correct.
  • Spencer from Burn Notice. He's schizophrenic and sees messages encoded in beams of light, but he's also smart enough to see the pattern between the actions of his boss and the deaths of American spies. On the other hand, the conclusion he draws from this is that his boss is a space alien...
  • The Hybrids in Battlestar Galactica. They're prophets, but most of them, most of the time, are so cryptic and vague that except for one instance no one has any idea what they mean (the phrase "harbinger of death" kind of stands out). But in hindsight, everything they said was accurate or at least relevant.
    • Well, when a comatose character grabs someone, looks in their eyes, and smiles, you better bet what they say next is gonna be important.

 "You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead humanity to its end."

  • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, visiting Cuckoolander Bridge explains how he became the Red Ranger since we last saw him in Power Rangers SPD. Only Dax, the resident Cuckoolander, thinks the explanation makes any sense, but those who watched SPD know that Bridge's ramblings are entirely accurate:

 Well, long story short, our mentor, who's uh, well, who's a dog, got promoted to head of SPD which used to be run by a bird, but he retired and went down to Miami and then Sky got promoted and then I got promoted, and that's why I'm the Red Ranger! Or rather, will be.

    • There's also his initial warnings about A-Squad in the beginning of SPD, or his complete avoidance of Dru in "Idol", which were brushed off at the time as Bridge being weird. Guess which characters had a Face Heel Turn later, and his dreams in "Idol" and "Robotpalooza." Considered nuts and irrelevent at the time, later proven thematically relevent and literally accurate, respectively. Bridge is a master of this.
  • Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer remained Dangerously Genre Savvy even when he went crazy after getting his soul back and getting Mind Screwed by the Big Bad of season 7, so much so that, in the episode "Same Time, Same Place", he's the only one to figure out that Willow can't see or interact with the rest of the Scoobies and vice-versa. Of course that was only because he was interacting with them at the same time, and noticed they couldn't see or interact with each other.
    • Or Drusilla, who babbles insanely, thinks she can see the stars right through her ceiling, and worries about her dolly Miss Edith. All of her ramblings turn out to be psychic predictions, meaning she's a Mad Oracle.
  • Babylon 5: Nobody ever listens to poor Zathras, although they probably should've.
    • Or G'Kar for that matter. Definitely had his cuckoolander moments.. and almost everyone ignored his warnings about the return of certain eldritch abominations until it was nearly too late. The ones who didn't ignore him were already planning for it and feigned ignorance while letting his world burn to maintain the ruse.
    • Garibaldi tells a war story about this trope.
  • Tyler from My Hero (TV), a Talkative Loon and Conspiracy Theorist who is nonetheless the only person to recognise George Sunday as Thermoman.
  • A Taxi episode shows Jim to have an ability to predict things. Alex, rational thinker that he is, dismisses it, but Louie, who considers Jim a total bum, believes that's his one talent, and warns Alex to heed an ominous premonition where he'll be mistaken for a woman and will dance the can-can in a green sweater.
  • One of the Doctor's defining character traits. He is definitely a mad man with a box... and he knows exactly what he's doing.
    • Dalek Caan flies unprotected into the Time Vortex to bring back Davros. He emerges from this experience completely insane, but with the gift of prophesy. The Supreme Dalek prefers to ignore his ravings, but Davros knows he speaks the truth. Sure enough, he predicts that one of the Doctor's companions will soon die, and Donna essentially does because the Doctor must wipe her mind. It also turns out that some of the episode's events happened because Caan was manipulating them, as part of a Xantos Gambit to destroy the Daleks.
  • This is almost a Running Gag on The X-Files. No matter what crazy theory Mulder comes up with to explain aspects of a case or what logical theory Scully comes up with, Mulder is always right. Always.
    • It's actually more interesting than that. One could say Mulder's special talent is sniffing out the cases which are caused by supernatural (or just plain alien) happenings, but his interpretations or theories of what happened only turn out right in about 50% of the cases.
  • An episode of the The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon crazily demand that Penny get rid of a chair she found on the street and paid a homeless man to carry up the stairs because he's convinced it must be filthy. He gets Amy to talk to her, but she confesses to Penny that even she thinks he's paranoid. Then they realize there's a rat in the chair.
  • In Til Death, there's a version with some Unfortunate Implications where white guy Eddie sticks up for his Black Best Friend Kenny when he claims he's been racially discriminated against, but Eddie is soon convinced Kenny is just overreacting when he hears the other side and the remainder of the episode is about him trying to convince his friend he's oversensitive. In the tag, however, it's revealed that it was racism after all.
  • An early episode of Lost involves Claire freaking out because she thinks someone's trying to abduct her and hurt her unborn baby. She's had a bunch of weird nightmares she's convinced are true, despite not being plausible even by Lost standards, and Jack thinks this is just another delusion. Turns out, there are other people on the island and one has been abducting her for medical tests.


Tabletop Games

  • In the Vampire: The Masquerade, the Malkavian clan are like this, as they were all insane in one way or another, but tended to have a hidden insight that was frequently ignored by the more sane clans due to their weirdness.


Theatre

  • A Very Potter Musical, but anything more would be telling.
  • Rosencrantz of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The general rule is that Guildenstern is the smarter of the two but talks in circles, while Rosencrantz is a bit dim but usually hits the nail on the head (even if he doesn't know it himself).


Videogames

  • Shegor in Psychonauts says her turtle, Mr. Pokeylope, "always tells me what to do." Right when you assume she's projecting on the poor little thing, the turtle starts talking. In a deep, sexy voice, it outlines a plan you must follow to advance further in the game.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, Rosa the Thin-Blood will frequently descend into long and nonsensical speeches about such things as "The Crimson Ship" or "The Voice In The Darkness, Boss." And, of course, as the game slowly progresses, Rosa's prophesies start to come true.
    • A Malkavian protagonist will have quite a few moments like this, too, often casually dropping atomic-bomb scale foreshadowing and revelations into dialog. It looks like a Malkavian PC is just a Talkative Loon, but almost everything he says has a hidden or double meaning. Emphasis on almost, granted...
    • In both cases, however, neither of the characters actually understand what they are talking about: They merely see glimpses of things without the necessary context to comprehend it. An example is when the Malkavian encounters Ming Xiao and refers to her as "The Mistress of Mirrors", which angers her. She is a shapeshifter (thus 'reflecting' others), but the Malkavian doesn't know that.
    • One of The Deb of Night's regular listeners is Gomez, a loony Conspiracy Theorist that rambles utter nonsense about traffic lights with cameras monitored by The Illuminati and the like. However, in his final call to the show, he not only mentions the secret vampire society but goes on to pretty much summarize the entire plot of the game.
  • Star Control: Virtually everything the Pkunk say sounds like lunatic ramblings. Ignore them when they tell you where they got their information ... but don't ignore the information itself.
  • Early in Bioware's Mass Effect we get Dr. Manuel, a single-appearance quack that raves incomprehensibly about an end of the world scenario and is treated as insane by his companion. WAY later on in the game the team learns that his doomsday rants are more accurate than you originally thought.
    • Not quite single-appearance. In the sequel Shephard investigates a series of planets with the Hammerhead hovertank. These planets detail Dr. Manuel's search for evidence of Reaper invasion including text documents showing his growing paranoia over whether his associate had become indoctrinated (Dr. Manuel decides to make sure and kills him) and leads the player to a huge floating Prothean sphere artifact that shrinks down to the size of a bowling ball when touched. Shephard then Uses it as a centerpiece.
    • One Volus billionaire claimed that he had a vision of "machine devils" and went to great experience trying to excavate a world where he believed tombs of a special race capable of defeating them were buried. While the second part never panned out, his claims were noted as being not so outlandish in the third game.
  • In Throne of Bhaal, the mad general Gromnir basically tells you Amelissan's evil plot early on, but nobody takes him seriously because they assume he's just raving. (He is, but being paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really after you.)
  • Arguably Roadkill in Twisted Metal 2 where he was called crazy for believing that the whole thing was All Just a Dream but in the end of the story Calypso believed him, granted his wish, and he woke up. Or did he?
  • In Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal, in the first vid-comic, Captain Qwark mentions fighting robotic pirate ghosts, to the dismay of the vid-comic narrator. Come Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty some years later, and what do you, as Ratchet, fight? That's right: robotic pirate ghosts.
  • The old bag-lady you meet near the beginning of Alan Wake seems to be just another crazy old tramp, ranting about the importance of changing light-bulbs and whatnot... but considering the nature of the game, it should come as no surprise that she knows EXACTLY what's going on, and EXACTLY how to fight it. In fact, she's the ONLY one who knows, due to being excluded from a bout of reality-alteration that made everybody else in the world forget. With her true title as 'The Lady of The Light' revealed, she ends up playing a huge role in the last half of the game. She's still a tad crazy, though.
  • Fallout: New Vegas gives us No-Bark Noonan. After taking too many radscorpion stings to the head, he's taken to coming up with bizarre theories. There's also a sidequest to help a religion of ghouls make it to the moon. Afterwards, No-Bark can be heard on the radio claiming that the strange occurrence near the religion's HQ was "Religious ghouls, with rockets, lookin' for a land to call their own."
    • No-Bark is not exactly right on a couple other accounts, but still give pertinent information: He describes a monster (invisible shimmer, mad ranting, minigun - ie, a Nightkin) that had been slaughtering the livestock, but thinks it's a Chupacabra. He also spies the Legion slavers entering the hotel reception room to talk with Jeannie May Crawford on the night that Boone's wife was kidnapped, but thinks it's mole people. Both cases he's dead wrong, but both cases lead you to solve the associated problem.
      • How "wrong" he is involves how deeply you look into the meaning of what he says. For example, the Chupacabra is believed to feed by sucking the blood of animals and killing them, and it's name is translates roughly as "goat sucker." It's not a far stretch to look at the general description of the quest, which is that during the night some of the livestock are killed by a means that leaves lots of small holes in them by something nobody has been able to see. While it isn't exactly what No-Bark thinks, it does nearly fit the cryptid to the T. If you also look up the meaning of mole in context, you'd see that it's fairly accurate as well - her behavior does suit the definition, although she is more of a slaver than a spy.
      • Benny seemed to take Noonan seriously as well. The one attribute everyone seems to remember about Benny on the road is that he has a cold, impersonal look in his eyes in spite of his attempts to appear affable by using 50s lingo and wearing a nice suit. Noonan, who thought his suit was to disguise himself from aliens, tells Benny that his camouflage does work, but that he needs the same camouflage on his face.
    • He's actually a slight subversion. Initially, he doesn't initially believe ghouls are involved with that quest. He claims it is commie ghosts that want to paint Lenin's face on the moon. He doesn't start claiming that it was religious ghouls until after the quest. Presumably, he could have heard it from the Courier at that point.
  • In Disgaea Hour of Darkness, Flonne is an air-headed angel who lectures the party on love. In the best ending, she is completely correct.
  • Rena of Shira Oka Second Chances does seem to be a bit of a loon with her constant talks about spirits and ghosts but she really does have these powers and that her magic potions really work.
  • Steins;Gate uses this as its primary plot element. Protagonist and self-proclaimed Mad Scientist Kyouma Hououin (birth name: Okabe Rintarou) sees conspiracy in everything, blaming even minor, everyday inconveniences on the shadowy machinations of the world-spanning Organization, but since he's pretty much harmless, those around him just let it slide. So when he starts raving that SERN has been researching Time Travel with the ultimate goal of enslaving humanity, and that his microwave is the only thing that can stop them...
  • In Jabless Adventure, Squiddy mentions meeting the Princess. Jables replies that he didn't know there was a princess in this game. Squiddy admits that neither did he. Nevertheless, after you defeat the final boss, the princess shows up out of nowhere for you to rescue.
  • In Portal 2, the oracle turret's rambling all have relevance. "Her name is Caroline" indeed.
  • In several The Elder Scrolls games, the book Chance's Folly tells the story of a thief by the moniker of Chance who brings a 'crazy' Breton named Ulstyr Moresby along on a treasure run, and learns that his seemingly insane "Yes, yes, yes, prop a rock, hot steel. Chitin. Walls beyond doors. Fifty-three. Two months and back." actually referred to breaking into the tomb, avoiding traps, wearing the proper kind of armor, one-way locking stone doors, the number of gold bags within, and waiting two months for poor Chance to die off in order to return and take the gold himself.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, Anghel Higure is a bird who's...not quite right in the head. Just for starters, he's convinced that he's a Fallen Angel and the heroine is his reincarnated love Edel Blau, regularly crashes through glass windows and loudly proclaims that he can sense demon spores that must be eradicated at once, and treats even the most pedestrian decisions as life-and-death matters. However, in the Bad Boys Love route, it turns out that at least one part of his ramblings actually has validity to it: the "demon spores" he keeps on ranting about and senses the most strongly in the infirmary were most likely the Charon virus Doctor Shuu was preparing to infect Ryouta with in the same infirmary, which indicates that he can actually sense diseases/viruses that no one else can.
  • In Alpha Protocol, many of the conspiracy theories that Steven Heck rambles on about actually happened in Real Life (Operation Acoustic Kitty), could be argued to have actually happened (his theory about the collusion between the Federal Reserve and private banks to screw over the American people), or can be revealed to have actually happened in the game (his theory about the government screwing with commodity prices in order to manipulate people's minds; if you ask Mina to dig up intel on Parker, she will send you an email noting that that was the subject of his doctoral dissertation).


Webcomics

  • Order of the Stick: Fight, fight, fight, fight the urge to say "I told you so." Elan's good for this thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of bardic tradition (and little else).
  • Yahtzee Takes On the World: World leaders consult a magic eight-ball to make decisions. When a main character asks a ball about Yahtzee's odd behavior, it answers "He's the Anti-Yahtzee, dumbass."
  • In Megatokyo, Largo is treated as a Cloudcuckoolander by most of the class, but Tokyo IS a Planet Eris, and personal relationships DO lead to more trouble than would be expected. Early on, he was telling Piro and Erika about his encounter with a horde of zombies, and nobody took him seriously, including most of the audience, who recognize that Largo is way too obsessed with video games, and when he says he was being chased by zombies, it was probably just a crowd of goths or fanboys he had managed to upset. Years later (or a week in webcomic time), the zombies return, and it's explicitly shown that they're flesh-eating monsters from another dimension. Piro and Erika still don't believe him.
  • Done in Schlock Mercenary, by Lieutenant "Pi" Pibald (who is "every bit as irrational as his namesake"), who correctly guessed the true nature of Credomar.
    • Schlock also throws around really wild guesses, some of which hit precisely.
  • Something like this happens in Sluggy Freelance during the Boys' Night Out arc. Early on, a vampire hunter is introduced, and even though one of the oldest recurring characters really is a vampire, this hunter is initially portrayed as being humorously and/or dangerously out of touch with reality, to the point that you might expect him to kill innocent people, and the fact that vampires do exist seems to be a mere coincidence. Fast-forward to the end of the arc, where this crazy hunter has been overpowered and kidnapped by legitimately evil vampires, and he reveals himself to be an unkillable utter badass.
  • In one chapter of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, two guys are in a graveyard at night, roleplaying Dungeons and Dragons. By sheer coincidence, zombies burst out of the ground at the exact moment one of them casts a spell to raise the dead. Incredulous, he cries out "Jack Chick was right!" as they flee.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court Jack stops eating in an attempt to avoid Court staff, on the belief that they track people through their food. Jones later confirms that this is how they usually do it.
  • In Blip, K becomes concerned over a flash of light outside the airplane window, fearing that it's from an alien spacecraft. Two pages later, we see that the plane nearly did collide with a UFO.
  • Blair from Eerie Cuties: the little pervert proposed what by coincidence was a good idea in the given situation.
  • In Drowtales, no one believes Kiel'ndia when she suggests that her friend Naal'suul might not have been completely taken over after releasing her demonic seed and that she might still retain some of her old personality but a few chapters later it's proven that she was exactly right.
  • In Vinigortonio Jose constantly speculates that things that obviously exist are illusions much to Vinicius and Igor's annoyance. And he turns out to be right about the bomb in the third comic.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic had this with Lewie in the strip named "What did that Bonehead say?".
  • In Dave & Vyacheslav, Dave the necromancer happens to encounter the ridiculous Church of Jesus Christ, Astronaut, which holds that Jesus "stands astride a satellite, gazing down upon us with unblinking eyes, twenty-four hours a day." As it turns out, however, due to a botched resurrection attempt by a group of necromancers in the year 1000, Jesus is now a zombie on the moon.


Web Originals

  • One chapter of Broken Saints features eccentric egg farmer Masayuki, who tells a silly story to Kamimura (one of our heroes), and is hardly seen again. As it turns out, the moral of that story is the central message of the whole series.
  • In one of the endings to the Atop the Fourth Wall Silent Hill: Dying Inside review, Linkara is transported into the Cloudcuckooland that is Phantasmagoria. When he speaks to Pollo, Pollo responds with "His soul is blue. His heart is steel." It's a reference to Mechakara and a clue to his identity -- specifically, that he's actually an alternate universe Pollo.
  • In We Are Our Avatars, Kari points out that, technically, it was Arcie's fault for letting the other Legendaries in the Pokemon world grow up to be so dysfunctional, Arcie agrees.
  • In Red vs. Blue, a lot of the seemingly crazy things Caboose says actually turn out to be right (at least to some degree) in the long run. For example, in the first season he thought that Church was "a gay robot", and six years later comes the big Reveal that Church was in fact an A.I. rather than a human. After a time travel episode, he also notes that "Time... line? Time isn't made out of lines. It is made out of circles. That is why clocks are round." which actually fits with the eventual series theme of events going in circles.


Western Animation

  • In G2G: Got to Go, Maggie's new age spiritualist friend Rainbow is most often right when people ignore her ramblings of universal imbalance and the like.
  • American Dad - While in the middle of a drug-fuelled Mushroom Samba, Roger refused to let go of a big bag of cat food, afraid that he was becoming immune to gravity. At the end of the episode, he drops the bag and floats off.
  • Kiina from Bionicle strongly believed in life on other planets, and wanted to leave her Crapsack World Desert Punk planet and visit them. Naturally, everyone thought she was nuts until Mata Nui showed up.
  • In South Park : The Imaginationland Trilogy, Mel Gibson, over the course of a masochistic rant, suggests to government agents that they look over the individuals in a terrorist video, looking for someone who 'doesn't fit,' which turns out to be the hint they needed. Different from most of these cases because the agents instantly recognize it as such. "Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but the son of a bitch knows story structure!"
    • In "Reverse Cowgirl" Butters admits he thought the correct way to sit on the toilet was to sit inward so you can rest your reading material on the top and reach the handle without having to look down. Near the end John Harrington's ghost confirms that this is how he intended it to be used.
  • In Stroker and Hoop, Stroker is hired by a very rich man with a tinfoil hat claiming that Ron Howard was psychicly talking to him. He wanted Stroker to investigate. Stroker accepts the money, and walks off. Then Ron Howard starts contacting Stroker with his psychic powers, which Stroker blocks out with a hot dog wrapper.
  • On The Simpsons, when Springfield was threatened by a comet, the only one not panicking is Homer. He's convinced it will burn up in the atmosphere and be "no bigger than a Chihuahua's head." At the end of the episode, that's exactly what happens (it even lands next to a Chihuahua for comparison).

 Bart: "And the weirdest thing of all is that dad was right all along."

Homer: "I know kids, I'm scared too!" (Family hugs, terrified)

    • Bart, when his ADD medicine caused him to become paranoid. He became convinced that Major League Baseball was using a satellite to spy on the populace, and stole a tank to shoot it down. Mark McGwire, fresh off of his pursuit of the home run record, immediately showed up to distract everybody's attention.
    • When the family put their valuables in a fire-proof safe, we see Bart's Krusty doll falling on Lisa's Malibu Stacy convertible turning its headlights on lighting Homer's cologne bottle causing it to boil and explode. When they see the safe smoking, Homer guesses exactly everything we've seen, but Lisa denies it as ridiculous.
  • In Alvin and The Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, Alvin makes various crazy claims about people in the neighborhood being monsters that get him in trouble. Most of them are wrong, which his brothers ridicule him for, and use them as evidence that his claims their new neighbor is the wolfman are wrong. Except that he actually IS the wolfman...
  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Swarm of the Century," only Pinkie Pie recognizes the adorable bug Fluttershy found in the forest as a troublesome (and rapidly multiplying) Parasprite, but her attempts to gather up the needed equipment to get rid of the swarm is seen by her friends as just her being her random self, and they gripe that she isn't helping them round up and dispose of the bugs. That changes when she managed to lead the swarm out of Ponyville.
  • Happens in Invader Zim when Dib tries to escape the school nurse who declares martial law during a lice outbreak and rambles about a giant queen louse being responsible. She's right.
    • Dib himself is perceived as a Cloudcuckoolander by... pretty much everyone except Zim and Gaz. The entire series is about Dib actually being right about Zim being an alien when no one else believes it.
  • One episode of Kid Notorious starts with an Almost-Dead Guy ranting about a Nazi conspiracy to wipe out all the Jews in Hollywood. Everyone else remembers last week, when he thought Bill Cosby wanted to drain his blood, but Evans does some digging, and, well, you can guess.
  • Dave the skunk from Scaredy Squirrel is this trope at times, especially in the robot hammock episode.
  • In the Cat Dog movie, there's a running gag where Dog explains several ridiculous theories detailing how they became separated from their parents, ranging from them being abducted by mole people to getting amnesia and consequentially believing they were country western singers. When they finally find their adoptive parents, these wacky theories turn out to be true.
  • Legion Of Super-Heroes has a variant--Brainiac-5 is malfunctioning and as a result, babbling incoherently. During his rants, however, he starts to reveal information about Superman that he himself doesn't know yet. Of course, neither Clark nor Timber Wolf understand what he means.

 Brainy: Superman, Green Rocks kill the Last Son! There's red, blue, gold, purple, did you know that?

  • Crocker's theories in Fairly Oddparents are spot on, and he's the only person outside of other kids with fairies to recognize it. He usually manages to correctly predict what Timmy has wished for, even if he went from a completely absurd starting point to reach that conclusion, and some of his anti-fairy gear actually works, somehow.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) Thundera's Catfolk Rebel Prince Lion-O suffers from a longstanding reputation as a Cloudcuckoolander due to a stubborn, romantic belief in mythical "technology," and a very public instance of Zombie Advocacy where he defended and pardoned some enemy Lizard Folk scavengers. When a Lizard army invades with a Superweapon Surprise of laser rifles and Walking Tanks to destroy Lion-O's medieval kingdom, even he can't bring himself to gloat. He gets to feel a little pride, however, when a Lizard he pardoned shows up to repay him, slipping the key to Lion-O's prison cell in some soup.
  • In the Fish Hooks episode "Just One of the Fish" Milo was the only one who knew Hank the Boy wasn't Bea disguised as a boy.


Real Life

  • Happens fairly often in mathematics and science. Quantum mechanics is surely Cloud Cuckoo Land material, and it's been proven correct at every test. Relativity is similar, if a LITTLE easier to understand.
    • Dr. Michio Kaku famously said "It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct."
    • Neils Bohr: "If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet."
  • Edgar Allan Poe's 1848 prose poem "Eureka," where, falling into dementia and having professed skepticism about mathematics as a tool of scientific discovery, he uses his own "ratiocination" (read: free association with elements of proto-logic) to decide that the universe had arisen from a singularity, that there were celestial objects so dense that light cannot escape, that many of what were then thought to be nebulae were in fact galaxies as large as the Milky Way itself, that the solar system was at the edge of the Milky Way rather than the center, and that Newtonian gravity was a special case of a broader property of matter. Of course, there are also many, many errors, but it's still pretty impressive for a document that reads like a nineteenth-century Time Cube.

Notes

  1. Well, once if the clock shows AM and PM. Or is a 24-Hour clock. Or not at all if it's digital.
  2. aside from the two Voldemort related prophecies she doesn't remember
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