Beyond the Impossible

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! That's how Team Gurren rolls!"

"That's impossible!"

No, no it's not. This trope is for actions and events that defy the limits set within a series. In Real Life they just wouldn't work, but the rules of fiction are somewhat looser, i.e. whatever the author laid down when constructing it. Someone who, for instance, gains the power to fly when no one else can is not this trope; that is Applied Phlebotinum or Functional Magic or some other trope defining the character's power. Like Reality Unless Otherwise Noted is a good thing to keep in mind when adding examples; aspects of the fictional reality not covered by the author's rules are covered by real life. For the example to count it has to be impossible according to the internal logic of the story.

In short, whenever someone 'touches the untouchable' or 'breaks the unbreakable',[1] they are going Beyond the Impossible.

This could done by the Crazy Awesome, who ignores the rules, or the Idiot Hero, who doesn't know them. Thus, going beyond the impossible can be Achievements in Ignorance. Just as easily, however, it could be a calculated endeavor by Awesome By Analysis trying to subvert the rules. These are just examples, there could be others.

Distinct from Up to Eleven in two respects. 1.) there is no 'topping' involved; topping the previous maximum is not necessarily the motivation. 2.) The action is literally beyond the impossible instead of being one step higher than the current best. For example: Alice punches Bob and he steps back from the force. Up to Eleven, Alice punches Bob across the room. Beyond the Impossible, Alice punches Bob backwards in time. The former is just a stronger punch while the later has nothing to do with strength.

If you're looking for the old definition, 'a series tops itself over and over', go to Serial Escalation. Do not confused with Rule of Cool (where the Willing Suspension of Disbelief is stretched because the example is cool) Crazy Awesome (which is characters that are effective because of their mudane craziness, though they may be the only ones crazy enough to try) or Badass which is Rule of Cool personified. This trope is about events not the characters involved in them. For someone who fails at something in a extreme way, see Epic Fail.

Compare the various Screw This Index, I Have Tropes, which are more about breaking social rules than physical ones.

Contrast Magic A Is Magic A, when even supernatural elements have rules that cannot be broken.

Named for one translation (of many) of one of Kamina's (many, many) Catch Phrases from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Note: If you came to this page because this trope's name was used for exaggeration or 'awesome' or something that sounded like Up to Eleven, it is incorrect. Please remove it and help speed up the wick clean up.

No real life examples, please; obviously, anything that happens in real life is not impossible (or beyond that).

Examples of Beyond the Impossible are listed on these subpages: