Too-Perfect Theory is a notion that a trick can be "too" perfect and thus lead the audience directly to the method or too a wrong solution which gives the magician no credit. The theory was first published by Rick Johnsson in Hierophant in 1970, expanding on an idea attributed to Dai Vernon.
The Theory suggests that magicians should consciously construct their routines to lead the audience away from the actual method by allowing room for "red herrings." Also, since spectators will try to settle upon some solution (right or wrong), whenever possible, the magicians should lead them down a path where they receive the credit for the effect.
The "Too-Perfect Theory" article was republished in Genii 2001 August along with numerous articles debating the topic.
- Hierophant 5&6 - 1970
- Genii 2001 August