History Main / ConvictionByContradiction

16th Aug '16 9:16:32 PM DanaO
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has gotten into this trope as of 2016 with players taking the role of police detectives solving the day's latest in the series of "egg murders" taking place at mansions everywhere. Being unable to search for clues or evidence (although some of the ''suspects'' are doing so), or indeed take any action other than to wander the scene and interrogate suspects, this follows naturally. [[spoiler: However, it's an ''inversion'': most suspects are such pathological liars that if one both fingers a culprit and also correctly tells you even one verifiable fact about the scene or others you can make an arrest. Conviction By Non-Contradiction.]]
19th Jul '16 11:57:18 PM JacksonJin
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''VideoGame/{{Contradiction}}'' this, along with PullTheThread, makes up the main interaction with the game. Notably, the player cannot use the testimonies of two separate people to contradict one, the other, or both. All lines of questioning are kept separate, and thus those question can only ever be called out as a liar by giving different responses. As such, the game does rather well at avoiding any one contradiction resolving the case, [[spoiler:with the closest the player character gets to jumping ahead of their evidence being threatening a full-scale investigation against a properly suspicious organization. Even the final contradiction doesn't completely nail the culprit down, with the reveal and arrest coming from an almost off-hand confession.]]

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Contradiction}}'' this, along with PullTheThread, makes up the main interaction with the game. Notably, the player cannot use the testimonies of two separate people to contradict one, the other, or both. All lines of questioning are kept separate, and thus those question questioned can only ever be called out as a liar by for giving different responses.self-contradicting testimony. As such, the game does rather well at avoiding any one contradiction resolving the case, [[spoiler:with the closest the player character gets to jumping ahead of their evidence being threatening a full-scale investigation against a properly suspicious organization. Even the final contradiction doesn't completely nail the culprit down, with the reveal and arrest coming from an almost off-hand confession.]]
19th Jul '16 11:55:27 PM JacksonJin
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''VideoGame/{{Contradiction}}'' this is the whole point of the game.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Contradiction}}'' this is this, along with PullTheThread, makes up the whole point of main interaction with the game.game. Notably, the player cannot use the testimonies of two separate people to contradict one, the other, or both. All lines of questioning are kept separate, and thus those question can only ever be called out as a liar by giving different responses. As such, the game does rather well at avoiding any one contradiction resolving the case, [[spoiler:with the closest the player character gets to jumping ahead of their evidence being threatening a full-scale investigation against a properly suspicious organization. Even the final contradiction doesn't completely nail the culprit down, with the reveal and arrest coming from an almost off-hand confession.]]
17th Jul '16 8:23:34 AM TheNicestGuy
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Advertising]]
* In the 1960s, Franchise/CharlieChan played with this trope to sell Volkswagens. In a TV ad, Charlie and company are gathered around the hospital bed of the perp he just fingered, and he explains how the seemingly obvious alibi—the man has his left leg and right arm in casts, therefore he could not have driven the stolen car—is no good after all. ''This'' Volkswagen has a [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece new-fangled]] "automatic stick-shift transmission", so there was no need to work the clutch and shifter.
-->'''Charlie:''' In conclusion, only thing evil man like Motley really need was far better alibi.
[[/folder]]
24th Jun '16 6:03:39 AM storyyeller
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Subverted in ''Series/VeronicaMars'': when a student accuses a popular teacher of sexual assault, Veronica quickly finds several contradictions in her story. Turns out the student actually was telling the truth except that she had changed the identity of the victim in order to protect her.
24th Jun '16 5:51:35 AM storyyeller
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A blind man is the only witness to a crime; a perp fleeing the scene with a bag of cash crashed into him, and it is thought that the man might have felt his face well enough to identify him if he felt it again. Turns out the blind man is not blind, and was in on it the whole time: he swapped bags with the thief when they collided. How does Encyclopedia prove this? When he visited the man in his hotel room, the lights were on and there was a newspaper on the table despite the man claiming he hadn't had visitors in "a long time". Because no hotel in the world offers complementary newspapers that they put in your room. And they ''never'' have the lights on when you arrive. And a blind man would totally notice if they were on, and turn them off. This is a lesser example, however. Once Brown figures out what happened getting a doctor to confirm that the guy can see shouldn't be too hard.

to:

* A blind man is the only witness to a crime; a perp fleeing the scene with a bag of cash crashed into him, and it is thought that the man might have felt his face well enough to identify him if he felt it again. Turns out the blind man is not blind, and was in on it the whole time: he swapped bags with the thief when they collided. How does Encyclopedia prove this? When he visited the man in his hotel room, the lights were on and there was a newspaper on the table despite the man claiming he hadn't had visitors in "a long time". Because no hotel in the world offers complementary newspapers that they put in your room. And they ''never'' have the lights on when you arrive. And a blind man would totally notice if they were on, and turn them off. This is a lesser example, however. Once Brown figures out what happened getting a doctor to confirm that the guy can see shouldn't be too hard. Overlaps with ConvictionByCounterfactualClue since most blind people aren't completely blind and it is entirely possible for one to leave the lights on and read a newspaper.
19th Jun '16 10:43:23 AM Ebrbfureh
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A man tries to claim insurance money on a painting he's reported stolen. His story goes that while shaving after a shower, he saw reflected in the mirror a man stalking away with the painting. Encyclopedia explains that the claim is a fraud because a mirror would be foggy after a shower and so the man wouldn't have been able to see anything. (Never mind that it only takes a second to wipe away condensation, something people often do when they ''need to shave''. Or cold showers, or how movement and shapes are still discernible through a foggy mirror. Or how some people use a fan or leave the bathroom door open specifically so that the mirror doesn't fog up in the first place. And finally, as ScienceMarchesOn, fog free mirrors now exist.)

to:

* A man tries to claim insurance money on a painting he's reported stolen. His story goes that while shaving after a shower, he saw reflected in the mirror a man stalking away with the painting. Encyclopedia explains that the claim is a fraud because a mirror would be foggy after a shower and so the man wouldn't have been able to see anything. (Never mind that it only takes a second to wipe away condensation, something people often do when they ''need to shave''. Or cold showers, or how movement and shapes are still discernible through a foggy mirror. Or how some people use a fan or leave the bathroom door open specifically so that the mirror doesn't fog up in the first place. And finally, as ScienceMarchesOn, fog free fog-free mirrors now exist.)
17th Jun '16 11:47:39 PM Omeganian
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Lampshaded in one of the ''Literature/LuckyStarr'' books, where Bigman suspects a blind man of being a spy and not blind at all. His arguments are that, like in the above Encyclopedia Brown case, the man is sitting with the lights on, and that he noticed when Bigman turned the lights off. However the man provides perfectly good explanations; he has the lights on for the sake of possible visitors, and he realized Bigman turned off the lights because he heard him tiptoeing toward the wall and his guide dog going to sleep.
15th Jun '16 6:36:21 PM Ebrbfureh
Is there an issue? Send a Message


See also ConvictionByCounterfactualClue, which is when the "flaw" found to prove the suspect's guilt is simply erroneous. This overlaps with HyperAwareness -- sometimes it's just hyper-awareness taken too far, to the point of noticing details that logically shouldn't even be noteworthy. Can lead to a minor InferredHolocaust, if logic dictates that the supposedly happy ending will lead to either a guilty character escaping or an innocent one being convicted. These types of inferences often run afoul of HanlonsRazor, blaming every flaw or contradiction on lies and conspiracy rather than, say, faulty memory or panic.

to:

See also ConvictionByCounterfactualClue, which is when the "flaw" found to prove the suspect's guilt is simply erroneous. This overlaps with HyperAwareness -- sometimes HyperAwareness—sometimes it's just hyper-awareness taken too far, to the point of noticing details that logically shouldn't even be noteworthy. Can lead to a minor InferredHolocaust, if logic dictates that the supposedly happy ending will lead to either a guilty character escaping or an innocent one being convicted. These types of inferences often run afoul of HanlonsRazor, blaming every flaw or contradiction on lies and conspiracy rather than, say, faulty memory or panic.



* A case had a kid that finished last in a race correctly identify a song being played at a theater along the race route as "The Eyes of Texas," rather than (the presumably more identifiable to a kid in Idaho) "I've Been Working on the Railroad," "proving" that he stopped in to ensure that he would finish last. Because he couldn't simply have been a football fan who had seen the Longhorns play. This compounded by the fact that the [[ConvictionByCounterfactualClue two songs aren't even the same]] - "I've Been Working on the Railroad" has more lines, to a different tune.

to:

* A case had a kid that finished last in a race correctly identify a song being played at a theater along the race route as "The Eyes of Texas," rather than (the presumably more identifiable to a kid in Idaho) "I've Been Working on the Railroad," "proving" that he stopped in to ensure that he would finish last. Because he couldn't simply have been a football fan who had seen the Longhorns play. This compounded by the fact that the [[ConvictionByCounterfactualClue two songs aren't even the same]] - "I've same]]—"I've Been Working on the Railroad" has more lines, to a different tune.



* Encyclopedia's dad described a case to him after the fact that involved a professional tennis instructor who reported that a set of ivory screens had been stolen that morning. He saw the thief's face; it could be either of two identical twins -- one who worked as a cashier and one who played tennis. Encyclopedia figures out that the victim was just lying so he could get insurance money for the screens, because the crook was wearing a T-shirt, and if the tennis player had been the culprit, one arm would be more developed, while equal arms would incriminate the cashier. This assumes that the cashier had the presence of mind to make such an astute observation, and also assumes the [[ConvictionByCounterfactualClue untrue "fact"]] that all tennis players have asymmetrical arms.

to:

* Encyclopedia's dad described a case to him after the fact that involved a professional tennis instructor who reported that a set of ivory screens had been stolen that morning. He saw the thief's face; it could be either of two identical twins -- one twins—one who worked as a cashier and one who played tennis. Encyclopedia figures out that the victim was just lying so he could get insurance money for the screens, because the crook was wearing a T-shirt, and if the tennis player had been the culprit, one arm would be more developed, while equal arms would incriminate the cashier. This assumes that the cashier had the presence of mind to make such an astute observation, and also assumes the [[ConvictionByCounterfactualClue untrue "fact"]] that all tennis players have asymmetrical arms.



* A contest is held in which contestants complete a quiz for 3 secret prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The first place winner receives the best prize: a watch, which he discovers has been broken. The theory of the crime is one of the contestants secretly examined the prizes and played with the watch and broke it. The culprit turns out to be the 2nd place girl that purposely missed a question she should have gotten right: "Name a word that has three double-letters." The girl referred to herself as a "bookkeeper". This doesn't account for the possibility that the word simply slipped her mind at that exact moment. Or perhaps she can't spell it - thinks it only has one k, for example, or thinks it's two words. Or perhaps she hyphenates the word, as "book-keeper" (a valid, if rather old, spelling), splitting one of the double letters.

to:

* A contest is held in which contestants complete a quiz for 3 secret prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The first place winner receives the best prize: a watch, which he discovers has been broken. The theory of the crime is one of the contestants secretly examined the prizes and played with the watch and broke it. The culprit turns out to be the 2nd place girl that purposely missed a question she should have gotten right: "Name a word that has three double-letters." The girl referred to herself as a "bookkeeper". This doesn't account for the possibility that the word simply slipped her mind at that exact moment. Or perhaps she can't spell it - thinks it—thinks it only has one k, for example, or thinks it's two words. Or perhaps she hyphenates the word, as "book-keeper" (a valid, if rather old, spelling), splitting one of the double letters.



** One whodunnit was a murder taking place in Germany, and one suspect claimed to have been in the woods picking berries at the time, while the other said he had been at the movies seeing a Bond movie, and remarked on Bond's funny German accent. While the readers were supposed to suspect the latter (Bond is German?), certain little-known cultural traits were at work - movies are always dubbed over with German speech in Germany, whereas picking berries in wooded areas you don't own counts as theft and/or trespassing, in contrast to Swedish law which allows it. Although one has to wonder why a German person would remark on an accent being German. (If he thought it was a ''funny kind'' of German accent, that still wouldn't be the likely way of putting it.)

to:

** One whodunnit was a murder taking place in Germany, and one suspect claimed to have been in the woods picking berries at the time, while the other said he had been at the movies seeing a Bond movie, and remarked on Bond's funny German accent. While the readers were supposed to suspect the latter (Bond is German?), certain little-known cultural traits were at work - movies work—movies are always dubbed over with German speech in Germany, whereas picking berries in wooded areas you don't own counts as theft and/or trespassing, in contrast to Swedish law which allows it. Although one has to wonder why a German person would remark on an accent being German. (If he thought it was a ''funny kind'' of German accent, that still wouldn't be the likely way of putting it.)



* Played with in ''{{Film/Dogma}}'' -- Loki argues to Bartleby that a couple is adulterous because "No married man kisses his wife like that." Bartleby retorts that it's a good thing Loki's never had to serve on a jury. So Loki asks the couple. HilarityEnsues.

to:

* Played with in ''{{Film/Dogma}}'' -- Loki argues to Bartleby that a couple is adulterous because "No married man kisses his wife like that." Bartleby retorts that it's a good thing Loki's never had to serve on a jury. So Loki asks the couple. HilarityEnsues.



* Played with in ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' -- a murder victim in Guantanamo Bay's military base in Cuba had supposedly received long-awaited transfer orders for a flight early the next morning, but had not packed by the time of his murder later that night nor called any friends or family back home to make preparations. When this is mentioned during a witness examination with the man issuing the transfer, intended to trick the witness into self-incrimination, the witness counters that he couldn't possibly explain the dead man's motives, not being the man in question. However, the contradiction is enough to irritate the witness and put him on the defensive - [[XanatosGambit just]] [[ZigzaggingTrope as planned.]]

to:

* Played with in ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' -- a murder victim in Guantanamo Bay's military base in Cuba had supposedly received long-awaited transfer orders for a flight early the next morning, but had not packed by the time of his murder later that night nor called any friends or family back home to make preparations. When this is mentioned during a witness examination with the man issuing the transfer, intended to trick the witness into self-incrimination, the witness counters that he couldn't possibly explain the dead man's motives, not being the man in question. However, the contradiction is enough to irritate the witness and put him on the defensive - [[XanatosGambit defensive—[[XanatosGambit just]] [[ZigzaggingTrope as planned.]]



** In one case, the question of whether or not a ring bearing a very valuable jewel was stolen or legally bequeathed comes down to the accusing party's testimony. She says that when she saw the deceased for the last time (when he supposedly bequeathed it to her), he was reading a book and wearing the ring on his right hand, so when he turned a page the gem flashed brilliantly. Haledjian figures that the 'witness' is lying because the dead man was reading a book written in Hebrew before he died--and Hebrew is written right to left. The man would have been turning the left page with his left hand, not the right page with his right hand... But most people turn the page with their ''dominant'' hand, regardless of direction. If Haledjian had been correct here, then people would use a different hand to flip back through a book than to flip forward through it. Even animators knew this wasn't true.

to:

** In one case, the question of whether or not a ring bearing a very valuable jewel was stolen or legally bequeathed comes down to the accusing party's testimony. She says that when she saw the deceased for the last time (when he supposedly bequeathed it to her), he was reading a book and wearing the ring on his right hand, so when he turned a page the gem flashed brilliantly. Haledjian figures that the 'witness' is lying because the dead man was reading a book written in Hebrew before he died--and died—and Hebrew is written right to left. The man would have been turning the left page with his left hand, not the right page with his right hand... But most people turn the page with their ''dominant'' hand, regardless of direction. If Haledjian had been correct here, then people would use a different hand to flip back through a book than to flip forward through it. Even animators knew this wasn't true.



** In one Creator/IsaacAsimov short story, two similar-looking girls work in a library. One of them murders the other, but claims she has an alibi -- she was accepting a book return from a student at a certain point before the murder. The Sherlock determines that she was lying, and in fact the other librarian accepted the book, because the murderer didn't remember the name of someone who returned a book. He shared a name with the author of a book ''very'' well known to any librarian in that university. Not much evidence, but since she confesses later, that's what would matter in court.

to:

** In one Creator/IsaacAsimov short story, two similar-looking girls work in a library. One of them murders the other, but claims she has an alibi -- she alibi—she was accepting a book return from a student at a certain point before the murder. The Sherlock determines that she was lying, and in fact the other librarian accepted the book, because the murderer didn't remember the name of someone who returned a book. He shared a name with the author of a book ''very'' well known to any librarian in that university. Not much evidence, but since she confesses later, that's what would matter in court.



*** Unless she was distracted, or just not particularly amused by the coincidence (however, since an emphasis is made on the girl ''smiling'' at hearing the name, both can be argued against). A Black Widowers story, "Spell It!", removes this possibility by having the man make a ''huge deal'' about his name being famous after a bookstore clerk innocently asks him to spell it. Of course, this version discounts the fact that two different people may spell similar-sounding names differently, thus leading a clerk to ''always'' double-check. This was a Black Widowers story, so the solution wasn't claimed as definitive -- see below.

to:

*** Unless she was distracted, or just not particularly amused by the coincidence (however, since an emphasis is made on the girl ''smiling'' at hearing the name, both can be argued against). A Black Widowers story, "Spell It!", removes this possibility by having the man make a ''huge deal'' about his name being famous after a bookstore clerk innocently asks him to spell it. Of course, this version discounts the fact that two different people may spell similar-sounding names differently, thus leading a clerk to ''always'' double-check. This was a Black Widowers story, so the solution wasn't claimed as definitive -- see definitive—see below.



*** Questions like this ''were'' actually used to find spies, at least in the movies, but it was usually reversed -- failure to know the National Anthem or last year's World Series champion was considered "evidence" of espionage. Asimov's joke was that spies who knew about that system would ''over''prepare. In addition, [[WriterOnBoard Asimov had very strong feelings]] about the song, and considered it a tragedy that Americans didn't know it. He also wrote an essay about the importance of all four verses.

to:

*** Questions like this ''were'' actually used to find spies, at least in the movies, but it was usually reversed -- failure reversed—failure to know the National Anthem or last year's World Series champion was considered "evidence" of espionage. Asimov's joke was that spies who knew about that system would ''over''prepare. In addition, [[WriterOnBoard Asimov had very strong feelings]] about the song, and considered it a tragedy that Americans didn't know it. He also wrote an essay about the importance of all four verses.



* Subverted in ''Death on the Way'' by Creator/FreemanWillsCrofts. The police prove that one of their suspects faked his alibi for the time of the murder, and consider that this is sufficient evidence to arrest him. It turns out he isn't the guilty party -- when he realised he couldn't prove his innocence, he panicked and constructed a false alibi.

to:

* Subverted in ''Death on the Way'' by Creator/FreemanWillsCrofts. The police prove that one of their suspects faked his alibi for the time of the murder, and consider that this is sufficient evidence to arrest him. It turns out he isn't the guilty party -- when party—when he realised he couldn't prove his innocence, he panicked and constructed a false alibi.



* Occasionally ''Series/{{Cracker}}'' falls victim to this trope, with profiler Fitz often using "Encyclopedia Brownisms" rather than genuine psychological insights. In one episode, he deduces that someone is the murderer, as they claimed to be a student and "you don't dress like a student" (because obviously, all students dress exactly the same way). In another episode, he not only deduces that someone is a closet gay, but also his alibis, because when questioned he said "I was at home with my girlfriend" rather than "I was at home with Lesley" -- thus showing he was afraid of saying that his girlfriend's name was a potential man's name and letting Fitz think he was at home with a man (because, of course, everybody normally says "I was at home with [name]" to complete strangers, despite the stranger not having a clue who [name] would be).

to:

* Occasionally ''Series/{{Cracker}}'' falls victim to this trope, with profiler Fitz often using "Encyclopedia Brownisms" rather than genuine psychological insights. In one episode, he deduces that someone is the murderer, as they claimed to be a student and "you don't dress like a student" (because obviously, all students dress exactly the same way). In another episode, he not only deduces that someone is a closet gay, but also his alibis, because when questioned he said "I was at home with my girlfriend" rather than "I was at home with Lesley" -- thus Lesley"—thus showing he was afraid of saying that his girlfriend's name was a potential man's name and letting Fitz think he was at home with a man (because, of course, everybody normally says "I was at home with [name]" to complete strangers, despite the stranger not having a clue who [name] would be).



* In early episodes of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Dr. Bashir often mentioned the one mistake he made on his final Academy exam: he mistook a preganglionic fiber for a postganglionic nerve. This was all that kept him from graduating valedictorian. But in the episode "Distant Voices", an alien in Julian's brain points out what viewers with medical training (including writer Rob Wolfe's wife) caught right away -- a preganglionic fiber and a postganglionic nerve are nothing alike. The alien accuses Julian of getting it wrong on purpose, which later proves to be true, though for a different reason. If Encyclopedia Brown had been security chief of ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'', we might have learned about Bashir's BigSecret (he's [[spoiler:genetically enhanced]]) four seasons sooner...

to:

* In early episodes of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Dr. Bashir often mentioned the one mistake he made on his final Academy exam: he mistook a preganglionic fiber for a postganglionic nerve. This was all that kept him from graduating valedictorian. But in the episode "Distant Voices", an alien in Julian's brain points out what viewers with medical training (including writer Rob Wolfe's wife) caught right away -- a away—a preganglionic fiber and a postganglionic nerve are nothing alike. The alien accuses Julian of getting it wrong on purpose, which later proves to be true, though for a different reason. If Encyclopedia Brown had been security chief of ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'', we might have learned about Bashir's BigSecret (he's [[spoiler:genetically enhanced]]) four seasons sooner...



** Still shows up in the first regular episode "Murder By the Book", where the murderer, half of a mystery writing team, sneers that Columbo doesn't have anything concrete on him -- just a motive, the fact that he took out a life insurance policy on the victim, the fact that someone else was murdered shortly afterward who he claimed not to know but in whose house was found a book with a personal autograph in it, and such odd behaviour as opening his mail shortly after finding a body on his lawn, and taking a large sum of money out of his bank account and putting it back the next day. And he's right, these things are all circumstantial evidence. Then Columbo points out that he found a vague story outline in the victim's office; apparently Columbo's (accurate) reconstruction of the murder matches one of the thousands of rough story ideas the victim had been scribbling down over the past couple of decades. The murderer immediately gives in, despite this being easily the ''weakest'' piece of evidence presented thus far.
*** The worst part of the episode, though, is that Columbo finds the minor flaws in the alibi but misses what should have been a fatal flaw in the killer's plan -- the police identify that the killer's phone placed a call to the victim's wife, but they fail to look at the time of the call and realize that it was the phone call where she heard her husband get shot, and not the call that the killer had placed to her house (from another phone) ten minutes or more before the murder.
* An episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' ("The Tyrant") has House confront Wilson's neighbor, an amputee who claims to have lost his arm in Vietnam. House deduces from various clues that the man is a veteran of the ''Canadian'' Army, and calls him out as a fraud -- only to be told that although Canada didn't take part in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, they did send troops to Vietnam to enforce the Paris Peace Accords, which is how he lost his arm in a landmine incident.

to:

** Still shows up in the first regular episode "Murder By the Book", where the murderer, half of a mystery writing team, sneers that Columbo doesn't have anything concrete on him -- just him—just a motive, the fact that he took out a life insurance policy on the victim, the fact that someone else was murdered shortly afterward who he claimed not to know but in whose house was found a book with a personal autograph in it, and such odd behaviour as opening his mail shortly after finding a body on his lawn, and taking a large sum of money out of his bank account and putting it back the next day. And he's right, these things are all circumstantial evidence. Then Columbo points out that he found a vague story outline in the victim's office; apparently Columbo's (accurate) reconstruction of the murder matches one of the thousands of rough story ideas the victim had been scribbling down over the past couple of decades. The murderer immediately gives in, despite this being easily the ''weakest'' piece of evidence presented thus far.
*** The worst part of the episode, though, is that Columbo finds the minor flaws in the alibi but misses what should have been a fatal flaw in the killer's plan -- the plan—the police identify that the killer's phone placed a call to the victim's wife, but they fail to look at the time of the call and realize that it was the phone call where she heard her husband get shot, and not the call that the killer had placed to her house (from another phone) ten minutes or more before the murder.
* An episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' ("The Tyrant") has House confront Wilson's neighbor, an amputee who claims to have lost his arm in Vietnam. House deduces from various clues that the man is a veteran of the ''Canadian'' Army, and calls him out as a fraud -- only fraud—only to be told that although Canada didn't take part in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, they did send troops to Vietnam to enforce the Paris Peace Accords, which is how he lost his arm in a landmine incident.



** At least in that instance, the suspect did indeed kill the guy and challenging his version of events would indicate murder. In "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School," Monk zeroes on science teacher Derek Philby for no other reason than he found evidence he hid his wedding ring in his wallet--which meant he was having an affair and lying about it, making him suspect number one in the death of another teacher whom the police assumed (and Monk couldn't prove otherwise) committed suicide. (Although this and the previous entry could possibly be explained by Monk's feelings for his own murdered wife.)

to:

** At least in that instance, the suspect did indeed kill the guy and challenging his version of events would indicate murder. In "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School," Monk zeroes on science teacher Derek Philby for no other reason than he found evidence he hid his wedding ring in his wallet--which wallet—which meant he was having an affair and lying about it, making him suspect number one in the death of another teacher whom the police assumed (and Monk couldn't prove otherwise) committed suicide. (Although this and the previous entry could possibly be explained by Monk's feelings for his own murdered wife.)



** Shelby once identified a kidnapping suspect by breaking his alibi; he'd claimed he was at the movies around 8 or so but his ticket stub was for a 5:15. The suspect got irritated that she was going through his things and it was pointed out the evidence was not sufficient to point to his guilt--then he's identified based on his strange habit of drumming his fingers on his briefcase, making the same drumming sound as heard over the kidnapper's ransom call.

to:

** Shelby once identified a kidnapping suspect by breaking his alibi; he'd claimed he was at the movies around 8 or so but his ticket stub was for a 5:15. The suspect got irritated that she was going through his things and it was pointed out the evidence was not sufficient to point to his guilt--then guilt—then he's identified based on his strange habit of drumming his fingers on his briefcase, making the same drumming sound as heard over the kidnapper's ransom call.



* In ''Series/SevenDays'', there is an episode where some woman named Delores threatens over the phone to cause catastrophes unless Frank does as she says. Each time he performs a task, she answers a question. One of the question was about who won a certain year's sports championship. She answers correctly - this proves she's really a man impersonating a woman since Delores claims to know Frank personally and Frank has not known any woman who could correctly answer that question. The other possibility is "she" was either lying or delusional about her connection to Frank. Incidentally, this turns out to be true: [[spoiler:Dean Loris doesn't know Frank; he was a homicidal disgruntled ex-NSA employee jealous that he wouldn't get to be the first Chrononaut and wanted to humiliate Frank for doing what he never got the chance to do.]].

to:

* In ''Series/SevenDays'', there is an episode where some woman named Delores threatens over the phone to cause catastrophes unless Frank does as she says. Each time he performs a task, she answers a question. One of the question was about who won a certain year's sports championship. She answers correctly - this correctly—this proves she's really a man impersonating a woman since Delores claims to know Frank personally and Frank has not known any woman who could correctly answer that question. The other possibility is "she" was either lying or delusional about her connection to Frank. Incidentally, this turns out to be true: [[spoiler:Dean Loris doesn't know Frank; he was a homicidal disgruntled ex-NSA employee jealous that he wouldn't get to be the first Chrononaut and wanted to humiliate Frank for doing what he never got the chance to do.]].



** In another episode, while searching the house where the female victim of the week lived alone, Sara dramatically announces "the toilet seat is up - a man was here!"... without even entering the bathroom to check if maybe the victim had been vomiting in the toilet (they'd just found a lot of spoiled food in the fridge, after all), or whether she'd been interrupted in the middle of cleaning the bathroom, etc.

to:

** In another episode, while searching the house where the female victim of the week lived alone, Sara dramatically announces "the toilet seat is up - a up—a man was here!"... without even entering the bathroom to check if maybe the victim had been vomiting in the toilet (they'd just found a lot of spoiled food in the fridge, after all), or whether she'd been interrupted in the middle of cleaning the bathroom, etc.



** Hotch actually says in one episode that the team's only job is to win an arrest--whether or not they've gathered enough evidence is "for the courts to decide". Considering the standards for an arrest can be as flimsy as a contradiction in the story, the team practically lives on this trope.

to:

** Hotch actually says in one episode that the team's only job is to win an arrest--whether arrest—whether or not they've gathered enough evidence is "for the courts to decide". Considering the standards for an arrest can be as flimsy as a contradiction in the story, the team practically lives on this trope.



* One case from Mathnet on ''Series/SquareOneTV'' involved a number of contradictions which made detectives Kate Monday and George Frankly suspicious of a kidnapping victim's involvement in the crime. In "The Problem of the Trojan Hamburger", amateur gem cutter Hans Ballpeen is kidnapped and the [[MineralMacGuffin Despair Diamond]] is stolen afterwards. Ballpeen manages to escape and explains that he was forced to cut the diamond. [[spoiler: Monday and Frankly are more than suspicious because of not one, but a number of contradictions in his account. First, Ballpeen was kidnapped first and then the diamond was stolen - it's reasoned that there's no point in kidnapping a gem cutter unless you have one to cut in the first place. Second, Ballpeen claimed he hadn't cut a diamond in years, which made the detectives wonder why someone that rusty would be kidnapped instead of someone more skilled. Third, Ballpeen doesn't identify the diamond as the Despair Diamond. That was considered odd since it was a world-famous diamond. Fourth, he claimed that he was released somewhere in the woods, hiked to a highway, and hitchhiked home. Kate Monday pointed out his boots were pristine and George Frankly reasons that anyone getting away from kidnappers would find first find a phone and call the police.]]

to:

* One case from Mathnet on ''Series/SquareOneTV'' involved a number of contradictions which made detectives Kate Monday and George Frankly suspicious of a kidnapping victim's involvement in the crime. In "The Problem of the Trojan Hamburger", amateur gem cutter Hans Ballpeen is kidnapped and the [[MineralMacGuffin Despair Diamond]] is stolen afterwards. Ballpeen manages to escape and explains that he was forced to cut the diamond. [[spoiler: Monday and Frankly are more than suspicious because of not one, but a number of contradictions in his account. First, Ballpeen was kidnapped first and then the diamond was stolen - it's stolen—it's reasoned that there's no point in kidnapping a gem cutter unless you have one to cut in the first place. Second, Ballpeen claimed he hadn't cut a diamond in years, which made the detectives wonder why someone that rusty would be kidnapped instead of someone more skilled. Third, Ballpeen doesn't identify the diamond as the Despair Diamond. That was considered odd since it was a world-famous diamond. Fourth, he claimed that he was released somewhere in the woods, hiked to a highway, and hitchhiked home. Kate Monday pointed out his boots were pristine and George Frankly reasons that anyone getting away from kidnappers would find first find a phone and call the police.]]



* A popular (well, often seen) riddle for kids goes like this: The detective is in a hotel room because the hotel's director told him that a famous thief is in the hotel. Then, someone knocks at the door of the detective's room. He opens, and there's a guy, who apologizes: "Sorry, I thought this was my room." The detective arrests him immediately, and guess what, it's really the GentlemanThief he was looking for. Oh, the reason? Because nobody will knock on the door of his own room - so the thief must've been checking whether the room was empty and he could plunder it! (Because it couldn't be, let's say, that his wife was in the room, had been taking a shower and he wanted to warn her, in case she wasn't dressed yet, and other people were in the corridor, or that he left the keys in the room while his wife stayed so he had to knock the doors. Guess the thief is at least guilty of not inventing a good excuse.)
* Another riddle involves the murder of a wealthy man who is killed on a Sunday. Upon being questioned, all of the servants give various alibis: "I was polishing the silver," "I was mowing the grass," etc. The "killer" is the one who claims to have been checking the mail, because mail isn't delivered on Sundays--because apparently, it's impossible to forget that and just check every day out of habit. Or to have forgotten to check on Saturday, and instead get the mail the next day. Or to receive a newspaper that is delivered on Sunday. Or to get mail delivered by others than the Postal Service (how uncommon this is may vary between countries).

to:

* A popular (well, often seen) riddle for kids goes like this: The detective is in a hotel room because the hotel's director told him that a famous thief is in the hotel. Then, someone knocks at the door of the detective's room. He opens, and there's a guy, who apologizes: "Sorry, I thought this was my room." The detective arrests him immediately, and guess what, it's really the GentlemanThief he was looking for. Oh, the reason? Because nobody will knock on the door of his own room - so room—so the thief must've been checking whether the room was empty and he could plunder it! (Because it couldn't be, let's say, that his wife was in the room, had been taking a shower and he wanted to warn her, in case she wasn't dressed yet, and other people were in the corridor, or that he left the keys in the room while his wife stayed so he had to knock the doors. Guess the thief is at least guilty of not inventing a good excuse.)
* Another riddle involves the murder of a wealthy man who is killed on a Sunday. Upon being questioned, all of the servants give various alibis: "I was polishing the silver," "I was mowing the grass," etc. The "killer" is the one who claims to have been checking the mail, because mail isn't delivered on Sundays--because Sundays—because apparently, it's impossible to forget that and just check every day out of habit. Or to have forgotten to check on Saturday, and instead get the mail the next day. Or to receive a newspaper that is delivered on Sunday. Or to get mail delivered by others than the Postal Service (how uncommon this is may vary between countries).



* The first ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' had a sidequest on Dantooine in which you determine which of two suspects is the murderer by poking holes in their testimonies. During the first round of questions, you find out that one of the two suspects lied, but he's not the murderer and it wouldn't do him justice to accuse him just based on this evidence -- the truth is more complicated and can only be found out by repeatedly questioning both suspects and the forensic droid. You can also bypass the whole "logic" aspect and say that you know who did it and that your reasoning is that "[[Funny/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic fat people always lie.]]"

to:

* The first ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' had a sidequest on Dantooine in which you determine which of two suspects is the murderer by poking holes in their testimonies. During the first round of questions, you find out that one of the two suspects lied, but he's not the murderer and it wouldn't do him justice to accuse him just based on this evidence -- the evidence—the truth is more complicated and can only be found out by repeatedly questioning both suspects and the forensic droid. You can also bypass the whole "logic" aspect and say that you know who did it and that your reasoning is that "[[Funny/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic fat people always lie.]]"



* The TabletopGame/PerplexCity card "Alibi" pegs [[spoiler:the maid]] as a murderer because she said she was getting the mail at the time of the crime - a Sunday. (Of course, no one ever picks up Saturday's mail on Sunday.)

to:

* The TabletopGame/PerplexCity card "Alibi" pegs [[spoiler:the maid]] as a murderer because she said she was getting the mail at the time of the crime - a crime—a Sunday. (Of course, no one ever picks up Saturday's mail on Sunday.)



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had an episode like this. Angelica has Tommy hold a trial to find out who broke his favorite lamp, with Angelica as the "persecutor". She attempts to finger Phil, Lil and Chuckie as the "poopatrator", but all of them have solid alibis. It isn't until Tommy realizes something random [[spoiler: Angelica taking a nap - he said that she took one earlier and her introduction earlier in the episode had her obviously faking a wake up but was considered throw away]] that makes the babies realize that it would have been impossible for her to know what exactly they were doing and thinking unless ''she was there'', which she was.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had an episode like this. Angelica has Tommy hold a trial to find out who broke his favorite lamp, with Angelica as the "persecutor". She attempts to finger Phil, Lil and Chuckie as the "poopatrator", but all of them have solid alibis. It isn't until Tommy realizes something random [[spoiler: Angelica taking a nap - he nap—he said that she took one earlier and her introduction earlier in the episode had her obviously faking a wake up but was considered throw away]] that makes the babies realize that it would have been impossible for her to know what exactly they were doing and thinking unless ''she was there'', which she was.



** However, trying to tell truth or falsehood by someone's behaviors like this is questionably useful at best. [[http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1989-13781-001 One study]] suggested that training to detect these sort of details did not increase accuracy in detecting truth or falsehood, and in fact the longer a cop did his job the ''worse'' he became at determining truth from falsehood. This has led to [[http://www.salon.com/2012/09/16/can_we_detect_when_someones_lying/ people ending up in jail]] due to not being shocked enough, or too shocked, about a death. The reason behind this is simple: when you focus too much on ''behavior'' to tell if someone is lying, you stop focusing on the best way to tell -- their story simply doesn't add up.
* Also, the "found out as a foreign spy because--" examples are very much TruthInTelevision if for no other reason than if you're found out as a spy, you're less likely to end up in front of a jury in a public court with all those pesky "standards of proof" and more likely to end up in a dark hole in a location known to no one with the government of the host country giving you some [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique harsh interrogation]], and pointing out the holes in their evidence is most certainly going to fall on deaf ears.

to:

** However, trying to tell truth or falsehood by someone's behaviors like this is questionably useful at best. [[http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1989-13781-001 One study]] suggested that training to detect these sort of details did not increase accuracy in detecting truth or falsehood, and in fact the longer a cop did his job the ''worse'' he became at determining truth from falsehood. This has led to [[http://www.salon.com/2012/09/16/can_we_detect_when_someones_lying/ people ending up in jail]] due to not being shocked enough, or too shocked, about a death. The reason behind this is simple: when you focus too much on ''behavior'' to tell if someone is lying, you stop focusing on the best way to tell -- their tell—their story simply doesn't add up.
* Also, the "found out as a foreign spy because--" because—" examples are very much TruthInTelevision if for no other reason than if you're found out as a spy, you're less likely to end up in front of a jury in a public court with all those pesky "standards of proof" and more likely to end up in a dark hole in a location known to no one with the government of the host country giving you some [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique harsh interrogation]], and pointing out the holes in their evidence is most certainly going to fall on deaf ears.
1st Jun '16 7:17:12 PM SteelEdge
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Inverted in ''Itsuwaribito''. The protagonists find out that a miracle religion is a front for a money scam. Both the founder and the first pupil claim that they are innocent and the other was manipulating him to get money. The protagonist asks both of them privately what happened. He first asks the pupil about what the founder did with the money, and the pupil answers that the founder never let anyone else close to it. Then the protagonist asks the founder how he didn't notice the money next to boxes of equipment, and the founder answers that he didn't notice the boxes of money. The protagonist finds that the founder is innocent because the founder incorrectly stated that the money was put into boxes when it was actually placed inside bags ''next'' to boxes. If the pupil was telling the truth, then the founder would have known that the money was put inside bags.
[[/folder]]
This list shows the last 10 events of 494. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ConvictionByContradiction