History Main / PullTheThread

11th Aug '16 9:22:30 PM PaulA
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* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga novel ''The Warrior's Apprentice'', Miles invents the "Dendarii Free Mercenaries" out of whole cloth as a quick cover story. Then the new "provisonal members" start to inadvertently PullTheThread , so he adds more detail. [[spoiler: By the end of the novel there actually IS a Dendarii Free Mercenaries, uniform, field manual, hidden government backing, and all. The majority of it essentially made up on the spot by 3 terribly overworked people.]]

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* In Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga novel ''The Warrior's Apprentice'', ''Literature/TheWarriorsApprentice'', Miles invents the "Dendarii Free Mercenaries" out of whole cloth as a quick cover story. Then the new "provisonal members" start to inadvertently PullTheThread , Pull the Thread, so he adds more detail. [[spoiler: By [[spoiler:By the end of the novel there actually IS ''is'' a Dendarii Free Mercenaries, Mercenaries -- uniform, field manual, hidden government backing, and all. The majority of it essentially made up on the spot by 3 three terribly overworked people.]]



* In all three incarnations of the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' franchise, characters will indicate that it is time to PullTheThread by saying, "Little lie, big lie."

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* In all three incarnations of the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' franchise, characters will indicate that it is time to PullTheThread Pull the Thread by saying, "Little lie, big lie."
1st Jun '16 9:34:00 PM LadyNorbert
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* Debunkers of phoney psychics sometimes exploit this approach, "giving away" fake hints to their identity and then watching as self-proclaimed fortune-tellers talk themselves into a corner, building upon such bogus leads.

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* Debunkers of phoney phony psychics sometimes exploit this approach, "giving away" fake hints to their identity and then watching as self-proclaimed fortune-tellers talk themselves into a corner, building upon such bogus leads.
5th May '16 9:41:19 AM MegaMarioMan
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* In ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Detective Santiago has a tendency to try and suck up to Captain Holt in order to curry favour and try and persuade him to act as her mentor. Since Captain Holt isn't particularly fond of YesMen, he instead tends to use this trope not so much to expose her insincerity (since she does genuinely respect him) but instead to expose the false modesty and flaws in logic that she ties herself in while doing so.

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* In ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'', Detective Santiago has a tendency to try and suck up to Captain Holt in order to curry favour and try and persuade him to act as her mentor. Since Captain Holt isn't particularly fond of YesMen, [[YesMan Yes Men]], he instead tends to use this trope not so much to expose her insincerity (since she does genuinely respect him) but instead to expose the false modesty and flaws in logic that she ties herself in while doing so.
3rd May '16 7:51:21 AM OrangeRatchet
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* Happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' when Cleveland and Roberta are trying to conceive another child. Cleveland is lying about having an unintentional vasectomy and Roberta about being pregnant, but when he finds out Roberta faked it because she knew all along, Cleveland tries to play along with his wife's charade until it unravels.

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* Happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' when Cleveland and Roberta Donna are trying to conceive another child. Cleveland is lying about having an unintentional vasectomy and Roberta Donna about being pregnant, but when he finds out Roberta Donna faked it because she knew all along, Cleveland tries to play along with his wife's charade until it unravels.
24th Apr '16 5:52:06 PM Odacon_Spy
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* Happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' when Cleveland and Roberta are trying to conceive another child. Cleveland is lying about having an unintential vasectomy and Roberta about being pregnant, but when he finds out Roberta faked it because she knew all along, Cleveland tries to play along with his wife's charade until it unravels.

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* Happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' when Cleveland and Roberta are trying to conceive another child. Cleveland is lying about having an unintential unintentional vasectomy and Roberta about being pregnant, but when he finds out Roberta faked it because she knew all along, Cleveland tries to play along with his wife's charade until it unravels.
18th Apr '16 7:25:02 AM cwickham
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** A now infamous episode in the fourth series involved comedian Kevin Bridges claiming he once [[ARareSentence accidentally brought a horse]]. The opposing team ''attempted'' this trope, but it led to Bridges' story becoming increasingly bizarre, rambling and far-fetched to the point that it took up nearly a third of the episode by itself. [[spoiler:Then it turned out to be true.]]

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** A now infamous episode in the fourth series involved comedian Kevin Bridges claiming he once [[ARareSentence accidentally brought a horse]]. The opposing team ''attempted'' this trope, but it led to Bridges' story becoming increasingly bizarre, rambling and far-fetched to the point that it took up nearly a third of the episode by itself.itself, and by the end the entire panel and audience were in uncontrollable hysterics. [[spoiler:Then it turned out to be true.]]
18th Apr '16 7:23:29 AM cwickham
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Added DiffLines:

** A now infamous episode in the fourth series involved comedian Kevin Bridges claiming he once [[ARareSentence accidentally brought a horse]]. The opposing team ''attempted'' this trope, but it led to Bridges' story becoming increasingly bizarre, rambling and far-fetched to the point that it took up nearly a third of the episode by itself. [[spoiler:Then it turned out to be true.]]
4th Mar '16 3:04:45 PM Beacon80
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. After making up a lie about going on a date with [[LineOfSightName Corey]][[note]]A bottle of Coors[[/note]], Zoe imagines her friends interrogating her, with her giving increasingly feeble answers. Turns out, none of them cared enough to press her.
[[/folder]]
27th Oct '15 10:22:03 AM Morgenthaler
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* Used with Col. Jessup in ''AFewGoodMen''. Tom Cruise's character continues to question Jessup until he catches Jessup in a contradiction: [[spoiler:Jessup had ordered that Santiago was not to be harmed, and assured the court that his orders were always followed, to the letter. Thus, the ArmorPiercingQuestion from Cruise says that if that were true, there would be no reason to transfer Sanitago off the base, as Jessup did, because Santiago shouldn't have been in any danger if Jessup's orders are always followed. It's the slight OhCrap moment from Jessup which follows that begins to unravel his entire testimony.]]

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* Used with Col. Jessup in ''AFewGoodMen''.''Film/AFewGoodMen''. Tom Cruise's character continues to question Jessup until he catches Jessup in a contradiction: [[spoiler:Jessup had ordered that Santiago was not to be harmed, and assured the court that his orders were always followed, to the letter. Thus, the ArmorPiercingQuestion from Cruise says that if that were true, there would be no reason to transfer Sanitago off the base, as Jessup did, because Santiago shouldn't have been in any danger if Jessup's orders are always followed. It's the slight OhCrap moment from Jessup which follows that begins to unravel his entire testimony.]]



* The ending of the 1974 version of ''[[TheTakingOfPelhamOneTwoThree The Taking of Pelham 123]]'' [[spoiler:has the last remaining hijacker accidentally giving away his identity with his recognizable sneeze]].

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* The ending of the 1974 version of ''[[TheTakingOfPelhamOneTwoThree The Taking of Pelham 123]]'' ''Film/TheTakingOfPelhamOneTwoThree'' [[spoiler:has the last remaining hijacker accidentally giving away his identity with his recognizable sneeze]].



* In LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga novel ''The Warrior's Apprentice'', Miles invents the "Dendarii Free Mercenaries" out of whole cloth as a quick cover story. Then the new "provisonal members" start to inadvertently PullTheThread , so he adds more detail. [[spoiler: By the end of the novel there actually IS a Dendarii Free Mercenaries, uniform, field manual, hidden government backing, and all. The majority of it essentially made up on the spot by 3 terribly overworked people.]]

to:

* In LoisMcMasterBujold's Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga novel ''The Warrior's Apprentice'', Miles invents the "Dendarii Free Mercenaries" out of whole cloth as a quick cover story. Then the new "provisonal members" start to inadvertently PullTheThread , so he adds more detail. [[spoiler: By the end of the novel there actually IS a Dendarii Free Mercenaries, uniform, field manual, hidden government backing, and all. The majority of it essentially made up on the spot by 3 terribly overworked people.]]



* ''EverybodyLovesRaymond'': Ray lies to cover up the fact that he didn't want to have dinner with his mother, Marie. To keep up the lie, he arranges a cover story with his wife. It snowballs until he ends up breaking the VCR and the washing machine, but she figures it out anyway when they run out of lies. Hilariously, Robert's wife Amy confesses to not eating the dinner Marie made them after watching her pull the thread and guilt-trip Ray, because "it's only a matter of time". Then a verbal slip from Marie reveals to Robert that she didn't actually make a special meal for him, [[HypocriticalHumor she made it for Ray]].
* Used on ''{{Friends}}'' to get Chandler to admit he is in a relationship with Monica by having Phoebe come on to him.

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* ''EverybodyLovesRaymond'': ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'': Ray lies to cover up the fact that he didn't want to have dinner with his mother, Marie. To keep up the lie, he arranges a cover story with his wife. It snowballs until he ends up breaking the VCR and the washing machine, but she figures it out anyway when they run out of lies. Hilariously, Robert's wife Amy confesses to not eating the dinner Marie made them after watching her pull the thread and guilt-trip Ray, because "it's only a matter of time". Then a verbal slip from Marie reveals to Robert that she didn't actually make a special meal for him, [[HypocriticalHumor she made it for Ray]].
* Used on ''{{Friends}}'' ''Series/{{Friends}}'' to get Chandler to admit he is in a relationship with Monica by having Phoebe come on to him.



* Pulling the thread on ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' leads to Frank and Dee (father and daughter mind you) almost getting married just to keep up the lie that they were in a relationship in order to scam some money.
* [[InvertedTrope Repeatedly inverted]] on ''LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': Any sociopathic criminal the detectives try this tactic on is so cunning, confident, and prepared, no matter how complex the cover story gets, it never collapses.

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* Pulling the thread on ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' leads to Frank and Dee (father and daughter mind you) almost getting married just to keep up the lie that they were in a relationship in order to scam some money.
* [[InvertedTrope Repeatedly inverted]] on ''LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': Any sociopathic criminal the detectives try this tactic on is so cunning, confident, and prepared, no matter how complex the cover story gets, it never collapses.



* Narrowly averted on ''RaisingHope'' after Virginia tells her cousin Delilah that Maw Maw has died just so Delilah would not come for a visit and see what a mess Virginia's life was. A few years later Delilah comes to town to see if Maw Maw left her anything in her will and Virginia starts spinning more lies to hide the truth. Delilah never finds out the truth because she is more interested in screwing with Virginia than pulling more threads. When she actually sees Maw Maw alive and walking she assumes it is a ghost come to punish her for being such a JerkAss.
* In ''{{Seinfeld}}'', George's desperation not to spend time with his once-potential parents-in-law at a function they have arranged sees him concoct a story about owning a luxurious house in the Hamptons which he is spending time at, and ends with him driving them all the way to the Hamptons to keep the lie going. When he breaks down and admits the truth, they confirm they knew all along, but let him suffer through keeping up the charade because they don't like him very much.
* Emily can't stop herself from pulling the thread in her S4 episode of ''{{Skins}}''; it starts with Naomi telling one small lie to the police and ends in TheReveal that [[spoiler:Naomi cheated on her at a university open day.]]

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* Narrowly averted on ''RaisingHope'' ''Series/RaisingHope'' after Virginia tells her cousin Delilah that Maw Maw has died just so Delilah would not come for a visit and see what a mess Virginia's life was. A few years later Delilah comes to town to see if Maw Maw left her anything in her will and Virginia starts spinning more lies to hide the truth. Delilah never finds out the truth because she is more interested in screwing with Virginia than pulling more threads. When she actually sees Maw Maw alive and walking she assumes it is a ghost come to punish her for being such a JerkAss.
* In ''{{Seinfeld}}'', ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'', George's desperation not to spend time with his once-potential parents-in-law at a function they have arranged sees him concoct a story about owning a luxurious house in the Hamptons which he is spending time at, and ends with him driving them all the way to the Hamptons to keep the lie going. When he breaks down and admits the truth, they confirm they knew all along, but let him suffer through keeping up the charade because they don't like him very much.
* Emily can't stop herself from pulling the thread in her S4 episode of ''{{Skins}}''; ''Series/{{Skins}}''; it starts with Naomi telling one small lie to the police and ends in TheReveal that [[spoiler:Naomi cheated on her at a university open day.]]



** Similarly, ''ToTellTheTruth'' features this as a tactic to weed out the liars.

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** Similarly, ''ToTellTheTruth'' * ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'' features this as a tactic to weed out the liars.



* The JonathanCoulton song "Pull the String" is about this. See title.

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* The JonathanCoulton Music/JonathanCoulton song "Pull the String" is about this. See title.



* ''InThe1stDegree'' goes into this trope when it comes to questioning the witnesses: Why were you seen searching the body after the shooting? You were just trying to do CPR? Why would you do CPR if the victim is dying from a bleeding neck wound?

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* ''InThe1stDegree'' ''VideoGame/InThe1stDegree'' goes into this trope when it comes to questioning the witnesses: Why were you seen searching the body after the shooting? You were just trying to do CPR? Why would you do CPR if the victim is dying from a bleeding neck wound?
30th Aug '15 12:42:57 PM jackrabbit7617
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* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': One episode featured Robin revealing that she had an unusual fear of going to the mall. The other members of the group form theories as to why this is. Marshall believes it's because she got married at a mall when she lived in Canada. Not wanting to reveal the real reason, Robin decides to use this as her cover story. Ted decides to test her on it and asks her numerous detailed questions about her wedding, all of which Robin easily answers, but then blows it when she's suddenly unable to think of an answer when Ted asks her the simplest question, [[spoiler: what the groom's name was]].

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* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': One episode featured The Season 2 episode, "Slap Bet", features Robin revealing that she had has an unusual fear of going to the mall. The other members of the group form theories as to why this is. Marshall believes it's because she got married at a mall when she lived in Canada. Not wanting to reveal the real reason, Robin decides to use this as her cover story. Ted decides to test her on it and asks her numerous detailed questions about her wedding, all of which Robin easily answers, but then blows it when she's suddenly unable to think of an answer when Ted asks her the simplest question, [[spoiler: what the groom's name was]].



** Robin does this again when she tells them that they were right in thinking that she slept with a rather dumb guy after a Halloween party and thus did not have time to change out of her costume before the next morning. When the lie unravels we find out that she was still in her nurse uniform costume because it was actually for an adult diaper commercial she filmed.

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** Robin does this again in the Season 6 episode, "Candy Ranning" when she tells them that they were right in thinking that she slept with a rather dumb guy after a Halloween party and thus did not have time to change out of her costume before the next morning. When the lie unravels we find out that she was still in her nurse uniform costume because it was [[spoiler: actually for an adult diaper commercial she filmed.]]
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