Created By: justanid on November 22, 2012

Rhetorical Quiz

Whenever a character asks questions to elicit a response that's not an answer.

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Is This Tropable?? Up for Grabs if so.
"What color is the boathouse at Hereford?"
-- Sam, Ronin

A character poses rhetorical questions as if they wanted to know the answers, but don't, and are manipulating their audience instead. Or a character may be an attempting to stall for time, so that they can escape while their audience is lost in thought. Bonus points if the questions cause the audience to debate amongst themselves causing greater distraction.

Similar to personality or aptitude tests, which have no wrong answers, but these don't have any. Can overlap with Motive Rant, depending on how much is given away by the questions. If the character answers their own questions, it's a Circling Monologue. A part of some interrogation techniques and Character Filibusters. Rarely part of a Cold Reading to make a generic answer seem based on facts.

Compare with Distracting Disambiguation, Morton's Fork, and Pop Quiz.


Anime and Manga

  • Batman: [I remember the Joker doing this at least once, but I can't remember when/where. But not the Riddler, who cares a lot about answers.]


Live-Action TV

Video Games a) Blue b) Yellow c) Green

  • Koans: they're supposed to inspire a logic bomb, not to have one hand clap with fingers impacting the palm.
  • Students may be familiar with a test that starts with "read the entire thing before writing anything down", followed by a lot of tough questions, with the last line being "ignore all of the above, sign & hand in".

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