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Totally Not A Spy


(permanent link) added: 2010-03-14 12:55:03 sponsor: witchdoctor (last reply: 2010-03-14 20:43:14)

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This is where a spy will try to reinforce his disguise by explaining the dangers of a spy being among the group. He will often go into such detail that there's no doubt in the audience's mind who the spy is but most of the time the people he is talking to will be oblivious. In fact the opposite will often occur where someone will exclaim that he knows everyone and there's no possible way there is a spy present.

Often used by a Villain to invoke Spot the Impostor to create paranoia and/or gain a character's trust. Not to be confused with Most Definitely Not a Villain as this ruse is generally well thought out and only Genre Savvy allows the audience to see through it.

Examples:

Film
  • Used in Breach when Robert Hanssen, based on the real life FBI Agent convicted of being a Soviet spy, who is part of the team looking for The Mole. A bit of Truth in Television as the real Hanssen hacked into a fellow agent's computer and produced secret files which he present to the person who's computer he hacked. It was later theorized he did this to cover his tracks when he hacked the computer to see if he was suspected as a spy.

Literature
  • In the books of The Witcher series a vampire participated in a small talk about vampires. He even recommended some "folk remedies". Including garlic (which he ate at the moment). Of course, in his case it was more fun than precaution: greater vampires of that world are Nigh Invulnerable and before this incident he once was dismembered and buried in several places for a few years, then "got better" anyway.

Live-Action TV
  • Burn Notice: In one episode Michael Weston iss doing some spy-hunting for a client until he realized the client was a bad guy. So he decides to become the actual mole, and then keeps the client's paranoia high by telling him all the things the spy could do to him.
  • The Whitest Kids U Know: In the sketch "It's Illegal to Say" this trope is invoked. It quickly becomes clear that the message telling the audience that it's illegal to say you want to kill the President is a cover for describing a plan to kill the President with a mortar launcher.

Web Original
  • Subverted in the Meet The Spy video for TeamFortress2. Incorrectly invoked by the Blu Soldier at the end of the Blu Spy's expositional speech. Soldier lampshades it when questioned by saying, "What? It was obvious!" Too bad he was wrong.

Real Life
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