Serenity Gambit YKTTW Discussion

Serenity Gambit
Get between two groups that want you dead. Duck.
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-11 23:48:43 sponsor: CBTurtle (last reply: 2011-10-12 15:16:50)

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image would probably be serenity in between Alliance and Reavers, from Serenity.

""Vessel in range. Lock on.
*smirk*Bastard's not even changing course."
[Reaver Armada emerges from cloud behind Serenity]
" the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target EVERYONE! SOMEBODY FIRE!"
-- The Operative, Serenity

Problem: You're trapped between two forces, both of which are far too powerful for you to take on. Solution: Get in between them, then duck. Or Problem: You're a very valuble person wanted by multiple factions, and have just been captured. Solution: Manipulate your captors into a meet with another group that wants you, then sneak away during the ensuing fight.

Generally more of an {Indy Ploy opprotunistic improvization] than a [Xanatos Gambit long-term plot]. This trope is not in effect if the targeted character/group [Enemy Mine temporarily teams up with one faction to destroy another].

Can result in Evil Versus Evil, but not always. Can [Invoked Trope invoke] Jurisdiction Friction.

Note: The Chessmaster manipulating their enemies into fighting and preferably killing each other from afar is NOT this trope. That would be a type of Xanatos Gambit.

Compare Lets Youand Him Fight, Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work.


  • Trope Namer Serenity: The Crew of the Serenity need to get to Mr. Universe's broadcasting equipment, and have the Reavers and the Alliance between them. They provoke the Reaves, lead them to the Alliances armada, then attempt to make their way through the ensuing chaos and crossfire down to Mr. Universe's planetoid.
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, the kids attempt to get Freddy and Jason on the same plane of reality, hoping they'll fight to a standstill or that Jason will win and stay at Crystal Lake. At one point, a character literally stands in between the two, goading one on. She's then immediately killed by the one behind her, Jason.
  • Midnight Run has a couple variations: Jack Walsh and Jonathan Mardukas sneaking away during a shootout between mob hitmen and the FBI, and Mardukas attempts at getting away whenever Walsh and rival Bounty Hunter Marvin Dorfler fight over him.
  • YMMV: In The Matrix Reloaded, Morpheus and Trinity bring their fight with the Merovingian's ghost twin minions to the freeway, to get the attention of the Agents.

Possible other examples: Film- I'm pretty sure many Japanese monster movies involve a form of this (compare Freddy vs. Jason entry), Beverly Hills Cop TV- Adventuresof Brisco County Jr, Burn Notice, White Collar
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