Caught by Arrogance YKTTW Discussion

Caught by Arrogance
A character (usually a villain) is caught because they can't resist taking credit for their actions
(permanent link) added: 2012-01-22 10:58:22 sponsor: Jordan edited by: queenbri (last reply: 2012-01-23 19:11:19)

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So, Alice and Bob are a Classy Cat-Burglar and Gentleman Thief who have cracked safes all over town. Eventually, the chief of police has someone announce that they have an unbreakable safe that would be impossible to break into, knowing that Alice and Bob cannot resist the challenge. Despite this being an obvious trap, the chief of police is right.

Compare with Criminal Mind Games, where a criminal consciously doesn't conceal themselves and Evil Gloating. For less sane criminals, this can play into why Sanity Has Advantages.

As a note, while the description mentions getting caught, there are some instances where the character still manges to escape or avoid detection. However, it's still true that in those cases that they could have avoided detection entirely, but chose not to because of the urge to show off. Examples:

Comic Books
  • The Riddler from Batman has a big problem with this. While sometimes, he's just playing Criminal Mind Games and wants Batman to "play", at other times, he isn't really intending to get Batman's attention, but ends up doing so, leaving clues because of arrogance or compulsion.
  • This strip from the Superdickery website shows Superboy being caught by Lex Luthor due to a Too Dumb to Live case of this.

  • While he's the good guy, one of the more famous Robin Hood stories has Robin demonstrating this, as his enemies throw an archery contest, knowing that as a great archer, Robin can't help but participate. Depending on the telling, Robin's reason might be exactly that, or at best, it's because he can't resist the opportunity to walk into an obvious trap and emerge victorious.

Live Action Tv
  • In the first episode of White Collar, Neal proves an art restorer is a forger by discovering that he surreptitiously signs all of his work, both legal and illegal, and notes that he (Neal) did the same with money he forged.

Western Animation
  • In The Spectacular Spiderman, Quentin Beck could have made his Mysterio Bots have anyone's face and personality under the mask, but could not resist making them look and act like himself when unmasked, because as a hammy actor, he couldn't imagine the idea of not being credited for his "performance".
  • I'm not sure if there's a good specific example, but in Batman: The Animated Series and other works in that "verse", the Joker was often shown as arrogant and unable to deal with being up-staged. The best example that comes to mind was a Corrupt Corporate Executive who tried to pull an insurance fraud by creating a Joker-themed casino, knowing the Joker could not resist attacking it.
  • In The Boondocks episode "Thank-You for Not Snitching", something along these lines is Played for Laughs. Huey comments in his narration that while rappers are often big about snitching being bad, they sometimes get in trouble for "snitching on themselves" (i.e. boasting about their crimes in lyrics). Cut to Gangstalicious being hauled off by police in the middle of a song due to this.

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