Created By: Kriegsmesser on May 31, 2010 Last Edited By: Kriegsmesser on May 31, 2010

Fake Weakness

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Whatever my one vulnerability is, I will fake a different one. For example, ordering all mirrors removed from the palace, screaming and flinching whenever someone accidentally holds up a mirror, etc. In the climax when the hero whips out a mirror and thrusts it at my face, my reaction will be 'Hmm...I think I need a shave.'

Do We Have This One?? If not, How Did We Miss This One?? Rolling Updates.

As every Genre Savvy hero or Dangerously Genre Savvy villain knows, the best way to defeat most adversaries is to Attack Its Weak Point For Massive Damage. But said Savvies will also know that this is coming, and may very well decide that they don't like being shot in their weak point. This is where the Fake Weakness comes in: Faking a weakness, whether it's an actual flashing weakpoint, a Weaksauce Weakness, or just an Achilles' Heel, to put your opponents off their guard and make them waste valuable time and energy on a red herring before you proceed with the curb stomp.

Compare I Am Not Left-Handed and Briar Patching.

Examples of this trope include:

Video Games
  • Perhaps not the straightest example, but about halfway through Paper Mario, Bowser straight asks Peach about Mario's weaknesses. If Peach answers honestly, there will be several powerful enemies around the next game area, but if she tells Bowser that Mario is deathly afraid of healing items, he will take this at face value, and there will be several useful items scattered around the area instead.

Web Original
  • As quoted above, the Evil Overlord list condones this sort of action.

  • Often used as a justification for Our Vampires Are Different and the like, because if you start debunking beliefs in fake weaknesses, they might start stumbling onto the real ones.

Seen It a Million Times
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • May 20, 2010
  • May 21, 2010
    Batman (in the Film namespace) had The Joker pretend he's melting when he's splashed with water.
  • May 21, 2010
    Arguably used in the musical version of Wicked, where a rumor is perpetuated that water will make her melt, and she uses it as a way to fake her death. I dont know if it really counts though.
  • May 22, 2010
    @gneissisnice: That's a perfect example, because not only does it fit this trope, it actually gets used later on.

    @Hertzy: I'm not sure that counts, this is more about spreading rumors and such about a weakness so people will intentionally use it on you.
  • May 22, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    In No More Heroes, the boss Bad Girl will sometimes fall to the ground, seeming like a big opening for you to attack... take a single swing at her while she's on the ground and she'll parry and the game will enter a cinematic of her beating you to death. So in this case, go after the weak spot and you'll expose your own for an instant kill.
  • May 22, 2010
    How about if the villain knows the hero would probably use a weakness (a real weakness), and prepares for that. Then when the hero comes with the one thing that can stop the big bad, that advantage is instantly canceled (probably not the villain itself), leaving the good guys shocked and immediately given an ass kicking. Do we already have that? Does this fit as a variation of this?
  • May 23, 2010
    @Tewgon: I'd suppose it does, since for all intents and purposes, he's still faking having a weakness, but it's one he legitimately used to have, and overcame, rather than just being made up.
  • May 25, 2010
    We've got Three Examples And A Name, so I guess I could just let Wiki Magic take care of the rest, but...
  • May 25, 2010
    the grene kni3t
    Compare Briar Patching.
  • May 25, 2010
    In Baki The Grappler, Kaku Kaioh fakes his own death in order to survive his fight against Yujiro.
  • May 25, 2010
    Just call it Fake Weakness.
  • May 27, 2010
    Officially putting thus Up For Grabs
  • May 30, 2010
    What are we doing with the name, Fake Weakness or Fake Massive Damage?
  • May 30, 2010
    I think Fake Weakness is more accurate.
  • May 31, 2010
    Thirding Fake Weakness.
  • May 31, 2010
    This is mostly second hand information, but there was one X-men story where people discover ancient scrolls with rituals that would destroy Apocalypse. It turns out that they were created by Apocalypse himself, just to get people to try them out.
  • May 31, 2010
    Fake Weakness it is. Again, Up For Grabs.