The Evil Army
is trying to track down their Super Prototype
before it goes Ax-Crazy
and decides to Kill 'em All
. The Only Sane Man
among them, however, is convinced that a peaceful solution can be found; there's this girl who the machine trusts, and if he can just convince her to help him, they can recover the prototype without violence being necessary. So he goes to meet her, starts up a conversation...
...and General Ripper
and his goons come busting in, thanking him for leading them right to the bait they need to trap the beast.
Close cousin to Hulk's Cooldown Hug Corollary
, and may overlap with it in some cases. The key distinction is that the aggressive idiot who foils the peaceful solution is only able to do so because the Unwitting Bait led him to his target, either without the bait's knowledge or by misrepresenting his intentions ("we'll wait for you to try your thing, and we promise not to rush in with guns the second it exposes itself
...") It's also true in almost every case that the target believes the Unwitting Bait deliberately betrayed them, despite any protests to the contrary.
I saw it in Short Circuit
and wondered: Do We Have This One?