Created By: HiddenFacedMatt on August 3, 2011 Last Edited By: HiddenFacedMatt on August 15, 2011
Nuked

Trick-And-Follow Ploy

One character tricks another into going to a location, and in turn follows said character to it.

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Bernard: Why is [McLeach] letting [Cody] go?

Suppose you want to find out where something is, and you know that a certain other person knows where it is but isn't willing to tell you. How do you get this information out of them?

No, not torture. Nor any magical or scientific mind reading either; you use the trick-and-follow ploy. A form of Batman Gambit or Xanatos Gambit, depending on how it is approached, this involves manipulating said person into going to that place and then secretly following and/or tracking them there.

May overlap with I Never Said It Was Poison in the case where the police let a suspect go so he can lead them to the murder weapon or some other kind of incriminating evidence.

Examples

  • In The Rescuers Down Under, the Evil Poacher McLeach realizes that Cody won't willingly tell him where the nest of Marahoute the eagle is. So, McLeach claims that "Marahoute" is dead and her offspring will never survive without their mother, so that the emotionally-distraught Cody will go to Marahoute's nest for sentimental reasons; McLeach then follows Cody there and waits for Marahoute so as to capture her.
  • In The Spectacular Spiderman, a de-powered Eddie Brock successfully pulls off a scheme to get his hands back on his symbiote "costume". He dresses up in clothes that look like Venom and keeps following Peter around, allowing himself to be briefly seen, and then disappears. Just as Eddie planned, Peter becomes paranoid and goes to where he hid the symbiote to check that it was still there, revealing the location to him.
  • In an episode of The Closer, Brenda believes that a suspect has bribed a witness and hired a hit-man using a stash of marked bills stolen from a murdered F.B.I. informant. She has enough evidence to arrest him, but she wants to find the money. So she pretends to blackmail him, threatening to have him arrested if he doesn't give her $100,000 within two hours. When he goes to his storage locker to get her money the F.B.I. arrests him and seizes all of the money.
  • In the Justice League episode "Wild Cards", the Joker has the Royal Flush gang set various bombs for the League in a televised gambit meant to get everyone to watch so he could mass-hypnotize them with previously-hidden member Ace from an undisclosed location. At one point, Batman catches Harley Quinn and tells her that the Joker is more interested in Ace than her. She doubts his words, but still goes to the Joker to hear his side. The Joker starts what sounds like a heartwarming speech about his feelings for her... and then decks her, because she led Batman right to him.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo tells Quasimodo that he knows where the Gypsy hideout is and is attacking them in the morning. Quasimodo and Phoebus set out to find it before then, but once they do they discover that Frollo had been following them all along, waiting for them to find the hideout for him.
  • Happens in Wedlock (AKA Deadlock). A thief stole millions of dollars worth of diamonds and stashed them before being captured. A prison warden arranges for his escape, hoping that the thief will lead him to the loot.
  • Guybrush Threepwood of the Monkey Island series has done this twice: once in The Secret of Monkey Island to find the Sword Master, and once in Escape from Monkey Island to find some stolen loot.
  • In White Collar, Keller almost pulls this off on Neal, but Neal catches on and leads him to the wrong location.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • August 3, 2011
    PaulA
    Not a bad trope idea, but there's got to be a better name for it.
  • August 3, 2011
    Jordan
    In The Spectacular Spiderman, a de-powered Eddie Brock successfully pulls off a scheme to get his hands back on his symbiote "costume". He dresses up in clothes that look like Venom and keeps following Peter around, allowing himself to be briefly seen, and then disappears. Just as Eddie planned, Peter becomes paranoid and goes to where he hid the symbiote to check that it was still there, revealing the location to him.
  • August 3, 2011
    NetMonster
    May overlap with I Never Said It Was Poison in the case where the police let a suspect go so he can lead them to the murder weapon or some other kind of incriminating evidence. Seen It A Million Times in cop shows.
  • August 3, 2011
    Jordan
    Hmm, not sure if this counts, but in Thor, SHIELD lets Thor go after capturing him, because they can't figure him out, but suspect he has special powers, and want to see what he will do next.
  • August 3, 2011
    JoeG
    • In an episode of The Closer, Brenda believes that a suspect has bribed a witness and hired a hit-man using a stash of marked bills stolen from a murdered F.B.I. informant. She has enough evidence to arrest him, but she wants to find the money. So she pretends to blackmail him, threatening to have him arrested if he doesn't give her $100,000 within two hours. When he goes to his storage locker to get her money the F.B.I. arrests him and seizes all of the money.
  • August 3, 2011
    DawnWarrior
    This sounds like Nice Job Guiding Us Hero.
  • August 3, 2011
    Aielyn
    It's not a gambit (which is a Loaded Trope Word). All you're doing is tricking someone into going somewhere, then following them. To be a gambit, it needs to be a detailed plan. Also, it is very rare for a not-exceptionally-well-known work to be a trope namer. Xanatos is one of the few exceptions. The Rescuers Down Under is nowhere near sufficiently well-known, and no normal person would be able to recognise this trope as being named by that movie, even if they'd watched it just beforehand. Even if they recognised the name McLeach, it would be so vague as to give them no idea what the trope is about.

    It's not an easy trope to name, though. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Trick And Follow Ploy, but it's not quite right.
  • August 3, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I'm thinking this sounds like what Sherlock Holmes pulled on Irene Adler in "A Scandal in Bohemia". Basically, he got himself into her house in disguise and tricked her into going to the cabinet where she hid the photo of herself with the King of Bohemia. Granted, she only had to cross a room, then he watched her and returned to the place later, but still.
  • August 3, 2011
    FastEddie
    Well, you can't have spoiler font in the description of the trope.
  • August 3, 2011
    Aielyn
    ... unless it's part of self-demonstration or things like that, of course.

    Anyway, I think Fast Eddie's point is that if you have to use a real example to explain a trope, and then need to spoiler tag that example, then your description is bad. If you have to spoiler tag the Trope Namer's example, then the Trope Namer isn't sufficiently well-known to be a trope namer.
  • August 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Also, if somebody asks "...who?" with regards to your Trope Namer, that's usually a hint that the Trope Namer is automatically bad, and this Needs A Better Title.
  • August 4, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    How well-known is Xanatos? I'd have thought he wasn't that well-known either, but that didn't stop several tropes from being named after him.

    In any case, I'll switch to Trick And Follow Ploy for now, as that would be (relatively) more descriptive anyway.
  • August 4, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Xanatos is protected by the Grandfather Clause.
  • August 4, 2011
    FalconPain
    In the Justice League episode "Wild Cards", the Joker has the Royal Flush gang set various bombs for the League in a televised gambit meant to get everyone to watch so he could mass-hypnotize them with previously-hidden member Ace from an undisclosed location. At one point, Batman catches Harley Quinn and tells her that the Joker is more interested in Ace than her. She doubts his words, but still goes to the Joker to hear his side. The Joker starts what sounds like a heartwarming speech about his feelings for her... and then decks her, because she led Batman right to him.
  • August 4, 2011
    TonyG
    In The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Frollo tells Quasimodo that he knows where the Gypsy hideout is and is attacking them in the morning. Quasimodo and Phoebus set out to find it before then, but once they do they discover that Frollo had been following them all along, waiting for them to find the hideout for him.
  • August 5, 2011
    randomsurfer
    A related trope (which we may not have, IDK) is for the protagonist to tella group, one of which is the perp but the protagonist doesn't know which, where object X is - and whichever one goes to get it is convicted thereby.
  • August 5, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Happens in Wedlock (AKA Deadlock). A thief stole millions of dollars worth of diamonds and stashed them before being captured. A prison warden arranges for his escape, hoping that the thief will lead him to the loot.
  • August 9, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    ^^ Perhaps I could make that a subcategory within this trope; anyone else have any input on that idea?
  • August 9, 2011
    SonicLover
    Guybrush Threepwood of the Monkey Island series has done this twice: once in The Secret Of Monkey Island to find the Sword Master, and once in Escape From Monkey Island to find some stolen loot.
  • August 10, 2011
    Aspie
    • In White Collar, Keller almost pulls this off on Neal, but Neal catches on and leads him to the wrong location.
  • August 11, 2011
    FalconPain
    On checking, is there something that makes this differ from Nice Job Guiding Us Hero (or Villain, which is a redirect)?
  • August 11, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Hmm. I reread NJGUH/V and that seems like it pertains making someone lead the way to a base, where this seems to be about making someone lead the way to any hidden object. Should NJGUH/V be revised, or is this a related trope?
  • August 11, 2011
    PaulA
    I think Nice Job Guiding Us Hero could easily be expanded. The key point is the guiding, not the precise nature of what is being guided to.
  • August 15, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Well, here's a TRS thread on the subject:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1313415646066882700&page=1#3
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xi35lkgz8jg8maoypeag2bt7