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Exact Words: Webcomics
  • Randall Munroe of xkcd apparently does not like it when people try this on him. Black Hat Guy shares his distaste in one Indulgent Fantasy Segue.
  • Freefall:
    • An inspector tried to create an angry mob to get Sam Starfall's ass handed to him, but a series of misunderstanding soon turned the angry mob into a frightened one, and the inspector correctly suspect that Sam is behind it.
    • In another instance, the Mayor cripples Florence by ordering her to be silent, and since Florence is hardcoded to obey humans, she cannot speak at all. Sam manages to find a loophole by sending the Mayor a message that paraphrases to "If you don't say otherwise, we'll assume your order has been cancelled" and couching it in enough of his personal annoying diatribe that it makes the Mayor livid. She sends back a massively hate-filled response chewing him out, but forgets to include anything saying her order still stands.
    • A restauranteur catches Sam And Max both trying to skip out on paying the lunch bill. They wash dishes in a race to see who has to pay. The loser pays the bill.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Therkla disobeys the clear intent of her orders and lays the blame elsewhere, on the ground that she had tried to obey exactly the orders she was given, and the fall guy had tried to obey the intent. Her superior let it slide because he was impressed by her political skills.
    • Lampshaded by Tarquin, who promises to a diplomat that his forces will join a battle the next day but doesn't specify which side they will join. When they join the opposing side, he quips:
    Tarquin: ... And here I was worried all night that you were going to figure it out early. I mean, I thought I just made it, like, WAY too obvious, but I guess it all worked out, huh?
    • In another instance, Redcloak chews out Xykon for endangering the life of their prisoner, O-Chul, making him fight gladiatorial combat with various monsters for Xykon's amusement, prompting Xykon to swear that he "won't put the paladin in any type of enclosure with any animal, magical beast or aberration, as part of an attempt to entertain ourselves." As soon as Redcloak leaves the room, Xykon tells his other minion, Tsukiko, to create some undead gladiators for O-Chul to fight.
    • Surprisingly, the Monster in the Darkness also pulls one, but certainly not intentionally:
    Hobgoblin: Are you sure the Supreme Leader said this was OK?
    MitD: Oh, yeah, he gave me a direct order.
    (flashback)
    MitD: Hey, Redcloak, I need—
    Redcloak: Go bother someone else.
    • Grubwiggler has no intention of re-animating Roy Greenhilt's corpse as an Undead. What he does intend to do is transform it into a bone golem, which under D&D rules, is a Construct.
    • Roy had once asked an oracle where Xykon currently was, and had received the answer "on his throne". When he later returns to the same oracle, he deliberately forms his question to be as immune to twisting as possible. Ironically, however, this makes him receive a worse answer, because his phrasing of the question had limited Xykon's next attack to one of two possible locations, and Xykon had chosen to Take a Third Option. The Oracle tried to get Roy to word his question in a way that would allow him to give the proper answer, but Roy was having none of it. The very next strip has Elan of all people pointing out Roy's error... but moments later the party triggers the Memory Charm around the Oracle's tower so that the only thing they remember from the visit with the Oracle was the answers he gave to their specific questions. Thus eliminating the advance warning they would've otherwise had of Xykon's imminent attack.
    The Oracle: Yes, you've certainly managed to cunningly outsmart yourself at the very least.
    • Durkon, a very lawful character, averts being Lawful Stupid nicely when he convinces Miko that the team wasn't trying to escape, their cages were open because of a mechanical defect. When questioned later he says that he considers "able to be picked by a rogue" to be a pretty big defect.
      • More crucially, he gets around the fact that the other party members left their cells by stating that the five of them, as in collectively, didn't leave the cells he stayed in his. Or, equally: because Belkar is in solitary confinement, there are four rather than five party members present. Both technicalities work.
    • Subtle example in the IFCC's negotiations with Vaarsuvius. "We simply don't need to trick you if we can get what we want by playing it straight." sounds a lot like "We aren't tricking you." without saying anything of the sort.
    • Vaarsuvius attributes being able to defeat the psion Laurin Shattersmith to "a combination of observations, calculations, and superior intelligence" — not mentioning that "superior intelligence" in this case refers to "having been given a full briefing on her abilities by Sabine".
  • A variant in 8-Bit Theater: To shut Black Mage up, omnipotent Jerkass Sarda invents a spell that makes Black Mage vomit his entire digestive tract. Black Mage later attempts to use the spell and winds up vomiting his entire digestive tract again, because, in Black Mage's own words, "When Sarda casts a spell to hurt you, and you learn that spell, you learn to cast a spell that hurts you." In other words, Sarda didn't create a spell that makes the target vomit up its digestive tract. He created a spell that makes Black Mage vomit up his digestive tract. Even if it's Black Mage casting the spell. Sarda later does something similar with a reality-altering spell. It's not so much a spell to alter reality as the caster sees fit, as to alter reality as Sarda sees fit.
  • The author of Misfile once posted to the forums: "Emily is not a lesbian. Ash does not like boys." As Genre Savvy as the forum is, he may as well have posted "Em is bi" then and there, back when it wasn't so obvious from the strip.
  • In a strip of Shotgun Shuffle, Quinn tells Ellie not to set foot in her room. Once Quinn leaves, Ellie goes into her room by walking on her hands.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
  • Home on the Strange: Seth denies having a superhero outfit. He does not in fact have a superhero outfit. He has seven.
  • In Head Trip, Mal gives a Twilight fangirl a Christmas present. A present with dark, brooding eyes, pale skin, and is cold as ice to the touch. A gift that sparkles in the sunlight. The Fangirl is NOT amused.
  • Evil Diva: Diva's mom tweaks this to insinuate that Loki might know something.
  • Roza "I didn't follow you, I followed the goat." (Which follows her.)
  • In Something Positive, when Davan's boss makes a request, Davan makes it happen.
  • Doc Scratch from Homestuck. He prides himself on never lying (except in the short term, in service of a joke), but he's still deceptive. He deceives by strongly implying things, abusing hypothetical terms, and presenting just enough information to lead his marks to the wrong conclusion—while none of his direct statements are ever incorrect. In other words, Scratch lies through omission frequently—and when questioned about this, he smugly claims that said concept is a "human" one since mortals can never be in possession of all information and that everyone who talks to him "asks the wrong questions". Such is his talent with this that he successfully tricks Rose into not destroying the Green Sun, but creating it in the first place, and she doesn't even realise it until it's created.
    • Then there's the exchange between Jake and Dirk in which Jake states that "it's not like [Dirk's] from a century in the future", to which Dirk replies "Well. No." Dirk is definitely not from one century in the future; he's from four centuries in the future.
  • A Demoness in Goblins uses this when offering a Deal with the Devil; she claims to be the guardian of the Orb of Bloodlight, and offers a trade of "one soul for one orb". Dies-Horibly offers up himself for the bargain, and is given a non-magical orb made of ordinary blue stone instead. The demon gloats that Dies should have specified which orb he wanted when the deal was made. It comes back to haunt her immediately afterwards; Dies' magical arm apparently possesses a soul of its own, because the demoness is horrified to learn that she claimed two souls instead of one, and accuses the goblins of trickery. The "powers that be" deem her guilty of breaking a demonic contract, and banish her to the plane of torture.
  • Sinfest
  • When he realises that Gail from Thunderstruck can detect lies, the leader of a morally dubious group reassures her she has nothing to worry about because his men will have orders not to harm her sister. He then issues those orders once she's out of earshot.
  • In Erstwhile, the farmer's clever daughter is told she may take any one thing she likes when she is sent away from the king's castle. She takes the king.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , Abel, confronted with an adventuring team looking for a Cubi from Lost Lake claimed by a seer to have killed a former teammate, claims to be the only Cubi at Lost Lake to protect a long-standing resident on a month-long sojourn who may have been indirectly and unwittingly responsible for the teammate's death.
  • In Drowtales, the author's response to a fan who asked if the character Kalki was the daughter of another character was that she was her daughter, but her mother had never given birth. Later on we learn that Snadhya'rune, her mother, never has given birth — Kalki was carried outside her womb thanks to the technology of the Jaal'darya clan, but it still Snadhya'rune's biological daughter.
  • In A Miracle of Science, Mars signed a treaty preventing them from deploying military force beyond the orbit of Deimos. The treaty says nothing about self-defense weaponry capable of destroying a capital ship, nor does it forbid moving Deimos to orbit Venus
  • In Avas Demon, Wraitha restores Ava to her old life and says that since Ava didn't ask for different, she has fulfilled her part. Beware the Nice Ones, Wraitha.
  • In Elf Only Inn, King Herman is a paladin, who is immune to PvP damage, trying to reason with the Dorum brothers. Dor Dorum starts shooting him with a flamethrower to the face. Herman asks Dor to "lower his weapon." Dor responds by shooting the flamethrower at Herman's crotch.
  • Played for Drama in El Goonish Shive: Abraham was a wizard's apprentice who enchanted a diamond to remove curses (originally meant for a werewolf) — but it turned out to separate physically the curses instead. So, unable to destroy the diamond, he swore to kill the cursed forms every time it was used. And that went well, until the curse was a Gender Bender and the cursed form was a human being. At the last minute, Nanase manages to convince him to stick to the spirit of his oath instead — to protect people.
  • Precocious: Autumn offers to wash the dishes. She did not say anything about washing pots, pans, silverware...
  • Girl Genius: The official reports on the Other's attack on Castle Heterodyne stated that the seneschal and Carson von Mekkahn's son were killed, as Carson was known to have served as seneschal for decades most assumed that the entire von Mekkahn line was dead. What most didn't know was that Carson had retired just a few days earlier and was safe at home playing with his newborn grandson when his son, the new seneschal was killed. They didn't particularly feel like correcting the error.
  • In Angels2200, when Lance is disguised as Loser while wearing her vac suit, he tells Whiskey that his programming forbids him from deceiving members of the crew, but that since they're asking for Loser, he won't have to respond and blow his cover. Unfortunately, the people calling for her then ask for the occupant of his vac suit, which he realizes he will have to answer.
  • As part of one Brawl in the Family mini-series, Ganondorf and Bowser swap enemies to take them down easier. When Link sees that he has to fight Bowser, Navi confidently announces that they can't lose because Link has a fireproof tunic. However, it turns out that it doesn't make Link fireproof as well.

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