- In one episode of Johnny Bravo, Johnny distracts an angry elephant by saying, "Isn't that Don Knotts?" After realizing he'd been had, the elephant remarked, "I hate it when people use Don Knotts to deceive me."
- Johnny pulls the same trick on a killer doll, using Pinocchio.
- Various characters in Secret Squirrel, good and bad guys alike, had a thing for using Fred Flintstone to fulfill this trope.
- Kaeloo: In the episode "Let's Play Golf", Kaeloo, who has to power of Hulking Out, plays golf with her friends. Each time it's her turn, she tells everyone to look at something in the distance, e.g. a "flying rhinoceros", and then Hulks Out to hit the ball. Unfortunately for her, her final attempt ends in Stumpy, who is standing behind her, witnessing everything and telling the others.
- Parodied on Codename: Kids Next Door, when the trick is pulled at the Grand Canyon by a character who yells, "Hey, look! The Grand Canyon!"
- Used the same way in "Operation: T.R.I.P.", which took place in Japan:
Conductor: The ticket, please.
Sister: Mount Fuji!
Conductor: (looks away) Huh? Where? (the twins sneak onto the train)
- Used in an episode of Drawn Together, where Clara keeps distracting Foxxy by claiming that Denzel Washington is in the hallway. Foxxy falls for it time after time, but on the third distraction it is subverted in that Denzel is actually there. Clara then distracts Foxxy again by claiming that further down the hall is a bi-phallic version of the same man, but alas, there is only a tri-phallic Wesley Snipes.
- Animaniacs revelled in this trope.
Yakko: Oh, my mistake, it was just a big cloud.
- From Pinky and the Brain:
- Family Guy
- VeggieTales did a musical number called "Look, Olaf!" that was all about this trope in "Lyle the Kindly Viking".
Larry the Cucumber: Look, Olaf! There's a turtle
And he's wearing pink pajamas
And he's got a cowboy hat upon his lid!
Look, Olaf, very close, and see
He's riding on a llama
And he's chasing down a herd of giant squid!
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
- In "Will Work For Ed", Eddy distracts Kevin with "Holy cow! Is that Nazz skydiving in a bikini?"
- Ed tries to distract Eddy during a footrace in "Eds or Tails" by shouting "Look, Eddy, it's Rolf!"
- In "A Case of Ed", Ed is rather unsuccessful at distracting Kevin by pointing and shouting "Sponge stampede!"
- In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer manages to trick Lisa with this ploy, though it takes a bit of extra effort on Homer's part.
Homer: Lisa, look out behind you!
Lisa: Dad, I'm not gonna fall for that.
Homer: No, Lisa, I swear to you, I'm 100% completely serious! You've got to turn around right now before it's too late!
Lisa: Huh? (Turns around)
Homer: Sucker! (Runs away)
- Moe is also extremely susceptible to these. In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", Bart needed to get the Red Hot Chili Peppers out of the bar, so he did this:
Bart: Hey Moe, look over there.
Moe: [turns around] What? What am I looking at? [Bart ushers the band outside] I'm gonna stop looking soon. What, is that it? [Homer comes in]
Homer: Hey Moe, can I look, too?
Moe: Sure, but it'll cost you.
Homer: My wallet's in the car!
Moe: He is so stupid. And now back to the wall...
- In one episode, Homer tries this on a cow, and it works.
Homer: Look! A flying saucer!
- The subversion pops up in "Bart's Comet": Bart accidentally discovers a never-before-seen comet, and the next morning at school, the nerds (including Lisa) try to get him join their science club. They ask Bart if he'd show them his comet, and he responds "There it is right there," pointing out a window. The head nerd imperiously retorts that "I make it a point to never turn around unless I expect to see something." Bart presses the issue and when they finally look, they do indeed see his comet - and realize that it's close because it's on a collision course with Springfield.
- Another subversion is when Homer yells out, "Look, a bear!" seemingly in an effort to escape from the hospital without paying his bills. Unfortunately, since he was in for a broken leg, he doesn't get very far—and while we're busy laughing at that, pan right to reveal that there is a bear!
- Knowing the history of Shelbyville, Bart escapes from a gang in "Lemon of Troy" by yelling, "Hey look! Someone's attractive cousin!"
- From Dilbert, Dogbert is teaching a Girl Scout to cheat at blackjack at an illegal casino set up in the office by Wally.
Dogbert: Look, Asok, it's a rewarding career.
Asok: [turns as Dogbert looks at the top card of the deck] Where? I don't see a rewarding career.
Girl Scout: Look, Asok, it's a woman who respects you despite your low status and income.
Asok: [turns as Girl Scout replaces her deuce with an ace] Where? I don't see a woman who respects me despite my low status and income.
Loud Howard: Look, Asok, it's a brick wall.
[Asok doesn't react]
Loud Howard: What am I doing wrong?
- During the Nickelodeon run of Doug, Doug's tormentor, Roger, is forced to escape the bully Percy by pretending to see Percy's uncle, the school's hardline vice-principal, and Percy falls for it every time...until the end, when Doug tries to use the trick. Percy has finally caught on—but as it turns out, it wasn't a trick this last time. Making this a straight-straight-subversion.
- Looney Tunes:
- In the short "Frigid Hare", Bugs Bunny gets rid of a penguin by shouting, "Hey! Look! A four-legged airy-plane!" and kicking the bird down an icy slope when it turns around.
- In "Robin Hare", Bugs thwarts the Sheriff of Nottingham twice with, "Lo! The King approacheth!" To the Sheriff's credit, the second time he does refuse to look behind, until Bugs' acting finally gets to him. Cue Bugs Bunny disguised as the King.
- In the Beast Wars episode "Bad Spark", Silverbolt and Blackarachnia are stuck traveling together to escape an energon storm (and Silverbolt pledges to protect her from Tarantulas). When they find out Tarantulas is indisposed, Blackarachnia predictably tries to destroy Silverbolt. He sees something, yells "Behind you!", and Blackarachnia laughs and answers "Don't be pathetic". The next instant she's jumped by a Smilodon.
- Jackie Chan Adventures has an episode where Jackie, a jetpack-flying Jade and a levitating Finn are fighting on top of a truck. Jackie sees a tunnel and shouts a warning; Jade flies out of reach but Finn says, "Yeah, like I'm gonna fall for—" and smacks right into a concrete tunnel overhang. Lucky he also had the immortality talisman, or...
- Another episode had Jade doing this to several mooks while in Scotland by saying the Loch Ness Monster was behind them, sure enough they look. This was subverted in a dream sequence in the same episode where she also does this, but this time the Loch Ness Monster is behind them, since it was a dream. Before the end of the episode, they end up falling for it for a third time, this time by Jackie.
- When they first faced the Monkey King, Jade did this to them, and it worked! When he realized what had happened, he lampshaded it, saying he couldn't believe that worked on him.
- In Catscratch, Mr. Blik pulls this to get away from an angry alley cat. It works, but the cat catches him eventually anyway.
Blik: Look! A flying saucer is giving away free gold!
- Hilariously, Dale manages to pull this on an angry Hank in one episode of King of the Hill just by yelling, "Hey, look, propane!"
- Timmy pulls this ploy in The Fairly Oddparents when Francis the Bully was about to beat up Timmy,:
Timmy: Look! A Rottweiler!
Francis: I'm not falling for that one.
Timmy: You're right, it's just a brick wall.
Francis: (looking) A brick wall?! Where?!
- There was also "Look! A hot shower!" to which Francis responded with terror.
- Another time, Timmy used this on Crocker:
Timmy: Look, a child in pain!
Where?! (Turns in the direction Timmy pointed and gets popcorn
.) Hey! There's no child in pain! BUT THERE'S GONNA BE!
- An episode of Batman Beyond has Batman trying to warn Shriek to look behind him because a building is about to fall on him. Being deaf, Shriek thinks Batman is begging for mercy and gets crushed.
- The Joker gets Batman, of all people, with this during their flashback fight in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Batman has him by the neck and threatens to kill him, which Joker doubts and says "I on the other hand..." as he holds out an empty hand. Batman stares right at it as Joker pulls out a knife with his other hand and lands a couple of nasty slashes.
- As Kim Possible and Dr. Drakken fight on top of a train, Kim suddenly gasps and hits the deck. Drakken turns to look, and meets the roof of a tunnel.
- In the WordGirl episode "A Simple Plan", Dr. Two-Brains (who is consciously making his plots much less complex) escapes by using this phrase and running away while her back is turned. As Word Girl readily admits to a nearby grocer, "That... was embarrassing."
- Played straight in ReBoot where Mouse distracts two agents with the "open-mouthed stare" variant, then takes that split second to cut their guns in half with her trusty katana. Considering that there was something running around preying on unsuspecting victims, they can probably be excused.
- In a Dexter's Laboratory short, Dee Dee keeps Crying Wolf, taunting Dexter with, "Dexter, what's that?" Then she says, "Dexter, what's that?" one last time, and Dexter replies, "I'm not falling for that again"—when there's a giant bug sitting on his head, big enough that it's even obscuring his vision.
- In an episode where Dexter was cornered by some of his obsolete robots wanting to punish him for throwing them out, he distracts them with "Look! It's R2-D2!" The robots fall for it.
- Sonic in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog manages this by just pointing and casually stating, "I'M over there." The mooks in this show were pretty damn stupid.
- In an episode of Justice League, Green Lantern yells "Duck!" while fighting Star Sapphire. She refuses, and gets hit by a statue of a cartoon duck. He quips, "I tried to warn her."
- Also, in "Tabula Rasa, Pt. II"
Flash: You're too fast for me... But not for him.
AMAZO: That's the oldest trick— [gets blasted from behind by Green Lantern]
- From The Ember Island Players:
Actor Zuko: Where?!
- South Park: In the episode "It's a Jersey Thing", Kyle pulls one on Cartman.
Kyle: Dude, what is that behind you?
Cartman: Kyle, do we really have to resort to that? Your tactics don't work on me. [two seconds later] Dude, what the fuck is that thing behind me?
- The episode "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants" has an even funnier one. Cartman is cornered by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and distracts him by shouting: "Look, an infidel!" Once Osama's head is turned, Cartman pulls down his pants. Osama isn't wearing underwear, and it's revealed that he has a freakishly small penis. Cartman concludes that it's no wonder Osama is so mad at the world.
- Invader Zim just points upward to distract the other aliens in "Abducted". It takes them more than a few takes to realize he's not standing there anymore.
- In "Gaz, Taster of Pork", Dib tells a pair of pig monster guards "Hey, look! There's something a pig thing would like!" It works, but the guards catch him soon after he gets past them.
- From Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, the episode "Hard drive" has a subversion. When Big Guy starts getting the upper hand in their fight, Hard Drive which is really a Powered Armor piloted by Dwayne Hunter's (Big Guy's pilot) friend backs away and threatens to set off a bomb in Rusty's new rocket. Big Guy then shouts out "Behind you!" Hard Drive mocks Big Guy's attempt to distract him with the oldest trick in the book, claiming that "only a robot would fall for that". His motivation is to prove that humans could never be replaced by robots. Only it's not a trick. The other threat of the episode, a gigantic insect Hive Queen monster, really is right behind Hard Drive and promptly crushes him in her jaws.
- In Arthur, Buster, after apologizing for his cocky persona after letting his heroism get to his head, shouts to Francine and Arthur "Look out! A Runaway Piano!" Francine utters, "Very funny!" in a disbelieving manner, but the POV shows that Buster was being very serious when he tells them this, as a piano was rolling towards them, causing Buster to tackle them to get them out of the way.
- Phineas and Ferb, "Canderemy": Candace points and shouts, "Hey, isn't that the guy from that movie?" to distract Stacy from the fact that Candace and Jeremy have literally become joined at the hip. It ultimately fails.
- In the Adventure Time episode "Hitman", Ice King tries several to distract Scorcher.
- In the cartoon version of Space Ace, episode "Wanted Dexter", during the scene where Dexter falls into the water, after turning into Ace, Ace says to the sheriff, "Baby Face Nerks went that way." The sheriff falls for it, and Ace tries to escape, only to get caught between the hands of the two servants of the sheriff.
- From the ThunderCats (1985) episode "The Demolisher":
Demolisher: [throws a grenade, Lion-O braces himself, but it releases smoke] A harmless toy for a harmless boy. Unlike the one behind you! [Lion-O turns around, and Demolisher hits him] Ha ha ha! You fell for the oldest trick in the book!
- In an episode of Static Shock, Virgil escapes an angry street gang by yelling, "Look over there! It's J-Lo!" then running away when they turn around.
- Mercilessly parodied in an episode of El Tigre:
Dr. Chipotle, Jr.: Look, a thing!
Frida: Where? [Turns around, then realizes Chipotle ran away] Aw, man!
- Also in "The Return of Plata Peligrosa".
Rodolfo: Look, a danger!
- In The Transformers episode "Money Is Everything", the Technobots angrily prepare to beat up Dirk Manus for leading them into a trap. Manus nervously backs away and suddenly tells them to look out. They angrily say that they're not falling for his lies... then one gets shot in the back by the Sharkticons.
- In The Angry Beavers, Dagget distracts a group of angry bears by pointing behind them and yelling, "Look! Balloons!"
- Duckman prefers being straightforward in Ebony Baby:
Duckman: I'M A DIVERSION! I'M A DIVERSION!
- In one episode of Sonic SATAM, Sonic yells, "Look behind you!" at a robot, who falls for it. But instead of doing anything, Sonic just stays in his spot and says he was just kidding.
- In the House of Mouse episode "The Stolen Cartoons", when it's discovered that Pete stole the cartoons, he distracts Mickey by shouting, "Hey look, Annette Funicello!"
- Occurs in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius where, after Jimmy questions the commander of BTSO whether it is legal to implant a tracking chip in a villainess' brain, the commander gets out of answering when he points out, "Oh, look! A spy satellite!" and Jimmy, of all people, falls for it before he is sucked out of the room through a tube.
- Jimmy has fallen for it before in the past with one instance during a race against Cindy, he wears super fast speed shoes to give him an advantage, he stops at the finish line momentarily to taunt Cindy, only for her to suddenly try this.
Cindy: [points up] Oh, look. A 1950s electrostatic generator.
Jimmy: [turns around and looks up] Huh? Where?
Cindy: [crosses the finish line] I win!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "Sweet and Elite", Rarity distracts the high-society ponies at a garden party so she can go back to Twilight Sparkle's birthday party by pointing and saying "Is that Princess Celestia?"
- In "Too Many Pinkie Pies", Rainbow Dash manages to get the last of the Pinkie clones to fail the "watching-paint-dry test" by saying "Somepony's making balloon animals!"
- Angelica pulls a cruel one in the Rugrats episode "Chuckie's Wonderful Life", claiming there was a dog fight outside. The babies are Genre Savvy enough not to fall for it, but end up doing so when she invokes Spike. She uses the distraction to steal a CD the babies were playing with, kicking off the It's a Wonderful Plot of the episode.
- The beginning of the Street Fighter episode "Chunnel Vision" had this trope. Just as Bison is about to use his Psycho Power, one of the members of the MI-5 says, "Bison, behind you!" Bison only replies, "Oh please, that is the oldest—" before stopping to check what is behind him and finds a flipping train coming toward Bison.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The episode "Don't Fool With a Phantom" has Shaggy pulling this when Fred details his plans to catch the wax phantom using Shaggy and Scooby as bait:
Shaggy: Fred, like, the plan is faaaaaan-tastic, except...
Fred: Except what?
Shaggy: Like, we won't do it. Right, Scoob?
Fred: Have you got a better idea?
Shaggy: Sure. Like, look out there [he points ahead] and tell me what you see.
Daphne: The wax works. [Shaggy and Scooby dart away as the others turn toward the direction Shaggy pointed] They've disappeared!
Velma: Of all the nerve!
Fred: I have to laugh at myself. Those two chickens fooled us! (Groan!)
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", one of the Dipper clones distracts Soos with a laser pointer.
Dipper #10: Hey, Soos! Look, a glowing dot!
Soos: Oh man, I'm so glad I turned my head. That dot does not disappoint!
- Parodied in Johnny Test. "Look! Something in the air to distract you dorks!" It works.
- Birdman episode "Monster of the Mountains". While the villain Chang is covering Birdman and Birdboy with a uranium Ray Gun, Birdboy points behind Chang and says "We have Avenger!" (Birdman's pet eagle). Chang says "That's a very old trick" and Avenger swoops in from behind him and knocks the Ray Gun out of his hands.
- In "Victor the Villain" on Wallykazam!, Victor twice tricks Wally and Norville with this, but is later Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Steven Universe: In "Catch and Release", Peridot attempts to use this on the Crystal Gems. It doesn't work, partially because they're already distracted that she escaped again in the first place.
- Rick and Morty: Rick manages to outsmart a fourth-dimension Time Police officer with this and some faulty logic:
Langolier parody: You really think I'm that stupid?
Rick: Alright, hear me out on this. You're immortal, right, which means your life is infinite, okay, well and that means there's a 100% chance that you will eventually do everything, including turning around and looking behind you.
Langolier parody: ...I cannot argue that.
- Phineas and Ferb: In "Does This Duckbill Make Me Look Fat?", Dr. Doofenshmirtz distracts Perry (in Candace's body) by exclaiming "Look! Shoes on sale!"
- In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Matchmaker", Ludo believes that Star being distracted by trying to help Ms. Skullnick will make it easy to steal her wand. When Star refutes this, Ludo tries to distract her by asking "What's that over there?"
- The Loud House: In "White Hare", Lincoln distracts his sisters by yelling "Look, free pizza!" Later, during his dream, Warren distracts one of his sisters by telling her "Look, shiny object!"