Did You Actually Believe?
"Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?"
— Jack Handey
Oh, you poor foolish fool! Did you actually believe
you'd get a straightforward trope description when you clicked on the link? Well, I Lied
! You've played right into my Evil Plan
, now you have no choice
but to read through all
of my Evil Gloating
as I Breaking Lecture
you into tears! Mwahaha!
What? You mean you actually
believed me when I promised you'd get a trope description? Oh, that's rich! I didn't think you were such a Horrible Judge of Character
! (I mean, I thought the glowing red eyes would be a huge tip off.)
Oh, don't feel too bad, you aren't the only one to become a willing Unwitting Pawn
and errand boy
with naught but a sweet story about "lofty goals"
. You should feel honored
to be so used!
Mwahaha— What do you mean, "Shut up
"? No! uh... You
shut up! ... Well, yes, my whole plan did sort of hinge on you doing something I didn't think you'd do... What? No! That does not
make my whole plan a Gambit Roulette
! You take that back! Or I'll... uh... smoke bomb!
Stock phrase used by treacherous allies, mentors, and villains once they double cross the hero and have him at their mercy. This is often followed by declarations of sneering contempt
for the hero's idealistic moral code
and/or extended mockery of the hero
for being gullible enough
to trust the villain's promises, naive enough
to think that the villain sincerely intended to cooperate toward a common goal
, dumb enough
to get manipulated
into providing the villain with aid
Often used as part of Evil Gloating
and Trash Talk
. Expect the hero to respond with "Shut Up Hannibal!"
Often used as part of a Defied Trope
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In The Cries Of Haruhi Suzumiya, Takano says this to Haruhi about the Hammer of Oyashiro-sama. What's worse, this is after Haruhi's bought into this completely, and with Haruhi being Haruhi...
- Zachariah pulls this at the end of chapter 15 of The Obeisance of Memory, a Supernatural season-four AU where Dean clawed his way out of the grave with complete amnesia.
What, you didn't really believe you were Sam's brother, did you?
- Played with in Field Of Innocence. After a seemingly well-meaning Ozai bids them both farewell and good luck on their mission, Lu Ten asks Iroh if he honestly believed all of that. Iroh is Genre Savvy enough to know that, even though he wishes it were true, Ozai would never act like that and something is up. They're both right - Ozai was just trying to divert suspicion from himself as he plots their deaths.
Films — Animated
- In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, during Gaston's rant as he's tormenting the Beast on the castle rooftops, he sneers, "Were you in love with her, Beast?! Did you honestly think she'd want you, when she had someone like me?!"
- In Monsters, Inc.:
Mike: Well... I did. Right up until you chuckled like that...
Roxanne: Did you think that I would ever be with you?
Megamind: (heartbroken whisper) No.
- The big plot twist in Frozen between Princess Anna and her fiancé:
Anna: Only an act of true love can save me.
Hans: A true love's kiss. Oh, Anna... If only there was someone out there who loved you.
- The Mask of Zorro: Elena tried to stop Diego (her biological father) from killing Rafael (her adoptive father). Rafael promptly puts a gun to her head, and tells him to drop his sword. Once he does...
Rafael:' Did you really think I would kill my own daughter? (shoots Diego).
Films — Live-Action
- The Bourne Ultimatum has Bourne chastise his enemies this way:
Jason Bourne: You didn't actually think I was coming to Tudor City did you?
- The 1984 Dune has a heroic example, where Thufir Hawat (the Atreidies mentat) betrays the Emperor and Harkonens by refusing to kill Paul.
Thufir Hawat: [He turns to Feyd and the Emperor]... Did you actually believe, even for a moment, that I would fail my Duke TWICE? [He commits suicide]
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has the following exchange, after Harry was tricked into retrieving a prophecy.
Lucius Malfoy: Did you actually believe, or are you truly naďve enough to think that children stood a chance against us? I'll make this simple for you, Potter. Give me the prophecy now, or watch your friends die.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Beckett gloats over his perceived victory, assuming Jack's reappearance after the climactic battle is an attempt on his part to gain Beckett's clemency, as they'd negotiated. But Beckett's clearly had a double-cross planned for some time. ("He actually expects me to honor our agreement.") This probably counts as a subversion, since Jack never expected Beckett to honor their agreement; he's coming back to blow Beckett's ship to smithereens.
- Averted in The Long Good Friday: After double-crossing and attempting to destroy the IRA gangster operation in London the London gangster Harold Shand is kidnapped by gunmen in the final scene of the film. Neither he nor his captors speak, but one gunman smirks at him.
- In the 2002 film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond manages to make the police chief that wrongfully imprisoned him implicate himself, in a bathhouse where the steam obscured the constables waiting to make the arrest. Faced with the prospect of being locked in the same Alcatraz that Edmond had spent decades in, the police chief finds a pistol in the paddy wagon, and attempts suicide. It's empty.
Edmond: (through a window) You didn't think I'd make it that easy for you, did you?
- The real icing on the cake? Leaving the gun unloaded was an idea from the test audience.
- Kill Bill:
O-Ren: You didn't actually think it would be that easy, did you?
Bride: You know, for a second there... yeah, I kinda did.
- In the Disney version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the White Witch says this to Aslan when she is about to kill him at the Stone Table.
- Specifically she asks Aslan if he really thought sacrificing himself in Edmund's place would really save anyone, since she'd just kill the Pevensies anyhow, and now they were without Aslan's protection. It turns out though that the sacrifice does work, since Aslan knows (though the Witch doesn't) that an innocent trading their life for a guilty person is enough to even make death work backwards, and he comes back to life.
- Wayne's World combines this with Breaking the Fourth Wall in the Downer Ending:
Benjamin (to camera):
You didn't really think she'd end up with Wayne, did you
- RoboCop (1987): When Robocop tries to arrest Dick Jones, and suddenly discovers that he can't.
Dick Jones: It's a little insurance policy called "Directive 4", my little contribution to your psychological profile. Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown. What did you think? That you were an ordinary police officer? You're our product and we can't very well have our products turning against us, can we?
- Dark Helmet does this twice in Spaceballs, first stealing Lone Starr's Schwartz ring and again to toss it down a grate! And he still can't believe Lone Starr fell for it!
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: During the climactic confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty, the latter thinks, with a brilliant smug smile: "Come now, you really think you're the only one who can play this game?" and reveals that he can weaponize the Sherlock Scan too, and knows that he's going to win their fight.
- Star Wars: A New Hope, when Leia gives the (false) location of the Rebel base, and Tarkin destroys Alderaan anyway.
Tarkin: Continue the operation. You may fire when ready.
Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don't worry — we'll deal with your Rebel friends soon enough!
- The Dark Knight Saga:
- The Dark Knight: "You didn't really think I'd risk losing the battle for Gotham's soul in a fistfight with you, did you?"
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane says this to Catwoman, in regards to a device he'd promised her that would let her erase her criminal record and start with a clean slate. As it turns out, Bruce Wayne is able to get a hold of such a thing, and uses it so they both can go into hiding.
- In Pumpkinhead:
Haggis: "What'd you think? It'd be easy? Neat and clean and painless? You're a fool, Ed Harley!"
- The Big Bad of Darkness Visible literally laughs in the face of the hero when he believes he has prevented the End of the World:
Lewis: ‘I am glad to hear that we thwarted your insane plan.’
Sir Michael: ‘Thwarted me? How very dramatic! You always did read too many sensational stories, Henry. You have stopped nothing.'
- In TeenWolf, Kate Argent loves doing this.
- In the episode Formality She is very happily Evil Gloating to Derek Hale about their past together, where she seduced him, and he fell in love with her; and how he was only a tool to get information on him and his family (a pack of Werewolves, but there were some humans, too) so she could kill them because she is a Werewolf Hunter. She taunts him, all but saying this trope, and in the last scene of them in that episode, it's probably safe to say she is also Post Rape Taunt.
- Doctor Who has used this trope in "The Sound of Drums", after the Master has taken Martha prisoner on the Valiant and is about to kill her, but she starts revealing her plans.
Martha: A gun in four parts, scattered across the world... I mean... come on. Did you really believe that?
Doctor: As if I would ask her to kill.
- The Doctor gets his turn to use it in Remembrance of The Daleks
The Doctor: Did you think I would let you have the Hand Of Omega?
- In Power Rangers Jungle Fury:
Grizzaka: (after finally escaping the sand snakes) Think you're rid of me? Think again. (laughs evilly)
- Now, bad guys say stuff like that all the time, but on this occasion it's different: Grizzaka is one of the three Overlords, the Big Bads of this arc. Carnisoar the Sky Overlord went down last week, and Jellica the Sea Overlord and the Sixth Ranger had their climactic battle while Grizzaka the Land Overlord didn't even get past the Death Trap-laden path to the new Humongous Mecha this week. So, this arc's over and it's time for the Phantom Beasts, right? Yeah, Not so Fast, Bucko!.
- "The Reichenbach Fall" - Moriarty's "super-code" that works on absolutely anything and everyone is desperate to get their hands on? Yeah, he made the whole thing up.
"No, no, no, this is too easy, this is too easy! There is no key, DOOFUS!"
- In A Scandal In Belgravia, Irene uses this. Turns out she was bluffing.
- Sherlock's Complexity Addiction turns up again in the series three finale. Magnussen doesn't have an HUD built into his spectacles, nor does he keep all his blackmail material in a special vault. He simply has an encyclopaedic memory to match Sherlock's own. Unlike before, this backfires on the villain - Sherlock just kills him.
- When Randy Orton shook Sheamus' hand at the conclusion of their May 18th match on Smackdown, Sheamus reluctantly accepted. As soon as he turned away, Randy planted Sheamus with an RKO. Randy is actually well known for doing things like this, so why Sheamus accepted the handshake at all is anyone's guess. Maybe it's because Good Is Dumb.
- In 1991, after the Ultimate Warrior had been locked in a casket by the Undertaker, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts offered to help him get in touch with his dark side. The last skit had Warrior in a room filled with snakes and one bit him. As he reached up to Jake for help, he declared, "I'm a snake. Never trust a snake."
- The end of the ballad of the "Golden Vanity". The Golden Vanity is spotted by an enemy Man-o'-War. The Cabin-Boy offers to swim up to the man-o'-war and drill holes in it to sink it, in exchange for the captain's daughter to marry, and a dowry. The captain agrees, the boy sinks the ship, and then after having swum back, the captain...
But the captain would not heed him, for his promise he did rue, and he scorned his poor entreatings when loudly he did sue. And he left him in the Lowland, Lowland, Low. And he left him in the Lowland Sea.
- "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?"
- "I Was Only Kidding", an original song by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which lists the many emphatic ways he's told his girlfriend he loves her, and wondering why she didn't catch that he was kidding.
- Rhapsody of Fire: Halfway through the Emerald Sword Saga, Akron offers to the hero the life of Princess Airin and all the knights of Ancelot who were captured in exchange for the Emerald Sword. As soon as he holds the blade, he has the hero captured, the prisoners executed and Airin tortured to death.
- World of Warcraft: Did you honestly believe I would trust the future to some blind, half-night elf mongrel?
- It was merely a setback.
- In the 5-man "Trial of the Champion" dungeon, the Black Knight — whom the player has most likely slain in a previous quest — appears out of nowhere at the end and booms, "Did you honestly think an agent of the Lich King could be bested on the field of your pathetic, little tournament?"
- And then you kill him again. And again. And once more. That's counting up to three Back from the Dead.
- That fight in and of itself is more likely an example of Only a Flesh Wound, given that the character is called "Black Knight" and he constantly disregards damage to himself and is assured of his victory.
- Also a bit unusual that The Reveal is not their evilness, but the fact that they are alive (sort of).
- NetHack: "A voice booms out... 'So thou thought thou couldst kill me, fool.'"
- Great one in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
Raiden: You're changing sides now?
Snake: Change sides? I don't recall saying I was on yours.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni does this a few times. The most notable ones include:
- EP3's ending, did you actually believe that Beatrice is going Tsundere for you? Actually subverted, since it turned out to be true anyway.
- EP7's ending, did you actually believe that Bernkastel will give everyone a happy ending?
- In Batman Doom, there is a level where you have to search a hospital for a switch to prevent the release of poison gas. A few minutes in, you do find a switch labelled "GAS SWITCH", but pressing it just reveals the words "DID YOU REALLY THINK IT WOULD BE THAT EASY?" and releases some Penguin Bombs.
- RosenkreuzStilette: "It seems that I cannot change your mind. Such a shame... Do you honestly think you can stand against the entirety of RKS on your own?"
- Another example in Rosenkreuzstilette:
Iris: You think a run-of-the-mill Magus like yourself can stand a chance against me, Rosenkreuz reborn? This is why I can't stand commoners... I have transcended humanity. I, Iris Zeppelin, have become a god! A worthless insect like yourself can't hope to stop me.
- Mega Man X 7:
Splash Warfly: Idiot! This is all according to plan!
- AdventureQuest Worlds:
Sek-Duat: FOOLS! Did YOU really believe I would lead you here and just hand over the power of a Djinn?! I simply needed you both in the same place!
- Cue that rather violent The Bad Guy Wins moment where he supposedly "kills off" both Zhoom and the hero, takes the lamp, causes a cave-in, and holds up the lamp in triumph... only for it to suddenly be replaced with a simple rock. He doesn't know that Zhoom and the hero are still alive and now have the lamp because they secretly slipped him the Dreamdust, but he doesn't care.
- Being the Smug Snake he is, Vath, after luring the hero into a trap with a fake Vath and trapping him/her in a cage, jumps down and says "Did you really think it would be that easy? I have known for weeks that you would be coming for me."
- Warframe: Councilor Vay Hek wants to know whether you really believed that defeating his fleet of Fomorian-class battleships would be this easy. He would also like you to know that the scenery is delicious.
- In BIONICLE : Mask of Light, the Seventh Toa, Takanuva, is followed to Makuta's lair by the island's inhabitants. Makuta seals off the entrance.
Makuta: Did you actually believe I would let them return?
- Justice League Unlimited had this, but then subverts it beautifully:
Luthor: (To Amanda Waller) "Insolent cow! Did you really think you could take ME down?"
"To tell the truth, well, yeah. But, on the off chance I might have been wrong..." (looks past Luthor, who turns to see the big 7 standing behind him!
- In Robot Chicken, they parody the Kill Bill exchange when (The Easter) Bunny/Bill says O-Ren's line, and Jesus/The Bride says The Bride's.
- From the Hey Arnold! movie:
Scheck: Did you think could get away with this? There are cameras everywhere. I record everything that goes on day and night. Did you think I'd let you win, let you save your little neighborhood?
- Of course the camera strategy backfires on him, and how.
- In the Kim Possible episode "Go Team Go", when Shego sees an opportune moment to break her temporary alliance with Kim:
Kim: Shego, I thought we were in this together!
- In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Lois calls Lex Luthor to the carpet about a mysterious red fog that has enveloped the Metropolis sky and drained Superman of his powers. Lex maintains his innocence:
Lex: Oh, come now, Miss Lane, it shouldn't matter to you that I'm losing millions in revenue. Do you really think I'd endanger the whole of Metropolis just to settle a grudge with Superman?
- Possibly subverted: yes, in a heartbeat. This is the same man who would later admit to spending millions on a fake presidential campaign "just to tick Superman off." And construct a housing development so that it could be destroyed in a super-battle to make him look bad. When it comes to humbling his arch-foe, Luthor will go to any lengths necessary.
- An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon had Popeye and Brutus as farmers in a contest with the final task to eat spinach and prove its strength. Brutus tells Popeye to make the task fair to which he agrees, only for Brutus to knock Popeye out. Brutus breaks the fourth wall:
Brutus: (to us) You didn't think I was gonna play fair with that runt and take a chance against his spinach!
- This exchange in Teen Titans between Cyborg and Brother Blood concerning an army of Robo-Cyborgs Blood built;
Cyborg: How did you build those second-rate tin men? You stole my blueprints, but we stole them back!