Exploited Trope

aka: Exploited
Sometimes it's obvious a trope is going to happen. This is for when a Genre Savvy character knows a trope is going to happen, or is happening already, but rather than trying to deny, change, or even hasten the trope, this character instead decides to take advantage of it.

Perhaps a Mook knows he is turning good, but also realizes Redemption Equals Death. So he uses his upcoming death as a Thanatos Gambit against the Big Bad. Or a girl in a romantic comedy knows whom she will end up with, and knowing that the other guy feels that I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy, helps get another girl to be noticed by that guy.

Note that a Dangerously Genre Savvy might also take into account the upcoming trope might be a trick, and this is a Subverted Trope. Thus that character might plan for either outcome.

Compare Invoked Trope (which is deliberately trying to make a trope happen), Flaw Exploitation.

Contrast Defied Trope.

Trope relationships:


  • In recent years, Bud Light commercials adopted the formula that whenever the eponymous drink gets involved, someone says, "Here we go!" For Super Bowl XLVI, a Bud Light commercial is released involving a rescue dog named Weego who fetches Bud Light bottles and kegs whenever someone calls for him. ("Here, Weego!")

  • In Pokémon, each town inexplicably has an identical Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, all from a common family. The Magikarp Salesman, a recurring con-artist who tries to sell useless Pokémon to James, tries to pass himself off as a similar family to assure wary marks, but he's actually the same guy each time.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Cell exploits Vegeta's pride and Blood Knight attitude to convince him to help Cell absorb Android 18 and reach his perfect form, knowing that Vegeta can't resist the challenge. Vegeta does so, and Cell proceeds to kick his ass without even trying. While he does so, Cell even takes the time to rub it in Vegeta's face, remarking that he never would have been able to reach his perfect form were it not for Vegeta's arrogance and stupidity.
    • In the Buu Saga, Piccolo, in a desperate attempt to stall for time while Goten and Trunks train, exploits Death Is Cheap by telling Buu that he can pass the time for his opponent to be ready by killing the remaining humans on Earth, knowing that the Dragon Balls can be used to bring everyone back; this backfires when Buu proceeds to use a Beam Spam attack, fittingly called the "Human Extinction Attack," to kill every last human on Earth in less than two minutes, without even bothering to leave Kami's Lookout in the process.

Comic Books

Fan Fiction

Film (Animated)
  • In Tangled Flynn and Rapunzel exploit the Power Glows trope when they use her Magic Hair to find a way out of a flooding cave.
  • Frozen had Prince Hans exploit the trope of Love at First Sight in order to lure the target in and get exactly what they want: to marry the naive Anna and depose her sister Queen Elsa to take over the kingdom.
  • In The Lion King, Pumbaa and especially Timon exploit Predator Turned Protector when they raise the orphaned lion cub Simba. While Pumbaa feels sorry for the poor cub, Timon initially refuses to adopt him due to his fear from the young predator, and changes his mind only when he realizes Simba can defend them from other predators. Which he does when Pumbaa is attacked by the hungry lioness Nala.

Film (Live-Action)
  • In The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent manages to take control of dramatic events at a trial and turn them to his advantage, effectively exploiting Courtroom Antics. An accused gangster tries to shoot him in the middle of the trial - Dent promptly punches and disarms him, stunning the entire court. When the judge calls for a recess, Dent hams it up: "Your honor, I'm not finished!"
  • When Tom is chased by half the student body in PCU, he hides from them, and then realizes The Pit needs lots of people at their party, so they can raise money. He then gets the people to chase him to the party.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

Other/Multiple Media
  • In BIONICLE, Big Bad Makuta put the Physical God Mata Nui into an endless sleep, but he knows that heroes will wake him up again Because Destiny Says So. Rather than waste a ton of resources trying to stop the heroes, he arranges things so that he's in control of Mata Nui's body when it wakes.
  • Pink Means Feminine was exploited by making it the color for breast cancer awareness.

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