Sometimes it's obvious a trope
is going to happen. This is for when a 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 clever character 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
Anime and Manga
- 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!")
- On a similar note, a series of Discover Card commercials with the slogan "We treat you like you'd treat you" have featured someone phoning a Discover customer-service center, and speaking to a service person who's played by the same actor as themselves. Once this pattern because well-established, they released one in which the service person is not a metaphor for service-quality, but the caller's actual twin sister.
- 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.
- Digimon Adventure: During the episode "The Arrival of Skullgreymon," Tai exploits Defence Mechanism Superpower by deliberately putting himself in harm's way, knowing that one of the requirements of Digivolution is that the Digimon's human partner has to be in danger. It works too well; Greymon dark digivolves into SkullGreymon and goes on a rampage.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- During the Frieza Saga, Vegeta exploits Came Back Strong by having Krillin mortally wound him and then having Dende heal him, knowing that Saiyans get power boosts upon recovering from near-fatal injuries. Unfortunately, while he does get much stronger, it's still not nearly enough to make a difference against Frieza.
- 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.
- Android 16 exploits Logical Weakness when fighting Cell. Since he's fully mechanical, Cell's bio-extraction ability will not work on him; thus, Cell can't just absorb him for an easy win.
- Goku's entire plan to defeat Cell hinges on Gohan's Psychoactive Powers, knowing that Gohan becomes much stronger when enraged.
- In the Buu Saga, Piccolo, in a desperate attempt to stall for time while Goten and Trunks train, attempts to exploit 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.
- Piccolo successfully exploits Year Inside, Hour Outside shortly after this by having Trunks and Goten train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber; though he can only stall Buu for a few minutes at most, those few minutes enable Trunks and Goten to get several hours worth of training.
- One Piece: On one occasion, a Dark Action Girl exploited Wouldn't Hit a Girl to delay Sanji from saving Robin, knowing that Sanji won't fight a girl even to save his own life.
- Bleach: Aizen once exploited Hidden Disdain Reveal. When he revealed he was Evil All Along, his Captain, Shinji, freely admits he always knew that Aizen was a bad guy and he never liked him, and had in fact only chosen Aizen as his lieutenant to keep an eye on him. In response, Aizen smugly reveals that that's exactly what he was counting on when he replaced himself with a doppelganger months ago; since Shinji never liked Aizen or got to know him, he was unable to notice any strange behavior after the switch, so he never caught on to it.
- Saint Seiya: whenever he dies, Phoenix Ikki comes back to life and is twice as strong, so when facing the next to invincible Shaka his plan hinged on making sure he got killed, and not simply knocked out, enough times to become stronger than his opponent. Much to Ikki's horror, Shaka caught on this and decided to remove his senses.
- Shimoneta: Ayame uses a bedsheet as her 'Blue Snow' disguise, because she knows the Morals Decency Squad can't touch her, without risk of exposing her body. Plus, they'd potentially implicate themselves with a minor (Ayame is 17), which allows her to run right by them without fear of being caught.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic once ended up on the losing end of a Curb-Stomp Battle when Eggman used a suit of Powered Armor that was specifically designed to counter and defeat Sonic. The next time he tries, Sonic brings the other Freedom Fighters and Team Chaotix along. Eggman breaks the armor out again, but the suit was designed to outfight Sonic, and only Sonic. Thus, Sonic exploits the Crippling Overspecialization of the armor in the second encounter, and it's Eggman that ends up on the end of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- League Of Champions: Icestar is captured and tied up by the villain, who subjects the hero to several panels of Evil Gloating. Once the villain has explained his plan, Icestar effortlessly breaks free.
- Sonic the Comic: In one story, Sonic faces off against Predicto, a robot that Robotnik programmed to predict Sonic's every move and counter it. When faced with this, Sonic ultimately gives up. Having been programmed to believe that Sonic would never give up, Predicto suffers a Logic Bomb and self-destructs... which is exactly what Sonic expected him to do.
- 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.
- Animorphs: On several occasions, the Animorphs exploit Visser Three's status as a Bad Boss, knowing that his leadership makes the Yeerks less effective. Indeed, it works to their advantage on multiple occasions; more than once, some of the Visser's subordinates have found evidence that the Animorphs were in fact humans, due to such clues as a pair of jeans floating in the sea after a confrontation by a beach. However, due to their fear of the Visser's intolerance and possible wrath, they choose not to question his beliefs (Visser Three was firmly convinced that the Animorphs could only be Andalites due to his belief that the Andalites would never share their technology, especially the morphing technology, with other species).
- In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A character exploits He Is All Grown Up. He gets revenge on the girls who broke up with him on high school because of his acne problem by going out with them again, pretending to be in love with them, and planning a wedding with them only to leave them right before.
- In the After the Fall comics, Gunn (who, by this time is a vampire) takes advantage of Connor's liking for older women by sending in Gwen Raiden to get close to him and act as the team's mole.
- In the TV series' Grand Finale, Angel himself exploits Evil Cannot Comprehend Good by willingly signing away his right to the Shanshu Prophecy, as the Circle of the Black Thorn cannot understand that Angel would do good for its own sake rather than for the prospect of a divine reward.
- Near the end of the After the Fall comics, Angel exploits I Want Them Alive by provoking Gunn into killing him, knowing that the Senior Partners' entire Evil Plan hinges on corrupting him to their side. As a result, the Partners are forced to hit the Reset Button to undo all of the time that Los Angeles was in Hell, which is exactly what Angel expected them to do.
- In Dark Horse's Angel & Faith comics, Angel also exploits Morality Pet by having Faith around. As he explains, the main reason he keeps Faith around is so she can act as what she didn't have during his tenure as Twilight during Buffy Season Eight: a friend he trusted to stop him from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "The Gift," Buffy and the Scoobies make an effort to exploit When the Planets Align. Since the ritual to use the Key can only be performed at a specific time and place, they just need to keep Glory occupied until her window of opportunity passes.
- Patrick Jane from The Mentalist exploits two examples of the Attention Whore against each other when he tricks The San Joaquin Killer into badmouthing Red John on TV. In the next scene, the San Joaquin Killer winds up gruesomely murdered, Red John-style.
- BlazBlue: A big part of the series is Yuki Terumi exploiting Hate Sink. Virtually everyone in-universe hates him, with several people in particular wanting him dead... and Terumi actually goes out of his way to cultivate others' hatred for him, because he feeds on it to stay anchored to the world and power himself up.
- Final Fantasy X: Throughout the game, Tidus exploits Amnesiac Hero and Laser-Guided Amnesia, pretending to have lost his memories of everything in Spira to cover up the fact that he really doesn't know a thing about it.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you find out that Zelda/Hylia herself exploited Link's series-common trait of The Determinator. She knew that if it meant rescuing Zelda from danger, he would go to any lengths to ensure it, without any thought of his own safety. All of this was to ensure that he would be able to wield the Triforce in order to vanquish Demise...but this doesn't mean she didn't feel intense remorse for doing so, and, as such, sealed herself in sleep for thousands of years to maintain the seal on Demise so that Link could have more time to permanently finish the job.
- GDI turns the tables on Nod in Tiberian Dawn by exploiting Kane's Hero with Bad Publicity media manipulations — they play up the effectiveness of the manipulation, making it appear as if the Security Council has suspended GDI's funding pending an investigation. The reality is that the Security Council held back the funding because GDI's commanding officer asked them to, baiting Nod into launching a full-scale offensive... just in time for the commanding officer to return with an enlarged budget for GDI.
- Sly Cooper: Both Clockwerk and Le Paradox have exploited Always Save the Girl by holding Carmelita Fox hostage, knowing that Sly will run to her rescue no matter how obvious the trap is.
- Organization XIII's entire Evil Plan in Kingdom Hearts II hinged on using Sora's Chronic Hero Syndrome to their advantage; indeed, even when Sora is informed that slaying The Heartless enables the Organization to collect the released hearts and he's helping their plan along by doing so, he just can't sit back and let the creatures hurt innocent people. They also exploit Always Save the Girl by kidnapping Kairi, knowing that with Kairi's life in danger, Sora will be that much more motivated to fight Heartless.
- Madou Monogatari II: Arle exploits Distracted by the Sexy in order to snag the key to her prison cell from some demonic guards and escape the dungeon she got thrown in at the start.
- Persona 4: Arena: General Teddie exploits Big Brother Instinct by claiming he has Nanako, Yu's cousin, captive, knowing that Nanako's safety is one of Yu's top priorities and will motivate him to participate in the P-1 Grand Prix.
- Yandere Simulator allows the Villain Protagonist to exploit Barefoot Suicide: when shoving a student from the school's rooftop, she'll slip their shoes off of their feet and lay them down near the edge of the roof, making it appear as if they took their own life and, so long as she wasn't seen by a witness and doesn't disturb the body afterwards, avoiding suspicion.
- Resonance of Fate: Leanne exploits Your Makeup Is Running; as she puts it, she likes wearing makeup as a reminder to stay strong, because if she cries, she'll ruin it.
- The Order of the Stick: In this strip, Tarquin, who is hanging from the edge of the Mechane attempts to exploit Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, thinking that Elan will save his life to prove the hero is better than the villain. Elan refuses and abandons his father, turning this trope into Evil Cannot Comprehend Good Is Not Dumb.
- Tarquin in general, thanks to his Genre Savvy nature, is a master of invoking, exploiting, and otherwise profiting from tropes. In particular, knowing that there is always a hero who defeats the evil empire, he accepts it and tries to set up his own future downfall to go spectacularly, ensuring that he will be remembered as a legend; a legendary Evil Overlord, but evil nonetheless.
- When The Nostalgia Critic reviewed the Casper movie, the actual Casper showed up and anticipated it to be Suckiness Is Painful, so that he could finally scare people for real. It didn't actually turn out that way though, with the Critic eventually declaring the film So Okay, It's Average.
- Mara Wilson successfully exploited Old Shame on Critic by showing the stuff he made as a kid, to retaliate for him mocking her work.
- The episode "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain?" of Plumbing the Death Star is all about how the Duscher, Zammit, Jackson, and their two guests would abuse the conventions of television to make their lives easier. Jackson chooses to exploit Coincidental Broadcast, Duscher chooses Soapland Christmas (since merged into Twisted Christmas), Adam chooses Treasure Map, and Michael Williams chooses Special Guest, which ends up being the best suggestion.
- The Batman: Hugo Strange was fully aware that D.A.V.E., the AI he created using the personalities and brainwaves of Gotham's criminals, would create a body for itself and challenge Batman, and used it as an opportunity to test Bats, effectively exploiting Gone Horribly Right.
- When Robert Mandell was creating Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, he had three animation teams; a high-quality and expensive "A" team; a "B" team that split the difference between quality and price, and the "C" team that was cheap and fast at the expense of quality. He cleverly exploited the Animation Bump effect by making sure the Drama Bomb and Myth Arc episodes were farmed out to the higher-end teams and saved the "C" team for stand-alone episodes of dubious quality. As a result, the quality of the animation in a given episode will often match the quality of the writing.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity, discovers that the Diamond Dogs who kidnapped her find her complaining to be really irritating. So she purposefully takes it even further in order to invoke Pity the Kidnapper on them.
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Candace exploited her inability to bust her brothers to make sure Doof-2 didn't take over the Tri-state area.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King", Temple Fugate is The Sociopath without any emotion, whose only interest in the world as a Schedule Fanatic are clocks and time: he timed a Time Bomb with a very expensive watch, has an Abandoned Warehouse with a Room Full of Crazy Clocks, and tries a Bank Robbery with a time lock. All those tropes were exploited to get Batman Lured into a Trap: Fugate knows about his obsession, instead of trying to stop it he uses it against his enemies. The real Evil Plan is to use the clock hands of a Clock Tower to crush someone to death.
- In the Family Guy episode "Petarded," Peter, upon discovering that he's legally mentally retarded, exploits Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery to do whatever he wants without punishment, doing such things as kicking open woman's bathroom stalls. This lasts until his attempt to steal a deep-fryer drenches Lois in boiling oil and lands her in the hospital, upon which Child Services deems Peter mentally unfit to be a parent and takes the kids away.
- Tom and Jerry: A recurring theme in the shorts featuring Spike is that Jerry repeatedly exploits Selective Enforcement, knowing that even if Spike sees Jerry causing trouble with his own eyes, he will always single Tom out for the duo's antics.
- 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.