He Went That Way
Alex is either chasing or looking for Bob and comes across Chuck. Chuck points and says something along the lines of "He went that way." Inevitably, Chuck either is in cahoots with Bob, who went the other way, or is actually Bob in disguise. Related to Look Over There. Sometimes combined with Sarcastic Confession, if Alex doesn't trust Chuck then the chances are good that Bob really did go that way but Chuck knows Alex will simply assume he is lying and go the other way.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In Digimon Adventure, Yamato does this to a teenager who was angrily chasing Pumpmon and Gotsumon after they'd pulled on one of her facial piercings.
- Done in the bonus OVA for the third season of Full Metal Panic! when Kurtz is running from Clouseau and asks Tessa to help him out in this way. It works but gets averted when he sticks around to explain why he was running in the first place. He replaced a kissing scene from one of Clouseau's anime with footage of two pigs kissing. Clouseau was not pleased.
- Also done in the second season. Sousuke steals a Bonta-kun costume to fight off Yakuza thugs threatening Kaname because he was following her on a date and didn't want to her to find out. He is chased by security trying to get it back and Kaname helps him out by way of this trope.
- In School Rumble this is said to distract Hanai from where Yakumo is.
- Oolong does this the first time he appears in his true form in Dragon Ball.
- In two of the flashbacks in Millennium Actress, does Chiyoko dupe the police who are chasing the young painter by pointing into the wrong direction.
- Master of Disguise Mortadelo often pulls this off in Mortadelo y Filemón. Once, he sent a pursuer straight up a wall...
- A variant: In one Iznogoud story, the evil vizier tries to use the cursed water of a swamp djinn to becom Caliph instead of the Caliph; anyone who touches the water disappears into it. Of course, while trying to get the water to the Caliph, more and more people (and a camel) touch or even drink the water, and Iznogoud keeps repeating the name of this trope when people wonder where they went. Finally, the Caliph's goldfish keeper tries putting his charge in the water, and when he wonders where the goldfish went...
- Actually, both Iznogoud and his henchman say this. While pointing in the opposite directions. Of course, this being Iznogoud, no one notices.
- Hefty Smurf chases after Clumsy in The Smurfs comic book story "Salad Smurfs" after he has turned into a potato, which was thought to be a contagious disease (Smurfs turning into vegetables), but later turns out to be the result of eating Mutagenic Food. He passes by Greedy in his pursuit and asks if he has seen Clumsy. He says he hasn't, but that he has seen a large potato. Greedy then points in the direction where he has seen the potato, and Hefty sees Clumsy trying to hide himself within the village well.
- Snake Eyes pulls this off without saying a word in issue 21 "Silent Interlude" of the Marvel G.I. Joe comic.
- Street Angel: When Angela is running from the police, she is saved by a group of circus artists, hiding her in a broken drum, and sending the police away in this matter.
- Vampire in Brooklyn
- Played with in Ladyhawke
Soldier #1: Where is Navarre?Phillipe: Navarre? Navarre? Ah, yes. Big man, black horse. I thought I saw him ride south, toward AquilaSoldier #2: Ha, then we ride north.Phillipe: It isn't polite to assume that someone is a liar when you've only just met them.Soldier #1: And yet you knew we would. We ride south.Phillipe: [talking to God] I told the truth, Lord. How can I learn any moral lessons when you keep confusing me this way?
- The Three Stooges would often pull this gag when being chased by someone.
- Invoked by the bad guy as part of a trap in El Dorado: he leads Cole and Mississippi on a chase through the town saloon, with two mooks waiting to point our heroes out the back door and into an ambush. It almost works, too, except Mississippi recognizes one of them from an earlier encounter.
- Gavroche and Javert in the 1978 adaptation of Les Misérables.
- In "The Man In The White Suit" Alec Guinness escapes from a locked room by convincing a little girl to tell the man guarding him that he's already escaped. He was hiding in a wardrobe and got away when the room was checked. The little girl also pointed and told the man "He went that way". Later, when the entire town is chasing Guinness down, he runs past the same girl who then tells the pursuing mob "He went that way", pointing in the opposite direction.
- In Corpse Bride, the dead help Emily by saying the trope word for word, or pointing in the direction Victor ran.
- Cao Cao, of all people, pulls off a straight version while on the run from Lu Bu in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
- Done in one of the Everworld novels. Lampshaded when the characters say that they can't believe the "they went thataway trick" actually worked.
- In the Doctor Who serial Revelation of the Daleks, the Doctor rounds a corner and comes face to face with two Daleks. Not missing a beat, he says "Ah. There you are. They went that way." and points. It doesn't work.
- West Side Story
- The Troper saw a production of Les Misérables and in one scene, Marius begs Eponine to tell him where Cosette went. Naturally, the Marius-besotted Eppy points...
- In The Girl Of The Golden West, the bandito José Castro (though he unconvincingly denies he is one) comes to the Polka and offers to lead the boys to the hideout of his boss Ramerrez, who is already at the Polka using a different name.
- In the penultimate scene of The Music Man, Marcellus manages to distract the angry townspeople hunting for Harold Hill for a few minutes by telling them he isn't where he is.
- In DDG a reluctant reapee tells Zip "Some dead guy just went out the window". Needless to say it doesn't work. Asking Zip for a kiss as a last request is more successful though.
- Tinder's sister from Murphy Slaw attempted this. It did not work.
- Referenced, along with many tropes pertaining to villains, in the Evil Overlord List. Specifically, it's number 155 in Evil Overlord List Cellblock A:
I will instruct my Legions of Terror in proper search techniques. In particular, if they are searching for escapees and someone shouts, "Quick! They went that way!", they must first ascertain the identity of this helpful informant before dashing off in hot pursuit.Western Animation
- Looney Tunes, particularly as a response to the question "Which way did he go, George, which way did he go?" One particularly noteworthy instance is when The Gremlin did this to a dazed Bugs Bunny—by pointing both hands in opposite directions.
- Tom and Jerry has used this a lot. Tom doesn't seem to recognize Jerry when the latter wears a fake beard, and Tom seems less likely to attack a female mouse.
- Happens a lot in Scooby-Doo, where it's usually Shaggy and Scooby in suits of armor or similar disguises doing the misdirection.
- Perhaps the most egregious example from The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is Sonic saying, "I'm over there." to a robot, WITHOUT A COSTUME, after just walking up to him. It works.
- In the Arabian Knights segment of The Banana Splits, Princess Nida often disguised herself (once even as the Big Bad and imitating his voice!) and used this trick to send guards the wrong way.
- When Aang and company break into the Fire Lord's bunker during the Day of Black Sun, they interrogate a passerby for Ozai's location and are told:
War Minister Qin: The Firelord’s chamber is that way, down the hall to the left and up the stairs. You can’t miss it.
- Slight variant: In the Tex Avery cartoon "Half Pint Pygmy", there is a very helpful octopus...who points in eight directions at the same time.
- According to the intro of Soulcalibur II this is how Raphael first met Amy, which led to him adopting her as his daughter.
- In Baldur's Gate II while transformed into a drow you come across a group of drow chasing a slave and are given the option to point them in the right or wrong direction.
- You can do this in Venetica after Scarlett blows up one of the Doge's ships. When a guard comes up to her and asks what happened, she can respond with this. They buy it completely.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines if you are playing as a malkavian you can suggest avoiding werewolves by dressing as one and using this trope.
- In Fantasy Life, the player, or rather its more vocal Exposition Fairy, does this to throw paladins off the trail of another character.