Alice asks a question. Bob looks at her incredulously and gives an answer. His tone conveys, quite clearly, that she should know this already. Alice is embarrassed, and in a feeble attempt to cover her ignorance, informs Bob that she was "Just Testing Him." Stock phrase, usually accompanied by excessive blushing and a sheepish grin.
Anime and Manga
- Cowboy Bebop:
"Is this thing [dog whistle] on? I can't hear it."
"It's a frequency too high for humans to hear."
"[Awkward pause] I knew that. I was testing you."
- Seen in an E-Man parody of Marvel Comics—Pointy-Haired Boss Stanley Presents is hideously out of touch with the current continuity his company prints, and keeps making references to things that haven't been true for over a decade. When called on it, "I know that, I was just testing you."
- Played on several levels in Knights of the Old Republic. Bastila asks you a few simple questions about your background. You can answer truthfully or sarcastically. She admits to testing you to see if you were honest and able to treat the Force Bond seriously. What she's really testing is if the brainwashing the Jedi Council did was still sticking.
- In one installment of Dinosaur Comics, God himself asks T-Rex where wind comes from, and defends himself: "UM OF COURSE I KNOW I JUST WANT TO SEE IF YOU DO"
- A variant occurs with kids, usually regarding a rude word or a sexual/bodily function. From South Park:
New York kid: Oh brother, you guys don't even know what "queef" means?
Stan: Of course we know what "queef" means!
New York kid: Yeah? What is it, then?
Kyle: Why? Don't you know?
- Jimmy Neutron episode "Carl Wheezer Boy Genius"
Jimmy: May I suggest that instead of the arm-missiles button, you push the one right below it?
Carl: I know what button to push! I was just testing you.