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.
- In the Discworld book Making Money, when Mr. Bent has a paper corrected by one of his younger employees and suffers a breakdown, Moist initially wonders why he simply didn't claim he was testing them.
"Even school teachers know that one!"
- 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"
- The Supernatural episode "A Very Supernatural Christmas":
Sam: We've seen that wreath before, Dean.
Sam: The Walshes. Yesterday.
Dean: [trying to cover] ...I know... I was just testing you...
- 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- Done in an episode of the original Star Trek. Kirk and Scotty set up a challenge/response password before Kirk beamed down to a planet in order to prevent imposters from getting beamed up. Naturally a shapeshifter takes Kirk's form and tries to get Scotty to beam him up. When he doesn't know the password, he tries to cover it up by saying that he was just testing Scotty. Scotty catches on immediately and concludes that Kirk must be in trouble, since the real Kirk would never "test" him in a situation like that.
- In the WKRP episode "Put Up or Shut Up," Johnny Fever has a drug flashback. He asks Andy, the station manager, "Do you see anybody over in that corner?" After Andy says no, Johnny says, "Neither do I. 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.
- Diff'rent Strokes: When Susie tells Arnold that she reads The Wall Street Journal, Arnold says he likes the comics in it. When she says there are no comics, Arnold says he is just testing her.