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Look Behind You
aka: Look Over There

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lookoverthere_9917.png
You can never be too careful.

Archer: Watch out! Behind you!
Geralt: (completely unfazed) ... There's nothing behind me. I'm a Witcher, I'd have heard it. Just like I can hear your heart. Which is pounding. Like a liar's.

Alice is in a tight situation involving Bob. Maybe Bob wants money from her, or has a gun pointed at her head, or is just plain annoying.

Alice points past Bob's shoulder and yells, "Hey, what's that over there?!?", or "Look! A [insert improbable thing here]!" Bob looks. Alice legs it.

In the subversion, Bob doesn't look, but instead mocks Alice: "You'll think I'll fall for that?" or "That's the oldest trick in the book!" Unfortunately for Bob, deciding not to look drastically ramps up the probability that the thing Alice described is there, and it'll be something he's not going to like.

A variant is for Alice to just look past Bob with a quizzical expression, or to duck herself—this latter being an almost certain guarantee of Bob mocking Alice and then getting brained by the oncoming low bridge.

One of The Oldest Tricks in the Book; quite possibly the oldest. Telling the target his shoelace is untied or his fly is down are similar tricks, and are usually grouped with this one.

Related to We Need a Distraction. Also in the process of becoming a Discredited Trope (if not an outright Dead Horse Trope). Note, however, that just the two last words (BEHIND YOU) are pure Paranoia Fuel on their own. Compare Snap to the Side. If the method involved deliberately having them look somewhere just in time to be killed/heavily injured by something, see Death by Looking Up.

Not to be confused with Look Around You, Right Behind Me, or the Viewer Stock Phrase yelled at blinkered horror movie victims. Compare and contrast with Scared of What's Behind You.


Example subpages


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    Advertising 
  • GEICO did this with their "Did You Know" series, which featured character A telling character B that GEICO saves you money on car insurance. Character B knows that already, so character A asks "Did you know that there is an oldest trick in the book?" The oldest trick is revealed to be this.
  • Bojangles did this twice in one of their commercials where one guy tells the other Dale Earnhardt Jr. is behind the other one, but it turns out it's just a cardboard cutout. The second guy claims the same thing, to which the first sarcastically describes the racer ordering a specific meal order. Turns out he's the real Dale when he corrects the guy:
    Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dirty rice, Tim. It's dirty rice.

    Comedy 
  • Eddie Izzard's monologue on beekeeping depicts the process of honey-harvesting as walking into a hive and then saying "Look, there's a Ferrari over there!" so you can steal all the honey.
    • Also part of his Supermarket routine.
      Oh, look over there, there's a badger with a gun- NEW QUEUE!!

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot had Paige invoking this trope on an ice cream vendor at the zoo, claiming that there is an escaped lion, tiger, and bull elephant in that order. By the time he even turns around, he notices that the ice cream cone he prepared for Paige had far too many swirls (about 16, with some drooping over the cone). He also mentioned that she did something similar the previous summer.
  • In the Pooch Café comic for March 9, 2011, Chazz uses "Look! Halley's Comet!"
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin once pulled this at dinner. His parents turned to look while Calvin quickly pushed his own dinner off his plate and onto theirs.
    Calvin's Dad: What did he see?
    Calvin's Mom: An opportunity.
  • Garfield: The very first time Garfield stole Jon's dinner, he uses this trick. And it won't be the first time Jon will fall for it.
  • Hsu and Chan:
    • Hsu attempts to gain the edge in a swordfight with lifelong rival Akira Yamamoto by resorting to this tactic. However, while Akira is distracted, Hsu laughs at him for falling for the ruse, missing the opportunity to strike and finding himself caught off guard instead.
    • Played straight multiple times when confronted by obese nerds. The brothers commonly point behind the nerd and shout "Look a gallon of pecan ripple" or "Look a display of Princess Leia slave girl lingerie." This tactic hasn't failed yet.
  • Norm has employed this trope humorously in some of his other works. For example, in Violence Man, 3 mob thugs attempt the think of a distraction for Violence Man so that they could escape him. Eventually one shouts "WE HAVE SCRABBLE IN THE CAR!" which surprisingly succeeds in distracting him for a few seconds.

    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter fanfic A Black Comedy:
    Sirius: Wait.
    Remus: What?
    Sirius: Don't interrupt them.
    Remus: Why not?
    Sirius: Because I'm supposed to stall you.
    • And then, later: "You know telling someone you're stalling them," Harry criticized, "is poor stalling technique."
  • The Immortal Game: At one point, Sir Unimpressive pulls this off on some Puppets. Since the Puppets are mindless, it works.
  • In Triwizard Tales Harry points behind Voldemort with a look of terror and yells "What the hell is that?" then takes off when everyone in the graveyard turns to look. When Fudge and the Tournament officials refuse to believe Harry's (edited) account of having "distracted" Voldemort he uses the same technique on them.
  • In Make a Wish Harry and Ron are dueling each other in Defense Against the Dark Arts.
    "Hey look," Harry said pointing over Ron's shoulder. "Parkinson's in the nip."
    "What?" Ron asked as he turned to look.
    Needless to say, Harry's first and last spell ended the match.
  • In Nymphadora's Beau Tonks uses this to spring Harry from Privet Drive.
    Arthur dropped the cloak hood, revealing his face. "Oh good it's you Tonks, for a moment I was worried. Why are you back? Did something come up?"
    "In a way Arthur, hey, what's that?" Nym pointed to his back. Arthur turned quickly... then felt a spell hit him in the back and things went dark.
  • In the first chapter of Old West, Sheriff Rango is held at gunpoint by three mercenaries and this trick is the first thing that comes to his mind.
    "Look! Hawk!" He shouted as he pointed his finger at the sky.
    Whether by instinct or luck, all three mercenaries turned in fear to look at the sky, ducking low and covering themselves as if they feared talons would spear them as any moment. When nothing came however, they stood and Tomson quickly spun around, only to see the end of Rango's tail ducking behind an alley.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • In a flashback, Discord got into a fight with Celestia's brother Leo, the god of Strength and Gravity. When Leo grabs him, he boasts, "Who's your daddy?" Discord points and shouts, "HIM!" Shocked, Leo lets go and turns around, as Discord's father Havoc is one of the most powerful beings in the universe and The Dreaded for a good reason. Havoc isn't there, then Discord hits him. Leo says he can't believe he fell for that.
    • Makarov goes One-Winged Angel and proclaims himself a god. Shining Armor looks over his shoulder and tells him to look behind him. Makarov misinterprets him and thinks he's saying to look to the past, then boasts that he controls the past, present, and future. Shining says to physically look behind him. This time, he turns around, and comes face to face with The Blank Wolf.

    Music 
  • In the song "I Ran Away" by The Arrogant Worms, the Dirty Coward narrator escapes Satan with this trick.
    I'm hopin' that the devil smokes two packs a day, 'cause my day of reckoning is here and I ran away!

    Pinballs 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Sakura Hirota distracted Luscious Latasha at a REINA show by pointing and shouting "OBAMA!"

    Radio 
  • Bleak Expectations: In the series 1 finale, as Pip Bin and Big Bad Mr. Benevolent are fighting in a church, Pip does this. Only he claims there's a penguin flying behind the altar. In Victorian London. Mr. Benevolent falls for it anyway, with a massive dose of Lampshade Hanging.
    Mr. Benevolent: What? A penguin, flying? But they're supposed to be flightless! Such an ornithological curiosity I have to see, even if it leaves me perilously off-guard for even a second!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, the bard power "Timely Distraction" is made of this trope. It's even lampshaded in the flavor text:
    "Look! An owlbear!"

    Theater 

    Toys 
  • Played around with in BIONICLE: Krika tells Tahu, who has him cornered, to look behind him. Tahu asks Krika if he really thinks that Tahu is stupid enough to fall for that. Krika tells Tahu that he's counting on that, since there actually is something behind him. Tahu chances the look, and sure enough, four of Krika's allies are charging straight into the battle.

Alternative Title(s): Look Over There, Look A Distraction

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LookBehindYou?from=Main.LookOverThere