Playing With: Crying Wolf
: A character who habitually lies is not believed when he tells the truth.
- Straight: Deceitful Danny raises false alarms about thieves in his home. When thieves finally do break in, no one will come help.
- Exaggerated: Deceitful Danny lied once about the flavor of a pie (it was cherry, he said apple) and now no one in town believes a word he says.
- Downplayed: ???
- Danny is in frail health and suffering from the advanced stages of dementia. His alarms warrant one or two investigations but are ignored afterwards.
- Frankly, it would be difficult to trust a person who is known to have lied constantly in the past, so it would make sense that one would refuse to believe Deceitful Danny even when he tells the truth.
- Inverted: Truthful Tom tells an obvious lie and gets away with it because he has never been known to say anything untrue.
- Subverted: Danny calls and worries no one will come, but then some of his neighbors decide to help.
- Double Subverted: ...help the robbers, that is.
- Parodied: Danny lies and tells the truth just often enough that people tend to come running when he's lying and leave him to his fate when he's telling the truth. Danny gives up, goes into the mountains, and becomes a Mad Oracle.
- Zig Zagged: New people keep coming, each of them eventually revealing themselves to be there to rob Danny. When Zeke finally comes to help, Danny shoos him away, not believing his story of being there to help.
- A habitual liar's proclamations are treated with skepticism but are generally given the benefit of the doubt.
- No one lies enough for this to happen.
- No one ever discovers that Danny's lying.
- Enforced: It's a story for children to teach An Aesop about lying.
- Lampshaded: "My house is being robbed!" "Yeah, and there's a wolf eating your sheep too, isn't there?"
- Invoked: Deceitful Danny is a Chess Master who wants to jade the townspeople and prevent them from believing certain pieces of information he doesn't want them to act on.
- Exploited: The robbers target Danny because nobody will believe him.
- Defied: "If I lie about that now, they might not believe me if it really happens".
- Discussed: ???
- Conversed: ???
- Deconstructed: The townspeople believe Danny's house is being robbed but they allow it to happen because they think he deserves it and they're sick of him.
- Reconstructed: The townspeople recognize that statements can be true even if liars are saying them, but they give up on Danny as hopelessly untruthful just as he's starting to mend his ways.
This really is a link back to Crying Wolf! Honest!