Playing With: Sherlock Scan
Basic Trope: A character makes a remarkable observation about a person, place or incident based on clues not apparent to others.
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- Straight: Alice is able to deduce that Bob works as an accountant based on his speech patterns, competence with numbers, style of dress, etc.
- Exaggerated: Alice is able to tell Bob his life story to an astonishing level of detail at their first introduction.
- Downplayed: Alice can tell that Bob just got back from vacation because he has a tan, but she's not good enough to tell that he's an accountant, married, has two kids, owns a dog, drives a Volvo, etc.
- Justified: Alice has practiced this skill over a long period of time and has a good memory for details. Alternately, she's also an accountant and recognizes jargon, mannerisms, and dress from having known many accountants.
- Alice is spacey, barely pays any attention to Bob and forgets even his name after being told multiple times.
- Alice hears that Bob is an accountant and is able to guess his appearance from that.
- Bob laughs off Alice's observation and says he's actually a doctor.
- Alice actually knows that Bob is an accountant because he's wearing a name tag that says "Bob Smith, Accounting".
- Double Subverted:
- Bob is lying, possibly just to be contrary.
- Alice then remarks, "Oh, yes, a good surgeon given your excellent hand-eye coordination at video games."
- Alice is able to deduce that Bob works as an accountant based on a single unrelated post on an Internet forum.
- Alice deduces several obvious things about Bob from viewing her surroundings, and he freaks out and reacts as if she's psychic.
- Zig Zagged: Alice declares that Bob is an accountant, Bob denies this saying he's a doctor but it turns out he's lying about that, but it then turns out that he's still not an accountant, he's a method actor studying to play a doctor on TV. But he used to be an accountant and hasn't shaken all the mannerisms.
- Averted: Even though Alice is a skilled detective, she doesn't work this way. She relies on testimony, evidence collected at crime scenes and other conventional investigative tools.
- Enforced: "We need to show the audience what an awesome detective Alice is."
- Lampshaded: "Do you do this to everybody you meet?"
- Invoked: When Bob finds out Alice is a detective, he asks Alice to do a Sherlock Scan on Claire for entertainment purposes.
- Exploited: Bob knows that Alice will employ a Sherlock Scan so he plants the sorts of subtle clues she looks for to mislead her.
- Defied: Alice refuses to do a Sherlock Scan, possibly because it tends to alienate people
- Discussed: "I don't like the look of that guy. If only we had a detective here like Sherlock Holmes, I'll bet he could figure out whats up with that guy."
- Conversed: "I love this show, my favorite part is when Alice figures out things about people just by looking at them."
- Deconstructed: Alice's explanations of how she arrived at such conclusions don't stand up to scrutiny. In fact, any number of professionals dress and act the way Bob does. People begin to doubt Alice and becomes put off by someone who so rashly leaps to conclusions.
- But it turns out that Alice is just not good at explaining herself and her observational skills are so far beyond normal people's that she often has trouble explaining everything she notices or knowing which details she needs to highlight for others that are obvious for her.
- Alice acknowledges that what she sees has several possible explanations, one of which turns out to be right.
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