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Playing With: Surveillance as the Plot Demands
Basic Trope: The villain somehow has the ability to watch the hero at all times.
  • Straight: Jake, the Big Bad, pulls up a screen showing what Bob is doing. The first one is a reasonable place to have a camera, the other two are either unusual places to plant a camera in the long run or otherwise should be impossible, such as in the middle of a burning building.
  • Exaggerated: The villain is watching the hero but, unknown to him, a rival villain is watching him, who in turn is being watched by someone else, who's also being watched by... (and so on, and so forth)
  • Downplayed: Whenever he's in public, Bob can be watched from security cameras owned by companies. Otherwise Jake can't track Bob by video.
  • Justified: The technology or method for watching the hero has an explanation, such as magic, futuristic technology of time-manipulation powers.
  • Inverted: The heroes have a method to watch the villain(s) all the time.
  • Subverted: The society of villains ask their sorcerer, conqueror from the future or guardian of the timestream to watch for the hero. He replies he can't do that, that's beyond his powers.
  • Double Subverted: The villain said that he can't watch the hero, but it was a lie, he wants to keep that a secret.
  • Parodied: The villain watches the hero, but we find out later that he was not using a surveillance system, he was simply watching the hero in television.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: The villain has powerful surveillance technology, but uses it for something else, not to watch the hero. Perhaps he refuses to do that, or simply didn't thought of it.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "Hello, villain. I know you are in there somewhere, filming and watching me"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited:
  • Defied: The hero seeks and destroys the cameras before doing what he came to do.
  • Discussed: "What? A device to watch the hero? Who do you think am I, a comic book villain? Well, let's go to the other room, perhaps we will find something useful at my Hero Watching Armoury"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: The villain has powerful surveillance technology, and knows very well what is the hero up to. However, we never saw him spying on the hero ourselves.
  • Deconstructed: We see how the villain has to install cameras at difficult places, and most of the footage is empty (because the hero was not there at that moment) or irrelevant (because the hero is filmed doing trivial things).
  • Reconstructed: Despite not spying on the hero, Jake finds out all kinds of useful information for general use, including a list of blackmail threats and what gift to buy his crush. In the end, Jake not only becomes more powerful, but also more 3D
  • Plotted A Good Waste: Despite constant mention, Jake never uses his surveillance for anything at all aside from peeking on Bob from time to time.
  • Played For Laughs: Jake's spying on Bob is clearly not being done to get information. Bob finds cameras in all sorts of things, even his cereal and shampoo bottle. It's clear Jake has a problem, to the point that, even when he sees his psychiatrist, he puts cameras everywhere.

Back to Surveillance as the Plot Demands

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