"A basic rule of covert ops is let someone do your dirty work, let someone else find the guy you want to kill. It's a great technique, as long as you're not the someone else."
"In a spy game you spend a lot of time getting people to betray their own. Most do it for money, some do it for spite. But the greatest achievement is to get a guy to turn on his own people because he thinks he's being loyal."
— Michael Westen, Burn Notice
"But the camera was my suggestion," I told her. "It's another aspect of the deceiver's talent to make important parts of his plan seem like someone else's idea. In this case, he just had to keep his mouth shut and wait. Someone would have suggested the camera, and in the unlikely event that they didn't, as a last resort, he'd have suggested it himself"
— Jack Parlabane and Moira Loftus, The Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks
"If you’re good at anticipating the human mind, it leaves nothing to chance."
— Jigsaw, Saw 5
"Now obviously, it's a trap of some sort. But he would know that I know its a trap. So what is he planning, knowing that I know he knows?"
— Artie, Warehouse 13
"I realize that predicting what your enemy will do and then betting everything you have on the probability that your prediction is accurate is a really, really stupid thing to do. I'm not suggesting we do anything of the sort, either."
— Earl White Haven, Storm from the Shadows
Murderer: I thought it might be a trap...but I had to be sure.
Patrick Jane: That's why it's a trap.
"Citizen Admiral Giscard is a shooter, not a chip-shuffler, and he and Citizen Secretary McQueen between them have avoided the weakest parts of Thurston's strategy for Yeltsin's Star."
"Which were his elaborate maneuvers to draw the Manties and Graysons out of position prior to the attack," Tourville said without hesitation. "He got too clever and tried to manipulate them—to suck them out of his way so as to give himself a virtually unopposed shot at his objective. Worse, he seems to have fallen in love with his own plan. When he finally hit Yeltsin, he'd spent so much time convincing himself his preliminary operations had worked perfectly that he came in fat, dumb, and happy. ... That was a tactical failure on his part once all the pieces were in play, but, frankly, any strategist who depends on convincing his adversaries to do what he wants has made the kind of mistake even amateurs should know enough to avoid. Oh, it's always worth trying to mislead the other side, convince him you're going to hit him at Point A when you actually intend to blow hell out of Point B, but you should never—ever—set up a strategy under which the enemy has to do what you want if your own operations are going to succeed."
I trusted [Cedric] to pass the information on to you. Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter. I was sure Cedric would want to repay you for telling him about the dragons, and so he did.
Vimes: Why did you drag me here?
Ahmed: Drag you? I had to sabotage my own ship so you wouldn't lose me!
Vimes: Yes, but... you... knew how I'd react.
Vimes's heart began to sink. Everyone knew how Sam Vimes would react.
It wasn't the blood. It was you...and your choices. I just gave you the options, and you chose the right path every time. You didn't need the feather to fly, you had it in you the whole time, Dumbo!
— Ruby, Supernatural
A spy's job is to get into the head of his adversary, to know how he'll behave and use it against him.
Michael Westen, Burn Notice
Terry Benedict: How did you know I would go for [the diamonds]?
Danny Ocean: Because you're you and I'm me.
Helix, one day you'll learn that the next best thing to have after a reliable ally is a predictable enemy.
Gek: Shipmaster 'Mdama! The humans have their prize! They are near escape!
Jul 'Mdama: Let them, Gek.
Gek: They carry the soul of a Promethean Knight!
Jul 'Mdama: And we have made enough of a display trying to retrieve it.
—Halo 4: Spartan Ops
Legend: Clockblocker managed to tether Mannequin in place. Crawler freed himself from the same trap by tearing himself in two against the immovable object. It was Piggot who managed to keep Crawler in the blast area
Legend: She had Weld pass on a message, telling Crawler what we had planned. He was so tickled at the idea that we would be able to hurt him that he stayed where he was while the teams made their retreat.
Martin Vanger: You know what's harder than hitting someone with a gun? Just missing them. It was a very good shot, up at the cabin.
Blomkvist: Well it didn't work. I'm still here.
Martin Vanger: Mikael, it did work. You're here.
—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (American remake)