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* In ''Film/OceansEleven'', it's {{Subverted}}. [[BigBad Terry Benedict]] tries this on Linus, who's disguised as a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It doesn't work, since Linus has [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Livingston feeding him info through an earpiece.]]
-->'''Benedict''': You new at the commission?
-->'''Linus''': Been there about two years.
-->'''Benedict''': I know Hal Lindley over there; you work with him at all?
-->'''Linus''': ''({{beat}})'' Not since he died last year.

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* In ''Film/OceansEleven'', it's {{Subverted}}. [[BigBad Terry Benedict]] tries this on Linus, who's disguised as a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It doesn't work, since Linus has [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection Livingston feeding him info through an earpiece.]]
-->'''Benedict''': You new at the commission?
-->'''Linus''': Been there about two years.
-->'''Benedict''': I know Hal Lindley over there; you work with him at all?
-->'''Linus''': ''({{beat}})'' Not since he died last year.

Added DiffLines:

* On ''Series/ChillingAdventuresOfSabrina'', Ambrose is being held prisoner and falsely accused of murder by some nasty witches. Hilda comes to see him and is met by a calm Ambrose who talks of how he deserves what's happening to him and Hilda can't help. Meanwhile, the real Ambrose is being met by a witch using a glamour to pretend to be Hilda and press Ambrose to confess to save the family. Each of them is able to see something is wrong and test it. First, Hilda talks of a great past holiday dinner they had, Ambrose agreeing it was great...and Hilda stating that never happened. For his part, Ambrose says he'll be happy to confess...as soon as "Hilda" tells him what her favorite episode of ''Series/FawltyTowers'' (a show she's never watched) is. Both imposters realize they've been found out.


* In ''WesternAnimation/TuffPuppy'', The Chameleon got into a tussle with Dudley, while disguised as Dudley, Kitty was able to tell who was the real Dudley by getting one of them to spell Dudley's name, the Chameleon got it right and she blasted him. The real Dudley can't spell his own name, let alone write it down.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TuffPuppy'', ''WesternAnimation/TUFFPuppy'', The Chameleon got into a tussle with Dudley, while disguised as Dudley, Kitty was able to tell who was the real Dudley by getting one of them to spell Dudley's name, the Chameleon got it right and she blasted him. The real Dudley can't spell his own name, let alone write it down.



* In the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' episode ''[[Recap/TransformersPrimeS1E8ConJob Con Job]]'', the Decepticons employ a superlative shapeshifter Transformer called Makeshift to impersonate Bulkhead's Wrecker buddy Wheeljack, who then infiltrates the Autobot base. Bulkhead suspects something's wrong all through the episode, and finally forces 'Wheeljack' to tell the story of a famous battle. Makeshift talks about a fight alongside Bulkhead and the other Wreckers, and at first it looks like he gets it right, but...

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* In the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' episode ''[[Recap/TransformersPrimeS1E8ConJob "[[Recap/TransformersPrimeS1E8ConJob Con Job]]'', Job]]", the Decepticons employ a superlative shapeshifter Transformer called Makeshift to impersonate Bulkhead's Wrecker buddy Wheeljack, who then infiltrates the Autobot base. Bulkhead suspects something's wrong all through the episode, and finally forces 'Wheeljack' to tell the story of a famous battle. Makeshift talks about a fight alongside Bulkhead and the other Wreckers, and at first it looks like he gets it right, but...



* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "German Guy": when Chris discovers that his new elderly friend Franz is a former SS officer, Franz holds Peter at gunpoint, but Peter knocks his gun out of his hand, allowing Chris to get it. [[FatIdiot Chris]] suddenly thinks that Franz is Peter's EvilTwin and asks them what's his birthday. Franz answers correctly and Chris shoots Peter and hugs Franz, who takes back the gun. Peter rightfully calls Chris out for his incompetence, [[NeverMyFault but Chris argues that he should've learned his birthday]].



* In World War II: A variation for those on watch both used and inverted this system: The guard would state "The Land of the Free," to which an American would reply "And the Home of the Brave." Then the guard would state "The Terror of Flight," to which a German would reply as "And the Gloom of the Grave"... Every American soldier would [[TrustPassword know the first verse of their national anthem]], but only a spy [[INeverSaidItWasPoison trying too hard to pass as one]] would know the ''third'' verse.
* El Al security guards ask similar questions of the airline's passengers. For example they might ask if the passenger saw a sporting event that didn't actually happen. If they say "yes" it's a good sign they're hiding something.

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* In World War II: UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: A variation for those on watch both used and inverted this system: The guard would state "The Land of the Free," to which an American would reply "And the Home of the Brave." Then the guard would state "The Terror of Flight," to which a German would reply as "And the Gloom of the Grave"... Every American soldier would [[TrustPassword know the first verse of their national anthem]], but only a spy [[INeverSaidItWasPoison trying too hard to pass as one]] would know the ''third'' verse.
* El Al security guards ask similar questions of the airline's passengers. For example example, they might ask if the passenger saw a sporting event that didn't actually happen. If they say "yes" it's a good sign they're hiding something.



* Psychological inventories often include questions asking if the person is a fan of made up people to see if the person is lying or not bothering to read the questions.

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* Psychological inventories often include questions asking if the person is a fan of made up made-up people to see if the person is lying or not bothering to read the questions.

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** In "Code Yellow", Deke bluffs Sarge (who is posing as Coulson) by asking about "Agent Doug". None the wiser, Sarge keeps it circumspect: "Doug's Doug".

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* On ''Series/DesignatedSurvivor'', Hannah is investigating a brewery outside of Boston with the owner talking of having grown up in the area and brushes off knowing of anything with a genetic company. Hannah says he should get "Gronk" to promote his beer, the man blinking in confusion before she clarifies she meant New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski. As Hannah tells her British partner, there's no way someone who grew up in this area could ''not'' be a die-hard Patriots fan.

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* In a ''VideoGame/Yakuza6'' sidequest, Kiryu receives a call from a scammer pretending to be Taichi, one of his wards at his orphanage in Okinawa, who asks that Kiryu give a large sum of money to an accomplice in the name of helping a sick friend. Smelling a rat, when Kiryu goes to meet with the accomplice he pointedly asks if "Taichi" ever mentioned how he got the "huge burn scar" on his face (which, of course, the real Taichi doesn't have), and is almost dumbfounded at how quickly the scammers exposed themselves.


** Nancy also does this to Beth's boyfriend Alan in one of the ''Case Files'' stories when Beth goes missing. She asks if Beth took a specific type of medication. When Alan says yes, Nancy realises he's bullshitting because Beth is allergic to said medication, and taking it could kill her. Alan is forced to come clean.

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** Nancy also does this to Beth's boyfriend Alan in one of the ''Case Files'' stories when Beth goes missing.missing, and she suspects Alan knows more than he's letting on. She asks if Beth took a specific type of medication. When Alan says yes, Nancy realises he's bullshitting because Beth is allergic to said medication, and taking it could kill her. Alan is forced to come clean.

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** Nancy also does this to Beth's boyfriend Alan in one of the ''Case Files'' stories when Beth goes missing. She asks if Beth took a specific type of medication. When Alan says yes, Nancy realises he's bullshitting because Beth is allergic to said medication, and taking it could kill her. Alan is forced to come clean.


Related to YouJustToldMe and SpotTheImposter. May involve SpySpeak. See also CoverIdentityAnomaly, PullTheThread and SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay, for when the impostor says something that breaks his or her cover, intentionally or not. Contrast INeverSaidItWasPoison and TrustPassword. May involve ExasperatedPerp.

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Related to YouJustToldMe and SpotTheImposter. May involve SpySpeak. See also CoverIdentityAnomaly, PullTheThread and SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay, for when the impostor says something that breaks his or her cover, intentionally or not. Contrast INeverSaidItWasPoison and TrustPassword. May involve ExasperatedPerp. Compare BluffTheEavesdropper


* This has actually been done quite seriously on other [[PoliceProcedural cop shows]] if a person's alibi is that they were attending/watching some kind of event--in an [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]] episode, when a man claims to have been watching a ball game, Stabler starts chatting about how lousy the game was, only for the confused man to tell him that the game went ''well'', thus confirming that he's telling the truth.
* A short-lived spy series in the sixties had the hero pull a DeadPersonImpersonation of a wealthy man who'd been killed by Soviets when they [[IdenticalStranger mistook him for the spy]]. The rich man's wife caught on to the imposture fairly quickly, because her husband was a {{Jerkass}}, and the agent treated her with courtesy. She tested him by asking if he'd consulted his sister about a certain business dealing. Not having had the chance for a proper briefing about the man he posed as, he said dismissively, "What does she have to do with it?" Of course, "My husband doesn't have a sister." She wound up covering for him anyway.
----



* Played much less seriously in the pilot of ''Series/TheChicagoCode''. Wysocki asks his partner what time the game starts, and Evers tells him 1:20. Wysocki notes that the White Sox have the day off, which blows Evers' cover revealing himself for the traitorous Cubs fan he truly is.



* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an ''archaeologist'', and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
-->'''Frasier:''' This morning, you said you met him on a double date.\\
'''Roz:''' Oh yeah, it ''was'' on a double date! \\
'''Frasier:''' '''''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!]]'''''
** After Daphne finds out that a patient of Niles' has a crush on him, she and Roz go to her office to find out what she looks like. When they meet the woman, Roz rants about how they "flew in from corporate for a meeting", only to have the woman bluntly ask, "How could you fly in from corporate? Corporate's downstairs."
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Peter eventually uses this on [[spoiler:Fauxlivia]], reciting a line of Greek to her that the genuine article would have recognized. Unfortunately he wasn't very subtle about it, and she was waiting in the next room with a gun.



* A ''Series/GeneralHospital'' storyline had a woman named Katherine Crawford coming to town, claiming to be friends with the recently deceased Dominique Baldwin and rapidly befriending her widowed husband, Scott after learning that Dominique was dead. However, Scott's friend Lucy was immediately suspicious and began to investigate. Her first discovery, that no one named Charles Crawford had died recently (Katherine was claiming to have been recently widowed herself) was thwarted when Katherine stated that her married name had been ''Reynolds''. But her second attempt proved successful when she was able to present the ''real'' Katherine Crawford to Scott. Unfortunately, Scott decided to believe Katherine's lame excuses, leading Lucy to have to make ''another'' discovery to prove Katherine's duplicity--upon re-reading the letter than Katherine wrote to Dominique, she realizes that Katherine used her fake name, something that would have been unnecessary if Dominique knew her. Which meant that Katherine ALREADY knew that Dominique was dead before coming to town, and that her intent from day one was to scam Scott out of the money that he'd inherited.
** From the same show: Twice, SerialKiller Ryan Chamberlain escaped from prison and took his twin brother's place in Port Charles society so that he could continue to stalk Felicia Jones, who he was obsessed with. In both cases, Kevin managed to alert people by discussing events that Ryan couldn't have known about.
* A case of bluff the witness is used in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Unprepared". [[spoiler: Once they realize the witness is the one who committed the crime (he claimed he made a cell phone call in an area with a phone block), they ask if he made the call during the intermission of the recital he was at. He says he did, and they point out that there was no intermission.]]



* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** The crew is trying to decide if their most recent addition is truly a POW or a spy. Hogan tells his men not to ask about Ty Cobb's batting average as that's the first thing a spy would learn. Later on, after correctly answering questions on American cities, Carter asks the spy if he knows anything about Ty Cobb, to which the spy asks "Want to know his batting average?"
** In another episode, one of Hogan's crew is trying to infiltrate a meeting of German officers under guise of another visiting officer. One of them, perhaps sensing an impostor, says he had heard that he injured his hand in a hunting accident, and asks him which hand it was: the right or the left? The spy manages to dodge the question by saying: "Thanks to superior German medical techniques, you can't tell which of my hands was injured!"
** In the pilot episode, Hogan and his men test incoming escaping [=POWs=] this way first by asking what unit they're supposedly from, then feeding them some fictitious names while asking how Hogan's "old buddies" in the unit are doing. Carter passes handily, while a German infiltrator is later tripped up by replying that "Major Campbell" is doing fine.



* Averted in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Pierre Chang realises that Hurley is probably from the future. Hurley blows his cover when he mistakes a straight question for a bluff.
-->'''Chang:''' What year were you born?\\
'''Hurley:''' 1930.\\
'''Chang:''' So you're 47 years old?\\
'''Hurley:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chang:''' And you fought in the Korean war?\\
'''Hurley:''' There's no such thing!
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Arthur does this to goblin-possessed Gaius. Arthur offhandedly mentions Merlin's upcoming execution; when "Gaius" is completely nonplussed, Arthur immediately knows something is wrong.



* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Victoria invites the fake Amanda Clarke to tea and serves strawberries. When "Amanda" eats them, Victoria recalls her having had a severe allergic reaction to strawberries as a little girl. "Amanda" claims to have grown out of the allergy, but Victoria now ''knows'' she's an impostor because she made up the whole thing.



* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Great Escapist", ProperlyParanoid Kevin Tran grows suspicious when the apparent Winchester brothers forget the [[TrustPassword secret knock]] and sends them to get him takeout barbecue. When they obey with proper deference to a Prophet of the Lord, Kevin knows that they're Crowley's {{Mook}}s in disguise and sends them into a trap.
** Double subverted in the much earlier episode "Skin". Sam suspects that a shapeshifter they're chasing is posing as Dean. He asks a supposedly casual question that's pretty obviously a test. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories and answers correctly, so Sam tosses him the car keys. However, the question was a red herring; the ''real'' test was the keys, which "Dean" caught with his left hand despite the real Dean having an injury to the left shoulder.
* A storyline on ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had the cops are searching for a pair of rapists who pose as police officers so that they can pull women over and then assault them. At the episodes end, as the fake cops are menacing a woman, the real cops arrive. The fake cops try to claim that the woman's screams for help are just the raving of someone high on drugs. Already suspicious (they know the woman and know she's not an addict), one of the real cops asks the fakers a question in "cop lingo". When he's unable to answer, they instantly know they've caught the criminals.



* Artie does this in an episode of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' to prove that Myka is really Alice Liddell, who has somehow swapped with Myka using a disco ball (ItMakesSenseInContext).




* A case of bluff the witness is used in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Unprepared". [[spoiler: Once they realize the witness is the one who committed the crime (he claimed he made a cell phone call in an area with a phone block), they ask if he made the call during the intermission of the recital he was at. He says he did, and they point out that there was no intermission.]]
* A storyline on ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had the cops are searching for a pair of rapists who pose as police officers so that they can pull women over and then assault them. At the episodes end, as the fake cops are menacing a woman, the real cops arrive. The fake cops try to claim that the woman's screams for help are just the raving of someone high on drugs. Already suspicious (they know the woman and know she's not an addict), one of the real cops asks the fakers a question in "cop lingo". When he's unable to answer, they instantly know they've caught the criminals.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an ''archaeologist'', and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
-->'''Frasier:''' This morning, you said you met him on a double date.\\
'''Roz:''' Oh yeah, it ''was'' on a double date! \\
'''Frasier:''' '''''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!]]'''''
** After Daphne finds out that a patient of Niles' has a crush on him, she and Roz go to her office to find out what she looks like. When they meet the woman, Roz rants about how they "flew in from corporate for a meeting", only to have the woman bluntly ask, "How could you fly in from corporate? Corporate's downstairs."
* A ''Series/GeneralHospital'' storyline had a woman named Katherine Crawford coming to town, claiming to be friends with the recently deceased Dominique Baldwin and rapidly befriending her widowed husband, Scott after learning that Dominique was dead. However, Scott's friend Lucy was immediately suspicious and began to investigate. Her first discovery, that no one named Charles Crawford had died recently (Katherine was claiming to have been recently widowed herself) was thwarted when Katherine stated that her married name had been ''Reynolds''. But her second attempt proved successful when she was able to present the ''real'' Katherine Crawford to Scott. Unfortunately, Scott decided to believe Katherine's lame excuses, leading Lucy to have to make ''another'' discovery to prove Katherine's duplicity--upon re-reading the letter than Katherine wrote to Dominique, she realizes that Katherine used her fake name, something that would have been unnecessary if Dominique knew her. Which meant that Katherine ALREADY knew that Dominique was dead before coming to town, and that her intent from day one was to scam Scott out of the money that he'd inherited.
** From the same show: Twice, SerialKiller Ryan Chamberlain escaped from prison and took his twin brother's place in Port Charles society so that he could continue to stalk Felicia Jones, who he was obsessed with. In both cases, Kevin managed to alert people by discussing events that Ryan couldn't have known about.
* A short-lived spy series in the sixties had the hero pull a DeadPersonImpersonation of a wealthy man who'd been killed by Soviets when they [[IdenticalStranger mistook him for the spy]]. The rich man's wife caught on to the imposture fairly quickly, because her husband was a {{Jerkass}}, and the agent treated her with courtesy. She tested him by asking if he'd consulted his sister about a certain business dealing. Not having had the chance for a proper briefing about the man he posed as, he said dismissively, "What does she have to do with it?" Of course, "My husband doesn't have a sister." She wound up covering for him anyway.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** The crew is trying to decide if their most recent addition is truly a POW or a spy. Hogan tells his men not to ask about Ty Cobb's batting average as that's the first thing a spy would learn. Later on, after correctly answering questions on American cities, Carter asks the spy if he knows anything about Ty Cobb, to which the spy asks "Want to know his batting average?"
** In another episode, one of Hogan's crew is trying to infiltrate a meeting of German officers under guise of another visiting officer. One of them, perhaps sensing an impostor, says he had heard that he injured his hand in a hunting accident, and asks him which hand it was: the right or the left? The spy manages to dodge the question by saying: "Thanks to superior German medical techniques, you can't tell which of my hands was injured!"
** In the pilot episode, Hogan and his men test incoming escaping [=POWs=] this way first by asking what unit they're supposedly from, then feeding them some fictitious names while asking how Hogan's "old buddies" in the unit are doing. Carter passes handily, while a German infiltrator is later tripped up by replying that "Major Campbell" is doing fine.
* Artie does this in an episode of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' to prove that Myka is really Alice Liddell, who has somehow swapped with Myka using a disco ball (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* Averted in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Pierre Chang realises that Hurley is probably from the future. Hurley blows his cover when he mistakes a straight question for a bluff.
-->'''Chang:''' What year were you born?\\
'''Hurley:''' 1930.\\
'''Chang:''' So you're 47 years old?\\
'''Hurley:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chang:''' And you fought in the Korean war?\\
'''Hurley:''' There's no such thing!
* Played much less seriously in the pilot of ''Series/TheChicagoCode''. Wysocki asks his partner what time the game starts, and Evers tells him 1:20. Wysocki notes that the White Sox have the day off, which blows Evers' cover revealing himself for the traitorous Cubs fan he truly is.
** This has actually been done quite seriously on other [[PoliceProcedural cop shows]] if a person's alibi is that they were attending/watching some kind of event--in an [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]] episode, when a man claims to have been watching a ball game, Stabler starts chatting about how lousy the game was, only for the confused man to tell him that the game went ''well'', thus confirming that he's telling the truth.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Peter eventually uses this on [[spoiler:Fauxlivia]], reciting a line of Greek to her that the genuine article would have recognized. Unfortunately he wasn't very subtle about it, and she was waiting in the next room with a gun.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Victoria invites the fake Amanda Clarke to tea and serves strawberries. When "Amanda" eats them, Victoria recalls her having had a severe allergic reaction to strawberries as a little girl. "Amanda" claims to have grown out of the allergy, but Victoria now ''knows'' she's an impostor because she made up the whole thing.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Arthur does this to goblin-possessed Gaius. Arthur offhandedly mentions Merlin's upcoming execution; when "Gaius" is completely nonplussed, Arthur immediately knows something is wrong.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Great Escapist", ProperlyParanoid Kevin Tran grows suspicious when the apparent Winchester brothers forget the [[TrustPassword secret knock]] and sends them to get him takeout barbecue. When they obey with proper deference to a Prophet of the Lord, Kevin knows that they're Crowley's {{Mook}}s in disguise and sends them into a trap.
** Double subverted in the much earlier episode "Skin". Sam suspects that a shapeshifter they're chasing is posing as Dean. He asks a supposedly casual question that's pretty obviously a test. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories and answers correctly, so Sam tosses him the car keys. However, the question was a red herring; the ''real'' test was the keys, which "Dean" caught with his left hand despite the real Dean having an injury to the left shoulder.



[[folder:Theater]]

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[[folder:Theater]][[folder:Theatre]]



[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Casper uses this on "Komi" in ''{{Webcomic/Darken}}.'' [[spoiler:It works, but Casper finds himself in a less than ideal situation as a result.]]

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[[folder:Web Comics]]
[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Casper uses this on "Komi" in ''{{Webcomic/Darken}}.'' ''{{Webcomic/Darken}}''. [[spoiler:It works, but Casper finds himself in a less than ideal situation as a result.]]


!!Examples

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!!Examples
!!Examples:



* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]''
*** The Ministry advises people to ask this kind of question to make sure a Death Eater isn't impersonating your friend. Harry quickly figures out for himself that when magical compulsion is one of the favorite tools of the bad guys, this sort of thing is the barest of bare-bones contingencies. Dumbledore states that agrees with him.
*** Arthur Weasley comes home from the Ministry and passes Molly's challenge at the door. When she goes to open it, he grabs it and pulls the door shut again so he can challenge her. Afterwards, Molly comments that it's silly, since anyone impersonating Arthur could easily torture the question and response out of him. He agrees with her, but says that they should do it to set an example.
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', members of the Order of the Phoenix start doing this to each other. There is the slight variant that they don't agree on what questions to ask beforehand, instead just asking about random moments in their past, making the system more secure.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/DoubleStar'', a disguised actor impersonating a politician meets with the Emperor of the Solar System. The Emperor insists that he play with his toy trains, which the actor dutifully does. The Emperor then asks him who he ''really'' is, because all the past times he had met with the politician and asked him to play with the trains the politician had refused and teased him about having such a childish hobby -- it was a sort of game between them. It was an interesting play on this trope, as the actor's impersonation was so flawless that the Emperor hadn't really been all that suspicious until that point.
* In ''The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf'', the title characters are staying with a group of [[KnightInShiningArmor knights]], and the dwarf mentions that he used to serve Sir Gaheris. One of the knights asks casually if Sir Gaheris is still as skilled a swordsman as ever. The dwarf [[spoiler:who is actually Sir Gaheris under an enchantress' curse]] passes the test when he responds that the knight must be thinking of someone else, since Sir Gaheris is a notoriously abysmal swordsman.

to:

* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
**
In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]''
*** The Ministry advises people to ask this kind of question to make sure a Death Eater isn't impersonating your friend. Harry quickly figures out for himself
Creator/KirBulychev's ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'' series it happens very often, considering that when magical compulsion Alice's ArchEnemy is one of the favorite tools of the bad guys, this sort of thing is the barest of bare-bones contingencies. Dumbledore states that agrees with him.
*** Arthur Weasley comes home from the Ministry and passes Molly's challenge at the door. When she goes to open it, he grabs it and pulls the door shut again so he can challenge her. Afterwards, Molly comments that it's silly, since anyone impersonating Arthur could easily torture the question and response out of him. He agrees with her, but says that they should do it to set an example.
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', members of the Order of the Phoenix start doing this to each other. There is the slight variant that they don't agree on what questions to ask beforehand, instead just asking about random moments
a shapeshifter. It's taken UpToEleven in their past, making the system more secure.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/DoubleStar'', a disguised actor impersonating a politician meets with the Emperor of the Solar System. The Emperor insists that he play with his toy trains, which the actor dutifully does. The Emperor then asks him who he ''really'' is, because all the past times he had met with the politician and asked him to play with the trains the politician had refused and teased him about having such a childish hobby -- it was a sort of game between them. It was an interesting play on this trope, as the actor's impersonation was so flawless that the Emperor hadn't really been all that suspicious until that point.
* In
''The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf'', the title characters are staying with a group of [[KnightInShiningArmor knights]], and the dwarf mentions that he used to serve Sir Gaheris. One Jewelry Box of the knights asks casually if Sir Gaheris is still as skilled a swordsman as ever. The dwarf [[spoiler:who is actually Sir Gaheris under an enchantress' curse]] passes the test when he responds that the knight must be thinking of Pirate's Mother'': Alice encounters someone else, since Sir Gaheris looking like her friend Rrrr, only she had just helped the latter flee, bandaged and bleeding. Pretending to be happy, she reminds the false Rrrr that she had to come to Brastak (his planet) from Earth via another planet (while in reality she flew straight there from the planet Penelope), tells him that on Earth it's raining mushrooms, and asks him if he remembers how they met on Pataliputra and played in the snow (that planet has tropical climate even in the polar regions). When he doesn't react to any of these absurdities, she is a notoriously abysmal swordsman.left with no doubt that it's an impostor.



* In one of the ''Ranger's Apprentice'' books, Will is in disguise as a minstrel. The lord of the castle he's visiting asks if his instrument was made by the master luthier Gilperon, and Will says no. Later the lord informs him that the luthier's name is actually Gilet, which a real musician would have known.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', the Duke challenges Sir John to name Calliope's birthmark on her thigh. Sir John sputters. Given that with Sir John's reputation, any imposter would have improvised because of course Sir John would have known.
* Used in Creator/DanAbnett's third Literature/{{Eisenhorn}} book, ''Hereticus''. Eisenhorn spots an imposter posing as a trusted member of his retinue by saying their situation reminded him of the tight spot they'd been in fighting Beldame Sadia on Eechan. The imposter agrees, alerting Eisenhorn (and any particularly astute readers) to the trick -- they'd actually fought Sadia on Lethe Eleven.

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* ''Literature/TheCurseWorkers'': In one of ''White Cat'', Cassel casually asks his brother Barron if he remembers certain incidents from their childhood, and Barron says he does... except the ''Ranger's Apprentice'' books, Will is in disguise as a minstrel. The lord of the castle incidents are things Cassel made up, or that happened to someone else. In this case, though, Barron isn't an impostor; he's visiting asks if his instrument was made by the master luthier Gilperon, [[spoiler:suffering from memory loss]] and Will says no. Later the lord informs him that the luthier's name is actually Gilet, which a real musician would have known.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', the Duke challenges Sir John
trying to name Calliope's birthmark on her thigh. Sir John sputters. Given that with Sir John's reputation, any imposter would have improvised cover it up because [[spoiler:he's a memory worker suffering the magical backlash from repeatedly altering Cassel's memories.]]
* ''Literature/DirkPittAdventures'': In ''Iceberg'', hero Dirk Pitt meets scientist/businesswoman Kristi Fyrie at a dinner. From the start, Pitt thinks something is off as Kristi talks
of course Sir John having spent years in the South American jungles but Pitt [[SpotTheImposter notes her skin is nowhere tan enough for that.]] He talks of wanting a steak that's basically an echidna seaweed and she agrees it's a delicious dish in New Guinea. Later in the book, Pitt explains it to an ally who doesn't grasp it at first.
-->'''Pitt''': How
would have known.
* Used
you react if I said I just barbecued a New York cut steak wrapped in Creator/DanAbnett's third Literature/{{Eisenhorn}} book, ''Hereticus''. Eisenhorn spots porcupine quills?\\
'''Ally''': I'd say something.\\
'''Pitt''': You get the idea.
** A slight subversion in that it turns out [[spoiler: Pitt believed Kristi was
an imposter posing as a trusted member of his retinue by saying their situation reminded him the sister of the tight spot they'd late Krisjan Frye; in reality, she ''is'' Frye having secretly undergone a sex change.]]
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'': A vampire tries to get Magrat to open a door by pretending to be Nanny Ogg. Magrat demands that "Nanny" first tell [[NoodleIncident the joke about the old woman, the priest, and the rhinoceros]]. The vampire tries to protest that this isn't the time for that -- proving it's an impostor, since the ''real'' Nanny Ogg [[DirtyOldWoman always has time for a dirty joke]]. It's not pointed out, but longtime readers might also catch the fact that the vampire had exclaimed "lawks!", a stereotypical old-lady cry which the elder witches only resort to when they're ''pretending'' to be harmless.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/DoubleStar'', a disguised actor impersonating a politician meets with the Emperor of the Solar System. The Emperor insists that he play with his toy trains, which the actor dutifully does. The Emperor then asks him who he ''really'' is, because all the past times he had met with the politician and asked him to play with the trains the politician had refused and teased him about having such a childish hobby -- it was a sort of game between them. It was an interesting play on this trope, as the actor's impersonation was so flawless that the Emperor hadn't really
been in fighting Beldame Sadia on Eechan. all that suspicious until that point.
* In Creator/AaronAllston's ''Literature/GalateaIn2D'', when Roger suspects the false Donna, he asks if Elsie's at David's, rather than Dylan's.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]''
***
The Ministry advises people to ask this kind of question to make sure a Death Eater isn't impersonating your friend. Harry quickly figures out for himself that when magical compulsion is one of the favorite tools of the bad guys, this sort of thing is the barest of bare-bones contingencies. Dumbledore states that agrees with him.
*** Arthur Weasley comes home from the Ministry and passes Molly's challenge at the door. When she goes to open it, he grabs it and pulls the door shut again so he can challenge her. Afterwards, Molly comments that it's silly, since anyone impersonating Arthur could easily torture the question and response out of him. He agrees with her, but says that they should do it to set an example.
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', members of the Order of the Phoenix start doing this to each other. There is the slight variant that they don't agree on what questions to ask beforehand, instead just asking about random moments in their past, making the system more secure.
* In Kurt Steel's ''The Imposter'', the president of an aircraft company, after discovering the dead body of a double who was sent to impersonate him in a Nazi plot but ran afoul of an entirely ''separate'' Nazi plot to assassinate said president, decided to pretend to be the double in an attempt to flush out both sets of enemy agents, but was revealed when one of the dead man's more suspicious associates made some comments about things which had never happened.
* Appears in ''The Light Bearer'', a historical-fiction story about the Roman conquest of Germania. Germanic chief Baldemar reveals an
imposter agrees, alerting Eisenhorn (and any particularly astute readers) to the trick be a foreign spy by asking him if a famous local woman has recovered from an illness, to which he replies that she has -- they'd she actually fought Sadia on Lethe Eleven.died the previous year.



* It also shows up in Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's Franchise/SherlockHolmes story ''The Adventure of the Three Garridebs''. When a man claiming to be an American lawyer recently arrived in London calls on Holmes, Sherlock first asks whether the American had placed an ad in the "agony columns" and is assured that he did, then when the 'American' says he's from Kansas, Holmes mentions an old correspondent of his, Dr Lysander Starr, who was "mayor of Topeka in 1890." The 'American' assures him that Dr Starr's memory is still honored in Kansas. After he's left, Holmes assures Watson that he's not what he claims - there was no ad in the agony columns and "Dr Lysander Starr" is completely fictional.



* In Lawrence Block's ''Me Tanner, You Jane'' Evan, after spending several days with a man claiming to be fellow agent Sam Bowman (whom Evan had never met), becomes suspicious and states in casual conversation that the chief of their agency is a by-the-book fellow who wears a plaid hat. "Bowman" doesn't contradict either "fact".
* In a ''Literature/NancyDrew'' book, Nancy has become suspicious of a young man claiming to be the long-lost son of the wealthiest man in town. (The man was presumed dead in an avalanche during a trip to Switzerland but has returned several years later, claiming to have been recuperating in a hospital all this time). While initially charming everyone, he still makes several mistakes -- buying his housekeeper a chocolate cake for her birthday when he should know that she's allergic, as she once had a severe reaction in front of him. Nancy finally trips him up by gushing about his 18th birthday party (the last one he had before vanishing), mentioning how cool his "giant purple and white football cake" was. The man enthusiastically agrees -- until Nancy coldly informs that that's NOT the kind of cake that was served.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', the Duke challenges Sir John to name Calliope's birthmark on her thigh. Sir John sputters. Given that with Sir John's reputation, any imposter would have improvised because of course Sir John would have known.
* ''Literature/TheOtherworld'': In ''Haunted'', Lucas asks "Jaime" if she wants Indian food, confirming Eve's claim that she's been possessed by a demon ghost.
* This is how, in an early arc of ''Literature/PerryRhodan'', Atlan discovers that the eponymous protagonist has been replaced by a doppleganger [[spoiler:-- specifically, his first son who has undergone a FaceHeelTurn]]. The impostor has most of the original's current knowledge due to his allies [[MindProbe telepathically interrogating]] the former before setting the plot into motion, but Rhodan managed to slip in just enough misinformation about his initial clashes with Atlan for the latter to catch on once the subject comes up. (In their first duel in that museum on Venus, they fought with broadswords, ''not'' smallswords, and the imposter then failing to recognize a silly little rhyme that had special meaning for them both after a long, wearying chase on the planet [[MeaningfulName Hellgate]] cinched it.)



* In ''Haunted'', one of the ''[[Literature/TheOtherworld Women of the Otherworld]]'' series, Lucas asks "Jaime" if she wants Indian food, confirming Eve's claim that she's been possessed by a demon ghost.
* Appears in ''The Light Bearer'', a historical-fiction story about the Roman conquest of Germania. Germanic chief Baldemar reveals an imposter to be a foreign spy by asking him if a famous local woman has recovered from an illness, to which he replies that she has -- she actually died the previous year.
* In Creator/AaronAllston's ''Literature/GalateaIn2D'', when Roger suspects the false Donna, he asks if Elsie's at David's, rather than Dylan's.
* In ''White Cat'', Cassel casually asks his brother Barron if he remembers certain incidents from their childhood, and Barron says he does... except the incidents are things Cassel made up, or that happened to someone else. In this case, though, Barron isn't an impostor; he's [[spoiler:suffering from memory loss]] and trying to cover it up because [[spoiler: he's a memory worker suffering the magical backlash from repeatedly altering Cassel's memories.]]
* In the Creator/CliveCussler novel ''Iceberg'', hero Dirk Pitt meets scientist/busineswoman Kristi Fyrie at a dinner. From the start, Pitt thinks something is off as Kristi talks of having spent years in the South American jungles but Pitt [[SpotTheImposter notes her skin is nowhere tan enough for that.]] He talks of wanting a steak that's basically an enchida seaweed and she agrees it's a delicious dish in New Guinea. Later in the book, Pitt explains it to an ally who doesn't grasp it at first.
-->'''Pitt''': How would you react if I said I just barbecued a New York cut steak wrapped in porcupine quills?
-->'''Ally''': I'd say something.
-->'''Pitt''': You get the idea.
** A slight subversion in that it turns out [[spoiler: Pitt believed Kristi was an imposter posing as the sister of the late Krisjan Frye; in reality, she ''is'' Frye having secretly undergone a sex change.]]
* This is how, in an early arc of ''Literature/PerryRhodan'', Atlan discovers that the eponymous protagonist has been replaced by a doppleganger [[spoiler:-- specifically, his first son who has undergone a FaceHeelTurn]]. The impostor has most of the original's current knowledge due to his allies [[MindProbe telepathically interrogating]] the former before setting the plot into motion, but Rhodan managed to slip in just enough misinformation about his initial clashes with Atlan for the latter to catch on once the subject comes up. (In their first duel in that museum on Venus, they fought with broadswords, ''not'' smallswords, and the imposter then failing to recognize a silly little rhyme that had special meaning for them both after a long, wearying chase on the planet [[MeaningfulName Hellgate]] cinched it.)
* In a ''Literature/NancyDrew'' book, Nancy has become suspicious of a young man claiming to be the long-lost son of the wealthiest man in town. (The man was presumed dead in an avalanche during a trip to Switzerland but has returned several years later, claiming to have been recuperating in a hospital all this time). While initially charming everyone, he still makes several mistakes -- buying his housekeeper a chocolate cake for her birthday when he should know that she's allergic, as she once had a severe reaction in front of him. Nancy finally trips him up by gushing about his 18th birthday party (the last one he had before vanishing), mentioning how cool his "giant purple and white football cake" was. The man enthusiastically agrees -- until Nancy coldly informs that that's NOT the kind of cake that was served.
* In Kurt Steel's ''The Imposter'', the president of an aircraft company, after discovering the dead body of a double who was sent to impersonate him in a Nazi plot but ran afoul of an entirely ''separate'' Nazi plot to assassinate said president, decided to pretend to be the double in an attempt to flush out both sets of enemy agents, but was revealed when one of the dead man's more suspicious associates made some comments about things which had never happened.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'': A vampire tries to get Magrat to open a door by pretending to be Nanny Ogg. Magrat demands that "Nanny" first tell [[NoodleIncident the joke about the old woman, the priest, and the rhinoceros]]. The vampire tries to protest that this isn't the time for that -- proving it's an impostor, since the ''real'' Nanny Ogg [[DirtyOldWoman always has time for a dirty joke]]. It's not pointed out, but longtime readers might also catch the fact that the vampire had exclaimed "lawks!", a stereotypical old-lady cry which the elder witches only resort to when they're ''pretending'' to be harmless.
* In Creator/VladimirVasilyev's ''The Treasure of the Kapitana'', an [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Albionian]] (British) captain is seeking to hire a Tauridan (Crimean) pilot to help him sail the treacherous waters of the Euxine (Black) Sea. While the local pilots (called "shtarkhs") use more magic than learning to navigate the sea, Ralph also has a piloting degree from the Southampton Naval Academy. He shows his diploma to the captain, who immediately asks how his good friend the chancellor of the academy is doing, seemingly forgetting his name. Ralph helpfully supplies the name and, when the captain asks how the chancellor's wooden leg is feeling, calmly corrects him that, when Ralph last saw the chancellor, he had two good legs but only one eye.

to:

* In ''Haunted'', one of the ''[[Literature/TheOtherworld Women ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' books, Will is in disguise as a minstrel. The lord of the Otherworld]]'' series, Lucas asks "Jaime" if she wants Indian food, confirming Eve's claim that she's been possessed by a demon ghost.
* Appears in ''The Light Bearer'', a historical-fiction story about the Roman conquest of Germania. Germanic chief Baldemar reveals an imposter to be a foreign spy by asking him if a famous local woman has recovered from an illness, to which he replies that she has -- she actually died the previous year.
* In Creator/AaronAllston's ''Literature/GalateaIn2D'', when Roger suspects the false Donna, he asks if Elsie's at David's, rather than Dylan's.
* In ''White Cat'', Cassel casually asks his brother Barron if he remembers certain incidents from their childhood, and Barron says he does... except the incidents are things Cassel made up, or that happened to someone else. In this case, though, Barron isn't an impostor;
castle he's [[spoiler:suffering from memory loss]] visiting asks if his instrument was made by the master luthier Gilperon, and trying to cover it up because [[spoiler: he's a memory worker suffering the magical backlash from repeatedly altering Cassel's memories.]]
* In the Creator/CliveCussler novel ''Iceberg'', hero Dirk Pitt meets scientist/busineswoman Kristi Fyrie at a dinner. From the start, Pitt thinks something is off as Kristi talks of having spent years in the South American jungles but Pitt [[SpotTheImposter notes her skin is nowhere tan enough for that.]] He talks of wanting a steak that's basically an enchida seaweed and she agrees it's a delicious dish in New Guinea.
Will says no. Later in the book, Pitt explains it to an ally who doesn't grasp it at first.
-->'''Pitt''': How would you react if I said I just barbecued a New York cut steak wrapped in porcupine quills?
-->'''Ally''': I'd say something.
-->'''Pitt''': You get the idea.
** A slight subversion in that it turns out [[spoiler: Pitt believed Kristi was an imposter posing as the sister of the late Krisjan Frye; in reality, she ''is'' Frye having secretly undergone a sex change.]]
* This is how, in an early arc of ''Literature/PerryRhodan'', Atlan discovers
lord informs him that the eponymous protagonist has been replaced by a doppleganger [[spoiler:-- specifically, his first son who has undergone a FaceHeelTurn]]. The impostor has most of the original's current knowledge due to his allies [[MindProbe telepathically interrogating]] the former before setting the plot into motion, but Rhodan managed to slip in just enough misinformation about his initial clashes with Atlan for the latter to catch on once the subject comes up. (In their first duel in that museum on Venus, they fought with broadswords, ''not'' smallswords, and the imposter then failing to recognize a silly little rhyme that had special meaning for them both after a long, wearying chase on the planet [[MeaningfulName Hellgate]] cinched it.)
* In a ''Literature/NancyDrew'' book, Nancy has become suspicious of a young man claiming to be the long-lost son of the wealthiest man in town. (The man was presumed dead in an avalanche during a trip to Switzerland but has returned several years later, claiming to have been recuperating in a hospital all this time). While initially charming everyone, he still makes several mistakes -- buying his housekeeper a chocolate cake for her birthday when he should know that she's allergic, as she once had a severe reaction in front of him. Nancy finally trips him up by gushing about his 18th birthday party (the last one he had before vanishing), mentioning how cool his "giant purple and white football cake" was. The man enthusiastically agrees -- until Nancy coldly informs that that's NOT the kind of cake that was served.
* In Kurt Steel's ''The Imposter'', the president of an aircraft company, after discovering the dead body of a double who was sent to impersonate him in a Nazi plot but ran afoul of an entirely ''separate'' Nazi plot to assassinate said president, decided to pretend to be the double in an attempt to flush out both sets of enemy agents, but was revealed when one of the dead man's more suspicious associates made some comments about things
luthier's name is actually Gilet, which had never happened.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'': A vampire tries to get Magrat to open
a door by pretending to be Nanny Ogg. Magrat demands that "Nanny" first tell [[NoodleIncident the joke about the old woman, the priest, and the rhinoceros]]. The vampire tries to protest that this isn't the time for that -- proving it's an impostor, since the ''real'' Nanny Ogg [[DirtyOldWoman always has time for a dirty joke]]. It's not pointed out, but longtime readers might also catch the fact that the vampire had exclaimed "lawks!", a stereotypical old-lady cry which the elder witches only resort to when they're ''pretending'' to be harmless.
* In Creator/VladimirVasilyev's ''The Treasure of the Kapitana'', an [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Albionian]] (British) captain is seeking to hire a Tauridan (Crimean) pilot to help him sail the treacherous waters of the Euxine (Black) Sea. While the local pilots (called "shtarkhs") use more magic than learning to navigate the sea, Ralph also has a piloting degree from the Southampton Naval Academy. He shows his diploma to the captain, who immediately asks how his good friend the chancellor of the academy is doing, seemingly forgetting his name. Ralph helpfully supplies the name and, when the captain asks how the chancellor's wooden leg is feeling, calmly corrects him that, when Ralph last saw the chancellor, he had two good legs but only one eye.
real musician would have known.



* In KirBulychev's AliceGirlFromTheFuture series it happens very often, considering that Alice's ArchEnemy is a shapeshifter. It's taken UpToEleven in ''The Jewelry Box of the Pirate's Mother'': Alice encounters someone looking like her friend Rrrr, only she had just helped the latter flee, bandaged and bleeding. Pretending to be happy, she reminds the false Rrrr that she had to come to Brastak (his planet) from Earth via another planet (while in reality she flew straight there from the planet Penelope), tells him that on Earth it's raining mushrooms, and asks him if he remembers how they met on Pataliputra and played in the snow (that planet has tropical climate even in the polar regions). When he doesn't react to any of these absurdities, she is left with no doubt that it's an impostor.

to:

* In KirBulychev's AliceGirlFromTheFuture series it happens very often, considering that Alice's ArchEnemy is a shapeshifter. It's taken UpToEleven in ''The Jewelry Box Savage Damsel and the Dwarf'', the title characters are staying with a group of [[KnightInShiningArmor knights]], and the dwarf mentions that he used to serve Sir Gaheris. One of the Pirate's Mother'': Alice encounters knights asks casually if Sir Gaheris is still as skilled a swordsman as ever. The dwarf [[spoiler:who is actually Sir Gaheris under an enchantress' curse]] passes the test when he responds that the knight must be thinking of someone looking like her friend Rrrr, only she had just helped else, since Sir Gaheris is a notoriously abysmal swordsman.
* It also shows up in Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's Franchise/SherlockHolmes story ''The Adventure of
the latter flee, bandaged and bleeding. Pretending Three Garridebs''. When a man claiming to be happy, she reminds an American lawyer recently arrived in London calls on Holmes, Sherlock first asks whether the false Rrrr American had placed an ad in the "agony columns" and is assured that she had to come to Brastak (his planet) he did, then when the 'American' says he's from Earth via another planet (while Kansas, Holmes mentions an old correspondent of his, Dr Lysander Starr, who was "mayor of Topeka in reality she flew straight 1890." The 'American' assures him that Dr Starr's memory is still honored in Kansas. After he's left, Holmes assures Watson that he's not what he claims - there was no ad in the agony columns and "Dr Lysander Starr" is completely fictional.
* In Creator/VladimirVasilyev's ''The Treasure of the Kapitana'', an [[IstanbulNotConstantinople Albionian]] (British) captain is seeking to hire a Tauridan (Crimean) pilot to help him sail the treacherous waters of the Euxine (Black) Sea. While the local pilots (called "shtarkhs") use more magic than learning to navigate the sea, Ralph also has a piloting degree
from the planet Penelope), tells him that on Earth it's raining mushrooms, and Southampton Naval Academy. He shows his diploma to the captain, who immediately asks how his good friend the chancellor of the academy is doing, seemingly forgetting his name. Ralph helpfully supplies the name and, when the captain asks how the chancellor's wooden leg is feeling, calmly corrects him if he remembers how they met on Pataliputra and played in that, when Ralph last saw the snow (that planet has tropical climate even chancellor, he had two good legs but only one eye.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': Used
in Creator/DanAbnett's third Literature/{{Eisenhorn}} book, ''Hereticus''. Eisenhorn spots an imposter posing as a trusted member of his retinue by saying their situation reminded him of the polar regions). When he doesn't react to tight spot they'd been in fighting Beldame Sadia on Eechan. The imposter agrees, alerting Eisenhorn (and any of these absurdities, she is left with no doubt that it's an impostor. particularly astute readers) to the trick -- they'd actually fought Sadia on Lethe Eleven.



* In Lawrence Block's ''Me Tanner, You Jane'' Evan, after spending several days with a man claiming to be fellow agent Sam Bowman (whom Evan had never met), becomes suspicious and states in casual conversation that the chief of their agency is a by-the-book fellow who wears a plaid hat. "Bowman" doesn't contradict either "fact."



* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Brienne is on a secret mission to exchange the captured Jaime Lannister back to his family in exchange for both of Catelyn Stark's daughters. Along the way they run into some Stark soldiers, and one of them recognizes Jaime. Brienne tries to claim Jaime is a common thief she caught and is bringing to justice, but the leader of the soldiers upends the ruse by demanding [[StereoFibbing they both say his name at the same time]]. Naturally the two hadn't bothered to think of an alias ahead of time, so Brienne has to fight her way out of it.
* Averted on ''Series/TheBlacklist'' as Liz is undercover as an arms dealer from Harvard at an illegal auction. One of the leaders is suspicious and asks her about "the Duckie." Liz bides time by faking a sneeze. Luckily, Red is nearby and covers by complaining about "the Duckie" being the train that took drunken Harvard grads about. He then acts like he and the woman Liz is impersonating go back a long way to solidify her cover.
* In the ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Three of a Kind", this is actually used against the Lone Gunmen when Byers is attempting to pass himself off as a defense contractor. One of the other players at the poker table asks him a question: Langley, who has been providing research and info to support Byers' masquerade, comes up empty and tells Byers to fold. Byers, unfortunately, is feeling too bold for his own good, and exposes himself with a blatant lie.
* ''Series/RedDwarf''
** In "Balance of Power", Lister suspects that the Kochanski that visits him during his chefs exam is a fake when she uses the phrase 'up-up-up the ziggurat, lickety split' - something Rimmer has said before onscreen. To test 'her', he brings up them having had sex behind the bins on the snooker, which never happened, and causes Rimmer to blurt out that Lister never told him that.
** In "Psirens", to differentiate between Lister and a shape-shifting, brain-eating Psiren, the rest of the crew got them each to play the guitar. Lister incorrectly believed himself a [[VideoGame/GuitarHero guitar god]], so the Psiren played excellently. The crew then knew which one to blast. Although after hearing [[DreadfulMusician how the real Lister plays]], they wanted to shoot him too.
-->'''Cat:''' Little survival tip, bud. Never play your guitar in front of a man with a ''loaded gun''.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In "The Arsenal of Freedom", a simulacrum of a Starfleet captain unquestioningly accepts Riker's claim that his ship is called ''Lollipop'' ("[[Creator/ShirleyTemple It's a good ship]]").
*** In "Conspiracy," an old friend of Picard's does this to Picard because of alien parasites taking over the minds of Starfleet officers, which is explained when Picard asks his old friend what the hell he's talking about.
*** Likewise, in "Allegiance", Picard mentions [[CallBack a recent, still-classified incident]] in front of a fake Starfleet cadet, knowing that a real one would have no way of recognizing the comment as anything but a meaningless name.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': In the episode "Inquisition", while Bashir already suspects that things aren't what they seem, he proves it to himself and his captors when he asks what happened to O'Brien's shoulder, previously injured playing racquetball. O'Brien says it got better; Bashir then says it wasn't dislocated during a racquetball game, but kayaking. Holodeck room appears, Bashir's interrogator congratulates him on seeing through the illusion.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': In "Renaissance Man", Chakotay makes up an incident he claims Janeway told him about. When "Janeway" claims the current crisis has nothing to do with that past one, Chakotay knows that she's a fake. (It was the Doctor being forced to act as TheMole.)

to:

* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Brienne is on ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** In "Face My Enemy", Agent 33 disguises herself as agent May to lure Coulson into
a secret trap. When Coulson gets suspicious, he casually asks 'May' if they could finally get that cup of coffee they discussed years earlier when this mission to exchange is over. When May agrees, Coulson knows enough; the captured Jaime Lannister back to real May hates coffee.
** In "Love in the Face of HYDRA" this happens again, this time Agent 33 vs Talbot. To be fair, Talbot realizes very quickly and notifies Coulson "The nanomask is in play", and assembles all female staff workers, even telling
his family in exchange for both of Catelyn Stark's daughters. Along the way security not to let anyone disturb him, even if it is him. He even knows a lot about his staff, knowing which lines to say and how they run into some Stark soldiers, and one of them recognizes Jaime. Brienne tries should respond. However, he fails to claim Jaime is a common thief she caught and is bringing to justice, but the leader of the soldiers upends the ruse by demanding [[StereoFibbing realize that 33 can adopt either gender; or believed they both say were restricted to one gender, as when he himself was impersonated, it was by a man whom he knows is in custody.
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': It seemed to happen quite a lot, due to all the spies, moles, and infiltrators, but mostly due to Project Helix, an AppliedPhlebotinum that allowed one person to be identical to another. Will Tippin held a gun on Sydney Bristow because he thought her to be an impostor. He asked her what he spilled on
his name at the same time]]. Naturally shirt a decade ago before a job interview [[spoiler: and she ''knew'']]. Similarly, Sydney realized Francine had been killed and replaced with a gene-disguised impostor when she accepted a bite of coffee ice cream, which Francine hated.
* One episode of ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' uses this trope to help
the two hadn't bothered to think of an alias ahead of time, so Brienne has to fight her way main protagonists distinguish between who is or isn't possessed by a vengeful ghost out of it.
to murder the main hero. When sidekick [[PerkyGoth Merton Dingle]] is possessed, [[WolfMan Tommy Dawkins]] is able to figure it out after Possessed-Merton fails to remember the secret word that lets them know if he's possessed or not.
* Averted on ''Series/TheBlacklist'' as Liz is undercover as an arms dealer from Harvard at an illegal auction. One of the leaders is suspicious and asks her about "the Duckie." Duckie". Liz bides time by faking a sneeze. Luckily, Red is nearby and covers by complaining about "the Duckie" being the train that took drunken Harvard grads about. He then acts like he and the woman Liz is impersonating go back a long way to solidify her cover.
cover.
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'':
** Michael, in one of his many voiceovers, mentions that
the ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Three risk of a Kind", this falling prey to one of these is actually used against the Lone Gunmen when Byers is attempting reason why spies avoid assuming other people's identities whenever possible... and that, if you do have to pass himself off as a defense contractor. One of do it, it helps if the other players at the poker table asks him a question: Langley, who has been providing research and info person is scared to support Byers' masquerade, comes up empty and tells Byers to fold. Byers, unfortunately, is feeling too bold for his own good, and exposes himself with a blatant lie.
* ''Series/RedDwarf''
** In "Balance of Power", Lister suspects that the Kochanski that visits him during his chefs exam is a fake when she uses the phrase 'up-up-up the ziggurat, lickety split' - something Rimmer has said before onscreen. To test 'her', he brings up them having had sex behind the bins on the snooker, which never happened, and causes Rimmer to blurt out that Lister never told him that.
** In "Psirens", to differentiate between Lister and a shape-shifting, brain-eating Psiren, the rest
death of the crew got them each one you're pretending to play be.
** A completely different episode has him as
the guitar. Lister incorrectly believed himself a [[VideoGame/GuitarHero guitar god]], so bluffer instead of the Psiren played excellently. The crew then knew which one to blast. Although after hearing [[DreadfulMusician how the real Lister plays]], they wanted to shoot him too.
-->'''Cat:''' Little survival tip, bud. Never play your guitar
imposter, noting in front of a man with a ''loaded gun''.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In "The Arsenal of Freedom", a simulacrum of a Starfleet captain unquestioningly accepts Riker's claim
his voice-over that his ship if someone is called ''Lollipop'' ("[[Creator/ShirleyTemple It's a good ship]]").
*** In "Conspiracy," an old friend of Picard's does
asking for information, it's basic security to do this to Picard because of alien parasites taking over ensure they're who they say they are and it's a pretty good tactic:
--->'''Michael:''' Gustavo, we talked about this on
the minds phone. I'm giving you eight thousand dollars for a file. Part of Starfleet officers, which is explained when Picard asks his old friend what the hell he's talking about.
*** Likewise, in "Allegiance", Picard mentions [[CallBack a recent, still-classified incident]] in front of a fake Starfleet cadet, knowing
that a real one would have no way of recognizing money buys is privacy.\\
'''Contact:''' (''with accent'') I don't care what I said on
the comment as anything but a meaningless name.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': In the episode "Inquisition", while Bashir already suspects
phone. You don't tell me what I want to know, you don't get this file. Eight thousand, no eight thousand.\\
'''Michael:''' The deal I made with Gustavo was for ''ten'' thousand dollars, not eight thousand dollars. He was very clear about
that things aren't what they seem, he proves it to himself number. And we never talked on the phone. You wanna tell me who you are?\\
'''Contact:''' (''smiles
and his captors when he asks what happened to O'Brien's shoulder, previously injured playing racquetball. O'Brien says it got better; Bashir then says it wasn't dislocated during a racquetball game, but kayaking. Holodeck room appears, Bashir's interrogator congratulates him on seeing through drops the illusion.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': In "Renaissance Man", Chakotay makes up an incident he claims Janeway told him about. When "Janeway" claims the current crisis has nothing to do with that past one, Chakotay knows that she's
accent'') I can explain. (''pulls a fake. (It was the Doctor being forced to act as TheMole.)knife on Michael'')



** Subverted earlier in the episode, when an old friend of the family tries to bluff Kelly with stories of her (well, the girl she's pretending to be) childhood litered with incorrect details. Kelly, however, corrects each mistake and calls him out on what he's doing rather quickly.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner1967''
** Episode "The Schizoid Man": After a Village agent surgically altered to look like #6 is killed, #6 attempts to masquerade as the agent to escape. Unfortunately, he talks too much and makes several mistakes, causing #2 to become suspicious. #2 mentions someone named Susan saying something "only a month ago": #6 doesn't react. He asks #6 to "give Susan my regards" and #6 agrees. Later, after #6's escape has been foiled, #2 tells him that Susan died a year ago.
** And depending on which episode order you prefer, there's also #6's reaction to #2's mention of "the General" as if he's talking about a person; another episode is about a supercomputer by that name.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** Martha uses this on her roommate Jenny in the episode "Human Nature". As it turns out, Jenny has been possessed by an alien lifeform; the alien's responses to Martha's conversation confirm that not only is she not really Jenny, she's not really human.
-->'''Martha:''' Would you like some tea?\\

to:

** Subverted earlier in the episode, when an old friend of the family tries to bluff Kelly with stories of her (well, the girl she's pretending to be) childhood litered littered with incorrect details. Kelly, however, corrects each mistake and calls him out on what he's doing rather quickly.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner1967''
''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Episode In the eponymous final episode of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E5TheKeysOfMarinus "The Schizoid Man": After a Village agent surgically altered to look like #6 is killed, #6 attempts to masquerade as the agent to escape. Unfortunately, he talks too much and makes several mistakes, causing #2 to become suspicious. #2 mentions someone named Susan saying something "only a month ago": #6 doesn't react. He asks #6 to "give Susan my regards" and #6 agrees. Later, after #6's escape has been foiled, #2 tells him Keys of Marinus"]], Ian Chesterton notices that Susan died a year ago.
** And depending on which
"Arbitan" (actually Yartek, the leader of the Voord, who killed him at the end of the first episode order you prefer, there's of the serial) is behaving very suspiciously, including not seeming to recognize Altos, who he sent to retrieve the keys before the Doctor and Companions, so he gives him a fake micro-key that they also #6's reaction acquired on their travels instead of the real one the real Arbitan created the keys and would be able to #2's mention of "the General" as if spot the slight flaw that distinguishes it from the real ones, but an impostor wouldn't know the difference.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E4TheAndroidInvasion "The Android Invasion"]], the Doctor realizes
he's talking about dealing with a person; another episode is about a supercomputer by Sarah Jane android when she accepts some ginger beer, the real Sarah Jane having told him earlier that name.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
she can't stand the stuff.
** Martha uses this on her roommate Jenny in the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature "Human Nature".Nature"]]. As it turns out, Jenny has been possessed by an alien lifeform; the alien's responses to Martha's conversation confirm that not only is she not really Jenny, she's not really human.
-->'''Martha:''' --->'''Martha:''' Would you like some tea?\\



'''Martha:''' Right. Hold on a tick. ''(discreetly flees)''
** Also used by the Doctor [[spoiler:to find out the Martha clone.]]
** In "The Android Invasion" with Tom Baker, the Doctor realizes he's dealing with a Sarah Jane android when she accepts some ginger beer, the real Sarah Jane having told him earlier that she can't stand the stuff.
** In the eponymous final episode of ''The Keys of Marinus'', Ian Chesterton notices that "Arbitan" (actually Yartek, the leader of the Voord, who killed him at the end of the first episode of the serial) is behaving very suspiciously, including not seeming to recognize Altos, who he sent to retrieve the keys before the Doctor and Companions, so he gives him a fake micro-key that they also acquired on their travels instead of the real one -- the real Arbitan created the keys and would be able to spot the slight flaw that distinguishes it from the real ones, but an impostor wouldn't know the difference.
* In an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', Xena identifies a supposed [[spoiler:Spartan deserter]] as a [[spoiler:Persian spy]] by asking him if he is eager to see the waterfall in his home town again. Of course, there is no waterfall.
* In ''Series/TheWire'', Chris and Snoop find out which drug dealers are from New York and trying to muscle in on their territory by asking things only someone from Baltimore would know. Unfortunately, Snoop isn't that knowledgeable of local pop culture herself, and after she almost kills someone who gives a correct answer, Chris decides that he should handle asking the questions.
* ''Series/StargateSG1''
** In an early episode, this was used to determine whether an elderly alien really was Daniel as he claimed he was. (He was)
-->'''Jack:''' What color dress was your sister wearing when I took her out last night?\\
'''Daniel-in-Ma'chello-body:''' I don't have a sister, and if I did, I'd never let her go out with you.
** Played with in "1969", when the team has traveled back in time and [[TimeTravelersAreSpies are assumed to be spies]]. Not trusting their American accents, the interrogator asks [[CunningLinguist Daniel]], in Russian, if they are spies. Daniel answers "no", but instinctively switches to Russian as well. O'Neill is rightly annoyed.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': In the season 5 premiere: [[spoiler:Sheppard does this to the people coming to dig him and Ronon out from the rubble of Michael's collapsed base. First he asks if "Harris" is there, and when someone replies in the affirmative, Ronon remembers that Harris is on leave. Then Sheppard offers to buy the rescuers drinks when they get back, asking one if he prefers [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Duff Beer]] or [[Creator/OprahWinfrey Oprah Ale]]. From the rescuer's obliviousness to the fact that those are fictional beverages, Sheppard and Ronon conclude that their "rescuers" are really Michael's [[HalfHumanHybrid half-Wraith]] mooks]].
* ''Series/TheMiddleman'': The Middleman is being possessed by an evil genius. Ida, warned by Wendy, innocently asks if there's anything he needs from her before she goes home to her husband and children. The fake Middleman, not knowing that Ida is an android, doesn't suspect a thing.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': When Peter is controlling the body of Jesse, one of the Level 5 villains, Knox, his fellow escapee, catches him this way by asking "Jesse" if he can't wait to see his family and friends in Detroit, when Jesse's family is from Vegas and he doesn't have any friends.
* One episode of ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' uses this trope to help the two main protagonists distinguish between who is or isn't possessed by a vengeful ghost out to murder the main hero. When sidekick [[PerkyGoth Merton Dingle]] is possessed, [[WolfMan Tommy Dawkins]] is able to figure it out after Possessed-Merton fails to remember the secret word that lets them know if he's possessed or not.

to:

'''Martha:''' Right. Hold on a tick. ''(discreetly flees)''
''[discreetly flees]''
** Also used by the Doctor [[spoiler:to find out the Martha clone.]]
** In
[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E4TheSontaranStratagem "The Android Invasion" with Tom Baker, the Sontaran Stratagem"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E5ThePoisonSky "The Poison Sky"]]: The Doctor realizes he's dealing with a Sarah Jane android when she accepts some ginger beer, uses this on the real Sarah Jane having told him earlier that she can't stand the stuff.
** In the eponymous final episode of ''The Keys of Marinus'', Ian Chesterton notices that "Arbitan" (actually Yartek, the leader of the Voord,
clone who killed him at the end of the first episode of the serial) is behaving very suspiciously, including not seeming to recognize Altos, who he sent to retrieve the keys before the Doctor and Companions, so he gives him a fake micro-key that they also acquired on their travels has replaced [[spoiler:Martha]] by doing things like saying "Avanti" instead of the real one -- the real Arbitan created the keys [[CatchPhrase "Allons-y!"]] and would be able to spot the slight flaw that distinguishes it from the real ones, but an impostor wouldn't know the difference.
* In an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', Xena identifies a supposed [[spoiler:Spartan deserter]] as a [[spoiler:Persian spy]] by
asking him if he is eager to see the waterfall in his home town again. Of course, there is no waterfall.
* In ''Series/TheWire'', Chris and Snoop find out which drug dealers are from New York and trying to muscle in on their territory by asking things only someone from Baltimore would know. Unfortunately, Snoop isn't that knowledgeable of local pop culture herself, and after she almost kills someone who gives a correct answer, Chris decides that he should handle asking the questions.
* ''Series/StargateSG1''
** In an early episode, this was used to determine whether an elderly alien really was Daniel as he claimed he was. (He was)
-->'''Jack:''' What color dress was your sister wearing when I took
her out last night?\\
'''Daniel-in-Ma'chello-body:''' I don't have a sister, and
if I did, I'd never let she's called her go out with you.
** Played with in "1969", when the team has traveled back in time and [[TimeTravelersAreSpies are assumed to be spies]]. Not trusting their American accents, the interrogator asks [[CunningLinguist Daniel]], in Russian, if they are spies. Daniel answers "no", but instinctively switches to Russian as well. O'Neill is rightly annoyed.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': In the season 5 premiere: [[spoiler:Sheppard does this to the people coming to dig him and Ronon out from the rubble of Michael's collapsed base. First he asks if "Harris" is there, and when someone replies in the affirmative, Ronon remembers that Harris is on leave. Then Sheppard offers to buy the rescuers drinks when they get back, asking one if he prefers [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Duff Beer]] or [[Creator/OprahWinfrey Oprah Ale]]. From the rescuer's obliviousness to the fact that those are fictional beverages, Sheppard and Ronon conclude that their "rescuers" are really Michael's [[HalfHumanHybrid half-Wraith]] mooks]].
* ''Series/TheMiddleman'': The Middleman is being possessed by an evil genius. Ida, warned by Wendy, innocently asks if there's anything he needs from her before she goes home to her husband and children. The fake Middleman, not knowing that Ida is an android, doesn't suspect a thing.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': When Peter is controlling the body of Jesse, one of the Level 5 villains, Knox, his fellow escapee, catches him this way by asking "Jesse" if he can't wait to see his
family to warn them about the poisonous gas.
* ''Series/FamilyMatters'': Urkel is the captive of a man impersonating Carl's partner. Carl hears him talking through the door
and friends in Detroit, not giving the standard reply of, "Not if I see you first," when Jesse's family is from Vegas and he says, "See you later." Carl baits the kidnapper by sliding money under the door that he doesn't have any friends.
* One episode of ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' uses this trope
owe him and breaks it down when he comes to help get it, then apprehends the two main protagonists distinguish between who is or isn't possessed by a vengeful ghost out to murder the main hero. When sidekick [[PerkyGoth Merton Dingle]] is possessed, [[WolfMan Tommy Dawkins]] is able to figure it out after Possessed-Merton fails to remember the secret word that lets them know if he's possessed or not.felon.



* In ''Series/TwinPeaks'', Audrey Horne is caught out this way when she fakes her resume at One-Eyed Jack's.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'':
** Michael, in one of his many voiceovers, mentions that the risk of falling prey to one of these is the reason why spies avoid assuming other people's identities whenever possible... and that, if you do have to do it, it helps if the other person is scared to death of the one you're pretending to be.
** A completely different episode has him as the bluffer instead of the imposter, noting in his voice-over that if someone is asking for information, it's basic security to do this to ensure they're who they say they are and it's a pretty good tactic:
-->'''Michael:''' Gustavo, we talked about this on the phone. I'm giving you eight thousand dollars for a file. Part of what that money buys is privacy.\\
'''Contact:''' (''with accent'') I don't care what I said on the phone. You don't tell me what I want to know, you don't get this file. Eight thousand, no eight thousand.\\
'''Michael:''' The deal I made with Gustavo was for ''ten'' thousand dollars, not eight thousand dollars. He was very clear about that number. And we never talked on the phone. You wanna tell me who you are?\\
'''Contact:''' (''smiles and drops the accent'') I can explain. (''pulls a knife on Michael'')
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': It seemed to happen quite a lot, due to all the spies, moles, and infiltrators, but mostly due to Project Helix, an AppliedPhlebotinum that allowed one person to be identical to another. Will Tippin held a gun on Sydney Bristow because he thought her to be an impostor. He asked her what he spilled on his shirt a decade ago before a job interview [[spoiler: and she ''knew'']]. Similarly, Sydney realized Francine had been killed and replaced with a gene-disguised impostor when she accepted a bite of coffee ice cream, which Francine hated.

to:

* In ''Series/TwinPeaks'', Audrey Horne is caught out this way when she fakes her resume at One-Eyed Jack's.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'':
** Michael, in one
an episode of his many voiceovers, mentions that the risk of falling prey to one of these is the reason why spies avoid assuming other people's identities whenever possible... ''Series/TheFlash2014'', Cisco and that, if you do have Caitlin try to do it, it helps if the other person is scared to death of the one you're bluff Laurel's Earth-2 double Black Siren by pretending to be.
** A completely
be their own {{Evil Doppelganger}}s Reverb and Killer Frost, respectively. It seems to work at first, then Black Siren tosses a random object to "Reverb". Cisco catches it, only for Black Siren to reveal that all doppelgangers from Earth-2 have a different dominant hand. It's also possible that [[spoiler:she's aware that the real Reverb and Killer Frost have been killed by Zoom]]. This ends up being forgotten in future episodes, as the presence of multiple parallel Earths makes that nonsensical.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Brienne is on a secret mission to exchange the captured Jaime Lannister back to his family in exchange for both of Catelyn Stark's daughters. Along the way they run into some Stark soldiers, and one of them recognizes Jaime. Brienne tries to claim Jaime is a common thief she caught and is bringing to justice, but the leader of the soldiers upends the ruse by demanding [[StereoFibbing they both say his name at the same time]]. Naturally the two hadn't bothered to think of an alias ahead of time, so Brienne has to fight her way out of it.
* ''The Gemini Man'': Used by Intersect Agent Sam Casey (also seen in the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''
episode has him as the bluffer instead "Riding With Death", featuring two episodes of the imposter, noting in his voice-over that if someone is asking for information, it's basic security to do this to ensure they're series repackaged as a TV-movie) on Dr. Hale, who they say they are and it's is supposed to be in the trailer of the truck Sam is driving, but suspected of being in the helicopter that's been following the truck the entire episode (which he is). Dr. Hale has rewired the intercom in the back of the truck to communicate with a pretty good tactic:
-->'''Michael:''' Gustavo, we talked
radio unit in the helicopter.
-->'''Sam Casey:''' Sorry
about this on the phone. I'm giving you eight thousand dollars for a file. Part of what that money buys is privacy.last bump, Dr. Hale. I hit a hole in the road.\\
'''Contact:''' (''with accent'') I don't care what I said on the phone. You don't tell me what I want to know, you don't get this file. Eight thousand, no eight thousand.'''Crow:''' He's mellow but cunning.\\
'''Michael:''' The deal '''Abbey:''' ''(trapped in the back of the truck)'' What bump?\\
'''Sam:'''
I made with Gustavo was for ''ten'' thousand dollars, not eight thousand dollars. He was very clear about hope it didn't jar you too badly.\\
'''Dr. Hale:''' Uh, well it almost knocked my glasses off, but
that number. And we never talked on the phone. You wanna tell me who you are?\\
'''Contact:''' (''smiles and drops the accent'') I can explain. (''pulls a knife on Michael'')
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': It seemed
isn't important. We have to happen quite a lot, due to all the spies, moles, and infiltrators, but mostly due to Project Helix, an AppliedPhlebotinum make up that allowed lost time.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': When Peter is controlling the body of Jesse,
one person of the Level 5 villains, Knox, his fellow escapee, catches him this way by asking "Jesse" if he can't wait to be identical to another. Will Tippin held see his family and friends in Detroit, when Jesse's family is from Vegas and he doesn't have any friends.
* ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' had
a gun variation on Sydney Bristow this in the Hyper Battle Video, where a [[KillerRobot Trial]] has impersonated [[TheHero Kazuma]], and subsequently Blade. [[TheLancer Hajime]] roots out the Trial by calling out Kazuma's name; after the battle, he explains that the Trial reacted first because he thought her of its superhuman reflexes, to be an impostor. He asked her what he spilled on his shirt a decade ago before a job interview [[spoiler: and she ''knew'']]. Similarly, Sydney realized Francine had been killed and replaced with a gene-disguised impostor when she accepted a bite of coffee ice cream, which Francine hated.Kazuma responds "That makes me sound kind of slow, doesn't it?"



* ''Series/FamilyMatters'': Urkel is the captive of a man impersonating Carl's partner. Carl hears him talking through the door and not giving the standard reply of, "Not if I see you first," when he says, "See you later." Carl baits the kidnapper by sliding money under the door that he doesn't owe him and breaks it down when he comes to get it, then apprehends the felon.
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'': Will and Helen are among the survivors of a plane crash who are being picked off one by one by a creature that can create visual illusions. They know the creature can make itself appear to be one of the survivors, but they don't know who it is. The creature lures Will out of the plane and takes on his appearance. Helen catches it when, as Will, it offers her a cup of tea and she claims to prefer coffee; the real Will would have known that Helen hates coffee.
* In ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'', Hoji and a MonsterOfTheWeek switch bodies. Ban figures it out by calling Hoji "aibo" (partner). The real Hoji always says "Don't call me 'partner!'" but the villain didn't know that.
* In the ''Series/{{Poirot}}'' episode "Hickory Dickory Dock", one of the students professes to be an expert in Keats. When [[Literature/HerculePoirot Poirot]] quotes some poetry at her she assures him that he certainly knows his Keats. The only problem is that it wasn't a Keats poem.
* One episode of the 2009 ''[[Series/{{V 2009}} V]]'' series has Erica out James May's girlfriend as an undercover V agent using this method. They were engaging in small talk about (among other things) where she went to college, and Erica deliberately referred to the wrong football team, which exposed the alien when she failed to correct the error.
* ''Series/KamenRiderBlade'' had a variation on this in the Hyper Battle Video, where a [[KillerRobot Trial]] has impersonated [[TheHero Kazuma]], and subsequently Blade. [[TheLancer Hajime]] roots out the Trial by calling out Kazuma's name; after the battle, he explains that the Trial reacted first because of its superhuman reflexes, to which Kazuma responds "That makes me sound kind of slow, doesn't it?"
* ''The Gemini Man'': Used by Intersect Agent Sam Casey (also seen in the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode "Riding With Death," featuring two episodes of the series repackaged as a TV-movie) on Dr. Hale, who is supposed to be in the trailer of the truck Sam is driving, but suspected of being in the helicopter that's been following the truck the entire episode (which he is). Dr. Hale has rewired the intercom in the back of the truck to communicate with a radio unit in the helicopter.
-->'''Sam Casey:''' Sorry about that last bump, Dr. Hale. I hit a hole in the road.\\
'''Crow:''' He's mellow but cunning.\\
'''Abbey:''' ''(trapped in the back of the truck)'' What bump?\\
'''Sam:''' I hope it didn't jar you too badly.\\
'''Dr. Hale:''' Uh, well it almost knocked my glasses off, but that isn't important. We have to make up that lost time.



* ''Series/TheMiddleman'': The Middleman is being possessed by an evil genius. Ida, warned by Wendy, innocently asks if there's anything he needs from her before she goes home to her husband and children. The fake Middleman, not knowing that Ida is an android, doesn't suspect a thing.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', Jess exposes an impostor by casually asking the character in question about the new car he doesn't have.



* A case of bluff the witness is used in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Unprepared". [[spoiler: Once they realize the witness is the one who committed the crime (he claimed he made a cell phone call in an area with a phone block), they ask if he made the call during the intermission of the recital he was at. He says he did, and they point out that there was no intermission.]]
* A storyline on ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had the cops are searching for a pair of rapists who pose as police officers so that they can pull women over and then assault them. At the episodes end, as the fake cops are menacing a woman, the real cops arrive. The fake cops try to claim that the woman's screams for help are just the raving of someone high on drugs. Already suspicious (they know the woman and know she's not an addict), one of the real cops asks the fakers a question in "cop lingo". When he's unable to answer, they instantly know they've caught the criminals.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an ''archaeologist'', and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
-->'''Frasier:''' This morning, you said you met him on a double date.\\
'''Roz:''' Oh yeah, it ''was'' on a double date! \\
'''Frasier:''' '''''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!]]'''''
** After Daphne finds out that a patient of Niles' has a crush on him, she and Roz go to her office to find out what she looks like. When they meet the woman, Roz rants about how they "flew in from corporate for a meeting", only to have the woman bluntly ask, "How could you fly in from corporate? Corporate's downstairs."
* A ''Series/GeneralHospital'' storyline had a woman named Katherine Crawford coming to town, claiming to be friends with the recently deceased Dominique Baldwin and rapidly befriending her widowed husband, Scott after learning that Dominique was dead. However, Scott's friend Lucy was immediately suspicious and began to investigate. Her first discovery, that no one named Charles Crawford had died recently (Katherine was claiming to have been recently widowed herself) was thwarted when Katherine stated that her married name had been ''Reynolds''. But her second attempt proved successful when she was able to present the ''real'' Katherine Crawford to Scott. Unfortunately, Scott decided to believe Katherine's lame excuses, leading Lucy to have to make ''another'' discovery to prove Katherine's duplicity--upon re-reading the letter than Katherine wrote to Dominique, she realizes that Katherine used her fake name, something that would have been unnecessary if Dominique knew her. Which meant that Katherine ALREADY knew that Dominique was dead before coming to town, and that her intent from day one was to scam Scott out of the money that he'd inherited.
** From the same show: Twice, SerialKiller Ryan Chamberlain escaped from prison and took his twin brother's place in Port Charles society so that he could continue to stalk Felicia Jones, who he was obsessed with. In both cases, Kevin managed to alert people by discussing events that Ryan couldn't have known about.
* A short-lived spy series in the sixties had the hero pull a DeadPersonImpersonation of a wealthy man who'd been killed by Soviets when they [[IdenticalStranger mistook him for the spy]]. The rich man's wife caught on to the imposture fairly quickly, because her husband was a {{Jerkass}}, and the agent treated her with courtesy. She tested him by asking if he'd consulted his sister about a certain business dealing. Not having had the chance for a proper briefing about the man he posed as, he said dismissively, "What does she have to do with it?" Of course, "My husband doesn't have a sister." She wound up covering for him anyway.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** The crew is trying to decide if their most recent addition is truly a POW or a spy. Hogan tells his men not to ask about Ty Cobb's batting average as that's the first thing a spy would learn. Later on, after correctly answering questions on American cities, Carter asks the spy if he knows anything about Ty Cobb, to which the spy asks "Want to know his batting average?"
** In another episode, one of Hogan's crew is trying to infiltrate a meeting of German officers under guise of another visiting officer. One of them, perhaps sensing an impostor, says he had heard that he injured his hand in a hunting accident, and asks him which hand it was: the right or the left? The spy manages to dodge the question by saying: "Thanks to superior German medical techniques, you can't tell which of my hands was injured!"
** In the pilot episode, Hogan and his men test incoming escaping [=POWs=] this way first by asking what unit they're supposedly from, then feeding them some fictitious names while asking how Hogan's "old buddies" in the unit are doing. Carter passes handily, while a German infiltrator is later tripped up by replying that "Major Campbell" is doing fine.
* Artie does this in an episode of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' to prove that Myka is really Alice Liddell, who has somehow swapped with Myka using a disco ball (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* Averted in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Pierre Chang realises that Hurley is probably from the future. Hurley blows his cover when he mistakes a straight question for a bluff.
-->'''Chang:''' What year were you born?\\
'''Hurley:''' 1930.\\
'''Chang:''' So you're 47 years old?\\
'''Hurley:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chang:''' And you fought in the Korean war?\\
'''Hurley:''' There's no such thing!
* Played much less seriously in the pilot of ''Series/TheChicagoCode''. Wysocki asks his partner what time the game starts, and Evers tells him 1:20. Wysocki notes that the White Sox have the day off, which blows Evers' cover revealing himself for the traitorous Cubs fan he truly is.
** This has actually been done quite seriously on other [[PoliceProcedural cop shows]] if a person's alibi is that they were attending/watching some kind of event--in an [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]] episode, when a man claims to have been watching a ball game, Stabler starts chatting about how lousy the game was, only for the confused man to tell him that the game went ''well'', thus confirming that he's telling the truth.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Peter eventually uses this on [[spoiler:Fauxlivia]], reciting a line of Greek to her that the genuine article would have recognized. Unfortunately he wasn't very subtle about it, and she was waiting in the next room with a gun.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Victoria invites the fake Amanda Clarke to tea and serves strawberries. When "Amanda" eats them, Victoria recalls her having had a severe allergic reaction to strawberries as a little girl. "Amanda" claims to have grown out of the allergy, but Victoria now ''knows'' she's an impostor because she made up the whole thing.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Arthur does this to goblin-possessed Gaius. Arthur offhandedly mentions Merlin's upcoming execution; when "Gaius" is completely nonplussed, Arthur immediately knows something is wrong.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Great Escapist", ProperlyParanoid Kevin Tran grows suspicious when the apparent Winchester brothers forget the [[TrustPassword secret knock]] and sends them to get him takeout barbecue. When they obey with proper deference to a Prophet of the Lord, Kevin knows that they're Crowley's {{Mook}}s in disguise and sends them into a trap.
** Double subverted in the much earlier episode "Skin". Sam suspects that a shapeshifter they're chasing is posing as Dean. He asks a supposedly casual question that's pretty obviously a test. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories and answers correctly, so Sam tosses him the car keys. However, the question was a red herring; the ''real'' test was the keys, which "Dean" caught with his left hand despite the real Dean having an injury to the left shoulder.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', Quinn impersonates his double until the double's friend and villain of the week successfully bluffs him. Quinn accepts the man's invitation to go sailing; unfortunately for him, he didn't know his double was terrified of water.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', Jess exposes an impostor by casually asking the character in question about the new car he doesn't have.

to:

* A case of bluff the witness is used in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Unprepared". [[spoiler: Once they realize the witness is the one who committed the crime (he claimed he made a cell phone call in an area with a phone block), they ask if he made the call during the intermission of the recital he was at. He says he did, and they point out that there was no intermission.]]
* A storyline on ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had the cops are searching for a pair of rapists who pose as police officers so that they can pull women over and then assault them. At the episodes end, as the fake cops are menacing a woman, the real cops arrive. The fake cops try to claim that the woman's screams for help are just the raving of someone high on drugs. Already suspicious (they know the woman and know she's not an addict), one of the real cops asks the fakers a question in "cop lingo". When he's unable to answer, they instantly know they've caught the criminals.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an ''archaeologist'', and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
-->'''Frasier:''' This morning, you said you met him on a double date.\\
'''Roz:''' Oh yeah, it ''was'' on a double date! \\
'''Frasier:''' '''''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!]]'''''
** After Daphne finds out that a patient of Niles' has a crush on him, she and Roz go to her office to find out what she looks like. When they meet the woman, Roz rants about how they "flew in from corporate for a meeting", only to have the woman bluntly ask, "How could you fly in from corporate? Corporate's downstairs."
* A ''Series/GeneralHospital'' storyline had a woman named Katherine Crawford coming to town, claiming to be friends with the recently deceased Dominique Baldwin and rapidly befriending her widowed husband, Scott after learning that Dominique was dead. However, Scott's friend Lucy was immediately suspicious and began to investigate. Her first discovery, that no one named Charles Crawford had died recently (Katherine was claiming to have been recently widowed herself) was thwarted when Katherine stated that her married name had been ''Reynolds''. But her second attempt proved successful when she was able to present the ''real'' Katherine Crawford to Scott. Unfortunately, Scott decided to believe Katherine's lame excuses, leading Lucy to have to make ''another'' discovery to prove Katherine's duplicity--upon re-reading the letter than Katherine wrote to Dominique, she realizes that Katherine used her fake name, something that would have been unnecessary if Dominique knew her. Which meant that Katherine ALREADY knew that Dominique was dead before coming to town, and that her intent from day one was to scam Scott out of the money that he'd inherited.
** From the same show: Twice, SerialKiller Ryan Chamberlain escaped from prison and took his twin brother's place in Port Charles society so that he could continue to stalk Felicia Jones, who he was obsessed with. In both cases, Kevin managed to alert people by discussing events that Ryan couldn't have known about.
* A short-lived spy series in the sixties had the hero pull a DeadPersonImpersonation of a wealthy man who'd been killed by Soviets when they [[IdenticalStranger mistook him for the spy]]. The rich man's wife caught on to the imposture fairly quickly, because her husband was a {{Jerkass}}, and the agent treated her with courtesy. She tested him by asking if he'd consulted his sister about a certain business dealing. Not having had the chance for a proper briefing about the man he posed as, he said dismissively, "What does she have to do with it?" Of course, "My husband doesn't have a sister." She wound up covering for him anyway.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** The crew is trying to decide if their most recent addition is truly a POW or a spy. Hogan tells his men not to ask about Ty Cobb's batting average as that's the first thing a spy would learn. Later on, after correctly answering questions on American cities, Carter asks the spy if he knows anything about Ty Cobb, to which the spy asks "Want to know his batting average?"
** In another episode, one of Hogan's crew is trying to infiltrate a meeting of German officers under guise of another visiting officer. One of them, perhaps sensing an impostor, says he had heard that he injured his hand in a hunting accident, and asks him which hand it was: the right or the left? The spy manages to dodge the question by saying: "Thanks to superior German medical techniques, you can't tell which of my hands was injured!"
** In the pilot episode, Hogan and his men test incoming escaping [=POWs=] this way first by asking what unit they're supposedly from, then feeding them some fictitious names while asking how Hogan's "old buddies" in the unit are doing. Carter passes handily, while a German infiltrator is later tripped up by replying that "Major Campbell" is doing fine.
* Artie does this in an episode of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' to prove that Myka is really Alice Liddell, who has somehow swapped with Myka using a disco ball (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* Averted in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Pierre Chang realises that Hurley is probably from the future. Hurley blows his cover when he mistakes a straight question for a bluff.
-->'''Chang:''' What year were you born?\\
'''Hurley:''' 1930.\\
'''Chang:''' So you're 47 years old?\\
'''Hurley:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chang:''' And you fought in the Korean war?\\
'''Hurley:''' There's no such thing!
* Played much less seriously in the pilot of ''Series/TheChicagoCode''. Wysocki asks his partner what time the game starts, and Evers tells him 1:20. Wysocki notes that the White Sox have the day off, which blows Evers' cover revealing himself for the traitorous Cubs fan he truly is.
** This has actually been done quite seriously on other [[PoliceProcedural cop shows]] if a person's alibi is that they were attending/watching some kind of event--in an [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]] episode, when a man claims to have been watching a ball game, Stabler starts chatting about how lousy the game was, only for the confused man to tell him that the game went ''well'', thus confirming that he's telling the truth.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Peter eventually uses this on [[spoiler:Fauxlivia]], reciting a line of Greek to her that the genuine article would have recognized. Unfortunately he wasn't very subtle about it, and she was waiting in the next room with a gun.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Victoria invites the fake Amanda Clarke to tea and serves strawberries. When "Amanda" eats them, Victoria recalls her having had a severe allergic reaction to strawberries as a little girl. "Amanda" claims to have grown out of the allergy, but Victoria now ''knows'' she's an impostor because she made up the whole thing.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Arthur does this to goblin-possessed Gaius. Arthur offhandedly mentions Merlin's upcoming execution; when "Gaius" is completely nonplussed, Arthur immediately knows something is wrong.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Great Escapist", ProperlyParanoid Kevin Tran grows suspicious when the apparent Winchester brothers forget the [[TrustPassword secret knock]] and sends them to get him takeout barbecue. When they obey with proper deference to a Prophet of the Lord, Kevin knows that they're Crowley's {{Mook}}s in disguise and sends them into a trap.
** Double subverted in the much earlier episode "Skin". Sam suspects that a shapeshifter they're chasing is posing as Dean. He asks a supposedly casual question that's pretty obviously a test. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories and answers correctly, so Sam tosses him the car keys. However, the question was a red herring; the ''real'' test was the keys, which "Dean" caught with his left hand despite the real Dean having an injury to the left shoulder.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', Quinn impersonates his double until the double's friend ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', [[HeterosexualLifePartners Sam and villain of the week successfully bluffs him. Quinn accepts the man's invitation Callen]] are kidnapped and trapped in a warehouse. They escape and shortly after run into a man claiming to go sailing; unfortunately for him, he didn't know his double was terrified of water.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', Jess exposes
be an impostor abducted [[NoSuchAgency NSA agent]]. Sam secretly decides to test him by casually asking him which way he exited NSA HQ the character in question about day before. [[spoiler: The man answers with a route that Sam knows is blocked by construction, revealing that he's an impostor. Sam lets Callen know via TroubleEntendre, and they secretly turn the new car he doesn't have.tables on him.]]



* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** In the season 2 episode ''Face My Enemy'', Agent 33 disguises herself as agent May to lure Coulson into a trap. When Coulson gets suspicious, he casually asks 'May' if they could finally get that cup of coffee they discussed years earlier when this mission is over. When May agrees, Coulson knows enough; the real May hates coffee.
** In ''Love in the Face of HYDRA'' this happens again, this time Agent 33 vs Talbot. To be fair, Talbot realizes very quickly and notifies Coulson "The nanomask is in play", and assembles all female staff workers, even telling his security not to let anyone disturb him, even if it is him. He even knows a lot about his staff, knowing which lines to say and how they should respond. However, he fails to realize that 33 can adopt either gender; or believed they were restricted to one gender, as when he himself was impersonated, it was by a man whom he knows is in custody.
* In an episode of ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', [[HeterosexualLifePartners Sam and Callen]] are kidnapped and trapped in a warehouse. They escape and shortly after run into a man claiming to be an abducted [[NoSuchAgency NSA agent]]. Sam secretly decides to test him by asking him which way he exited NSA HQ the day before. [[spoiler: The man answers with a route that Sam knows is blocked by construction, revealing that he's an impostor. Sam lets Callen know via TroubleEntendre, and they secretly turn the tables on him.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/PainkillerJane'', Jane is set up by a wild scheme to give away the location of her team's secret headquarters. Part of the plot has her "rescued" by a shapeshifter posing as her best friend, Maureen. When Jane notices the woman doesn't have a recently applied tattoo, she talks of how she forgives Maureen for sleeping with a classmate in college. Later, after the shapeshifted is captured, they talk as it turns out the guy was the class geek and thus Jane knew it wasn't the real Maureen.



-->'''Desmond Mobay''': I never heard of that guy.
-->'''Simon Adebisi''': That's because I made him up.
* Once in awhile on the game show ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'', a panelist will ask an obtuse question to the challengers that sounds like it has something to do with the subject matter, only to find after the voting and reveal that it really didn't. Just to see if the impostors (or the real person) would give an answer.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheFlash2014'', Cisco and Caitlin try to bluff Laurel's Earth-2 double Black Siren by pretending to be their own {{Evil Doppelganger}}s Reverb and Killer Frost, respectively. It seems to work at first, then Black Siren tosses a random object to "Reverb". Cisco catches it, only for Black Siren to reveal that all doppelgangers from Earth-2 have a different dominant hand. It's also possible that [[spoiler:she's aware that the real Reverb and Killer Frost have been killed by Zoom]]. This ends up being forgotten in future episodes, as the presence of multiple parallel Earths makes that nonsensical.

to:

-->'''Desmond Mobay''': I never heard of that guy.
-->'''Simon
guy.\\
'''Simon
Adebisi''': That's because I made him up.
* Once in awhile on the game show ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'', a panelist will ask an obtuse question to the challengers that sounds like it has something to do with the subject matter, only to find after the voting and reveal that it really didn't. Just to see if the impostors (or the real person) would give an answer.
*
In an episode of ''Series/TheFlash2014'', Cisco and Caitlin try ''Series/PainkillerJane'', Jane is set up by a wild scheme to bluff Laurel's Earth-2 double Black Siren give away the location of her team's secret headquarters. Part of the plot has her "rescued" by pretending to be their own {{Evil Doppelganger}}s Reverb and Killer Frost, respectively. It seems to work at first, then Black Siren tosses a random object to "Reverb". Cisco catches it, only for Black Siren to reveal that all doppelgangers from Earth-2 shapeshifter posing as her best friend, Maureen. When Jane notices the woman doesn't have a different dominant hand. It's also possible that [[spoiler:she's aware that recently applied tattoo, she talks of how she forgives Maureen for sleeping with a classmate in college. Later, after the shapeshifted is captured, they talk as it turns out the guy was the class geek and thus Jane knew it wasn't the real Reverb and Killer Frost have been killed by Zoom]]. This ends up being forgotten Maureen.
* In the ''Series/{{Poirot}}'' episode "Hickory Dickory Dock", one of the students professes to be an expert
in future episodes, Keats. When [[Literature/HerculePoirot Poirot]] quotes some poetry at her she assures him that he certainly knows his Keats. The only problem is that it wasn't a Keats poem.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner1967''
** Episode "The Schizoid Man": After a Village agent surgically altered to look like #6 is killed, #6 attempts to masquerade
as the presence of multiple parallel Earths agent to escape. Unfortunately, he talks too much and makes several mistakes, causing #2 to become suspicious. #2 mentions someone named Susan saying something "only a month ago": #6 doesn't react. He asks #6 to "give Susan my regards" and #6 agrees. Later, after #6's escape has been foiled, #2 tells him that nonsensical.Susan died a year ago.
** And depending on which episode order you prefer, there's also #6's reaction to #2's mention of "the General" as if he's talking about a person; another episode is about a supercomputer by that name.


Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/RedDwarf''
** In "Balance of Power", Lister suspects that the Kochanski that visits him during his chefs exam is a fake when she uses the phrase 'up-up-up the ziggurat, lickety split' - something Rimmer has said before onscreen. To test 'her', he brings up them having had sex behind the bins on the snooker, which never happened, and causes Rimmer to blurt out that Lister never told him that.
** In "Psirens", to differentiate between Lister and a shape-shifting, brain-eating Psiren, the rest of the crew got them each to play the guitar. Lister incorrectly believed himself a [[VideoGame/GuitarHero guitar god]], so the Psiren played excellently. The crew then knew which one to blast. Although after hearing [[DreadfulMusician how the real Lister plays]], they wanted to shoot him too.
--->'''Cat:''' Little survival tip, bud. Never play your guitar in front of a man with a ''loaded gun''.
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'': Will and Helen are among the survivors of a plane crash who are being picked off one by one by a creature that can create visual illusions. They know the creature can make itself appear to be one of the survivors, but they don't know who it is. The creature lures Will out of the plane and takes on his appearance. Helen catches it when, as Will, it offers her a cup of tea and she claims to prefer coffee; the real Will would have known that Helen hates coffee.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', Quinn impersonates his double until the double's friend and villain of the week successfully bluffs him. Quinn accepts the man's invitation to go sailing; unfortunately for him, he didn't know his double was terrified of water.
* ''Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}}'':
** ''Series/StargateSG1''
*** In an early episode, this was used to determine whether an elderly alien really was Daniel as he claimed he was. (He was)
---->'''Jack:''' What color dress was your sister wearing when I took her out last night?\\
'''Daniel-in-Ma'chello-body:''' I don't have a sister, and if I did, I'd never let her go out with you.
*** Played with in "1969", when the team has traveled back in time and [[TimeTravelersAreSpies are assumed to be spies]]. Not trusting their American accents, the interrogator asks [[CunningLinguist Daniel]], in Russian, if they are spies. Daniel answers "no", but instinctively switches to Russian as well. O'Neill is rightly annoyed.
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': In the season 5 premiere: [[spoiler:Sheppard does this to the people coming to dig him and Ronon out from the rubble of Michael's collapsed base. First he asks if "Harris" is there, and when someone replies in the affirmative, Ronon remembers that Harris is on leave. Then Sheppard offers to buy the rescuers drinks when they get back, asking one if he prefers [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Duff Beer]] or [[Creator/OprahWinfrey Oprah Ale]]. From the rescuer's obliviousness to the fact that those are fictional beverages, Sheppard and Ronon conclude that their "rescuers" are really Michael's [[HalfHumanHybrid half-Wraith]] mooks]].
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In "The Arsenal of Freedom", a simulacrum of a Starfleet captain unquestioningly accepts Riker's claim that his ship is called ''Lollipop'' ("[[Creator/ShirleyTemple It's a good ship]]").
*** In "Conspiracy", an old friend of Picard's does this to Picard because of alien parasites taking over the minds of Starfleet officers, which is explained when Picard asks his old friend what the hell he's talking about.
*** Likewise, in "Allegiance", Picard mentions [[CallBack a recent, still-classified incident]] in front of a fake Starfleet cadet, knowing that a real one would have no way of recognizing the comment as anything but a meaningless name.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': In the episode "Inquisition", while Bashir already suspects that things aren't what they seem, he proves it to himself and his captors when he asks what happened to O'Brien's shoulder, previously injured playing racquetball. O'Brien says it got better; Bashir then says it wasn't dislocated during a racquetball game, but kayaking. Holodeck room appears, Bashir's interrogator congratulates him on seeing through the illusion.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': In "Renaissance Man", Chakotay makes up an incident he claims Janeway told him about. When "Janeway" claims the current crisis has nothing to do with that past one, Chakotay knows that she's a fake. (It was the Doctor being forced to act as TheMole.)
* In ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'', Hoji and a MonsterOfTheWeek switch bodies. Ban figures it out by calling Hoji "aibo" (partner). The real Hoji always says "Don't call me 'partner!'" but the villain didn't know that.
* Once in a while on the game show ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'', a panelist will ask an obtuse question to the challengers that sounds like it has something to do with the subject matter, only to find after the voting and reveal that it really didn't. Just to see if the impostors (or the real person) would give an answer.
* In ''Series/TwinPeaks'', Audrey Horne is caught out this way when she fakes her resume at One-Eyed Jack's.
* One episode of the 2009 ''[[Series/{{V 2009}} V]]'' series has Erica out James May's girlfriend as an undercover V agent using this method. They were engaging in small talk about (among other things) where she went to college, and Erica deliberately referred to the wrong football team, which exposed the alien when she failed to correct the error.
* In ''Series/TheWire'', Chris and Snoop find out which drug dealers are from New York and trying to muscle in on their territory by asking things only someone from Baltimore would know. Unfortunately, Snoop isn't that knowledgeable of local pop culture herself, and after she almost kills someone who gives a correct answer, Chris decides that he should handle asking the questions.
* In an episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', Xena identifies a supposed [[spoiler:Spartan deserter]] as a [[spoiler:Persian spy]] by asking him if he is eager to see the waterfall in his home town again. Of course, there is no waterfall.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': In "Three of a Kind", this is actually used against the Lone Gunmen when Byers is attempting to pass himself off as a defense contractor. One of the other players at the poker table asks him a question: Langley, who has been providing research and info to support Byers' masquerade, comes up empty and tells Byers to fold. Byers, unfortunately, is feeling too bold for his own good, and exposes himself with a blatant lie.

* A case of bluff the witness is used in ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Unprepared". [[spoiler: Once they realize the witness is the one who committed the crime (he claimed he made a cell phone call in an area with a phone block), they ask if he made the call during the intermission of the recital he was at. He says he did, and they point out that there was no intermission.]]
* A storyline on ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had the cops are searching for a pair of rapists who pose as police officers so that they can pull women over and then assault them. At the episodes end, as the fake cops are menacing a woman, the real cops arrive. The fake cops try to claim that the woman's screams for help are just the raving of someone high on drugs. Already suspicious (they know the woman and know she's not an addict), one of the real cops asks the fakers a question in "cop lingo". When he's unable to answer, they instantly know they've caught the criminals.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}''. Roz discovers she's pregnant, and Frasier encourages her to find the father and tell him the news. She claims one morning at Café Nervosa that the father was an architect, and not much else. Later, at Frasier's apartment, she mentions that he was an ''archaeologist'', and Frasier gets her into the kitchen to pull one of these off the bat by asking her how the two met again.
-->'''Frasier:''' This morning, you said you met him on a double date.\\
'''Roz:''' Oh yeah, it ''was'' on a double date! \\
'''Frasier:''' '''''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments THIS MORNING YOU SAID NOTHING!]]'''''
** After Daphne finds out that a patient of Niles' has a crush on him, she and Roz go to her office to find out what she looks like. When they meet the woman, Roz rants about how they "flew in from corporate for a meeting", only to have the woman bluntly ask, "How could you fly in from corporate? Corporate's downstairs."
* A ''Series/GeneralHospital'' storyline had a woman named Katherine Crawford coming to town, claiming to be friends with the recently deceased Dominique Baldwin and rapidly befriending her widowed husband, Scott after learning that Dominique was dead. However, Scott's friend Lucy was immediately suspicious and began to investigate. Her first discovery, that no one named Charles Crawford had died recently (Katherine was claiming to have been recently widowed herself) was thwarted when Katherine stated that her married name had been ''Reynolds''. But her second attempt proved successful when she was able to present the ''real'' Katherine Crawford to Scott. Unfortunately, Scott decided to believe Katherine's lame excuses, leading Lucy to have to make ''another'' discovery to prove Katherine's duplicity--upon re-reading the letter than Katherine wrote to Dominique, she realizes that Katherine used her fake name, something that would have been unnecessary if Dominique knew her. Which meant that Katherine ALREADY knew that Dominique was dead before coming to town, and that her intent from day one was to scam Scott out of the money that he'd inherited.
** From the same show: Twice, SerialKiller Ryan Chamberlain escaped from prison and took his twin brother's place in Port Charles society so that he could continue to stalk Felicia Jones, who he was obsessed with. In both cases, Kevin managed to alert people by discussing events that Ryan couldn't have known about.
* A short-lived spy series in the sixties had the hero pull a DeadPersonImpersonation of a wealthy man who'd been killed by Soviets when they [[IdenticalStranger mistook him for the spy]]. The rich man's wife caught on to the imposture fairly quickly, because her husband was a {{Jerkass}}, and the agent treated her with courtesy. She tested him by asking if he'd consulted his sister about a certain business dealing. Not having had the chance for a proper briefing about the man he posed as, he said dismissively, "What does she have to do with it?" Of course, "My husband doesn't have a sister." She wound up covering for him anyway.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes''
** The crew is trying to decide if their most recent addition is truly a POW or a spy. Hogan tells his men not to ask about Ty Cobb's batting average as that's the first thing a spy would learn. Later on, after correctly answering questions on American cities, Carter asks the spy if he knows anything about Ty Cobb, to which the spy asks "Want to know his batting average?"
** In another episode, one of Hogan's crew is trying to infiltrate a meeting of German officers under guise of another visiting officer. One of them, perhaps sensing an impostor, says he had heard that he injured his hand in a hunting accident, and asks him which hand it was: the right or the left? The spy manages to dodge the question by saying: "Thanks to superior German medical techniques, you can't tell which of my hands was injured!"
** In the pilot episode, Hogan and his men test incoming escaping [=POWs=] this way first by asking what unit they're supposedly from, then feeding them some fictitious names while asking how Hogan's "old buddies" in the unit are doing. Carter passes handily, while a German infiltrator is later tripped up by replying that "Major Campbell" is doing fine.
* Artie does this in an episode of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' to prove that Myka is really Alice Liddell, who has somehow swapped with Myka using a disco ball (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* Averted in season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Pierre Chang realises that Hurley is probably from the future. Hurley blows his cover when he mistakes a straight question for a bluff.
-->'''Chang:''' What year were you born?\\
'''Hurley:''' 1930.\\
'''Chang:''' So you're 47 years old?\\
'''Hurley:''' Yeah.\\
'''Chang:''' And you fought in the Korean war?\\
'''Hurley:''' There's no such thing!
* Played much less seriously in the pilot of ''Series/TheChicagoCode''. Wysocki asks his partner what time the game starts, and Evers tells him 1:20. Wysocki notes that the White Sox have the day off, which blows Evers' cover revealing himself for the traitorous Cubs fan he truly is.
** This has actually been done quite seriously on other [[PoliceProcedural cop shows]] if a person's alibi is that they were attending/watching some kind of event--in an [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]] episode, when a man claims to have been watching a ball game, Stabler starts chatting about how lousy the game was, only for the confused man to tell him that the game went ''well'', thus confirming that he's telling the truth.
* On ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Peter eventually uses this on [[spoiler:Fauxlivia]], reciting a line of Greek to her that the genuine article would have recognized. Unfortunately he wasn't very subtle about it, and she was waiting in the next room with a gun.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Victoria invites the fake Amanda Clarke to tea and serves strawberries. When "Amanda" eats them, Victoria recalls her having had a severe allergic reaction to strawberries as a little girl. "Amanda" claims to have grown out of the allergy, but Victoria now ''knows'' she's an impostor because she made up the whole thing.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', Arthur does this to goblin-possessed Gaius. Arthur offhandedly mentions Merlin's upcoming execution; when "Gaius" is completely nonplussed, Arthur immediately knows something is wrong.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Great Escapist", ProperlyParanoid Kevin Tran grows suspicious when the apparent Winchester brothers forget the [[TrustPassword secret knock]] and sends them to get him takeout barbecue. When they obey with proper deference to a Prophet of the Lord, Kevin knows that they're Crowley's {{Mook}}s in disguise and sends them into a trap.
** Double subverted in the much earlier episode "Skin". Sam suspects that a shapeshifter they're chasing is posing as Dean. He asks a supposedly casual question that's pretty obviously a test. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories and answers correctly, so Sam tosses him the car keys. However, the question was a red herring; the ''real'' test was the keys, which "Dean" caught with his left hand despite the real Dean having an injury to the left shoulder.


** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', the Ministry advises people to ask this kind of question to make sure a Death Eater isn't impersonating your friend. Harry quickly figures out for himself that when magical compulsion is one of the favorite tools of the bad guys, this sort of thing is the barest of bare-bones contingencies. Dumbledore states that agrees with him.
** It's also inverted: Arthur Weasley comes home from the Ministry and passes Molly's challenge at the door. When she goes to open it, he grabs it and pulls the door shut again so ''he'' can challenge ''her.'' Afterwards, Molly comments that it's silly, since anyone impersonating Arthur could easily torture the question and response out of him. He agrees with her, but says that they should do it to set an example.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', members of the Order of the Phoenix start doing this to each other. Guess they decided the idea wasn't so useless after all. There is the slight variant that they don't agree on what questions to ask beforehand, instead just asking about random moments in their past, making the system more secure.

to:

** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', the ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]''
*** The
Ministry advises people to ask this kind of question to make sure a Death Eater isn't impersonating your friend. Harry quickly figures out for himself that when magical compulsion is one of the favorite tools of the bad guys, this sort of thing is the barest of bare-bones contingencies. Dumbledore states that agrees with him.
** It's also inverted: *** Arthur Weasley comes home from the Ministry and passes Molly's challenge at the door. When she goes to open it, he grabs it and pulls the door shut again so ''he'' he can challenge ''her.'' her. Afterwards, Molly comments that it's silly, since anyone impersonating Arthur could easily torture the question and response out of him. He agrees with her, but says that they should do it to set an example.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'', members of the Order of the Phoenix start doing this to each other. Guess they decided the idea wasn't so useless after all.other. There is the slight variant that they don't agree on what questions to ask beforehand, instead just asking about random moments in their past, making the system more secure.



* In one of the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books, when David acquires (gains the ability to morph into) Marco, Rachel taunts the real Marco with "You know you're a toad, right?" and Cassie asks him to describe how it felt when they morphed trout. They know it's Marco because he answers [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastically]] ("Kiss me and I'll become a prince," and "The cracker crumb coating chafed," respectively).

to:

* In one of the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' books, ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
**
when David acquires (gains the ability to morph into) Marco, Rachel taunts the real Marco with "You know you're a toad, right?" and Cassie asks him to describe how it felt when they morphed trout. They know it's Marco because he answers [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastically]] ("Kiss me and I'll become a prince," and "The cracker crumb coating chafed," respectively).



* ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'': A vampire tries to get Magrat to open a door by pretending to be Nanny Ogg. Magrat demands that "Nanny" first tell [[NoodleIncident the joke about the old woman, the priest, and the rhinoceros]]. The vampire tries to protest that this isn't the time for that -- proving it's an impostor, since the ''real'' Nanny Ogg [[DirtyOldWoman always has time for a dirty joke]].
** It's not pointed out, but longtime readers might also catch the fact that the vampire had exclaimed "lawks!", a stereotypical old-lady cry which the elder witches only resort to when they're ''pretending'' to be harmless.
* Inverted in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', when Disembowel-Meself-Honorably Dibhalah-san (the Agatean Empire's equivalent of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler) asks Rincewind about a street and a person in Bes Pelargic, where Rincewind claims to be from. Rincewind recognizes the trap, claims not to know either of them... except they're the main street and the ruler of the city.

to:

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'': A vampire tries to get Magrat to open a door by pretending to be Nanny Ogg. Magrat demands that "Nanny" first tell [[NoodleIncident the joke about the old woman, the priest, and the rhinoceros]]. The vampire tries to protest that this isn't the time for that -- proving it's an impostor, since the ''real'' Nanny Ogg [[DirtyOldWoman always has time for a dirty joke]].
**
joke]]. It's not pointed out, but longtime readers might also catch the fact that the vampire had exclaimed "lawks!", a stereotypical old-lady cry which the elder witches only resort to when they're ''pretending'' to be harmless.
* Inverted in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', when Disembowel-Meself-Honorably Dibhalah-san (the Agatean Empire's equivalent of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler) asks Rincewind about a street and a person in Bes Pelargic, where Rincewind claims to be from. Rincewind recognizes the trap, claims not to know either of them... except they're the main street and the ruler of the city.
harmless.

Added DiffLines:

* In Lawrence Block's ''Me Tanner, You Jane'' Evan, after spending several days with a man claiming to be fellow agent Sam Bowman (whom Evan had never met), becomes suspicious and states in casual conversation that the chief of their agency is a by-the-book fellow who wears a plaid hat. "Bowman" doesn't contradict either "fact."


Related to YouJustToldMe and SpotTheImposter. May involve SpySpeak. See also CoverIdentityAnomaly and SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay, for when the impostor says something that breaks his or her cover, intentionally or not. Contrast INeverSaidItWasPoison and TrustPassword. May involve ExasperatedPerp.

to:

Related to YouJustToldMe and SpotTheImposter. May involve SpySpeak. See also CoverIdentityAnomaly CoverIdentityAnomaly, PullTheThread and SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay, for when the impostor says something that breaks his or her cover, intentionally or not. Contrast INeverSaidItWasPoison and TrustPassword. May involve ExasperatedPerp.

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