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** ''Unlucky Luck'' (Gold Key) has Velma staging a game with Fred and Daphne's help to help cure Shaggy and Scooby of being overtly superstitious. It doesn't work.


* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and TheTrickster, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.

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* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, Lucretia, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and TheTrickster, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.


* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and a {{Trickster}}, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.

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* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and a {{Trickster}}, TheTrickster, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.


There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fool's joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's way of flirting with the main character. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues or teaching him a lesson if he's giving himself airs); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.

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There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fool's joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's [[TricksterGirlfriend way of flirting with the main character.character]]. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues or teaching him a lesson if he's giving himself airs); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.


There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fools joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's way of flirting with the main character. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues or teaching him a lesson if he's giving himself airs); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.

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There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fools Fool's joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's way of flirting with the main character. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues or teaching him a lesson if he's giving himself airs); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.



In order to qualify for this trope, the staging has to be benign and created by the protagonist's '''true''' friends and loved ones. When a hero does this to trick the villain or vise versa, this instead qualifies as MassiveMultiplayerScam or some sort of [[GambitIndex Gambit]].

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In order to qualify for this trope, the staging has to be benign and created by the protagonist's '''true''' friends and loved ones. When a hero does this to trick the villain or vise vice versa, this it instead qualifies as MassiveMultiplayerScam or some sort of [[GambitIndex Gambit]].



[[folder:Film]]
* ZigZagged in ''Film/TheGame''. Nicholas agrees in participate in what is advertised as this from the very beginning, but then it seems that the people who are staging it are '''really''' up to no good. Then it turns out that it '''was''' a game after all, but Nicholas mucked it up and killed his own brother (who was in on it) in the process. Finally, it is revealed that even his brother's death was staged.
* ''Film/AprilFoolsDay'' is all about this. An April Fool's party turns into a string of violent, slasher-style murders, but then it turns out that all the murders were staged as a part of an April Fool's prank.
* The plot of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pants_on_Fire_(film) Pants on Fire]]'' is that the main character Jack's lies are all coming true, like the time he fought off lumberjacks (an excuse for breaking his arm) or got abducted by aliens (he was late for an appointment with his friend). In the end, it turned out that his sister Hannah staged everything, from a nonexistent kid named Mikey that Jack claimed to tutor (as well as his dog with a robotic tail), to Jack's wrestler uncle, to his [[ClingyJealousGirl girlfriend Lisa]] [[GirlfriendInCanada from Arizona]] who drove to Jack's neighborhood, to the aforementioned lumberjacks and aliens, all as a ploy to get Jack to quit lying.
* In ''Film/AngerManagement'', it seems like Dave's psychiatrist, who was assigned to help him with anger management, is mentally unstable himself, and is psychologically abusing him (including attempting to steal his girlfriend). It turns out that everything was a part of Dave's treatment, and a number of other characters (including the girlfriend) were involved in it.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The whole plot of Creator/JulesVerne's "Tribulations of a Chinaman in China" was staged by the protagonist's mentor, philosopher Wang, to teach him the value of life.
* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and a {{Trickster}}, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.
[[/folder]]



** First, the HalloweenEpisode continued their PrankWar with Gary's Old Town Tavern. However, it appears that their prank (a hologram of Carla's head) has caused Gary to have a fatal heart attack. Sam refuses to believe that Gary is dead all throughout the memorial service and funeral. Finally, he comes to realize that they've just killed Gary by accident. Then it's revealed that the whole thing was an elaborate prank directed at Sam. Carla then claims the entire city of Boston was in on it.

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** First, the HalloweenEpisode continued continue their PrankWar with Gary's Old Town Tavern. However, it appears that their prank (a hologram of Carla's head) has caused Gary to have a fatal heart attack. Sam refuses to believe that Gary is dead all throughout the memorial service and funeral. Finally, he comes to realize that they've just killed Gary by accident. Then it's revealed that the whole thing was an elaborate prank directed at Sam. Carla then claims the entire city of Boston was in on it.



** Playing elaborate practical jokes proves to be one of BJ's favorite hobbies. One episode he bets Hawkeye he can prank Hawkeye, and then proceeds to do nothing and let Hawkeye destroy himself with paranoia.

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** Playing elaborate practical jokes proves to be one of BJ's favorite hobbies. One episode In one episode, he bets makes a bet with Hawkeye that he (BJ) can prank Hawkeye, and then proceeds to do nothing and let lets Hawkeye destroy himself with paranoia.



[[folder:Literature]]
* The whole plot of Creator/JulesVerne's "Tribulations of a Chinaman in China" was staged by the protagonist's mentor, philosopher Wang, to teach him the value of life.
* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and a {{Trickster}}, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.

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[[folder:Literature]]
[[folder:Video Games]]
* The whole plot comedy ending of Creator/JulesVerne's "Tribulations of a Chinaman in China" was staged by the protagonist's mentor, philosopher Wang, to teach him the value of life.
* In ''Literature/AliceGirlFromTheFuture'', Alice's grandmother Lukerya, who is a sorceress (formally a stage magician) and a {{Trickster}}, is really fond of such antics. Once, when Alice and her friends tried to get rid of her by telling her a made-up story about nonexistent creatures, she pretended to believe them and scared them with holographic images of these creatures.
''VideoGame/TheWhiteChamber'' invokes this.



[[folder:Films]]
* ZigZagged in ''Film/TheGame''. Nicholas agrees in participate in what is advertised as this from the very beginning, but then it seems that the people who are staging it are '''really''' up to no good. Then it turns out that it '''was''' a game after all, but Nicholas mucked it up and killed his own brother (who was in on it) in the process. Finally, it is revealed that even his brother's death was staged.
* ''Film/AprilFoolsDay'' is all about this. An April Fools party turns into a string of violent, slasher-style murders, but then it turns out that all the murders were staged as a part of an April Fools prank.
* The plot of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pants_on_Fire_(film) Pants on Fire]]'' is that the main character Jack's lies are all coming true, like the time he fought off lumberjacks (an excuse for breaking his arm) or got abducted by aliens (he was late for an appointment with his friend). In the end, it turned out that his sister Hannah staged everything, from a nonexistent kid named Mikey that Jack claimed to tutor (as well as his dog with a robotic tail), to Jack's wrestler uncle, to his [[ClingyJealousGirl girlfriend Lisa]] [[GirlfriendInCanada from Arizona]] who drove to Jack's neighborhood, to the aforementioned lumberjacks and aliens, all as a ploy to get Jack to quit lying.
* In ''Film/AngerManagement'', it seemed like Dave's psychiatrist who was assigned to help him with anger management was mentally unstable himself, and was psychologically abusing him (including attempts to steal his girlfriend). It turns out that everything was a part of Dave's treatment, and a number of other characters (including the girlfriend) were involved in it.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The comedy ending of ''VideoGame/TheWhiteChamber'' invokes this.
[[/folder]]



* The April Fools episode of ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' has Ginger sending a fake love letter to Dodie from Dustin, the weirdest guy in school - a joke gone terribly wrong when Dodie responds favorably, and Dustin does not. In the end, it is revealed that the joke was actually on Ginger - Dustin was in on it, along with Dodie and Macey.

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* The April Fools Fool's episode of ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' has Ginger sending a fake love letter to Dodie from Dustin, the weirdest guy in school - a joke gone terribly wrong when Dodie responds favorably, and Dustin does not. In the end, it is revealed that the joke was actually on Ginger - Dustin was in on it, along with Dodie and Macey.



* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Fools in April", [=SpongeBob=] annoys Squidward with his April Fools' pranks, only for Squidward to pull a harmful prank on him that [[DudeNotFunny nobody finds funny]]. When he's called out on it, Squidward tries to (''[[CannotSpitItOut tries to]]'') apologize to [=SpongeBob=]. When he finally does, it turns out that it was all a giant prank by [=SpongeBob=], and the entire town was in on it.

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* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Fools in April", [=SpongeBob=] annoys Squidward with his April Fools' Fool's pranks, only for Squidward to pull a harmful prank on him that [[DudeNotFunny nobody finds funny]]. When he's called out on it, Squidward tries to (''[[CannotSpitItOut tries to]]'') apologize to [=SpongeBob=]. When he finally does, it turns out that it was all a giant prank by [=SpongeBob=], and the entire town was in on it.

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* Several examples appear on ''Series/{{MASH}}''.
** Playing elaborate practical jokes proves to be one of BJ's favorite hobbies. One episode he bets Hawkeye he can prank Hawkeye, and then proceeds to do nothing and let Hawkeye destroy himself with paranoia.
** Col. Potter even did it once, setting up a joke against his entire staff with the help of a visiting officer friend who fakes a rage-induced heart attack.


Subtrope of TheEndingChangesEverything; its own subtropes include AprilFoolsPlot, SurpriseParty, and ScarySurpriseParty; SisterTrope to and often overlaps with FalseCrucible, and may also overlap with NotSoForgottenBirthday.

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Subtrope of TheEndingChangesEverything; its own subtropes include AprilFoolsPlot, SurpriseParty, and ScarySurpriseParty; SisterTrope to and often overlaps with FalseCrucible, and may also overlap with NotSoForgottenBirthday.
NotSoForgottenBirthday and {{Mockspiracy}}.


* In ''Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk'' Monk is constantly suspecting that Natalie is preparing a SurpriseParty for his birthday. In spite of that, she (together with Stottlemeyer) '''does''' manage to outsmart him by preparing [[ScarySurpriseParty a black Cadillac that's supposedly trying to kill them... but is in fact a pretext for the surprise party]].

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* In ''Series/{{Monk}}'': in ''Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk'' episode, Monk is constantly suspecting that Natalie is preparing a SurpriseParty for his birthday. In spite of that, she (together with Stottlemeyer) '''does''' manage to outsmart him by preparing [[ScarySurpriseParty a black Cadillac that's supposedly trying to kill them... but is in fact a pretext for the surprise party]].


* In some episodes of ''Literature/MagicSchoolBus'', have Mrs. Frizzle [[TricksterMentor play jokes on kids and deliberately mislead them]], so that they would learn some new things on their own.

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* In some Some episodes of ''Literature/MagicSchoolBus'', ''Literature/MagicSchoolBus'' have Mrs. Frizzle [[TricksterMentor play jokes on kids and deliberately mislead them]], so that they would learn some new things on their own.

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* In ''Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk'' Monk is constantly suspecting that Natalie is preparing a SurpriseParty for his birthday. In spite of that, she (together with Stottlemeyer) '''does''' manage to outsmart him by preparing [[ScarySurpriseParty a black Cadillac that's supposedly trying to kill them... but is in fact a pretext for the surprise party]].


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* In some episodes of ''Literature/MagicSchoolBus'', have Mrs. Frizzle [[TricksterMentor play jokes on kids and deliberately mislead them]], so that they would learn some new things on their own.
** In ''[[Recap/TheMagicSchoolBusS2E4GoingBatty Going Batty]]'', it is strongly implied that she intentionally played up the "vampire" image (took the children's parents to a castle, gave them tomato juice that looks very much like blood and made it appear as if they had turned into bats) to lure the kids on another trip and make them learn more about bats.
** In ''[[Recap/TheMagicSchoolBusS2E12ColdFeet Cold Feet]]'', this was partly unintentional: she ''wanted'' to tell the class what really happened to Liz, but seeing their reactions, she decided it would be better if she played along and [[FigureItOutYourself let them learn on their own]].


* ''Anime/HaruhiSuzimiya'': The murder mystery from the "Remote Island Syndrome" episode was merely a plot by Itsuki meant to entertain Haruhi.

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* ''Anime/HaruhiSuzimiya'': ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'': The murder mystery from the "Remote Island Syndrome" episode was merely a plot by Itsuki meant to entertain Haruhi.



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* ''Anime/HaruhiSuzimiya'': The murder mystery from the "Remote Island Syndrome" episode was merely a plot by Itsuki meant to entertain Haruhi.




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* Taken UpToEleven in the "Deadomutt" episode of ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'': Harvey is falsely accused of murder, sentenced to death and spends 5 years in jail... and all of this is just pretext to a surprise birthday party.

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* One ''Series/NightCourt'' Halloween episode has Dan casually "selling his soul" to a man claiming to be the devil, but then getting more and more frantic when the guy starts displaying encyclopedic knowledge of Dan's past misdeeds. It turns out that it's all a prank on Mac's part and Dan faints in relief.


* A number of stories from the ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' series by Creator/DCComics have the team actually ''stage'' a mystery in order to play a joke on one particular gang member.

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* A number of stories from the ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' ''[[Franchise/ScoobyDoo Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?]]'' series by Creator/DCComics have the team actually ''stage'' a mystery in order to play a joke on one particular gang member.


There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fools joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's way of flirting with the main character. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.

to:

There may be varying reasons for this: sometimes it's done just for fun and teasing (for example, as a [[AprilFoolsPlot convoluted April Fools joke]] or a pretext to a SurpriseParty), or it may be the LoveInterest's way of flirting with the main character. At other times, there are more serious purposes (like helping the protagonist deal with psychological issues); issues or teaching him a lesson if he's giving himself airs); however, this doesn't prevent everyone else from having fun while doing it. In some instances, it can also overlap with SecretTest.


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** In ''Ghost in the Machina'', Fred, Velma, and Daphne staged a monster mystery at Big Ralph's Car Wash as a way to get Scooby and Shaggy to take a bath.
** In ''Clueless'', the gang staged a fake kidnapping of Velma as a prelude to her surprise birthday party.

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