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* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12857714/3/Adrift-in-a-World Adrift in a World]]'' Harry ends up in an alternate dimension and asks the ''Daily Prophet'' receptionist for back issues, claiming that he's writing a book on the history of Dark wizards.

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* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12857714/3/Adrift-in-a-World Adrift in a World]]'' Harry ends up in an alternate dimension and asks the ''Daily Prophet'' receptionist for back issues, claiming that he's writing a book on the history of Dark wizards.



* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13374289/4/Harry-Potter-and-the-Hands-of-Justice Harry Potter and the Hands of Justice]]'' Peter requests records of suspected Death Eaters, claiming that he's writing a book on the Blood War.

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* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13374289/4/Harry-Potter-and-the-Hands-of-Justice Harry Potter and the Hands of Justice]]'' Peter requests records of suspected Death Eaters, claiming that he's writing a book on the Blood War.War.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13473114/2/Let-s-do-It-Right-This-Time Let's Do It Right This Time]]'':
-->'''Harry:''' Um, do you think Madame Pince would mind if I used the 'gemino' charm on a few pages in ''10,000 Spells You Should Never Use''? I'm doing a paper.


Luckily this works for characters in fiction too. Bob can ask for suggestion how someone could hide the bodies in his trunk by telling Alice that he's writing a book about a murderer with several bodies in his trunk. Occasionally, she will PullTheThread on this and Bob will either come up with a story or have the plot be what actually happened.

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Luckily this works for characters in fiction too. Bob can ask for suggestion how someone could hide the bodies in his trunk by telling Alice that he's writing a book about a murderer with several bodies in his trunk. Occasionally, she will PullTheThread on this this, and Bob will either come up with a story or have the plot be what actually happened.



Unfortunately, there are instances in RealLife where people trying to research potentially dangerous or volatile information got investigated, and in some cases arrested, despite the fact that they ''were'' actually researching for a book or paper. However, pretending to be researching is also a tried and true SocialEngineering tactic, making this an example of TruthInTelevision (with the variant that information as suspicious as the listed above is usually not requested for obvious reasons: usually Social Engineers ask apparently more harmless tidbits like technical jargon or internal proceedings, so they can impersonate employees more easily). Even authors who hadn't heard about this tactic could probably figure it out, since as they did research for their book, people gave them potentially dangerous information without batting an eye. Examples of this can be found in Kevin Mitnick's book ''The Art Of Deception''.

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Unfortunately, there are instances in RealLife where people trying to research potentially dangerous or volatile information got investigated, and in some cases arrested, despite the fact that they ''were'' actually researching for a book or paper. However, pretending to be researching is also a tried and true SocialEngineering tactic, making this an example of TruthInTelevision (with the variant that information as suspicious as the listed above is usually not requested for obvious reasons: usually Social Engineers ask apparently more harmless tidbits like technical jargon or internal proceedings, so they can impersonate employees more easily). Even authors who hadn't heard about this tactic could probably figure it out, out since as they did research for their book, people gave them potentially dangerous information without batting an eye. Examples of this can be found in Kevin Mitnick's book ''The Art Of Deception''.



* Jiraiya from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is always peeking on women in the hot springs in the name of research. Here, this rather perverted "research" ''really is'' for a book: Jiraiya is the author of the incredibly-popular ''Makeout Paradise'' series of erotic novels (the very same that Kakashi enjoys reading).

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* Jiraiya from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is always peeking on women in the hot springs in the name of research. Here, this rather perverted "research" ''really is'' for a book: Jiraiya is the author of the incredibly-popular incredibly popular ''Makeout Paradise'' series of erotic novels (the very same that Kakashi enjoys reading).



* In ''Fanfic/{{Intercom}}'', Riley accidentally lets her knowledge of the Mind World slip, but covers it up by saying it's a school project on psychology she's working on.

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* In ''Fanfic/{{Intercom}}'', Riley accidentally lets her knowledge of the Mind World slip, slip but covers it up by saying it's a school project on psychology she's working on.



* Subverted in Kevin Smith's ''Film/{{Mallrats}}'', where there is a high-school aged character who has sex with older men (and films it) for a book she is writing. The book is actually published, and becomes a best seller.

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* Subverted in Kevin Smith's ''Film/{{Mallrats}}'', where there is a high-school aged high-school-aged character who has sex with older men (and films it) for a book she is writing. The book is actually published, published and becomes a best seller.



** King himself had to ask his brother how he'd go about burying a Cadillac, and got extensive details (even down to how to hotwire a digger). Of course, King had spent years preparing the alibi of being a best-selling writer by this point. He also claimed (in the author's notes of ''Nightmares & Dreamscapes'', in which this story appears) that details of the crime were changed in the story so that it [[AndSomeOtherStuff wouldn't actually work]], just in case anyone reading it got ideas.

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** King himself had to ask his brother how he'd go about burying a Cadillac, Cadillac and got extensive details (even down to how to hotwire a digger). Of course, King had spent years preparing the alibi of being a best-selling writer by this point. He also claimed (in the author's notes of ''Nightmares & Dreamscapes'', in which this story appears) that details of the crime were changed in the story so that it [[AndSomeOtherStuff wouldn't actually work]], just in case anyone reading it got ideas.



** This kind of thing happened in real life, when writing the books, too (mostly by ghostwriters). Laura Battyanyi-Weiss had to look up limited information on Giant Squids when writing #27 ''The Exposed''.

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** This kind of thing happened in real life, life when writing the books, books too (mostly by ghostwriters). Laura Battyanyi-Weiss had to look up limited information on Giant Squids when writing #27 ''The Exposed''.



** In ''Literature/ThirdGirl'', author surrogate Ariadne Oliver claims to be researching how easy it is to follow someone, when following a suspect on behalf of Poirot. She tells the suspect she's concluded it's quite difficult.

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** In ''Literature/ThirdGirl'', author surrogate Ariadne Oliver claims to be researching how easy it is to follow someone, someone when following a suspect on behalf of Poirot. She tells the suspect she's concluded it's quite difficult.



* ''[[Literature/TheCurseOfTheBlueFigurine The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull]]'': During Johnny's trip to Vinalhaven Island, Maine, he and his friends stop in the local library to do research, trying to find something that'll lead them to the answers they need so they can find and rescue Professor Childermass. Father Higgins' excuse to the librarian, when he asks her for pamphlets, guidebooks and pencil and paper to take notes with, is that he's writing a book on the Maine seacoast.

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* ''[[Literature/TheCurseOfTheBlueFigurine The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull]]'': During Johnny's trip to Vinalhaven Island, Maine, he and his friends stop in the local library to do research, trying to find something that'll lead them to the answers they need so they can find and rescue Professor Childermass. Father Higgins' excuse to the librarian, when he asks her for pamphlets, guidebooks guidebooks, and pencil and paper to take notes with, is that he's writing a book on the Maine seacoast.






* On ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Chandler leaves Ross's baby on the bus, and has to call the Transportation Department to get it back. Rather than admit he left the baby behind, however, he tells the operator it's for his book. "Yes, [[RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear that would be a stupid character.]]"

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* On ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Chandler leaves Ross's baby on the bus, bus and has to call the Transportation Department to get it back. Rather than admit he left the baby behind, however, he tells the operator it's for his book. "Yes, [[RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear that would be a stupid character.]]"



* One episode of ''Series/BostonLegal'' had a woman ask for details in how to commit a crime, then added the phrase "for a book" after Alan Shore said he'd have to call the cops.

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* One episode of ''Series/BostonLegal'' had a woman ask for details in on how to commit a crime, then added the phrase "for a book" after Alan Shore said he'd have to call the cops.



** Also inverted when a method actress hired to play the Beckett CaptainErsatz Nikki Heat not only dresses and acts like Beckett (to the annoyance of the latter and the joy of Castle seeing ''two'' Becketts), but also tries to sleep with Castle in order to properly play the romance between Nikki and Rook (Castle's AuthorAvatar). She even goes so far as to ask Beckett for help in seducing him.

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** Also inverted when a method actress hired to play the Beckett CaptainErsatz Nikki Heat not only dresses and acts like Beckett (to the annoyance of the latter and the joy of Castle seeing ''two'' Becketts), Becketts) but also tries to sleep with Castle in order to properly play the romance between Nikki and Rook (Castle's AuthorAvatar). She even goes so far as to ask Beckett for help in seducing him.



* ''Series/OdysseyFive''. The protagonists consult a cantankerous sci-fi writer (an obvious Creator/HarlanEllison-expy) on the events of the series, claiming it's for a sci-fi novel. He criticizes the numerous scientific errors in statements clearly based on internet fan criticism of the pilot episode.

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* ''Series/OdysseyFive''. The protagonists consult a cantankerous sci-fi writer (an obvious Creator/HarlanEllison-expy) Creator/HarlanEllison expy) on the events of the series, claiming it's for a sci-fi novel. He criticizes the numerous scientific errors in statements clearly based on internet fan criticism of the pilot episode.



* In ''Series/{{Spaced}}'', at one point Tim and Daisy get into an argument during which Daisy's procrastination and laziness is brought up. One of the ways that Tim lays into her is by mocking her standing in front of a bedroom mirror "bogling to Aswad!" all weekend instead of doing anything useful, to which Daisy wails in response that it was "research". Later however, after tempers have cooled and friendships reconciled, Daisy reveals she's sold an article about bogling to a magazine, prompting Tim to remark in surprise [[SubvertedTrope that her dancing actually]] ''[[SubvertedTrope was]]'' [[SubvertedTrope research]].

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* In ''Series/{{Spaced}}'', at one point Tim and Daisy get into an argument during which Daisy's procrastination and laziness is brought up. One of the ways that Tim lays into her is by mocking her standing in front of a bedroom mirror "bogling to Aswad!" all weekend instead of doing anything useful, to which Daisy wails in response that it was "research". Later Later, however, after tempers have cooled and friendships reconciled, Daisy reveals she's sold an article about bogling to a magazine, prompting Tim to remark in surprise [[SubvertedTrope that her dancing actually]] ''[[SubvertedTrope was]]'' [[SubvertedTrope research]].



* Used by Dahlia Hawthorne in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations''. When asked what a literature student was doing in the basement of a courthouse she responds that she was doing a research in a paper she was writing. [[spoiler: Actually she was there being questioned by an attorney on suspicion of a murder, and she used the opportunity to poison him]].

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* Used by Dahlia Hawthorne in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations''. When asked what a literature student was doing in the basement of a courthouse she responds that she was doing a research in for a paper she was writing. [[spoiler: Actually she was there being questioned by an attorney on suspicion of a murder, and she used the opportunity to poison him]].



* ''Roleplay/BehindTheVeil'' has an interesting version combined with a cover up; to hide the fact that a wererat was seen bursting through several university walls and the side of a trailer (not to mention running over any student in the way), the Technocracy ended up creating an elaborate cover up to pass it off as a marketing stunt gone wrong for an upcoming film. Then again the story was boosted with magic specifically to kill the idea that it was an actual wererat.

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* ''Roleplay/BehindTheVeil'' has an interesting version combined with a cover up; cover-up; to hide the fact that a wererat was seen bursting through several university walls and the side of a trailer (not to mention running over any student in the way), the Technocracy ended up creating an elaborate cover up cover-up to pass it off as a marketing stunt gone wrong for an upcoming film. Then again the story was boosted with magic specifically to kill the idea that it was an actual wererat.



** The same goes for the Plot Realism Forum on Nanowrimo's website. Here someone asked how many bottles a blended five year old would fill. [[http://replay.web.archive.org/20090208114447/http://nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3140914 Wayback Machine archive.]] There was some disagreement on just how much a 5-year old would weigh and whether the child should be cooked first, but most said somewhere between 20 and 40 liters. The closest thing to an expert (someone who tried it with a duck) thought that a fifty-pound child would take ten quarts.

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** The same goes for the Plot Realism Forum on Nanowrimo's website. Here someone asked how many bottles a blended five year old five-year-old would fill. [[http://replay.web.archive.org/20090208114447/http://nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3140914 Wayback Machine archive.]] There was some disagreement on just how much a 5-year old would weigh and whether the child should be cooked first, but most said somewhere between 20 and 40 liters. The closest thing to an expert (someone who tried it with a duck) thought that a fifty-pound child would take ten quarts.



** The trope is often referenced in the [[http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/ Worldbuilding Stack Exchange site]], where authors and creators ask this kind of questions. Questions like "Where in Europe can I detonate 100 kt (non-nuclear) not to harm anyone?" [[http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/12536/where-in-europe-can-i-detonate-100-kt-non-nuclear-not-to-harm-anyone]] get comments like "You're so getting flagged by your ISP for posting this. Seems like you're onto a good story though".

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** The trope is often referenced in the [[http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/ Worldbuilding Stack Exchange site]], where authors and creators ask this these kind of questions. Questions like "Where in Europe can I detonate 100 kt (non-nuclear) not to harm anyone?" [[http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/12536/where-in-europe-can-i-detonate-100-kt-non-nuclear-not-to-harm-anyone]] get comments like "You're so getting flagged by your ISP for posting this. Seems like you're onto a good story though".



* Similarly, Pete Townshend of Music/TheWho claimed he was doing research for a book after being caught accessing a site which provided links to child pornography (although he apparently cancelled his access immediately afterwards, and thus never downloaded any actual porn). The main problem was that it was a pay site, and he'd used his credit card to access it. The officials basically said "It's not a question of whether he was doing this for a book or not, so much that he gave these people money."
* A surprising number of men on ''Series/{{Dateline}}: To Catch A Predator'' have claimed that their intention was not to have sex with the girl or boy, but to teach them about the dangers of talking to strangers online, or that they walked into a stranger's house in the middle of the night to research the housing market. Of course, their story is Swiss cheese once the host reveals he has a copy of the chat logs and that is definitely not what the suspect talked about.

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* Similarly, Pete Townshend of Music/TheWho claimed he was doing research for a book after being caught accessing a site which that provided links to child pornography (although he apparently cancelled his access immediately afterwards, and thus never downloaded any actual porn). The main problem was that it was a pay site, and he'd used his credit card to access it. The officials basically said "It's not a question of whether he was doing this for a book or not, so much that he gave these people money."
* A surprising number of men on ''Series/{{Dateline}}: To Catch A Predator'' have claimed that their intention was not to have sex with the girl or boy, boy but to teach them about the dangers of talking to strangers online, or that they walked into a stranger's house in the middle of the night to research the housing market. Of course, their story is Swiss cheese once the host reveals he has a copy of the chat logs and that is definitely not what the suspect talked about.

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* In ''Theatre/{{Fangirls}}'', Edna gets her online friend Salty to help her plot Harry's abduction by telling him it's for a fanfic she is writing.


Occasionally these are things that characters in fiction need to know how to do in order to do what they do. Which means the writers need to consult experts, otherwise [[HypocriticalHumor overly picky]] {{geek}}s will go onto websites and [[HomePage wikis]] and complain about how they got their facts wrong.

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Occasionally these are things that characters in fiction need to know how to do in order to do what they do. Which means the writers need to consult experts, otherwise [[HypocriticalHumor overly picky]] {{geek}}s will go onto websites and [[HomePage wikis]] wikis and complain about how they got their facts wrong.



* On ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Liz Lemon allows someone to use her personal computer, adding "Okay, but if you look at my internet history, I’m researching a movie about two male centaurs kissing."

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* On ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Liz Lemon allows someone to use her personal computer, adding "Okay, but if you look at my internet history, I’m I'm researching a movie about two male centaurs kissing."



* In ''Series/OpenHeart'', Dylan walks in on her father frantically searching through newspaper clippings and “looking for patterns". He claims it’s for his novel.

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* In ''Series/OpenHeart'', Dylan walks in on her father frantically searching through newspaper clippings and “looking "looking for patterns". He claims it’s it's for his novel.


* Used by the villains in the episode "Dirty Bomb" of ''{{Series/Numb3rs}}''. They contacted a researcher for a nuclear company for information about a particular radioactive isotope, claiming they were doing research for a movie script. Because the series takes place in LA, the researcher didn't give it much thought until she saw an internal Department Of Energy alert warning that three caskets of the isotope was stolen to make a dirty bomb. Her cooperation was a key component in finding the identities of the criminals.

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* Used by the villains in the episode "Dirty Bomb" of ''{{Series/Numb3rs}}''. They contacted a researcher for a nuclear company for information about a particular radioactive isotope, claiming they were doing research for a movie script. Because the series takes place in LA, the researcher didn't give it much thought until she saw an internal Department Of Energy alert warning that three caskets of the isotope was stolen had been stolen, suddenly providing a very different reason why some random citizens would have been looking for information on how to make a dirty bomb.handle it. Her cooperation was a key component in finding the identities of the criminals.

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* In one episode of ''Radio/CarTalk'', one of the calls was from a novelist asking the hosts for advice on how a heroine could temporarily disable the villains' car such that she could later put it back together. Presumably she was telling the truth, since it's not clear why anyone would need that information in real life, at least not with enough advance notice to call in to a talk show.

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** In another EGS:NP storyline, "[[https://www.egscomics.com/egsnp/2016-08-05 Marked]]" [[spoiler:Pandora]] disguised herself as a college student doing a survey for a psychology project as a means of detecting what kind of spells she could secretly give them with magic marks. Results were mixed, including whether or not she could give them what they asked for.


* In the ''WesternAnimation/ReadyJetGo'' episode "Solar System Bake-Off", Mitchell sneaks into Jet's house to gather info on [[LoveInterest Mindy]]'s baking contest entry. He writes down some information in his notebook. When Sydney asks what he's writing in there, Mitchell says its for a cookbook. [[BlatantLies Or a blog]]. [[{{Adorkable}} Or webisodes]].

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* In the ''WesternAnimation/ReadyJetGo'' episode "Solar System Bake-Off", Mitchell sneaks into Jet's house to gather info on [[LoveInterest Mindy]]'s baking contest entry. He writes down some information in his notebook. When Sydney asks what he's writing in there, Mitchell says its for a cookbook. [[BlatantLies Or a blog]]. [[{{Adorkable}} Or webisodes]].webisodes.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/MonkeyDust'', the Paedofinder General is in one episode caught with an extremely large amount of child pornography on his own computer. He brushes it off as being "for research".

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* Inverted in an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. The guy in question really was an actor trying to get into the head of his character, a serial killer, but he turned out to have some repressed trauma in his past relating to his own mother's murder, and his "character research" pushed him over the edge to where he became a killer for real.

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* ''Film/JojoRabbit'': When Imaginary Hitler calls Jojo out for spending so much time with Elsa, the latter claims it's for his book about how to recognize a jew. He does the same schtick at the swimming hall when Klenzendorf gets suspicious of him showing interest in the topic of jews.

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* ''Film/ThrowMommaFromTheTrain'': Pinsky's book is called ''100 Women I'd Like to Pork''. His excuse for "whacking material"? "It's a coffee table book."


* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''. After asking Vash about sneaking into Heaven, Rumisiel is worried he's totally disappointed his brother. As a way of making amends, he says the information was for a book "about a really stupid brother who says even stupider stuff", falling back on SelfDeprecation rather than seriously trying to make an excuse.

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* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''. After asking Vash about sneaking into Heaven, Rumisiel is worried he's totally disappointed his brother. As a way of making amends, he says the information was for a book book... "about a really stupid brother who says even stupider stuff", falling back on SelfDeprecation rather than seriously trying to make an excuse.

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* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''. After asking Vash about sneaking into Heaven, Rumisiel is worried he's totally disappointed his brother. As a way of making amends, he says the information was for a book "about a really stupid brother who says even stupider stuff", falling back on SelfDeprecation rather than seriously trying to make an excuse.

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* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13374289/4/Harry-Potter-and-the-Hands-of-Justice Harry Potter and the Hands of Justice]]'' Peter requests records of suspected Death Eaters, claiming that he's writing a book on the Blood War.

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