Page Type: trope
An Escort Gambit is a type of Room Shuffle that involves one character inviting another to go out of town as a ploy for a third character to set their own plans in motion in the absence of the other character, for whatever reason. Perhaps that third character wanted to do a Zany Scheme that the other one doesn't approve of, such as playing matchmaker with a crush, or something against the law, or anything really if that character is a stick in the mud that doesn't approve of anything zany. Perhaps the third character is actually setting up a Surprise Party for the other character, or is setting up anything to surprise Bob with.
Whatever the case is, the goal is for the first character to distract the second one by escorting them to any place they like, and keep them away from the third character's scheme as long as possible.
Of course, while the Escort Gambit can be a pretty serious ploy in certain cases, when it's a zany scheme in itself, expect a variety of potential things that can go wrong to pop up. Perhaps the third character has to go out of town because he forgot something crucial for his plan to work. Perhaps the second character forgot to bring his wallet and has to go back home. Perhaps the third character reveals later that he needs a little more time for his scheme to finish. Whatever the case is, the other character comes incredibly close to finding out about the third character's plans, and the first character has to distract or stall the second one before it's too late.
It is possible that neither escorter nor escortee are aware of what the third character is planning, meaning that the escorter has no idea he was meant as a distraction for the escortee until later. It is also possible for the audience to be unaware of that an Escort Gambit is in play until it is revealed so in the end.
Compare and contrast Go Look at the Distraction, in which a character gets sent away without an escort.
- In the opening of Identity Crisis, Sue Dibney sends Ralph off on patrol with Firehawk so that she can wrap up his anniversary present without him seeing.
- My Little Pony: The Movie: A slight variation occurs when Twilight, believing friendship won't save the day this time, tasks her friends with taking Queen Novo out and showing her "the best time ever" so she can steal her pearl without either party knowing. Ironically, the gang's friendly actions were about to convince the Queen to help them save Equestria until she caught Twilight in the act.
- Sherlock Holmes: In "The Retired Colorman", Holmes takes on a retired painter's case, who wants to know where his wife has gone. A telegram comes from a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, so Holmes dispatches Watson and the painter there. However, when they arrive it turns out the message was faked, forcing them to stay the night before returning to London. At the denouement it turns out Holmes was the one who sent the telegram, so as to ensure the painter wouldn't be at home for a full day, allowing Holmes to discover the painter had murdered his wife and her lover by locking them inside a gas chamber.
- The Big Bang Theory: In "The Peanut Reaction", Howard has to take Leonard out so the others can plan a birthday party for him. To do this, Howard fakes an allergic reaction so they have to go to the hospital, and when he can't hold Leonard away any longer, he incurs an actual allergic reaction by eating a candy bar with peanuts.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: When her friends learn that Twilight doesn't like living at her castle because she misses the treehouse, they decide to spend a day decorating it so she can be happy. Spike gets the job of taking Twilight around Ponyville while the others work.
- Phineas and Ferb: "Dude, We're Getting The Band Back Together" has Phineas and Ferb attempt to recreate the First Kiss between Linda and Lawrence at a Love Handel concert. To do this they have to get the band to reunite, so as they're running around Danville and the Fireside Girls are building the stage, Candace is taking her mother around town to keep her distracted. Hilarity Ensues when they both end up at a hair salon owned by a former band member.
Feedback: 44 replies