- 72 Hours has Damien systematically annihilate the cheerleaders (the Brat Pack) by exploiting their mutual distrust for one another. By breaking into their compound and escaping unseen, he's easily able to cause the simmering tension in the group to boil over. Within a couple of hours, every one of them is dead, and they've even disposed of his redundant lackey for him in the process.
Calvin and Hobbes
- In the Calvin At Camp episode "Jason Fox The Musical," Eugene tricks the Eds into recruiting kids to help them with scams. Once there is no one to scam, he assumes that the kids will turn on each other in frustration.
- Children of an Elder God: Nylarathotep invaded Asuka's dreams and he tried to make her believe that he was the true founder of her religion so that she despaired and joined him. It nearly worked, but a third party showed her that Nylarathotep lied.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, when Kyon, Koizumi, Yuki and Mikuru go to see the Student Council President:
Kyon: Haruhi's going to burst into the middle of the meeting and be really pissed off about not being involved.
Koizumi: Ah... You're certain?
Kyon: She absolutely will if you send a text to her just before we enter the Student Council room. That should give Kimidori-san enough time to state her goals and reasons, but not to actually do anything before Haruhi shows up.
- Lelouch Of The Wings Of Rebellion:
- Kallen complains that bringing Princess Euphemia to a Palace with them is a bad idea because it will be dangerous for the person in question and a liability for the team, yet Lelouch insisted despite not really refuting her arguments. Lelouch fully expected that seeing the injustices committed by a crime lord like the Black King through his Palace would stir up Euphemia's sense of justice, and hopefully even incite her spirit of rebellion and awaken her to her Persona. And even if the latter doesn't happen, he still gets an ally outside the Metaverse who will be more committed than before to change the world for the better.
- How Shadow Shirley gets their original to reject them. The Shadow gives Shirley a dagger and goads her to kill Lelouch. To everyone else's surprise, Shirley instead suddenly turns and stabs her own Shadow without further hesitation. Despite her bleeding injury, the Shadow laughs madly, satisfied after proving her point about how Shirley is capable of killing anyone "who would harm her Lulu, even herself", as the Shadow's power skyrockets from such an strong rejection.
- In The Lone Traveler, the eponymous Traveler has encountered many versions of peopleboth from his own world and numerous other worldsand learned how they will react. This lets him plan things to either aid or greatly hinder their local counterparts.
- In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, several of these happen, some smaller than others.
- Axton pretends to go along with Jackie's seduction...then uses her own belt (which she is taking off) to smack her and escape.
- Samantha Shepard deliberately allows a suspicious asari aboard her ship to figure out what she's up to, then stop her.
- Jackie herself pulls one against Trans-Galactic Republic captain Samantha Long by creating a situation she knows Long will respond to, thus carrying Jackie to the place she needs to go.
- In Thinking In Little Green Boxes Harry concocts a couple of plans that just involve having Doctor Doom and the Punisher doing what they do naturally when given the incentive.
- Turnabout Storm:
- The whole story starts with Phoenix accidentally getting summoned to Equestria by Twilight after several failed attempts at finding a lawyer to defend her friend. As the story progresses is revealed that Phoenix was summoned intentionally by Twilight, following Princess Celestia's advice, who knows about the titular ace attorney and made her summon him in full confidence that, notwithstanding getting dragged into a completely alien world to him, he would never turn his back on an innocent being accused of a crime.
- While cross examining Gilda, Phoenix catches wind of her short temper, and starts using it to get her to slip up in the witness stand. He says that he learned this trick in lawyer school as a way to get information from liars.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, Supergirl challenges Zol-Am to a personal duel according the laws of the Kryptonian army, knowing even though he's an evil bastard he'll not dare to turn it down because he still considers himself to be a soldier.
- In the first part of A Bridge Once Broken Loki makes a very, very convoluted, risky plan that basically rests on people thinking he's either a bad guy or insignificant. Or, in the grand finale, dead.
- In the second Ultimate Video Rumble, Demitri's plot accurately counts on any villain, given a last-minute hint about the supercharging of Haohmaru's soul, hurriedly trying to capture him (despite not knowing exactly how to harness that power); any hero, given an even-more-last-minute hint about one of the villain groups, trying to stop them; and the Dark Guy allying with the person who actually demonstrates he knows what's going on. Then all he has to do is let them trip over each other while pretending to be, at most, a flunkie, until he and Morrigan can ambush and brainwash enough fighters in the confusion.
- This is part of the key to Stephen Strange's mastery of the Gambit Pile Up in Child of the Storm. With all of the Manipulative Bastards around, he can't possibly control them all-he just sets things up so that they will do what they want to do anyway...but their plans are always eventually incorporated into his own, as the villains end up getting Hoist by Their Own Petard thanks to the heroes coincidentally discovering some piece of information or being in the right place at the right time. He can even work other Batman Gambits into his own Batman Gambits, such as when chapter 34 of the sequel reveals that Alison Carter sent Fury and Coulson to investigate the Smallville meteor shower, knowing that they would find a good home for baby Kal-El, an event which will play into Strange's overall plan for Clark.
- In the Extra Stage of Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness, Jamie of all people manages to pull one of these off. With Megas about to be destroyed by Yuuka, he makes casual conversation with her until she calls the mech "a pathetic excuse for a war machine". Then he just sits back and smiles knowingly as Yuuka's pressing of Coop's Berserk Button triggers a Heroic Second Wind, putting him back on the offensive and catching the youkai off guard.
- Invoked by Crowley in When Worlds Collide. The Winchesters can't get why demons are attacking the NCIS until they learn of Agent Gibbs's previous handling of threats towards his team and realize Crowley intends to frame them for some agent's murder, which would lead Gibbs to slaughter them. The plan is ultimately foiled when the Winchesters warn NCIS but everyone acknowledge it would have likely worked.
- In the Facing the Future Series, Clockwork, in his usual manner, pulls one of these which results in Sam becoming half ghost.
- Forward has a couple of these, the first being one hatched by River and Jayne while being held captive by Niska, which allows them to break free by convincing Niska to kill one of his goons and Jayne palming a weapon from his body. Later on, River uses one to convince the rest of the crew that she's dangerously unstable, so they leave her behind while going on a job, during which she is able to sneak away and do a job on the side.
- In Order of the Dragon Ron makes a plan which depends heavily on Percy's estrangement from his family and brown-nosing of Cornelius Fudge.
- In The London Syndicate, it turns out that the titular rival gang operating right in Poirot's neighborhood is just a bunch of disguised members of the syndicate there to distract him from their real smuggling operations.
Jackie Chan Adventures
- Queen of All Oni: Uncle knows that Daolon Wong knows how to summon Tarakudo, who the heroes need to interrogate for information on Jade, and also that he won't divulge it willingly. So, with help from Captain Black, Uncle stages a jailbreak, convincing Wong that he's gone behind the backs of the other heroes, so Wong will help him conjure Tarakudo. When the ritual is successful, Wong predictably double crosses Uncle and tries to cut a deal with Tarakudo — at which point Tohru and the Section 13 agents waiting outside the shack they're in bust in, arresting Wong and leaving Uncle and Tohru to question Tarakudo.
- In an example that crosses over with Indy Ploy, due to coming up with it on the spot: when Jade attacks the shop in order to capture Tohru for Ikazuki, Uncle has him wait inside the shop's protective wards. In order to get him to come out, Jade has her ninja perform a sneak attack on Uncle, knowing Tohru will come to his aid, leaving himself to be captured.
- Operation Steel Lightning is basically one big one of these: Jade plans on letting the newest mask "accidentally" end up on one of the good guys (it was meant to be Jackie, but ends up on Captain Black instead), forcing them to tap into its powers (which she accomplishes by tossing Black off a tower), hitching a ride into Section 13 in their shadow (with the mask's awakened powers hiding her presence from Uncle's protective wards), then using a spell to fully awaken the General inside and having them distract the agency while she breaks into the Vault and steals the other masks and the Talismans. And it almost goes off without a hitch, with only Agent Wisker's unforeseen interference preventing a victory. BUT, Jade still gets away with the info the heroes had on the Teachings (a Shadowkhan/Oni Tome of Eldritch Lore) as a Consolation Prize.
- The Villain Protagonist Tyrin Lieph in The Council Era successfully predicts exactly how the Council will respond to his son's death, how the dezba will respond to a dezban high chieftain's execution, and how the public will respond to the dezba's reaction in order to massacre the dezba, who he perceives to be a threat to galactic security.
- In Hop To It, Rabbit's plan to both defeat Nanny Mite and draw out Chameleon, as summed up by the heroes to Chameleon after it succeeds:
Rabbit: Its not hard to figure out you monitor the Ladyblog to keep tabs on us. (Pulls up a Ladyblog video of the fight at the library) You knew our weapons got taken over. And with no way for me to check Ladybug or Cat Noir's identities, I knew youd try to make your move. So I purposely went to a public place by myself where you would be able to find me.
Ladybug: And remember this video? (plays another video of her talking to Alya, explaining that Chat Noir had used Cataclysm to help them escape, and that her plan to defeat Nanny Mite involved using her civilian identity)
Chat Noir: And you thought disguising yourself as Ladybug was your idea.
Ladybug: After that, we only needed to get my yo-yo back and then trick Nanny Mite into capturing you, giving me the time I needed to use Lucky Charm.
Chameleon: (smirks) Ah, I see. So you used me as a distraction. Clever.
- However, at this point Rabbit realises that she doesn't have enough time on her Miraculous to actually apprehend him, and he knows that.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate: Fury Cross leaves a wrath wound on Rainbow Dash in their first fight, then pisses her off during their rematch; the wrath wound feeds on her anger and weakens her, allowing him to curbstomp her. Fortunately, her friends show up in time to save her and help beat him.
- He also deliberately mentions where his encampment is in relation to Ghastly Gorge (the battleground chosen for their rematch), knowing Rainbow Dash will deduce it and meet him there alone, while her friends go to the Gorge.
- Miserain gives Scootaloo the Tear of Covet, knowing that her wish will backfire and leave her miserable, feeding and releasing the woebeghoul contained within.
- In Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training, the chapter "Potty Training, Pinkie Pie Style", revolves around Pinkie Pie sitting on the toilet to demonstrate how it works to the twins, who then pretend to be clueless so that Pinkie Pie would put a diaper on and demonstrate by pulling it down, causing the twins to say, "You're one of us now", and treat her like another baby.
- In Out of Space, when the portal between Equestria and the human world breaks down and Sunset runs out of pages in her journal, she pulls one of these to get it open again. She uses the last page to send a letter to Starlight Glimmer calling her a good-for-nothing loser, knowing that the latter will fly into a blind rage and stop at nothing to reopen the portal so she can get her revenge.
- In The Sealed Kunai, Tsunade makes the canon bet with Naruto about him mastering the Rasengan in a week's time, but doesn't know that Naruto purposefully used an incomplete Rasengan against her. He's had it down pat for a while now but wanted to use that time to relearn some of his jutsu from his time as a ROOT agent. He even admits to Jiraiya that he didn't show her the complete Rasengan because then Tsunade would set another bet that he'd actually have to work at.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
- The Child of Love:
- Gendo's plan relied on nobody interfering either because they were too spineless -Shinji- or they could be intimidated -Kaji, Fuyutsuki- or they had no reason to disobey him -Rei-. When several of them resolved to fight him, his plan fell apart.
- A benign and funny- example in chapter 6: Asuka did not want Shinji and Rei walking together to headquarters, so she pretended passing out, hoping that Shinji stayed with her for a while and Rei left alone. Shinji picked her, laid her down on her bed and left with Rei anyway or so Asuka thought. In reality both kids stayed with her.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka was threatening with committing suicide. In order to come close enough to tear her gun out of her hands, he promised that he would not try to stop her if she let him sit beside her. Fortunately she bought it.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka has a plan to help Shinji stop being scared of their daughter: she pretends she is not ready to babysit Ryuko a second time so that Shinji is forced to babysit her alone. Her scheme was supposed to be a secret, but Shinji saw through her excuses and he thought her plan was obvious.
- Once More with Feeling:
- Shortly after meeting Asuka, Shinji mentioned his mother was dead, expecting that Asuka was prompted to ask him about it since she was also an orphan.
- Kaji came up with a plan to help Shinji to go with Asuka to the school dance. His plot consisted in Shinji making several apparently innocent but carefully calculated remarks that, according to his knowledge of Asuka's personality, would prompt her to ask Shinji out.
- Shinji and Warhammer 40k is full of both gambits and roulettes. Made even better by the fact that neither Gendo or SEELE are willing to admit the possibility that neither is manipulating Shinji. Let alone the fact that he's manipulating both them, and the Japanese government against each other.
- This Bites! has multiple:
- In Chapter 21, Miss Friday corners Cross and Soundbite, but she doesn't know which of two curtains they're hiding behind. Soundbite produces an obvious sneeze from the curtain where they're hiding, prompting Miss Friday to shoot up the other stall, having learned not to trust her ears from the last encounter with the pair. Once she's out of bullets, Cross takes her down.
- In Chapter 31, Soundbite tells everyone in earshot that a rat infestation is coming their way... causing Aisa to leap out of the barrel on the Merry she was stowing away in in fright.
- Chapter 37 has Cross needing to find a way to get Kaku and Kalifa to reveal themselves, so he convinces Franky and Iceburg that Robin has no desire to awaken the hidden weapons, the risk of which is the whole reason they hid the Pluton blueprints. This leads to Franky taking out the blueprints to burn them, causing the two CP9 agents to make a grab for them. Cross then has Lassoo burn them, and taunts them, which results in them fully breaking cover.
- In Chapter 39: "Black Bart" Bartolomeo attacks a Celestial Dragon then calls the World Government to taunt them. He gets the Five Elder Stars who proceed to send Akainu and five battleships after them. All to draw off some of the World Governments fire power so the Strawhats can save Robin.
- In A Force of Four:
- Wonder Woman goes out of her way to taunt Badra so the angry Hatorian woman zeroes in on her and forgets about her daughter.
- Power Girl has been captured by the three villains, so she challenges Badra to a Cat Fight. Badra gets disgusted and leaves, and the man holding Kara gets distracted and relaxes his grip, allowing the Kryptonian hero to break free.
Power Girl slipped out from under his grasp like a greased weasel.
She had been gauging the pressure of his grip with great accuracy. Her talk to Badra had a specific effect on Mala, she could tell by a certain feeling against her back. And when a man starts to think down there, she told herself, he loses a little ability to think up elsewhere.
- In Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon, Kainatrol likes to do this when she isn't outright using Mind Control. In one mini-arc, she starts one up by controlling Mia and using her to lure Asa and Yoko to one roof so that Tachimany can ambush them, which they do, leaving the Cures badly beaten. Kainatrol is then outsmarted by Dawn's own Batman Gambit, though, relying on Kainatrol's sadism and her tendency to go Drunk on the Dark Side when she's getting her way (or blow up if she's not). She hands over a fake Moon Piece, slipping Mia the real one to break the mind control and letting Kainatrol jump on the chance to mind-control Dawn/Kirei herself. This also buys time for Asa and Yoko when Ami shows up and Kainatrol can't resist making the two of them fight each other instead.
- In With Strings Attached, the four manage to prevail thanks to a series of Batman Gambits that take advantage of the desperation and boredom of the skahs and the paranoia of the Raleka, as well as Brox's overconfidence.
Rosario + Vampire
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
- Tsukune's inner ghoul combines this with Love Makes You Dumb in Act II; by exploiting Kokoa's newfound feelings for Tsukune, it successfully manipulates her into giving it enough power from her overcharge to become a full-fledged ghoul and take over Tsukune's body completely, and Kokoa is too blinded by said feelings for Tsukune to notice anything suspicious until it's too late.
- In Act III, Hokuto's plan to use Kuyou as a distraction while he steals the Artifact of Doom he needs for his plans from Yokai Academy's archives hinged solely on Kuyou's desire for revenge on Tsukune. It works like a charm.
- In Act III chapter 13, with the revelation that Tsukune's Holy Lock is cracking, Dark claims that he's only keeping Tsukune alive so that Kokoa can atone for her actions and regain her vampire pride, after which he'll kill him to prevent the ghoul from surfacing. However, as Mizore and Felucia explain, if Dark hadn't mentioned Kokoa's debt to Tsukune and act like it was still safe, the headmaster would have had Tsukune killed, knowing that Dark would be the first to kill Tsukune if the ghoul posed any threat; in doing so, Dark has bought the group time to find a way to repair the lock.
- Forged Destiny: Jaune pulls this off against the fanatical Tyrian. Realizing that his friends wouldn't be able to defeat such a skilled opponent, he made a show of attacking the enemy's object of worship. The attack would have been entirely ineffective, but Tyrian didn't know that and left himself completely open while attacking Jaune.
- Jaune's final plan for dealing with the Fall Maiden in In the Kingdom's Service is to taunt Cinder with Emerald's death before she's killed, insuring that Emerald is the last woman she thinks of as she dies. Emerald's death was faked and Jaune leaves her in a chemically induced coma in the catacombs of his new intelligence agency, insuring no one else ever becomes the Fall Maiden.
- Jaune's ultimate plan in The Beacon Civil War to win the titular war game requires he release the captive Weiss because he knows she'd convince Pyrrha to use the negotiations between their sides to attack the cafeteria. Said attack leaves the other capture points undefended and (with some Xanatos Speed Chess) earns the boys' side victory.
- Ruby and Nora: Cinder tricks Ironwood into convincing Ozpin to let the Atlas Knights and Paladins walk among the citizens of Vale (so they kill innocent people during the fall of Beacon) by making James paranoid through Skulls terrorist attacks.
- Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: Medusa has one going throughout the Cobra Island as it pertains to the main group of heroes, orchestrating events so they would react in ways she expected and behave right like she wanted or needed. The aftermaths of the fight against Atlas and the first game notably hinge on Maka and her friends sense of duty.
- Hellsister Trilogy:
- Kara tricks Satan Girl into throwing her into a sun by playing possum. Right before her counterpart hurls her away, Kara turns her momentum against her.
- Previously she had challenged her to a battle in the anti-matter universe. Satan Girl pointed out she could stay outside until Kara returned or died. Kara essentially replied I thought you wanted to kil me with your own hands. But I guess you're only a coward and pathetic copy of me. Oh, and have I mentioned we killed your lover? It worked.
Kara stopped at the warp-gate and looked behind her. Satan Girl had stopped as well, less than a mile behind her. To her credit, she wasn't stupid. She knew that Supergirl was leading her on. And, having Kara's memories, she knew where she was headed.
<That is the anti-matter universe,> sent Satan Girl.
<Oh, very good,> mocked Kara, smiling like a teacher tutoring her most backward pupil. <Now, if you'll just join me here, I can finish you right off.>
The villainess didn't budge. <It'll blow us both to bits if we touch any substance there without force-shields or matter-conversion,> she sent. <I can just wait you out. You'll come back, or you'll be atomized. Either way, I win.>
<Oh, will you?>, asked Kara. <I thought for certain that you wanted to tear me apart with your own hands. Except it hasn't been that easy, has it? Maybe you're just not up to it, after all... since you're just a pretty pathetic copy of me.>
Satan Girl's expression of hatred, which was about the only one she owned, intensified. <YOU...> she began, and that was all she could get out.
<Just one more thing, darling,> sent Kara. <I didn't want to have to tell you this, but we killed Mordru. He's dead. Hope you didn't get attached to him too much.>
At that, Supergirl knew she had succeeded. Probably a little more than she wanted.
Satan Girl surged forward like an express train, her arms outstretched, and Kara flew through the warp.
- In Survivor: Fan Characters, Vinnie from Season 2 and 6 is exceptionally well-known for pulling these off, often getting his enemies voted off easily without fail. From Season 5, Gatemaster is also adept at these, although his relies on luck a lot more, and he uses one to get the final four he wants.
- Subverted in the case of Phil from Season 7: he tries to pull one off a la Richard Hatch from Survivor: Borneo, when he quits the final immunity challenge on the assumption that whoever won would take him to the finals with them, and it fails spectacularly when Ker votes him off and takes Wrecker instead.
The Slender Man Mythos
- In the fic By the Fire's Light Detective Carl Rourke and Mira Grolinksy try to use the Slender Man's meta nature against it, so they can curb its destructive nature and save its victims. It ends up failing miserably.
Super Smash Bros.
- In Being Dead Ain't Easy, Joey pulls one on Yami Bakura to get him to help by saying that if Yami Yugi couldn't do it, there's no way he could. Yami Bakura saw through it, but helped Joey to further his own plans.