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Batman Gambit

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Batman got the Joker to save him simply by counting on the Joker to be himself.

"Predictability has always been the sidekick I don't talk about."

A plan that revolves entirely around people doing exactly what you'd expect them to do. This trope relies heavily on Flaw Exploitation manipulating, remembering that "flaws" include "virtues" as well. Sometimes the flaw is that the villains are so predictable that they'll take the first chance they have to do something mean and underhanded. Other times, the flaw is that the heroes are so heroic that they'll act for the greater good without even thinking about it. One might recognize the fact that heroes always win — and design a plan based on the assumption that they will succeed.

Provided that a character is smart enough and manipulative enough, they can get the people around them to do just about anything. Sometimes this can be accomplished by the power of charisma, but other times it needs to be perpetrated through an elaborate scheme. This scheme takes into account everything that The Chessmaster (as well as the viewer) knows about the characters being manipulated, and uses it against them. The patsies in this scheme only act and respond as their own predictability dictates and all the pieces fall into place.

The key difference between the Xanatos Gambit and the Batman Gambit is that while the former is structured so that any reasonable outcome will work to the advantage of the gambit instigator (and is thus "foolproof"), the Batman Gambit does have a failure condition. Indeed, this failure condition will often be quite obvious and foreseeable to the audience, who have the benefit of perspective and objectivity: The failure condition in a Batman Gambit relies on someone acting out of character — or at least how the planner perceives their character. Consequently, Batman Gambits are only as successful as their planner is knowledgeable and insightful about those involved.

In short, if there is any reasonable action the pawns could take that would ruin the entire scheme, then it's a Batman Gambit. Because of this, a truly cunning planner will bluff their pawns into believing they have no options (or very few options) in the first place, and the pawns' best hope may be to realize that they have an opportunity to Take a Third Option.

Named after Batman, a character known as the World's Greatest Detective, who through careful analysis can often predict his foes' actions to psychic-like accuracy.

See also Manipulative Bastard, for the character most likely to attempt/pull these off; Unwitting Pawn, for the people who unwittingly help the Gambit along, and Spanner in the Works/Unwitting Instigator of Doom, for the people who unintentionally send it spinning into disaster. Can sometimes fail if the victim is Too Dumb to Fool. Also see Evil Cannot Comprehend Good for a common reason why villainous attempts fail. If the mark finds out after the fact that they've been Batman Gambitted, then that's an extra punch of Hoist by His Own Petard, in that they had a hand in a scheme against them.

Contrast MacGuffin Delivery Service. A failed attempt sometimes results in Springtime for Hitler. Also see Indy Ploy for the lack of a plan. A gambit that relies on the victim knowing he's being "played" but not knowing how is a Kansas City Shuffle. If things do go wrong, but the person keeps adjusting things so that Plan A works anyway, he's playing Xanatos Speed Chess. Super-Trope to The Tape Knew You Would Say That and The Compliance Game.

As this trope deals with the outcome of a scheme, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.

Example subpages:

You came from a failed link? No? Curses.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Likely Outcome Plan, Batman Gambit-Ru


Nigel Captures Blu

When Nigel gloats that he has caught Jewel one of the Spix's Macaws his owner Marcel had assigned him to capture by saying ''One down and one to go'' Jewel replies to this by saying that he will never find Blu the other bird he was assigned to capture as she believes he has already gone due to an earlier argument she had with him Nigel replies that he doesn't need to find Blu because Blu will try and rescue her since he still loves her so all he needs to do is use Jewel as bait to capture him and he is later proven right when Blu does indeed arrive to rescue her and Nigel takes advantage of this while he is trying to open the lock to her cage by capturing him as well despite Jewel's best efforts to warn Blu. He also take advantage of the fact that Rafael, Pedro, and Nico came to rescue her too by capturing them as well so that they don't interfere with his plans anymore.

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Main / BatmanGambit

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