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Check and Mate

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"Oh, I think the explanation might be that you've been fooled by a simple olfactory misdirection. It's a little bit like ventriloquism of the nose. It's an elementary trick in certain parts of the galaxy. But it has got to be said, I don't like the look of that hydrokilominator. It seems to be indicating that you've got energy feedback all the way through the retro-stabilisers, feeding back into the primary heat converters. OOH! 'Cos if there's one thing you shouldn't have done, you shouldn't have let me press all those buttons. But, to be fair, I will give you one word of advice. RUN!"

The battle's over and you've lost, you just don't know it yet. Let me tell you how, and maybe why. May or may not involve actual Chess Motifs.

It's a speech that may include elements of Out-Gambitted, Last-Second Chance, Kirk Summation, Breaking Speech, and maybe "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but supersedes all of that in ways likely to mark it as a Moment of Awesome. It's the Hero letting the Villain know exactly how they have already been defeated.

This can also apply to Chessmasters whose plans are not only going exactly how they planned it but also made sure to take spanners into account to make sure it stays that way and succeed.

Please note that actually saying this in a chess match with serious players is considered poor manners, as it implies your opponent is too stupid to recognize that he has lost.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Yami Yugi (and pretty much every other character in the anime) is fond of these. The villain, or sometimes the hero, will think he/she has their opponent cornered, only to have the other character calmly explain how they more or less doomed themselves or how they had walked right into the hero's/villain's trap.
  • Occasionally Shikamaru from Naruto is given to this, in episodes that focus on him.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Doom is presented with this scenario by the hands of Black Panther in Doom War.
  • An example which leaves a lot of ambiguity over who was really the hero and who was the villain occurs in Watchmen.
    Ozymandias: I'm not a Republic serial villain. Did you seriously think that I would explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago.

    Fan Works 
  • Doctor Strange references this trope by name in Child of the Storm, as he's being overpowered by Chthon during the Final Battle.
    Chthon: No clever gambit, Strange? No secret spells? No final words from the great Sorcerer Supreme?
    Strange: Check.
    • Cue Odin arriving on the scene with a huge army in tow and dueling Chthon, a fight which is interrupted when Jean-Paul hits him with an Infinite Mass Punch. Chthon leaves his now-destroyed body and possesses Harry, and Strange pulls out his ace card by summoning Lily Potter, Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence as the White Phoenix of the Crown/Destruction of the Endless, to encourage Harry to kick Chthon out of his head. Which he does. Strange, naturally, makes his normal Grin of Audacity.
    Strange: Check. Check and mate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Implied at the end of an actual chess movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer. When Josh sees the forced mate, he decides to be nice and offer a draw to Poe. When Poe scornfully refuses, Josh says "Take the draw." Poe refuses again, and loses.
    • Surprisingly Averted, given that chess is the focus of the movie. The final match ends not in a checkmate, but in a resignation.note 
  • Happens in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, as Sherlock explains to Moriarty how he's stolen and decoded his notebook and used it to seize every penny he's made from his war-profiteering scheme. As an added bonus, the two are actually playing a verbal chess game during his explanation, and Holmes wins that too.
    Holmes: Bishop to bishop eight. Discovered check. And, incidentally... mate.
    • Double bonus: right at that moment, Dr Watson (Holmes' right hand, who could be considered his bishop) foils Moran's (Moriarty's "bishop") attack at the meeting.

  • The final confrontation between Voldemort and Harry Potter is this. Harry calmly explains why all of the Death Eaters' curses are failing, why Snape wasn't on his side, why Voldy's killing curse failed and will continue to do so. Harry then gives the Dark Lord one last chance to repent. He doesn't, and is Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Subverted for laughs in the first book of the Mediochre Q Seth Series. Mediochre, being a smug git, sets things up to let him pull one of these on the Big Bad - but forgets to factor in the fact that he has the body of a scrawny teenager and the Big Bad is capable of cutting off his airway before he can finish.
    Mediochre: You made me ruin it, you moron. It was gonna be so good, like one of those smug moments in a film. You were gonna say 'what?' and I was gonna... look, let’s try that again: Kiwi?
    Kiwi: What?!
    Mediochre: The CCTV’s still on.
    Kiwi: WHAT?

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who is chock full of these. While it's been suggested it's because the Doctor can easily go back in time to fix it so that he wins, it's an option he rarely takes because of the Timey-Wimey Ball. note . More often than not, it's because he's already out-thought and out-witted the enemy of the story.

    Video Games 
  • Legacy of Kain has several instances of this, unsurprisingly, and the actual phrase is said in Defiance by Mortanius when Raziel realizes that he would need to kill Kain to retrieve the Heart of Darkness, since the Heart was in Kain and was what brought him back as a vampire.
  • Phoenix Wright is fond of delivering these speeches once he has the defining evidence in place to prove the real killer guilty. It's almost invariably followed by a Villainous Breakdown on behalf of the accused.

    Western Animation 
  • Naturally parodied in The Simpsons, but that doesn't makes the example less valid. In the episode in which Homer befriends Ray Magini (Imaginary) the contractor, everyone is convinced that he's an imaginary friend invented by Homer due to him feeling unappreciated, so they send him to an insane asylum to be treated with shock therapy by Dr. Hibbert, Played for Laughs of course. When it's revealed that Ray Magini is in fact real, the following exchange takes place:
    Dr. Hibbert: Uh-oh. Well, I'm not worried. You already agreed not to sue me for anything.
    Marge: When did I agree to that?
    Dr. Hibbert: You did when I validated your parking.
    Marge: (Shows her parking ticket} You didn't validate my parking.
    Dr. Hibbert: (Quickly validates the ticket) Check and Mate.