Follow TV Tropes


Did You Actually Believe...?

Go To

"Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?"

Mwahahaha! Oh, you poor foolish fool! Did you actually believe you'd get a straightforward trope description when you clicked on the link? Well, I Lied! You've played right into my Evil Plan, now you have no choice but to read through all of my Evil Gloating as I Break You Into Tears by Talking! Mwahaha!

What? You mean you actually believed me when I promised you'd get a trope description? Oh, that's rich! I didn't think you were such a Horrible Judge of Character! (I mean, I thought the glowing red eyes would be a huge tip off.)

Oh, don't feel too bad, you aren't the only one to become a willing Unwitting Pawn and errand boy with naught but a sweet story about "lofty goals". You should feel honored to be so used!

Mwahaha— What do you mean, "Shut up"? No! uh... You shut up! ... Well, yes, my whole plan did sort of hinge on you doing something I didn't think you'd do... What? No! That does not make my whole plan a Gambit Roulette! You take that back! Or I'll... uh... smoke bomb!


Stock phrase used by treacherous allies, mentors, and villains once they double cross the hero and have him at their mercy. This is often followed by declarations of sneering contempt for the hero's idealistic moral code and/or extended mockery of the hero for being gullible enough to trust the villain's promises, naïve enough to think that the villain sincerely intended to cooperate toward a common goal, dumb enough to get manipulated into providing the villain with aid or equipment, etc.

A common variant will be the character pretending to give the response their listener expected, then saying "Is that what you expected me to say?"

Often used as part of Evil Gloating and Trash Talk. A common response to You Said You Would Let Them Go. Expect the hero to respond with "Shut Up Hannibal!"


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Black Clover, when Licht sacrifices Rades, Valtos, and Sally to reincarnate the elves, he mocks them for thinking that he actually considered them, who are humans that he hates, his companions.
  • Bleach:
    • Aizen tends to inflict variations of this on his victims. He manipulates the senses of his victims to trap them, then ends his illusions just long enough for them to realise how badly they've been tricked before they're thoroughly defeated. He is also so powerful in his own right that he can No-Sell the attacks of even captains, so this gloating eventually became a Memetic Mutation. He even factors in the future betrayal of subordinates and keeps them around solely so that their betrayal can be used to help him reach ungodly power levels as Gin discovers when his attempt to kill Aizen results in Aizen pulling this trope on him before killing him.
    • When Yammy reveals his true Espada rank is Zero, he asks the shocked Shinigami "Who said the Espada went from one to ten?"; the Shinigami had been led to believe this by Ilfort, who had indeed stated the Espada rank from one to ten.
    • Bazz-B, a child genius, and Haschwalth, a child who can't do the most basic Quincy techniques, train together for five years to earn Yhwach's trust. However, Bazz-B privately thinks only he'll make it because of Haschwalth's lack of power. When Yhwach meets them, he chooses Haschwalth as a prodigy and dismisses Bazz-B. When Haschwalth suggests Yhwach has the wrong child, Yhwach explains that Haschwalth is a unique Quincy, with the unique ability to boost the power of others just by remaining near them. Yhwach rounds on Bazz-B, demands to know if he really believed his powers were swelling through personal talent and "genius", informing Bazz-B that he is actually impotent, and should be thanking the kindness of Haschwalth for giving him power.
      You, the red-haired boy over there, tell me...I'm sure you felt your own powers swelling daily, just by being in this young man's presence. Did you...really believe this was due to your own prowess and abilities? You ought to be kneeling before this kind soul...this prodigy who fostered and nurtured the impotent you.
  • In Bloom Into You has a non-villainous version. Sayaka finds out that Yuu is friends with Koyomi, a talented writer, and realizing that Yuu had lied when she claimed she didn't know anyone who could write a play, asks if Yuu's worried about Touko. When Yuu says Touko would be fine in the role, Sayaka pretends to agree with her, but then asks "Did you really think I'd believe that little act?" before noting that she knows Touko's more vulnerable than she lets on.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Rui does this to Tanjiro twice. The first time is when, as Rui unleashes his Blood Demon Art to strengthen his threads(which had already been strong enough to cut through Tanjiro's sword), he asks Tanjiro if he thought that he'd been using his strongest threads all this time. The second time, after Rui cuts off his own head to save himself from Tanjiro's Desperation Attack, he asks Tanjiro if he thought he'd really succeeded in decapitating Rui.
  • In the Digimon Adventure dub, Myotismon asks Wizardmon and Gatomon if they really thought he'd leave the real Crest of Light lying around for thieves to take. (Actually creates a plot hole considering that he crushes the purportedly real Crest and it's not clear how Wizardmon got it off him; it would actually make more sense for Myotismon to leave the Crest in his secret hideout rather than carry it around where the Chosen Children might take it)
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan: When Broly breaks free of his Restraining Bolt and goes on a rampage, Paragus decides to cut his losses and escape, leaving Broly to die on the planet, which is soon to be destroyed by Comet Camori. Broly catches him in the act, crushes Paragus in his escape pod, and throws it into space before saying something to this effect, implying that in his Legendary Super Saiyan form, he's strong enough to survive the impact:
      Broly: Did he really think I would die just because this planet is about to explode?
    • In the manga, Goku Black pulls this off against Gowasu after rejecting his offer of redemption and stabbing him; Black outright calls Gowasu an idiot for thinking he could actually persuade him to change his ways, especially since he's already killed two different incarnations of Gowasu for the sake of his plans.
    • During the Universe Survival Saga, Frieza pulls this off against Frost after briefly teaming up with him and promptly betraying him, complete with a Pretender Diss.
      Frieza: Did you really think I'd join forces with an amateur like you?
  • FAKE gives us the following hilarious exchange as Dee puts the moves on his partner Ryo:
    Dee Laytner: You little fool! did you think I'd actually be satisfied with just one itty bitty kiss?
  • A more heartwarming than usual example occurs in Fly Me to the Moon. Tsukasa's sister, Chitose, doesn't like Tsukasa's new husband Nasa, and so kidnaps him and stages a compromising photo to get Tsukasa to break up with him. When Chitose shows Tsukasa the photo, Tsukasa pretends to be angry and drags Nasa out of the room for a serious discussion, fooling Chitose into thinking her plan worked and creating a pretext to get Nasa out of the room. Nasa, who can be a bit dense despite his many talents, thinks that Tsukasa is actually angry, until she says this.
    Tsukasa: Darling... Did you really think a picture like this would be enough to upset me?
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Joseph Joestar's first battle is against a vampire with a scarf that protects him from Hamon, an energy designed to kill vampires. Joseph then asks the vampire, "Did you think I'd rely on a gimmick like Hamon all of the time?" before revealing that he stuck a hand grenade on the scarf. The vampire swats the grenade away... pulling the pins on several others attached to his back.
  • In Liar Game, Fukunaga says this fairly often after tricking other players. Granted, this is the Liar Game, a 'game where you lie' so he's probably justified in questioning the other players' sanity when they believe his lies again.
  • In One Piece, a combined effort between Kid, Hawkins and Apoo to defeat Kaido falls apart when one of the captains betrays the other two, resulting in one of the others being forced to ally with Kaido and the other being defeated and imprisoned. The latter eventually confronts the traitor and is told this in response.
    "Did you really think that us teaming up would tip the scales to the point of crushing one of the Four Emperors? Wake up to the real world! What kind of alliance between pirates is ever gonna have a happy ending?"
  • In Persona 5: The Animation, Akechi's apparent murder of the protagonist, Ren, is initially portrayed as a rescue attempt, even more than in canon. As the rest of the Phantom Thieves wait in nervous anticipation, Akechi goes into Ren's holding cell while claiming to want to interrogate him, then steal's the guard's pistol and holds him at gunpoint. He then says "Sorry it took me so long. I'm here to rescue you (Beat) Is that what you thought I'd say?" before shooting the guard and then Ren dead. Luckily, it turns out that he'd been tricked into killing a fake "cognitive" version of the protagonist (long story).
  • In A Place Further than the Universe, after Shirase's mother disappeared on an expedition to Antarctica three years before the start of the series, she asked to come along the next time, but was refused. Shirase spent the next three years saving up a million yen (roughly $10,000 USD) to pay her own way there, knowing that the expedition has had financial problems. When Shirase sees Kanae and Yumiko, two members of the investigation, Shirase is refused again, at which point she offers the money. Kanae pretends to accept the money for a moment and tells her of their departure date, before asking if that's what she thought they'd say and returning the money.
  • Rare heroic example from Pokémon Adventures. "Do you think I asked Rono to break Sharpedo's fangs in order to defend myself? I was actually planning to do something else! I grabbed the broken fangs while you weren't looking, and used them to make holes in the window!" This is why you never count out a Nature Heroine while she still has a pulse.
  • Said pretty much verbatim in the Robotech episode "Homecoming." The ship finally returns to Earth with several characters reuniting with their loved ones but thrown by how they were believed to be dead. It finally comes out when Gloval's request for the 70,000 people on the ship to return to Earth is refused and is informed that the Earth council put out the story the ship and colony were destroyed by terrorists as revealing the truth of them attacked by aliens would have caused panic.
    Council member: Do you think we put out a story of our planet being at war with an alien race?
  • In the first season of Sailor Moon, Zoisite concedes to handing over the blue Rainbow Crystal to Tuxedo Mask...only to blast him with flower petals and mock Tux for actually thinking he'd just hand it over.
  • In Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, a girl named Maya was a member of the evil organization Galactor because her parents and siblings worked for Galactor, but she wanted to leave Galactor, and only did the mission because the Female Captain promised Maya she could leave if she destroyed the Science Ninja Team. Of course, Maya failed but when Berg Kate’s told her that she failed, she pleaded for a second chance, only for Berg Katse to not only shoot her for her failure, but taunt her by asking her why she ever thought she could leave Galactor alive!
  • Sonic X: Near the end of Season 1, Knuckles, desperate to return home, makes a deal with Dr. Eggman to induce Chaos Control. Eggman seems to agree... before ejecting Knuckles from the Egg Fort and taking the Chaos Emeralds they collected so he can conquer Earth. Afterwards, he gives Chris such a speech, informing him that unlike Sonic and co., he has never cared about returning to their home planet; he just wants to establish his Eggman Empire, and either world would do.
    Chris: What do you think you're doing, Eggman?!
    Eggman: Wise up! You didn't really believe that I was homesick like your loser friends, did you? The only thing I care about is establishing the Eggman Empire. I can do that on my planet, or yours. It makes no difference to me.
  • Used brilliantly by Magnificent Bastard Askeladd in Vinland Saga, when his men turn against him to save their own hides against an army they could never defeat.
    Askeladd: You all and I have been together for a long time, up until this day. We laughed together, drank together, found our way out of many hellholes together. And I never told any of you about this, but for the last ten years we've been together I hated every single last one of you.
  • A heroic example in YuYu Hakusho: Genkai tells Yusuke that in order to gain her power (which he needs to have a chance of living through his upcoming battle with Toguro), he must kill her. After angsting about it for a while, he tells her he can't do it and he'd rather take his chances fighting as a team. Genkai informs him that he's passed her test.
    Genkai: You give a good speech when it's important, Yusuke, but did you really think I'd give away my power to someone who would willingly take his teacher's life just to gain more strength?

    Comic Books 
  • The Death of Superman (1961) has Lex Luthor curing cancer and publicly announcing that he has renounced evil and will dedicate his life to doing good. Supes is delighted at this and becomes Luthor's best friend. Then Luthor lures his new best friend into his lab and tortures him to death with Kryptonite, laughing uproariously at Supes's helpless expressions of betrayal, fury, and heartbreak and quoting this trope almost word for word. It's not that surprising that Supes believed him — throughout that story, Luthor sets things up again and again to look like something evil might be going down, only for it to turn out it's something else that will benefit humanity. Luthor even acts kindly to two would-be assassins Superman saves him from. Yes, Luthor paid the 'assassins'. It was another convoluted step in the setup, part of proving to Superman that Luthor needed a high-security lab no one could enter without permission — unless they were the Superman who built it in the first place. You may groan now.
  • In a 1990s Alpha Flight storyline, Northstar and Aurora are told by Loki that the reason for their pointed ears and powers is that they're not mutants but actually elves, the result of a liaison between their mother and an Asgardian. Northstar decides to head to Asgard and is shown supposedly welcomed home. About thirty issues later, a disheveled Northstar is shown wandering the lands, still stewing from the humiliation of finding his "kin," talking of how great it was to discover his heritage...only to have the elves laugh and ask why this mutant from Earth would possibly believe any story told by LOKI.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard: Comes up when Loki stabs the Big Bad with their sword, Gram, which can pierce through lies. Since the person it's being used on is Loki, it should naturally hurt them, right? Wrong. Even if they're the God of Lies, Old!Loki is honest about who and what they are, and asks their younger self if they thought their plan would actually work.
  • Luke Cage had an indirect one where Cage did a job for Doctor Doom, only to be told by a doorman that Doom wasn't the type to pay if he could get away with it and had already left the country. Cage proceeds to rampage through Latveria until he gets his money back.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan has Dr. Wilson, the Grand Imperial Mogul of the Klan of the Fiery Cross, freely admit to the Grand Scorpion that he doesn't actually believe any of the Klan's racist rhetoric, and only exploited the racism of its lower ranked members to make a quick buck off of their gullibility. He's genuinely shocked that someone as high-ranking as the Grand Scorpion bought into the rhetoric, which the latter doesn't take too well.
    Dr. Wilson: You stupid fool! You think the world is divided by race, but really, it's divided by power! I have power and you do not! Our skin may be the same color, but you and I are nothing alike! You are an insect! I am a God!
  • Watchmen, of course:
  • Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?:
    Mxyzptlk: Did you honestly believe a sorcerer from the 5th dimension would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat?

    Fan Works 
  • In The Cries of Haruhi Suzumiya, Takano says this to Haruhi about the Hammer of Oyashiro-sama. What's worse, this is after Haruhi's bought into this completely, and with Haruhi being Haruhi...
  • Played with in Field of Innocence. After a seemingly well-meaning Ozai bids them both farewell and good luck on their mission, Lu Ten asks Iroh if he honestly believed all of that. Iroh knows that, even though he wishes it were true, Ozai would never act like that and something is up. They're both right - Ozai was just trying to divert suspicion from himself as he plots their deaths.
  • The 11th chapter of Loved and Lost has a villain on villain example when Queen Chrysalis delivers a Wham Line to Jewelius who's revealed to have convinced her to take over Equestria with him before double-crossing her to get the throne all for himself.
    Queen Chrysalis: I... I thought we were in this together! Why did you betray me?!
    Jewelius: Oh Chrysalis. Did you really think I'd let a despicable animal like you by my side?
  • Zachariah pulls this at the end of chapter 15 of The Obeisance of Memory, a Supernatural season-four AU where Dean clawed his way out of the grave with complete amnesia.
    What, you didn't really believe you were Sam's brother, did you?
  • OSMU: Fanfiction Friction: Basil Valentine delivers a Wham Line in this manner when he reveals that he is able to read minds as part of his Psychic Powers.
    Basil Valentine: Did you honestly think you could trick me?
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act IV: In chapter 11, Falla gives the group this kind of speech after cutting Luna down and admitting that her attempts at redemption were merely an act to trick Luna into giving her her chrono magic back:
    Falla: You seem so surprised. Surely you didn't truly believe that I had any intention of remaining here at this filthy school, being denied my magic and crown, being forced to remain by her side as an equal? You filthy worms, why would I ever choose family over power?
  • In Three-Point Shot, after Kokichi Ouma outs Maki Harukawa as the Ultimate Assassin, despite having kept it secret for most of the fic, he has this to say to the person in question.
    What an idiot! You actually believed my sob story about wanting to save everyone?! What part of 'I'm a liar' do none of you get?!

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, during Gaston's rant as he's tormenting the Beast on the castle rooftops, he sneers, "Were you in love with her, Beast?! Did you honestly think she'd want you, when she had someone like me?!"
  • The big plot twist in Frozen (2013) between Princess Anna and her fiancé:
    Anna: Only an act of true love can save me.
    Hans: A true love's kiss. Oh, Anna... If only there was someone out there who loved you.
    Anna: (shocked) W-w-what? ...Y-y-you said you did!
    Hans: As thirteenth in line in my own kingdom, I didn't stand a chance. I knew I'd have to marry into the throne somewhere.
    Anna: What are you talking about?
    Hans: As heir, Elsa was preferable, of course, but no one was getting anywhere with her. But you...
    Anna: Hans?
    Hans: You were so desperate for love, you were willing to marry me, just like that!
  • In Hey Arnold! The Movie, when Scheck confronts Arnold and Gerald revealing his true motives for destroying their neighborhood and burns the document in front of them, which proves to be his biggest mistake, because the strategy of having the abundance of security cameras in his building backfired on him, and how!
    Scheck: Looking for something? (Arnold and Gerald gasp and see Scheck leaning against the door) Well, here you are, back again. After I patiently explained that your mission is completely hopeless. It still is, though I'm less inclined to entertain you after you broke into my building for the second time. Did you think could get away with this? There are cameras everywhere. I record everything that goes on, day and night. Did you think I'd let you win, let you save your little neighborhood? Don't you realize who I am? I am Alphonse Perrier Du Von Scheck. (Scheck turns on the light revealing historical art) I can trace my ancestry back to the founding fathers. (Scheck angrily turns to a framed painting) Do you know when we lost control of this city? When that ridiculous Tomato Incident took place in your pathetic little neighborhood. (Scheck takes the painting from the wall, breaks it in half, and flings to the floor) Tearing it down and putting my name upon its place will be revenge of the sweetest kind. (grins evilly)
    Arnold: But the document! Where's the document?
    Scheck: (laughs evilly, reaches into his jacket and pulls out the document and a lighter) Unfortunately, like your little plan, it's about to go up in smoke. (With an evil smirk, Scheck burns the document in front of Arnold & Gerald; the burnt pieces fall at the boys' feet.) My guards will now lock you away where you won't cause any more trouble.
  • Megamind:
    Roxanne: Did you think that I would ever be with you?
    Megamind: (heartbroken whisper) No.
  • In Monsters, Inc.:
    Randall: [chuckles evilly] You still think this is about that stupid scare record?
    Mike: Well... I did. Right up until you chuckled like that...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bourne Ultimatum has Bourne chastise his enemies this way:
    Jason Bourne: You didn't actually think I was coming to Tudor City, did you?
  • Twice in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002):
    • Edmond Dantes manages to make Villefort, the police chief who wrongfully imprisoned him, implicate himself, in a bathhouse where the steam obscured the constables waiting to make the arrest. Faced with the prospect of being locked in The Alcatraz that Edmond had spent fifteen years in, the police chief finds a pistol in the paddy wagon, and attempts suicide. It's empty.
      Edmond: [through a window] You didn't think I'd make it that easy for you, did you?
    • When revealing to Fernand that Albert is not actually his son, but is actually Edmond's, Mercedes coldly asks Fernand, "Why do you think I married you so quickly after Edmond's 'death'?", essentially asking him if he actually believed she married him because she liked him.
  • In Daredevil (2003), it seems as though Matt's father has started making a comeback as a boxer, only for Fallon to order him to throw the next fight and tell him that his victories had been against opponents who'd thrown their fights.
    "Did you really think you won all those fights on your own? You're forty-two years old! Miller, Mack, Bendis, they're all my fighters... just like you. And now it's your turn to take a fall."
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • The Dark Knight: "You didn't really think I'd risk losing the battle for Gotham's soul in a fistfight with you, did you?"
    • In The Dark Knight Rises, Daggett says this to Catwoman, in regards to a device he'd promised her that would let her erase her criminal record and start with a clean slate. As it turns out, Bruce Wayne is able to get a hold of such a thing, and uses it so they both can go into hiding.
  • Deadpool (2016): Francis pulls this on Wade, who was suckered into joining the super program thinking it produced superheroes. It produces super-slaves, sold to dictators and terrorists to fight free speech, destroy villages, and mow the occasional lawn.
  • Dune (1984) has a heroic example, where Thufir Hawat (the Atreidies mentat) betrays the Emperor and Harkonens by refusing to kill Paul.
    Thufir Hawat: [He turns to Feyd and the Emperor]... Did you actually believe, even for a moment, that I would fail my Duke TWICE? [He commits suicide]
  • In Glengarry Glen Ross, elder salesman Levane lands what he thinks is a fantastic deal, getting a couple to put down $82,000 on a new spot. He gloats to Williamson and even offers him a cut. At which point, Williamson reveal the couple was red-flagged as being nuts who just enjoy talking to salesmen and have no money to spend on this deal. He mocks Levane for failing to notice they were living in a run-down middle-class home, hardly the folks who could spend that much money. "Did you see how they were living? How can you delude yourself?"
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has the following exchange, after Harry was tricked into retrieving a prophecy.
    Lucius Malfoy: Did you actually believe, or are you truly naïve enough to think that children stood a chance against us? I'll make this simple for you, Potter. Give me the prophecy now, or watch your friends die.
  • Kill Bill: The Bride defeats several of O-Ren Ishii's bodyguards, including Gogo Yubari, who puts up quite a fight. After she's finished, the Bride hears several cars pulling up, which leads to dozens of sword-wielding Yakuza swarming the House of Blue Leaves.
    O-Ren: You didn't actually think it would be that easy, did you?
    Bride: You know, for a second there... yeah, I kinda did.
  • An early scene in Last Action Hero has Jack Slater at the police station when his ex-wife calls. As she rambles on about alimony, issues with their daughter and more, Sater puts her on a tape recording of himself doing an occasional offhand response. Later, when Slater is down in the dumps over being suspended, Danny tries to cheer him up by saying his ex-wife still cares only for Slater to scoff that his ex is happily re-married and he just pays someone to call him and make the cops think he has a private life.
    Slater: Danny, do you think I'd marry someone so stupid she doesn't know the real voice from a taped one?
  • In the Disney version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch says this to Aslan when she is about to kill him at the Stone Table.
    • Specifically she asks Aslan if he really thought sacrificing himself in Edmund's place would really save anyone, since she'd just kill the Pevensies anyhow, and now they were without Aslan's protection. It turns out though that the sacrifice does work, since Aslan knows (though the Witch doesn't) that an innocent trading their life for a guilty person is enough to even make death work backwards, and he comes back to life.
  • Averted in The Long Good Friday: After double-crossing and attempting to destroy the IRA gangster operation in London the London gangster Harold Shand is kidnapped by gunmen in the final scene of the film. Neither he nor his captors speak, but one gunman smirks at him.
  • The Mask of Zorro: Elena tried to stop Diego (her biological father) from killing Rafael (her adoptive father). Rafael promptly puts a gun to her head, and tells him to drop his sword. Once he does...
    Rafael:' Did you really think I would kill my own daughter? (shoots Diego)
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Beckett gloats over his perceived victory, assuming Jack's reappearance after the climactic battle is an attempt on his part to gain Beckett's clemency, as they'd negotiated. But Beckett's clearly had a double-cross planned for some time. ("He actually expects me to honor our agreement.") This probably counts as a subversion, since Jack never expected Beckett to honor their agreement; he's coming back to blow Beckett's ship to smithereens.
  • In Pumpkinhead:
    Haggis: What'd you think? It'd be easy? Neat and clean and painless? You're a fool, Ed Harley!
  • RoboCop (1987): When Robocop tries to arrest Dick Jones, and suddenly discovers that he can't.
    Dick Jones: It's a little insurance policy called "Directive 4", my little contribution to your psychological profile. Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown. What did you think? That you were an ordinary police officer? You're our product and we can't very well have our products turning against us, can we?
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: During the climactic confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty, the latter thinks, with a brilliant smug smile: "Come now, you really think you're the only one who can play this game?" and reveals that he can weaponize the Sherlock Scan too, and knows that he's going to win their fight.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman: Queen Ravenna gets the Huntsman to work for her by promising to resurrect his wife. Eventually, Ravenna's brother Finn mocks him for actually believing she would keep her word.
  • Dark Helmet does this twice in Spaceballs, first stealing Lone Starr's Schwartz ring and again to toss it down a grate! And he still can't believe Lone Starr fell for it!
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home: Green Goblin does this to Peter, the newly redeemed Doctor Octopus and the group of multi-versal villains at Happy's place after retaking control back from Norman Osborn who was working on his cure, and flatly asks him how did Peter think he wouldn't interfere when in danger of permanently losing all his strength.
    Green Goblin: "No more darker half"? Did you really think that I'd let that happen? That I'd let you take away my power, just because you're blind to what true power can bring you?
    Peter Parker: You don't know me.
  • Star Wars: A New Hope, when Leia gives the (false) location of the Rebel base, and Tarkin destroys Alderaan anyway.
    Tarkin: Continue the operation. You may fire when ready.
    Leia: WHAT?!
    Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don't worry — we'll deal with your Rebel friends soon enough!
  • The 1992 Dolly Parton movie Straight Talk has Shirlee, a newcomer to Chicago, accidentally becoming a radio talk show therapist. Her fame grows but Shirlee has the problem of trusting people to be frank on their problems. It's summed up when she's confronted by a woman irate Shirlee told her husband he was better off dumping his alcoholic wife. She points out she wasn't that bad a drinker and he took the kids and left. Her words make Shirlee wonder how much "help" her advice has been without knowing all the details.
    Shirlee: He told me you didn't have kids!
    Woman: You think everyone who calls you is telling you nothing but the truth?
    Shirlee: Well...I thought...Sure! Why would they lie?
    Woman: They're not talking to a friend on the phone, they're on the radio! Of course they're not going to tell you the truth!
  • Loki says something along these lines during his (staged) betrayal of Thor in Thor: The Dark World. To many viewers this was an Out-of-Character Alert.
    Loki: Did you really think I cared about Frigga? About anyone? All I wanted was to see you and Odin dead at my feet!
  • In Universal Soldier (1992), when Woodward says they have to let the Pentagon know that the Soldiers are going rogue, Perry snorts to ask if Woodward honestly believes the Pentagon has any idea the Soldiers are really reanimated bodies of U.S. troops killed in Vietnam. The novelization makes it clear this entire operation has never been the Pentagon at all, but a private corporation using the UniSols as their own private army and the real Pentagon thinks it's someone else's black ops team.
    Perry: Do you really think for one second those wimps at the Pentagon would allow the regeneration of dead soldiers, American soldiers?
  • Wayne's World combines this with Breaking the Fourth Wall in the Downer Ending:
    Benjamin: (to camera) You didn't really think she'd end up with Wayne, did you?

  • The Big Bad of Darkness Visible literally laughs in the face of the hero when he believes he has prevented the End of the World:
    Lewis: ‘I am glad to hear that we thwarted your insane plan.’
    Sir Michael: ‘Thwarted me? How very dramatic! You always did read too many sensational stories, Henry. You have stopped nothing.'
  • Dragon Bones has a heroic example: "Did you actually believe I would murder my uncle?"
  • Dune: A heroic example, where Thufir Hawat (the Atreides mentat) betrays the Emperor and Harkonnens by refusing to kill Paul:
    "Did you think that I, who have given my life to the service of the Atreides, would give them less now?"
  • In House of Leaves, Johnny Truant's diary entries for September 1998 have him making an unbelievable mental and physical recovery under treatment, until the entry for September 29, where he tells the reader:
    Are you fucking kidding me? Did you really think any of that was true? September 2 to September 28? I just made all that up. Right out of thin air. Wrote it in two hours. I don't have any friends who are doctors, let alone two friends who are doctors. You must have guessed that. At least the lack of expletives should have clued you in. A sure sign that something was amiss.
  • In The Misfit of Demon King Academy it's almost a catchphrase of the main character Anos. Anos intentionally allowed himself to be killed 2000 years prior to the main story, and when he resurrects he is by far the most powerful being, human, demon, or otherwise, around. Since virtually nothing can touch him he often replies to an attack with "Did you actually believe X could stop me?" X can be anything from a weak magic attack, up to and including death.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero the comrades of Tact are told they might survive if they speak against him during his execution. Malty jumps on the opportunity only for Naofumi to ask if she really thought he'd let her live.
  • The Brad Meltzer novel Zero Game revolves around the titular game where Congressional aides run bets on whether or not certain legislation would pass. One aide works with his "dungeon masters" on a bet but it gets out of hand, leading to murder. In the end, when the killer is caught, the aide talks about still figuring out the ins and outs of the Game and the man laughs on "when did you figure out it wasn't real?" Covering his shock, the aide plays along and slowly comes to the realization the never was a "Zero Game" outside the three of them with the killer chuckling "like anyone would be naïve enough to buy hundreds of people pulling a game in a town that can never keep a secret."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Remembrance of the Daleks":
      The Doctor: Did you think I would let you have the Hand of Omega?
    • "Last of the Time Lords": After the Master has taken Martha prisoner on the Valiant and is about to kill her, but she starts revealing her plans.
      Martha: A gun in four parts, scattered across the world... I mean... come on. Did you really believe that?
      The Master: What?
      The Doctor: As if I would ask her to kill.
    • "The Snowmen": The misanthropic Dr. Simeon is being mimicked by living snow, so all the Doctor has to do is erase his memory, and the living snow will be done, right? Then why is everything still working?
      The Great Inteligence: Did you really think it would be that simple? [...] Now the dream outlives the dreamer, and can never die. Once I was just a puppet. [reanimates Simeon's corpse] Now I pull the strings!
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sansa mocks Myranda for believing that Ramsay actually intended on marrying her.
    • In the first episode of Season 8, when Tyrion says that Cersei will be sending her army north to help Winterfell, she asks, "And you actually believed her?"
  • So many times, even the gang of con artists on Hustle are amazed at how easily the marks fall for their scams.
    • One episode opens with Danny and Mick engineering a deal for a major "real estate purchase." After it's done, the mark looks out the window at what he thinks he just bought: The London Eye Ferris wheel. The first scene after the title credits is the gang watching a news report on the man being arrested when he showed up at the Eye, demanding payments on his "property." The newscaster openly chuckles at how anyone could believe they bought one of the biggest landmarks in London from two random guys off the street.
  • The pilot for Kevin Can F**k Himself has Allision planning to buy a house in a much better neighborhood so she and Jerkass Manchild husband Kevin can try to get a better life. Just as she's getting into the plans, her friend Patty has to break it to her this won't happen because, thanks to Kevin's various Zany Scheme antics, selfishness and stupidity, they're flat broke. When Allison protests about the money meant to be invested, Patty asks her to think on the selfish, short-sighted idiot Kevin is and if Allison honestly thought a guy who paid thousands of dollars for a sweatshirt supposedly worn by Bill Bellichick is the kind of person who'd give any thought to long-term savings and investing for the future.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Jasmine agrees to marry Jafar to keep him from destroying Agrabah, and gives him the jewel ring that was meant to be her dowry...only to be met with "You vain girl! Did you really think I had any interest in marrying you and ruling that grimy city?" Turns out Jafar's plan was to destroy Agrabah all along and he needed the ring she just gave him to break the protection spell. Once he does, he traps the city inside the ring.
  • In Power Rangers Jungle Fury:
    Grizzaka: (after finally escaping the sand snakes) Think you're rid of me? Think again. (laughs evilly)
    • Now, bad guys say stuff like that all the time, but on this occasion it's different: Grizzaka is one of the three Overlords, the Big Bads of this arc. Carnisoar the Sky Overlord went down last week, and Jellica the Sea Overlord and the Sixth Ranger had their climactic battle while Grizzaka the Land Overlord didn't even get past the Death Trap-laden path to the new Humongous Mecha this week. So, this arc's over and it's time for the Phantom Beasts, right? Yeah, Not so Fast, Bucko!.
  • The fist season finale of Robin Hood has Guy freaking out at word King Richard is returning from the Crusades to visit Nottingham. The Sherrif just laughs as he relates this isn't the real Richard but an imposter as part of his plan to test the loyalty of his aides.
    Sherrif: Think about it. Is the real King, who's spent God knows how long fighting in the Holy Land, going to stop off in Nottingham on his way home for a chat? A clue: No.
  • In The Rookie, Chen and West are happy to graduate to full street officers, having heard of a big celebration when a cop reaches that. West mentions his dad saying their sergeant Grey will even share a drink from his 30-year-old Scotch. At roll call, the pair are thrown when they're treated as usual and when Grey asks, "what, you expected a party?" they realize they've been had. Nolan (unable to move up just yet) smirks with the rest of the cops at avoiding falling for this prank. Talking to the pair later, Grey openly laughs on them honestly thinking he has a Scotch like that, let alone would share it with anyone. West sheepishly admits that part alone should have alerted him this was a joke.
  • The Sandman, "Calliope": Erasmus Fry captures the muse Calliope and forces her to grant him inspiration for a string of successful novels. Nearing the end of his life, he sells her to a younger up-and-coming writer. She's shocked when he announces the sale, protesting that he'd always promised to free her when his career was done. He replies, mockingly, "And you believed me? Writers are liars, my dear."
  • Sherlock
    • "The Reichenbach Fall" - Moriarty's "super-code" that works on absolutely anything and everyone is desperate to get their hands on? Yeah, he made the whole thing up.
      "No, no, no, this is too easy, this is too easy! There is no key, DOOFUS!"
    • In A Scandal in Belgravia, Irene uses this. Turns out she was bluffing.
    • Sherlock's Complexity Addiction turns up again in the series three finale. Magnussen doesn't have an HUD built into his spectacles, nor does he keep all his blackmail material in a special vault. He simply has an encyclopaedic memory to match Sherlock's own. Unlike before, this backfires on the villain - Sherlock just kills him.
  • In Teen Wolf, Kate Argent loves doing this. In "Formality", she is very happily Evil Gloating to Derek Hale about their past together, where she seduced him, and he fell in love with her; and how he was only a tool to get information on him and his family (a pack of Werewolves, but there were some humans, too) so she could kill them because she is a Werewolf Hunter. She taunts him, all but saying this trope, and in the last scene of them in that episode, it's probably safe to say she is also Post-Rape Taunt.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • When Randy Orton shook Sheamus' hand at the conclusion of their May 18th match on Smackdown, Sheamus reluctantly accepted. As soon as he turned away, Randy planted Sheamus with an RKO. Randy is actually well known for doing things like this, so why Sheamus accepted the handshake at all is anyone's guess. Maybe it's because Good Is Dumb.
  • In 1991, after the Ultimate Warrior had been locked in a casket by the Undertaker, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts offered to help him get in touch with his dark side. The last skit had Warrior in a room filled with snakes and one bit him. As he reached up to Jake for help, he declared, "I'm a snake. Never trust a snake."

  • The end of the ballad of the "Golden Vanity". The Golden Vanity is spotted by an enemy Man-o'-War. The Cabin-Boy offers to swim up to the man-o'-war and drill holes in it to sink it, in exchange for the captain's daughter to marry, and a dowry. The captain agrees, the boy sinks the ship, and then after having swum back, the captain...
    But the captain would not heed him, for his promise he did rue, and he scorned his poor entreatings when loudly he did sue. And he left him in the Lowland, Lowland, Low. And he left him in the Lowland Sea.
  • "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life?"
  • "I Was Only Kidding", an original song by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which lists the many emphatic ways he's told his girlfriend he loves her, and wondering why she didn't catch that he was kidding.
  • Rhapsody of Fire: Halfway through the Emerald Sword Saga, Akron offers to the hero the life of Princess Airin and all the knights of Ancelot who were captured in exchange for the Emerald Sword. As soon as he holds the blade, he has the hero captured, the prisoners executed and Airin tortured to death.

  • Ptolemy in Giulio Cesare in Egitto by George Frederic Handel promises the hand of the captive Cornelia to The Dragon Achillas, while really intending to keep her for himself. When Achillas tells him Caesar is killed and it's time to reward him, Ptolemy tells him that he shouldn't have thought he'll receive World's Most Beautiful Woman for such a lowly deed. Lampshaded by Ptolemy several times before that.
    Ptolemy (to himself): He must be mad to believe it!
  • The Phantom of the Opera, when the Phantom makes his appearance at the end of "Masquerade":
    "Why so silent, good m'sieurs? Did you think that I had left you for good?"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: There's a backwater planet where the inhabitants haven't seen Imperial forces since they last left the planet some ten millenia prior, which doesn't stop them believing the God-Emperor will one day return to lead them out of their incredibly miserable lives. Chaos forces that raid the planet take sadistic pleasure in showing just how utterly insignificant they are, how little anyone in the Imperium cares or is even aware of their existence, and of course what's happened to the God-Emperor since then.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest Worlds:
    Sek-Duat: FOOLS! Did YOU really believe I would lead you here and just hand over the power of a Djinn?! I simply needed you both in the same place!
    • Cue that rather violent The Bad Guy Wins moment where he supposedly "kills off" both Zhoom and the hero, takes the lamp, causes a cave-in, and holds up the lamp in triumph... only for it to suddenly be replaced with a simple rock. He doesn't know that Zhoom and the hero are still alive and now have the lamp because they secretly slipped him the Dreamdust, but he doesn't care.
    • Being the Smug Snake he is, Vath, after luring the hero into a trap with a fake Vath and trapping him/her in a cage, jumps down and says "Did you really think it would be that easy? I have known for weeks that you would be coming for me."
  • In Batman Doom, there is a level where you have to search a hospital for a switch to prevent the release of poison gas. A few minutes in, you do find a switch labelled "GAS SWITCH", but pressing it just reveals the words "DID YOU REALLY THINK IT WOULD BE THAT EASY?" and releases some Penguin Bombs.
  • After The Reveal in "Episode 1: Threading" of Code 7, the Big Bad mocks you for thinking it would be so easy to get rid of him, calling you predictably naïve in your quest to save the world.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Hero Antagonist to manipulated villain variant:
    Lamington: "Did you think that I was oblivious to your actions, Vulcanus? I am well informed of all that has transpired."
  • The Snatcher of A Hat in Time has a variant of this when he reveals he's going to kill Hat Kid the same way he dealt with the contractor before her, and that he won't let her keep the Time Pieces she had collected beforehand.
    Snatcher: Besides, you didn't think I was gonna let you keep all these Time Pieces, did you? They fell in my forest, kid. They belong to me!
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, during the Hollow Bastion chapter, the Beast tries to rescue Belle, only for her to give him the cold shoulder, knowing that Maleficent is planning on using The Power of Love in their hearts to fuel her dark magic. The Beast refuses to be deterred, though, and says that he'll save Belle even if she hates him for it, resulting in Maleficent trying to steal his heart and her saving his heart at the cost of her own. During the final confrontation with Maleficent, Maleficent explains why Belle acted the way she did as a "reward" for his persistence, then explains why she told him that.
    Maleficent: Don't you realize why I am telling you all this? Did you think it was out of kindness? I did it to erase your doubts. Now your heart is beginning to shine with love for Belle. I shall have your heart, too, monster!
  • In King of the Castle, the Ascension scheme revolves the Counts of the East around offering to induct the King into a secret society of immortal vampires if they surrender the throne in favour of their claimant. However, if the scheme reaches its third stage, the Counts can vote instead to double cross the King by pretending to offer them immortality and then giving them a goblet of poison if they accept. If they succeed, they chide the King for being foolish enough to think they'd give away their secret.
  • Love of Magic: Nimue dismisses Emily with this comment, causing a Second-Act Breakup.
    Nimue: What a simple-minded child. Did you truly think he was attracted to you? You plain faced, flat chested tomboy. All of this was planned before your great grandfather was even born.
  • Mega Man X 7:
    Splash Warfly: Idiot! This is all according to plan!
    Zero: What?
  • Great one in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    Raiden: You're changing sides now?
    Snake: Change sides? I don't recall saying I was on yours.
  • Persona 5: The Traitor Goro Akechi pulls this on the protagonist by walking into the interrogation room with the air of saving him, only to reveal his true colors. This gets turned on Akechi when it turns out that the heroes weren't fooled at all by his act, and successfully make him think he's won, unless the player somehow missed all the red flags and got the Bad Ending where Akechi actually does win.
  • NetHack: "A voice booms out... 'So thou thought thou couldst kill me, fool.'"
  • In Octopath Traveler, Miguel plays on Alfyn's sympathies, claiming to have three children to feed so that Aflyn will treat Miguel's fatal injuries. After Miguel takes advantage of Alfyn's kindness to kidnap a child, and admits that he lied about having a family, he asks, "Ye actually believed I had a bloody family?"
  • Pony Island: Azazel.exe mocks you for thinking you could easily delete the system core file, without fighting him.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, at the very end of the game, after the Vizier is defeated, the Dark Prince takes control of the Prince one last time, forcing the Prince to navigate the Mental Realm in order to banish him for good.
    Dark Prince: What did you expect? That when you slew the Vizier, I'd simply disappear?
  • RosenkreuzStilette:
    • "It seems that I cannot change your mind. Such a shame... Do you honestly think you can stand against the entirety of RKS on your own?"
      Iris: You think a run-of-the-mill Magus like yourself can stand a chance against me, Rosenkreuz reborn? This is why I can't stand commoners... I have transcended humanity. I, Iris Zeppelin, have become a god! A worthless insect like yourself can't hope to stop me.
  • Warframe: Councilor Vay Hek wants to know whether you really believed that defeating his fleet of Fomorian-class battleships would be this easy. He would also like you to know that the scenery is delicious.
  • World of Warcraft: Did you honestly believe I would trust the future to some blind, half-night elf mongrel?
    • It was merely a setback.
    • In the 5-man "Trial of the Champion" dungeon, the Black Knight — whom the player has most likely slain in a previous quest — appears out of nowhere at the end and booms, "Did you honestly think an agent of the Lich King could be bested on the field of your pathetic, little tournament?"
      • And then you kill him again. And again. And once more. That's counting up to three Back from the Dead.
      • That fight in and of itself is more likely an example of Only a Flesh Wound, given that the character is called "Black Knight" and he constantly disregards damage to himself and is assured of his victory.
    • Also a bit unusual that The Reveal is not their evilness, but the fact that they are alive (sort of).

    Visual Novels 
  • During Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Kokichi pulls that line after Gonta's execution, telling them that he would NEVER cry for him, making the rest of the group even more furious at him than before. It doesn't help that apparently he was faking that statement, so the rest would unite against him.
    Kokichi: (after laughing) Oh man, did you actually believe that fake cry? You're so dumb! I would never cry for Gonta!
  • A non-villainous example in Double Homework. To stall for time after Dennis goes through her files, Dr. Mosely/Zeta tells Dennis that she has a “tool” that would make any woman/girl hot for him. She does indeed give him a package on the class trip to Barbarossa, but it contains only a sex toy.
  • Spoken word-for-word by the title character of Melody in one of the protagonist's sexual dreams. After offering him sex, she asks if he really thought she’d jump into bed with him the first time they spent the night together in his apartment.
  • Umineko: When They Cry does this a few times. The most notable ones include:
    • EP3's ending, did you actually believe that Beatrice is going Tsundere for you? Actually subverted, since it turned out to be true anyway.
    • EP7's ending, did you actually believe that Bernkastel will give everyone a happy ending?

    Web Animation 
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: In Rise of Fawful (part 1), the talkative Fawful makes a sermon on how stupid Bowser Jr is for falling for his trick, and would have likely gone on for hours hadn't the young Koopa attempted to strangle him.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: Semi-heroic version when the Temple Beth Zion betrays the rogue chapter of the Catholic Church.
    Maxwell: Send in the forces of the Temple Beth Zion!
    Bartłomiej Jeleniak: (as his forces fly off in stolen helicopters) Seriously, I can't believe they actually thought we were going to help them!
    (soldiers start laughing)
    Zion Soldier: (flipping Maxwell off) That's for the Rhineland Massacres, ya schmuck!

  • Girl Genius: Big Bad Lucrezia Mongfish decides to possess her minion Dr Monahan, and has the gall to be surprised when Monahan resists her, sending her into a rant:
    Dr Monahan: Did you really think I would tamely let you use me the way you use everyone and everything? Tch— You honestly did believe it was all about you, didn't you?
  • Hoh from Tower of God chews Bam out for actually thinking he could be friends with anybody who competes with him in an important drop-out test curriculum where death is an ever-present risk.
    • Khun's recruitment of Edin plays with this. He first tells him he shouldn't have believed what he told him when he said everybody present was hired by him and it was just a lie to make him act in a certain way. After that, Edin gets away from Khun and ambushed by the barkeeper. Khun shows up again and says that Edin trusted him too easily again.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula mocks Zuko for trusting her and believing she was escorting them back home and ending their exile after one of her soldiers accidentally refers to Zuko and Iroh as "prisoners".
    Zuko: You lied to me!!!
    Azula: Like I've never done that before.
  • In BIONICLE : Mask of Light, the Seventh Toa, Takanuva, is followed to Makuta's lair by the island's inhabitants. Makuta seals off the entrance.
    Makuta: Did you actually believe I would let them return?
  • Justice League had this, but then subverts it beautifully:
    Luthor: (To Amanda Waller) "Insolent cow! Did you really think you could take ME down?"
    Waller: "To tell the truth, well, yeah. But, on the off chance I might have been wrong..." (looks past Luthor, who turns to see the big 7 standing behind him!)
    Flash: "Ta-da."
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Go Team Go", when Shego sees an opportune moment to break her temporary alliance with Kim:
    Kim: Shego, I thought we were in this together!
    Shego: Oh, come on. Don't you know me better by now? I mean, seriously....
  • An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon had Popeye and Brutus as farmers in a contest with the final task to eat spinach and prove its strength. Brutus tells Popeye to make the task fair to which he agrees, only for Brutus to knock Popeye out. Brutus breaks the fourth wall:
    Brutus: (to us) You didn't think I was gonna play fair with that runt and take a chance against his spinach!
  • In Robot Chicken, they parody the Kill Bill exchange when (The Easter) Bunny/Bill says O-Ren's line, and Jesus/The Bride says The Bride's.
  • In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Lois calls Lex Luthor to the carpet about a mysterious red fog that has enveloped the Metropolis sky and drained Superman of his powers. Lex maintains his innocence:
    Lex: Oh, please, Lois, forget that I’m losing millions in communications revenues, do you really think I’d jeopardize the welfare of the planet just to settle my personal grudge with Superman?
    • Possibly subverted, because we all know the answer to that question: yes, in a heartbeat. This is the same man who would later admit to spending millions on a fake presidential campaign "just to tick Superman off." And construct a housing development so that it could be destroyed in a super-battle to make Superman look bad. When it comes to humbling his arch-foe, Luthor will go to any lengths necessary.
  • This exchange in Teen Titans (2003) between Cyborg and Brother Blood concerning an army of Robo-Cyborgs Blood built:
    Cyborg: How did you build those second-rate tin men? You stole my blueprints, but we stole them back!
    Brother Blood: Did you actually think that someone with my mental ability wouldn't have a photographic memory?
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In "New Friend, Old Enemy," Chris Bradford, local martial arts superstar, befriends Mikey, who looks up to him greatly... but it turns out Bradford is one of Shredder's top henchmen, and was just using him to find out information on Splinter and the Turtles. Bradford wastes no time rubbing in Mikey's face how stupid he was to think they were actually friends.
    Mikey: I thought we were friends. I introduced you to all of my toes!
    Bradford: You actually thought someone like me could be friends with a freak like you? Pathetic!


Video Example(s):


The Goblin Speaks

With a few words the Goblin undoes the fragile alliance Peter had forged with the villains he had hoped to save.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / BreakThemByTalking

Media sources: