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He Went That Way

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Of course I didn't just shapeshift; he went that way.
Alex is either chasing or looking for Bob and comes across Chuck. Chuck points in one direction and says something along the lines of "He went that way." Inevitably, Chuck either is in cahoots with Bob, who went the other way, or is actually Bob in disguise.

Related to Look Behind You.

Sometimes combined with Sarcastic Confession, if Alex doesn't trust Chuck then the chances are good that Bob really did go that way but Chuck knows Alex will simply assume he is lying and go the other way.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Digimon Adventure, Yamato does this to a teenager who was angrily chasing Pumpmon and Gotsumon after they'd pulled on one of her facial piercings.
  • Oolong does this the first time he appears in his true form in Dragon Ball.
  • Done in the bonus OVA for the third season of Full Metal Panic! when Kurtz is running from Clouseau and asks Tessa to help him out in this way. It works but gets averted when he sticks around to explain why he was running in the first place. He replaced a kissing scene from one of Clouseau's anime with footage of two pigs kissing. Clouseau was not pleased.
  • Done in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. Sousuke steals a Bonta-kun costume to fight off Yakuza thugs threatening Kaname because he was following her on a date and didn't want her to find out. He is chased by security trying to get it back and Kaname helps him out by way of this trope.
  • Galaxy Angel: One episode has Forte meeting a little Street Urchin girl who reminds her a lot of herself. At one point she's chased by a cop for stealing some candy from a store. The cop runs into Forte, and when he asks where did the girl go, Forte points out to a nearby bus just leaving, while the girl was hiding in an alley.
  • Part of Giorno's backstory in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: when he was a child, he found a man bleeding out in a patch of grass. The men who shot him asked Giorno if he'd seen an injured man, and Giorno directed them away from the patch. The man he saved was a powerful mobster from Naples, who aided and protected Giorno from afar the rest of his childhood, inspiring Giorno to join the Mafia when he grew up.
  • In two of the flashbacks in Millennium Actress, does Chiyoko dupe the police who are chasing the young painter by pointing in the wrong direction.
  • In School Rumble this is said to distract Hanai from where Yakumo is.

    Comic Books 
  • Snake Eyes pulls this off without saying a word in issue 21 "Silent Interlude" of the Marvel G.I. Joe comic.
  • Iznogoud: "The Sinister Liquidator" features a variant in which Iznogoud tries to use the cursed water of a swamp djinn to become Caliph instead of the Caliph; anyone who touches the water disappears into it. Of course, while trying to get the water to the Caliph, more and more people (and a camel) touch or even drink the water, and Iznogoud keeps repeating the name of this trope when people wonder where they went. Finally, the Caliph's goldfish keeper tries putting his charge in the water, and when he wonders where the goldfish went... Actually, both Iznogoud and his henchman say this. While pointing in the opposite directions. Of course, this being Iznogoud, no one notices.
  • Master of Disguise Mortadelo often pulls this off in Mortadelo y Filemón. Once, he sent a pursuer straight up a wall...
  • The French comic Rubine has goons chasing after a man, then running into an intersection where a pair of homeless men are camping. They ask the one facing them if he saw someone run by. He confirms it, and even adds that he was given twenty dollars to tell the goons he went one way (but didn't give him anything to tell them which way he did go). The goons promptly run the other way, and the second homeless man gets up, revealing he was the target all along, thanking the first one before fleeing.
  • Hefty Smurf chases after Clumsy in The Smurfs comic book story "Salad Smurfs" after he has turned into a potato, which was thought to be a contagious disease (Smurfs turning into vegetables), but later turns out to be the result of eating Mutagenic Food. He passes by Greedy in his pursuit and asks if he has seen Clumsy. He says he hasn't, but that he has seen a large potato. Greedy then points in the direction where he has seen the potato, and Hefty sees Clumsy trying to hide himself within the village well.

    Fan Works 
  • In Star Trek: Voyager Parody Fic "A Fistful of Mammary Gland", the Woman With No Name (just a number: 7 of 9) boards a spacecraft whose crew are split into two factions, Starfleet and Maquis, in a constant state of conflict.
    "That is inefficient," said Seven. "What happened to co-operation in the face of adversity, seeking out new life and new civilisations, boldly going where no sub-unit has gone before?"
    "They went that-a-way," said Neelix, pointing at the waste disposal chute. "It was a choice between co-operation or continuity. You can't have both, you know."

  • Captain Marvel (2019): Nick Fury approaches Carol Danvers and asks if she had seen a lady in laser tag gear who just blew a hole through the roof of a strip mall Blockbuster. Carol points in a random direction and says she went that way, which doesn't fool Fury since the mall security guard Carol spoke to when she arrived sold her out.
  • In Corpse Bride, the dead help Emily by saying the trope word for word, or pointing in the direction Victor ran.
  • D.E.B.S.: Near the end of the film, Amy and Lucy decide to escape together. Amy's friend Max tells the pursuing authorities that they went one way when they in fact went another.
  • Invoked by the bad guy as part of a trap in El Dorado: he leads Cole and Mississippi on a chase through the town saloon, with two mooks waiting to point our heroes out the back door and into an ambush. It almost works, too, except Mississippi recognizes one of them from an earlier encounter.
  • Right after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Hangmen Also Die!, Mascha points Dr. Svoboda's pursuers in the wrong direction. She doesn't know what they want with him, but she figures that if someone is running from the Nazis, she doesn't want that person to be caught.
  • Head Office: In the climax, as Jack and Rachel are being chased down the stairways by gunmen because You Know Too Much, they pass his coworker Max on the stairs and beg for help, while continuing to race down to the next flight. Max responds by opening the door to the floor he's on and yelling "Run Jack, run" through it as the pursuers reach him, which of course causes them to charge through the door, assuming that Jack and Rachel went that way.
  • In A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Princess Sarah sends Calvin to warn her father about what Lord Belasco has done with Princess Katy. She then tells the royal guards that he went down the opposite hallway in order to buy him time to get there.
  • Played with in Ladyhawke
    Soldier #1: Where is Navarre?
    Phillipe: Navarre? Navarre? Ah, yes. Big man, black horse. I thought I saw him ride south, toward Aquila.
    Soldier #2: Ha, then we ride north.
    Phillipe: It isn't polite to assume that someone is a liar when you've only just met them.
    Soldier #1: And yet you knew we would. We ride south.
    Phillipe: [talking to God] I told the truth, Lord. How can I learn any moral lessons when you keep confusing me this way?
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Maugrim and his wolf Secret Police are hunting the Pevensie children. They encounter Mr. Fox who acts like he's hoping to get a reward for the information, but when Maugrim threatens him, he cowers saying "they ran north." The children are actually above them in a tree the entire time, as Fox knows.
  • In The Man in the White Suit, Sidney Stratton escapes from a locked room by convincing a little girl to tell the man guarding him that he's already escaped. He was hiding in a wardrobe and got away when the room was checked. The little girl also pointed and told the man "He went that way". Later, when the entire town is chasing Sidney down, he runs past the same girl who then tells the pursuing mob "He went that way", pointing in the opposite direction.
  • Gavroche and Javert in the 1978 adaptation of Les Misérables.
  • Subverted in Mission: Impossible III. Ethan Hunt is chasing down the villains, and an elderly Chinese man wordlessly points in the direction they went. However, it turns out he's walked into an unlicensed hospital, and the man just assumed from Ethan's battered appearance that he had come in for treatment. Fortunately, the villains have also gone to the hospital.
  • A variation in Star Wars: A New Hope. When stormtroopers break into the room where C3PO and R2D2 are hiding, they pretend they're innocent droids who have been locked in there by the rebels. "They're madmen! They're heading for the prison level! If you hurry, you might catch them!" In this case the information is accurate, but something the stormtroopers already know about.
  • Street Angel: When Angela is running from the police, she is saved by a group of circus artists, hiding her in a broken drum, and sending the police away in this matter.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day. John Connor's friend tips him off that a policeman is looking for him, then tries to do this trope as Connor ducks out the back way. Unfortunately, the T-1000 has already seen Connor, and brutally shoves his friend aside.
  • The Three Stooges would often pull this gag when being chased by someone.

  • Done in one of the Everworld novels. Lampshaded when the characters say that they can't believe the "they went thataway trick" actually worked.
  • The King's Stilts: While hiding from Lord Droon and the guards, a disguised Eric asks if they are seeking "a small boy with no belt" and directs them toward the sea.
  • Cao Cao, of all people, pulls off a straight version while on the run from Lu Bu in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Sails. Silver flees ashore on a launch, and when he reaches the docks asks three different men working there for directions to three different places. When his pursuers get to the harbour and ask after him, the three men point in three different directions.
  • Doctor Who: In "Revelation of the Daleks", the Doctor rounds a corner and comes face-to-face with two Daleks. Not missing a beat, he says "Ah. There you are. They went that way." and points. It doesn't work.
  • Farscape. In "Liars, Guns and Money Part 1", Crichton and Aeryn knock out a couple of guards in the middle of their bank heist, but are ambushed by more guards before they've even finished pulling the clothes off. Crichton flees with a half-hearted "Uh... they went that way!" to the new arrivals.

  • In Les Misérables, Marius begs Eponine to tell him where Cosette went. Naturally, the Marius-besotted Eppy points...
  • In the penultimate scene of The Music Man, Marcellus manages to distract the angry mob of townspeople searching for Harold Hill for a few minutes by telling them he isn't anywhere nearby and they should try looking "down by the creek."
  • In The Girl of the Golden West, the bandito José Castro (though he unconvincingly denies he is one) comes to the Polka and offers to lead the boys to the hideout of his boss Ramerrez, who is already at the Polka using a different name.

    Video Games 
  • In Baldur's Gate II, while transformed into a drow, you come across a group of drow chasing a slave and are given the option to point them in the right or wrong direction.
  • In Fantasy Life, the player, or rather their more vocal Exposition Fairy, does this to throw paladins off the trail of another character.
  • According to the intro of Soulcalibur II this is how Raphael first met Amy, which led to him adopting her as his daughter.
  • You can do this in Venetica after Scarlett blows up one of the Doge's ships. When a guard comes up to her and asks what happened, she can respond with this. They buy it completely.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, if you are playing as a Malkavian, you can suggest avoiding werewolves by dressing as one and using this trope.

    Web Comics 
  • In Champions of Far'aus, Daryl says the trope name almost word-for-word when one of Sarengal’s cultists recognizes him as Leilusa’s champion, and asks Daryl if he’s seen " - some Hyperia Pantheon person in a white cowboy hat and long blue coat - " (what Daryl wears), leaving Daryl with nothing to do except tell Blatant Lies.
    Daryl: Uhhhhh . . .
    [Daryl points to his right]
    Daryl: He went that-a-way!
  • In DDG a reluctant reapee tells Zip "Some dead guy just went out the window". Needless to say, it doesn't work. Asking Zip for a kiss as a last request is more successful, though.

    Web Original 
  • Referenced, along with many tropes pertaining to villains, in the Evil Overlord List. Specifically, it's number 155 in Evil Overlord List Cellblock A:
    I will instruct my Legions of Terror in proper search techniques. In particular, if they are searching for escapees and someone shouts, "Quick! They went that way!", they must first ascertain the identity of this helpful informant before dashing off in hot pursuit.

    Western Animation 
  • Perhaps the most blatant example from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is Sonic saying, "I'm over there." to a robot, WITHOUT A COSTUME, after just walking up to him. It works.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: When Aang and company break into the Fire Lord's bunker during the Day of Black Sun, they interrogate a passerby for Ozai's location. That chamber contains Azula rather than Ozai, and she's happy to waste the heroes' time.
    War Minister Qin: The Firelord's chamber is that way, down the hall to the left and up the stairs. You can't miss it.
  • In the Arabian Knights segment of The Banana Splits, Princess Nida often disguised herself (once even as the Big Bad and imitating his voice!) and used this trick to send guards the wrong way.
  • Used for a "Shaggy Dog" Story in Bounty Hamster. Cassie spends an entire episode tracking down a witness who knows where her Disappeared Dad went, only to find the only information they can give is this trope.
  • In one episode of Josie and the Pussycats, when the gang is Chased by Angry Natives, Alexander dons a mask and points while crying "Um wanna, um wanna, banana!". This initially works as the natives run in his direction until the Chief realizes they were tricked.
  • Looney Tunes, particularly as a response to the question "Which way did he go, George, which way did he go?"
    • One particularly noteworthy instance is when the Gremlin does this to a dazed Bugs Bunny — by pointing both hands in opposite directions.
    • On another occasion, the faces carved on Mount Rushmore provide the trope.
    • In Porky in Wackyland (and its remake Dough for the Do-Do), Porky Pig meets a native of Wackyland wearing a sandwich board advertising "INFORMATION ABOUT THE DODO". When Porky asks him which way to go to find him, the guys says "Thattaway!" and points in several directions at once.
    • In Ali Baba Bunny, the question isn't asked directly, but the spirit of the trope is present when Hassan chases Daffy out of the treasure cave as he flees with a giant diamond. Bugs sits in front of a rope raised towards the sky, and tells Hassan "Him go thatthaway". Hassan climbs the rope and when he vanishes up in the clouds, Bugs pulls it down.
  • Happens in the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip". As train conductor Pete hunts for Mickey and Pluto, he spots a strange figure wearing Pete's hat and coat — actually, Mickey and Pluto in disguise — and asks if it's seen "a mutt and a little runt around here". Mickey points in a different direction, saying, "They went that way." He is about to say it in his regular high-pitch voice, but then tries to fool Pete by speaking in a deeper voice.
    Pete: Thanks, conductor. (starts to walk off, but makes a realization) Conductor?! But that's me!
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "What Goes Up...", Mitchell tries to chase after Jet's flying saucer. Mindy tells him that the flying saucer went to the right. Mitchell assumes if Mindy says he's going to the right, then he must be going to the left. Of course, Jet didn't actually go left.
  • Happens a lot in Scooby-Doo, where it's usually Shaggy and Scooby in suits of armor or similar disguises doing the misdirection.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The High Tower", when two stormtroopers enter her room looking for Kaz, Torra tries to do this by pointing to her left and saying the trope name verbatim. It doesn't work since there's no way Kaz could have gotten out of her room past the troopers without them seeing, but they leave since Kaz exited Torra's room by a different route.
  • Slight variant: In the Tex Avery cartoon "Half Pint Pygmy", there is a very helpful octopus... who points in eight directions at the same time.
  • Tom and Jerry has used this a lot. Tom doesn't seem to recognize Jerry when the latter wears a fake beard, and Tom seems less likely to attack a female mouse.