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Insists on Being Suspected

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During an effort to identify a killer, a traitor, The Mole, or some other unsavory individual, a character specifically raises the possibility of themselves being the culprit. They may simply be that intellectually honest, or want to impart to the other characters that no one should be considered Beneath Suspicion.

That said, this isn't an actual confession; a character who indulges in this trope does not claim that they are the culprit, they simply acknowledge that they shouldn't be trusted solely on their word.

Can show up in Spot the Imposter or Everyone Is a Suspect situations.

Compare False Confession and Taking the Heat. Contrast The Scapegoat.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Played with in the June Bride case of Case Closed - when the bride of a wedding is poisoned, Magure dismisses the bride's father (Magure's boss actually!) initially since he cannot possibly have been responsible. However, the father steps in and says that in order for Magure to do his job fairly, he should be treated as a suspect regardless of who he is.

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Is a Dragon, and That's OK: Harry's natural magic resistance, the only weakness being his eyes, means he can break the Imperius Curse just by blinking. However, Professor Moody talks to him after class about the risk of a Dark Wizard simply casting the curse on him and ordering him not to blink, so he'd still like to test Harry's ability to resist it. Harry thinks it over, but decides he'd like one of his friends to be present, and Professor Moody gives him house points for being Properly Paranoid.
  • With This Ring: When Paul discusses with team leader Aqualad the accusation they've received that there is a mole on the team, Aqualad wants to keep it quiet and investigate everyone covertly, to avoid everyone suspecting each other or tipping the mole off. Paul agrees to that, but only on the condition that he and Aqualad are checked first. They're able to borrow the Lasso of Truth from Wonder Woman to ensure that they're both clean.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Pink tries explaining this to Mr. White about there being a mole in the gang.
    Mr. Pink: For all I know, you're the rat.
    Mr. White: For all I know you're the fucking rat!
    Mr. Pink: All right, now you're using your fucking head!

  • In Death Comes as the End, Renisenb and Hori meet with the family matriarch Esa to discuss the mysterious string of deaths in the family. Esa outright says that anyone could be the killer, no matter how unlikely-seeming — including the three of them. Esa even suggests a plausible motive that could have driven her to commit the murders, as does Hori.
  • The Corrupted Chronicles of Coco Claramisa: Upon another performer of the circus being murdered, Natricia announces there to be four possible suspects. Out of the four, Natricia includes herself due to the fact that she knew the item used for the murder would be involved.
  • And Then There Were None: After the murder of General Macarthur, Judge Wargrave admits he does not have a good alibi — he was sitting by himself on the terrace at the approximate time of Macarthur's death. He gives his word that he never left the terrace, but in the spirit of intellectual honesty he says that his word is insufficient without proof... and that practically everyone present is in the same uncomfortable situation. It later turned out that he did do it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Vandal, Peter insists on being suspected as the one who drew the dicks. The problems come for him and his best friend, Sam, when he insists on treating Sam like a suspect, too, and while both are genuinely innocent, Sam takes issue to how Peter makes him look like a creepy stalker.
  • Played for Laughs in the Blackadder Goes Forth episode "General Hospital": When Blackadder is assigned to find a spy at the hospital, he immediately decides to interrogate Captain Darling, who entered the hospital after the evidence of a spy came to light. Darling protests that he can't possibly be a suspect and Blackadder replies "I suspect everyone! I'll be asking myself some pretty searching questions later!" Of course, this is all just an excuse to torture Darling.

    Video Games 
  • Love & Pies: When Amelia is looking for clues about the arson attack on the cafe, Yuka gives her a list of possible suspects. She includes herself on the list because Amelia has to suspect everyone. When Yuka then asks Amelia to investigate her if she's the culprit behind the fire, she claims that she either started it so Amelia could come home, she wanted to look for aliens in the basement, or she wanted to attract Eve's attention so she could write an article about it. Yuka then confesses that she was busy setting up a trap for The Purple Fox when the fire happened, proving herself innocent.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: "What if I'm a spy? Or you? We could go on all day."
  • Team Fortress 2: In the video "Meet the Spy", the BLU Spy tells his teammates that anyone in the building might be a disguised RED Spy, stressing that "He could be you! He could be me!" This doesn't end well for him, as the BLU Soldier immediately kills him. The RED Spy is later revealed to be disguised as the BLU Scout.
  • Pathologic: In Daniel's storyline, Georgiy Kain, the head of the powerful Kain family, warns Daniel that each of the town's three most powerful families will present things with their own bias — including his own side. He encourages Daniel to trust no one blindly, not even Georgiy himself, but to listen to all three viewpoints and form his own opinion about the situation.
  • In Criminal Case: World Edition, Chief Ripley congratulates both the player and Michelle after she's flagged as a suspect (for credible reasons) during their hunt for The Mole among the team.
    Chief Ripley: I commend you for following every lead, <Player's name>. And you, Michelle, are as good a partner as I hoped.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
    • In case 1, Maki reminds Kaede that everyone—including her—should be considered possible suspects for the murder.
    Maki: ...Am I a suspect?
    Kaede: Oh, no! That's not what I meant—
    Maki: You should suspect me. In fact, you should be suspicious of everyone.
    Kaede: Huh?
    Maki: Someone got killed right after we all gathered here. The timing is too perfect. [...] So trust no one, Kaede... Or you'll lose, got it?
    • In the same chapter, Kaito calls out Shuichi (the insecure Ultimate Detective) for excluding him from the list of suspects without a good reason.
    Shuichi: Ah, don't worry... you're not a likely suspect...
    Kaito: Hey, that's not something a detective should say!
    Shuichi: What?
    Kaito: If you suspect me, you better pursue it to the end. Investigate until you're satisfied. If you don't do that, you'll never reach the truth. Rantaro will have died for no reason. This is where you need to let your Ultimate talent shine!
  • Umineko: When They Cry: Ange adopts this stance when she first appears to help Battler in the fourth game. She wants Battler to stay on his guard, think his moves through carefully, and trust no one blindly, so she insists that he should even treat Ange's own words with suspicion.
    Ange: I am your ally. And an enemy of witches. ......Of course, you don't have to believe it. No one can prove that I really am your ally. On the contrary, it's more desirable that you keep your guard up strongly enough to find me very suspicious. [...] I'll offer you advice in a way that works to your advantage. Of course, you shouldn't swallow everything I say. Because no one can provide certain proof that I'm your ally. So I don't need you to unconditionally trust me. You might as well take my advice as nothing more than an opinion to be considered.

  • In one The Hero of Three Faces strip, the Tenth Doctor is talking to Donna, who has reason to suspect he might be an illusion, and says that he knows he isn't, but that it's certainly a possibility she shouldn't discount. Donna decides that only the real Doctor would say that, and the Doctor immediately points out that a really good fake would also say it in order to lead her to that conclusion.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-086 is either the former Foundation administrator Dr. [REDACTED], or an entity pretending to be Dr. [REDACTED]. Either way, it outright acknowledges that it could be an impostor and insists on being treated with exactly the same degree of distrust as all other SCP items. It even insists that it should be reclassified from "Safe" to a higher threat level, "Euclid", seeing as it is a sapient entity possessing all the dangerous knowledge of a Foundation administrator.

    Western Animation 
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In "Where's Wanda?", when Timmy's school project wins first prize at a movie night contest at school, Wanda gets stolen, and Timmy suspects one of his classmates, Francis, A.J., or Trixie, to have stolen her. When he says that he doesn't suspect his own father to have stolen Wanda, Mr. Turner asks Timmy why he can't be a suspect, and lists a series of minor felonies he did, such as ripping the tags off of mattresses, and jaywalking.
  • Bob's Burgers: In the Thanksgiving episode, "Turkey in a Can," Gayle interrupts while Louise is listing off everyone's motives for putting the turkey in the toilet.
    Gayle: Maybe it was me!
    Bob: Was it?
    Gayle: No. I just started to feel left out.