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Abe Simpson: [talking to his gun] You're the bee's knees, baby. I missed you bad.
Marge Simpson: Were you talking to me, Grandpa?
Abe Simpson: Um... yes.
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Alice has been acting suspicious. Bob knows she's up to something, watches her, and... comes to the wrong conclusion. He confronts Alice with what he thinks he knows, and Alice, to keep him from discovering her real secret, lets Bob think he got it right. May lead to a Maintain the Lie to keep Bob from catching on.

Sometimes Bob confronts Alice with a vague phrase like "I know your secret", and each of them thinks the other is talking about something different until Bob (it's always Bob) comes right out and says what he thinks the secret is.

And sometimes it's not relating to a secret at all; Bob, for whatever reason, has just got completely the wrong idea about what's going on and Alice just doesn't have the time, energy or patience required to correct him, either because events are too complex to summarise and/or Bob is simply too dense to understand it. Alice therefore decides it's just quicker and easier for everyone if she goes along with it and lets Bob continue believing his skewed perspective on things.

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Sub-Trope of Entertainingly Wrong. Compare Bait-and-Switch Accusation and Hey, Wait! (both tropes where someone appeared to catch the character red-handed, but actually noticed some other trivial thing) and Embarrassing Cover Up (the character "admits" some other explanation for the suspicious behavior).

This can also be used by a quick thinker trying to convince someone to do something: simply let them come up with what they want out of it, and lie, affirming that that very thing will be in store for them if they come along.

If this manifests out-of-universe, such as a work's author replying to fan speculation with a "sure, let's go with that" and making it canon, see Ascended Fanon.

Compare Bait-and-Switch Accusation, I Meant to Do That or, in a different direction, Throw It In.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 
    Advertising 
  • In a series of Twix commercials, a man lies to a woman to get her to come home with him. When they get to his place, it's a mess.
    Man: I've been robbed!
    Woman: And they trashed your place!
    Man: That is what happened.
  • An advert for The Yellow Pages has a man come home to find a woman inside his house. She tells him he's been burgled. Cut to a flashback demonstrating he simply left his home in that state. He invokes this trope then surreptitiously uses the yellow pages to find a cleaner.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Goon, federal agents have been investigating the ties between the titular character and his boss, the infamous and secretive mobster Labrazzio, in whose name The Goon has been controlling crime in the city Eventually, the agents discover a tombstone with Labrazzio's name on it, and, recalling the Goon's story about how Labrazzio once hid out at the freakshow where the Goon grew up and took him in when his aunt was killed due to being caught in a shootout with men after Labrazzio, confront the Goon with their realisation that the Goon must have created the grave as a fake to throw people off of Labrazzio's scent. The Goon invokes this trope while making plans to destroy the tombstone, lest someone smarter figure out how things really happened. Namely, enraged by Labrazzio's callous dismissal of his beloved aunt's accidental death, the Goon attacked Labrazzio and killed him by beating his brains out with a rock. He buried Labrazzio, then stole the gangster's "favor diary" and claimed to be Labrazzio's new #1 in order to steal Labrazzio's place without anyone being the wiser.
  • Spider-Man: How Peter gets out of most situations when a disaster turns up and he simply has to leave the scene only to have Spider-Man show up a few seconds later.
    Harry: Parker!
    Spider-Man: What?
    Harry: You were the call Peter made on his cell phone. That's how you knew we were on our way to see Raxton! That's why you are out here.
    Spider-Man: Sssure. Let's go with that.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up:
    • Fred notices that he and his friends "were just watching a concert by the singing Impossibles, and now the superhero Impossibles show up to save the day!" He says "that can only mean one thing": the superhero Impossibles are also fans of the singing Impossibles. Fluid-Man plays along.
      Fluid-Man: Uh... yes. Sure. We're, uh, fans.
    • In "Out of this World", once the names of the Martian Manhunter and his alien friends are cleared, the Persons in Plaid explain the aliens they "captured" were just taken to safety and would have explained it to the others earlier but fell asleep. It was a telepathy-induced sleep but the aliens who caused this decided to hide this fact.
      The Son of Saturn: Oh... yes. Um... sleep. You really should... go to bed earlier at night.
  • Robin (1993): While Tim Drake is usually pretty good at coming up with excuses, when someone hands one to him he'll happily use it. When the Elevator operator from his new building assumed he was at a strange production at the old opera house because his girlfriend had been invited there Tim was happy to say yes even though Stephanie Brown hadn't told him about the invite because otherwise he'd have to come up with another reason to be in a condemned section of Gotham.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Shrek, when Fiona seems to be terrified because nightfall is upon them, Donkey exclaims: "Wait a minute, I know what's going on here! You're afraid of the dark, aren't you?". Fiona agrees that that's the case, when the truth is that she turns into an ogre by night.
  • In The Incredibles
    • Helen tells Bob how much it means to her that he's been working hard to support their family despite finding his job frustrating and missing being a superhero. She doesn't know that Bob actually blew his cover and was fired that day. As Bob hesitantly tries to explain, Helen then comes to the mistaken conclusion that he was promoted and praises him for it, and Bob can't bring himself to correct her and decides to go with it. So he accepts the mysterious job offer from Mirage, lying to Helen that his job actually promoted him and sent him to a conference.
      Helen: I know you miss being a hero, and your job is frustrating. And I just want you to know how much it means to me that you stay at it anyway.
      Bob: Honey? About the job?
      Helen: What?
      Bob: Something’s happened.
      Helen: What?
      Bob: The, uh... The company is sending me to, uh, a conference.
      Helen: A conference?
      Bob: Out of town. And I’m just gonna be gone for a few days.
      Helen: They’ve never sent you to a conference before.....This is good, isn’t it?
      Bob: [hesitantly] Yes.
      Helen: You see? They’re finally recognizing your talents, you’re moving up!
      Bob: Yes.
      Helen: Honey! Awww...This is wonderful!
      Bob: Yes, it is.
    • The DVD short Jack-Jack Attack, this is the reason Syndrome managed to get his hands on Jack-Jack.
      Syndrome: Is this the... Parr's residence?
      Kari: HA-HA! YES! I'M KARI, THE BABY (eye twitch) SITTER!
      Syndrome: Uh... Hello, Kari... I'm, ah...
      Kari: YOU'RE MY REPLACEMENT! THANK HEAVENS YOU'VE COME! (beat) ...What does the "S" stand for?
      Syndrome: (fumbling) For... "sitter"! Yeah, sitter. Originally I was going to have the initials for "Babysitter", but...then I'd be going around wearing a big "BS", and (chuckle) you understand why I couldn't go with that.
      (cut to Kari telling the story to Agent Dicker)
      Dicker: And you believed him?
      Kari: THE BABY WAS EXPLODING!
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, the Joker asks Sauron the location of the Batcave, which is located under Wayne Manor. This leads Joker to the conclusion that Bruce Wayne is Batman...'s roommate, to which Sauron can only say "Uh...yeah.".
  • The LEGO Movie:
    • When Emmet is discovered by Wyldstyle to have found the Piece of Resistance, the following exchange takes place:
      Wyldstyle: You're the Special! The prophecy states that you are the most important person in the universe. That's you, right?
      Emmet: Uhh...yes.
    • Also used when Emmet is told that the Kragle might explode when paired with the Piece of Resistance. He quickly identifies the corollary: that it might not explode. Vitruvius responds with the trope.
  • In Monsters, Inc. when Randall is accused by Mike of being at fault for allowing Boo to enter the Monster World because he was attempting to cheat his way to breaking the Scare Record, Randall is initially indignant before suddenly calming down and goes along with Mike's assumption and offering to help Mike return Boo to her door. In reality he was planning on using Boo as a test subject for the Scream Extractor which he hopes will revolutionise the Scaring Industry and only offers to help Mike so he could finally capture her. When he ends up catching Mike instead, he no longer bothers with the pretence and simply tries to use the Scream Extractor to torture the information out of him.
  • A Bug's Life: After Flik's plan to scare Hopper and his gang away with a fake bird fails, Hopper attempts to kill him before he spots the real bird, and Flik lets him believe it's fake to lure him to his own demise.
    Hopper: Well, what's this? Another one of your little bird tricks?
    Flik: Yep.
    Hopper: Are there a bunch of little girls in this one, too? Hello, girls!
  • In Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Mavis somewhat overhears Drac using his smartphone to try to find a date, but doesn't really catch the gist of it. When she finds him, though, she does realize that he's hiding something from her and comes to the conclusion that he's stressed and needs a break. Drac happily seizes upon this excuse, saying that it's exactly the case.
  • In Finding Nemo, when Marlin and the incredibly scatter-brained and forgetful Dory find themselves in pitch black darkness:
    Marlin: Dory, do you see anything?
    Dory: AAHHHH! Something's got me!
    Marlin: That was me! I'm sorry.
    Dory: [Gasp!!] Who's that?
    Marlin: [Exasperated] Who's that?! Who could it be?! It's me!
    Dory: Are... are you my conscience?
    Marlin: [Sigh] Uh, yep, yep, I'm your conscience. We haven't spoken in a while. How are you?
    Dory: Eh. Can't complain.
    Marlin: Hmm. Good.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In American Beauty, Ricky Fitz's authoritative (and homophobic) dad sees Ricky through the window giving his neighbor some weed. From his vantage point, it looked like Ricky was giving him oral sex, and looking through some of Ricky's recorded videos of his neighbor working out, he had suspicions that Ricky was gay. When he confronted Ricky about his homosexuality (Ricky is actually straight), Ricky admitted to giving oral sex for money because it was better than his father finding out he was selling drugs. Either that or he had just had enough of his dad's crap.
  • In Back to the Future, when Marty first meets his future mother Lorraine in 1955, she thinks he's called "Calvin Klein" since it's written on his underwear. Marty tries to correct her, but goes along with it to avoid arousing suspicion.
  • In Descendants, Ben assumes Mal only used the love potion because she had a crush on him and was afraid of being rejected. Not wanting to admit she's planning to use him to steal Fairy Godmother's wand, she allows him to think he's right.
  • The Eiger Sanction. Hemlock is an assassin sent on a climbing expedition because one of them is believed to be The Mole, but they don't know who. When he's the Sole Survivor after the expedition goes wrong, his superior assumes he decided to kill everyone, and congratulates Hemlock on this unique solution. Meanwhile Hemlock already discovered that the mole was his friend on the expedition's support team. As his friend just saved his life, he decides not to argue.
  • In another Clint Eastwood movie City Heat, his character Lieutenant Speer tells a mobster he doesn't want to see his "ilk" hanging around. The mobster thinks he means an elk.
    Lt. Speer: Yeah. Now if I catch you loitering around my precinct again I'm gonna shoot me an ilk, do you understand?
  • In Galaxy Quest, the ship's been damaged and the Thermians suggest a workaround to get the ship to the nearest planet with what they need for repairs. Jason, clearly not understanding a word of the technobabble, but trying to maintain the image of a real Commander just goes with it.
    Fred Kwan: Hey, Commander. Listen, we found some beryllium on a nearby planet. And we might be able to get there if we reconfigure the solar matrix in parallel for endothermic propulsion. What'd'ya think?
    Jason Nesmith: We'll do that!
  • Inverted in Ghostbusters (1984):
    Winston: Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say "YES!"
  • In The Green Hornet, the villain wears a gas mask simply to look scary. It ends up coming handy when Hornet surprises him with knockout gas, and he proclaims himself ungassable, attempting to suggest that he had worn the mask for its practicality all along.
  • An interesting variation occurs in Home Alone, where Kevin tells a man dressed in a Santa suit "I'm old enough to know you're not the real Santa Claus, but I also know that you work for him." The Santa actor just goes with it.
  • In Laughter in Paradise, Captain Russell is attempting to explain to his fiancée and her father that he needs to postpone the wedding for a month. However, the conditions of his cousin's will forbid from explaining why. His evasive answers give his fiancée and her father the impression that he has to go abroad to undertake a secret mission for the government. Russell decides to roll with it. This comes back to bite him when his fiancée runs into him several days later, still in London, and seemingly attempting to rob a jewellery store (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • In Maleficent, Aurora mistakes Maleficent for her Fairy Godmother. Despite being put out by the idea, Maleficent simply rolls her eyes and says nothing since Aurora's still calling her that years later.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tony offers to promote Peter to a full-time Avenger after he stops the Vulture, stating that he has a press announcement prepared for it. Peter turns down the offer, deciding that he needs to focus on saving the neighborhood and assumes that it's a Secret Test of Character to make sure Peter understands that he is not yet ready to be an Avenger, but perhaps someday. Tony confirms it to be such to Peter, but Pepper then bursts out of the press conference room demanding answers once Peter leaves, meaning that Tony meant it when he offered to make Peter an Avenger.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Yondu holds on to his arrow to slow his descent from an exploding spaceship. Peter, with an "aero-rig", is accompanying him.
      Peter: Ha! You look like Mary Poppins.
      Yondu: Is he cool?
      Peter: Hell yeah, he's cool.
      Yondu: I'm Mary Poppins, y'all!
    • In Captain Marvel, Nick Fury refuses to explain how he lost his left eye, but makes no effort to dispute the rumor Agent Coulson's heard — he was tortured by the Kree for refusing to reveal the location of the MacGuffin. In fact, the eye was scratched out by an Animalistic Abomination he could not stop fawning over.
  • The Muppet Movie: Kermit has rejected Doc Hopper's offer to be the spokesfrog for his chain of "French Fried Frog Legs" restaurants and is walking back to the car.
    Fozzie: (looking at the money) Five hundred dollars? Would you consider a bear in a frog suit?
    Kermit: Fozzie!
    Fozzie: I'm sorry, sir, I just lost my head. (They drive off)
    Doc Hopper: Wait a minute, Mr. Frog. Everything's negotiable!
  • In The Muppets, Kermit the Frog gets three surprise volunteers to help out with the Muppet Telethon. None of them are particularly passionate about their involvement, but Kermit wisely takes all the help he can get.
    Whoopi Goldberg: Hi. I was told there was a career opportunity here, something about saving a theater?
    Selena Gomez: I don't know who you guys are. My agent just told me to show up.
    Rico Rodriguez: Are you one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
    Kermit: ...Yes, I am, and let me show you how you can help!
  • In The New Guy, Danielle confronts "Gil" (AKA a post-makeover Dizzy) with "I'm onto you". He thinks that she's talking about his previous identity as his last school's Butt-Monkey. She thinks that he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He decides to play along with that.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan Kenobi heads to the planet Kamino to investigate a bounty hunter. The Kaminoans instead think he's been sent by the Jedi Council to inspect the clone army they've been creating under the orders of one Master Sifo-Dyas, and Obi-Wan decides to play along.
      President Lama Su: But you must be anxious to inspect the units for yourself?
      Obi-Wan: That's... why I'm here.
    • In Rogue One, shortly after the skirmish on Jedha, K-2SO (a reprogrammed Imperial droid) is asked by a stormtrooper what he is doing.
      Stormtrooper: Where are you taking these prisoners?
      K-2SO: These are prisoners?
      Stormtrooper: Yes. Where are you taking them?
      K-2SO: I'm taking them to imprison them... in prison.
      Cassian: He's taking us to–
      [K-2SO slaps Cassian with his metal hand]
      K-2SO: Quiet! And there's fresh one if you mouth off again.
  • We're No Angels (1989): When Jimmy introduces himself and Ned to Mrs. Blair with a biblical quote about being kind to strangers, she asks if they're priests in town for a major ceremony. Ned and Jimmy quickly say that they are.
  • In What Women Want, Nick Marshall is at one point confronted by Lola who claims to know the secret why he's so understanding of women: he's gay! In reality, it's because he can read the minds of women. Nick goes along with the story, mostly because Lola's thoughts reveal that a rejection from Nick would support her fears that she was undesirable and ruin her self-esteem.

    Literature 
  • In one of Robert Asprin's Myth books, Don Bruce, a Mob boss, comes to see Skeeve, who has been quietly sabotaging Mob operations, and says he knows Skeeve is the reason the Mob hasn't succeeded in moving into the dimension of Deva. He lists the evidence: Skeeve knows the territory, has connections on Deva, etc. His conclusion? They should have hired Skeeve to work for them in the first place. This echoes an earlier scene in which the Devan Merchants' Association hires Skeeve to defend them from the Mob, not knowing he was the one who originally brought the Mob to Deva. To cover up the truth, Skeeve agrees to work for both sides, so he has to maintain a balance between working for the Mob and limiting Mob activity on Deva. He then spends years being paid by both sides and doing nothing.
  • Leviathan has Deryn Sharp, who is a British Air Service midshipman and a young woman disguised as a man. When Dr. Barlow notices something unusual about Deryn's shaving, she concludes Deryn joined up too young, and this happens. Deryn actually was too young as well.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Discussed in Starfighters of Adumar, where Wedge and his pilots are acting as ambassadors to the Adumari. The Adumari are so glory-obsessed that they insist on every training exercise being live-fire, to often-fatal results. Wedge finds this barbaric and is only willing to participate with simulated fire, but also isn’t sure how to announce this without insulting the Adumari. He goes over the dilemma with his pilots, at which point Hobbie points out a solution:
      Hobbie: Oh, that's simple. Do to them what you do to us at times like that.
      Wedge: [frowns] What do you mean?
      Hobbie: Tell them what you're doing but not why. Then let them speculate. Listen to them as they speculate. When they come up with an idea you really, really like, tell them "You finally guessed right. That was my reasoning all along."
      Wedge: I don't do that. Much.
      Hobbie: All the time, boss.
    • In Star Wars: Allegiance, five stormtroopers end up as fugitives from the Empire, but still consider themselves Imperials, remembering the oath they made to protect citizens of the Empire. When they stop at a spaceport on an out-of-the-way world and the local authorities fine them needlessly and confiscate their speeder bikes, they snoop around and find that the local authorities are very corrupt, confiscating weapons from the citizens, shooting protesters, and milking money from anyone and everyone. The local citizens aren't allowed to petition higher authorities and can't do much themselves, since they don't have blasters. So the stormtroopers take care of that problem for them. The locals are pleased, and believe the stormtroopers were sent officially.
      Atmino: You get back your bait all right?
      LaRone: Our what?
      Atmino: The speeder bikes. You were just dangling them out there so that Cav'Saran would pull that illegal confiscation, right?
      LaRone: [inwardly] It was amazing sometimes how hindsight enabled people to jump to such incredibly wrong conclusions. [out loud] Of course.
  • Discworld:
    • Vimes (and a few other Watchmen) play this line when someone takes a guess at the identity of the Watch's famous werewolf, and usually they guess it's Nobby. (They're wrong.) The reason they make this assumption is that Nobby is so strange-looking he has to carry around a certificate proving he's human.
      Sergeant Angua: Your deductive abilities will be the talk of the station.
    • In Maskerade, when Granny Weatherwax is doctoring a guy with a bad back, she tells him to sleep with a pine board under his mattress. He asks if this is so the knots in his back end up in the wood, and she agrees, since folk gibberish placebos are an important part of her treatments.
  • Miles in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga is the king of this. He just keeps letting people assume things about him, and pretty soon, he has his own mercenary army.
  • Percy Jackson guesses that Thalia Grace freaked out while driving the sun-chariot because her mom died in a car crash. Thalia lets it ride because it's better than admitting the daughter of Zeus, god of the Sky, is afraid of heights.
  • In John Dies at the End, when main character David takes Amy back to his place, they discover someone has broken in, searching for his Soy Sauce. It takes him a while to realize, though, because his place is normally such a mess. When David mentions the break-in, Amy says "They threw laundry all over the floor!" David responds "Yeah and they wore them first! The bastards!"
  • Mistborn: Vin pulls this when Kliss assumes she's been trying to drive a certain house into bankruptcy so House Renoux can corner the weapons market...when Vin is really part of a conspiracy to throw the city into civil war and overthrow the Lord Ruler.
  • Journey to Chaos: When Mad Scientist Hasina rescued Annala in Looming Shadow she says didn't arrive earlier because she had to "close up her work first". When Annala asks if that means she was engaged in lawful surgery on a client, Hasina grins and recites the trope.
  • In Honorverse Mike Henke derails at least one of the Mesan Alignment's schemes by this. By that point the Alignment has long been manipulating the protagonists' nation of Manticore into the war with the Solarian League, the ancient, vast and incredibly corrupt nation containing most of the Humanity's population. Naturally, they assumed that the Manties would avoid provoking the League, at least at that point, and tried a little gambit to ruin their reputation as a side, by putting their agent (posing as a Manticoran one) on the League's border, promising aid to various La Résistance movements in that restive region. The initial plan is to crush these local uprisings by betraying them and not providing any aid, thus in one blow getting rid of troublemakers, one planet at a time. A secondary objective is that if word ever got out, and the Manticorans ever became aware of the scheme, they assume that the Manticorans would do the logical thing and avoid a direct confrontation with the League and thus fail to provide the promised aid, crippling their reputation among the smaller nations who would also hear about it or anyone who might be inclined to side with them. Unfortunately to them, Mike, when alerted of the scheme by an agent of one of the rebellions contacting her independently, takes the news and runs with it, ordering all admirals and commodores of her station to give all the advertised aid against the League, and more if possible. Then her cousin the Queen, who by the time was also sick and tired of pussyfooting around the Sollies, and seeing the advantage Manticore had over the enormous but laughingly obsolete militarily League because of Manticore's crushing technical superiority, decided to Hell with that and supported her relative to the hilt.
  • The Hunger Games: When Caesar Flickerman asks Katniss exactly when she first fell for Peeta, she's evasive at first (since at this point she hasn't actually fallen for him yet) and then immediately goes along with his first guess.
  • In Dave Barry Slept Here, after mistaking a local tribe for Indians, Christopher Columbus winds up his "historic conversation" with their chief this way:
    Columbus: Listen, we have spent many weeks looking for India in these three storm-tossed vomit-encrusted ships, and we have cannons pointing at your wigwams, and we say you are Indians.
    Tribal Chief: B'nomi kawa saki! ("Welcome to India!")
  • A subtle examples appears in The Invisible Man. At one point Griffin, the titular invisible man, takes refuge with Dr. Kemp, an old university friend, and makes the assumption that Kemp is going to shelter and help him with his plans. Griffin's plans are all quite mad, however, and Kemp — having clocked that Griffin is neither on the side of the angels nor has all his marbles in the same bag — has actually summoned the police. This means that a substantial part of their conversation in the latter chapters of the book is essentially Griffin bragging about his experiments and grandiosely making plans for 'their' future efforts, while Kemp is nodding along and every so often looking at his watch to see how much longer he has to wait before the police show up. The pretence gets harder for Kemp the longer Griffin rants on and the more insane and vicious his plans get.
  • Tales of the Frog Princess: While time-travelling, Emma initially gets mistaken for one of her ancestors' Hazel and Millie's cousins, which she hastily agrees to. However, when Emma meets said cousins, they clearly don't know who this strange girl is, and are bewildered when she greets them. Once they're alone, Millie sits Emma down and says they need to have a talk about this. Emma panics, wondering if she should just tell Millie the truth or come up with some lie, when Millie suddenly says she knows Emma's secret, and understands perfectly — Emma's a bastard child, and Millie's uncle forced his wife to take her in and raise her alongside her own children. Millie's aunt and her daughters resent Emma for it, so that's why Emma avoids them. Emma quickly assures Millie that, yes, of course that would be the explanation.
  • The Hearts We Sold: At the climax, it's revealed that the demons are actually aliens who came to Earth after their homeworld was destroyed. Thanks to their apparently magical abilities and otherworldly nature, humans labelled them demons, and they decided to just roll with it.
  • In The Hollow Boy from Lockwood & Co., Lucy Carlise volunteers to accompany George Cubbins on his research for the first time ever because her other choice is spending time with Lockwood & Co's new secretary, Holly Munro, whom she can't stand. At one point, George says that he knows why it is that she's coming along, and that she needs to be careful because "Lockwood isn't pleased." Lucy says that she doesn't think that Lockwood has any right to object, seeing as she didn't ask for this, and George replies that Lockwood didn't either, to which Lucy shoots back "He hired her." George is puzzled for a moment, then says that what he's talking about is her fascination with the ghost on the particular case they're working on, and asks what she was talking about. At this, she replies "Oh, yes. Yes, the same. That's why I'm here with you. I want to know the story."
  • Cormoran Strike Novels
    • Cormoran has long given up trying to correct people who mispronounce his name as "Cameron" since as a detective it makes for a more cooperative witness for him to just go with the flow. In one instance in Career of Evil he actually gives his name as "Cameron" to a subject that he suspects wouldn't be able to grasp his real name.
    • For that matter, Strike often finds this to be a good practice in general sometimes to go with something an interview suspect puts out there if he can manage to do so believably, as they can often be more cooperative if they think they're being believed.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, Tatsuya sees someone sabotaging his sister's casting device note  and attacks them, demanding to know who they're working for. At this point, the local authorities come over and tell Tatsuya that they'll take care of things and there's no need for him to...restrain...the saboteur. They know that Tatsuya fully intended to kill him, (and Tatsuya knows they know that) but the sabotage matter is more important right now.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Mayors": When Terminus gives the surrounding kingdoms aid in the form of advanced technology, Salvor Hardin notices the people insist on viewing it as sorcery. He makes a few modifications, and spreads the aid under the guise of divine power.
  • In the second Nevermoor book, Morrigan raises suspicion by refusing to tell anyone else what her "knack" is. The truth is that she's a Wundersmith, which have a very bad rep. Professor Mildmay, whose knack is making extremely accurate and detailed maps, tells her he's figured it out... her knack is a Boring, but Practical one like his, so she's embarrassed to admit it in front of some of her flashier, more impressive peers. No worries, he completely understands! Morrigan uncomfortably plays along with this.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: The protagonist finds herself doing this from time to time after going thought the noblity variant of Adopted into Royalty:
    • One of the protagonist's bouts of Giving Radio to the Romans is "inventing" educational materials that her coverup noble biological mother, Elvira, at some point buys for her "biological" brother, Cornelius. Around the same time, the protagonist's most Book Dumb retainer, Angelica, risks failing Wizarding School unless she gets better grades and she's getting help from both Cornelius and the protagonist. The work done by Cornelius to help Angelica gets mistaken for the educational materials doing what they were meant to do by Elvira, who mentions it during a tea party that includes the protagonist and serveral potential new buyers. Between the educational materials having actually worked on other children and too many people knowing of Angelica's difficulties being a big deal, the protagonist decides to no correct Elvira.
    • During the Time Skip, a poorly worded note from the protagonist intended to ask Wizarding School-age nobles to collect stories there gets mistaken for a request to gather more general information. The recepients of the note go for information that is much more useful to school life than stories. So many other people find use of the collected information and praise her for the idea that the protagonist just goes ahead and pretends it was, indeed, what she wanted.
    • Some time after managing to recreate a high-end Italian reastaurant, the protagonist manages to organize a light-entourage meal there for a high-ranking noble under the cover of a business meeting with commoner merchants. Several years later, one of the merchants fondly remembers the meal as proof that the guest of honor is a Reasonable Authority Figure more willing to listen to what commoners have to say than most nobles. The protagonist decides to keep quiet the fact that the high-ranking noble was just really curious about the Italian restaurant, but the rift between commoners and nobles meant he couldn't visit the place without having an official reason.
  • In Scat (by Carl Hiaasen), The Dragon is planning to pose as a septic tank inspector to plant evidence and frame Duane Scrod Jr. for an arson that the dragon committed. When he knocks on the door, Duane Sr. asks if he's there about unpaid taxes. Deciding that this is a better cover story, he says that he is. This gets him physically assaulted, as there's no lost love between Duane Sr. and the IRS.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: What effectively kicked off the murder in "The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies". Clyde Wilkins spent his life as a pipe fitter, given the nickname "Doc" for being such a smooth operator with the ladies.note  When he first arrived at Tampa Vistas, he introduced himself to a woman with his nickname. With a nickname like "Doc", the woman assumed he used to be a doctor. Clyde was going to admit he wasn't but kept up the ruse when he got plenty of attention from the ladies. Then Preston came along and everything went to Hell.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Are You Being Served?: Taken to its logical conclusion in "A Bliss Girl" when Mr. Humphries puts on heels and a wig to model a ladies' coat. Then Young Mr. Grace shows up and ...
    Young Mr. Grace: Do you have a boyfriend?
    Mr. Humphries: Not at the moment.
    Young Mr. Grace: I've got a table at Romano’s with caviar and snapper dinner. Care to join me?
    Mr. Humphries: Well, it is Monday and me mother’s only got cottage pie!
    Young Mr Grace: Well, that settles it!
  • In Barney Miller Harris tells a worried couple that their daughter hasn't been coerced with drugs into converting to Hinduism; he could see by his experience. Barney tries to clarify by saying that Harris, as a police officer, has dealt with many suspects who are high... right? Harris' response is a shrug and a causal "Okay."
  • The Big Bang Theory, "The Love Car Displacement":
    Howard: Sorry. I just never figured that a guy like me going out with a girl like you would ever have to compete with a guy like that.
    Bernadette: Wait a minute, a girl like me? What's that mean?
    Howard: I'm... I...
    Bernadette: Are you saying you don't think I'm hot enough to go out with a guy like Glenn?
    Howard: No! No, I’m saying exactly the opposite.
    Bernadette: I'm too hot to go out with a guy like Glenn?
    Howard: Yeah, let's go with that.
    • When Penny asks Sheldon why he is doing Howard's laundry in Season 5 Episode 21.
      Penny: Why are you washing Howard's man panties?
      Sheldon: Because if I don't, he won't give my paper to Stephen Hawking. He's a famous physicist who...
      Penny: Yeah, yeah, I know. He's the wheelchair dude who invented time.
      Sheldon: That's close enough.
  • Bizaardvark:
    Amelia: Frankie Wong and Paige (pauses) Wong.
    Paige Olvera: Sure, let's go with that.
  • In the Breaking Bad episode "The Cat's in the Bag", Skyler, Walt's wife, sees him hanging out with smalltime drug-pusher Jesse Pinkman and assumes that Jesse is dealing Walt marijuana for medical reasons. Walt decides to run with the idea, as it's a fair bit more acceptable than "I'm making meth, he sells it."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Band Candy", Buffy is secretly caring for a Back from the Dead Angel, telling her mother that she's busing training with Giles, and Giles that she's home with her mother. One night she comes home to find them both comparing notes, so when they accuse Buffy of bunking off to party with her friends she plays along.
  • Bunk'd:
    • When Lou confiscates Tiffany's mobile phone during a conversation with her grandmother, the sound of loud rapid talking in Chinese can be heard. Lou asks if what she's hearing is affectionate and Tiffany responds with the appropriate line. Most likely, it was really angry yelling at Lou for interrupting the phone call.
    • This:
      Lou: So, Emma, what'd you think of your gift?
      Emma: I'm speechless.
      Lou: Because you loved it so much?
      Emma: Yeah, let's go with that.
  • Subverted in Castle; during "A Rose For Everafter", Castle has ignored Beckett's warnings about him seeing his ex-girlfriend because she could be a murder suspect and has met her. The next day, Beckett lays into Castle about how he's been going behind her back and refuses to listen to her instructions and orders — and then readjusts her chair, accusing Castle of sitting it in and adjusting it when she's not around. Castle is momentarily relieved, but eventually his guilt overcomes him and he confesses that he saw his ex-girlfriend. Turns out Beckett knew — she has surveillance photos — and the chair thing was just her playing games with him.
    • Played straight a couple of times once Castle and Beckett start dating and they're trying to keep Gates from finding out. Turns out she knew anyway. She is a cop, after all.
  • This happens frequently on Chuck. His sister says that she knows Chuck's secret, and he panics because he assumes she means the fact that he's a spy, but it turns out that she suspects him of cheating on his girlfriend. His best friend warns him about spies in the store, and he panics because he assumes the spies in question are his handlers, but his friend is really just being melodramatic about the Sitcom Arch-Nemesis. This is usually just for quick laughs rather than an extended plot.
  • In an episode of The Closer, after Brenda uses Obfuscating Stupidity to sabotage another detective's interrogation of a suspect because she wants to be the one to solve the murder, her boss suspects there's something she's not telling him. When he guesses that she has info from the FBI, she runs with that.
    • She also does this when Finn and Provenza take control of a crime scene without her permission, Pope yells at her thinking she was the one who ordered them to do so. She goes along with it to figure out what is going on.
  • From Community episode "Home Economics", Pierce gets angry at Britta's ex boyfriend (whose band he recently joined) about not getting his share of the credit for a song they wrote (an insulting song about Britta caused by the ex's Creator Breakdown regarding the events in "Social Psychology"). Britta watches their argument from a distance without hearing the words, leading to this exchange:
    Britta: Pierce, did you just defend my honor?
    Pierce: Uh... yeah, totally.
  • Dexter: Rita thinks Dexter is a heroin addict, which he goes along with to keep from having to explain that he's a serial killer. Later in the season, Dexter is brought to the station by the FBI after finding his blood slides missing. He assumes that he's been exposed as the Bay Harbor Butcher, but in fact the agents are there to protect him because his nemesis Sergeant Doakes is suspected of the murders.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor decides to run with Donna's assumption that he's a Martian when he sonics a payphone because it simplifies matters. It also leads the Empress of the Racnoss to underestimate him at the climax of the episode.
    • In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" when Amy chats with Nefertiti:
      Nefertiti: And you, Amy, are you also a queen?
      Amy: [Beat] Yes... yes I am.
  • Firefly: "Our Mrs. Reynolds". After Mal kisses The Vamp and is knocked out by her drugged lipstick, Inara finds his prone body, believing him dead, as she's been suspicious of The Vamp for a while. When she realizes he's just unconscious, she's so relieved that she kisses him...and gets knocked out. When the rest of the crew finds and revives them, she claims she slipped and hit her head. Mal comes to the wrong conclusion and Inara lets him labor under the delusion since it saves her from having to admit the truth.
    Mal: C'mon, tell the truth: You didn't just trip, did you?
    Inara: N-no.
    Mal: Well, isn't that somethin'. [smirks] I knew you let her kiss you.
  • Frasier:
    • One episode has Martin and Frasier believing Niles is having a fling with Roz during a family weekend at a cabin. Niles plays along to cover the fact that he's trying to hook Roz up with Donny so Niles can be with Daphne.
  • In "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", Niles prepares to confess that he made a mistake by jealously lying to Daphne about his head contractor Joe being a womanizer, he begins by saying that Joe didn't do any work for a client Niles claimed Joe slept with. A slovenly worker nearby agrees, saying that he's that woman's contractor and she is "one tough broad to satisfy" and he is "the only one who can make her happy" (as a contractor). Daphne thinks those comments are sexual innuendos and that the mistake Niles made was mixing up which contractor was the womanizer rather than making the whole story up. After a brief pause, Niles encourages this idea by saying "[h]ard to believe, isn't it?"
  • Occurs loads in Friends.
    • When Monica and Chandler are looking for a new house, they don't tell anyone for fear that it would upset them. As a result, Phoebe and Rachel see Chandler get into the car of an attractive woman (the real-estate agent), follow them to a house in the suburbs, and conclude that they are having an affair. In this case both Monica and Chandler let Phoebe and Rachel labour under this delusion for half the episode before revealing the truth.
    • Another notable one is when Ross has been practicing telling a story (Joey told him it would get a woman to have sex with him) in front of a video camera. When Rachel walks in, she asks him "Were you just talking to yourself?" He answers, out loud, "That's less embarrassing. Yes, yes I was."
  • Game of Thrones: When Sansa is apprehensive about her upcoming marriage to Tyrion, a dwarf, and having to have sex with him, Margaery encourages her to give him a chance and that it never hurts to try something at least once, since she might like it after all.
    Sansa: Did your mother teach you that?
    (Beat)
    Margaery: (laughs) Yes, sweet girl. My...mother taught me.
  • Glee:
    Kurt: I'm in love with someone. (stares longingly at Finn)
    Mercedes: (sees Rachel stand up) Rachel?!
    Kurt: ...Yes. For several years now.
    • During Alcohol Awareness Week, the day after the kids have a drunken party at Rachel's, they have to perform the next day. They do a rehearsal of "Blame it on the Alcohol" while hungover, and their teacher Will praises them for "pretending" to be drunk. They don't bother to correct him. Later, at a school assembly about the dangers of drinking, they put on a particularly bad performance of "Tik Tok" which ends with Brittany and Santana puking onstage ("...Everyone drink responsibly."). By this point Will figures out that they are not acting, and the whole club gets called into Principal Figgins' office. They think they're about to get suspended, but Figgins is thoroughly convinced the whole thing was a staged demonstration of drunken behavior and praises them. They uncomfortably go along with it.
  • Grey's Anatomy, "The Time Warp":
    Alex: You look like a cool person, and I need some cool cases...ever since the elevator thing and heart guynote , it's just...
    Callie: Wait, that was you? You're the heart in the elevator guy?
    (Beat)
    Alex: Sure, let's go with that.
  • Hannah Montana Rico is blackmailing Miley for the majority of the episode claiming to know her secret. Thinking the secret is involving her other life as Hannah Montana, she agrees to meet and discuss terms with him. When he reveals the secret that he knows is that she carries a teddy bear around with her, Miley feigns being upset while being relieved that he knows nothing.
  • In Haven: Boston detective Tommy Bowen is in Haven, and Nathan realizes he has to tell him about the Troubles or risk more people showing up. Upon hearing Nathan's story, Tommy mentions that he's seen what this job does to cops and how they deal with it. Some turn to drugs, alcohol, or religion, and the ones in Haven blame what they see on the supernatural. He adds that as long as it doesn't effect the case, he's fine with it. Nathan has no reason to correct him, but Tommy later actually sees the Troubles firsthand.
  • How I Met Your Mother: There's this gem in one episode, when Robin walks in on Ted playing with one of his architectural models.
    Robin: Ted? Are you acting out the last scene of Sleepless in Seattle with little dolls?
    Ted: ...how long have you been standing there?
    Robin: Like two seconds.
    Ted: Yeah, just the last scene.
  • In the pilot episode of iZombie, Liv has trouble explaining why she knows the identity of the dead Jane Doe when her boss and the newbie homicide detective were just discussing how they haven't had any luck ID'ing her. Obviously, she can't just tell the detective that she's a zombie, and she started working at the morgue so she could eat the brains of the recently deceased people who are brought in for autopsies, and she can sometimes get flashes of memory from those brains.
    Ravi: Liv's kind of... psychic.
    (Beat)
    (cue disbelieving look from the detective)
    Liv: ...ish.
    • To his credit, the detective knows there's more going on than what's being told, although he'd never guess she's actually a zombie.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Overlapping with Embarrassing Cover-Up. In "Blackmail Photographer", Maury uses a picture of Elliot with Adrienne (before she and Finch were married, but Finch is insecure about the marriage as it is) to get himself hired. Maury happens to meet astronaut Alan Drake in the office, and asks for a signed picture, saying he loves Space Invaders. When Maury gets fired, he hands the wrong envelope to Finch and doesn't stay to realize he didn't give Finch the picture of Elliot:
    Finch: What the hell?
    Elliot: Look, buddy, it was one night of passion, but it's over. I pray to God that it doesn't change our friendship, but if you never look at me the same, I guess I'll understand.
    Finch: (glances at picture again) You slept with Colonel Drake?
    (Finch shows Elliot the picture)
    (Beat)
    Elliot: Yes. Yes, I did.
    Finch: "To my number one... space invader"?
    Elliot: ...That's right.
    Finch: I'm gonna need a little time with this.
    Elliot: So am I.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: Ryusei has a Freak Out during a special exam, and his friends think that he only faked it so that he'll have more free time on his hands, thus being available for Zodiarts attacks. Wanting to keep up his stoic image, Ryusei just goes along with their idea...
    Ryusei: I can't admit that I failed because I was freaking out.
  • K.C. Undercover:
    Marisa: I can't believe your family opened up their hearts and home to such an adorable little girl. Where did you say you were from again? Wyoming?
    Judy: Sure, let's go with that.
  • Merlin: Morgana tells Merlin she'll keep his secret, and Merlin thinks she's talking about him being a sorcerer, but it turns out she thinks he's in love with Gwen.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: In episode 64, two scammers try to scam Pipin by telling her that her sibling is injured. They don't actually know anything about Pipin's family and play along when Pipin asks whether it is her sister Ratih.
  • On The Mindy Project, Mindy and Danny start secretly dating. When Morgan stays at Mindy's house, he finds a pair of male underwear. However, he wrongly assumes that it's Peter's underwear and Peter is the one that Mindy is secretly dating, and tells Jeremy. Later, Mindy and Peter pretend to flirt to make Danny jealous (so that he will be willing to make their relationship public), which leads to Morgan and Jeremy confronting Mindy about the consequences of dating a Frat Bro like Peter and also the fact that it's an Office Romance. Danny's reaction to their misguided belief that Peter and Mindy are dating falls into this trope and his reluctance to reveal their relationship causes them to break up.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 is rife with this.
    • The episode featuring Werewolf (1996) has Mike descending from the Satellite to Earth to escape.
      Servo: And once you're down there, you'll find help to get us, right?
      Mike: (long beat) Yeah, exactly.
    • The episode featuring Hobgoblins had a character hold up a sign that read "HIT".
      Crow: Should add an "S" to it.
      Servo: "Hits"?
      Crow: (beat) Yeah...
  • The Nanny: This is how the whole show starts. After breaking up with her boyfriend and leaving her job at his bridal suite, she starts working as a door-to-door cosmetics salewoman. When she shows up to the Sheffield's home, the butler Niles asks whether she's there for an interview as a nanny, to which she says "I could be...", and after an unusual interview, Maxwell Sheffield hires her because the nanny agency didn't have anybody available at that time.
  • In No Ordinary Family, when Stephanie's parents visit, Jim's habit of frequently sneaking out to fight crime initially leads to him being Mistaken for Cheating by Stephanie's father, which leads Jim and Steph to consider telling her parents about their powers. But as they're about to do so, Stephanie's father announces that he's figured out that what Jim's actually been sneaking out to do is help the homeless, so they let him continue believing that.
  • Pair of Kings: After a giant spider is destroyed and the Kings got dirtied by it. When Brady asked asked Boomer if that's the reason Boomer said he needed a change of underwear, Boomer hesitated before answering 'Yes'.
    • When Mikayla got stuck with Brady in his body and Lanny in Boomer's (long story), Boomer assumed it was Mikayla making Brady skip like a girl and the trope came into play.
  • Subverted in Prison Break. Michael burns his back while wearing a guard uniform for part of his escape plan, and when fibers from it are picked out of his wound, the warden assumes that a guard has been abusing him. However, going along with this would also hinder Michael's plan, so he has to just say he doesn't know what they're talking about.
    • But only until he manages to pin it on Geary, whose removal is beneficial to the plan.
  • Pushing Daisies:
    • Olive thinks Chuck faked her own death. In fact, Chuck was really dead and was resurrected by the pie maker.
    • When Olive notices that Chuck and Ned never touch each other:
      Olive: Do you have some sort of deadly food allergy to Ned?
      Chuck: I'm going to say yes.
  • In "End of the World As We Know It" from Resident Alien, Harry tells Asta that he's been searching for something he lost up on the mountain, referring to his device, which if activated will kill all humans. She asks what he means, "Like, a radio to phone home?" "How did you guess?" he replies. She explains that all they know of aliens comes from movies, so it's either a radio or he's there to kill everyone and eat them. He replies that his species doesn't eat humans, allowing her to continue to believe that it's a radio.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Zhi Wei thinks Ning Yi wants her to spy on Zi Yan. He actually wants her to go to Qingming Academy for her safety, but he pretends her idea was his plan all along. Then Zhi Wei figures out the real reason, but Ning Yi continues to insist he wants her to be a spy.
  • In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina is trying to retrieve a magical duplicator box she accidentally sold to Mr. Kraft (who is using it to duplicate a lot of gold bars). However, Sabrina is having a magical crisis that is causing parts of her body to rot (long story), which happens in front of Mr. Kraft (but heals at that point as well). Mr Kraft accuses her of being... a space alien. Sabrina says "OK!" and turns into an armored humanoid alien, congratulates Kraft on recognizing her despite having "taken the form" of one of his students, and orders him to return "their" box and give ALL the gold to charity (threatening him with "the probe" when he's reluctant to comply).
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Bryan Cranston reprised his Breaking Bad role as Walter White in a sketch in which Walter had been appointed head of the DEA by President-elect Trump.
      Jake Tapper: Mr. White, how did you even get considered for this job? Do you know Donald Trump?
      Walter White: No. Nope. But I'm a big fan, I like his style, he acts first and then asks questions later. I also like that wall he wants to build. Nothing comes in from Mexico, meaning, a lot less competition for the rest of us.
      Jake Tapper: You mean jobs?
      Walter White: [brief chuckle] Sure.
    • When Gal Gadot was host, in one sketch she played a Bosnian woman on a date with OJ Simpson. Because of her country's civil war in the 90's, she completely missed the media circus that was his murder trial and had no idea who he was, which he played to his advantage. When people at the restaurant made negative remarks towards him, she was appalled and asked OJ if they hated him because he was black. He replied, "Uh...Yes."
  • In Scrubs, when the Janitor and Dr. Cox get into a fight about the dispensation of a high-quality patient's room, each wanting it for himself...
    Dr. Cox: There really is only one way to end this.
    Janitor: We each ingest a cyanide capsule, on three. One, two, three. (gulp)
    Dr. Cox: No! What are you doing?
    Janitor: Mine's a skittle.
    Dr. Cox: ...Mine too?
    (Beat)
    Janitor: ..Sure.
  • In an episode of Sesame Street, Papa Bear and Mama Bear welcome a second cub. Baby Bear goes to meet her and wants to know her name, but their parents haven't thought of one. Baby Bear checks the new cub out a bit, quietly remarking that she's "a little curly bear". He is overheard, and Papa and Mama name the new cub Curly.
  • Skins: Naomi and Emily have danced around each other for the entire season. They are at a party, both being three sheets into the wind.
    Naomi: [motioning between the bottles in her hand] So, what do you want?
    Emily: [completely mesmerized by her] Anything. Just give me a fucking...Just.. Just give me a...[leans over and kisses her; Naomi shows absolutely no resistance]
    Naomi: Oh... [her denial catches up with her libido] It's only the drugs, right?
    Emily: ...Sure.
    [the two start to make out like crazy]
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror", "Captain's Woman" Marlena notices that Kirk is acting oddly. Kirk gives her an ambiguous explanation and lets her interpret it to mean that he's planning to take over the Empire.
  • A variation occurs in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I, Borg". When the eponymous drone, Hugh, first meets Picard, he recognizes him as Locutus of Borg. Picard decides to play along, expecting that if he thinks he's talking to another member of the collective, Hugh will prove Picard's suspicions about him correct. What Hugh does instead shocks him.
  • The Drew Carey Show episode "The Engagement" has a psychologist named Dr. Rider (played by Eugene Levy) evaluate Mimi for her lawsuit against the store. When he says that he finds Mimi fascinating, Mimi interprets it as flirting with her. Dr. Rider then says that he doesn't date patients. When she asks if it was because he took an oath, he responds. "OK."
  • The Thin Blue Line episode "Honey Trap" featured Detective Inspector Derek Grim and Inspector Raymond Fowler using Constable Maggie Habib as a Honey Trap to capture a criminal. Fowler's girlfriend, Sergeant Patricia Dawkins, thought that he and Maggie were having an affair. In retaliation, Dawkins broke something valuable to Fowler, who claimed it represented all the values he stands for. She then replied he doesn't stand for any and mentions knowing what he and Maggie are doing. Wrongly believing she figured out about the Honey Trap, he comments about it, revealing to her the truth. She then let him think he was right, and he tells her he agrees with her reaction.
  • That '70s Show tends to have this occur every now and then:
    • During Season 4, when he and Donna are broken up, Eric goes to pick her up from the radio station she works at to escort her to the school dance as a friend. Though once he shows up, Donna is ecstatic that he showed up, assuming he came to save or keep her safe from the tornado that was going on at the time. Eric initially plays along with the assumption, though he is visibly nervous to realize that there was a tornado going on when he finds out about it from her. She finds out later that he never knew about the tornado but forgives him for lying.
    • When Hyde and Kelso are caught by Jackie, Red, and Kitty at the Burkhart family ski lodge when the latter three arrive to move out the furniture, Jackie assumes that Hyde arrived to help her. Hyde, being Jackie's boyfriend, plays into it. Unfortunately, Fez, arrives with the beer they planned on drinking and the boys are caught red-handed.
    • After returning home from having been stripped naked by a group of feminists who mistook his make-out session with Donna as an attempted rape or assault, Eric is assumed to have had his body hair shaved off by Hyde's father. Eric, who is often mocked by his friends and his father for his lack of manly qualities, visibly pauses before saying, "Yes... they did."
    • When Kelso and Fez arrive in a quality apartment, they are denied rental by the landlord, Fenton, whom Fez has an largely unknown but bad past with. When they make to leave, Kelso offhandedly mentions raising his daughter (with a woman he once slept with) in the apartment. Fenton assumes that the fact that two young men are raising a baby girl in an apartment signifies that they're gay and, as an implicitly proud homosexual man himself, is willing to renegotiate. While Kelso and Fez never hear about this, Red is in the room when Fenton states his assumption and, amused by it, plays into it to help Kelso and Fez move into the apartment so he doesn't have to put up with them as much, with the two none the wiser about Red's negotiation.

    Music 
  • The famously bizarre music video for Front 242's Headhunter was a result of this trope. A misunderstanding of the lyrics and some crossed wires between the band and director Anton Corbijn resulted in the everpresent image of eggs. The band decided that they liked it this way.

    Radio 
  • In John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, when a clueless man is making the preparations to hold his wedding at what is very obviously Castle Dracula, The Renfield (who is named Igor) keeps doing this. It turns out the "groom" is actually the Count doing a practice run, and he complains Igor is making it obvious.
    Groom: Tell me, does that organ still play?
    Igor: Oh, yes. In fact it usually...
    (opening bars of Toccata and Fugue in D minor)
    Igor: There we are.
    Groom: Wow. You have an organist on permanent standby?
    Igor: I... suppose we must do, yes. Now, a couple of things. It's very important you don't use any Christian music or, you know, symbols of any kind during the service.
    Groom: Ah, because you're only licensed for secular services.
    Igor: ...Yes, that'll be it. Also, for the reception, we're only licensed for... non-garlicky meals.

    Theatre 
  • After having to prove he didn't embezzle from the Treasury by revealing his extramarital affair, the title character of Hamilton asks if Jefferson, Madison, and Burr will keep the secret, to which Burr ambiguously says "No-one else was in the room where it happened." (Understandably not reassured even after demanding a concrete answer, Hamilton decides to reveal it all himself.)
    Hamilton: Is that a yes?
    Jefferson, Madison, & Burr: Uh... yes.
  • In Cactus Flower, Julian has to agree with Toni's suspicion that the embarrassing secret about Stephanie is that she's a nymphomaniac, because he couldn't confess the simple truth to her about Stephanie not being married to him.
  • The following exchange from The Drowsy Chaperone:
    Chaperone: Me. No. Bride. Perhaps I can take a message.
    Adolpho: Yes, yes, very good... Dear Van De Graaf Bride. I must make love to you, and transport you to place of ecstasy, sooner is better, signed Adolpho, King of Romance.
    Chaperone: Well, well, you saw through my little ruse.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: In Vivat Regina, Nathaniel, desperate to keep the secretary to the German ambassador from entering her offices during a party which Mrs. Hawking is casing, remarks that he's only there to support the classical singer that's being feted. The secretary excitedly asks "You are a devotee of the German opera?" After a moment, Nathaniel declares "Why, yes!" and goes on about Wagner, even though it's clear he's making things up as he goes. It's the first sign of his skills as The Face on the team.
  • In Anything Goes, Billy Crocker is mistaken for Public Enemy Number 1, Snake Eyes Johnson. However, instead of arresting him, the celebrity cruise line, which had been suffering a lack of celebrities, hails him as a hero. Not wanting to be left out, Billy's criminal friend Moonface Martin (Public Enemy #14) tries to reveal his own public enemy status.
    Moon: I'm Moonface Martin! I'm a public enemy, too.
    Crowd: Public Enemy Number 2?!
    Moon: ...Yes.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • One of Jeff Dunham's earlier opening routines has him talk about how his Peanut puppet set off an airport contraband swab scanner after reading as plastic explosives. The TSA guy suggests that the scanner might have confused lotion for explosives, and Jeff immediately denies this given the implicationsnote , cheerily insisting "I've been making bombs in my garage!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • In one of the first edition Exalted sourcebooks, this is the advice given to young Solars who want to use their powers to help people without drawing the attention of the Wyld Hunt. There are many ways to acquire superhuman powers in the setting, and the common people don't know enough to tell them apart, so whatever they guess that your powers come from, tell them that that's exactly it. Are you the son of a god? Yes. Do you possess an artifact from the First Age? Yes. Did a sorcerer enhance you with a spell? Got it in one.

    Video Games 
  • Ford Cruller of Psychonauts was severely psychologically damaged in an important battle years ago, and becomes scatterbrained, to say the least, when taken away from the large levels of Psitanium located underneath the camp where the game takes place. When he leaves the metal, he takes on split personalities who have no trace of Cruller's intelligence and wherewithal. He tells Raz, the protagonist, that this is because he wants to keep his identity a secret, so he 'pretends' not to recognize Raz. Cruller doesn't reveal the real reason until much later in the game.
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade uses this in Hugh's recruitment conversation, when he mentions that he needs the money for his grandmother, Roy immediately asks if she's sick. "Uh, yeah, really sick". He later mentions that "she gets really bad headaches around her back" as an "example of the pain" that she suffers from. Roy suspects that something's up, but doesn't press the issue.
    • Hilariously enough, you eventually recruit his grandmother 3-4 levels later. And no, she doesn't have any illnesses: on the contrary, she's a healthy and very potent Druid.
  • In Fallout 3, the player character often comes across people who are either a bit kooky, have a bit of a misguided view of the world as it was / is or are quite crazy. In the dialogue options, there's usually at least one which enables the player character to politely humour the NPC in order to enable the conversation to progress. There's also usually an option for the player character to simply bluntly and rudely point out how crazy the NPC is.
  • In Alpha Protocol, making Mike play along with the crazy is the best way to curry favour with resident completely insane Conspiracy Theorist Steven Heck.
  • In the Netherbattle Tournament DLC for Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, Fenrich encounters an imaginary Tyrant Valvatorez created from his "intense desires." Hearing this, Fenrich starts thinking out loud and realizes that if this Valvatorez is a figment of his imagination, then he could do anything Fenrich wanted, even something like-
    Imaginary Valvatorez: Correct! I will win this tournament and rule the Netherworld, if that is your wish!
    Fenrich: [Beat, then sweatdrop] Y-Yes, my lord! It is!
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has a varient of this, when Neo tries to start an Escort Mission -
    Old herbalist: [seeing Neo standing silently in front of him] Is it my time ?
    Neo: [confused] What just like that?
    Old herbalist: You are a demon, and I accept my fate.
    Neo: [more confused] Demon ? Why do you keep calling me a demon ?
    Old herbalist: A demon that does not think it is a demon, you are very odd.
    Neo: [gives a Sure, Let's Go with That Fascinating Eyebrow] Oh, whatever, we'll go out the back.
  • During their pursuit of the Tidal Crystal in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (as seen in the E3 demos), Amy volunteers to accompany Sonic while Tails and Knuckles head back, or so she suggests. Knuckles takes offense to her taking charge... only to suggest the exact same strategem the very next sentence.
    Sonic: You win this round, Knuckles. Amy, let's go.
  • In Eternal Sonata, when the party is supposed take care of the "ghosts" underneath the Mandolin Church, Allegretto decides to jet and fetch Polka, his crush who is currently separated from the party. Viola suggests that the reason he's leaving is because he's scared of ghosts, and he happily seizes on that excuse, stating that he never told anyone before, but he's super-scared of ghosts.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky has an example that's only noticeable in hindsight (or if you've fallen victim to Late-Arrival Spoiler, since Falcom doesn't bother to hide it anymore). At the start of Chapter 2 of FC, Scherazard confronts the Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass Olivier, claiming she knows full well who he really is and that there's no point in hiding it: he's an Erebonian operative. He gives in and say she's right. He's really much, much more than that: he's the prince of Erebonia.
  • In Chapter 2 of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Emma uses her special brand of magic to heal a wound Rean got while jumping in to protect Jusis and Machias from a monster they thought they had all taken down. Later, Rean comments on how amazingly well his shoulder feels, asking Emma if she used some special sort of medicine. She starts to say that she didn't, then... "I-I mean, yes, I did! I used a special kind of medicine I brought with me from back home. My grandmother made it by combining a number of medicinal herbs together, I believe..." Later, in Chapter 6, she recognizes the barrier sealing the party inside Lohengrin Castle, saying that she's always had a sixth sense about these sorts of things. Jusis mentions that adherents of the Septian Church have often been said to have strange powers and asks if she's with the church. She at first says that it's kind of the opposite, but then backtracks and says "You've got me! I've always been a big supporter of the church." Also, at one point, Sara has to leave for a while to help Toval with some bracer work, leading the students of Class VII to quip about her having a hot date. When she returns, Rean discovers her muttering about all the work that Toval gave her and asks her how her "hot date" went. Sara is at first confused, but then seizes upon what Rean just gave her, saying that it was great, with plenty of action.
    Rean: Yeah, I want to believe it, but somehow I don't think so.
  • In Hometown Story, one of the story arcs involves a foreign girl named Lamisa being found on the town's beach and staying with the person who found her while gradually learning the local language. The very last scene relating to her reveals that she did this regarding her name. It's not her name, which she never bothered to correct once her grasp on the local language got better, but her native language's word for "thank you".
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, any dealings you have with Mistress Therana will involve this. The other Telvanni councilors note that "she hasn't aged well," and getting anything out of her requires you to play along with whatever insane story she is telling at the moment.
  • In Blaster Master Zero, Jason asks Eve what she knows about the mutants. She pauses for a second and then replies that the database on the Sophia the 3rd doesn't call them "mutants", but sure. She then enthusiastically uses all the names Jason has like "Mutant Lord" for the enemies for the rest of the game. What, is she going to hurt their feelings?
  • This is a big premise in Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!. Shallow Larry Laffer goes for the ultimate pursuit of Shamarra Payne, who is a beautiful and rich guest staying at the same hotel. She states that despite being rich, successful, and happy, she lacks purpose in her life. As Larry presents various gifts to her, she concludes that each gift must be Larry's way of teaching her something about life: An orchid refers to the uniqueness of nature, a diamond means that whatever pressure she has is forming her into something beautiful, etc. Larry is by no means a deep thinker, but does not correct her since all he wants to do is sleep with her and these insights don't seem to jeopardize that.
  • In Spandex Force: Superhero U Calculatron states that he's planned his entire educational path up to level 50, as well as what super powers to choose.
    Player character: Isn't that a bit...
    Calculatron: Neat and orderly? Planned? Precise?
    Player character: Um...yes, let's go with that.
  • Not long into Spider-Man (PS4), Otto Octavius catches Peter working on his damaged costume, and is stunned to realize that his lab assistant is...the guy who designs Spider-Man's equipment. Peter goes along with this. During the climax, however, Otto reveals he knows the truth, so either he worked it out or was only ever sparing Peter's feelings.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Queen Nia informs the party of the location of the Big Bad's base of operations, but admits to having no idea how to actually get there. After a "Eureka!" Moment, the protagonists figure it out for themselves, and assume that the Queen must've been testing their ingenuity and character to make sure they were ready for the challenges ahead. Needless to say, Nia doesn't bother correcting them.
    Sena: You knew we'd be coming back though, right? It's all part of your grand design, yeah? "The future must be sculpted with one's own hands." Something like that?
    [Beat]
    Queen Nia: R-right, certainly. The future isn't something you can just be given. You do have to reach for it with your own hands. Yes.
  • Idol Manager: One possible event consists of a fan reporting getting help from one of the idols on social media, but the idol not remembering the incident, to an extent that she suspects Mistaken Identity. Two of the possible reactions are to not communicate at all or have the idol pretend it was, indeed, her.

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, Tomoya's modus operandi as a trickster mostly consists of simply not correcting the misunderstandings of others, but going along with their incorrect suspicions, ("Yeah, this is exactly what it looks like!"), and watching as Hilarity Ensues.
  • Oryou Sonozaki acts this way regarding the family reputation in Higurashi: When They Cry. Although the Sonozakis are yakuza, they haven't done any of the stuff people- including their heirs- think they have. They just take advantage of the gossip to look tough. It's a very nasty deconstruction as this is indirectly responsible for many of the cycles of death and madness.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, Case 4, this is what happens if Phoenix presents the profile of "John Doe" to his client. He knowingly plays along with Phoenix's misinformation about Doe's identity - i.e. that he's merely a butler.
  • In the third case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Trucy notices an odd coincidence where the crime seems to match up to the lyrics of Klavier's new song, "The Guitar Serenade," and proposes that the killer is intentionally mimicking said lyrics. Shortly afterwards, the body is moved to a raised platform along with a guitar, which matches the last part of the song and further supports Trucy's theory. Unbeknownst to everyone, Trucy first brought this theory up in front of the real killer, who hadn't planned the crime that way at all, but was happy to go along with it because it covered up the true sequence of events and gave him an airtight alibi.
  • Used in Fate/stay night, when Issei comes over, and wonders why Saber is there.
  • In Doki Doki Literature Club!, Yuri comments that she has awful backaches, and starts to explain why. Before she can say it, she trails off, but her embarrassed expression indicates that she was probably about to say it's because of her large bust size. After an awkward pause, the main character says it's probably because she has poor posture, to which Yuri hastily agrees. (Amusingly, it's unclear whether the main character is genuinely clueless, or just letting Yuri off the hook with an alternate, less embarrassing explanation.)
  • Ikemen Sengoku:
    • The main character says this trope name word-for-word in Hideyoshi's route when she absentmindedly pats a sleepy Hideyoshi's head and he bemusedly asks her if she's copying his head-patting habit with her.
    • When Mitsuhide starts spending every waking moment of his time with the female main character in his route, people start assuming that they've become a couple. The main character is dismayed by this misconception, but Mitsuhide goes along with it because it'll divert others away from the real reason they've begun spending all their time together: namely, that the main character overheard Mitsuhide talking about betraying his lord Nobunaga and he's making sure she doesn't get a chance to tell anyone about it.
  • C14 Dating: This trope gets played around with when it comes to dealing with an accidental Forced Out of the Closet moment. In-game context and the wording used make it so that it's technically possible to understand the statement accidentally outing a third party as something else entirely. From an audience perspective, Melissa makes it sound like she misunderstood, which allows the person who let the information slip to pretend that the misunderstood information was what they meant and get out of the conversation gracefully. Once this happens, Melissa turns out to have actually understood the information correctly and to have pretended otherwise for the other person's sake. This causes the trope to have a subversion that doubles as a reveal that it was invoked.

    Web Animation 
  • Chargesdotcomdotbr had a story arc titled "My Girl", where a young man was dating a woman who was Mt F transgender. The young man's mother, who used to be friends with her when she identified as male, told the now her to end the relationship. When she learned she's now wealthy, she decided to ask for a DNA test. The young man didn't understand. When a friend of his came up with a crazy theory regarding aliens, his other friends decided to invoke the trope.
  • In Hunter: The Parenting, Big D's response to Kitten assuming he got hopped up on DMT prior to a hunt in case a vampire tried draining him is
    ''THAT IS DEFINITELY WHY I DID THAT!!'
  • During the Black Templars podcast episode of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, High Marshal Helbrecht eventually seems to figure out that the Centurion is in fact a disguised Rogal Dorn, his chapter's long-lost primarch and someone the entire chapter would be utterly desperate to have back. He very pointedly does not call Dorn out on this, reasoning that Dorn must be keeping himself hidden for a reason.
    Helbrecht: Thank you, friendly centurion. I would ask you your name, but.... I assume it is not yet time.
  • This exchange from Halo vs. Counter-Strike:
    Master Chief: Well, since this is your last life and all, I guess I won't be seeing you around.
    Counter-terrorist: Hey! M-my gun's pointed at you too!
    Master Chief: Yeah... But I have an overshield.
    Counter-terrorist: Oh yeah? Well... uh... This gun has armor piercing rounds in it!
    Master Chief: Really?
    Counter-terrorist: Yeah... yeah... Let's go with that.
  • In RWBY, Yang, Jaune and Ren are stuck in an outpost outside Atlas and, as Yang is trying to fix up a hovercraft, asks Jaune if 'she' would be upset with her if she saw her as she was now. Jaune, thinking that Yang is referring to Ruby and their recent spat, reassures her that Ruby would still love and care for her no matter what. However, Yang replies with a "Yeah... Ruby..." in a tone that suggests that she's not referring to Ruby, but someone else, most likely Blake. Jaune does get the tone and backs down.

    Webcomics 
  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Batman shows up to Justice League HQ with his leg in a cast, which leads to the other superheroes speculating on how he was injured. By the time Superman and Wonder Woman ask Batman directly, they've heard that the Joker hired Riddler and Bane to feed him to Killer Croc. Batman responds by afirming the rumor rather than admit the embarrassing truth that he accidentally fell down some stairs at home.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • George is hostile to Justin's friend Elliot right off the bat and doesn't let up on getting the truth from Justin about the recent magical goings-on (which involved Elliot)...until he finds out that Elliot is not, in fact, Justin's boyfriend. Suddenly he's a lot less belligerent, and perfectly willing to admit that Justin has a point and the issue is kind of complex. Contextual clues suggest there may be a different reason for this than the one he ends up admitting to:
      Justin: Did my having a boyfriend just make you so uncomfortable that you got extra defensive about everything?
      George: ...Yes. I have learned a valuable lesson about friendship and acceptance and will never do it again.
    • Much later, when Greg comments that Elliot should cut his hair, Elliot asks if it's “because an anime protagonist might change their hair to symbolize their growth?
      Greg: ...sure, let's go with that.
    • While out on a date with Ellen, Nanase runs into a Stereotypical Nerd who happens to be one of the many boys she dated before realizing she was a lesbian.
      Gary: Oh, I'm terribly sorry! I didn't mean to be rude, it's just I used to think you didn't want to go on a second date with me because I was too geeky.
      [Beat Panel]
      Nanase: Yes. It was entirely because I am a lesbian.
    • In the "So a Date at the Mall" arc, Diane states that Elliot couldn't possibly be the Cheerleadra because he was on the phone with Ellen while Cheerleadra was talking to the griffin. Ellen hastily agrees, not mentioning that it was actually Ashley using Elliot's phone.
  • Girl Genius, in this example when Theo is telling the younger students a story about the Heterodyne Boys he made up on the spot. Also a meta-Ascended Fanon.
  • The Order of the Stick does it here, after what was supposed to be a Badass Boast:
    Vaarsuvius: Oh, forget it. It would take longer to make you understand than it would to research the next spell.
    Elan: Wait — are you saying that you're going to research the spell "Haste" if I don't distract you anymore?
    Vaarsuvius: Yes, that is it exactly. You have perfectly gleaned my true intentions, well done. Have a cookie.
    • An earlier one:
      Roy: Too bad you froze Elan by accident.
      Vaarsuvius: Accident...yes. Of course. By accident.
    • Here, Redcloak is told he can become Supreme Leader of the hobgoblins through Klingon Promotion. He immediately kills the hobgoblin he's talking to, under the assumption that was the Supreme Leader.
      Xykon: Hey, you over there. That guy WAS your Supreme Leader, right?
      (Hobgoblin is wearing the Headdress of Supreme Leadership, the Shiny Gold Amulet of Supreme Leadership, and holding the Scepter of Supreme Leadership)
      Hobgoblin: Yes. Yes he was.
  • Least I Could Do: Beginnings.
    Kid Rayne: Take me to the barbecue, I was learning about fire.
    Mr. Summers: For a school project?
    Kid Rayne: Okay.
  • In Ménage à 3 Gary thinks he lost his blanket while sleepwalking. Zii, not ready to tell Gary what really happened goes for the "Sure, Why Not?" line.
  • Dr. Schlock tries to use this trope in this Sluggy Freelance strip. It doesn't work.
  • Done frantically by Hannelore of Questionable Content here, when Sven reveals that his cat has been barfing due to a bug.
    Faye: Wow, he landed right in the laundry hamper. Nice aim.
    Hannelore: Aim. Right.
  • In 2015 in Kevin & Kell, Harold flies into Carnivore Summer Camp to rescue Jess after she was captured by another predator camper's drone. When he arrives, he thinks they were alerted by his flapping, when it reality it was his natural foul odor since he's a herbivorous bird.
    Harold: Was it the flapping of my wings that alerted you to my presence?
    Harcourt: Let's go with that, sure.
    • Another instance in 2017, when Coney and Tree are talking:
      Tree: I'll be sort of a living baby monitor.
      Coney: Wow, that'll be a whole new role for you, won't it?
      Tree: Sure. Let's go with that.
  • Combined with Let Them Die Happy in a Hijinks Ensue where the characters are erased from time as part of a one-off gag. Elijah thinks this means that they'll end up in a better future, like the ending of Back to the Future, and Joel doesn't have the heart to tell him that's not what's about to happen.
    Joel: No, it's... yeah, sure, thats what happens.
  • In one of Paul Gadizkowski's King Arthur in Time and Space comics that preceded Arthur, King of Time and Space, Pelleas tells Gawaine that he now understands the point Gawaine was making when he offered to seduce the Lady Ettarde "on Pelleas's behalf"; that a woman who could be won that way wasn't worth having. Gawaine says nothing in response to this, then says to Nimue "Well, if the lad wants to believe I'm that clever, why should I say him nay?"
  • Forest Hill Kaleb overhears his mother Flora having sex with Colin, and thinks they were just bouncing on the bed, which she does not deny. Benni is not fooled, but does not say anything until later when Kaleb isn't around, and this is a good thing, because he thought that Colin and Flora were having sex with Colin's daughter, Tanya.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli's attitude towards Emil coming to the conclusion that their Sharing a Body situation is a Sanity Slippage induced case of Hearing Voices. Considering that Lalli himself seems to be bemused by the situation and Emil has been believing in magic for less than twenty-four hours at that point, it's probably for the best.
  • In Sleepless Domain, shortly after Undine's experienced the tragic loss of her Magical Girl team, she meets Heartful Punch, who hasn't heard and responds to Undine's shock to that fact by asking if they broke up. Undine goes with that, adding that she'd rather not talk about it. Heartful Punch doesn't press and invites Undine to go monster hunting with her. Undine, grateful that, for once, someone isn't walking on eggshells around her, accepts.
  • Carry On: In this page, Songween's Captain, Azkikkia is introducing her subordinates.
    Azkikkia: "And this [Hyena with dreadlocks] is Dixie."
    Kathy: "— she's from the south?"
    Azkikkia: Yyyeah. We'll go with that."
  • Skin Horse has a zombie named Dan Franklin, who happens to look a bit like Benjamin, and is continually correcting people on this point. By "Purple Waves", he's given up.
    Marcie: No way! Zombie Ben Franklin!
    Dan: ...yes. Go with that.

    Web Original 
  • In Bleach (S) Abridged, when Ichigo first meets the Old Man in his mindscape, he assumes the guy is the spirit of his Zanpakuto, Zangetsu. After a moment of shock, he adopts that identity and prevents the Inner Hollow from correcting Ichigo.
  • In Episode 43 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Krillin and Gohan detect Cell as a bit of each of the fighters his DNA is comprised of. Which Gohan describes as everyone except Yamcha. Yamcha reasons that's because he's right here. Krillin responds with this.
  • In The Thrilling Adventure Hour episode "Basil's Day", a father bring his daughter to Frank and Sadie Doyle to cure her of demonic possession. The first thing the Doyles do after realizing the problem is take the child to their bedroom and tie her to their bed so she can not harm herself or others.
    Basil: Ropes on the bed? Do you do a lot of exorcisms?
    (Beat)
    Sadie: Uh...
    Frank: Sure...
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Bing first sees a camera in Lizzie's room as she and Jane are shooting a recorded letter for Charlotte. When he walks on her recording for the vlog later, he assumes it's another recorded letter, and she plays along.
  • In The Nostalgia Critic's review of Supergirl (1984), he points out that several scenes would be very suggestive out of context (and sometimes even in context), causing him to believe the screenwriter accidentally submitted the script of a porno and the producers took it at face value, and the writer went with it for the sake of his job. This becomes a Running Joke throughout the review.
    Producer: It says here two men fondle her skirt and then she blows them. [Beat] With her super breath?
    Writer: Yes! Yes, that's exactly what I mean!
  • Shipwrecked Comedy: From the end of "The Case of the Gilded Lily":
    Wilhelmina: "[Here's] to finding out the blackmailer was just my kind, loving husband who'd never do anything to hurt me."
    Ford: [beat] Okay.

    Real Life 
  • This is a good tactic to use when you're running a Dungeons & Dragons game: if the players figure out something and they're wrong, but it wouldn't do any harm to change things so that they're right, just go with it: it's no extra work for you and makes your players feel clever for "working it out". In his Pyramid column, Kenneth Hite once described an Unknown Armies campaign in which he completely rewrote the villainous conspiracy, because the one the players thought they'd discovered was better.
  • Chuck Palahniuk tells the story of a time he was on a plane and the flight attendant said he'd figured out that Fight Club was really about a group of guys watching two men have sex in a bath house. Pahlaniuk said his response was "Yeah, sure, why not?" Guy gave him free drinks for the rest of the flight.
  • This tends to crop up on the Not Always Right blog when the stupidity of the various customers has gotten the employee in question so bewildered/annoyed/Mind Screwed that they just want to get the person out of the shop as quickly as possible.
    • Particularly savvy employees will play along with the crazy customer to soothe their (often completely irrational) fears. One example is convincing a Conspiracy Theorist customer that there are no surveillance drones in her refrigerator. They're only in refrigerators that are much more expensive than the one she has. The Conspiracy Theorist believes this completely and thanks the employee for the "help"!
    • Also this lighthearted example, where an employee informs technical support that a previously reported technical problem was no longer present, expressing uncertainty as to whether the technician had fixed it or if the error had just resolved itself. The technician's reply is almost word-for-word the trope name.note 
  • This is a tactic emergency personnel and police are increasingly being encouraged to use when dealing with people having delusions due to mental illness/other issues affecting their perception of reality to get them to cooperate if you have to bring them in for their own/other's safety. A classic one is if someone believes they are being hunted by the Milkman Conspiracy to offer to bring them to a "safe" place where they won't be harmed, usually the hospital, and to provide someone, usually a police officer, to "guard" them at the hospital itself, which establishes a sense of trust. There are however limits to this, such as not saying you see something someone is hallucinating, and your own safety should never be compromised in the process.
  • Some old peoples' homes have started putting up fake bus stops so dementia patients can satisfy their need to "get away" or "go home" (even if they haven't lived in or even visited the place they're talking about for twenty years). Due to the deterioration of the brain that comes with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, nurses and other hospital workers find it difficult to reason with them, so they just direct them towards one of these fake bus stops so they can wait for a bus that will never come. Some wait for hours, then give up, saying they must have missed the bus and will try again later, though others will forget why they came here in the first place and let the nurse lead them back to their room. Almost of all them, however, report feeling more satisfied and generally happier, simply because they were able to go out and do something proactive, even if that something will be completely forgotten the next day. The creator of this fake bus stop program says that "The sense that they have the freedom to do what they feel they need to do is very soothing to patients."
    • There's a nursing home in the Netherlands set up like a small village, complete with stores, restaurants, a movie theater, and a hair salon, for this exact purpose. The entire point is to provide a homey atmosphere that allows the patients to live a normal life while still receiving the care they need.
  • The naming of the racehorce Potoooooooo. From the article, "Pot-8-Os acquired the strange spelling of his nickname through a transliteration error, when a stable lad was asked to write the original name, "Potatoes", on a feed bin. The lad's version, Potoooooooo, was said to amuse his lordship so he kept it." This horse went on to be a champion and is an ancestor of most modern Thoroughbreds (which is why The Other Wiki has an article about the animal).
  • This, ultimately, was how East Germany ended up reacting to the government decree that the borders would be open. They had meant for refugees only (i.e. people leaving and never coming back), and referred mostly to the East/West Germany border. At the press conference, an ill prepared functionary failed to stress these points and was asked by a western journalist if the Berlin Wall was to be opened immediately. The press secretary, not being fully briefed, invoked this trope as a response. Cue thousands of people showing up at the checkpoints demanding to be let through. Cue the end of East Germany a short time later.
  • One comic from The Far Side dubbed a stegosaur's tail spikes the Thagomizer, "after the late Thag Simmons". Paleontologists realized that the arrangement of spikes didn't actually have an official name, so they adopted the term.
  • This is essentially why we have Command Gold rather than Command Green in Star Trek. The actual color of the Command Branch (Kirk, Sulu, Chekov) tunics was intended to be a lime green (possibly along with the blue and red to evoke the three primary colors of the cathode-ray tube), but due to studio lights interacting with the velour fabric and the inconsistent color timing, it showed up instead as a bright gold. Later productions decided not to even fight the perception and retconned the color as to always having been gold.
  • When young Hiram Ulysses Grant applied to West Point, the congressman who was sponsoring him got a little confused, assuming his middle name was his first and believing his mother's maiden name (Simpson) was his middle initial. Rather than correct the error, Grant decided to just roll with it, as he was never wild about his embarrassing initials anyway.

 
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The Klopnodian Flag

Squidina points out that the Klopnodian flag is just a stained tablecloth, but retracts her statement after some Klopnodian elders deny it.

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