Basic Trope: A character wants to know something from another character, but the other character isn't having it.
- Straight: Alice wants to know what Charlie did to Bob. Charlie doesn't answer her, no matter what Alice does.
- Exaggerated: When Charlie does talk, his story changes every time.
- Downplayed: Charlie's recountings are vague and while providing valuable information.
- Justified: The event in question happened more then twenty years ago, and Charlie has difficulty remembering.
- Inverted: Alice is the one being unhelpful, with long pauses while she thinks of questions to ask Charlie, and is in general not very assertive. Charlie tries to keep her on track, because the sooner she does the sooner he can leave the cold, cramped interrogation room.
- Subverted: Alice would have been killed if she knew the truth, thus, by keeping mum, Charlie was helping Alice.
- Double Subverted: Then it turns out that that was just a lie he told Alice so that she'd leave him alone.
- Parodied: Alice wants to know what happened on last week's episode of Troper Tales...Charlie: You couldn't just look it on the internet and figure out for yourself?Alice: Please, Charlie? Fictional lives are hanging in the balance!Charlie: You're crazy.
- Zig Zagged: Charlie switches between being helpful and unhelpful.
- Averted: Alice tells him flat out that if he tries to be difficult, it will be worse for him in the long run.
- Enforced: Charlie practices his responses for maximum frustration for Alice.
- Lampshaded: "I see what you're doing, Charlie. You're trying to make things difficult for me."
- Invoked: Alice is looking for a challenge, so she encourages Charlie to be unhelpful.
- Exploited: Alice pretends to think that Bob is guilty based on his unhelpfulness. Bob, eager to prove he's not, provides her with info.
- Defied: Alice intimidates Bob into telling her the truth.
- Discussed: "Wow, Charlie's really making things tough on Alice."
- Conversed: "You know a mystery's gonna screech to a halt when the perp makes things tough."
- Implied: Alice walks out of the interogation room, looking completely frazzled, while Bob looks smug.
Back to Be as Unhelpful as Possible