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Playing With / False Rape Accusation

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Basic Trope: Someone accuses someone else of rape, even though that person is beyond a reasonable doubt not guilty.

  • Straight: Bob is accused of raping Alice, but he didn't.
  • Exaggerated:
    • There is indisputable evidence that not only did Bob not rape Alice, but in fact Bob and Alice were never even on the same continent.
    • Both Alice and Bob accuse each other of rape.
    • Alice accuses Bob and all his friends of gang-raping her, even though none of them went anywhere near her.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is accused of having drugged Alice and had sex with her. He did have sex with the drugged Alice, but he wasn't the one who drugged her, and he only had sex with her because he didn't realize at the time that she was drugged.
    • Bob is accused of covertly watching Alice undress, when it actually was Bob's twin brother Rob.
    • Someone calls Bob a rapist to his face, but he never actually faces a trial.
    • Bob did pester Alice into having sex with him, but Alice lied when claiming he used drugs or physical force.
    • Bob angrily confronts Alice over something she did, and physically grabs her when she tries to leave. When Alice sees a bystander approaching, she pulls down her shirt so that person will get the wrong impression.
  • Justified:
    • Alice couldn't see her attacker's face, and misidentified Bob.
    • Alice was raped by Bob's identical twin, and mistakenly thinks it was Bob.
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    • Bob is in a Police Lineup, and his features are remarkably similar to the rapist's.
    • Alice slept with Bob consensually, but she regrets it and accuses him of date rape.
    • Alice slept with Bob consensually, and he left various forensics; the real rapist took pains not to leave any evidence.
    • Her Overprotective Dad finds out and does the accusing, seeing as he can't see how his little angel-princess could possibly have a sexual side.
    • Alice's therapist implanted Fake Memories of Bob raping her.
    • Alice is a Jerkass who hates Bob and knows that accusing him of rape is the best way to destroy him.
    • Previously a rapist was able to get acquitted, and went on to commit more crimes. The embarrassment the case caused the police and courts makes them extra wary of accused rapists claiming to be innocent.
    • Alice is looking for attention, or money, or sympathy, or whatever else she might gain.
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    • Alice's memories have been scrambled and/or partially blotted out by trauma, and that makes her look and sound like she's lying even though she's not. It also doesn't help that she wants to move on with her life, rather than spend the rest of it sobbing in her room.
    • Alice has a psychotic disorder and delusionally believes that Bob raped her.
  • Inverted: It is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Bob raped Alice, but he gets off scot-free due to some Loophole Abuse.
  • Gender Inverted: Bob accuses Alice of raping him, even though she didn't do that.
    • Bob accuses Charles of raping him, even though he didn't.
    • Alice accuses Claire of raping her, even though she didn't.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is able to convince the jury, judge, and public that he is an innocent man, but he is actually guilty.
    • Bob's defense tells him they have evidence to help him, leading the audience to think they might have proof the he is innocent. It turns out they have Alice's sexual history, which they plan to present before the court in an attempt to paint Alice's testimony as unreliable.
    • Bob states that if he did rape Alice, why didn't she contact the police? It turns out he actually is guilty, but it happened so long ago that the Statute of Limitations on charges has long since passed. Unfortunately for Alice, she waited too long to press charges, out of fear or embarrassment.
    • Bob turns out to be an Unreliable Narrator. His seemingly loving relationship with Alice actually involved blackmail and threats
  • Double Subverted:
    • Alice is lying, because she was not able to get him convicted in court, she settles for getting him Convicted by Public Opinion.
    • Bob's lawyer clarifies that it's not just the fact that Alice had numerous intimate partners, he has proof that at multiple occasions she threatened to accuse them of rape, and he can get them to testify to that fact.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob becomes a Memetic Molester.
    • Bob and Alice are at the movies. When Bob tries to put his arm on her shoulder, she starts screaming rape.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice accuses Bob of raping her, but it turns out that he didn't. Then Bob really does rape her, but everyone thinks that she's lying again.
    • Alice accuses Bob of rape, which is a lie. Bob states he is innocent, then adds that Alice threatened to make accusations if he didn't sleep with her. This part also turns to be untrue, making Bob just as much of a false accuser as Alice.
  • Averted: No rape accusations of any kind are made against Bob.
  • Enforced:
    • Rule of Drama
    • "Society today agrees that rape is a horrible thing, but I believe people should also be made aware that falsely accusing people of being rapists is equally as awful."
  • Lampshaded: "How could a girl like her be accusing a guy like Bob of rape?!"
  • Invoked:
    • Alice is raped by a stranger in the park. He wore a condom and shaved all his pubic hair, so there isn't much in the way of forensic evidence, and Alice only saw his face for maybe two seconds.
    • Alice wakes up in Bob's bed, naked. At first, she doesn't know what happened, but then she remembers that she agreed to go home with him.
  • Exploited:
    • Alice knows that Bob is extremely wealthy and hopes that falsely accusing him of rape will result in a successful lawsuit, gaining Alive a slice of Bob's fortune.
    • Alice uses the threat of making such an allegation to make Bob "an offer he can't refuse".
  • Defied:
    • Alice makes it clear that she doesn't really know what the attacker looked like.
    • Alice regrets sleeping with Bob, but chalks it up to a lapse in judgment on her part, does the walk of shame back to her apartment, and moves on with her life.
    • Alice worries that no one would believe her, even if it was a case of date rape, and she doesn't press charges against Bob.
    • Bob, paranoid about such an accusation, secretly records the sexual intercourse so nobody can claim he forced himself upon her.
  • Discussed: "So, I hear Alice is accusing Bob of rape..."
  • Conversed: "That doesn't sound like Bob; I think there's more to this story."
  • Implied: The story starts on a prison chain gang. When another prisoner asks Bob why he's here, Bob replies that he's here "because of a lying bitch."
  • Deconstructed:
    • When Alice is exposed as a lying fraud, Dave (an actual rapist) uses her story to turn public sympathy against his accuser Carol and ride public opinion all the way to an acquittal.
    • When Alice is exposed as a lying fraud, Dave rapes her for real and counters her accusations by claiming that she's Crying Wolf again.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Bob is quickly found innocent, but his reputation is still ruined. Alice becomes a celebrity as she holds the victim narrative, claiming that Bob is a rapist who 'got away with it' and using it to propel herself into public office on the platform of 'judicial overhaul'. Meanwhile, the rapist gets away scot-free and continues to attack other women.
    • Despite being innocent, Bob is declared guilty anyway and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. His wife divorces him, his family disowns him, his friends abandon him, and the other prisoners refuse to say even one word to him. He falls into a depression as a result of his loneliness and dies alone and unloved, everybody believing him to be guilty.

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