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Playing With / Gambit Pileup

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Basic Trope: Everyone is manipulating everyone else.

  • Straight: Many of the main characters have hidden plans which need other people to be manipulated for it to work, including those who also have a plan.
  • Exaggerated: Even the minor characters have elaborate hidden plans.
  • Downplayed: Many characters have hidden plans but not a majority of the cast.
  • Justified: It's a story that has as its main plot point everybody being paranoid of each other. Having a plan to get rid of everybody else is understandable, especially because none of them will coordinate.
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  • Inverted: Nobody has a clue what they're doing and the entire plot is based on Indy Ploys.
  • Subverted: It seems like several characters might have a hidden plan, but it turns out that they don't.
  • Double Subverted: ...but that was just a façade, or a lie to hide they really did have a plan!
  • Parodied:
    • All the plans become so convoluted and confusing they also seem ridiculous and are doomed to failure.
    • Faye keeps a "Plan Flowchart" to keep herself in on the loop.
    • The various faction hold a truce in order to figure out who is actually responsible for what.
  • Zig Zagged:???
  • Averted:
    • There are no plans.
    • Only one character has a plan.
  • Enforced: A toy company makes a brand of toy with multiple factions. They want all of the factions to be equally represented in the TV show, so they all have their own individual plans against each other.
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  • Lampshaded: "Is there anyone here that doesn't have a Hidden agenda!"
  • Invoked: The Man Behind the Man manipulates people to make multiple, complex plans to confuse his enemy.
  • Exploited: Somebody gives a person with a plan false information about another plan so their plan will fail.
  • Defied: One of the characters just keeps his head down and tries to survive the whole mess. He has absolutely no plans otherwise, and refuses to take part in any of the plans already being played.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • All the plans end up failing due to being Out-Gambitted, which leads the characters to decide to use violence instead of trying to scheme.
    • Because of how interconnected everyone's plans are, a single Spanner in the Works brings all of them crashing down.
  • Reconstructed:
    • However, swapping to mindless violence means the characters can be exploited by another planner. Other ex-planners realise what's happening and start plotting again.
    • With everyone else's plan's destroyed, the person who was building up a power base behind the scenes is free to complete his objective with no competition... Until another planner reveals he had prepared in case something like this happened.

Back to Gambit Pileup.

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