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Playing With / Manipulative Bastard

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Basic Trope: A character manipulates others in order to further their goals.

  • Straight:
    • Bob tells Alice that if she doesn't help him defeat Emperor Evulz, she will never be forgiven for her past misdeeds.
    • Bob hatches a plan to manipulate Alice into doing what he wants.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Bob is very reluctant to manipulate people, but he will do so if necessary.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Extreme Doormat
  • Subverted:
    • Bob wasn't trying to manipulate Alice. He genuinely feels that way.
    • Bob wants to be this trope, but is TERRIBLE at it.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Bob manipulates people into doing things he could do himself in a few seconds: such as picking up a pencil.
  • Zig-Zagged: Alice manipulates Bob into thinking he's manipulating her.
  • Averted: Bob never manipulates others.
  • Enforced:
    • "We need someone to take advantage of The Hero's kindness."
    • Advertisement:
    • "We need a master manipulator-type Anti-Hero."
  • Lampshaded: "All you told me were lies! You were just using me!"
  • Invoked: Bob studies psychology and applies it to the people he knows.
  • Exploited: Alice knows Bob is trying to manipulate her, but plays dumb so that Bob lets his guard down.
  • Defied: Alice knows Bob is trying to manipulate her, and calls him out on it.
  • Discussed: Bob and Steve talk about the moral implications of manipulating Alice.
  • Conversed: "This show is just plain sick! Bob manipulates Alice into doing everything he wants her to do, and Steve treats him like he's in the right."
  • Implied: Alice says she'll never perform Action A, but then she does it under Bob's seemingly benevolent gaze.
  • Deconstructed: Nobody trusts Bob because he keeps manipulating them.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob plays the long game with his evil or not-so-evil plans and frames other people, so nobody catches on.
    • Advertisement:
    • Because no one trusts him, Bob relies almost entirely upon Reverse Psychology instead, to much the same effect as if they did trust him.
    • Bob commits using his plans and improvisations to manipulate villains and no one else. The heroes regain their trust in him.
  • Played for Laughs: Bob manipulates Alice into doing barely villainous things, like not recycling.
  • Played for Drama: Bob manipulates Alice into killing her friend Charlie. When Alice realizes what she's done, she murders Bob.

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