Basic Trope: Inducing paranoia on someone through promises/implications of retribution.
- Straight: Bob tells Alice he'll play a practical joke on her sometime during the next day. He periodically wanders past Alice and does something like chuckle mischievously or make a Suspiciously Specific Denial. Alice drives herself crazy trying to avoid and/or figure out whatever Bob's promised prank is.
- Exaggerated: Bob tells Alice he'll play a practical joke on her sometime when he feels like it. Alice spends years in suspicion of everything Bob does in case it's the promised prank.
- Downplayed: ???
- Justified: Bob is a Guile Hero and prefers tricking people to doing something to them.
- Inverted: ???
- Subverted: Bob tells Alice he'll play a practical joke on her sometime during the next day and walks away, chuckling...and then grabs the hose off the wall and sprays her.
- Double Subverted: However, he tells Alice that wasn't the prank; that was merely an impulse.
- Zigzagged: ???
- Parodied: ???
- Averted: ???
- Enforced: The writers want Alice to cause all kinds of mayhem by trying to forestall the event or appease Bob to call it off.
- Lampshaded: ???
- Invoked: ???
- Exploited: ???
- Discussed: ???
- Conversed: ???
- Deconstructed: Alice performs a variety of brutal actions that she sees as proper escalation to prevent whatever she thinks Bob will do to her, eventually, and the collateral damage is such that Alice is given the third degree. Bob could have prevented this by just doing something other than playing with her paranoia , but he just had to try to play clever, didn't he?
Here, take this link back to the main page. I promise I didn't do anything to it.