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Playing With / Talking Your Way Out

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Basic Trope: A hero or villain in a tight spot uses psychological trickery on his enemies.

  • Straight: The hero talks to the guard of his cell and gets him to turn on his superiors, setting the hero free in the process as an act of defiance.
  • Exaggerated: The hero starts a national civil war among his enemies in seconds just by sowing discord between a few guards. Or the hero is a prisoner in name only and through persuasion is soon running the base.
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  • Downplayed: The hero makes a convincing attempt to persuade the guards to go easy on him, if not let him escape.
  • Justified: The guards are shown to be already on edge and psychologically open to persuasion even before the hero gets to them, because they have such a Bad Boss, which the hero picks up on after a while observing them.
  • Inverted: The hero persuades the guards to imprison him in the first place, usually as part of a plan.
  • Subverted: The guards do a double-take and laugh in his face.
  • Double Subverted: The hero flatters them for being so smart, and when they seem to take it well, exploits this angle instead.
  • Parodied:
    • The hero fumbles so badly at trying to sound persuasive that the guards let him go just to stop his bad acting.
    • Despite the incredible transparency of the hero's horrible acting, the guards are completely taken in and immediately revolt.
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  • Zig Zagged: The guards fall for the trick, but learn it so that next time they don't fall for it. There may also be moments during the actual persuasion when the guards are suspicious or pick up on the hero's trick, but the hero succeeds anyway.
  • Averted: No attempt is made.
  • Enforced: The writer wanted a moment for the Actual Pacifist to shine.
  • Lampshaded: The guard sighs and reveals himself too savvy to fool, calling the execution feeble.
  • Invoked: The guards' boss deliberately places the hero among gullible guards to give him a Hope Spot.
  • Exploited: Another prisoner uses the distraction to make his escape too.
  • Defied: The guards' boss gives his guards a lecture on how not to fall for this trope.
  • Discussed: The hero and his roommate argue over whether to use this trope or not.
  • Conversed: The hero mentions to his roommate that he saw it done on Saturday morning shows.
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  • Deconstructed: The trope is subverted, and it is rubbed into the hero's face that professional guards won't fall for such obvious tricks because it's against regulations to fraternise with POWs.
  • Reconstructed: Though it seemed unsuccessful at the time, the hero's words do sow the seeds of discord that later contribute to the Divided We Fall of his enemies. This is portrayed realistically, perhaps in conjunction with an exploration of the psychology of his enemies. Or the hero improves his skills of persuasion so that it will work next time, and picks his targets with more care.
  • Played For Laughs: The guards act in a silly way once the hero feeds them Paranoia Fuel.
  • Played For Drama: One of the guards gets suspicious and raises his weapon, causing a moment of keen tension that may or may not end well.

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