A man was happily working hard on his vegetable field. As the crop was just about ready, vegetables started disappearing night after night. One night passes, and two, and so on. After a while, the farmer is tired of the thief and puts a sign: "To those that may concern. One tomato is now infested with AIDS." The next morning, no other vegetables disappeared, but he found a message next to his: "Now there are two. Have a nice day."
— Folklore joke
"Allow me to impress upon you the severe mistake you have made. For years my conduct has been largely benign. And yet - without provocation - you have severed our detente, and forced me to unleash upon you the vengeful flame of a THOUSAND SUNS! You shall curse your mothers for the day of your birth! So go now, GO, and begin your life of fear! Knowing that when you least expect it, the looming sword of Damocles will crash down upon you, cleaving you in twain! And as you gaze upon the smoking wreckage that was once your life, you will regret the day you crossed the wrong fish!"
— Klaus, American Dad!
There was a champion golfer, who once jokingly challenged the worst golfer in the club to a contest. The bad golfer unexpectedly agreed, on the condition that he get two 'gotchas'. The good golfer didn't understand, but figured it couldn't be too bad. On the first hole, the good golfer made the hole in one shot—he was in good form today, even for him—and the bad golfer took six hits. The good golfer asked the bad one if he would like to cancel the bet, but the bad golfer reminded him that "I still have two gotchas."
On the second hole, the champion was cranking back for his swing when the lousy golfer snuck up behind him and yelled "GOTCHA!" The swing went wild, the ball went off into some trees, and the good golfer took nine hits to get it back to the hole. For the rest of the game he played horribly, even worse than the bad golfer. After the gloating bad golfer had collected his winnings and gone home, the champion's caddy asked him what had been wrong with him. The champ turned a tormented expression on him and asked "Do you know what it's LIKE waiting for that second gotcha?!"
— Old golf joke
There is more than one way of racking a man, Drumknott. In fact, you let him build his own rack, and let him turn the screw all by himself.
"Just playing with your paranoia."
It's tough to compromise a well thought out security system, but making someone think you can compromise it, well, that's much easier.
—Michael Weston, Burn Notice
"He may not even have a plan. But by making us think he has one, we'll try to figure out what he's up to and come up with a devious master plan for him. Which, I must admit, really is a pretty devious master plan."
—Sawtooth Rivergrinder, Free Fall
"Let me ask you a question: how many changelings do you think are on Earth right here at this moment?... What if I were to tell you that there were only four on this entire planet - not counting Constable Odo, of course. Think of it, just four, and look at the havoc we've wrought... Oh, four is more than enough. We're smarter than solids, we're better than you, and most importantly, we do not fear you the way you fear us. In the end, it is your fear that will destroy you."