Wounded Gazelle Gambit

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"The first girl to cry always wins."

Using self-inflicted injuries, real or fake, to deceive others and manipulate them into doing what you want. Often used to frame a third party, this strategy is particularly effective for, and often used by, women, due to societal prohibitions against hurting women.

Named for the trick sometimes used by a mother gazelle (as well as certain birds and deer) of pretending to be injured in order to lure a predator away from her young. Once a safe distance is reached, the pretense can be dropped, and the mother can bound away, leaving the hapless predator in the dust. When humans use this trick, though, their motives are often not-so-noble.

Pretending to be a victim can be a great way of disguising your own guilt, so this is a common trope on a mystery series. In Film

Noir. this became a stock trick for the Femme Fatale or The Vamp. When the self-inflicted injury is terminal, it can become a case of Suicide, Not Murder.

This is by no means limited to personal injuries. The Evil Overlord can injure his own people and try to blame another country, providing a quick and easy justification for war. This is mentioned as #34 in The Thirty-Six Stratagems. making this one of The Oldest Tricks In The Book.

Can cover anything from a Lame Excuse to Malicious Slander. For a slandered party, it often precludes I Can Explain. and can lead to Poor Communication Kills. Can overlap with I Surrender, Suckers. If you're a member of a minority, Everything Is Racist is a convenient way to invoke this trope. When done against police, it's often a Police Brutality Gambit. When done on a large scale, it's often a False Flag Operation. The Hero with Bad Publicity is especially vulnerable to this.

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