Learn English – word or phrase for when you lead people to believe something obvious is about to happen but it doesn’t


I'm looking for a word or phrase which best describes the idea of making someone think something is about to happen but it doesn't. To put that into context:

Lets say a director essentially wants to copy a scene of a famous movie frame by frame, and that scene ends with a famous quote. You know the phrase is about to be said, but the director intends to let you down, for effect.

It has been bugging me for most of today, and I've looked up in online dictionaries and thesauruses.

Words I have found that I closely resemble the description, but i don't think quite fit:

  1. Irony – "an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected."
  2. Deceive / Mislead – "cause (someone) to have a wrong idea or impression."

Best Answer

It sounds like a garden path setup.

From Wikipedia:

A garden path sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out to be a dead end or yields a clearly unintended meaning. "Garden path" refers to the saying "to be led down [or up] the garden path", meaning to be deceived, tricked, or seduced.