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Alternative forms[edit]


A back-formation from pull the rug out from under.



rug-pull (plural rug-pulls)

  1. A sudden revelation that completely contradicts the assumptions one has been led to believe.
    • 1977, The Nation, volume 224, New York, N.Y.: Joseph H. Richards, ISSN 0027-8378, OCLC 1099162221, page 413, column 3:
      Perhaps this necessity to be on guard for the next rug-pull is what makes A Footstep of Air proceed in fatiguing seesaws instead of invigorating changes of pace.
    • 1995 January 25, Frank Xavier Altimari, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, “L & F Products, a Division of Sterling Winthrop Inc., plaintiff-appellant, v. Procter & Gamble Company, defendant-appellee [45 F. 3d 709]”, in Justia[1], archived from the original on 27 September 2015:
      In July 1993, P & G began a television advertising campaign in which its products were compared to those of an unnamed competitor. There is no dispute that the unnamed product in each commercial represented LYSOL Deodorizing Cleaner, an all-purpose product often employed for bathroom cleaning. [...] We thus reject what appears to be L & F's chief grievance: that the "rug-pull" effect conveyed the false message that LYSOL merely appears to clean. By "rug-pull" the parties refer to the surprise at the end of each commercial, when it is revealed that LYSOL has not cleaned as effectively as Spic and Span.
    • 1997, Sheila Bender; Christi Killien, Writing in a New Convertible with the Top Down: A Unique Guide for Writers, 2nd edition, Hillsboro, Or.: Blue Heron Pub., →ISBN, page 50:
      Writing does need a shape, a beginning, middle, end. Highs and lows of action. Climaxes, rug-pulls, black moments, dénouements.
    • 1997 February 15, “[Adweek Best Spots of the Year; advertisement]”, in Timothy White, editor, Billboard: The International Newsweekly of Music, Video and Home Entertainment, volume 109, number 7, New York, N.Y.: BPI Communications, ISSN 0006-2510, OCLC 956043133, page 20:
      Surely, the editors of Adweek magazine have to be some of the most critical critics of advertising. And now you can follow all the plot twists, rug pulls and comedy routines these highly selective critics selected as the best.
    • 2014 August, Gregg Hurwitz, chapter 27, in Don’t Look Back, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, →ISBN:
      As a nurse she was all too familiar with the fragility of life, the cosmic rug-pull, the shadow on the X-ray, but she felt now a sudden, bracing reacquaintance with her own impermanance.
    • 2017, Stuart Webb; with contributions from James Roberts and Lloyd Young, “Don’t Leave Me This Way. Issue 222: Wanted: Galvatron – Dead or Alive! Part 2; Survivors! Part 4. 10th June 1987.”, in Transformation: A Personal Journey through the British Transformers Comic, volume 2 (1987–1989), [Morrisville, N.C.]: Solar Pool,, →ISBN, page 346, column 1:
      [H]e's added new reveals and twists to what's really going on with the limbo beasts at exactly the right points to keep the reader surprised and interested when things might seem obvious. This last rug pull should in theory be obvious but it still subverts the direction the plot seemed to be going in: [...]
    • 2018 July 25, A. A. Dowd, “Fallout may be the Most Breathlessly Intense Mission: Impossible Adventure Yet”, in The A.V. Club[2], archived from the original on 31 July 2018:
      But part of the movie’s nonstop fun is the way [Christopher] McQuarrie taps back into the genre’s (and this series’) games of subterfuge, misdirection, and indeterminate loyalties, beginning with the fiendishly clever rug-pull of its worst-case-scenario prologue and epitomized by the goofily irresistible sight of characters dramatically ripping off lifelike rubber masks.
  2. (cryptocurrencies) A fraud scheme where anonymous founders trick people into investing money for a cryptocurrency project which is then abandoned.
    Coordinate term: pump and dump
    • 2022 March 2, David Yaffe-Bellany, “Millions for Crypto Start-Ups, No Real Names Necessary”, in The New York Times[3], ISSN 0362-4331:
      The anonymous founders of a crypto collective called AnubisDAO raised nearly $60 million in a few hours last year; less than a day later, the funds disappeared in the second-largest rug pull of 2021, according to the blockchain-tracking firm Chainalysis.


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