History Main / MaybeMagicMaybeMundane

25th Aug '16 9:49:05 AM intastiel
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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3.5'' edition had a prestige class that pretended to be a spellcaster, using prestidigitation and really good bluff skills. Ironically, Prestidigitation is also a spell available to wizards, sorcerers, and bards, which enables them to perform minor tricks such as slow levitation of small objects, limited control of temperature, clean or soiling objects, or create crude objects from nothing.
** TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}} ups the ante on this a bit by giving rogues (the "tricky" non-magical class) access to actual spells as class "tricks". Because they're so good at faking it, sometimes even the universe just gives up and believes them.

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons 3.5'' edition had has a prestige class PrestigeClass that pretended pretends to be a spellcaster, using prestidigitation stretching sleight of hand and really good bluff skills. Ironically, Prestidigitation is also a spell available skills right to wizards, sorcerers, and bards, which enables them to perform minor tricks such as slow levitation the edge of small objects, limited control of temperature, clean or soiling objects, or create crude objects from nothing.
** TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}
the supernatural.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''
ups the ante on this a bit by giving rogues (the "tricky" non-magical class) CharacterClass) access to actual spells as class "tricks". Because they're so good at faking it, sometimes even the universe just gives up and believes them.
22nd Aug '16 11:15:26 AM HighCrate
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*** In the case of Caradhras, it's implied in the books that Caradhras (the mountain) has some control over its own storms, and dislikes dwarves. In the movies, they replace this by explicitly showing that Saruman amped up the storm to try and force them to come south through the Gap of Rohan, right by his territory.
** Invoked when some elves of Lothlórien reveal that what is magic and what is mundane is a question of perspective in Middle-Earth, as the elves themselves have no concept of "magic" -- a lot of things that are natural to the elves are considered magic by mortals, simultaneously lumping it together with methods employed by Sauron, which the elves will never use.

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*** In the case of Caradhras, it's implied in the books that Caradhras (the mountain) has some control over its own storms, and dislikes dwarves. In the movies, they replace this by explicitly showing that Saruman amped up the storm to try and force them to come south through the Gap of Rohan, right by his territory.
** Invoked when some elves of Lothlórien reveal that what is magic and what is mundane is a question of perspective in Middle-Earth, as the elves themselves have no concept of "magic" -- a lot of things that are natural to the elves are considered magic by mortals, simultaneously lumping it together with methods employed by Sauron, which the elves will never use.
21st Aug '16 6:50:52 PM JMQwilleran
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* This is firmly at play in the ''Crimebiters'' series of novels for young readers in which the protagonist has a dog named Abby who is most active night, seems to have fangs and which he claims is a "vampire dog," though none of his friends believe it. The books themselves don't really make it clear either way and the protagonist eventually comes to accept that it's probably best if his dog has a secret identity anyway.
20th Aug '16 12:28:40 AM Doug86
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* In ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', the Hellhound entity that resides within Guts. Its presence being hinted in the early Black Swordsman Arc and having a full physical debut in the Lost Children Arc, fans speculate ''what'' the Hellhound is and ''where'' it exactly came from. Is it an independent spirit that latched onto Guts during the Eclipse event, or is it merely a trauma-induced hallucination spurred by the traumatic Eclipse? Is the Beast a separate and malevolent force that has always resided within Guts since birth, or is the Beast in fact ''Guts himself'' and is just an anthropomorphization of his darker nature? As the setting of ''Berserk'' has ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve in full effect, it '''could''' have started out as an abstract idea but then [[{{Tulpa}} took a life of its own through Guts' constant contact with the supernatural world]]. We just don't know what the Hellhound is and might never know.

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* In ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'', ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', the Hellhound entity that resides within Guts. Its presence being hinted in the early Black Swordsman Arc and having a full physical debut in the Lost Children Arc, fans speculate ''what'' the Hellhound is and ''where'' it exactly came from. Is it an independent spirit that latched onto Guts during the Eclipse event, or is it merely a trauma-induced hallucination spurred by the traumatic Eclipse? Is the Beast a separate and malevolent force that has always resided within Guts since birth, or is the Beast in fact ''Guts himself'' and is just an anthropomorphization of his darker nature? As the setting of ''Berserk'' has ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve in full effect, it '''could''' have started out as an abstract idea but then [[{{Tulpa}} took a life of its own through Guts' constant contact with the supernatural world]]. We just don't know what the Hellhound is and might never know.



* A number of things that BigBad Altena does in ''{{Anime/Noir}}'' don't seem possible unless she has some manner of magical/psychic powers, with one scene in particular involving her watching three candles that represent the "saplings" or candidates for her plan to recreate the titular Noir, a duo of two girls who "govern death" on behalf of an AncientConspiracy. When one of the candles goes out [[spoiler:representing how one, Chloe, has just died]] Altena not only seems to know ''what'' it means but ''which'' sapling it was referring to. Not to mention how Altena is generally pretty unsettling and vaguely supernatural, and lives in an EldritchLocation somewhere between Spain and France that happens to feature [[spoiler:an active '''volcano''']].

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* A number of things that BigBad Altena does in ''{{Anime/Noir}}'' ''Anime/{{Noir}}'' don't seem possible unless she has some manner of magical/psychic powers, with one scene in particular involving her watching three candles that represent the "saplings" or candidates for her plan to recreate the titular Noir, a duo of two girls who "govern death" on behalf of an AncientConspiracy. When one of the candles goes out [[spoiler:representing how one, Chloe, has just died]] Altena not only seems to know ''what'' it means but ''which'' sapling it was referring to. Not to mention how Altena is generally pretty unsettling and vaguely supernatural, and lives in an EldritchLocation somewhere between Spain and France that happens to feature [[spoiler:an active '''volcano''']].



* In ''{{Peanuts}}'', does Snoopy's dog house really fly, or is it just his imagination? There's also the question of how it can be BiggerOnTheInside, and how he got all the stuff that is supposedly inside it; [[TakeMyWordForIt claims have been made by him and other characters]] that it contains a television, pool table, a book collection, and even a Van Gogh (which he replaced with an Andrew Wyeth after the dog house was destroyed in a fire).

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* In ''{{Peanuts}}'', ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', does Snoopy's dog house really fly, or is it just his imagination? There's also the question of how it can be BiggerOnTheInside, and how he got all the stuff that is supposedly inside it; [[TakeMyWordForIt claims have been made by him and other characters]] that it contains a television, pool table, a book collection, and even a Van Gogh (which he replaced with an Andrew Wyeth after the dog house was destroyed in a fire).



* ''{{Film/Birdman}}'' ultimately leaves it ambiguous as to whether Riggan's telekinetic powers were real, although some parts heavily imply that he was imagining them, or at the very least exaggerating them.

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* ''{{Film/Birdman}}'' ''Film/{{Birdman}}'' ultimately leaves it ambiguous as to whether Riggan's telekinetic powers were real, although some parts heavily imply that he was imagining them, or at the very least exaggerating them.



* The final Franchise/DocSavage novel, ''Up From Earth's Center'' involves a trek through strange caverns which might be Hell. Though they try to rationally explain it as shared hallucinations caused by exposure to gas, they don't seem to be 100% convinced.



* ''{{Series/Community}}'' has featured malicious robots, ghosts, telepaths, and evil alternate reality versions of the main characters. In all cases it's unclear whether the supernatural elements exist only in the characters' imagination. Ironically the zombie plague caused by infected meat, the one incident that almost definitely ''did'' happen, is the one [[LaserGuidedAmnesia no one can remember.]]

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* ''{{Series/Community}}'' ''Series/{{Community}}'' has featured malicious robots, ghosts, telepaths, and evil alternate reality versions of the main characters. In all cases it's unclear whether the supernatural elements exist only in the characters' imagination. Ironically the zombie plague caused by infected meat, the one incident that almost definitely ''did'' happen, is the one [[LaserGuidedAmnesia no one can remember.]]



* The ChristmasEpisode of ''{{Series/Eureka}}'' features Dr [[MeaningfulName Noah Drummer]], whose experiment will supposedly bring "peace to Earth," but which actually saves the town and gives it a [[DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas White Christmas]], before he leaves, saying he has "an errand to run", but will be back at the same time next year.

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* The ChristmasEpisode of ''{{Series/Eureka}}'' ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' features Dr [[MeaningfulName Noah Drummer]], whose experiment will supposedly bring "peace to Earth," but which actually saves the town and gives it a [[DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas White Christmas]], before he leaves, saying he has "an errand to run", but will be back at the same time next year.



* The ColdOpen of a ''{{Series/CSI}}'' episode showing a psychic giving a reading that makes no sense to her customers, but it apparently turns out that she had foreseen her own death. Or she was a crappy psychic who was just looking around the room for random things to say and the connection of those things to her death were entirely coincidental.

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* The ColdOpen of a ''{{Series/CSI}}'' ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode showing a psychic giving a reading that makes no sense to her customers, but it apparently turns out that she had foreseen her own death. Or she was a crappy psychic who was just looking around the room for random things to say and the connection of those things to her death were entirely coincidental.



* In a more sci-fi spin on the trope, River's PsychicPowers from ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' are left very ambiguous, with minor hints pushing the audience and the characters to suspect that River can read minds. It's implied they would have been explored further had the [[ScrewedByTheNetwork show not been canceled prematurely]], and they are confirmed in the BigDamnMovie ''{{Film/Serenity}}''.

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* In a more sci-fi spin on the trope, River's PsychicPowers from ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' are left very ambiguous, with minor hints pushing the audience and the characters to suspect that River can read minds. It's implied they would have been explored further had the [[ScrewedByTheNetwork show not been canceled prematurely]], and they are confirmed in the BigDamnMovie ''{{Film/Serenity}}''.''Film/{{Serenity}}''.



* In the musical version of ''{{Theatre/Heathers}}'', Veronica sees ([[DeadPersonConversation and talks to]]) the ghosts of [[SerialKiller her boyfriend's]] victims multiple times throughout the show. But since only Veronica sees them, and she gradually grows more and more unstable, it's left up to the audience to decide if the ghosts are really there or just a hallucination. At one point, the ghosts warn her of danger, but that could also be chalked up to Veronica's gut feeling, especially considering she was ProperlyParanoid already. Essentially, it's up to you whether the ghosts caused Veronica's SanitySlippage, or if it was the other way around.

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* In the musical version of ''{{Theatre/Heathers}}'', ''Theatre/{{Heathers}}'', Veronica sees ([[DeadPersonConversation and talks to]]) the ghosts of [[SerialKiller her boyfriend's]] victims multiple times throughout the show. But since only Veronica sees them, and she gradually grows more and more unstable, it's left up to the audience to decide if the ghosts are really there or just a hallucination. At one point, the ghosts warn her of danger, but that could also be chalked up to Veronica's gut feeling, especially considering she was ProperlyParanoid already. Essentially, it's up to you whether the ghosts caused Veronica's SanitySlippage, or if it was the other way around.
13th Aug '16 11:06:39 PM Caswin
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* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt,'' the Egyptian priests' magic is presented this way--they change their staffs into snakes in the middle of a huge VillainSong, with a bright flash that keeps the audience from seeing what actually happens. They also move impossibly far in parts of the song when the screen goes dark for an instant, but that could just be musical convention instead of in-universe magic. Them turning water into blood looks more obviously fake, though: they just add some powder that gives it a reddish tint. Of course, the point of the demonstration was to make Moses look like a deceiver.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt,'' the Egyptian priests' magic is presented this way--they change their staffs into snakes in the middle of a huge VillainSong, with a bright flash that keeps the audience from seeing what actually happens. They also move impossibly far in parts of the song when the screen goes dark for an instant, but that could just be musical convention instead of in-universe magic. Earlier on, their presentation of Tzipporah in tribute to Rameses wouldn't be out of place in a modern magic show, apart from how "the Midian girl" is tied up for real. Them turning water into blood looks more obviously fake, though: they just add some powder that gives it a reddish tint. Of course, the point of the demonstration was to make Moses look like a deceiver.
6th Aug '16 3:23:54 PM erforce
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* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', a side quest has Marston meeting up with a mysterious stranger who seems to know an awful lot about him while also remaining impervious to bullets. Is this man some sort of supernatural entity? Is he all in Marston's mind? The game isn't really clear on that one.
** Some of the bosses in the previous game, ''RedDeadRevolver'' count. One can teleport, one can move at extreme speeds, one has an army of zombies...

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* ''Red Dead'' series:
**
In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', a side quest has Marston meeting up with a mysterious stranger who seems to know an awful lot about him while also remaining impervious to bullets. Is this man some sort of supernatural entity? Is he all in Marston's mind? The game isn't really clear on that one.
** Some of the bosses in the previous game, ''RedDeadRevolver'' ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'' count. One can teleport, one can move at extreme speeds, one has an army of zombies...
31st Jul '16 12:05:21 PM WretchedElaphine
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* In ''Series/CrazyExGirlfriend'', the [[SpiritAdvisor Dream Ghost]] shows Rebecca things that she should have no way of knowing, but claims to be a manifestation of her subconscious, so it could be that she already knew these things deep down. Heavily lampshaded in the song:
-->'''Dream Ghost''': It's not clear if I'm hallucinated or actually magic. Let's keep it vague; it's more interesting that way!
26th Jul '16 8:36:19 AM ChronoLegion
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* Several episodes of ''Series/SevenDays'' play with the concept of supernatural but never outright confirm or deny it. One episode has a Brazilian shaman appear to cause a thunderstorm to appear out of nowhere to power a Sphere. Another episode has a voodoo practitioner possibly cause an execution to be stopped and the true villain punished. Yet another episode possibly implies that the villain (a chrononaut from years in the future, who attempts to kick-start WorldWarThree) may, in fact, be TheDevil. Then again, this is a show that uses alien technology to go back in time and has featured aliens several times, as well as a gremlin-like creature from another dimension. Various problems with the Sphere have also caused Parker to become the Pope, travel to the MirrorUniverse, mentally revert to his ten-year-old self, meet a dead person, and become a ghost himself. At that point, it seems pretty silly to outright discount the supernatural.
25th Jul '16 6:11:16 PM Donquill
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** The episode "The Thirty-Fathom Grave". A U.S. Navy destroyer crew investigates a strange knocking sound coming from a submarine sunk years earlier. One of the ship's crew escaped the sinking sub and feels SurvivorGuilt: he thinks his old crew is angry at him because he didn't die with them. At the end it's revealed that an object inside the sub ''could'' have been making the knocking sound.

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** The episode "The Thirty-Fathom Grave". A U.S. Navy destroyer crew investigates a strange knocking sound coming from a submarine sunk years earlier. One of the ship's crew escaped the sinking sub and feels SurvivorGuilt: he thinks his old crew is angry at him because he didn't die with them. At the end it's revealed that an object inside the sub ''could'' have been making the knocking sound. But was it the periscope or the hammer in the drowned sailor's hand?



** In "scared to Death" it appears that the ghost of a serial killer is sending cursed DVDs to the people who testified against him, scaring them to death. It turns out not to be the case, obviously enough, but one thing is left unsolved after the real culprit is caught, what happened to his body? [[spoiler:Turns out, he was never buried, his body disappeared from the morgue and the coffin was buried empty. Were his claims of immortality true, did he find a way to survive his execution and escape, or did someone steal the body?]].



** In one episode,an attempted victim is believed to be the Antichrist by the villain. When Castle knocks the weapon away from him, he goes after it and a number of pipes fall on him. The supposed Antichrist comments on how lucky that that was, but it's left ambiguous wheter or not it was just lick or if he used his demonic powers to cause them to fall.

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** In one episode,an attempted victim is believed to be the Antichrist by the villain. When Castle knocks the weapon away from him, he goes after it and a number of pipes fall on him. The supposed Antichrist comments on how lucky that that was, but it's left ambiguous wheter whether or not it was just lick luck or if he used his demonic powers to cause them to fall.
24th Jul '16 9:39:02 AM Mr_White
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* ''Film/TheMenWhoStareAtGoats'': The film never answers if there's real psychic powers or not. [[spoiler:The main character does run through a wall at the end...]]

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* ''Film/TheMenWhoStareAtGoats'': The film never answers if there's real psychic powers or not. [[spoiler:The main character does run through a wall at the end...]]end. However, a second after he's shown doing so, a picture frame falls off the wall, implying that he could have actually slammed into it but imagined himself going through.]] Like every other "paranormal" incident in the movie, it's up to the viewer to decide.
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