History Main / ScoobyDooHoax

15th Sep '17 6:04:03 PM Kayube
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* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' presented a variation of this trope in "Devil's Due", in which a woman named Ardra claimed to be an alien civilization's version of the Devil in order to scare the populace into submission. Picard refused to believe her, observing that all of her "demonstrations of power" could be performed with readily available 24th century technology.

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* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' presented a variation of this trope in "Devil's Due", in which a woman named Ardra claimed to be an alien civilization's version of the Devil in order to scare the populace into submission. Picard refused to believe her, observing that all of her "demonstrations of power" could be performed with readily available 24th century technology. The crew manages to expose the hoax by uncovering and taking control of the cloaked ship that was controlling the effects.
4th Sep '17 5:36:27 AM comicwriter
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* Early on in ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}'', it's established that the school has an abandoned storehouse, which Avril claims is haunted by the ghost of a former student. It later turns out "Avril" is actually a PhantomThief named Kuiaran the Second, who has been posing as a student as part of a heist. The "ghost" that was making strange thumping and moaning noises? That was the ''real'' Avril, who had been left BoundAndGagged inside the storehouse after Kuiaran stole her identity.
3rd Sep '17 4:59:39 PM foxley
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* ''Series/FatherBrown'': A fake UFO is used to create a diversion for a jail break in "Fire in the Sky".
16th Aug '17 7:47:10 AM StFan
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In the old days, this apparently really worked. Smugglers could scare away intruders by dressing as ghosts. Nowadays, however, this would be a really stupid ploy, as many alleged real life haunted houses and areas of "paranormal activity" are tourist attractions. The criminals wouldn't be able to move for New Agers, [=UFOlogists=], people from shows like ''Series/MythBusters'', James Randi fans, and other rubberneckers (Not to mention [[YouMeddlingKids meddling kids]], as well as local authorities for that matter.)

This trope crops up a lot in works aimed at children, especially ones from the mid 20th Century. It allows the creator to play with some mild horror tropes in children's entertainment without irritating the MoralGuardians or introducing the supernatural to a real life setting. Sometimes the Hoax revolves around the application of one scientific fact or theatrical technique, for a [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle valuable educational lesson.]]

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In the old days, this apparently really worked. Smugglers could scare away intruders by dressing as ghosts. Nowadays, however, this would be a really stupid ploy, as many alleged real life haunted houses and areas of "paranormal activity" are tourist attractions. The criminals wouldn't be able to move for New Agers, [=UFOlogists=], people from shows like ''Series/MythBusters'', James Randi fans, and other rubberneckers (Not (not to mention [[YouMeddlingKids meddling kids]], as well as local authorities for that matter.)

matter).

This trope crops up a lot in works aimed at children, especially ones from the mid 20th mid-20[[superscript:th]] Century. It allows the creator to play with some mild horror tropes in children's entertainment without irritating the MoralGuardians or introducing the supernatural to a real life real-life setting. Sometimes the Hoax revolves around the application of one scientific fact or theatrical technique, for a [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle valuable educational lesson.]]



One of the major exceptions to SkepticismFailure. See also MonsterProtectionRacket, where the monsters are real but they're being set up. The Inversion of a Scooby Doo Hoax is MistakenForAnImposter. For the good counterpart, see ScarecrowSolution.

Because the existence of a Scooby Doo Hoax tends to remain secret from the audience until the ending and belie earlier assumptions, mere presence on this list can be considered a '''spoiler'''.

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One of the major exceptions to SkepticismFailure. See also MonsterProtectionRacket, where the monsters are real but they're being set up. The Inversion of a Scooby Doo "Scooby-Doo" Hoax is MistakenForAnImposter. For the good counterpart, see ScarecrowSolution.

Because the existence of a Scooby Doo "Scooby-Doo" Hoax tends to remain secret from the audience until the ending and belie earlier assumptions, mere presence on this list can be considered a '''spoiler'''.



* In the Scooby-Doo-themed episode of ''Manga/AttackOnTitanJuniorHigh'', the 1st years participated in the [[Main/{{Kimodameshi}} 57th Test of Courage]] to search for the "Wonders of Titan Junior High", only to realize that the ghosts that haunt the school are actually the 2nd and 3rd years pulling the strings.

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* In the Scooby-Doo-themed episode of ''Manga/AttackOnTitanJuniorHigh'', the 1st 1[[superscript:st]] years participated in the [[Main/{{Kimodameshi}} [[{{Kimodameshi}} 57th Test of Courage]] to search for the "Wonders of Titan Junior High", only to realize that the ghosts that haunt the school are actually the 2nd 2[[superscript:nd]] and 3rd 3[[superscript:rd]] years pulling the strings.



** In the comic "The Old Castle's Secret," the ghost of Sir Quackly [=McDuck=] turns out to be a jewel thief using "invisibility spray." Creator/CarlBarks commented that he wanted to do a "HauntedCastle" story but at that time including "real" supernatural events such as ghosts in a Disney comic was strictly taboo.
** Another Carl Barks example comes from the story "Terror of the River", where Donald and his nephews investigate a giant serpent-monster terrorizing a waterway. The "monster" turns out a realistic inflatable model controlled by a guy in a submarine. As opposed to some of the other examples on this page, the perp had no ulterior motive-he was just a JerkAss who [[ForTheEvulz liked scaring people for the heck of it.]]

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** In the comic "The Old Castle's Secret," the ghost of Sir Quackly [=McDuck=] turns out to be a jewel thief using "invisibility spray." spray". Creator/CarlBarks commented that he wanted to do a "HauntedCastle" story but at that time including "real" supernatural events such as ghosts in a Disney comic was strictly taboo.
** Another Carl Barks example comes from the story "Terror of the River", where Donald and his nephews investigate a giant serpent-monster terrorizing a waterway. The "monster" turns out a realistic inflatable model controlled by a guy in a submarine. As opposed to some of the other examples on this page, the perp had has no ulterior motive-he was motive -- he is just a JerkAss {{Jerkass}} who [[ForTheEvulz liked likes scaring people for the heck of it.]]



--->'''Sirocco''': They are common thieves. Seeking to profit from people's fears.
** In a Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} Silver Age story, the titular heroine spends the night at a haunted house to find out why everyone who stays overnight is driven insane. It turns out that the supposedly-missing mansion's owner was a criminal that built an illusion-generator machine to keep nosy people out.
** In another Pre-Crisis story, Supergirl investigates an allegedly haunted theater and comes upon some kind of ghoulish creature while checking the place out. Said "ghoul" was actually the theater's owner dressing up like a monster as part of a Supergirl's enemy's scheme to lure the Girl of Steel into a trap.

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--->'''Sirocco''': --->'''Sirocco:''' They are common thieves. Seeking to profit from people's fears.
** In a Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' Silver Age story, the titular heroine spends the night at a haunted house to find out why everyone who stays overnight is driven insane. It turns out that the supposedly-missing supposedly missing mansion's owner was a criminal that built an illusion-generator machine to keep nosy people out.
** In another Pre-Crisis story, Supergirl investigates an allegedly haunted theater and comes upon some kind of ghoulish creature while checking the place out. Said "ghoul" was is actually the theater's owner dressing up like a monster as part of a Supergirl's enemy's scheme to lure the Girl of Steel into a trap.



* ''Comicbook/{{Hellboy}}'': In one Lobster Johnson story, a mobster dresses up a bunch of murderous goons in Native American costumes and phosphorous paint to scare people out a neighborhood so he can buy up the property cheap and build a highway. After Lobster Johnson kills the goons the mobster's assistant gets a real ghost to burn everything down.

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* ''Comicbook/{{Hellboy}}'': ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'': In one Lobster Johnson story, a mobster dresses up a bunch of murderous goons in Native American costumes and phosphorous paint to scare people out a neighborhood so he can buy up the property cheap and build a highway. After Lobster Johnson kills the goons the mobster's assistant gets a real ghost to burn everything down.



* In the MLP FanFic ''FanFic/WeRentTheNight'', a cult worshiping ''The God of Destruction'' on a small island, turns out to be an elaborate ScamReligion. The real purpose is to brainwash innocent ponies into aiding a local smuggling operation.

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* In the MLP FanFic ''FanFic/WeRentTheNight'', ''Fanfic/WeRentTheNight'', a cult worshiping ''The God of Destruction'' on a small island, turns out to be an elaborate ScamReligion. The real purpose is to brainwash innocent ponies into aiding a local smuggling operation.



* ''Film/JamesBond''

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* ''Film/JamesBond''''Film/JamesBond'':



* ''Film/CaptainClegg'' is about a circle of rumrunners, led by Creator/PeterCushing, who use this to try to scare away or distract the law.

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* ''Film/CaptainClegg'' is about a circle of rumrunners, rum-runners, led by Creator/PeterCushing, who use this to try to scare away or distract the law.



* Famously subverted in the ''Film/SleepyHollow'' movie. In the original story by Washington Irving, the HeadlessHorseman was an elaborate prank to scare an aloof schoolteacher. In the film, it really exists. In a nod to the original story though, the first run-in Ichabod has with the Horseman is a fraud - a jealous Brom Bones was disguised as the being as a prank. He also initially believes the Horseman really is a fraud, and sets out to "expose" him.
* Played with in the French supernatural thriller ''Film/{{Vidocq}}'': powerful men die one after another from a lightning strike, bursting into flames in the process. It turns out that they were narcissistic perverts with a desire for young virgins. A sophisticated lightning rod mechanism along with a piece of gold in each of the men's hats, and gunpowder dust on their coats resolves that somebody simply wants to make a demonstration of divine retribution on these horrible people. Then it turns out that the killer ''was'' a supernatural creature all along, and used this method to hide his true nature, and the true motivation for the murders.

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* Famously subverted in the ''Film/SleepyHollow'' movie. In the original story by Washington Irving, the HeadlessHorseman was an elaborate prank to scare an aloof schoolteacher. In the film, it really exists. In a nod to the original story though, the first run-in Ichabod has with the Horseman is a fraud - -- a jealous Brom Bones was is disguised as the being as a prank. He also initially believes the Horseman really is a fraud, and sets out to "expose" him.
* Played with in the French supernatural thriller ''Film/{{Vidocq}}'': powerful men die one after another from a lightning strike, bursting into flames in the process. It turns out that they were narcissistic perverts with a desire for young virgins. A sophisticated lightning rod mechanism along with a piece of gold in each of the men's hats, and gunpowder dust on their coats resolves that somebody simply wants to make a demonstration of divine retribution on these horrible people. Then it turns out that the killer ''was'' 'is'' a supernatural creature all along, and used this method to hide his true nature, and the true motivation for the murders.



* In ''Film/TheVillage'', the creatures lurking in the forest were originally a ScoobyDooHoax concocted by the Elders to prevent the younger residents from venturing outside and learning that they're not actually living in pioneer times. One of the young villagers co-opts this Hoax to cover up his own psychopathic misdeeds.

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* In ''Film/TheVillage'', the creatures lurking in the forest were originally a ScoobyDooHoax hoax concocted by the Elders to prevent the younger residents from venturing outside and learning that they're not actually living in pioneer times. One of the young villagers co-opts this Hoax hoax to cover up his own psychopathic misdeeds.



* One infamous Scooby Doo hoax is shown in ''Film/JulesVernesMysteryOnMonsterIsland'' when at the end we discover that [[spoiler:all the monsters are fake and are just a test from the main character's father to see if he is worthy of inheritance]].
* In the original ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans1981'', Ammon the poet first appears dressed up in a creepy mask and robe. He claims to use this get-up to scare trespassers away from the amphitheater.

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* One infamous Scooby Doo hoax is shown in ''Film/JulesVernesMysteryOnMonsterIsland'' when at the end we discover that [[spoiler:all the monsters are fake and are just a test from the main character's father to see if he is worthy of inheritance]].
* In the original ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans1981'', ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|1981}}'', Ammon the poet first appears dressed up in a creepy mask and robe. He claims to use this get-up to scare trespassers away from the amphitheater.



* Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', being a parody of ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', had one member of Ankh-Morpork's Opera House dressing as "The Ghost", terrorizing and even killing members of the cast in order to hide his embezzlement. At the same time, there was an actual "Ghost" roaming the opera house who gave nighttime lessons to promising singers and left rose stems scented with rose oil to reward exceptional performances.
** Who also was a member of the opera house.
** Note that the Opera Ghost almost never pretends to be actually a ghost. He's perfectly happy to be a guy in a mask...
** Although those scented rose stems actually ''do'' bloom into ghostly roses when in darkness. At the end, Agnes laments that she'll probably never know how the "Ghost" managed that. But Discworld runs on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve, so it might have been enough that people ''thought'' the Ghost was supernatural.
** Also in Discworld, in ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', Jeannie tells the Feegles about how another clan of pictsies drove off a rival clan's raiding party by climbing inside a scarecrow and moving it around, fooling their enemies into thinking it was a human ('bigjob') by whom they didn't want to be seen.

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* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
**
Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', being a parody of ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', had ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', has one member of Ankh-Morpork's Opera House dressing as "The Ghost", terrorizing and even killing members of the cast in order to hide his embezzlement. At the same time, there was is an actual "Ghost" roaming the opera house who gave gives nighttime lessons to promising singers and left leaves rose stems scented with rose oil to reward exceptional performances.
**
performances. Who also was is a member of the opera house.
**
house. Note that the Opera Ghost almost never pretends to be actually a ghost. He's perfectly happy to be a guy in a mask...
**
mask... Although those scented rose stems actually ''do'' bloom into ghostly roses when in darkness. At the end, Agnes laments that she'll probably never know how the "Ghost" managed that. But Discworld runs on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve, so it might have been enough that people ''thought'' the Ghost was supernatural.
** Also in Discworld, in In ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', Jeannie tells the Feegles about how another clan of pictsies drove off a rival clan's raiding party by climbing inside a scarecrow and moving it around, fooling their enemies into thinking it was a human ('bigjob') ("bigjob") by whom they didn't want to be seen.



* ''Literature/GarrettPI'': In ''Bitter Gold Hearts'', Garrett recalls investigating one of these cases, in which a murder was rigged to look like a werewolf attack.

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* ''Literature/GarrettPI'': ''Literature/GarrettPI'':
**
In ''Bitter Gold Hearts'', Garrett recalls investigating one of these cases, in which a murder was rigged to look like a werewolf attack.



* These plots happen to NancyDrew and the HardyBoys all the time in their books, and have spilled over into the former's video game franchise.
** Very common also in Creator/EnidBlyton's various mystery series.

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* These plots happen to NancyDrew Literature/NancyDrew and the HardyBoys Literature/TheHardyBoys all the time in their books, and have spilled over into the former's video game franchise.
** * Very common also in Creator/EnidBlyton's various mystery series.



* An inversion in the ''Literature/{{Temps}}'' short story "Leaks" by Creator/DavidLangford, in which the main character is a low-level paranorm investigating an "entropy ray" aimed at government vehicles. Firstly he realises this is a hoax, it's just someone swapping out engine parts for profit. Secondly, he realises that the ''reason'' for the hoax (when [[RevealingCoverUp otherwise no-one would have noticed]]) is because someone ''wanted'' the DPR to send a low-level paranorm to investigate, for sinister reasons of their own.

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* An inversion in the ''Literature/{{Temps}}'' short story "Leaks" by Creator/DavidLangford, in which the main character is a low-level paranorm investigating an "entropy ray" aimed at government vehicles. Firstly he realises this is a hoax, it's just someone swapping out engine parts for profit. Secondly, he realises realizes that the ''reason'' for the hoax (when [[RevealingCoverUp otherwise no-one would have noticed]]) is because someone ''wanted'' the DPR to send a low-level paranorm to investigate, for sinister reasons of their own.



* The [[Literature/DirkPittAdventures Dirk Pitt novel]] ''Night Probe!'' has a couple set up a fake ghost train to attract tourists. It's one of the few examples here without malicious intentions and the couple readily admit to it when Pitt figures it out. On top of that, this discovery leads Pitt to figure out [[spoiler: what actually happened to the train.]]

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* The [[Literature/DirkPittAdventures ''[[Literature/DirkPittAdventures Dirk Pitt novel]] Pitt]]'' novel ''Night Probe!'' has a couple set up a fake ghost train to attract tourists. It's one of the few examples here without malicious intentions and the couple readily admit to it when Pitt figures it out. On top of that, this discovery leads Pitt to figure out [[spoiler: what actually happened to the train.]]



* In ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman:

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* In ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman:''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'':



* Bizarrely, ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' had "My Master, The Ghost Breaker". Major Nelson inherits an English manor. Unfortunately, Nelson's crooked English solicitor tries to scare Nelson off so he could sell the manor and keep the proceeds. Features a shocking bit of ArbitrarySkepticism on Major Nelson's part, when this master of a genie repeatedly denies that ghosts can possibly exist! There's also the fact that Jeannie herself contradicts Nelson and says they do! The trope is subverted at the very end, when a real ghost shows up and frightens ''everybody'' away.

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* Bizarrely, ''Series/IDreamOfJeannie'' had has "My Master, The Ghost Breaker". Major Nelson inherits an English manor. Unfortunately, Nelson's crooked English solicitor tries to scare Nelson off so he could sell the manor and keep the proceeds. Features a shocking bit of ArbitrarySkepticism on Major Nelson's part, when this master of a genie repeatedly denies that ghosts can can't possibly exist! There's also the fact that Jeannie herself contradicts Nelson and says they do! The trope is subverted at the very end, when a real ghost shows up and frightens ''everybody'' away.



* Ditto, in the short-lived series, ''BlackestMagic''.

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* Ditto, in the short-lived series, ''BlackestMagic''.''Literature/BlackestMagic''.



** Also in Quagmire, [[spoiler:Big Blue, a lochnessmonsterlike monster, turns out to be an alligator. But when Scully and Mulder are gone the audience does see Big Blue.]]

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** Also in Quagmire, [[spoiler:Big Blue, a lochnessmonsterlike loch-ness-monster-like monster, turns out to be an alligator. But when Scully and Mulder are gone the audience does see Big Blue.]]



* The ''Series/PushingDaisies'' episode "Girth" does this rather more violently, with people being ''killed'', apparently by a ghost. It turns out to be someone who is very much alive.
** Played with in the sense that the murderer [[spoiler: is disguising herself as someone who isn't really dead either.]]
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Joey does not want Monica and Chandler to buy a new house. He meets a young girl, played by Dakota Fanning, and suggests that she tell Chandler a ghost lives in the house so that they will be scared away. Fanning replies, "What are you, like, eight?"
** When Joey confesses his plan to them, Chandler and Monica turn it around and tell him that the only little girl who lived in the house died twenty years ago. This scares Joey until they tell him that they're just messing with his head. Joey replies, "That's not funny! You know I'm afraid of little girl ghosts!"

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* The ''Series/PushingDaisies'' episode "Girth" does this rather more violently, with people being ''killed'', apparently by a ghost. It turns out to be someone who is very much alive.
**
alive. Played with in the sense that the murderer [[spoiler: is [[spoiler:is disguising herself as someone who isn't really dead either.]]
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Joey does not want Monica and Chandler to buy a new house. He meets a young girl, played by Dakota Fanning, and suggests that she tell Chandler a ghost lives in the house so that they will be scared away. Fanning replies, "What are you, like, eight?"
**
eight?" When Joey confesses his plan to them, Chandler and Monica turn it around and tell him that the only little girl who lived in the house died twenty years ago. This scares Joey until they tell him that they're just messing with his head. Joey replies, "That's not funny! You know I'm afraid of little girl ghosts!"



* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':



[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The Scooby-Do parody short in ''WebAnimation/ReverseJurassicPark'' has an unusual twist: at the end the Phreaky Phanto is revealed to be a hoax... meant to keep people from investigating the house and discovering [[spoiler: the real ghost haunting it]]. Apparently they affect property value.
[[/folder]]



* The Scooby-Do parody short in ''WebAnimation/ReverseJurassicPark'' has an unusual twist: at the end the Phreaky Phanto is revealed to be a hoax... meant to keep people from investigating the house and discovering [[spoiler: the real ghost haunting it]]. Apparently they affect property value.



* The TropeMaker might be "Felix the Ghost Breaker" (1923), an early WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat cartoon. In a direct anticipation of one verison of the later Scooby formula, the crook of the moment disguises himself as a ghost to scare an old farmer off of his land. Ironically, the cartoon didn't explain how the crook's disguise enabled him to do ''real'' ghostly things like fly, disappear, and walk through walls. Movie reviewers of the time complained about the cartoon's lack of logic.

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* The TropeMaker might be "Felix the Ghost Breaker" (1923), an early WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'' cartoon. In a direct anticipation of one verison version of the later Scooby formula, the crook of the moment disguises himself as a ghost to scare an old farmer off of his land. Ironically, the cartoon didn't explain how the crook's disguise enabled him to do ''real'' ghostly things like fly, disappear, and walk through walls. Movie reviewers of the time complained about the cartoon's lack of logic.



** ''Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'': Played straight through most of the entire run. The sole exception is the episode "Foul Play in Funland", where the out-of-control robot terrorizing an elderly couple's amusement park...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin turned out to actually be an out-of-control robot]], originally built by the elderly man as an assistant.

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** ''Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!'': Played straight through most of the entire run. run.
***
The sole exception is the episode "Foul Play in Funland", where the out-of-control robot terrorizing an elderly couple's amusement park...park... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin turned out to actually be an out-of-control robot]], originally built by the elderly man as an assistant.



** ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'': {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d, then {{Subverted|Trope}} later on - as quoted above, the movie boasted a musical montage of Mystery Inc. [[GenreSavvy getting bored with solving Scooby Doo Hoaxes]]. Then they investigate an island populated by zombies, ghosts, and monsters, [[GenreShift who all turn out to be]] ''[[GenreShift real]]''. Still considered one of the franchise's highest points, it's notable for being the first real subversion of the trope in the series, with "This time, the monsters are real" being its tagline.
** ''Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost'': Subversion - The entire town pulls a ScoobyDooHoax for the opposite reason: to attract tourists. The real supernatural threat is actually working ''with the gang'' to investigate the fake one!
** ''Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders'': Subversion - there are both fake aliens and real aliens, but the real ones are ''good''.

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** ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'': {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d, then {{Subverted|Trope}} later on - -- as quoted above, the movie boasted a musical montage of Mystery Inc. [[GenreSavvy getting bored with solving Scooby Doo "Scooby-Doo" Hoaxes]]. Then they investigate an island populated by zombies, ghosts, and monsters, [[GenreShift who all turn out to be]] ''[[GenreShift real]]''. Still considered one of the franchise's highest points, it's notable for being the first real subversion of the trope in the series, with "This time, the monsters are real" being its tagline.
** ''Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost'': Subversion - The -- the entire town pulls a ScoobyDooHoax for the opposite reason: to attract tourists. The real supernatural threat is actually working ''with the gang'' to investigate the fake one!
** ''Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders'': Subversion - -- there are both fake aliens and real aliens, but the real ones are ''good''.



** ''Film/ScoobyDooMonstersUnleashed'': [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]]: Had the costumes used by the original criminals... being ANIMATED BY SUPERNATURAL FORCES. The BigBad that was behind it all had two masks pulled off him by the end.

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** ''Film/ScoobyDooMonstersUnleashed'': [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]]: Had Has the costumes used by the original criminals... being ANIMATED BY SUPERNATURAL FORCES. The BigBad that was is behind it all had has two masks pulled off him by the end.



* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeamoSupremo'' doesn't just feature a Scooby-Doo hoax; the foiled villain in that ep even uses the "YouMeddlingKids" line at the end.

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* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeamoSupremo'' doesn't just feature a Scooby-Doo hoax; "Scooby-Doo" Hoax; the foiled villain in that ep even uses the "YouMeddlingKids" line at the end.



* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' played with this sometimes (despite the presence of ''real'' supernatural elements in the show's setting).

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* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' played with this sometimes (despite the presence of ''real'' supernatural elements in the show's setting).



* DoubleSubverted in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' when the gang meets a man who masquerades as a swamp monster to protect his home. The thing is, the man maintains the disguise through genuine magical powers: bending the water within the vines to make strong, self-healing plant armor. But in this setting, that's not too unusual and people are more concerned by the fact he doesn't wear pants.
** The gang actually use one of these in "The Painted Lady" to scare off a bunch of Fire Nation soldiers and save a small town. Subverted again [[spoiler:as there really was a Painted Lady who thanks them for their work.]]
** Of course, the Spirit World is a very real place in the Avatar-verse, so...yeah.

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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
**
DoubleSubverted in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' when the gang meets a man who masquerades as a swamp monster to protect his home. The thing is, the man maintains the disguise through genuine magical powers: bending the water within the vines to make strong, self-healing plant armor. But in this setting, that's not too unusual and people are more concerned by the fact he doesn't wear pants.
** The gang actually use one of these in "The Painted Lady" to scare off a bunch of Fire Nation soldiers and save a small town. Subverted again [[spoiler:as there really was is a Painted Lady who thanks them for their work.]]
** Of course, the Spirit World is a very real place in the Avatar-verse, so... yeah.



* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' featured this in the episode "Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Max Modem". Dr. Doofenshmirtz's evil plot of the day was to use a holographic projector to stage an alien invasion and scare the citizens of the Tri-State Area into accepting him as their ruler.

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* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' featured features this in the episode "Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Max Modem". Dr. Doofenshmirtz's evil plot of the day was to use a holographic projector to stage an alien invasion and scare the citizens of the Tri-State Area into accepting him as their ruler.



* Occurs in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode, "Fry and the Eggman" when Fry's new pet ''(a bone vampire)'' gets framed by a man in a costume.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
**
Occurs in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode, episode "Fry and the Eggman" when Fry's new pet ''(a bone vampire)'' gets framed by a man in a costume.



* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' has an episode where a ghost terrorizes the ponies and drives them out of their home...and then turns out to be "merely" a shapeshifting, talking bird who needed them out of her way so she could take a ArtifactOfDoom.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' has an episode where a ghost terrorizes the ponies and drives them out of their home... and then turns out to be "merely" a shapeshifting, talking bird who needed them out of her way so she could take a ArtifactOfDoom.



* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' plays with the trope in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker". The end of the episode shows that Old Man [=McGucket=] was behind the robotic version of the titular monster. The last shot of the episode however shows [[spoiler:the real Gobblewonker [[RealAfterAll lurking beneath the lake]].]]
** Old Man [=McGucket=] even lampshades the ContrivedCoincidence of TheReveal.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' plays with the trope in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker". The end of the episode shows that Old Man [=McGucket=] was behind the robotic version of the titular monster. The last shot of the episode however shows [[spoiler:the real Gobblewonker [[RealAfterAll lurking beneath the lake]].]]
**
]] Old Man [=McGucket=] even lampshades the ContrivedCoincidence of TheReveal.



* ''WesternAnimation/WildWestCowboysOfMooMesa'' had this happen in the episode "Night of the Cowgoyle", where the titular monster turned out to be a crook disguising himself so he could smuggle gold.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/WildWestCowboysOfMooMesa'' had has this happen in the episode "Night of the Cowgoyle", where the titular monster turned turns out to be a crook disguising himself so he could smuggle gold.



* For a show about anthropomorphic talking animals ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'' is a fan of this trope. Every episode with monsters, cryptids or haunted houses will end with a rational explanation behind or a hoax. It seems that no supernatural creature exists in the Raccoon's universe… aside from talking animals.

to:

* For a show about anthropomorphic talking animals animals, ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'' is a fan of this trope. Every episode with monsters, cryptids or haunted houses will end with a rational explanation behind or a hoax. It seems that no supernatural creature exists in the Raccoon's universe… universe... aside from talking animals.
18th Jul '17 10:03:46 AM nerdorama09
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Added DiffLines:

* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'': This is the hypothesis of every character who doesn't believe in the legend of the Witch, including Battler and most of the adult Ushiromiyas - that someone is simply impersonating the fictional "Beatrice" for their own reasons, although since whoever it is really is murdering people, their motivations for doing so are [[spoiler:tragically]] considered a secondary concern.
8th Jul '17 11:25:08 PM CaptainTedium
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Added DiffLines:

* The ''WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies1980s'' episode "Ghost Hounder" had the Pound Puppies menaced by a large ghost dog known as the Terrible Terrier. It is eventually revealed that the ghost was actually Katrina Stoneheart's cat Catgut in disguise as part of a ploy to drive them out of the Puppy Pound.
29th Jun '17 3:23:51 PM StFan
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->''"Oh the ghost is here,''\\
''It's a crook in a suit.''\\
''The ghost is here'',\\
''He's protecting some loot.''\\
''The ghost is here,''\\
''Oh, give him the boot -''\\
''He's fake!"''

to:

->''"Oh the ghost is here,''\\
''It's
here,\\
It's
a crook in a suit.''\\
''The
\\
The
ghost is here'',\\
''He's
here,\\
He's
protecting some loot.''\\
''The
\\
The
ghost is here,''\\
''Oh,
here,\\
Oh,
give him the boot -''\\
''He's
boot--\\
He's
fake!"''



[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsLegendOfEverfree''. Timber Spruce's legend about Gaea Everfree looks like the typical setup for an hoax, and he is indeed discovered trying to further it by leaving trails of jewel dust whenever something weird happens at camp. However, he's doing it not to hide mundane shenanigans under a pretense of supernatural mystery, but to hide a ''different'' supernatural phenomenon. And unlike what Sunset came to believe, [[spoiler:it wasn't aimed at scaring off the campers, but to protect Gloriosa Daisy from suspicion after her attempts at making this summer unforgettable for the campers.]]
[[/folder]]



* ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera.'' The entire book is about the investigation of the "ghost" who forces the opera house management to bow to his whims; eventually, it is discovered that he is in fact a deformed genius hiding out in an elaborate lair beneath the building.

to:

* ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera.'' ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. The entire book is about the investigation of the "ghost" who forces the opera house management to bow to his whims; eventually, it is discovered that he is in fact a deformed genius hiding out in an elaborate lair beneath the building.



** 1st Edition module U1 ''The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh''. A group of smugglers tries to make the house they're operating out of appear to be haunted to keep the townsfolk of Saltmarsh from investigating. Complicating matters is the fact that in D&D, undead really do exist and it could quite plausibly actually ''be'' haunted. For this reason, the module works best as an introductory adventure for players new to the game, since it's hard to convince savvy [=PCs=] (who know that any undead besides the very lowest tiers ... skeletons and maybe zombies, neither of whom could easily be mistaken for ghosts ... would make mincemeat of a party at the suggested levels for the adventure) to go anywhere near the place.
** Another band of smugglers from ''Dungeon'' magazine got their hands on a magical boat that could travel underwater, so used seaweed and ghoul costumes to perpetuate an "undead sailors from the deep" ScoobyDooHoax.

to:

** 1st Edition module U1 ''The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh''. A group of smugglers tries to make the house they're operating out of appear to be haunted to keep the townsfolk of Saltmarsh from investigating. Complicating matters is the fact that in D&D, ''D&D'', undead really do exist and it could quite plausibly actually ''be'' haunted. For this reason, the module works best as an introductory adventure for players new to the game, since it's hard to convince savvy [=PCs=] (who know that any undead besides the very lowest tiers ... tiers -- skeletons and maybe zombies, neither of whom could easily be mistaken for ghosts ... ghosts -- would make mincemeat of a party at the suggested levels for the adventure) to go anywhere near the place.
** Another band of smugglers from ''Dungeon'' magazine got their hands on a magical boat that could travel underwater, so used seaweed and ghoul costumes to perpetuate an "undead sailors from the deep" ScoobyDooHoax.hoax.



* PlayedWith in the second case of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'' where it appears that the killer is a ghost that possessed the defendant -- said defendant IS a legitimate spirit medium and both the player and Phoenix know that the supernatural explanation is totally plausible (and perhaps even likely), even if the court is a little skeptical. [[spoiler: However, the ghost is, in fact, a fake; the events or orchestrated by another spirit medium to ruin the defendant's reputation.]]
** In case 2 of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'', it seems like the real killer is using the legend of a demon named Tenma Taro to obfuscate a murder. [[spoiler: Then it turns out the "Tenma Taro" spotted at the crime scene was actually petty crook Phineas Filch in disguise. ''Then'' it turns out the original Tenma Taro legend was invented to cover up a treasure, a massive gold nugget that inspired the locals to [[AppleOfDiscord greedily fight for its possession]]... which, unfortunately for the real killer, [[MeaninglessVillainVictory was long gone by the time he'd committed murder and fraud to get his hands on it]].]]



[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** PlayedWith in the second case of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'' where it appears that the killer is a ghost that possessed the defendant -- said defendant IS a legitimate spirit medium and both the player and Phoenix know that the supernatural explanation is totally plausible (and perhaps even likely), even if the court is a little skeptical. [[spoiler: However, the ghost is, in fact, a fake; the events or orchestrated by another spirit medium to ruin the defendant's reputation.]]
** In case 2 of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'', it seems like the real killer is using the legend of a demon named Tenma Taro to obfuscate a murder. [[spoiler: Then it turns out the "Tenma Taro" spotted at the crime scene was actually petty crook Phineas Filch in disguise. ''Then'' it turns out the original Tenma Taro legend was invented to cover up a treasure, a massive gold nugget that inspired the locals to [[AppleOfDiscord greedily fight for its possession]]... which, unfortunately for the real killer, [[MeaninglessVillainVictory was long gone by the time he'd committed murder and fraud to get his hands on it]].]]
[[/folder]]



-->'''Max''': Since when do [[StockMonsters ancient Egyptian death gods]] have jaws that [[RoboticReveal clank when you hit them?]] It's all classic Scooby-Doo.
-->'''Rachel''' (puzzled): Scooby-what?
-->'''Max''': (groan) [[GenreBlind Your ignorance is frightening]]. When the bad guys are up to no good, they use local lore to scare away the curious. That's the Scooby Way.
-->'''Rachel''': I'll study his teachings later.

to:

-->'''Max''': -->'''Max:''' Since when do [[StockMonsters ancient Egyptian death gods]] have jaws that [[RoboticReveal clank when you hit them?]] It's all classic Scooby-Doo.
-->'''Rachel''' (puzzled): Scooby-what?
-->'''Max''': (groan)
Scooby-Doo.\\
'''Rachel:''' ''[puzzled]'' Scooby-what?\\
'''Max:''' ''[groan]''
[[GenreBlind Your ignorance is frightening]]. When the bad guys are up to no good, they use local lore to scare away the curious. That's the Scooby Way.
-->'''Rachel''':
Way.\\
'''Rachel:'''
I'll study his teachings later.



* Any supernatural elements in ''WesternAnimation/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKids'' turn out to be this (although given the show's similarity to the show Scooby Doo! Where are You? this shouldn't come as a surprise to most viewers).

to:

* Any supernatural elements in ''WesternAnimation/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKids'' turn out to be this (although given the show's similarity to the show Scooby Doo! ''Scooby-Doo! Where are You? You?'', this shouldn't come as a surprise to most viewers).



* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'', Has an episode where a ghost terrorizes the ponies and drives them out of their home...and then turns out to be "merely" a shapeshifting, talking bird who needed them out of her way so she could take a ArtifactOfDoom.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'', Has ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' has an episode where a ghost terrorizes the ponies and drives them out of their home...and then turns out to be "merely" a shapeshifting, talking bird who needed them out of her way so she could take a ArtifactOfDoom.



* Paranormal investigators and parapsychics are, after long experience, open to the possibility that in some cases they might be manipulated for financial ends. One British ghost-hunter, called to investigate an alleged haunting at a country hotel, spent a month looking and mounting vigil, on and off over the course of a year. When he finally said to the owner that he was almost absolutely certain nothing was there, the hotel owner begged him to make something up and fabricate a ghost, as it would be so good for business to be able to advertise his business as a haunted hotel. The same ghost hunter noted, some time later, the hotel was advertising itself as "having repeatedly been investigated by psychic detectives and ghost-hunters".... ''Magazine/ForteanTimes'' finds the Scooby-doo Hoax to be a whole interesting Fortean area of its own.

to:

* Paranormal investigators and parapsychics are, after long experience, open to the possibility that in some cases they might be manipulated for financial ends. One British ghost-hunter, called to investigate an alleged haunting at a country hotel, spent a month looking and mounting vigil, on and off over the course of a year. When he finally said to the owner that he was almost absolutely certain nothing was there, the hotel owner begged him to make something up and fabricate a ghost, as it would be so good for business to be able to advertise his business as a haunted hotel. The same ghost hunter noted, some time later, the hotel was advertising itself as "having repeatedly been investigated by psychic detectives and ghost-hunters".... ''Magazine/ForteanTimes'' finds the Scooby-doo Scooby-Doo Hoax to be a whole interesting Fortean area of its own.
28th Jun '17 2:26:05 PM TheCuza
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', on your pilgrimage to visit the Greybeards (part of the main quest), you can talk to an innkeeper about a haunted barrow near the town. Turns out that it's just a guy who's invented a potion to make him look like a ghost to scare everyone away while he works out how to plunder the tomb... although he's apparently gone crazy and [[BecomingTheMask actually thinks he's the tomb's guardian now.]] Then it turns out the deeper parts of the tomb [[RealAfterAll really are infested with the undead]] [[note]]Although that's also true of just about every other tomb in the Elder Scrolls; the weird part was that the "Ghost" was being seen outside its tomb--in Tamriel, the undead normally stick to where they were set to guard, so seeing one outside a tomb and not in the company of a Necromancer is vanishingly rare.[[/note]]

to:

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', on your pilgrimage to visit the Greybeards (part of the main quest), you can talk to an innkeeper about a haunted barrow near the town. Turns out that it's just a guy who's invented a potion to make him look like a ghost to scare everyone away while he works out how to plunder loots the tomb... although he's apparently gone crazy place. After six months scouring every inch of the place trying to find the key to a locked door, he goes insane and starts thinking [[BecomingTheMask actually thinks he's he really]] ''[[BecomingTheMask is]]'' [[BecomingTheMask the tomb's guardian now.]] Then it turns out spirit of the deeper parts tomb]]. [[spoiler:The innkeeper had the key, and gives it to you as a reward for taking care of the "ghost"]]. The rest of the tomb [[RealAfterAll really are infested with the undead]] [[note]]Although ''is'' full of undead draugr, but that's also true of just perfectly normal for these tombs whereas ghosts are not, so nobody gives a crap about every other tomb in the Elder Scrolls; the weird part was that the "Ghost" was being seen outside its tomb--in Tamriel, the undead normally stick to where they were set to guard, so seeing one outside a tomb and not in the company of a Necromancer is vanishingly rare.[[/note]]that.
17th Jun '17 3:18:25 PM infernape612
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* Either Inverted of Subverted trope in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}''. The monster is attempting to attract people to his "haunted" camp.

to:

* Either Inverted of Subverted trope inverted or subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}''. The monster is attempting to attract people to his "haunted" camp.
11th Jun '17 2:31:41 AM lillolillo
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* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': In one anime episode, the heroes got reports of a huge, aquatic monster living on a chain of lakes near from Mount Fuji. When Kouji went to investigate to the site, a witch appeared all of sudden and warned him the lake monster would curse him if he did not leave. That woman had been scaring away whoever came to investigate the monster sightings. It did not take long for Kouji to discover that witch was Baron Ashura -BigBad TheDragon- in disguise and the monster was a Mechanical Beast. Baron Ashura was using the curse hoax to hide their activities (mining the lakebed for uranium to fabricate nuclear bombs).

to:

* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': ''Anime/MazingerZ'':
**
In one anime episode, the heroes got reports of a huge, aquatic monster living on a chain of lakes near from Mount Fuji. When Kouji went to investigate to the site, a witch appeared all of sudden and warned him the lake monster would curse him if he did not leave. That woman had been scaring away whoever came to investigate the monster sightings. It did not take long for Kouji to discover that witch was Baron Ashura -BigBad TheDragon- in disguise and the monster was a Mechanical Beast. Baron Ashura was using the curse hoax to hide their activities (mining the lakebed for uranium to fabricate nuclear bombs).



* Taken in a more dark direction in ''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles''. Most of Kindachi's cases involve murderers who disguise themselves as a feared monster from local folklore, and kill their victims in ways relating to the legends surrounding that figure (eg, a killer disguised as a legendary headless samurai ghost decapitates all his victims.) Kindaichi gathers clues leading up to a dramatic unmasking of the "monster" at the end of the story. Different from your standard Scooby hoax in that most characters understand from the get-go that this isn't a real monster, just a psycho in a disguise. Inverted in that this arguably makes it ''more'' scary...

to:

* Taken in a more dark direction in ''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles''. ''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles'':
**
Most of Kindachi's cases involve murderers who disguise themselves as a feared monster from local folklore, and kill their victims in ways relating to the legends surrounding that figure (eg, a killer disguised as a legendary headless samurai ghost decapitates all his victims.) Kindaichi gathers clues leading up to a dramatic unmasking of the "monster" at the end of the story. Different from your standard Scooby hoax in that most characters understand from the get-go that this isn't a real monster, just a psycho in a disguise. Inverted in that this arguably makes it ''more'' scary...



*** Except in one story where the person who believed in the monster was actually the killer.
*** There are also a couple instances where the monster might be real, but have nothing to do with the murders. After all, the myth had to come from SOMETHING.

to:

*** ** Except in one story where the person who believed in the monster was actually the killer.
*** ** There are also a couple instances where the monster might be real, but have nothing to do with the murders. After all, the myth had to come from SOMETHING.



* The original purpose of the comic-book character Dr. Thirteen in Creator/DCComics was to debunk supernatural sightings. When he was integrated with the rest of the characters in a shared universe, this naturally led to some problems as the supernatural ''does'' exist in Franchise/TheDCU. This was largely "solved" by making Dr. Thirteen a FlatEarthAtheist ButtMonkey, but it's not all bad news for him. Apparently, his skepticism means he's somewhat resistant to magical effects (in the DCU, you have to genuinely believe in the supernatural before it will work for you) and he can and does provide alternate scientific theories that sometimes turn out to be right.
** Writers ''love'' to put poor Terry in situations where he ends up delivering a full-on rant about the supernatural not existing to, say, ComicBook/TheSpectre or ComicBook/ThePhantomStranger.
* In the ComicBook/DonaldDuck comic "The Old Castle's Secret," the ghost of Sir Quackly [=McDuck=] turns out to be a jewel thief using "invisibility spray." Creator/CarlBarks commented that he wanted to do a "HauntedCastle" story but at that time including "real" supernatural events such as ghosts in a Disney comic was strictly taboo.

to:

* The original purpose of the comic-book character Dr. Thirteen in Creator/DCComics was to debunk supernatural sightings. When he was integrated with the rest of the characters in a shared universe, this naturally led to some problems as the supernatural ''does'' exist in Franchise/TheDCU. This was largely "solved" by making Dr. Thirteen a FlatEarthAtheist ButtMonkey, but it's not all bad news for him. Apparently, his skepticism means he's somewhat resistant to magical effects (in the DCU, you have to genuinely believe in the supernatural before it will work for you) and he can and does provide alternate scientific theories that sometimes turn out to be right.
** Writers
right. Anyway, writers ''love'' to put poor Terry in situations where he ends up delivering a full-on rant about the supernatural not existing to, say, ComicBook/TheSpectre or ComicBook/ThePhantomStranger.
* ''ComicBook/DonaldDuck'':
**
In the ComicBook/DonaldDuck comic "The Old Castle's Secret," the ghost of Sir Quackly [=McDuck=] turns out to be a jewel thief using "invisibility spray." Creator/CarlBarks commented that he wanted to do a "HauntedCastle" story but at that time including "real" supernatural events such as ghosts in a Disney comic was strictly taboo.



* Despite stereotypes to the contrary, a large number of the aliens that Franchise/{{Batman}} fought during UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} (especially in his own books) were actually ordinary crooks dressed up like aliens. In one case, a gang of crooks actually made up a planet, built fake alien technology, and pretended to be invading Earth simply to cover up their scheme. Though he really ''did'' fight and kill some real vampires in UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|of Comic Books}}.
** The Scarecrow is arguably a variation. He doesn't pretend to be supernatural, but dresses as a demonic scarecrow and uses hallucinogenic gases to create illusionary horrors.
* Variation: Franchise/{{Superman}} and the Iranian superhero Sirocco once took down an apparent terrorist squad, only for Sirocco to reveal that they are just people who pretend to be terrorists. By scaring people into evacuating places with phony bomb-threats and such, they can rob places at their leisure. The criminals ''do'' carry real guns and do not hesitate to shoot people who don't get the memo, necessitating the heroes' intervention.
-->'''Sirocco''': They are common thieves. Seeking to profit from people's fears.

to:

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
**
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, a large number of the aliens that Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman fought during UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} (especially in his own books) were actually ordinary crooks dressed up like aliens. In one case, a gang of crooks actually made up a planet, built fake alien technology, and pretended to be invading Earth simply to cover up their scheme. Though he really ''did'' fight and kill some real vampires in UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|of Comic Books}}.
** The Scarecrow is arguably a variation. He doesn't pretend to be supernatural, but dresses as a demonic scarecrow and uses hallucinogenic gases to create illusionary horrors.
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
**
Variation: Franchise/{{Superman}} Superman and the Iranian superhero Sirocco once took down an apparent terrorist squad, only for Sirocco to reveal that they are just people who pretend to be terrorists. By scaring people into evacuating places with phony bomb-threats and such, they can rob places at their leisure. The criminals ''do'' carry real guns and do not hesitate to shoot people who don't get the memo, necessitating the heroes' intervention.
-->'''Sirocco''': --->'''Sirocco''': They are common thieves. Seeking to profit from people's fears.fears.
** In a Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} Silver Age story, the titular heroine spends the night at a haunted house to find out why everyone who stays overnight is driven insane. It turns out that the supposedly-missing mansion's owner was a criminal that built an illusion-generator machine to keep nosy people out.
** In another Pre-Crisis story, Supergirl investigates an allegedly haunted theater and comes upon some kind of ghoulish creature while checking the place out. Said "ghoul" was actually the theater's owner dressing up like a monster as part of a Supergirl's enemy's scheme to lure the Girl of Steel into a trap.



* In one Lobster Johnson story, a mobster dresses up a bunch of murderous goons in Native American costumes and phosphorous paint to scare people out a neighborhood so he can buy up the property cheap and build a highway. After Lobster Johnson kills the goons the mobster's assistant gets a real ghost to burn everything down.

to:

* ''Comicbook/{{Hellboy}}'': In one Lobster Johnson story, a mobster dresses up a bunch of murderous goons in Native American costumes and phosphorous paint to scare people out a neighborhood so he can buy up the property cheap and build a highway. After Lobster Johnson kills the goons the mobster's assistant gets a real ghost to burn everything down.



* In ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Bitter Gold Hearts]]'', Garrett recalls investigating one of these cases, in which a murder was rigged to look like a werewolf attack.

to:

* ''Literature/GarrettPI'': In ''[[Literature/GarrettPI Bitter ''Bitter Gold Hearts]]'', Hearts'', Garrett recalls investigating one of these cases, in which a murder was rigged to look like a werewolf attack.
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