Will launch in one hour if there are no objections Now Up for Grabs; this trope is rather spoiler-heavy and I'm not a spoiler-hound. You're getting close. The clues are fitting together, and everything is unraveling. You're this close to finding The Man Behind the Man. Your trail of clues finally ends, and the mastermind is... ...the little kid that was always playing jacks in the park?! Yes, that's right. The Man Behind the Man turned out to be about the least conspicuous person possible. The Hidden Villain was underneath your nose the whole time. The Dog Was The Mastermind. This trope is when through a rather jarring plot twist, the true Big Bad or The Man Behind the Man turns out to be a seemingly completely inconspicuous character, the last person anyone would ever suspect. You saw him time and again before and you never suspected a thing up until The Reveal. Sucker. Simply identifying the dog isn't enough to satisfy the requirements of this trope; The Reveal has to be a surprise both to the heroes and to the audience -- the Hidden Villain was in plain sight all along, without any clues or hints as such. Keep in mind that this is a Reveal Trope, so beware of spoilers!
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man's icon reads "I thought what I'd do was I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes".
- Parodied in The Far Side when (what else?) a cow stands up in court and says, "All right, I confess! I did it! That's right! The cow! Ha ha! And I feel great!"
- Professor Quirrel in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
- Sam & Max: Beyond the Alley of the Dolls plays this to excellent effect; the true mastermind turns out to be the ventriloquist's dummy Max has been carrying around for half the episode.
- Subverted in MARDEK Chapter 3, as the mastermind is a major villain that everyone suspects, but he's disguised as a "dog", Clavis, an enigmatic but inconspicious character. The persona was actually made up by the villain in order to talk some sense into Rohoph, who was sprinting towards becoming a Complete Monster Knight Templar hard and fast.
- The dog ending in Silent Hill 2.
- Persona 4 practically runs on this trope, in keeping with its theme of not letting first impressions or outward appearances decieve you. All three of the major players in the kidnappings and murders can be frequently found around Inaba doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
- Tomator at the end of The Lost Vikings 2 turns out to be the Bratty Half-Pint that sometimes appeared in the middle of the levels to be annoying.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.