Do We Have This, Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, Up for Grabs. Let's say you're reading a book in which Alice and Bob are part of an organization. Suddenly, you notice a few things seem to be... off... about Bob. Naturally, the audience will start suspecting that Bob is actually The Mole. But, come time for The Reveal, the author shows that Bob was really a good guy, and sweet, innocent Alice was actually Evil All Along. *Jaws hit floor*. This is the sweet essence of the Bait And Twist. Sometimes, a writer deliberately drops hints that their work will have a twist ending, and leaves it up to Genre Savvy viewers to figure out their intent. However, rather than settle for an intentional Untwist, they will instead either add another, massive twist on top of the obvious one or treat the obvious clues as Red Herrings and throw in a completely different twist. When this is done well, a second viewing will likely show that the author was setting this up the whole time, with far more subtlety than the Red Herring clues. Done poorly, it can result in the fans giving up on the work entirely. SPOILERS AHOY!!!
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In Death Note's Grand Finale, The team makes plans to meet Near and his anti-Kira gang in a dockside warehouse "With one entrance, and one exit". Then, Light (In his first person flashforwards) tells the audience he is planning on taking all of the group (Including his own "partners") down at the same time with the use of 3rd Kiras Shinigami eyes, but fails and exposes himself as Kira, because Near stole the actual Deathnote and put a very convincing replica in its place.
- Code Geass does this practically Once an Episode starting around halfway through R2, but the worst offender by far has to be this: We've been set up to believe that Emperor Charles was behind Lady Marianne's assassination, but as it turns out, not only was V.V. responsible for the whole thing, but Lady Marianne is actually still alive and possessing Anya. And to top it off, she's actually a Lady Macbeth who's been conniving with her husband to bring about an Assimilation Plot. The fandom was not amused.
- Bleach has several during the Fake Karakura Town arc.
- First, there's Hitsugaya's attempt to take out Aizen. Aizen being Aizen, just about everyone correctly predicted that this would fail miserably. What nobody saw coming was the fact that the one Hitsugaya had just stabbed wasn't an apparition, but was Momo Hinamori. AGAIN.
- Second, and even more shocking, we all knew that Aizen would have no problems killing Ichigo's friends once he got to the real Karakura Town. The switch comes when Gin , rather than going after the kids, stabs Aizen through the back and reveals that all of his actions in the series up to that point were a Xanatos Gambit to recover a part of his Morality Pet's soul. That sound you hear is the sound of the fan's jaws hitting the floor.
- Tsubasa is a great example of this. For example, Syaoran seems like a nice guy for most of Tsubasa, risking his life to save Sakura. Then, once the Acid Tokyo arc begins, we discover that the Syaoran we know and love is really an emotionless clone created by the antagonist, who while appearing to do nothing, actually had all the cards in his hand from the beginning. He then ends up eating Fai's eye....
- In Sky High, there are hints that the villain, Royal Pain, is Gwen's mother. However, it turns out that the villain is actually Gwen herself. Doubled up too, in that you think she's avenging her mothers defeat by becoming the new Royal Pain, but then it turns out that she's the same Royal Pain who was de-aged.
- Oldboy hits the audience hard with this one. We already know that Woo-Jin and his sister had sex, Dae-Su saw it and told one guy, who told everyone else, which resulted in said sister committing suicide, and have been led to believe that his elaborate revenge plan simply involved locking Oh Dae-Su up for 15 years. Then we get one of the biggest Wham Lines of the last decade:
Woo-Jin: The question you should be asking yourself isn't, "Why did Woo-Jin imprison me?" It's, "Why did Woo-Jin Release me?"
- In Righteous Kill, the audience is led to believe that Turk is the murderer, when it is really his partner, Rooster.
- The second season of Dollhouse features a senator campaigning against the titular organization. The protagonists begin to suspect that the senator's wife is an Active, placed to undermine the senator's efforts. The senator is the actual Active, running a Batman Gambit against the protagonists. His wife turns out to be his handler.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.