Revealing Word Slip
Soon the city will belong to me! Er, I mean, to us!
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(permanent link) added: 2013-12-06 17:21:16 sponsor: DrakeClawfang edited by: GlassSpires (last reply: 2014-08-04 18:07:52)

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This trope is when a character gets too carried away and slips, revealing that while they may be working for someone else or with a group, they're in it for themselves. This is usually done by the character declaring "soon, the treasure will belong to me!" or "once we have that key, the treasure is mine!", or some similar declaration where they claim total ownership and credit for the eventual reward the group seeks.

This slip reveals to the viewer that the character is a villain, or at least has sinister, selfish intentions, and is likely to betray the others at some point. Another character will likely correct them on this slip up, that they mean "us" or "ours", leaving the first character to hurriedly agree. Usually, the others think they just got carried away and continue trusting them, but the viewers know better. The character may also catch themselves in this slip, leaving them embarrassed and worried and trying to cover their tracks.

A variation can have the character say "us" or "ours", revealing themselves a member of a group of some sort. For example, if someone who is secretly a member of a cult says to those investigating said cult "maybe we're too clever to be caught", and corrects to "I mean, they're too clever".

Compare Freudian Slip, Last-Second Word Swap, Verbal Backspace, Saying Too Much. Subtrope of The Reveal, since the character was likely up until now trusted.

Examples

Literature
  • When Smeagol is talking to Gollum in Lord of the Rings after making plans he triumphantly declares that the "Precious will belong to me!" Gollum quickly corrects him, "To us!"

Live-Action Television
  • Barney Miller: In one episode a DA comes by about a case, and several times talks about the case's impact on "me...us...the District Attorney's office," showing he's more concerned about how the case will impact his career than about prosecuting bad guys.

Video Games

Web Original
  • In RWBY, while Weiss and Blake are in arguments on the Faunus race and its terrorist organization White Fang, the latter blurts out "Well, maybe we just don't like being pushed around!" She quickly realized what she said and then runs off. Blake is secretly a Faunus and former White Fang member.
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