Created By: FruityOatyBars on August 29, 2011 Last Edited By: FruityOatyBars on January 30, 2012

Hidden Agenda Companion

A member of The Hero\\\'s True Companions with ulterior motives s/he isn\\\'t revealing.

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The Hidden Agenda Companion is a sidekick, companion, or ally of The Hero who's working for the same cause, but for a different reason that s/he isn't revealing. While this character is not working for the villains (as The Mole is), s/he is working for the hero in order to further his/her own secret plans, which may or may not be in the hero's best interests.

For example, Alice is planning to break into the Evil Overlord's lair in order to slay him and bring an end to his reign of terror. Bob, the Hidden Agenda Companion, is storming the lair with Alice - but, while he's perfectly willing to fight the Evil Overlord, Bob's really there because he knows the Evil Overlord has an Amulet of Concentrated Awesome stashed behind the curtains in his throne room, and Bob (unbeknownst to Alice) plans to seize it.

The audience may know, which can lead to Dramatic Irony, but usually they won't. May overlap with Token Evil Teammate, but doesn't always. On the bad guys' side, contrast Hidden Agenda Villain and Dragon with an Agenda.

Warning: examples will be huge SPOILERS.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • August 29, 2011
    BlargMoon
    Sort of all three main characters in Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero. While Jason is definitely sort of the leader of the team, because the book is written from all three of their perspectives we get insight into what's going on with all of them. None of the characters are communicating everything to their teammates, with Piper definitely being the biggest offender.
  • August 29, 2011
    Koveras
    I haven't finished playing Final Fantasy XIII yet, but it seems that among the six main characters, Vanille has a hidden agenda. Somebody please confirm that (in spoiler tags).
  • August 30, 2011
    TheJackal
    The Dresden Files: The twelfth book, Changes, has Martin. Rather than simply helping Harry save his daughter from the Red King's bloodline curse, he's running his own plan that will allow the curse to be used to destroy the entire Red Court.
  • August 30, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    • Turlough on Doctor Who
    • Vera Farmiga's character on Roar. She's secretly a Christian!

    For TV shows, do you count only cast members, or does this include people who team up with Our Heroes for just a single episode, and for what turn out to be their own reasons. If the latter, this happens all the time. Off the top of my head:

    • Tasha Yar's sister in an episode of TNG. She helps the crew rescue some scientists in order to get close enough to plant a bomb.
    • Archaeologist chick in another TNG episode, "Captain's Paradise." She has her own reasons for wanting the Mac Guffin (and keeping it from the Ferengi)
    • One episode of Stargate Atlantis also featured a female archaeologist helping the team get to the Mac Guffin before the Genii, because she has a sacred trust to protect said Mac Guffin

    ...actually, I'm getting the idea that any time the characters encounter a female archaeologist, she'll have ulterior motives (but still be a good guy).
  • August 30, 2011
    FruityOatyBars
    I was thinking regulars originally, but not counting single-episode team-ups would be unnecessarily restrictive.
  • September 1, 2011
    MinotaurWarrior
    I think this trope should have an unmarked spoilers warning, since this is an inheritly spoilery trope.

    In Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic II, everyone but the droids and the mercenaries has a secret agenda.
  • September 1, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    The Arilans in the later Deryni books serve on the the Camberian Council and have inside positions in the Haldanes' royal court. Seisyll's dual allegiance is a well-kept secret in In The King's Service, and he works with his nephew Jamyl (a squire in Childe Morgan). Jamyl's brother Denis later takes Seisyll's place, but events force him to reveal his Camberian Council affiliation to Kelson and his inner circle. Some levels of I Know You Know I Know follow; Denis has sworn an oath to maintain his colleagues' secrets and won't discuss the Council's proceedings with Kelson, but everybody is aware Denis reports to them, so Kelson and his colleagues take measures to keep some things from him (and the Council).
  • September 6, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • October 9, 2011
    TwinBird
    This needs a bump, I think.
  • October 10, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Thursday Next counts: in Lost In A Good Book, she takes Jurifiction training to learn to BookJump better (so that she can retrieve Jack Schitt from that copy of "The Raven") without telling Miss Havisham that she plans to do this. Of course, she's being blackmailed by Goliath Corporation (personified by Schitt-Hawse and his goons, Chalk and Cheese)
  • October 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    When this done by someone who appears to be the Big Good then it's Mysterious Backer.
  • December 20, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • December 20, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    • In season seven of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Robin helps the Scoobies try to take down The First. But he's really interested in taking out Spike for killing his mother.
  • December 27, 2011
    TBeholder
  • December 27, 2011
    Koveras
    ^ His heroic counterpart, in a way.

    I think I can confirm the Final Fantasy XIII example now, though Vanille's hidden motivation is nothing really sinister: she is just Obfuscating Stupidity to hide from the other l'Cie the fact that she and Fang are the catalysts of the entire crisis (including Serah and Dajh turning into crystals) and from Fang, that she remembers their past lives (Fang doesn't).
  • December 27, 2011
    Bisected8
    • Subverted very early on in Soul Eater Tsubaki feels she's one of these when she has Black*Star help her slay a villain who happens to be her brother. Black*Star disagrees, saying he knows she doesn't think that way (and even asks her if she still wants to be his partner after the mission's complete).
  • January 4, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^ There are tropes when the division makes sense, but when the whole point is that their motives are unknown, the difference is less than clear...
  • January 5, 2012
    Koveras
    But the motives of the person they are sidekick/minion to are usually more clear, I think.
  • January 5, 2012
    Kalkiran
    In the Leverage episode "The First David Job" Sophie is revealed to want the first david statuette because she has already obtained the second one. Though in this it is only part of her motive.
  • January 9, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    This might also be akin to Aloof Ally; the hidden agenda may even contribute to the aloofness.
  • January 9, 2012
    nman
    • Dragon Age Origins: Morrigan follows the Warden, because by doing that whole "saving the world from an ancient evil dragon", she hopes to impregnate herself with a child who possesses the soul of an old god.
      • Her other ulterior motive was to get the Warden and his/her companions to kill her mom, something she could not do without fear of being possessed.
    • Dragon Age II: Anders pals around with Hawke so he can secretly set up for his plan to blow up the Chantry.
  • January 9, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ Can you please spoiler-tag those? Just because the write-up warns of spoilers doesn't mean comments should not be spoiler-free.
  • January 30, 2012
    nman
    ^Apology/Bump

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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