Created By: MCE on December 25, 2013 Last Edited By: MCE on January 2, 2014
Troped

Hidden Army Reveal

An army/large group of people appear from a seemingly empty room/ area, surrounding a character(s)

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Okay, thanks for the support everyone, this trope is go for launch in a few hours.

Needs a Better Name

Do We Have This One??

The hero/villain has defeated their final target, they stand triumphant, only for an entire army to appear out of thin air, apparently they were all hiding, waiting for a signal of some kind.

This army could be as few as four or as many as thousands, but they must appear out of nowhere and surround the character.

Them method of hiding isn't important as look as the area appears empty on initial inspection and leave the character wondering where the hell they came from.

Related to You and What Army? and The Cavalry.

Update: To clear up any possible confusion. For something to be an example of this trope the army in question needs to be physically present, but not visible. This means teleporting in armies don't count. This trope can overlap with You and What Army? and The Cavalry, indeed an example might be present on all three trope pages.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In One Piece, at the start of Marineford War, the Marines stationed at Marineford saw Whitebeard's legion of pirate allies marching onto the bay, but Whitebeard himself is out of sight. When they're coming close, suddenly giant bubbles appeared from the ocean, revealing Whitebeard's own fleet.

Comics
  • In one Batman comic, Batman and Ras al-Ghul are talking, with a bunch of his assassins revealing themselves around the two (they were buried in the sand).

Film
  • GoldenEye. Near the end of the film a field full of marines and a couple of helicopter appear at the shout of "Yo! Marines!" (Youtube clip)
  • Predator 2. Several predator de-cloak just after the hero has finished killing one, apparently they were watching and approve.
  • In The Lord of the Rings:Return of the King Aragorn pulls this when he arrives at the battle of Minis Tirith, with the Army of the Dead.

Live-Action TV
  • Sharpe's Waterloo has this twice.
    • Sharpe tells Upper-Class Twit Prince of Orange that the battlefield is not empty, as the Prince keeps saying, because there are heavy cavalry hidden in a patch of dead ground behind a rise. The Prince gets a nasty shock when the cavalry turns up.
    • Napolean is surprised by a sudden appearance of reserves for Wellington's army, because Wellington had some of his troops (also Real Life example) lie on the ground just behind the crest of a hill so they could not be seen until he gave the order to stand up.
  • In Doctor Who, "A Good Man Goes To War," the Doctor tries to create a Let's You and Him Fight scenario between two armies united by their desire to kill him. The Genre Savvy leader avoids this by having his men unload their weapons... at which point the Doctor's backup decloaks and it turns out they are surrounded by an army of the Doctor's allies.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • December 25, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    covered by You And What Army.
  • December 25, 2013
    LordXavius
    Definitely not covered by You and What Army. That trope is about a reaction to a threat, and a hidden army reveal is not the only way it can turn out.
  • December 25, 2013
    Dalillama
    In one of the Myth Adventures books, I believe it's Myth-Conceptions, Skeeve and Big Julie meet in a tent set up on neutral ground. Big Julie ends the negotiations by pulling down the sides of the tent to reveal that his army surrounded them during the talking.
  • December 25, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ your last statement contradicts your first statement. "definitely not covered" and yet "it's not the only thing that will turn out".
  • December 25, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    • Sharpe's Waterloo has this twice.
      • Sharpe tells Upper Class Twit Prince of Orange that the battlefield is not empty, as the Prince keeps saying, because there are heavy cavalry hidden in a patch of dead ground behind a rise. The Prince gets a nasty shock when the cavalry turns up.
      • Napolean is surprised by a sudden appearance of reserves for Wellington's army, because Wellington had some of his troops (also Real Life example) lie on the ground just behind the crest of a hill so they could not be seen until he gave the order to stand up.
  • December 25, 2013
    LordXavius
    ^^ What I mean is that Hidden Army Reveal is one of many possible endings to a You and What Army scenario. Failed A Spot Check and One Man Army are other options, and they are allowed to be separate tropes despite the existence of You and What Army as a trope. Therefore, Hidden Army Reveal is definitely not covered by Ya WA, just somewhat connected in some cases.
  • December 25, 2013
    DAN004
    Well The Cavalry would be very related to this one, but I got an example that is not The Cavalry
    • In One Piece, at the start of Marineford War, the Marines stationed at Marineford saw Whitebeard's legion of pirate allies marching onto the bay, but Whitebeard himself is out of sight. When they're coming close, suddenly giant bubbles appeared from the ocean, revealing Whitebeard's own fleet.
  • December 25, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ fair enough.
  • December 26, 2013
    Arivne
    Italicized work titles, formatted Examples section, capitalized the title.

    Compare Surprise Vehicle (where a vehicle appears out of nowhere) and Gunship Rescue (where the vehicle saves the day).
  • December 26, 2013
    InkWeaverabc
    In The Lord Of The Rings:Return Of The King Aragorn pulls this when he arrives at the battle of Minis Tirith, with the Army of the Dead. I can't remember whether it's in the book or not, but I think it counts?
  • December 26, 2013
    MCE
    ^He's apparently pulling an army of thin air, I'd say it counts.
  • December 26, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • In Doctor Who, "A Good Man Goes To War," the Doctor tries to create a Lets You And Him Fight scenario between two armies united by their desire to kill him. The Genre Savvy leader avoids this by having his men unload their weapons... at which point the Doctor's backup decloaks and it turns out they are surrounded by an army of the Doctor's allies.
  • December 26, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    A standard feature of games with enemy teleportation such as Doom or Half-Life: you think you've cleared an area only to have a second wave jump in.
  • December 26, 2013
    robbulldog
    In an episode of Columbo, just after a Just Between You And Me moment in which the diplomat admits to the murder that Columbo can't officially prove, the doors to the room open and the embassy's security personnel and the king himself come in, having heard everything.
  • December 26, 2013
    TonyG
    Mulan: As Mulan's unit is attacked by snipers in a mountain pass, they fire cannons at them, which seems to hold them off. But then, as the smoke clears, Shan Yu appears at the top of a ridge. And just behind them, about a thousand Huns on horseback
  • December 27, 2013
    Arivne
  • December 27, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • In an early episode of The Simpsons, Bart assembles an army of his classmates to teach the bully Nelson a lesson. At the climax of the episode, they appear from various hiding places.
      Nelson: You and what army?
      Bart: This one!
  • December 27, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ that's You And What Army. this trope is for examples that don't use the stockphrase.

    also, this is Related to Teleporting Keycard Squad. when an army of "security guards" come out of nowhere to keep a character from getting whatever it is they're protecting.
  • December 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Life Of Brian when Brian is being crucified, suddenly out of nowhere comes King Otto and his Crack Suicide Squad! Who proceed to kill themselves. "That'll show 'em!"
  • December 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Add this to One Piece
    • This is also apparently part of Capone Bege's power: His body stores cannons and an army of gunmen, all of them mini-sized; when they come out of his "compartments" and after certain range from his body, however, they'll turn into normal size. A literal Walking Armory, so to speak.
  • December 27, 2013
    Chabal2
    • In one Batman comic, Batman and Ras al-Ghul are talking, with a bunch of his assassins revealing themselves around the two (they were buried in the sand).

  • December 27, 2013
    Seaport
    Maybe move all the examples from You And What Army to here, and rename this to "Me And This Army"?
  • January 2, 2014
    MCE
    Okay, I think were good to go.
  • January 2, 2014
    Larkmarn
    That was... a bit premature.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=x97yap52f3hmi1rlmzebv1vu&trope=HiddenArmyReveal