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Same Event Different Perspective
Changing the perspective from which an event is viewed to show new information.
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Repeating the same scene can be a powerful effect, used for emphasis or drama. Sometimes however, the same event is viewed from a different perspective and something new was learned that wasn't apparent when we saw the event the first time around.

This trope is about how seeing or experiencing events again, only this time, from a different perspective, can result in the revelation of new information.

This trope can be used to show that a character is an Unreliable Narrator, by having the new scene play out from an outside or honest perspective. It can also be used this way to discover the unreliable narration was the result of False Memories.

This can be invoked by characters where they decide to tell what really happened from a perspective different from the original perspective. The Summation in visual media will often reuse the same scene from a different perspective to show "what really happened" in the mystery as the detective does a voiceover.

A related trope is Repeat Cut (using the same scene multiple times in a row) and often used with Once More with Clarity (using the same scene later, when the audience has more background information to interpret the scene).

Despite the similarity, this is not to be confused with "Rashomon"-Style. With "Rashomon"-Style, it is uncertain which perspective is telling the truth while with this trope, it is clear which perspective is telling the truth.

Compare Another Side, Another Story, which is specific to Video Games and allows you to play as another character, Perspective Flip, which is where this is applied to adaptations and retellings of the original work, and Through the Eyes of Madness, which is where an insane person has a different point-of-view of what's going on than the saner people.

Contrast No Campaign for the Wicked and No Canon for the Wicked.

Not to be confused with Switching P.O.V. which is about changing perspectives for a while while this trope is about seeing the same event from a different perspective.

See also Self-Serving Memory and Selective Obliviousness, which depending on the timing, can result in this trope.

Due to the nature of this trope, most examples here are spoilers. Read at your own risk as many of them are untagged.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • In the 80s there was an advertisement for the Guardian newspaper that was this trope explicitly. First shot was of a young skinhead breaking into a run, looking like he was trying to get away from something. Second shot from a different angle showed him running towards a businessman and grabbing his briefcase, like he was going to steal it. Third, wider shot showed the businessman under an elevated stack of bricks about to fall - the skinhead was saving him! The point being, until you see what's going on from all angles, you don't know what's going on.
  • There are dozens of commercials for Specsavers which use this trope to imply that characters need glasses. A man walks into a steamy hotel sauna, change the shot, turns out it's the hotel kitchen. An elderly couple sit on a bench to eat a sandwich, change the shot, turns out it's a roller coaster.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The first episode of Tasogare Otome X Amnesia is all about displaying this trope for comedic effect. It's done at more than one point in the series, often showing how Momoe, the only member of the Power Trio who can't see ghosts, interprets Niiya's comedic attempts at convincing her that there are no ghosts present as dramatic exorcisms.

    Film 
  • The Running Man. The heroes try to invoke this to show the world the truth about what the ruling powers have been doing.
  • As the title suggests, Vantage Point is all about displaying this trope. There are multiple times where the events are rewound so that it can be seen from the point-of-view of a different character, leading to multiple Plot Twists.
  • Patton. Captain Steiger recounts a story of Patton's past exploits in order to explain his personality. Patton saw several men apparently kidnapping a woman by forcing her into a truck. He took out a revolver and stopped them at gunpoint. However, It turns out that the woman was the fiancee of one of the men and they were just helping her into the truck.
  • In the beginning of the film LOCKOUT we see a security tape, that shows the main character killing his Obi Wan. Later we see events from his perspective and it turns out the main character that was seen in the footage was actually his mirror reflexion and mentor was shot by a bad guy the same moment the hero shot another baddie.
  • The first part of French film He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not is told from the female protagonist's perspective, and plays like a romance. Then the film tells the same story from a more neutral point of view, and she is revealed as a deranged stalker of the male lead, who doesn't even know who she is.
  • An unusual example occurs in Harry Potter where the two different perspectives are from the same person due to time travel being involved. Harry thinks he was being saved by his father from the Dementors, but it turns out to be his future self.

    Literature 
  • In the book First Step when one of the soldiers is proposed to be the emperor's heir's bodyguard, he is checked by a mage who dislikes him. To prove that soldier is unsuited, the mage shows a flashback where the soldier stands over the dead bodies of imperial soldiers, wishing he could kill more, "and the emperor, too". When everybody is shocked, the soldier's commander angrily widens the perspective of flashback, showing that the soldier was, at the moment, defending said commander, attacked by imperials. Seeing how good a defender the soldier is, he gets instantly accepted.
  • The book and film Atonement relies on this to set off conflict. Early on Briony looks out the window to see her older sister Cecilia in soaked undergarments while her male friend Robbie is watching, and thinks Robbie is harassing her. Later she spots the two of them busy in the library and thinks Robbie is raping her sister. However, both events were in fact consensual, as the audience sees in repeats of those scenes from the couple's point-of-view.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Same Time Same Place" Willow comes back to Sunnydale. She goes to see Spike, who is crazy in the Sunnydale High School basement, and he gives nonsensical responses to her. A few minutes later Buffy comes to see Spike and he gives the exact same nonsensical responses. We discover it's actually the same scene - Willow and Buffy can't see each other.
    Spike: Everyone's talking to me. No one's talking to each other.
  • The Frasier episode Perspectives on Christmas retells the same events through the eyes of different characters, each of whom has their own interpretation of events based on their limited knowledge. Most notably, Daphne believes that Martin is dying, due to him having gotten a phone call from the doctor and spending time in church without telling anyone. From Frasier's perspective, we see Martin complaining about having been roped into the Christmas pageant at a local church by a friend from the dog park, and didn't want anyone he knew seeing him there.

    Video Game 
  • In Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Harry sees a magical moving photo of Sirius pointing his wand at a group of Muggles. One flash of light later, they're dead. Sirius later taps the photo to make the camera angle change, and you can see that Sirius is actually aiming at Wormtail, who is hiding in an alley. Wormtail draws his wand and kills the Muggles, before turning into a rat and fleeing.
  • The main plot point in the second playthrough of Nier is that the boss battles are shown from the Shades point of view. Turns out those Shades weren't evil monsters after all.
  • The climax of Braid shows the beginning from the princess's point of view after it shows Tim attempting to rewind time to get to her in a way that made it seem he was trying to rescue her: The monster she was running from is actually the time warping Tim, not the knight as what he initially believed. The knight actually came to rescue her from him, not kidnap him, and the traps that Tim was avoiding to get to her was actually traps that she placed to deter him.

    Webcomic 
  • In El Goonish Shive, Rhoda's encounter with the boar is shown twice. The first time is at the beginning of the storyline and the second is at the end. The first time her arms are shown outstretched but her hands are off-panel. The second time her arms and hands are shown in a panel by themselves and the latter are seen to be glowing. The panel before that reveals she has a magic mark. The subsequent panels show the progression of the boar's growth as Rhoda's hands continue to glow until the boar reaches her. The third strip in the storyline is the first time we see the boar. It can be seen to appear to be shaking but it is actually finishing growing.
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