Sometimes, stating something plainly is not a good option. When that's the case, and simply leaving it unstated won't work either, you must resort to using double meanings.

For a statement to have a double meaning, it must have one obvious meaning and one deliberate meaning, concealed so that only those "in the know" will understand that second meaning.

This is frequently used to pass secret messages along, as it is often more subtle than using an obvious code. Alternatively, a sub-culture may adopt a phrase from the main culture, but assign their own meaning to it, understood only within that sub-culture.

Subtropes:
[[index]]
* AmbiguousSyntax
* CovertDistressCode
* DoubleEntendre
* DoubleMeaningTitle
* DoubleSpeak
* DualMeaningChorus
* ExactWords
* FalseReassurance
* MultipleReferencePun
* MultitaskedConversation
* NoManOfWomanBorn
* PublicSecretMessage
* {{Pun}}
* SpySpeak
* TroubleEntendre
[[/index]]

Sister tropes include LiteralGenie, LiteralMinded, LiteralMetaphor, ProphecyTwist, {{Subtext}}, and TalkingThroughTechnique.

'''Examples that fit into one of the subtropes should be placed on the appropriate page; this page is for examples that don't fit elsewhere.'''

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In a flashback of Annie and Eren sparring together in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', Mikasa's implied to be jealous through interrupting them and challenging Annie to fight her instead. The other trainees gather in excitedment at who will win, while Reiner asks: "Which one would you pick, Eren?" (note the choice of words). In response, he stares at them while thinking ''"Which one..."'' and the flashback fades out on that line, making it seem like the narrative was hinting [[LoveTriangle towards more]] than just the outcome of the fight. While likely meant as pure ShipTease in canon, it might have been a nod to official parodies where Mikasa and Annie are really portrayed as Eren's BettyAndVeronica.
** When Reiner calls out Annie as a slacker during training, Annie seems quite annoyed by this and, after beating Eren, challenges Reiner to spar with her, and beats him just as easily as she does Eren. While this can be merely interpreted as Reiner teaching Eren about "being a soldier" and/or teasing Annie, [[spoiler: the fact that Annie and Reiner are both traitors, but don't seem on the best terms means this scene can be interpreted as Reiner challenging Annie to prove her loyalty. Though why this involves beating up Eren is not yet clear]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''Comicbook/YoungLove'', [[LoveInterest Dick Malverne]]'s "You really are super, Linda" is intended as this, in that he is either flattering his girlfriend or alternatively implying he knows she is Supergirl.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX Gensokyo 20XXV]]'', an age-regressed Reimu's "Am I dying?" is supposed to be intended as this, in that she is either asking if she is actually dying or, alternatively, asking why is someone is so sad about the situation she's accepted or, she could be asking both.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'', to undo a spell, the witch tells Merida that she and her mother must mend what was torn by pride. Merida assumes this means a tapestry she slashed open during a fight between her and her mother; however, it's left ambiguous whether the witch really meant the tapestry or the relationship between Merida and her mother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'': Not only does Zod's message ("You Are Not Alone") inform humans that aliens exist, it lets Superman know he's ''not'' the [[LastOfHisKind last]] Kryptonian.
** Also [[spoiler: [[Comicbook/LoisLane Lois]]]] greeting [[Comicbook/{{Superman}} Clark]] on his first day working at the Daily Planet with "Welcome to the Planet" [[spoiler: as she already knows he's a HumanAlien]].
* In ''Film/JasonAndTheArgonauts'', Jason tells a camp's general that he is visiting Thessaly to reclaim his rightful throne from Pelias, who had [[TheUsurper usurped]] it twenty years before. The general tells Jason, "When your father defended his throne, no man fought harder than I." Of course, the general is [[KingIncognito secretly Pelias himself]], so the second meaning is, in a sense, "truer" than the seemingly straightforward one (he fought hard enough to ''win'', after all).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ''Literature/LeftBehind'' books, after Carpathia's resurrection, the standard greeting becomes "He is risen," with the response being "he is risen indeed": the "he" refers to Carpathia. The Christians reclaim the greeting (since it was originally the Paschal greeting), placing a slight emphasis on the "he" to indicate that they are referring to Jesus instead of Carpathia. This allows the Christians to interact with the rest of the world without drawing suspicion to themselves, while at the same time not violating their beliefs.
* ''Literature/{{Dune}}''. In the greenhouse room Jessica finds a note from Lady Fenring, a fellow Bene Gesserit. The last line of the message is "On that path lies danger", a secret warning code that there was a hidden message nearby. Jessica finds the hidden message as a series of dots on the underside of a nearby leaf.
* In [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Turn Coat]], Harry fought a [[EldritchAbomination Skinwalker]] when the [[TheFairFolk pixie]] Toot-Toothad a [[BigDamnHeroes Little Damn Heroes]] moment by attacking the skinwalker to give him a moment to recover. After one of the Senor Council gave him assistance and drove it away, he commented about Toot Toot throwing himself into danger to help him commenting, "Little guy like that, taking on something so far out his weight class. That was a sight to see.", but he was also commenting about Dresden as well.
* In ''Literature/{{Helm}}'', in Denesse Sensei's first conversation with Leland, his comments about the tea are simultaneously commentary on the [[UpgradeArtifact effects of the Helm]].
* A possibly unintentional one in ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'': Jorah's last reply could equally well mean "Alright, let's drop the subject," or "You, too, will be dead one day."
--> '''Jorah:''' The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end.
--> '''Dany:''' I donít want to talk about that now. It's so beautiful here, I don't want to think about everything dying.
--> '''Jorah:''' As you will, Khaleesi.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': Robin follows her boyfriend Ted to a nightclub and asks the bouncer about him. We are shown the event, in which Ted, who has been acting unlike himself, is flirting with another woman and agreeing to go to her apartment. Ted is confronted by Marshall, who says "Aren't you afraid a certain someone will find out about this? This isn't you, Ted." [[spoiler:It turns out that Barney had been calling himself "Ted Mosby", so that's who the bouncer thought he was; we were shown Ted instead of Barney because that's how Robin would have imagined the bouncer's account. Meanwhile, Marshall's "certain someone" was the real Ted, and "This isn't you" was meant literally.]]
* In a twist, in Tara's song, "Under Your Spell", in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "[[MusicalEpisode Once More with Feeling]]", the metaphorical meaning is the more obvious and positive one, about how much she loves Willow, and Willow has brought her out of her shell and introduced her to happiness. However, if the lyrics are taken completely literally, they're about how Willow has been magically manipulating Tara's mind and memories.
* A sad version in the ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' episode ''[=McKay=] and Mrs. Miller''. Rodney and his sister Jeannie are having an argument about how they haven't talked in four years since Rodney decided that Jeannie quitting physics to raise her daughter was a mistake. "Rod", an alternate universe version of Rodney, hears them talking and asks, "Hey, you guys got something over there?" Jeannie averts her eyes and says "No, we don't" as she walks away. Fortunately, they make up by the end of the episode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'': Benedick thinks Beatrice is in love with him (she isn't), and when she is sent to bring him in to dinner he thinks she's sending him secret signals; he cites this trope by name.
-->''"Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner." There's a double meaning in that. "I took no more pains for those thanks than you took pains to thank me." That's as much as to say, "Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks." If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain. If I do not love her, I am a Jew.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Deep in the first ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder'' game, at the start of the Mind Flayer level, a wall engraving reads "Alignment must be true." Since this is a ''D&D'' game, you'd expect it to be a cryptic mention about CharacterAlignment. In truth, it's a hint about how to open the next secret passage, which is a the end of an ''alignment'' of hidden doors.
* Jhin from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is an assassin who uses murder as a form of artwork, claiming that each kill is special 'performance'. One of his battle quotes is "When they see you, they will ''cry''" - whether this is from being moved or horrified is unsaid and, quite possibly for Jhin, is not seen as important.
* Near the end of a neutral or pacifist run in ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', monsters in the New Home area tell you a story about their king, Asgore. [[spoiler: Asgore had adopted a child that had fallen into the monster world and he raised him as his own. When the child had fallen ill and died, his son by blood, Asriel, took his fallen brother's body back to the village where had came from, but was attacked by the humans instead and he wound up dying as a result. Asgore flew into a fit of rage and vowed to obtain seven human souls in order to break the barrier that kept his people trapped so that he could extract revenge. With six souls already obtained, yours is the last one he needs to succeed.]] The last group of monsters tell you that you should be excited and happy because you will be "free" very soon. While the monster's version of "free" means that you will soon be killed and be freed from the physical world, it can also take on another meaning where you will be free from the underground and finally return home. Either version can fit depending on if you been playing peacefully or if you had killed a handful of monsters along the way.
** Another version of this happens in the Genocide route, where Asgore will ask the player upon their arrival what kind of monster they are. It can be seen as either A) he believes he's looking at another monster in the underground, but can't identify it, or B) a WhatTheHellHero moment.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In the Prologue to Grisaia short story in ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoRakuen'' Yumiko, Amane and Michiru are told to expect a new honor student transfer student at Mihama, a school for students with severe psychological issues that interfere with their ability to attend normal schools. When Sachi shows up, she's intelligent, dutiful, athletic, friendly and more. Following a flippant suggestion about cleaning the school, Michiru comes back the next morning to find that she stayed the entire evening and into the morning, working nonstop to clean the school. It's not that Sachi happens to be an honor student but rather that she's here ''because'' she's an "honor student" and obsessively follows all orders, no matter how absurd or destructive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* During the 18th century Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland, noblemen supposedly loyal to the English crown but secretly on the side of the rebels had to tread a very fine line, or risk having their wealth confiscated. Since in those days the word of a nobleman was almost sacred, and breaking it meant great loss of face, a common test of loyalty was to propose a toast to the king. This was in effect swearing loyalty to the crown, and many Scots nobles would have found this difficult or impossible to do.\\\
The way they got around was that in his own home, a noble with Jacobite sympathies could join in and even propose loyal toasts to the king by using special cups with the name "Charles Edward Stuart", or a shortened version thereof at the bottom, which would also be supplied to any other rebels around the table, but not the English visitors. So you could raise your cup and say: "To the king!" while looking straight at the name of the Jacobite Pretender. A variation was to have a glass of water on the table positioned so that the toasting glass passed directly above it, thereby toasting "the king across the water".
* Prussian Field Marshal Blücher, co-victor of the Battle of Waterloo, once bet other guests at a social function that he was able to kiss his own head. He then proceeded to kiss his chief of staff, General Gneisenau.
[[/folder]]

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