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->''"Pay no attention to TheManBehindTheCurtain!"''
-->-- '''The Wizard''', ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''

The time has come, and after much journeying and many plot twists, the heroes are finally going to face the BigBad. Unfortunately, there's a problem: said BigBad is much stronger than they ever could have imagined. Its power is monstrous, its defenses impenetrable, and no matter what they do, the heroes can't so much as get it to flinch. Despair and woe, the villain has triumphed! His victory is assured!

But wait! All is not lost! Upon closer inspection, the heroes realize that this monster isn't the real BigBad. The real one is actually ''inside'', pulling the strings. Bonus, he's puny, and could probably be knocked over by a stiff breeze (also, provided the heroes didn't bring one of those along, a big sword). After that, the heroes find themselves faced with the much simpler task of tearing through the faux-Big Bad, reaching the real one, and slicing it to bits. Once again, convenience saves the day!

This trope occurs primarily in Japanese media, for whatever reason, but has been known to crop up in Western fiction from time to time. Similar to MobileSuitHuman, except slightly more dedicated. The faux-Big Bad could also be considered TheDragon after the reveal.

See also TheManBehindTheCurtain. Don't confuse with the ScoobyDooHoax, although that also involves wearing a monster suit.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The Pretenders in ''{{Transformers}}''. There was never really a "reveal" that within the badass Bludgeon was a puny robot (the audience knew all along--it's a MerchandiseDriven series after all), but even he knew how lame his inner robot was.
* Averted twice-over in ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'' with Juromaru and Kageromaru. Juromaru was tough, but Kageromaru lived in Juromaru's stomach and was much worse. However, Juromaru was a monster of his own, not just a shell for the other.
** Mouryoumaru is an ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'' example that plays the trope straight.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' had [=VenomMyotismon=].
** And ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' had Lucemon. Also, his [[TheDragon Dragon]] monster suit? An [[http://dma.wtw-x.net/DMA/DigimonStands/Toei/LucemonSM.jpg actual dragon]].
* Kind of applies to the ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' manga, where the BigBad is actually a little kid that projects a much older, uglier image of himself so that he'll look more formidable.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has Gecko Moria, who hides inside the giant zombie Oars. Though turns out Moria is just as dangerous as the giant zombie.
* Inverted in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. [[spoiler:The Evas are [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] that wear HumongousMecha suits, and the suits don't make them more powerful, but rather limit their size and strength to a level at which they can still be controlled.]]
* Envy of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' claims his true form to be [[spoiler:a house-sized, multi-legged EldritchAbomination easily capable of crushing the heroes]]. However, this is a lie; his true form is [[spoiler:a weak, newt-like form that can fit in the palm of a person's hand]]. Ultimately, Ed is dismissive enough of him to let May leave with him [[spoiler:sealed in a jar]].
* One of the demons ''Manga/ZatchBell'' battles is like this, using its powers of animation to move and fight inside a durable, massive body.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansTroubleInTokyo'', our heroes are facing a huge ink monster controlled by the BigBad, but luckily the keystone to the entire thing is the cursed artist whose strings are being pulled by the BigBad.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* In ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'', [[spoiler:Kim Jong-il turns out to be a [[RefugeInAudacity cockroach from space]]]].
* In ''Film/{{Brotherhood Of The Wolf}}'', the dreaded Beast is revealed to be [[spoiler: a trained lion in a MonsterSuit. Still dangerous, but more deserving of sympathy, given how it was abused into acting like a monster]].
* ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}''. When the protagonists reach the entrance to the Goblin City, they're confronted by a giant robot-like creature. It turns out that the robot is being controlled by a small goblin inside of it.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the {{toku}} ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger'', the villain Sargain is a small robotic ant piloting a human-sized robot body


[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' module [=WG7=] ''Castle Greyhawk''. An iron golem is built like a giant mecha, with many attacks a normal iron golem doesn't have. Its head holds a control room with an orc inside that is controlling it.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Yu Yevon from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is the [[IncrediblyLamePun embodiment]] of this trope.
* Lavos from ''VideoGame/{{Chrono Trigger}}'', who has ''two'' shells. Of course, the inner forms aren't any weaker the the outer ones...
* King Boo from ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' would probably fit into this category with his [[spoiler: Bowser suit]].
* The FinalBoss of ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' gives Yu Yevon a run for its money: [[spoiler: Yami the Dark Lord is actually a harmless baby seal in a jar controlling a gargantuan, mechanical sphere.]]
* [[spoiler: Shadow Mitsuo]] from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' is a creepy floating baby capable of summoning an "outer shell" in the shape of a giant, pixelated 8-bit warrior. Though the real deal is far more dangerous than the shell.
* Poseidon creates one made out of the ''sea'' in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar 3'' to fight Kratos and Gaia in the beginning of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory'', the final fight ''seems'' to be against Dark Bowser. However, when you pound on him enough, he spits out Dark Fawful which you need to inhale. Inside Bowser's body, Mario and Luigi then need to fight that Dark Fawful. In a slight subversion to this trope, Dark Fawful may be small, but so are the Mario Brothers inside Bowser. And in there, Dark Fawful is everything but puny and in fact very dangerous.
* [[spoiler:Dan Barrows aka Edward]] from ''Videogame/ClockTower''. In the first game he appears as a hideous giant baby-like monster. Turns out that was a cocoon of sorts made out of the people he killed, his appearance after his metamorphosis is [[spoiler:that of a charming young boy. He's arguably ''more'' dangerous outside of his giant fetus flesh-cocoon, since he's able to exploit his innocent-looking appearance. Oh, and he's the new Scissorman in the sequel.]]
* Moorkus Rex, the BigBad of ''VideoGame/LostEden'', is basically a T-Rex crossed with a TinTyrant. Defeating him reveals that he's really a mouse using illusion magic to make himself look more impressive.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Done with a good guy in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10SecretOfTheOmnitrix'': Azmuth winds up being a Grey Matter in a Cannonbolt suit.
* Skulker in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''. His real appearance is a small ghost made of ectoplasm, and his normal look is only his PoweredArmor.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/BigGuyAndRustyTheBoyRobot'' featured "Po the Destroyer", a giant hulking brute of an alien that mops the floor with Big Guy, but is later revealed to be a very short alien in a robot suit.
* Se?Siniestro from ''WesternAnimation/ElTigreTheAdventuresOfMannyRivera'', is just classmate of Manny and Frida with a knack for controlling a titanical battle suit which in turn can control an ''[[MetaMecha even bigger]]''[[MetaMecha battle suit]].
* Done with a hulking bounty hunter in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' who turns out to be a 1 foot tall alien in a big suit of armor. Then subverted where he is still an asskicker outside his costume later on. He built the suit more for looks than anything, as a tiny alien is less impressive to potential employers than a huge, hulking alien of unknown species.