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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SamusGirl_3978.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Samus' gender: a {{late arrival spoiler}} since 1986!]]

->'''[[VideoGame/KidIcarus Kid]] [[IAmNotShazam Icarus]]:''' Gosh[[VerbalTic -a-cus,]] Princess Lana! [[{{Franchise/Metroid}} Samus]] is super-duper-a-cus!\\
'''Lana:''' Well... Samus is a veteran of many impossible missions! Samus is a super-powered cyborg! Samus is the greatest space hunter in the Galactic Federation! ''(Samus removes her helmet)'' Samus is a... woman?!?!\\
'''Kevin:''' Whew! You sure are!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' comic story "Money Changes Everything"

Samus Is a Girl is when an {{action girl}} is well established as heroic, or otherwise {{badass}} before the first hint that she's female. Whether the initial lack of discernible sex is caused by bulky armor, baggy robes, [[WholesomeCrossdresser subtler deliberate deceptions]], shapeshifting, or even just the camera refusing to give a clear shot of any distinctly female parts of her, it's still Samus Is a Girl. Heck, a tank with a chick inside would count. Having a TomboyishName or GenderBlenderName helps as well. In fact, you can expect this trope to happen pretty much every time you hear the name "Alex" and it's not the name of an already established male character.

Oftentimes, Alice will only wear the form-concealing outfit during her introduction. Afterwards, it may end up getting lost or destroyed, and thereafter she wears something a little less ambiguous. Sometimes, she just stops on her own.

This is notably harder to pull off in some languages - those that don't use gender-neutral descriptors that much (on the other hand, it's ''very'' easy to pull off with some foreign characters, since quite a few Japanese and African names can be assigned to either gender). It's one thing to say Samus is a bounty hunter, but when your language demands that if the gender is known, this should be bounty huntress, characters that ''do'' know about Samus' gender and just don't care to elaborate to the listener couldn't just call her a bounty hunter without stretching suspension of disbelief. However, in English speaking countries, it is becoming more common to use the "masculine" or "gender-neutral" term when referring to women. For example, female actors are often referred to as actors rather than as actresses. It's one thing to trick the viewers by clever terminology, but when you completely break your language to do it, the effect becomes not so much "Hey, that's right, the gender was never actually mentioned!", but "Um... so the character who was referred to as male by others who knew she was female all the time was actually female. Huh?".

Perhaps nobody mentioned her gender because YouDidntAsk. Or because she's just one among a whole BadassArmy, so nobody paid attention specifically to her. Or because she's a complete stranger that nobody had seen before.

See TheFaceless and the {{Hackette}}, a SubTrope. Contrast UnsettlingGenderReveal (where "Alice" turns out to be "Bob"), SweetPollyOliver (Samus Is a Girl from a viewpoint that already knows she's female) and ViewerGenderConfusion (where the audience, not the characters, don't know what gender Pat is). See also GeekyTurnOn, which is sometimes related to this. FemaleMonsterSurprise is a similar trope, but with a monster. May involve GenderMisdirection.

''Please, don't bother with the spoiler tags here. The name of this trope is a pretty good reason why this should not be.''

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Trope Namer]]
* Named for Samus Aran from ''{{VideoGame/Metroid}}''. In the [[VideoGame/{{Metroid1}} first game]], the player doesn't learn she's female until after guiding her through an army of alien baddies. Later games in the series still play with this. The ''[[VideoGame/MetroidPrime Prime]]'' series, however, does not play with this, and gives her a rather feminine figure considering she's in armor. They also let you see her eyes through her visor. And Prime 3 even showed us her being a woman at the ''start'' of the game. ''[[VideoGame/MetroidOtherM Other M]]'' completely throws away this, however, because you see Samus without her suit in the opening sequence, in many cutscenes (sometimes this is just a shot of her face through her visor), and in the death sequence.
** The [[EasterEgg cheat code]] "[[http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/Justin_Bailey Justin Bailey]]" entered in the first game, will start Samus near the end of the game, with no armor on.
** The death sequences in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'', ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', and ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'' also have her armor shattering and reveal her form underneath. Plus, ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Melee]]'' gives her a sleek version of the Varia Suit.
** In the original game, even the ''manual'' refers to Samus as male. The developers only came to the decision to make her female about midway through the production process, when one of them casually remarked that it would be really funny to get to the end and discover she was a girl all along. Possibly one of the greatest {{throw it in}} moments in video game history.
*** The manual of ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'', however, uses "she" throughout. A literal case of {{all there in the manual}}, only confirmed by the best ending (later games do much the same).
** In ''Zero Mission'', you get a visor shot right before the game begins, but if you're not paying attention, you'll miss it. Hilarious, given that ''Zero Mission'' is a redone and updated version of the original game.
** Naturally, this happens to our favorite SPARTAN in ''{{WebAnimation/Haloid}}'' as well. Wait.... [[spoiler: Surprise! That's not Master Chief, but Nicole-458, a female SPARTAN who appeared in the ''Dead or Alive'' games (even though there was no canon on ''how'' Nicole looked like). She ends up pulling this trope on Samus, making ''Haloid'' a double whammy.]]
*** And it's not just in fan fiction! {{Canon}} ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' media uses the exact same trick not once, but twice - [[spoiler:Maria-062]] in ''ComicBook/HaloGraphicNovel'' and [[spoiler:Cal-141]] in ''Anime/HaloLegends''.
** Played with a little bit in ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', if the player fights her as [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]] on Shadow Moses Island. In his Codec transmission, Snake remarks to Otacon that he's fighting "a woman in a power suit." Otacon is baffled as to how Snake can possibly know she's a woman. Snake's comments in this transmission, and in the one he makes if he fights her in her Zero Suit, are the main reason Snake/Samus has become a popular ship among the fans.
*** Hint: he figured it out by watching how she walks [[MaleGaze and checking out the anatomy involved]]. This is a shout out to how the player finds [[spoiler: Meryl Silverburgh in disguise in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' - exaggerated hip sway]].
*** These conversations may also be subtle foreshadowing of the Power-Suited AmazonBrigade that would appear in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''. It's not the only thing Hideo Kojima foreshadowed in that game.
** In ''Melee'', one of the events is called "Girl Power" and has you fight Samus, Zelda and Peach. If you didn't know Samus was a girl, you would be surprised to see her there, since Samus never takes off her suit in normal gameplay.
** The manual does not refer to Samus as a woman and her first trophy avoids using pronouns.
** When ''Metroid'' first came out in the '80s, Nintendo of America ran a ''Metroid'' art contest in their magazine "the Nintendo Fun Club News" (a precursor to ''Magazine/NintendoPower''). All the winners who had Samus unmasked in their art depicted her as a man.
*** [[http://math.utoledo.edu/~dgajews/sw35/NFCN/Metroid_Art_Contest_small.jpg This is the art in question.]] Notice the one that was tied for 4th. This was obviously based off an ending in the game, [[http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/s/samus_helmet.png in which Samus' face was the only thing that was revealed.]] Thanks to the 8-bit graphics, it was ''still'' impossible to tell whether or not Samus was a girl. One could easily interpret that the person in the suit was simply a guy with EightiesHair. Apparently, the artists settled for that notion. Seems that the judges of the art didn't do the research and did the same. Either that or Nintendo knew beforehand and decided to make the judges disqualify the entries that depicted Samus as a female in order to keep the twist a secret.
** In the ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' comics in the ''ComicBook/NintendoComicsSystem'', Samus was a regular character, and in her first appearance, it surprised the regulars from the cartoon when she unmasked for the first time. [[http://thepunkeffect.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/3a223d2c97f405bdd789d3bc96da8ec7bffa1250.png The scene in question is quoted above.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In ''TowerOfGod'' Hwa Ryun kicked major ass before Baam broke her mask. And cut her eye.
* In the ''Anime/HaloLegends'' anthology, the episode "The Babysitter" uses this trope for the [[SuperSoldier Spartan-II]] sniper.
** Done again in the segment "Homecoming", where the Spartan-II that saves a platoon from a Covenant ambush is revealed to be a girl when she removes her helmet.
* Marlene in ''BlueGender''. Yuji is her "Bob".
** He's more surprised by the fact that she's human than the fact that she's female. Waking up in the middle of a BugWar and seeing nothing but NightmareFuel for a solid 5 minutes can do that to you.
* In the "Battle Tendency" arc or ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Joseph Joestar and Caesar go to meet Caesat's mentor. When Joseph finally mets her, she is initially fully dressed and her face is concealed, and he thinks she must be a man... until she reveals her face.
* Rei in the manga version of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' when she's still inside the Eva. [[FogOfWar In the confusion of the battle]], Shinji can't tell if anyone ''is'' inside the Eva (Rei's name comes up, but that seems to be a thought bubble rather than spoken dialogue on Misato's part). Shinji cries out (in the English translation), "Our guy's getting clobbered!" But when he gets to NERV headquarters, he still seems to think he was saved by a robot. At any rate, as soon as the reader -- and, a few panels later, Shinji -- actually ''[[TheReveal sees]]'' Rei, it's clear she's a BandageBabe -- along with all sorts of other types of {{fanservice}} / FanDisservice.
** Carefully averted in ''RebuildOfEvangelion 2.0'' with Asuka, who arrives in Unit 02 to fight the Angel. Shinji had never seen her or her Eva before but when he does comment on the battle, he doesn't use any third-person pronouns in either the Japanese original or the English dub.
* In ''{{Berserk}}'' Guts doesn't realize that Casca who is in full medieval knight armor is woman until he knocks off her helmet.
** Later at a formal celebration Guts is approached Casca now dressed in, [[IncrediblyLamePun well, a dress]], despite knowing very well that she's a woman, Guts is awfully surprised to see her looking like one, likely used to her being one of the guys.
** Even later when the Hawks plan to [[spoiler: rescue Griffith]] their guide is none other then Princess Charlotte who admits not realizing that she was a woman the first time they meet (much to Guts and Judeau's amusement).
* When most people hear of the assassin ''Anime/{{Noir}}'', they assume it to the be the codename for a ''male'' assassin, as opposed to the fact that it is actually ''two'' girls.
** Especially ironic, since eventually it's revealed that Noir in fact originally referred to two female killers as long as thousand years ago.
* In the ''GiantRobo'' {{OVA}}s, ActionGirl / CoolBigSis Ginrei first appears in disguise as a [[MaskPower masked]] BadassLongcoat to rescue Dr. Shizuma -- for all of a minute, before [[FlungClothing suddenly changing]] into her trademark Chinese dress, and never using the "Iron Mask" disguise for the rest of the series.
* Cagalli Yula Athha of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'''s [[{{Tomboy}} tomboyish personality]] and androgynous clothing originally fools both Kira and Athrun into thinking she is a boy. Her gender confusion is also an in-joke to the viewers, as her voice actress Creator/NaomiShindo usually voices young boys.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''
** Akane exemplifies the trope when [[spoiler:she dresses up in full kendo outfit and protection and participates in a males-only match against Tatewaki Kuno. It is only after girl-Ranma declared her love for whoever was in there and then her mask falls off (long story) that the audience and Ranma realize that they had been cheering for Akane all along.]]
** A more handy example lies with Ranma's UnluckyChildhoodFriend Ukyou. Having met her at a very young age, Ranma always believed her to be another boy; after a bitter grudge match in which she forced him to fight "seriously", he was stunned to discover she was actually a girl. HilarityEnsues:
---> '''Ranma''': Since when are you...\\
'''Ukyou''': ...a girl? Since I was born, idiot.\\
''[Ranma pours hot water on her]''\\
'''Ukyou''': Ow! Hot! Hot! Hot! ''[punches Ranma]'' Why the heck did you do that?!\\
'''Ranma''': Hey, you didn't turn into a man!?\\
'''Ukyou''': What's that supposed to mean? Listen up and well! I'm a hundred percent woman!!!
** Exemplified and subverted ''again'' by the character Herb. When the tall, dark, powerful stranger who handily defeats is shown to be a woman, the cast reacts with surprise and shock. However, the subversion comes as it turns out that Herb is the ''Prince'' of the Musk Dynasty, who, having fallen into the same cursed spring as Ranma, also turns into a woman.
** This is then inverted by [[DudeLooksLikeALady Konatsu]] and [[MasterOfDisguise Tsubasa]], [[WholesomeCrossdresser Ukyou's]] would-be suitors who ''everyone'' (including the audience) believed to be girls, right up until the very final page of their introductory story arcs --when [[ClothingDamage their outfits]] are destroyed, one way or another.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', (read only if you've seen Episode 41 or read Chapter 116) [[spoiler:Yoruichi]] is a more long and drawn out version of this; [[spoiler:as long as she remains in cat form]], everyone assumes she's a man. In the manga, this was just an assumption on the part of the reader. The anime is more deceptive; [[spoiler:they gave cat-Yoruichi a really masculine-sounding voice]]. It doesn't help that she has the speech patterns of an old man.
** [[spoiler:Cat-Yoruichi is supposed to sound masculine; in the manga, she tells Ichigo that most people who only know her as a cat think she's male because of her voice.]]
** [[spoiler: HilarityEnsues when she reveals that she is a girl. ]]
* In the anime ''{{Bastard}}'' Arshes Nei was shown at first as a figure in full plate and rather bulky armor, which made impossible to tell that the character within that armor was, in fact, a slender female.
* [[spoiler:Mukuro]] from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. She even disguises her voice and covers her face when she is first introduced. [[spoiler:She also refers to herself with the ''very'' masculine pronoun "ore" in Japanese, and, believe it or not, Hiei is her Bob.]]
* One episode of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' concerns a mysterious masked man with a masculine voice. He and Nabeshin have a lot of HoYay, which Excel comments on - and then the mask is removed, showing a beautiful blond woman. [[RuleOfFunny Still with a masculine voice.]]
* A bit of a drawn-out occurrence appears in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''. It is pretty much impossible to tell I-pin's gender, since she is a baby... Then she gets hit with the 10-year Bazooka. No romance (again, baby) but she ''does'' spend a lot of time with Lambo.
** You think them being [[ToyShip babies/kids has stopped the Lambo X I-Pin]] [[{{Shipping}} shippers]]?
* Haruka in ''Anime/SailorMoon'', although there's no romance arc beyond her flirting with Usagi for the fun of it; she's already taken... by a woman, which helped hide her gender. Though due the fact that she appeared in the anime in her Senshi form before the reveal at the end of the episode introducing her, viewers are not as shocked as the characters. (It should be noted that before this episode, Uranus and Neptune DID show up in senshi form, but all the viewer was shown was a silhouette and the credits only listed them as "Mysterious Senshi 1 and 2"
** Also, for the first few Uranus and Neptune appearances in the original [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], they were perceived not as two mysterious senshi, but as a mysterious senshi/Tuxedo Mask pair; and Haruka's flirting with Usagi was much heavier. It wasn't until after they joined with the other senshi that Uranus was perceived as a woman rather than a man.
* Lan Fan in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. When Ed uses alchemy to destroy her mask in their fight, he's so shocked to see she's a girl that she's able to both destroy his automail arm and drop a bomb before he can react.
** Subverted the subtrope by not becoming Ed's love interest at all. In fact, she [[BodyguardCrush already has her own]] (there was a brief, mostly-played-for-laughs ShipTease between Lan Fan's love interest and Ed's, though).
** Also Major General Olivie Mira Armstrong, when Alex first mentions her, she could have been a male as well.
* Kidd Summers at the start of the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' movie: "Lucario and the Mystery of Mew", literally in armor. Semi-justified by the fact that ''everyone'' at the festival is in quasi-medieval costume.
** [[spoiler:Yellow]] in the manga ''PokemonSpecial''. Funnily enough, only Blue and Blaine knew until near the end of the Gold/Silver/Crystal arcs, then ''everyone'' finds out after [[spoiler:she removes her hat]].
*** Green found out while training her. The only ones shocked by that spoiler were Red, Crys, and later Gold.
** Anabel and Angie in the main anime. Incidentally, they both end up developing a crush on Ash.
*** Ash's Aipom, actually. It's hinted but never really confirmed until we see her wear a dress in one episode.
** Zoroark turns out to be female in the movie.
* Due to the voice acting in the dub, German viewers often thought ''Anime/DigimonTamers'''s Renamon was supposed to be "male" (or at least gender-neutral -- it's a somewhat deliberately enigmatic digital lifeform in what's arguably a kids' show, after all). Which makes the final form a bit of a surprise.
** Plenty of people were caught off guard when Cutemon in ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' yelled that he was a boy around the middle of the series. Twisted even further in the dub -- he's voiced by a male and ''still'' sounds adorable!
* Parodied in ''SteelFistRiku''. Chikara Toudou arrives to challenge Riku's father, but since he's not around, he decides to challenge the "son", Riku, instead. At this point, Riku has her chest bound flat, so it's understandable. But then, Riku tells him she's a girl, and he accuses her of pretending to try and get out of the fight. Then, during the fight, he notices the bump under Riku's shirt... and thinks "he" is concealing a weapon there. He finally gets it after he grabs her breast.
* Odd variation in the ''MahouSenseiNegima'' manga: Earlier in the manga we met Paio Zi, a member of a group of bounty hunters pursuing Nodoka had a rather... "healthy" appreciation for [[strike:breasts]] boobies that bordered on the obsessive. Most readers found this character ''quite'' [[DudeNotFunny disturbing]]... until a recent chapter mostly [[FuroScene set in a bathhouse]], where the hunters are encountered again under peaceful circumstances, and Paio is revealed to be a girl, who proceeds to SkinshipGrope the hell out of pretty much everybody within reach (and she moves ''fast''), to the amusement of the fans. This comes across as a bit of a DoubleStandard, but she's really a lot less threatening without her fighting costume, which is rather monstrous and effectively ''quadruples'' (at least!) her body mass. Compare her [[http://www.onemanga.com/Mahou_Sensei_Negima!/218/06/ in costume]] (Commanding the tentacled worm) with her [[http://www.onemanga.com/Mahou_Sensei_Negima!/235/07/ out of it]] (Furo, remember? so may not be Work Safe).
** What DoubleStandard? Ku Fei didn't hold back when she kicked Paio in the ''face''.
*** Mostly by the fans, who were creeped out by Paio Zi at first, but then laughed their heads off when the truth came out.
**** There is a difference between SkinshipGrope and what seems like attempted rape.
* EnigmaticMinion Masquerade of ''{{Bakugan}}'' is actually [[spoiler:Alice]]. She uses her StatOVision {{Sinister|Shades}} {{Mask|Power}} to transform.
* Noi of ''{{Dorohedoro}}'' does this in the first volume. She's one of the numerous masked {{badass}}es of the show; taller, bulkier and probably stronger than the entire male cast.
* Stir from ''KingOfBanditJing'' does this.
* In ''[[RevolutionaryGirlUtena Adolescence of Utena]]'', Saionji cuts Utena's shirt in their duel, leading to the following exchange:
-->'''Saionji:''' You're a girl?\\
'''Utena:''' [[YouNeverAsked I don't remember saying I was a boy!]]
* In the ''[[DragonQuest Dragon Warrior]]'' anime, [[ActionGirl Daisy]] saves [[TheHero Abel's]] hide a few times before he finds out she is a girl.
* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' has this pulled off by the Last General of Nanto, who dresses like a fearsome warlord. Once the helmet comes off though, the General is revealed to be none other than [[spoiler:Yuria, who was presumed dead at the time.]]
** A [[EstablishingCharacterMoment badass]] inversion was used in Rei's debut. You see a woman in a pink cloak being harassed by thugs. You think a badass martial artist'll jump in and save the day. Then you end up surprised when the "woman" in the pink cloak turns out to be said martial arts badass Rei in disguise, luring said thugs to him.
* Raiko Minamori in ''New GetterRobo'', who is revealed to be a woman only after Ryoma tackles her and [[AccidentalPervert ends up grabbing a handful]].
* In ''Getter Robo Armageddon'' At the beginning of the series the kid is daughter of Dr.Saotome initially using boy's clothing. [[spoiler:After missile fall to Earth events, Genki Saotome is adopted by Benkei and revealed that he is a girl and having her name changed to Kei Kuruma.]]
* Reversed in ''LiarGame'' in the second round [[spoiler:where the seemingly innocent "Yuji" is revealed to be the cross dressing Mr. X.]]
* ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'': Haruhi, if you watch the first episode [[ItWasHisSled unspoiled]], which is pretty much impossible nowadays.
* ''GlassFleet'' combined this with ViewerGenderConfusion because [[spoiler:Michel]] had a [[spoiler:female]] voice actor. The big reveal isn't until episode seven. Afterwards, [[spoiler:her]] style of dress does not change (spoiler text as this is a major plot point of the series).
* In ''YuGiOh5Ds'', the helmeted D-Wheeler shown in the third intro sequence turns out to be a blond woman named Sherry. (Yusei doesn't ''truly'' realize she's a woman until the end of the first part of the two-part episode, but even before then, the cards she uses gives him and the viewers a clue that his opponent is a woman; mostly female monsters with a LadyOfWar theme, like Sherry herself, and flower-themed Trap Cards.)
* ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'': [[spoiler:[[AmbiguousGender Kino]] is a girl. The anime doesn't tell you until the fourth episode and you don't find out for quite a while in the non-English novels, before which most viewers tend to either assume she's a boy or think "But he could be...". The people who figured it out before hand got to give themselves a good pat on the back when her gender was finally revealed.]]
** Strangely, it is Japan in which this is easy to guess due to seemingly CrossdressingVoices, the English dub gives the character a much more ambiguous voice.
*** Though it's not uncommon in anime for adolescent males to have distinctly effeminate voice.
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'': In the Second Raid, Mithril agent Wraith is revealed to be woman. She disguised herself as an overweight man complete with a voice changer.
* With Hinagiku taking the role of Silver Red (a superhero of a Sentai parody), ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' is setting itself up for this one. The other characters even think Red ''is'' a guy, despite the significant lack of male form ([[ACupAngst not just Hina's]] UsefulNotes/{{Pettanko}} status).
* In ''KirbyOfTheStars'', Princess Rona initially introduces herself as the MALE bodyguard Vee to the decoy princess because she wanted to get to know the people of Cappytown as a normal person. It's not until her helmet falls off later on that any real girlishness is revealed. She still manages to kick Dedede's ass at the end in a swordfight even after being revealed as the actual princess. Though in this case, the deception was intentional, not just that wearing that particular suit or whatever was the most logical thing to do for an action hero.
* Busujima from ''BusouRenkin''.
* A [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Musketeers_%281987_TV_series%29 1987 anime version]] of ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' does this to [[spoiler:[[GenderBender Aramis]]]].
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Misa Amane is revealed to the readers to be the second Kira soon after her activities become known to the other characters. In the English versions at least, Light and the investigators continue to refer to The Second Kira by the male pronoun (probably for the sake of convenience, as they use "he" when referring to the first Kira too) until they learn more about her.
* Played with in ''SpacePirateMito''. During a fight, BigBad Ranban's helmet is knocked off, revealing not only a female face underneath, but the same face as Aoi's mother, the titular Mito. Ranban reveals that it's just a [[PoweredArmor mail suit]], which Mito also wears, modeled on the first queen of the galaxy. Later on, however, [[spoiler: it's revealed that Ranban never differentiated between genders, as his species usually does at puberty, and is thus a {{hermaphrodite}}]].
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'' movie 4. the little kid whom Luffy and Co. encountered was revealed to be a girl dressed in boy's clothing near the end.
* [[spoiler:Sevotharte]] from ''AngelSanctuary''. The promising scientist [[spoiler: Lailah]]'s success elicited jealousy from her male peers, who [[RapeAsDrama raped her]]. Branded a Fallen Angel for becoming "tainted", she sold herself in desperation to [[FetusTerrible Sandalphon]], who whitened her hair and altered her face and body type. Since the true [[spoiler:Sevothtarte]] died years ago in combat, she took his name [[spoiler:and wore a tiara and veil]] to hide her identity after she ascended into the Seraph rank.
* Used during the ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'' Land of Birds filler arc. An armored, flying specter wielding a naginata appeared to haunt a daimyo's castle which had recently seen great misfortune; the specter seemed intent on uncovering if an assassin had slain the former daimyo and his daughter. It was eventually revealed that the specter was [[spoiler: in fact the new daimyo who had assumed lordship, and that said daimyo was in fact the ''daughter'' of the dead daimyo and had been posing as her also dead brother]].
** Subverted much earlier during the Land of Waves of arc. Haku's first appearance showed [[DudeLooksLikeALady her]] to be highly-skilled and convinced even Kakashi that [[WholesomeCrossdresser she]] was a threat while wearing bulky robes that could disguise a feminine form. A chance meeting with Naruto while in civvies set up the possibility of a forbidden romance... and then Haku had an UnsettlingGenderreveal.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'', Celty's gender isn't clear when she first appears thanks to camera angles and lighting, although her feminine form is much more apparent later on.
** It's apparently less obvious in-universe than it is to the viewers; neither Shizuo nor Tom knew that Celty was female until Shinra told them.
* [[spoiler: Melk the Second]] from Toriko starts off appearing to be a very [[{{Bishonen}} bishie man]].
* ''IceRevolution'': Most of Masaka's friends at the skating rink thought she was a boy... until she took the ice for her first performance. Heck, her own coach didn't even notice she was a girl until she told him.
* The red man in ''DeadmanWonderland''. Ganta is so screwed when he found out the nemesis he hated so much turns out to be [[spoiler:his childhood sweetheart Shiro.]]
* Kei in ''IriaZeiramTheAnimation''. She's pre-adolescent, so there's no way to distinguish that she's a girl dressed in boy's clothes until late in the series when Fujikuro literally sniffed out her gender.
* In episode 12 of ''Manga/BlueExorcist'', [[spoiler:Yamada, who always wore a hood and never spoke]], turns out to be Stripperific ActionGirl wearing a disguise to spy on our main characters.
** In the 20th anime episode, the villain working with Neuhaus turns out to be [[spoiler:his wife]], despite having used a distinctly male voice up until TheReveal.
* The titular character in OsamuTezuka's [[spoiler:Dororo]]. It doesn't help that she was told she was boy by her parents.
* In ''SgtFrog'', many characters first think that Private Tamama is a female due to his cute appearance and voice. Later on in the series, Tamama himself, along with most of the rest of the cast, falls victim to this trope when a Keronian named Karara comes to Earth to see the ARMPIT Platoon. It's not made apparent that she's female until she leaves a goodbye note when she leaves at the end of the episode, saying that Tamama left such a huge impression on her that she wants to marry him when she grows up. In all the character's defense, an actual female Keronian hadn't shown up before then.
* Brilliantly pulled in ''InfiniteStratos''. Ichika accomplishes the impossible and moves an IS, something that's said to be impossible to be done by males. He gets himself enrolled in an all-girl school... then after a while, another male by the name of [[{{Bishonen}} Charles Dunois]] is transferred into the class and said to have accomplished the same feat. He is awfully shy around Ichika in the locker room and [[spoiler:refuses to change with him, something Ichika finds quite strange and tries to lightheartedly force the issue, only to provoke the other boy into running away. When he returns to their mutual room, [[ShowerOfAwkward Dunois is in the shower and Ichika enters the bathroom just as the former was about to leave the cubicle]].]] Yup, [[SweetPollyOliver Dunois]] is [[FullFrontalAssault definitely not a guy]]. "He" later explains that [[spoiler:as an illegitimate child, she was kept in secrecy until a few years ago when she was tested and found to have a good aptitude at using an IS. Her [[WholesomeCrossdresser disguise]] as a boy served two reasons: first, as a publicity stunt to her father's company which was falling behind in IS development and second, as a way to [[TheMole get close to Ichika and spy on him]].]] A few days later, Ichika's class receives another transfer student. Everyone, say hello to [[{{Moe}} Charlotte Dunois]]. Naturally, everyone in the class knows Charlotte and Ichika used the bathhouse together the previous night and instantly make the assumption he must've known and [[AccidentalPervert took advantage of it]]. Cue [[{{Yandere}} Rin]] [[PervertRevengeMode bursting into the classroom with her IS and firing a full-powered shot at Ichika's head]].
** And as a little extra, Charles/Charlotte also happens to be a CharClone and later becomes a LoveInterest for Ichika.
*** And as a litlle extra extra, her nickname, given to her by Ichika, IS Char. Go figure.
* ''FushigiYuugi'' has Soi, who was a person wearing a cloak for a few chapters before revealing herself as a woman.
* A villainous example appeared in ''BrainPowerd'' - the enigmatic Baron who begins to appear late in the show is quite fearsome, helping the villain Jonathan transform his [[HumongousMecha Grand]] [[EmpathicWeapon Cher]] into a borderline EldritchAbomination known as the 'Baronz'. His reasons seem mysterious and ChessMaster-y, but... [[spoiler: behind the mask, it's actually Jonathan's estranged mother, trying to protect and help her son despite being stuck on the wrong side of the conflict from him.]]
* Inverted in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', where Claire Stanfield, the expert assassin named Luck had hired, turns out not to be the [[RedHerring fatigues-wearing]] ActionSurvivor woman [[RedHerring that'd been making her way across the train]], but rather [[spoiler:[[RedHerringShirt the redheaded conductor that was supposedly killed off very early on in the story.]]]]
* The acolytes in ''Anime/AgnisPhilosophy'' are all presented to the viewer as robed, hooded individuals, so the viewer can be forgiven for [[MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial assuming they are male]] until the titular character pulls off her hood, revealing that "he" is, in fact, a she.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', the villainous organization GREMLIN, which is mostly made up of people with NorseMythology gimmicks, is led by someone called Odin. Surprise, [[spoiler: Odin is Othinus, a who ''looks'' like a 13-14 year old girl and is still powerful enough to CurbStompBattle pretty much anyone since she indeed has the power of the Norse God Odin.]]
* In ''LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha'', [[NoNameGiven The Hero]] was greatly surprised to find that The Demon King is [[SheIsTheKing a really cute girl]].
* In the original series plan for ''ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'', Berg Katse would have turned out to be a woman disguised as a man. About halfway through, the producers changed their minds...
* ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor''. Harumi takes off her helmet and baggy spacesuit to reveal she's a HospitalHottie, causing Dr. Kitaguchi to lose a SideBet that their latest crewmember would not be a woman.
* ''Anime/LupinIIIPrincessOfTheBreeze'' has Lupin fighting a Sky Pirate in a bird-beak mask. When Lupin pushes on the pirate's chest to keep them away from him, the pirate is upset. It turns out ''she'' is a young girl. Cue weaponized ArmorPiercingSlap, and Lupin getting knocked off of the airship.
* In the ''{{Gaiking}}'' CGI test footage, the pilot was revealed to be a woman. In its previous incarnations, Gaiking's pilots were both male.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One of the regular supporting heroes in Paul Grist's ''ComicBook/JackStaff'' is Tom Tom the Robot Man, a towering, super-strong robot with the power of flight. It's a genuinely bizarre and unexpected moment when it's discovered that "he" is effectively a suit of powered armour being piloted by a disabled girl genius to fight crime.
* In the one-shot crossover ''Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}} vs. {{Wolverine}}'', both heroes are on the trail of Wolverine's former partner, named "Charlie", which is given as being short for: "Charlemagne". When Wolverine finally catches up with Charlie, the rogue agent is revealed to be a "she". Wolverine naturally knew all along, but Spidey, as well as the READER were kept in the dark by clever avoidance of gender-specific pronouns (not to mention a flashback where "Charlie" is deliberately shown in gender-neutral disguise). It's implied that Charlemagne uses the ambiguous nature of her name as an additional cover to her identity.
* In ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', Professor X's primary love interest Lilandra was introduced in a running subplot in which he was having ominous visions of space battles and a menacing armored figure. When the figure finally showed up and took off its helmet, it wasn't quite what he was expecting.
* The original Ronin in ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'' turned out to be Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s love interest Echo (after a minor RedHerring that it was DD himself).
* Julie-Su from the ''Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog'' comic.
* [[spoiler:Mindf**k]] of ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' is a dramatic example, as eventually revealed to Emp; [[spoiler:Mindf**k]] and [[spoiler:Sistah Spooky]] are ex-lovers, whose first meeting (without a Samus Is A Girl scene) was shown in flashback the following volume.
* [[spoiler:Junior, who is assumed to be Ragdoll's brother or father]] in ''SecretSix'', turns out to be his [[spoiler:sister]].
* Sasquatch from ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight'' is ''usually'' male in the main continuity, but in the [[UltimateMarvel Ultimate Universe]], when the team returns to base after fighting the X-Men, Sasquatch resumes human form and turns out to be the very female Rahne Sinclair, who in the main MarvelUniverse is the werewolf Wolfsbane. There were some hints to this beforehand though; readers may have wondered why "he" had [[TertiarySexualCharacteristics ribbons]] in "his" hair in Sasquatch form.
** Sasquatch from ''The Exiles'' as well. First going into human form: "What surprises you more, that I'm a woman or that I'm black?"
** This happened even in the main continuity. When Sasquatch came back from the dead by using the body of the shapeshifting Snowbird, he first appeared in his Sasquatch form but, when he tries to resume his human form, he discovers that he's trapped in a feminine body, since Snowbird was a woman.
* Shining Knight, from GrantMorrison's ''[[SevenSoldiers Seven Soldiers of Victory]]'', is revealed to be a girl at the end of her portion of the series.
** Ystin being female is taken as a given when she appears in Demon Knights, though most people are polite enough not to point this out.
* Colonel Randall in Dark Horse's early ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' comics is introduced as a gritty soldier in combat fatigues and a face-obscuring helmet, and only referred to as 'the Colonel'. This is really only to build up to the money shot, where, after having stripped down to go through Skynet's time machine, Colonel ''Mary'' Randall blows away a terminator and is shown to be... a hot nekkid babe! Needless to say, on arriving in the 20th century she starts wearing tight minidresses.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', Death's name is mentioned well before we see her. Gaiman intended for most readers to assume Death of the Endless would be male and menacing ... until we saw her.
** [[{{Squick}} In-character example]] from the same series: [[spoiler: "[[SerialKiller Dog Soup]] is a ''woman''?"]]
* ''ComicBook/TheSurrogates'' features a setting where normal people no longer interact with each other in person, but instead use a [[UnusualUserInterface humanoid robot]] as a proxy. As a result, cross-gender surrogates are common. One of the first surrogates we see is a cross-gender surrogate, and the male CorruptCorporateExecutive is revealed to actually be a woman. Both of them masqueraded as a person of the opposite gender to get ahead in their respective fields.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Camelot 3000}}'', Merlin sends Tom to a wedding to awaken the memories of a reincarnated Round Table knight. The homing-amulet he's carrying leads him to the couple at the altar. Tom assumes it's the groom he's looking for, but it's [[GenderBender actually the bride]] whom Sir Tristan has been reborn as. Of course, the now awoken Tristan fully identifies as a man and draws a great deal of angst from it.
-->'''Tristan:''' My name is Tristan. '''Sir''' Tristan.
* Taz in the ''AtariForce'' second series was referred to as being male up until Morphea discovered [[spoiler:Taz was pregnant]].
* In ''ScudTheDisposableAssassin'', Sussudio is introduced this way. [[spoiler:Naturally, she later becomes Scud's love interest.]]
* In DC's 1980s comics series ''ArakSonofThunder'', the character of Valda is introduced in full plate armor. Arak doesn't find out her sex until he removes her helmet. Unfortunately, the cover spoils the surprise by showing her wearing her standard mail byrnie and no helmet.
* "The Trouble With Air", the main/cover story of one issue of DC's horror anthology series ''Unexpected'', has an astronaut saved from a lonely death on Pluto by the, well, ''unexpected'' action of some friendly native blobs. In the very last panel, after returning to the lander, the astronaut removes their helmet - allowing ''her'' curly hair to fall to the shoulders of her spacesuit.
* Johnathan Hickman's ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' run introduced Comicbook/IronMan 3030, a futuristic LegacyCharacter. The bulk of the character's debut issue deliberately leaves their gender ambiguous, only for the final few pages to reveal that Iron Man 3030 is actually Tony Stark's [[AffirmativeActionLegacy mixed-race granddaughter]], Rhodey.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanMaskOfThePhantasm,'' [[spoiler:the Phantasm]].
* From ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'', before the soldiers take off their helmets:
-->Hear that, Jane? [[ShoutOut She thinks]] [[Film/{{Aliens}} you're a man]].\\
I think she's an idiot.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal'': The title character of the last story, Taarna, is summoned by the city's elders to fight the horde of evil invaders. The elders don't use any gender-specific words when speaking of the last of the Taarakians whom they're summoning, and when Taarna does arrive, she flies into the city on a pterodactyl-like steed wearing a hooded robe. Only when she lands in the city and dismounts her steed does Taarna reveal her gender by removing her hood (and shortly thereafter, [[FanService everything else]] to keep up the film's quota).
* Technically, the stitchpunks of ''WesternAnimation/{{Nine}}'' are asexual constructs. This trope is still invoked with 7, whose female voice isn't heard until after "she" has demonstrated "her" combat prowess.
* The Dragon turns out to be this in the original ''{{Shrek}}''.
** Kitty, in ''WesternAnimation/PussInBoots''.
* Kevin in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}''. Russell initially thought Kevin was a male, but later revealed to be a female when she calls to her chicks. He ''still'' refers to Kevin as a he.
** It's worth noting that Kevin's bright colors and taking care of the eggs point to him being a male, cassowary-like bird.
*** It's also similar in a way to female eclectus parrots, which are bright red and blue, in contrast to the green-colored males.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* Demetra, from ''[[Film/SpyKids Spy Kids 3D: Game Over]]'', wore a head-obscuring helmet during her stay with the gang that Juni joins. RomanceArc? Check.
* Maid Marian's initial appearance in ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', followed shortly after by {{Chickification}}.
* From ''Film/SkyHigh'', power-armoured supervillain Royal Pain turned out to be [[spoiler:Gwen, the girl that Will had a crush on. The weapon she built before being defeated by Will's superhero parents turned her into a baby, and her henchman raised her.]]
* In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'':
** Boushh is [[spoiler:Leia]].
** Rumored to have been the case for Boba Fett for a while, which would have put quite a different spin on the scene at Jabba's palace, where Boba makes a pass at one of the dancer girls. It's hinted at in a young reader book, and in fact his appearance in that book was later retconned to have been his daughter impersonating him.
* This seemed to be the idea behind Nyssa's first scene in ''Film/BladeII''. It didn't quite work. In fact, it would probably count as a genuinely surprising subversion of this trope if an armored antagonist were to wordlessly, facelessly appear, go toe-to-toe with the male protagonist using acrobatic moves, and then be revealed to ''not'' be female.
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082622/ Knightriders]]'', Sir Rocky.
* ''Film/{{Thunderball}}''. A motorcyclist kills a man driving a car (who's chasing Film/JamesBond) and rides away. After running the cycle into a ditch, the cyclist takes off the helmet and reveals that she's SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe.
* In ''Film/{{Dragonslayer}}'' (1981) a character turns out to be [[spoiler:a girl masquerading as a boy since girls are in danger of being sacrificed to the dragon.]]
* ''Film/{{Hackers}}'': Neither Dade nor the audience know that Dade's rival, Acid Burn, is actually his love interest, Kate Libby, until a hacker lets that information slip about halfway through the film. Dade's fellow hackers do know who Acid Burn is, but when Dade initially assumes Acid Burn is male--"Do you know who he is?"--they gladly let him go right on thinking that--"No, I don't know who he is".
** From Lord Nikon's point of view, this is the case with Zero Cool, Dade's hacker alias when he was a kid (and responsible for one of the worst cyber-attacks in history). Being black, Nikon naturally assumed so was Dade.
* Film/{{Barbarella}} in the beginning of the original film, where a bulky spacesuit is removed, and FanService ensues.
* Trinity in ''Film/TheMatrix'', from Neo's point of view; he'd heard of Trinity in Cyberspace [[ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet but assumed it to be a guy.]] Trinity replies that "most guys do."
* ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'': a jet pilot, who takes down a flying robot, and who ejects after an engine is shot by the machines which later causes an explosion, is only called "Williams". Marcus goes saving Williams, who is hanging from a telephone tower. Pilot takes helmet off, turns out to be a woman, Blair Williams.
* Racecar driver A.J. Ferguson in the feature film version of ''TheLittleRascals'' turns out in the end to be...[[spoiler:Reba [=McEntire=]]], shocking all the young male members of The [[HeManWomanHater He-Man-Woman-Haters]] club.
* ''InTheSonOfRobinHood'' Little John has a problem with Robin's heir. Three guesses to what it is.
* ''Film/TheSting'' has one[[spoiler: The hitman "Salino" turns out to be ''Loretta'' Salino, the waitress in the diner.]]
* A shocking variant was used in ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'', in which the gruesome Cenobites are involuntarily transformed back to their original human guises by the Lament Configuration. One Cenobite whose facial features had been burned away, leaving nothing but scar tissue and chattering teeth, is revealed to be [[spoiler:a young boy]].
** This may have been an homage to the infamous use of the same variant in the opening scene of [[spoiler: ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'']].
* Subverted in ''Film/WhatsUpTigerLily?'', a Japanese spy movie with new dialog by Creator/WoodyAllen. An escaped prisoner in a head-covering scarf hops into the hero's car and drives off, then pulls off the headgear, revealing herself as a sexy girl. The hero reacts in surprise: "(whistle)... an Oriental!"
* In ''Film/PitchBlack'', [[spoiler:the teenage boy "Jack" is revealed by Riddick, at a conveniently inappropriate moment, to be female. It turns out the blind creatures hunting them are tracing them by their scent of blood, and, although no members of the party appear to be wounded, "Jack" is menstruating.]]
* ''PocketNinjas'' when the White Dragon at the fight scene near the end was revealed to be Tanya.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Aliens}}''. Male Marine to ActionGirl Vasquez, as Vasquez does pullups in the locker room: "Hey Vasquez, you ever been mistaken for a man?" Vasquez: "No. Have you?"
* In the film ''TheLastLegion'', familiarity with those trope allows one to quickly surmise that [[spoiler:the Eastern Roman Empire soldier is a chick.]] Why else would she wear a helm with an aventail like that?
* The opening scene of ''Film/IronMan1'' has Tony exclaim in suprise when he realizes that one of his three military escorts is actually female (she's wearing BDUs, ballistic armor and a helmet, so it's hard to tell). She's revealed by her feminine voice the first time she speaks up.
-->'''Tony:''' Good God, you're a woman!
* Quorra's introduction in ''Film/TronLegacy'' has elements of this, as she wears a motorcycle helmet the whole time and even uses a voice modulator. Averted in that it's pretty clear from her outfit that she's a woman, and that the helmet and modulator are intended to hide her identity rather than her gender.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', Indy and Marcus Brody are a bit surprised to see their contact is, in fact, Dr. ''Elsa'' Schneider.
* [[spoiler: The Blank / Breathless Mahoney]] in ''Film/DickTracy''. TheReveal is actually quite a TearJerker.
* In {{Slasher Movie}}s featuring female killers, the villain's gender is usually hidden by either a disguise, camera angles, MurdererPOV, or some combination of the three. Plus, they're probably played by random stuntpeople up until TheReveal.
* In ''StickIt'', the hero in the introduction is apparently a cool dude who rides BMX and does crazy tricks. It's only after "he" starts running from the police that "he" sheds his big hoodie to reveal Haley, the female protagonist.
* In ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow'', Polly reacts poorly when she meets Sky Captain's old mate, a [[AirborneAircraftCarrier carrier]] captain named Franky. In turns out that Franky's birth name is Francesca. And that Franky is AngelinaJolie wearing a kickass uniform and an EyepatchOfPower.
* In the VincentPrice film ''Film/TheatreOfBlood'' Lionheart's lead henchman the British accented guy with the hippie glases, afro, and beard turns out to be his daughter Edwina (Dianna Rigg).
* In ''Film/IAmLegend'' Will Smith refers to his dog as "Sam", until just before he has to put it down, when he addresses it as "Samantha". Which could qualify as this.
* In ''Film/YourHighness'', the heroes meet a mighty warrior in the arena, and are surprised when she removes her cloak.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' [[spoiler:the audience (and Batman) is led to believe that the child who escaped from Hellhole Prison was Bane. It turns out that the child was actually Talia, the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, with her gender deliberately made ambiguous by her short hair and the narration just referring to her as "the child".]]
* In ''Film/{{Colombiana}}'', the police assume that Cataleya's murders were preformed by a man, with the lead detective scoffing at suggestions that the killer is a woman because "they had to have been performed by someone with great size and strength". Cataleya uses WaifFu to kill.
* In ''Film/EdenLog'', the botanist turns out to be a woman when the man removes her helmet.
* Comes up early in ''Film/ZeroDarkThirty'' as one of the spectator to the torture is revealed to be female, hidden by a hood.
* Downplayed in ''Film/TheFifthElement'' - the scientist who revives Leeloo assumes that the "perfect" alien he's rebuilding in human shape will be male ("Can't wait to meet him!") He isn't visibly disappointed when he gets an ActionGirl.
* In the 90's ''TheLittleRascals'' movie, the boys are all excited about meeting a {{NASCAR}} driver by the name of A. J. Ferguson. They assume A. J. is a man, because [[HeManWomanHater in their minds]], there's no way a girl could do something cool like be a racecar driver. (And also not too many women go by their initials.) When they finally meet A. J. Ferguson, "he" takes off his helmet, only to reveal that "he" is actually a very beautiful woman. The boys are speechless initially, but they are still excited.
* When Hondo and Street go recruiting for Hondo's new SWATTeam in ''Film/{{SWAT}}'', CanonForeigner "Chris" Sanchez is found at the hospital after having beaten the crap out of a GangBanger. Hondo is very surprised to learn that Sanchez is a SpicyLatina a good foot-and-a-half shorter than him.
--> '''Hondo:''' Sorry, wrong room.\\
'''Sanchez:''' Who were you looking for?\\
'''Hondo:''' Chris Sanchez.\\
'''Sanchez:''' I'm Chris Sanchez.\\
'''Hondo:''' ''You're'' Chris Sanchez?
* In Film/{{Fanboys}}, the main cast is horrified to learn that one of their closest and most valuable contacts for information, "Rogue Leader", is actually a 10-year old girl. Needless to say, [[PapaWolf her uncle is not too happy with them talking to her]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Britomart in ''TheFaerieQueene'' has three distinct "Bobs": The reader learns she is a woman after she defeats Guyon, but the first character to learn she is a woman is the Redcrosse Knight, after she saves him from a gang of six other knights. Her love interest is Artegall -- LoveAtFirstSight for her, LoveAtFirstPunch for him.
** Bradamante in ''Literature/OrlandoFurioso'', of whom Britomart is an {{expy}}, does this as well in the... unusual tale of her and Princess Fiordispina.
* In one of the cleverest examples of this trope, Joanne Harris' ''Gentlemen and Players'' has the [[spoiler:narrator]]. This is revealed close to the end of the book.
* [[spoiler:Jack]] in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TunnelInTheSky''.
* Aravis in [[{{Narnia}} The Horse and his Boy]] -- Shasta''/''[[spoiler:Cor]] is her "Bob".
* This happens in one of the ''{{Flashman}}'' novels, where he and a rebel against the Russian empire are rescued from prison by a group which includes a woman whose face is veiled. He is at first offput when she kisses him, knowing the cultural tradition of male bonding among warriors, but then relaxes when he notices her female attributes.
* Sir George, the knight who saves Princess Andromeda from a dragon in one of MercedesLackey's ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms'', is actually Georgina. [[spoiler:And the dragon wasn't going to eat Andie anyway.]]
* Vieve Lefoux in Literature/TheFinishingSchoolSeries by Gail Carringer. While those familiar with Carringer's previous work Literature/TheParasolProtectorate will recognize her as the GadgeteerGenius Genevieve Lefoux, the protagonist is unaware of Vieve's true gender until informed.
* Andre de la Croix in the ''Literature/TimeWars'' series. Also a SweetPollyOliver, but the reader doesn't find out until after she's kicked serious butt at a tournament.
* In Creator/EstherFriesner's ''Majyk'' trilogy, at one point the hero is rescued by a masked swashbuckler who identifies himself only as "a blade for justice." This eventually turns out to be [[spoiler:the hero's wife, disgruntled at being left at home while he's out on an adventure]]. Even after TheReveal, she [[SweetPollyOliver keeps up the masquerade]], finding swashbuckling to be a rewarding career.
* Éowyn from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. She does appear previously in the story, but when she disguises herself as a man she's introduced and referred to as a new male character, until she reveals herself. A GenreSavvy reader will likely have already identified her by that point, though.
** In the book, anyway. In the movie, she never introduces herself as the male character and nobody's fooled by the disguise; the director's commentary has Peter Jackson stating that they deviated from the book in that regard because they had to - it was simply impossible to make it convincing and they didn't want to insult the viewers' intelligence with a PaperThinDisguise.
* In ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', Catelyn watches Brienne of Tarth win a tournament and assumes she's a man because she's encased in plate armor. Because Brienne is hulking, ugly, flat-chested, and often wears warrior garb, she admits to being frequently taken for a man.
** Horribly deconstructed with the story of "Brave Danny Flint" who was raped and murdered by her Nights Watch comrades.
* Terry Pratchett's ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', [[spoiler:the mysterious thief turns out to be Conina, the daughter of Cohen the Barbarian]]
** Although in this case, it's less a matter of bulky clothes, the book simply avoids gender specific pronouns at the start.
** Also ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment''. [[spoiler: Everyone]] in the regiment is revealed to be a girl/woman.
*** The readers know this unambiguously about the main viewpoint character, since the book opens with her deciding to enlist and disguising herself as male to do so. It's also not much of a surprise to those who know where the title comes from (A 16th century treatise entitled ''The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women''). The other members vary from "yeah, obvious" to "wait, I thought the big secret [name] was hiding was being a [vampire/werewolf/whatever]."
** The [[spoiler: noble dragon]] in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' is one, too.
** In ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', it's revealed that [[spoiler: Cheery Littlebottom]] is a female dwarf to the reader fairly quickly. As a lampoon on OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame, Dwarven culture is [[strike:so male-centric that females typically behave and masquerade as men]] stated that all dwarves are considered dwarves without distinction of sex. This can cause confusion when two dwarves like each other and need to delicately find out if they have met a friend or a mate. Angua detects her secret and coaches her to slowly adopt feminine behavior, which causes a lot of confusion among her other co-workers. She ultimately comes out of the closet and [[spoiler: renames herself Cherry.]] She also starts wearing dresses. Chainmail ones with an axe... she said she was ''female'', she never said she wasn't a ''dwarf.''
*** Carrot himself is shocked when Angua mentions that one of the other Watch dwarfs is female as well, albeit still closeted.
** Subverted earlier in the series as well. When Angua is introduced in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'' (''But she's a w...''), it is [[MostCommonSuperpower obvious right away that she is female]], but it's not until later that the reader finds out that she is a ''werewolf'', and some of the characters don't find out until the end.
* TamoraPierce plays with this trope a bit. The readers know very well that [[Literature/TortallUniverse Alanna/Kel]] is a girl (especially [[SweetPollyOliver Alanna]]); it's the various characters who get the shock.
* Matt Ruff's ''SetThisHouseInOrder'' when we find out [[spoiler:that despite the personalities of the first person narrator being predominantly male, the body is female]].
* P. Berling's "Die Ketzerin" ("The Heretic") begins with a knight tournament, and the winner is a woman, namely the main heroine.
* [[spoiler:Joat ("Jack-of-all-Trades")]] in ''[[Literature/TheShipWho The City Who Fought]]''.
* [[spoiler:The mysterious armored warrior]] in Grace Chetwin's YA series, ''Gom Gobblechuck''.
* ErastFandorin's [[spoiler:ArchNemesis [[DiabolicalMastermind Dr. Lind]]]] is revealed to be a girl in the final showdown, who kept her tightly-knit gang together ''with ThePowerOfLove''.
* In the ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' story [[spoiler:''The Flame Knife'']] Conan is forced to leave a battle because of additional forces coming in for their own reasons. While trying to work out how to extract the girl who was hiding in a building the far side of the battlefield, one of his soldiers tells him it's taken care of and takes off "his" helmet.
* Crackers, George and Harold's pet pterodactyl in some of the ''CaptainUnderpants'' books, likely falls into this. After being hypnotised (along with Sulu the bionic hamster) into being evil, Crackers in fact does good. It was previously established that the doohickey that does the hypnotising causes females to do the opposite of whatever they are commanded to do. Plus, all of the pronouns relating to Crackers are highlighted-a fact which George and Harold notice.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback is revealed to be female by the series' end. In light of this, her name was changed to Norberta.
** The tie-in book ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' says that male basilisks have a scarlet plume on their head, identifying the basilisk in the second book as female.
* Director Inoue Sato in DanBrown's ''TheLostSymbol''. No awesome armor, but a surgically raspy voice and a cell phone connection do the trick.
* [[spoiler:Maugin]] in ''Literature/TheEdgeChronicles''.
* In ''Literature/FromRussiaWithLove'', Creator/IanFleming goes into detail describing the hideous appearance of DirtyCommunist Rosa Klebb, before ending with the words "She pulled up her skirt and sat down".
* Kitai from ''Literature/CodexAlera'' gets this ''twice''. From the same person. You'd think that what with [[GuileHero Tavi being as smart as he is]] he'd pick up on things like that.
* In Robert J. Sawyer's ''CalculatingGod'', [[spoiler: the main character (and the reader), are surprised to learn that the alien he has been working with is female.]]
* In one of Akutagawa's short stories, "The Martyr", the young man who was adopted by the Catholic church had been assigned the name "Lorenzo". Later, "he" was excommunicated from the Catholic church because a girl accused "him" of fathering her child. After "he" had saved her child from a burning house and the mother revealed the truth about the child's paternity, Lorenzo was revealed to be a woman all along. This was based loosely off a true story: [[http://maroniteinstitute.org/MARI/JMS/july00/Saint_Marina_The_Monk.htm Saint Marina the Monk]]
* Lampshaded straightforwardly in John Nichol's novel ''Point of Impact'', in which Jane, a female member of aircrew, is advised, after stepping down from an aircraft, to remove her helmet and shake out a mane of blonde hair - and she does. Nichol is an ex Tornado navigator famous for failing to set up an aircraft correctly on the final run into an Iraqi airbase in January 1991; understandable mistake, but not really the time to make it since the blunder earned him and his pilot a multi-week stay at the pleasure of the Iraqi regime and their baseball bats. Ironically, Nichol probably left the RAF around the time female fast-jet aircrew began to appear.
* In Creator/PatriciaBriggs' ''When Demons Walk'', Sham is often mistaken for a pubescent boy, a resemblance she augments with masculine dress and hair. Kerim has an entire conversation with "him", Talbot watches "his" interrogation, and when Kerim is attacked Sham throws the knife that kills the attacker. When they try to find him again, they can't figure out how he managed to disappear so completely, until an amused informant finally reveals that they should start asking about local ''women''.
* At a Worldcon panel, an anecdote about an accidental, out-of-story example from ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' was discussed: The author, Suzanne Collins, works as a teacher, and at one point a boy in her class, who was most of the way through the first book, gushed about Katniss to her, saying "He's so cool!". Collins pointed out that Katniss was a girl, to which the boy responded, [[StayInTheKitchen "Girls don't hunt!"]]
* This is the TwistEnding of ''The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler'' by Gene Kemp. [[spoiler: Throughout the book, [[NaughtyIsGood goodhearted troublemaker]] Tyke has been the narrator, so [[TheAllConcealingI we don't get any gender-specific pronouns]] and only occasional references to "[[EmbarrassingFirstName my real name]], [[DoNotCallMePaul the one I hated]]". It's only at the end, when Tyke climbs the roof of the school in imitation of possible ancestor Tom Tiler, that we hear a teacher screaming "Theodora Tiler, you naughty, disobedient girl!"]]
* In ''StarWarsTheOldRepublic: Fatal Alliance'', Dao Stryver is a tall, tough [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Mandalorian]] wearing full body armor and helmet. The novel consistently refers to Stryver as "he." He has a deep, male voice, filtered through his armor. At the end, Stryver turns out to be a [[LizardFolk Gektl]] female, although one character knew it all along. Since most Mandalorians shown in films and games tend to be male humans, this was a big shock. This is even more jarring in the audiobook, where the narrator makes an effort to make Stryver to sound like a tough guy, using special effects to add to the feel of the character. Then comes the Gektl female with {{Sssssnaketalk}}.
* In the Literature/CiaphasCain novel ''Duty Calls'', Cain is saved by a warrior in PoweredArmour who turns out to be Amberley Vail. It's not her first appearance, but the unidentified warrior is separately established under that description before the reveal.
* In Creator/IainBanks's ''Literature/TheWaspFactory'', [[spoiler:the ''protagonist himself'' only finds out at the end that he is physically female. He was attacked by a dog in childhood, and his father claimed that the dog had castrated him. His father fed him male hormones in the meals.]]
* In the first in the ''Literature/AToZMysteries'' series ("The Absent Author"), our detectives try to get reclusive mystery author Wallis Wallace to show up. Wallis doesn't show up, but the gang finds him kidnapped... [[spoiler: then realizes Wallis is really tourist Mavis Green, and the kidnapped man is her brother, Walker.]]
* Literature/JirelOfJoiry is revealed this way in her first story "Black God's Kiss".
* In Creator/JamesHerbert's ''Nobody True'', the ghost protagonist spends a lot of time stalking a hideously deformed serial killer with psychic powers named Alex, and even ends up possessing the killer's dead body to use it to save his family...only to find that Alex was short for Alexandra, and she was too deformed to notice her breasts. Alex even walked like a man.
* In ''[[Literature/FirebirdTrilogy Firebird]]'', Brennen Caldwell initially assumes Firebird Angelo is a man, simply because she was a pilot in the attack phalanx of the Netaian invasion force. His assumption is corrected after she is captured.
* In ''[[Creator/AlanDeanFoster Icerigger]]'', it's not revealed that [[spoiler: Sagyanak the Death]] is female until well after the Horde has been driven from Sofold.
* Boba Fett's estranged daughter Ailyn Vel impersonated her father for a period of time. So deadly and ruthless was she that everyone who met her during this period thought she really was her father--but her utter lack of ethics went beyond even Fett's harsh methods, and years later the truth was eventually discovered.
* In the ''BlackCompany'' novels, Soulcatcher, one of [[QuirkyMinibossSquad the Ten Who Were Taken]] is an interesting example. It's well known that three of the Taken are female, but owing to the Taken's habits of concealing their true features, no one's quite sure which and just call them all "he" indescriminately. Soulcatcher herself further confuses matters by the fact that her voice changes continually to reflect the souls she's stolen, so her voice is sometimes male, sometimes female. However, it ''is'' noted that Catcher's masculine clothing doesn't fully conceal her shape and "he" has fairly effeminte mannerisms- at the end of the first book, Catcher's ubiquitous helmet comes off and she's revealed to actually be a woman. Later in the series she makes no attempt to disguise her gender, even when hiding her face.
* A teaser reading from the in progress book 2 of Literature/TheStormlightArchive, has revealed that the Parshendi Shardbearer Dalinar fought at the end of book 1 is female.
* ''Dead Mountaineer's Hotel'' by Creator/StrugatskyBrothers has Brun "The child", the teenager of ambiguous gender (said ambitiousness is kept on by unisex clothes, large shades and avoidance of gender endings in words). [[spoiler: Her full name is Brunhilde]].
* In ''TheDresdenFiles: Literature/ColdDays'', the fairy Dresden nicknames "Captain Hook" is revealed to be a girl named Lacuna after she is captured by the heroes and her armor comes off.
* Chops the gremlin of ''Literature/CityOfDevils'' is assumed to be male, due to her lush muttonchop sideburns. She is revealed to be female only after Nick Moss views the film of her creation.
* Brady in ''Literature/MrBlank'' disguises herself as a man -- a garden variety government spook, complete with sleazy blond mustache -- in order to double dip among several conspiracies.
* Jack in the UsefulNotes/NaNoWriMo novel ''Literature/AndThenThereWereMonsters'' turns out to be short for Jacqueline. Of course, it takes place in the 12th century, where such a thing is pretty much literally unthinkable.
-->'''Wreth:''' No wonder you go by Jack. I have never heard of anyone named Jacqueline who was not a [[ExplainExplainOhCrap giiirl oh crap]].
* In ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'''s sequel, the Librarian is revealed as a girl.
* JaneYolen's ''Sword of the Rightful King,'' a KingArthur retelling, has an interesting twist when [[spoiler:the apparent CanonForeigner Gawen, Merlinnus's teenage assistant]] turns out to be a young noblewoman named [[spoiler:Guinevere]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Vala Mal Doran is revealed this way in "Prometheus Unbound" . Downright hilarious when she starts trying to seduce Daniel while wearing the armor of an artificially engineered monster super-soldier, and with her voice masked to match... A bit of a variation in that ''Vala'' was the one who attacked the ship and captured Daniel. This is probably a ShoutOut to Claudia Black's previous role in ''Farscape'' (see below).
** In the pilot episode, General Hammond mentions that he has assigned Captain Sam Carter, their top Stargate expert, to Colonel O'Neill's team. Col. O'Neill asks where ''he'' is transferring from. From the door, Captain Carter tells him that ''she'' is transferring from the Pentagon.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** Aeryn Sun (also played by Claudia Black, incidentally) is first seen as a fearsome person in a bulky, black, armored spacesuit with a smoked-glass helmet, on a spaceship full of bizarre alien creatures. Off comes the helmet...and you see a fearsome, angry (but attractive) woman in an armored spacesuit.
** While no helmet or concealment is involved, in the episode "The Flax" one very masculine-looking Zenetan pirate (played by a male actor) is revealed to be female of her species by the end of one Farscape episode. In their race, both genders look androgynous, and a female can pass as male.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderFaiz'', Kamen Rider Delta was revealed to be a woman encountered by the cast previously (until then, we'd also never seen Delta in real action; just baddies getting wasted and Delta standing there). In an example even worse than the Zelda one, she's just about to suit up for the first time since we found out who she was and have her first onscreen fight scene... when she's ''impaled'' by a villain and her armor taken and used by another. (The ''Franchise/KamenRider'' franchise, either because of tradition or [[ValuesDissonance extreme and utterly shameless sexism]] -- hopefully, the former -- has had exclusively male heroes since [[Series/KamenRider it began in the 1970s]], with the rare exceptions eventually being [[WomenInRefrigerators executed by the plot]] for their audacity. Nobody savvy about the franchise expected her to survive long, though getting to see her in action once would've been nice.)
** They did have ''another'' female transform into Delta. For about five seconds... then she gets hit once and de-transforms. Japan just changes very slowly,simple as that.
** Ironically (and probably even more sexist), the Riders who we know are women from day 1, or who are evil, don't last long either, but they do last longer than any and all cases of Samus Is A Girl.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'', [[spoiler:the Scorpio Zodiarts is revealed to be female, despite having a male voice and fake hints being dropped that various male characters were Scorpio. However, Japanese-speakers may have noticed the SignificantAnagram: Sarina Sonoda = Sasori na no da = "I am the scorpion."]]
*** [[spoiler: Inverted in case of Virgo Zodiarts, when her true identity is Emoto ''himself''. Despite that, similar with Sonoda, his name has [[SignificantAnagram significant]] [[SdrawkcabName backwards name]] of otome, which is "virgin" in English.]]
* No mortal peril involved (and probably no relationship, but this is [=MacGyver=] we're talking about), but a female T-38 pilot does this on an episode of ''Series/MacGyver'' after she gives Mac a free flight. Get your minds out of the gutter...
* The (classic) ''KnightRider'' episode "Buy Out" starts with Michael seeking out a "Mel" at a factory after Devon's assignment briefing. He goes to the factory where sent, spots a worker with a blowtorch with the name tag "Mel." Turns out it wasn't "Melvin," as Michael had initially thought, but "Melanie."
* The opening of the ''Series/{{Witchblade}}'' TV show had a figure going about his day - putting on his boxer shorts, putting on his leather jacket, and getting on his motorbike, before 'he' takes off his motorcycle helmet and it's a woman.
** Doesn't help that there's such thing as women's boxers.
* In {{TNA}} Wrestling, the Latin American Xchange was often helped in their matches against the Rock 'n Rave Infection by a mysterious latino in baggy gangsta attire with a bandana covering "his" face. Said mystery "man" often attacked the Infection's valet, Christy Hemme, prompting her to repeatedly complain to on-air authority figure Jim Cornette about the "man-on-woman violence" going on. Of course, the mystery member of LAX later revealed herself as a latina named Salinas, thus making the Rock 'n Rave Infection look like a bunch of whiners. And immediately after TheReveal, her attire went from concealing to {{stripperiffic}}. Hey, it is ProfessionalWrestling after all.
* The 2006 series of ''Series/RobinHood'' tries to pull this off with the identity of the Night Watchman, but doesn't quite manage it.
** It also does something similar with Djaq- the first confirmation the astute audience get of her gender is Will walking in on her naked (ritual cleansing pre-prayer in fact). [[spoiler:Considering later events, it makes it a [[NakedFirstImpression naked second impression]] as the two become canon.]]
* In one episode of Chris Titus', um, ''Series/{{Titus}}'', his girlfriend's niece and ward Amy is distraught over her breakup with "Charlie." After an episode-long flashback to the title character's high school days, Titus' girlfriend shows "Charlie" in. It's a girl.
-->'''Titus''': ''[smiling confusedly]'' Ch-Charlie. That's one of those trick names. So that means...\\
'''Amy''': -I'm a big fat [[NWordPrivileges dyke]]? ''Yeah.''
* ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'': [[spoiler:the Red Ranger of the SPD A-Squad]]. Double points for [[spoiler:having the TomboyishName Charlie]]. This actually caused a bit of a stir on the Rangerboard forum: one member, being an expert in digital voice manipulation, [[spoiler:guessed -- and posted -- that he thought A-Squad Red was a girl. Then comes the reveal, and he was not. Modest. At. All. He ended up printing a t-shirt of Charlie that said "I was right!" and got several SPD cast and crew members to sign it.]] CrowningMomentOfAwesome?
** They ''tried'' pulling this off again in ''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]'' with Dr. K (key word being ''tried''), but it failed for two big reasons: One, the voice distortion she used still sounded too feminine, and two, a trailer that got leaked showed a girl with the label ''Dr. K''. And even then, this isn't getting a spoiler tag because the reveal happened in episode 4!
** It's also done in ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'', in the second part of the episode "The Samurai's Journey", with Cam's mother Miko. Cam travels back in time to find a new power source, and sees how his parents met - his mom was the first female student at their NinjaSchool, a fact his dad only learned after she publicly kicked his ass.
* ''KyleXY'': [[spoiler:[=AndyJ=]]].
* From the ''{{Bones}}'' episode "Fire in the Ice", Albie the poker ring organizer. Booth is very shocked. Perhaps because he [[HeyItsThatGuy recognizes her]] from his ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'' days?
* ''HowIMetYourMother'' has an example in the episode "Jenkins". Marshall is constantly describing the hilarious exploits of his coworker Jenkins, and he lets his friends visualize Jenkins as an older, vaguely overweight man in order to avoid making his wife jealous. It turns out Jenkins is an attractive woman Marshall's age, and this revelation leads to all the main conflict of the episode.
* Subverted in the first episode of ''Series/GetSmart''. We can tell Agent 99 is a girl, it just takes Max a while to realize it.
** A funnier one occurs in a later episode where Max agrees to host a scientist who has the power of invisibility at his house while 99 (now married to him) is on vacation. He then finds out after the scientist becomes visible that the scientist is female (and even the Chief didn't know!). Now he must deal with hosting a female while his wife is out (think about how that would look to others). It gets worse when 99 comes back from her trip early and accuses him of cheating when she finds him; thankfully they sort it out.
* A textbook example, from a second season episode of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', we see [[spoiler:a sorceress, played by Emilia Fox, being all sorceress-y. We then see someone in a full suit of armour waltz through Camelot, kill five guards, enter the Great Hall, challenge Arthur to a duel, ''then'' remove her helmet, shake out her long blonde hair and reveal... Emilia Fox]].
* "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E1RemembranceOfTheDaleks Remembrance of the Daleks]]": [[spoiler:The Renegade Dalek battle computer is the young girl constantly seen beforehand.]] Made more effective by having a voice of the opposite gender before TheReveal.
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut The Impossible Astronaut]]": [[spoiler:The eponymous astronaut is the little girl who is constantly phoning RichardNixon for help.]]
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan The Daleks' Master Plan]]": Mavic Chen and his aide decide to call out their toughest Space Security Agent to apprehend the Doctor and company. It takes several scenes before we establish that "Kingdom"'s full name is "Sara Kingdom."
** Played for tragedy in a Cyberman episode, when an unwillingly cyber-converted human rambles deliriously about her wedding plans.
* In the less than impressive sequel to the Sam Neil version of ''Film/{{Merlin}}'', ''Merlin's Apprentice'' Squire Brian turns out to be Squire Brianna.
* ''{{Blackadder}}'': "I always thought that Jamie and Angus were such fine boys." "Angus is a girl."
** The ''Blackadder the Third'' episode "Amy and Amiability" has a subplot involving a mysterious highwayman called "The Shadow". It turns out to be Amy Hardwood, a woman he had earlier tried to fix the Prince Regent up with.
* ''HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': Lewis' first reaction to Det. Teri Stivers in Season 5 is reminiscent of this.
-->'''Lewis:''' Which one of you is Stivers, I'mma slap you.\\
'''Stivers:''' I'd like to see you try, pal!
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/LasVegas'', Danny looked all over town trying to find the mysterious casino host, Sam. He only found out Sam was female after she'd already pumped him for information, posing as her own secretary.
* In the fourth season of ''Series/{{Solitary}}'', Number 3 was in their early twenties, and an ex-high school football player. And she was a girl. While the viewer knew from the start she was female, all the other numbers thought she was a boy. Number 3 eventually made it to the final three (and eventually won), which is when the other two finalist (2 and 6) found out she was a girl. They were a bit surprised.
* Season 2 of ''{{Warehouse 13}}'' features [[spoiler:[[HGWells Helena G. Wells]]]].
* In ''{{Psych}}'', [[spoiler: the terrifying SerialKiller Mr. Yang]] is revealed to be [[spoiler: played by Ally Sheedy]]. The surprise of the Reveal is slightly more justified than most cases of this trope, in the defense of the main characters, what with her [[spoiler: very clearly presenting herself in her letter as MISTER Yang, not just Yang or anything gender-ambiguous. Who says VillainsNeverLie?]]
** Arguably subverted/justified in the second sequel to that episode, when [[spoiler:her loveless father and counterpart, Mr. Yin, is revealed to have been the evil one; she was reluctantly raised to comply with his commands, and was forced along for the ride...until she fell in love with Shawn, and he proved that he was her superior, at which point she surrendered.]] But there's one rather creepy part of that: [[spoiler:she fell in love with Shawn ''when he was a kid.'']]
* In the first scene of the pilot of ''Series/LoisAndClark'' a young man with a mustache and beard enters the Daily Planet. He sits down at a desk, then removes the disguise to reveal that he is actually Lois Lane, who was working on an undercover story. Lois also cross-dresses in a season 2 episode, where neither her boss nor Clark recognize her immediately.
* Ziggy Vadas from ''{{Life}}''.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'': Greendale's Human Being mascot is revealed to be portrayed by a female student during a webisode.
* In ''Series/{{Castle}}'', [[spoiler:Lone Vengeance]] is revealed to be a previously unsuspected woman.
* In the first ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' episode/pilot movie, much suspense is made of the nature of the "beasts" and the eventual dramatic reveal that they are, in fact, women. This would be much more dramatic if the episode weren't called ''[[SpoilerTitle Hercules and the Amazon Women]]''.
* In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' arc where they go to the demon world of Pylea, the gang meets Lorne's parent, who's played by a tall, muscular, bearded man with a deep voice. When Lorne refers to this demon as "Mom", Angel does a DoubleTake and mouths, "Mom?" Hard not to blame him.
* Mulan is introduced this way in the Season-2 premier of ''Series/OnceUponATime'', initially being a mysterious armored figure.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': Until the season 1 finale, "Firewall," the only thing we knew for certain about Root was that she is a woman.
* InUniverse on ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}:'' [[ReluctantMadScientist Topher]] had long been fascinated with the research of [[BrokenBird Bennett Halverson]], but the GenderBlenderName apparently kept him from realizing his idol was a woman. A young, attractive woman [[GeekyTurnOn who wears librarian glasses around her neck]]. The truth makes him [[IfItsYouItsOkay even more]] infatuated with her!
* Ross on ''Series/{{Friends}}'' initially assumes Charlie, another professor, is an older, stuffy man before he meets her, based on other professors he has met. When he meets her, he is pleasantly surprised that she turns out to be a attractive woman, and she becomes his love interest.
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}''[='=]s Moriarty is a villainous example, only being revealed as a female long after her name is first heard. Most of her {{Mook}}s even think she's male.
-->'''Sherlock:''' So who [[TheVoice is the man I spoke to on the phone?]] [[TheGhost The Man who said he was Moriarty?]] \\
'''Moriarty:''' You talked to one of my Lieutenants. He has over the years played the role repeatedly and with great conviction. More often than not he has done so to protect my identity. Other times it was because I suspected some potential clients might... [[StayInTheKitchen struggle]] with my gender. As if men has a monopoly on murder.
* In the pilot of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', a ninja is caught trying to steal Chuck's computer by Chuck and Morgan. After a fight that results in the destruction of the computer (and Chuck and Morgan's pride), the ninja races away. Later, it removes its mask, revealing the beautiful woman who'd been flirting with Chuck at the Buy More earlier in the episode.
* America's Best Dance Crew'' In the sixth season finale, the {{Jabbawockeez}} performed and they were joined by a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blr2B2Wkndw little dancer]], [[spoiler: who is revealed to be a little girl.]]
* Done in ''Series/PrisonBreak'', where it turns out that the Vice President of the United States, the primary figure behind TheConspiracy at the heart of the show, is a woman named Caroline Reynolds in the show's universe. Interestingly, the show manages to pull this trope off in reverse, giving the audience several glimpses of Reynolds as a sweet-faced suburban woman tending her garden (just crediting her as "Garlic Cutter" in her earliest appearances) before revealing that she's actually the Vice President.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Manhwa]]
* ''Manhwa/WitchHunter'' pulls this card with [[spoiler: Halloween, Tasha's pumpkin-headed marionette]] who is initially thought to be genderless due to [[spoiler: being a marionette]] and all that, but when [[spoiler: Tasha]] breaks [[spoiler: Halloween]]'s first seal, its true form is revealed to be [[http://download.minitokyo.net/Witch.Hunter.477596.jpg this.]] Tasha is, naturally, shocked.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The music video for Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". The reveal is at the end when the camera (from a first-person perspective) looks at a mirror. Before this she went to a bar, got drunk, beat up patrons and groped hot girls before returning home and passing out in front of a mirror.
** A similar "woman doing manly things only revealed to be a woman at the end" music video is Bush's "Machinehead".
* Turkey actually used this in their performance in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, "We Could Be the Same" by [=maNga=]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjULJg4Ce6M Watch it here.]]
** They must not have been trying that hard, because one good look at the figure makes it really obvious what her gender is.
* The trance artist formerly known as Hybrid Factor was originally [[TheInvisibleBand pictured as]] Steve Bailey, but later revealed to be Aimee, his sister. She now goes bt the artist name Aimee B.
* Many promotional videos of the British Invasion band The Honeycombs attempted to hide the fact that their drummer, Honey Lantree, was female until some point later in the film clip (most notable is their performance of "Have I The Right?" in the 1965 concert film ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_Gear Pop Gear]]''. They then do the ''[[ViewersAreGoldfish same damn thing]]'' the next time they appear in the film, performing "Eyes")
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6MpsDPKts music video]] for the Within Temptation/Tarja song "Paradise" features a pair of survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland trying to restore life to the planet. In the end it's revealed they are both women.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'', The Eliminator was a EnfanteTerrible arcade gamer of such skill, he could make a Defender machine tilt like a pinball game. His face was always covered by a visored helmet (a ShoutOut to Darth Vader, as ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' was THE hot movie at the time of his debut). Midway through the first TimeSkip, the grown-up Eliminator was reintroduced... as Donna, a hot blond woman. She eventually ended up dating and marrying Crazy Harry, who'd considered The Eliminator his nemesis back in high school.
* In ''ComicStrip/MotherGooseAndGrimm'', Grimm was shocked to learn that his hero, the star of the TV show ''Karl the Wonder Poodle'', was a female poodle named Karla.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* In ''Pinball/CirqusVoltaire'', when you unmask Voltaire, not only is Voltaire revealed to be a woman, she is also the game's announcer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Shantelle Malawaski, best known for her work in various independents as Shantelle Taylor and in Wrestling/{{TNA}} as Taylor Wilde, wrestled two house show (non-televised events) and one dark match (non-televised matches held before televised events/TV tapings) for Wrestling/{{WWE}} in January 2007 in a male disguise as [[FakeNationality a masked Japanese wrestler]] named Sensai, defeating male wrestler Jamie Noble each time. However, because these were non-televised events, thus they were not part of any kind of continuity, and because Malawaski was released before ever appearing on WWE TV under any name, it qualifies as an aversion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* Played with in Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG. Agent Pyro spent the majority of the RPG wearing a gas mask, balaclava, and baggy pants, leading to some joking about his true gender. When it came time for the mask to come off, it turned out to be a woman to the shock of everyone. It's actually a subversion. Later on a psychotic, disheveled, and all-around unpleasant man started shouting in the comms only to be repeatedly told to shut up- this was actually the ''real'' agent Pyro, and the girl who had been unmasked and assumed to be Pyro was actually his daughter [[SweetPollyOliver impersonating him]] to protect him from TheMole.
** Played straight in the case of Pterisa. Since she wore samurai armor and a cloth veil over her face to hide her identity, no one knew that she was female until she spoke. This actually happened on two separate occasions: when she was first introduced in [[HubCity LEGO City]], and when she met up with the rest of the cast in the [[TempleOfDoom Maelstrom Temple]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''{{Ravenloft}}'' had a series of supplements called the Gazetteers, which featured a scholar known as S who traveled around the major domains of the setting and chronicled their cultures. Everyone assumed S was a man until Gazetteer III, which featured a throwaway line about S's struggles to manage the layers of corsets, skirts, and petticoats that one domain expected its citizens to wear. Even then, some fans continued to insist that S was a man (apparently more willing to believe the character to be a drag queen than a woman), and it wasn't until an actual illustration of her appeared in Gazetteer IV that the argument was put to rest.
** Also in Raveloft, [[SerialKiller the Midnight Slasher]] (an insane {{Expy}} of sorts of JackTheRipper) is assumed to be male, but is secretly a woman, driven insane after the murder of her parents at the hands of the domain lord of Invidia, Gabrielle Aderre. Most residents of Invidia assume the killer to be a man, never suspecting the disheveled beggar they see on the streets by day to be a cold-blooded killer by night; in fact, that's how she keeps the façade alive.
* In the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game, there's [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Gravekeeper%27s_Assailant Gravekeeper's Assailant]]. There was never anything to suggest that the monster on the card was female until she appeared on ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' as a Duel Spirit, at which point it was obvious (even while still wearing the mask and cloak). The anime even gave her the name Sara (Yasmine in the dub version). (Of course, whether "Gravekeeper's Assailant" is a title that is unique to her is hard to tell.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games (Excluding Samus)]]
* Interestingly, the eponymous character from the NES game ''Mach Rider'' is revealed to be female after playing through enough levels. It might not be the case, as it could simply be {{Fanservice}} to the player, but if it were really the case it would mean that she predates Samus herself as Nintendo's first heroine.
* Zelda's disguise as the male Sheik in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', who was designed with a male character model to keep the disguise more convincing. Programmers admitted she didn't get a more realistic design until ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]''. Nevertheless, there's endless FanWank as to the nature of the disguise, especially since Zelda seems to have entirely different abilities, powers, and ''eyes'' than Sheik.
** It states right on her trophy in Melee that she uses magic to change her clothing as well as her skin and eye color.
*** For some time, there was a very popular fan theory which stated that Sheik IS male, and that Zelda not only changes appearance but also gender when she transforms. WordOfGod has since stated that this is not so; Zelda can't change her entire body like that, just a few surface details.
** Along with realistic design, Sheik became rather more obviously female in Brawl.
** It's even more obvious in the beta version, too obvious thus they changed her. Sheik had a somewhat more feminine haircut, looked more round (and thus female), and had blue eyes.
** And guess what? Sheik shows to be feminine, too (like she did in Brawl), in the 3DS remake. [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot Too bad she still didn't unmask herself]].
** And, as of Skyward Sword, guess who/what else is female? [[spoiler:The Master Sword. Technically [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword the Skyward Sword]], but eventually our old friend.]]
* Syfa/Sypha from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' (only because a BlindIdiotTranslation used the wrong pronouns).
** One particular guide writer is very bad about accepting this fact, and insists that Sypha is male. Never mind the ending if you finish with Sypha, which involves Trevor and ''her'' getting married. Never mind that this marriage led to Juste Belmont of ''Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance'' being able to use magic. Never mind how you can fight clones of Sypha (as well as Trevor and Grant) in ''Symphony of the Night'' and ''Portrait of Ruin'', and Sypha's sprites show her in a revealing/flowing white robe with a very female voice.
** It's pretty clear that for whatever reason, you're not ''supposed'' to know that she's a she ''until'' you complete the game with her (and the "mistranslation" was deliberate). Y'know like, oh... Samus Aran?
*** Not to mention that the gameplay does not really try to hide the fact that Sypha is a woman; aside from seeing a largely feminine figure when she opens her cloak to cast spells, and her head shot at the top of the screen, she also makes a distinctly female-sounding grunt whenever she takes a hit.
*** Just to make sure the audience knows Sypha is a woman, in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'' she has quite nice breasts, and her breasts are even a joke in Maria Renard's story. In addition, her ending confirms that she was [[SweetPollyOliver deliberately posing as a man]] in ''Castlevania III''.
** [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090322080212/castlevania/images/b/b2/SoTN_Old_Axe_Armor.JPG Here]] is the sprite for the playable Old Axe Armor from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin''. [[http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/File:Por_pic_41.jpg here]] is an official piece of artwork of the same character.
* In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', it turns out [[spoiler: ''Dark Lord Gaol'' is one.]]
* This is the twist in Akira's ending in ''VideoGame/RivalSchools: United By Fate''. The introduction of the story mode introduces her as the younger brother of gang leader Daigo Kazama and refers to her as male. The masquerade is carried on throughout the story, and even in her [[MultipleEndings "bad" ending]] - only when you achieve the "good" ending is Akira's true identity is revealed.
** Akira is also playable without her helmet, as a secret character which you unlock after beating the game with the good ending (notably, in the usual slide show during the credits, she is seen helmetless with her Gedo schoolmates, but if the player didn't get said good ending, they'll probably be left clueless, as in "who's that girl? where's Akira?"). Which is interestingly inverted in ''Project Justice'': she starts off helmetless (due to ItWasHisSled), ''and'' her helmeted costume (labeled "Powered Akira") is the unlockable one.
* King in the first ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'' game nearly pulls this off despite [[{{Bifauxnen}} not wearing an actual disguise]]. By finishing her off with a special move in the last round, the player can [[ClothingDamage blow her shirt open and expose her bra.]] In the second game and ''TheKingOfFighters'' series, King's true gender [[ItWasHisSled is an already known fact]].
* [[{{Pirate}} Captain Syrup]] from the first ''VideoGame/WarioLand'' is a villainous example; the game's instruction manual even refers to her with masculine terms to avoid ruining the surprise.
** Although if you didn't read the manual, this one was pretty much lost on you, since she doesn't appear in-game until you fight her.
* Faris of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV''. Although she seems to pass for male strictly because [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption she says so]], as she's pretty enough for Bartz and Galuf (dueling Bobs) to swoon over her sleeping form, still thinking she's a he. This, of course, leads to Gilgamesh's classic line in the GBA Remake: "And now we will fight like men. And ladies. And ladies who dress like men."
** This is more a failed attempt at pulling a Samus Is A Girl due to their choice of Super Deformed graphics. Yoshitaka Amano's original designs for Faris depicts her in a very [[{{Bifauxnen}} masculine, yet feminine fashion]].
*** On the other hand, pretty much all of Amano's original designs are kind of feminine.
*** The FMV for the remake follows Amano's design very closely, so it can't be completely attributed to Amano's artistic style. She could pass for a guy if it weren't for her coat being tight enough to clearly show she is female. On the other hand, outside her crew, virtually no one would get close enough for obscuring her figure to be required.
* This is the main twist in the ending of the iOS edition of ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''. [[spoiler: Vandal reveals her true identity to be Karrie Norton as she lies wounded on the floor near the defeated final boss.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' plays with this in reverse. One of the recurring enemy characters is the Night Dancer, a Bangaa that looks, acts and is referred to as being a girl, but the fight against her has a Law in place forbidding harming the opposite sex, setting up a potential hazard for the player who does not understand the difference between gender and sex.
** Lampshaded by an NPC who is confused on what gender the Night Dancer is and another NPC refers to the character as an old man.
** Wouldn't be the first time. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' had the infamous(?) cross-dressing Time Mage. Someone put a one where a zero should have gone, metaphorically speaking.
** In the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' [[spoiler:Saint Ajora may or may not count depending on your point of view.]]
* Toby Masuyo in ''{{Baraduke}}'' predates Samus by about a year (Although the fact that the game calls her "Kissy" is a bit of a giveaway). Her next appearances in the ''MrDriller'' series and ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom'' do not play with this trope, opting to have her helmet-less (she's Mr. Driller's mom after all).
* Happens ''twice'' in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. The first is with Yuri's pursuit of "Mr. Mordio" -- which turns out to be a ''Rita'' Mordio; the second is with the mysterious (and kickass) DragonRider -- which turns out to be [[spoiler:Judith]]. In both cases, Yuri winds up the "Bob". And in both cases, they remain a full-fledged mage and warrior, respectively.
** In his defense "Mr. Mordio" clearly has a mustache, and had to have been seen to do the job he was contracted with. It's just he was using someone else's name. Played straight when you reach Aspio and everyone refers to Mordio as "that person" or "that weirdo".
* The Cyborg Ninja in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'' is not Gray Fox as in the first game, but instead [[spoiler:Olga Gurlukovich.]]
** In a way, this happens [[spoiler:twice with the same character. When the player first encounters Olga in the tanker chapter, Snake is surprised that the Russian soldier on the deck turns out to be a woman.]]
* The last target in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' is not there when you go to kill him. [[spoiler:The person disguised as him is revealed to be a woman after [[PlayerCharacter Altaïr]] defeats her in a swordfight. It's only somewhat given away in that when you hit her, her pained grunts are notably higher pitched than normal.]]
* The Power Armor in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series has always been gender neutral, but hearing a female voice from the Power Armor speakers in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' caused players Samus Is A Girl spit-takes.
** Before then, ''most'' power-suited Enclave soldiers in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' were actually female. Even some that you spoke to.
** Data in Vault 87's Chief Physicians Terminal, along with word from voice actor Wes Johnson, suggests Fawkes was female before becoming an asexual Super Mutant.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has two (formerly) female Nightkin super mutants, Lily and Tabitha, who have the same guttural voice as the other mutants. In addition, female characters wearing full helmeted NCR Ranger/Riot Gear Armor or Reinforced Combat Armor are nearly indistinguishable from males.
* [[spoiler:Naoto Shirogane]] in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. With the twist that the party finds out when they show up to rescue ''her'', rather than her rescuing them. Somewhat frustrating, as you can hear feminine tones from the moment you see her (in the American Version), but the game will force you to play along with it until [[spoiler:you face her dungeon]]. This can lead to [[OnlySaneMan the player screaming]].\\
\\
Needless to say, the Japanese version is ''much'' more convincing, if only because her voice actress has done male roles before (she did [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Edward Elric]]). Or rather, the Japanese version was more convincing due the Japanese's tendency to make females voice young-adolescent males. Many players may had been able to figure out that Naoto's voice actor is female but may simply brush it off as another case of a female voicing a young male character.
** Also the case with [[spoiler:The gas station attendant/Izanami]]. This one is done quite a bit better, which makes it sort of puzzling why they didn't use her voice actress for [[spoiler:Naoto]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' plays with this, in that the [[HeroicMime main character]] is female, but there's no indication of this until you happen to get a good look at yourself through a portal. While you can clearly see yourself in the very first portal you step through, it's hard to tell that it's you right away. In the sequel, Wheatley passively assumes that whoever beat [[MasterComputer GLaDOS]] was a guy, and is taken aback when he finds out that it was ''you''.
* The first ''DestroyAllHumans'' revealed that Majestic-12 leader Sillouette is a female at the end, though you can learn this earlier on if you read the thoughts of a Magestic agent, which you might just ignore.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' does this with Meryl, who "disguises" herself as a male soldier, though it's really only because [[FacelessGoons all the uniforms look more or less exactly alike]].
* WordOfGod states that this was to have been the big reveal at the end of the fifth game in the old ZXSpectrum Magic Knight series (''Finders Keepers'', ''Spellbound'', ''Knight Tyme'', ''Stormbringer'' and...). Possibly OlderThanTheNes, possibly not (the first two games both came out in 1985, and the first game definitely refers to Magic Knight as 'he', so it may not have been planned at that point).
* In the first ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'', Kunimitsu was simply a palette swap of Yoshimitsu, with the same voice as well. In the second game, the character was revealed to be female.
** Although it has to be said, she was always meant to be female, as you can see in concept art. [[ViewerGenderConfusion 3D graphics weren't that good]] at the time of the first ''Tekken'', however.
** And there is also Leo from ''Tekken 6'', who is widely believed to be a woman dressed as a man, or a gay male. Namco have deliberately not confirmed either way, stating they wanted to create a character who could be "loved by either gender". [[spoiler:Confirmed to be female by WordOfGod.]]
* In the game by Tim Schafer, ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'', Eddie, the main character, fights many demonic druid enemies in robes, and then faces one of them head on. In the middle of the fight, that "evil druid" flips off her hood to reveal that this is, in fact, a female human. Eddie then remarks, "Oh no, don't tell me I've been slaying hot girls this whole time."
* At the end of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'', the [[spoiler:masked monster master at the Starry Night tournament is revealed to be Milayou, the protagonist's younger sister.]]
* Hooktail, the boss of the first level in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', is assumed to be male by all characters (and described with male pronouns in Goombella's Tattle), until the final chapter, when you meet Gloomtail in the Palace of Shadow. When your partner asks what Hooktail is doing here when you've already beaten him (as Gloomtail is essentially a palette swap of Hooktail), Gloomtail becomes furious upon learning what you did to his precious baby ''sister''. Tattling on Gloomtail elicits a hilariously shocked reaction to this revelation from Goombella.
* ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves'' gives us [[spoiler:the Black Baron, an ace fighter pilot whose face is entirely covered by his huge mustache. Only after you beat him do you learn that he's actually GadgeteerGenius Penelope, who created the disguise to get around the dogfighting league's age restrictions.]]
** [[spoiler: Happens again in ''VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime'', where the Black Knight is revealed to be Penelope again, but this time, signifying her FaceHeelTurn.]]
* The mysterious scrambled voice in the marine campaign in ''AliensVsPredator 2'', though she never actually does any fighting.
* Black Widow from ''[[VideoGame/SaturdayNightSlamMasters Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II]]'', is a somewhat effeminate wrestler who is taller than most of the other wrestlers in the game and whose spider-themed costume covers his whole body. If you beat the game with him, Widow reveals herself to be a [[StatuesqueStunner tall]] and [[AmazonianBeauty muscled]] female wrestler.
* Around half-way through ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando'', the thief you have been pursuing is unmasked to reveal that she is female, to Ratchet's surprise. This also marks the point at which she stops being an enemy, but more because [[EnemyMine they were betrayed by the real villain]].
* Junon from ''VideoGame/DragonForce'' pulls this one on everyone in her world until her helmet gets knocked off during an encounter. [[http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/7150/thedragonforcepe0.png She's the one in the badass black armor]]. [[http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1096/gatheringtotallabelledwb5.png She's also #139]].
* [[spoiler:The Great Mizuti]] from ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos''.
* The video game series ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is notorious for pulling off a reverse of SIAG (Bridget needs no introduction), but what many people don't know is that WordOfGod has stated that Justice, the final boss of the first game, the Commander Gear, a large, powerful robot-type person with a noticeable crotch spike, is really a female and was a dear friend of Sol Badguy's.
** In regards to the infamous crotch-spike, it's possible that the protrusion on her armor is Justice's equivalent of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovipositor an ovipositor;]] [[ShownTheirWork after all, she is the queen bee/queen ant of the Gears.]]
* [[spoiler:Shale]] from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is [[spoiler:a amnesiac golem who has a masculine personality and build. However, if you have Shale in your party during the "A Paragon of Her Kind" quest, it is revealed that Shale was once a dwarven woman named Shayle. Even Shale herself is stunned by this revelation.]]
** Her Voice is obviously female, and if you keep them both in the party she flirts with Sten constantly.
* In ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'', Faith spends part of the game chasing after [[spoiler:an assassin - who is also a runner like herself - who Faith assumes to be male]]. Much later, when Faith gets into combat with [[spoiler:said assassin]], it is revealed that [[spoiler:it is none other than her treacherous best friend, Celeste]].
* [[spoiler:Jack (AKA "The Convict"; AKA Subject Zero)]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. She's never actually physically disguised, but all you know before meeting her is that she has a TomboyishName and a nasty reputation. This reveal was spoiled in [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil the advertising]].
* Chris from ''VisualNovel/PrincessWaltz'' is taken to be a man by the main character. Even despite many hints and on mutiply occasions fusioning together to become a woman, the main character doesn't realize that Chris is actually a girl untill... well... Either way even the main character feels stupid for not getting the hint before.
* The sequel to ''VideoGame/CrystalQuest'' reveals your FlyingSaucer -- depicted in gameplay as a 16-pixel-wide circle -- to be piloted by a ''[[VertebrateWithExtraLimbs six-legged]] [[SpaceX Space]] [[EverythingsBetterWithCows Cow]]'' (who is, of course, a girl).
* [[spoiler:Monica]] from ''VideoGame/DarkCloud 2'' first appears disguised as a young child when you first meet her, and after [[spoiler:she defeats the MonsterClown who was trying to seize Max's MacGuffin]], removes her [[InTheHood hood]] and reveals herself to be a woman.
* [[spoiler:Alexis]] of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII''. Her voice kinda gives her away, quite a few players were still confused by the fact the game's encyclopedia classifies her as male, and that she has a male character model in game.
* Julian from ''{{Growlanser}}''. Her portrait is a giveaway when you first meet her as an Imperial Knight (you can see she has cleverage if you examine closely the portrait where she hold her sword) It was stated that Imperial Knights does not allow females to join, thus she hid her gender (though her 2 fellow companions Oscar and Lyell already found out and choose to ignore).
* Jayle from ''ValkyrieProfile''. A noblewoman JeanneDArchetype who disguises herself as a man in order to join Gerabellum's order of knights. Only her commanding officer knows of her disguise but says nothing about it, as he's [[SweetOnPollyOliver fallen for her]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'', everybody assumed Overlord Zenon is a male, but turns out [[spoiler: Rozalin was the reincarnated Zenon]], though [[spoiler: the game's "reincarnation" mechanic allows non plot characters to reincarnate into any class, even opposite sex ones]].
** Note that [[spoiler:Rozalin]] is very clearly female. This is more of a case of [[InvertedTrope The Girl Is Samus]].
* Subverted in ''{{Hydorah}}''. Throughout the game, the player character is conspicuously helmeted, but is revealed in [[AllThereInTheManual official artwork]] to be [[spoiler: male]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' has Vilmor. She was assumed to been a male not only by the PC, but also by a majority of the players, despite obvious hints early on into her storyline. Was even referred to as male in a [[AllThereInTheManual Newsletter]].
* The player character of ''Faria'' is only represented by an androgynous SuperDeformed sprite, and gender is not revealed until after she's saved the princess ([[spoiler:the fake one, that is]]).
* Subverted with Alex Wesker in VideoGame/ResidentEvil5's DLC "Lost In Nightmares." Fans initially assumed that Alex Wesker was likely to be female due to a lack of third person gender identifiers in the memo revealing Alex's existence. However, the lack of gender pronouns was in fact the result of a shoddy localization attempt by the localization team. In the Japanese version, it is made very clear that Alex is male.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', there's a masked swordsman/AntiHero who shows up early in the game, claiming to be the legendary Hero-King Marth. [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Previous incarnations of]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia that character]] have been, while [[{{Bishonen}} somewhat androgynous]], definitely male... but it turns out "Marth" is a woman. Specifically, she is actually [[spoiler:[[LadyOfWar Lucina]], [[TheHero Chrom]]'s [[KidFromTheFuture time-traveling daughter]]]].
* The otherwise {{AFGNCAAP}} detectives in the {{PC}} HiddenObjectGame series ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles'' and ''Videogame/DarkParables'' are both revealed to be this. In MCF, the Master Detective's very feminine voice is heard on the telephone at the end of the second game of the Ravenhearst arc. The detective in Videogame/DarkParables has her gender confirmed only by unlockable BonusMaterial in the collector's edition of the first game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' had this happen around Amaterasu, as some refered to Ammy as a male, other as a female, and this has led to fans to argue among themselves over it. A known fact is, however, Deities can have whatever gender they please, and the Amaterasu of Shinto was originally female... But this one is the reincarnate Shiranui, which was deemed male... What's the truth? It was never known until...
** The [[VideoGame/{{Okamiden}} Sequel]] revealed Amaterasu's true gender! [[spoiler:Ammy is female, Shiranui is male and they are related family-wise! Shiranui is Amaterasu's father and Chibiterasu's grandfather, where Chibiterasu is Amaterasu's son and they say Ammy is his MOTHER.]]
** Until the revealing above happened, the arguments in favor of Ammy being male were because of the leg lifting when using Golden Fury. Except dog owners would contradict that by knowing both male AND female lift their leg when marking territories. So it was often a flawed evidence.
* In ''VideoGame/JaysJourney'', [[spoiler:Shade. Not only did everyone think Shade (AKA Tanya) was male, Atolla believed Shade was Tanya's brother Tezla, and a series of flashbacks implied the same conclusion until the last one.]]
* In ''VideoGame/RhythmThiefAndTheEmperorsTreasure'', Charlie/Claude is the inspector's son and basically a thorn in Phantom R's side... [[spoiler: but turns out, that person is the inspector's ''daughter'' named Charlotte.]]
* Though not explicitly stated in-game, the player character from the Protoss segment of ''{{Starcraft}}: Brood War'' was revealed to be Selendis, a female Protoss executor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Inverted in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. LadyOfWar Saber is obviously a female knight, but it isn't until later on that we learn she is actually [[spoiler:the legendary KingArthur]], who used magic to disguise herself as a man because [[spoiler:[[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask she felt that the British probably wouldn't obey a Queen]].]]
** ''FateNuovoGuerra'' follows tradition and chocks one up with a certain Lancer from TheTrojanWar, though it wasn't so much a disguise as it was "[[PoliticallyCorrectHistory sexist historians]]" who didn't like how a girl was getting all that booty and kicking all that ass.
** The ''Fate'' series tend to do this quite a bit with some of the historical/mythical figures, most likely due the overwhelming success of Saber. Ironically, Natsu initially cringed at the idea of turning Saber into a female.
** The spinoff novel [[LightNovel/FateApocrypha Fate/Apocrypha]] also reveals [[spoiler:Mordred]] to be female.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'': Phoenix doesn't learn Manfred von Karma's child's gender until facing her in court. Later on in the same game, [[spoiler:Shelley de Killer incorrectly guesses that [[GenderBlenderName Adrian Andrews]] is a man, thus proving that he's never met her in person.]]
** Strangely, Phoenix refers to Engarde's manager correctly as a "she" during the initial interview, despite having no information on his manager beyond her existence. This was most likely due to the manager's name being very gender ambiguous, which plays a key role in the case and was something the writers intended.
* VisualNovel/DanganRonpa has this ''twice'': In Chapter 2, [[spoiler:the mysterious Genocider Syo, who has been referred to as "he" is revealed to be Touko Fukawa, a female student.]] Made even more shocking in the English release, where [[spoiler:"he" was named Genocider Jack before TheReveal, and Genocider ''Jill'' afterwards.]] Then in the final trial, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the person behind Monokuma is Junko Enoshima]].
** This is the same for VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2, only this time [[spoiler:it is an AI version of her]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: WebComics/WebOriginal]]
* Miko Miyazaki from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' does this. For about eighty or so strips, she appears only as a blue-hooded figure, until she takes on the Order of the Stick, at which point she drops her hood and we see that yes, she is in fact female (and, [[InformedAttractiveness judging from Roy's reaction]], fairly attractive). Roy plays her Bob for a while, until he gets put off by her [[LawfulStupid personality]]. This wasn't that drastic, as she seemed more ambiguous than masculine prior to this.
** Before TheReveal, she doesn't even seem to be human.
* Also initially appearing as a hooded figure was [[spoiler:the previous Wotch]], Miranda West of ''Webcomic/TheWotch''. Her initial appearance was in the very first story arc. Her reveal was at the end of the ''fifteenth''.
* [[spoiler:Ashido]] from ''Webcomic/{{Inhuman}}'' is shown to be an example of this when another character walks in on her changing.
* [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Peregrine Mendicant]] of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. The [[WordOfGod author]] never intended her to actually have a gender at all, but [[AscendedFanon gave in to fan speculation]].
* Pratos the Bounty from ''Webcomic/{{Jix}}'' ends up being both a female Ambis named Aranis and Jix's cousin. A possible nod to Samus Aran.
** Jix herself was thought to be male until her brother Romulos revealed her true identity (it's hard to tell what gender a small furry alien is unless you are able to see anything).
* [[spoiler: Shadow]] from ''Webcomic/AModestDestiny''. She spends a good amount of time in the comics as this until an incident where Maxim [[ThanksForTheMammaries grabbed her]] [[http://www.squidi.net/comic/amd/view.php?ep=1=100 breast]], and it's not shown who she is until much later.
** When the previously killed [[TheAce Crimson Blade]] shows up at [[FluffyTheTerrible the Vampire Lord Fluffy's]] castle, Fluffy's bat familiar flies of with the helmet, revealing that the new Crimson Blade is a girl. Expecting this trope, Fluffy immediately tries to hit on her, but actualy fails miserably.
* [[spoiler:Tex]] in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' {{machinima}} series ''Machinima/RedVsBlue: the Blood Gulch Chronicles''.
** In a subverion of the usual way this trope is carried out, even after TheReveal her appearance is never feminine in any way. The sole differentiating factor is really her voice.
** Later zigzagged with CT. Upon the first encounter CT appears to be a male in all respects. Season 9 reveals that CT was actually a woman. Then season 10 reveals that the original CT died and that the CT in the desert was her boyfriend who took her name and helmet to honor her.
* [[spoiler:Spriggs]] in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' {{machinima}} series ''Spriggs''.
* Hilariously parodied in The Onion: [[http://www.theonion.com/content/node/31739 Hotshot Test Pilot Removes Helmet, Reveals Female Status]]
* [[spoiler:Dodoria]] in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged''. [[BrainBleach Much to Vegeta's horror and disgust]].
* [[http://www.interrobangstudios.com/potluck/index.php?strip_id=1084 This]] [[Webcomic/EnsignSueMustDie Interrobang]] [[Webcomic/TriggerStar Studios]] comic where [[SuperMarioBros Luigi]] complains to Link about some gay Bounty Hunter in Orange armor who asked him out.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': The [[SomethingCompletelyDifferent interim comic]] ''City Face 2'' introduces a magpie named Bobeyes. In a bit of PaintingTheMedium, the ShoutBox below the comic features [[http://gunnerkrigg.wikia.com/wiki/City_Face_2_comments commentary by in-universe characters]]--one of whom is a magpie going by the username "magpie55". He thinks Bobeyes is a pretty cool, tough guy, and is as surprised as anyone to learn that Bobeyes is a girl. From his commentary on the final comic page, it's obvious that he's smitten.
* {{Inverted}} in ''Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName'''s [[http://hanna.aftertorque.com/?p=4 first]] [[http://hanna.aftertorque.com/?p=5 two]] strips, as [[FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator Zombie]] naturally assumed that "[[GenderBlenderName Hanna Cross]]" would be a woman. Played straight [[http://hanna.aftertorque.com/?p=23 a short time later]] when [[InvoluntaryTransformation bat!]][[FullyEmbracedFiend Adelaide]] was introduced.
* In the fifth season of TheGuild, [[spoiler: Zaboo's two Master Chief lackees]] are revealed as hot girls.
* Cordell the dark elf from ''GaiaOnline'' was not particularly concealed, just androgynous, having been introduced as a champion of the dark elves willing to compete in the ([[AbortedArc non-canon]]) Reject Olympics on behalf of Durem. She was found to be female when an aggressive YaoiFangirl [[NoFourthWall invaded the track]] and [[SkinshipGrope felt her up]]. "[[MemeticMutation Hay UR not a bishie!]]"
* [[spoiler: Count Repugsive]] in ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}''. The reason she gives for the deception is that "female villains only get respect if they're hot". [[spoiler: Which she certainly isn't, being an undead BlackKnight.]]
* In the relatively new Flash, in-browser game "RPGShooterStarwish" Mare is a character who is shown and (repeatedly) told of being a much better pilot and shooter than the protagonist of the game as while as having "a very deep, modulated voice". Late in the game Mare takes off her robot-like suit to reveal that she [[spoiler:is one of the three remaining survivors of Lucerna]]
* This is explicitly referenced in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', when one of the protagonists puts on a very Samus-like suit. This follows:
-->'''Agatha:''' No, I can't even tell you're girl.
* Played with in ''Webcomic/{{Pacificators}}''. On one side, [[TheStoic Taffe]] [[BlowYouAway Torbern]] doesn't ''actively'' dresses in a manner that would cause confusion about her gender, but she ''is'' flat-chested, and a tomboy. There have had been multiple instances in which she gets [[CrowningMomentOfFunny mistaken for a boy,]] especially by the TooDumbToLive pirate Ferdinand.
** In fact, when she was first introduced, the ''readers'' weren't sure whether she was a girl or a boy. It wasn't until the first encounter with the pirate Ferdinand that her gender is cleared up.
* ''Webcomic/WhenSheWasBad'' has a highly feared mob enforcer who goes by the name Coyote. Most people assume the Coyote is male, but she is actually a PerkyFemaleMinion named Rosie. Her employers are pretty much the only ones who know her true identity, since she never leaves witnesses alive.
* LetsPlay/TwitchPlaysPokemon has Air the Lapras. For the entirety of the stream, it was assumed to be a male. However, transferring it to Generation II shows it to be a female.
* ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'': When Michelle took Proto Man's helmet in order to repair him, it turns out that Roll was impersonating Proto Man the whole time.
* ''Webcomic/{{Visseria}}'' has Alchione, who until pointed out by a child, was unapparent to the reader as being female for the first couple of pages that she appeared. This was caused in large part by her armor, but also by her abnormal height and musculature.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Sarasim in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode "Cyborg the Barbarian". Cyborg is her "Bob."
* In the 2003 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2003}}'' series, the turtles meet a lithe blue mutant called Quarry, leader of a pack of formerly human test subjects of Shredder's weird genetics experiments. When the turtles are able to find a (range-limited, at first) cure, it is revealed to their surprise that Quarry is a woman. (In a much later episode, she remembers that her name is Sydney.) Helped along even more, is the fact that they watched a video where they see a [[RedHerring man strapped to a table and turned into something that looked like Quarry.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' version of X-23 isn't revealed to be a girl ''or'' a young teenager initially, though she did look awfully ''small'' for a ninja/secret agent/whatever she was supposed to be disguised as.
* Red Claw, a villain created exclusively for ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. A terrorist leader whose name was notorious internationally, almost no-one knew that she was a woman at first. Even Batman was a little surprised when they first met:
-->'''Batman:''' Red Claw is a woman?\\
'''Red Claw:''' Is that a problem?\\
'''Batman:''' Not really... I'm very equal-opportunity...
* A variation of this occurs in the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "Payback", in which Batman (Terry) faces a dangerous KnightTemplar vigilante named Payback who is willing to harm and kill people for perceived injustices. Because of Payback's deep voice and large, imposing physique, Terry initially suspects him of being either a doctor at a local community center or his bulky henchman. [[spoiler:Payback later turns out to be the doctor's young son wearing an armored suit.]]
* Parodied by Quackor (The Foul), the EvilCounterpart of (Dial "M" For) Monkey in ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'', the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits band of heroes]] is saved from a pack of thieves by a Robin Hood wannabe. When the knight in the group goes to thank the mysterious archer, "he" takes off "his" cap, and the audience is treated to a slow-motion shot of long, glistening red hair as it flows down below her waist. The knight is speechless.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' parodied this trope, when Sandy Cheeks took off her diving suit in one episode. [[TheDitz Patrick]] exclaimed in shock "Sandy is a girl?!" even though everyone in Bikini Bottom was already aware (hell, Patrick himself already knew; it was the entire point of her debut episode).
** Played straight in the medieval episode.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'',
** Chris is conflicted over kissing a friend named Sam... Until he finds out she's a girl.
** In another episode, Peter ends up on house arrest when he gets angry at someone who he assumes is a man, and punches "him" out. Not only was "he" a woman (a very masculine-looking woman) but she was pregnant.
** Another episode features a talk show where it's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQBZmT2M8c revealed that a girl's boyfriend]]... [[spoiler:is a woman. Actually, a horse. Actually, a broom.]]
* In the second season of ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', [[spoiler:the Masked Boufbowler]] ends up as this.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' parodied it in ''Homer Of Seville'' when Homer was being chased down by a horde of rampaging Opera fans (ItMakesSenseInContext) and was saved by a helmeted motorcyclist dressed in black leathers. When the errant saviour takes off the helmet she says "That's right I'm a woman" in [[MundaneMadeAwesome an overdone way]] before Homer remarks in [[DullSurprise stilted speech]] "A lady motorcycle driver. What is this, ''TheTwilightZone?''".
* An old ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon features Daffy forming a rivalry with a small duckling. He realizes he can't bring himself to hurt someone that small, so he uses Phlebotinum-powered growth pills to force the duckling to grow to his size... only he can't bring himself to hurt ''her'' after that, either. There are other things he can bring himself to do with her, though...
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', Mandy does a classic by pretending to be a boy on Billy's baseball team, Billy believing girls can't play baseball even though Mindy has a team of her own (which she uses to beat them silly twice).
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''
** Danny sicced a Silver Purple-Backed gorilla named Sampson on Skulker. Danny soon finds out Sampson's real gender when he got an accidental eyeful, and was renamed "Delilah" when he submitted his findings to a magazine.
** One episode that involved a video game which Danny and Tucker are wrapped up in, but they can't defeat a gamer who constantly outwits them at every turn. Near the end of the episode they find out the gamer is Sam, which is humiliating--earlier in the episode, they mocked Sam thinking that because she's a girl, she wasn't good at gaming. So her smugness in the reveal is justified.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** Smellerbee who was dressed like a boy and, despite having a girl-like voice, made it hard to tell which gender she was. It wasn't until "The Serpent's Pass" episode when Jet's group meet Iroh and Zuko that her gender is revealed after Iroh mistakenly classifies her as a boy and she angrily corrects him.
** Also the episode "Warriors of Kyoshi". Sokka is surprised (to say the least) to find out that it wasn't men who ambushed them but a pack of teenaged girls.
** For the viewers, a good chunk of the Fire Nation army, if Zhao's speech in "The Blue Spirit" is anything to go by ("We are the sons and daughters of fire, the superior element!")
* On an episode of a Saturday morning cartoon based on ''Raggedy Ann and Andy'', Ann and Andy get rescued by a helmeted, laser toting space warrior. Warrior turns out not only to be a girl but a [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]].
* [[WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends Flaky]]. WordOfGod States she is, in fact, a girl.
* One of the main villains of ''WesternAnimation/TheCondor'', Taipan, is revealed to be Tony's girlfriend Valeria who wanted to have "''some fun''" with him before she kills him. Helped by the voice distorter and masculine nature of her costume.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SuperMarioBrosSuperShow'' had a {{Zorro}}-themed episode, where the Zorro {{Expy}} turned out to be the waitress from the local cafe, who's exposed at the end of the episode when she forgets to take off the mask and fake mustache.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Leela did this, but with a PaperThinDisguise, so only other characters were surprised.
* A variation in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', during "A Sitch in Time", Rufus 5000 warns Kim that one of her enemies would become The Supreme One and take over the world in the future. When Kim captures Dr. Drakken, Monkey Fist and Duff Killigan, she announces, "We captured the Supreme One!" Rufus 5000 answers, "But I don't see her!" Rufus 5000 then reveals the true Supreme One; [[DragonWithAnAgenda Shego]]. Lampshaded of course:
-->'''Rufus 5000''': Wasn't it obvious that Shego was the only villain intelligent enough to conquer the world?\\
'''Kim''': I just thought that taking over the world was such a 'guy' thing.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' episode "In The Presence of Mine Enemies", Slipstream has a dogfight with a Cobra pilot, taunting each other over the radio. When they both crash, Slipstream is shocked to discover his opponent is a woman, which is strange because her voice over the radio was clearly that of a female.
* Yanit from ''WesternAnimation/TheMummyTheAnimatedSeries'' turns out to be SweetPollyOliver. Ardeth finds out and decides to let her stay.
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'', Kevin is the first person to notice that Khyber's pet [[spoiler:whom he adopts after Khyber abandoned it]] is a female.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' episode "Coyote Lovely", Archer, Lana, and Cyril are sent to the Texas/Mexico border to apprehend notorious human trafficker Moreno. Everything is fine until Moreno is revealed to be an incredibly attractive woman, and Archer immediately decides that cozying up to her is more important than his mission.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DynomuttDogWonder'', the criminal Ironface is revealed to be[[spoiler: the Serpent Lady]].
* {{Discussed|Trope}} on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark:'' [[TokenEvilTeammate Cartman]] is obsessed with finding out [[TheCowl Mysterion]]'s secret identity and begins grilling all the guys at school. [[TheSmartGuy Wendy]] passes by and casually wonders why he assumes Mysterion is a boy at all. Cartman immediately looks shocked and suspicious of Wendy. ({{Subverted|Trope}}, however, in that Mysterion ultimately turns out to be male.)
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', there is a masked bounty hunter who everyone assumes to be a man. They are all shocked when she takes the mask off, revealing her identity as Princess Mira.
* In ''[[Franchise/{{Ninjago}} Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu]]'', a mysterious samurai in a mech suit shows up to rescue/show up/help the ninja on multiple occasions. Everyone assumes the samurai to be a man, and the scary-sounding voice changer didn't help. Turns out, not only is the samurai a girl, but she's Kai's sister Nya. Needless to say, everyone was utterly shocked.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretShow'', a villain called Dr. Hypno was eventually revealed as a woman, which shocked even former rival and retired secret agent Zach Meadows. [[spoiler: And then they got married.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* Used in a Finnish ad for the army, where paratroopers are making a training landing in a forest and ''It's Raining Men'' plays. The song cuts when the troopers remove their helmets, revealing that they are all women.
* Another commercial for a high-grade beer shows the hands of the brewmaster at work, as the narrator praises the skill of those hands. At the end, the narrator says that they're focusing on the brewmaster's hands because she's not a particularly-attractive woman.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_d%27Eon Chevalier d'Eon]] kept people guessing until the very end.
* There was a stagecoach driver in the American West named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charley_Parkhurst Charley Parkhurst]]. One-eyed Charley was known for his toughness and could handle anything, up to and including armed bandits. After his death (at age 67), the person who laid him out discovered "Charlie" was a woman, and her birth name turned out to be Charlotte.
** A tribute of sorts is given in the second and fourth ''Blackadder'' series, where a girl named Kate pretends to be a young man named Bob Parkhurst.
** A similar discovery was made about jazz musician [[http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1060/whats-the-story-on-the-female-jazz-musician-who-lived-as-a-man Billy Tipton (nee Dorothy Lucille Tipton)]], following "his" death. Even "his" adopted sons and at least one sexual partner didn't know "his" true gender.
* Lots of people tend to call unfamiliar dogs "boy" on first sight, [[FemaleFelineMaleMutt assuming they're male]] until proven otherwise. This used to be {{inverted}} in some parts of Israel (particularly in UsefulNotes/{{Jerusalem}}), where every unfamiliar cat was referred to as female until proven otherwise. In the past couple of decades this has reversed, so that now the trope is played straight.
* ''My God! It's a Woman'', the biography of Australian aviatrix Nancy Bird.
* The ScienceFiction author James Tiptree Jr. was discovered, after much controversy and one prominent author penning an essay on how it was ''impossible'' and ''inconceivable'' that James could be a woman, to be a lady named Alice Bradley Sheldon. The fact that she wrote many stories where gender took a major role did not help.
** George Sand, birth name Lucile Dupin, also qualifies.
* Creator/JKRowling. Apparently, some people were surprised to learn the real name. This was [[MoustacheDePlume deliberately invoked]] by the publisher because their initial target audience was young boys who they felt might be put off by a female author.
** This is pretty common with female authors who write outside traditionally "feminine" genres. [[TheOutsiders S. E. Hinton]]. Creator/KAApplegate. Creator/CJCherryh. [[StarTrekTheOriginalSeries D. C. Fontana]].
** In July 2013 it emerged that "Robert Galbraith", author of the crime novel ''The Cuckoo's Calling'', was in fact Rowling. Sales on Amazon promptly jumped ''150,000%''.
* In the olden days, women who ran businesses would often take advantage of this or run the business through their husband, the legal owner.
* Inverted after ''Discworld/EqualRites'', where many assumed Terry Pratchett to be a woman based on the book's feminist themes.
* [[http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/001242981626958 This Red Bull ad]], the biker is a woman. And deaf.
* Jack Prelutsky's children's poem "The New Kid on the Block" describes the titular new kid as a terrible [[TheBully bully]] who "likes to fight and picks on all the guys"; and ends with the line, "I don't care for her at all".
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whEVftJWBjA&NR=1#t=2m8s A beautiful real-life example, except for the fact that it says "Samantha" on the side of the cockpit.]]
* GenderFlip: The video [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBd-UCwVAY "It's Time"]], shot from the perspective of someone who falls in love with a man and builds a relationship with him. The video ends with the man proposing marriage, and the camera pulls back to reveal that the point-of-view character was [[QueerRomance another man this whole time]]. The video was heavily promoted by gay marriage advocates, causing many people to not even realize that the POV character's gender was supposed to be a TwistEnding.
* RealLife example: In the 2012 Orange Bowl, a West Virginia player celebrated by tackling the Orange Bowl mascot. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsK6OKfLCqo This]] is his reaction upon learning that the mascot was played by a woman.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5aam4MpZss The first trailer]] for ''The White Queen'' has this [[RuleOfThree three times over]].
* In [[ChineseLanguage Chinese]], the words for he and she are pronounced exactly alike (but are written differently). In spoken Chinese, this can lead to [=SIAG=] moments if the subject has a GenderBlenderName or the listener does not have enough context from the sentence to get gender.
[[/folder]]

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