[[quoteright:314:[[VideoGame/BrutalLegend http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/METAL_9945.jpg]]]][[caption-width-right:314: An [[CrystalDragonJesus Eternal Fire Beast]] just killed the band?! BEST METAL CONCERT EVER!]]

->'''Mabel''': Don't worry, I've seen enough movies to know this is the part where the audience thinks it was all part of the show, and loves it. Cue applause!\\
'''Audience''': ... ''BOO!''[[note]] WE ALMOST DIED![[/note]]
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', [[Recap/GravityFallsS2E4TheSockOpera Sock Opera]]

''"[[{{Theatre/Pagliacci}} La commedia è finita]]!"''

An audience is awaiting the next performance inside a theater or at a public event, when suddenly, all hell breaks loose. The performers are all viciously gunned down by an unidentified shooter, hostile alien invaders begin to land on platforms, a portal to an alternate dimension takes form, a clan of demon ninjas attack, evil ghost pirates begin pillaging left and right, buses filled with nuns crash onto the stage, the four horsemen arrive to herald the dawn of apocalypse.... at the same time....

The reaction of the audience at the sight of the havoc, mayhem and destruction: "Wow, what a great show!"

All Part of the Show is the frequent tendency for people at a showing to credit the bizarre, supernatural occurrences or peculiar statements and actions of certain performers that take place to a very creative SpecialEffects coordinator, cast or both.

Can be great for keeping the people hilariously [[{{Masquerade}} ignorant]] toward the supernatural happenings and beings that exist around them, but naturally, it can also be ''very'' disadvantageous to [[YouHaveToBelieveMe the characters trying]] to [[CassandraTruth convince them otherwise]]. It can also sometimes suggest the ViewersAreMorons. Often forms part of a ConcertClimax.

When an "All Part of the Show" moment actually ''is'' all part of the show, then it becomes YouJustRuinedTheShot. When a character is trying to appear part of the show by attempting to act out a real part in it, it's PushedInFrontOfTheAudience. When bad guys create the show specifically to cover their criminal activities, it's FilmFelons. SomeNuttyPublicityStunt is similar, but the event seems more "out of the blue" and not part of a specific performance or public event.

Alternately, someone may try to invoke this trope as a cover story by claiming "WeWereRehearsingAPlay."

Compare FatalMethodActing and ThisIsNotADrill.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': On stage in front of a [[{{Muggles}} whole school]], Inu Yasha blows up a watermelon demon with his {{BFS}}, then super-jumps out of the resulting hole in the ceiling while carrying Kagome. The audience just thinks it's the best special effects they've ever seen in a [[SchoolPlay high school play]]. Particularly impressive because Inu Yasha, a half-demon time traveler, [[YouJustRuinedTheShot interrupted in the first place because he didn't understand that it was just a play]], forcing Kagome to ad lib wildly to keep things from falling apart in all directions. The funniest part is the '''actual''' OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent who challenges Inuyasha to a duel, drawing a prop sword. Inuyasha responds by drawing Tessaiga, complete with the flashy magic and becoming the {{BFS}}.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** The Magic-using teachers in charge of the Academy use this trope to recruit thousands of {{Muggles}} to help them fight off an army of robots. Thankfully, none of the weapons being used by either side were lethal. The BigBad herself even got amused by this and decided to play along, announcing herself publicly as The Final Boss.
** Later, towards the end of the manga, the barriers between the Old World and the Magic World start to break down around Mahora, unleashing an army of demons onto the unsuspecting populace, fortunately, their attacks are only rendered [[ClothingDamage dangerous to modestly]] against Old World humans, so they do the exact same thing again to help the students defend themselves.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', Lina, Gourry and Amelia, while hiding from bounty hunters, end up getting hired by a theater company that is doing a play... ''about'' Lina. Then, when the hunters finally catch up to them, they're able to seamlessly integrate the whole fight into the play and clear Lina's name (in the play, at least).
** On top of that, the play is being performed at a theater contest. ''They win.''
*** Well, the special effects were amazing!
* An episode of ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'' has the eponymous heroines appearing on-stage during IdolSinger (and fellow teammate) Urara's debut to defeat a MonsterOfTheWeek, and the crowd goes wild.
* In the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, Team Rocket once invaded a water ballet that was taking place at the Cerulean City Gym to steal the Pokemon. The audience thinks the battle that took place was part of the story...it was pretty convincing actually, save the Meowth balloon crashing through the roof, and Ash and Brock (in casual clothes) jumping in the pool to help.
* In ''Manga/ShugoChara'', it is the sports day, and Amu still must catch an X-Egg. After transformation, she's in plain sight of everyone somehow, but since they can't see the X-Egg, and Amu's costume is that of a cheerleader's, everybody assumed all of her jumps, skips and all the works are an elaborate cheerleading. Her friends caught on fairly quickly and assist with their own cheerleading squad to make the "show" better.
* In ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' OAV episode 2, a rogue combat robot begins launching missiles during a Halloween fireworks display in Elenore City Park, and the audience mistakes the missile explosions for fireworks (as do the pyrotechnicians themselves: "Whoa, when did we send up that really big one?") Kei and Yuri borrow some of the rockets and use them to ''kill'' the robot -- earning even more applause from the crowd in the park below.
* In one episode of ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'' Mugen and Jin end up on stage during a Kabuki drama battling the police because they were sheltering a Westerner (and because Mugen skipped out on his restaurant bills). The fight and subsequent break up by Dutch and Japanese officials is seen as a terrific performance by the audience.
* In ''Anime/GeneratorGawl'', Gawl ends up performing superheroic feats on stage while fighting another Generator, all to the amusement of the PowerRangers-esque actors and the audience.
* During the "Death-T" arc of the original ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga, Kaiba actually had an audience present who thought it was a publicity stunt to promote a theme park. (Although they only saw the parts that Kaiba and Mokuba participated in personally.) Indeed, it even took the heroes a while to figure out it was a DeadlyGame that threatened their lives.
* In the ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' anime, [[RegretfulTraitor Dennis]] has come to regret his actions as TheMole, but feels that he doesn't deserve redemption. Being the entertainer that he is though, he decides to make his final act something the onlookers could be proud of. He turns himself into a card, sealing himself away from the world. While the general audience applauds this "illusion," the heroes know that this isn't an illusion, and know what Dennis [[DrivenToSuicide has really done.]]
* In ''Nurarihyon no Mago'', there was supposed to be a staged Oni attack, after which a class president candidate would take credit, via pre-recorded video, for vanquishing the monster. The main character fought off the Oni that actually showed up, and the delivered video was timed so well that nobody caught on. [[ContrivedCoincidence Naturally.]]
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Ranma, who is locked in female form, decides to protect his secret by fighting Mousse "disguised" as a girl. Akane is initially skeptical only to be amazed when it actually ''works''.
-->'''Akane''': "They're actually buying it. Way to sell 'em, Ranma!"
* In episode 5 of ''Anime/SoltyRei'', Waterside Panic, a priceless emerald ends up in the middle of a water circus, creating an every man for themselves fight over it, resulting in Solty [[spoiler: almost being electrocuted. Rose saves her at the last second]]. The crowd bursts into applause, and the circus's announcer can be heard in the background congratulating them, as if it was all part of the show.
* The final episode of ''Manga/CatsEye'' revolves around a play about a female thief, with a famous actress portraying the victim. The sisters use the play as an opportunity to drug the actress and replace her valuable diamond with a fake, which goes completely unnoticed because of the show's subject matter. The cops only realize a robbery has occurred after the play is over and the girls have made off with the diamond.
* Also happened in ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', where the Murderer Of The Week killed an actress by discreetly poisoning a glass of water that she had to drink while rehearsing a scene for a play. When the victim dropped dead, since her character was supposed to die in that same scene, everyone was all "Wow, you're a wonderful actress!" and cheered for her. Only when the other actor on-stage checked on the girl's well-being did they notice what happened.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'' and her Sailor Warriors fight a clown Cardian who appears during a performance of ''Snow White''. The audience are at first a little confused, but when the Sailor Warriors go UpToEleven with their introductory speeches, everyone decides it must be a ''Sailor Moon'' pantomime, and enjoys it anyway (especially Shingo, who is a big Sailor Moon fan!)
** Another incident involved the Sailor Guardians fighting a Rainbow Crystal monster inhabiting a tokatusa performer during his show.
* ''Manga/MyBrideIsAMermaid'':
** Lunar practices for a ventriloquist act by having Maki hide inside the dummy. Naturally, when she brings it to school, Lunar and Maki start arguing, and everyone else thinks it's the most awesome ventriloquist act ever.
** When everybody prepares to storm the place that kidnapped Sun and her family, they recruit [[{{Muggles}} Chimp]] for the mission by telling him they are filming scenes for a video game using motion capture technology. Chimp never catches on, even when they shoot the place up and Nagasumi has an epic FinalBattle with Yoshiuo.
* The 11th episode of ''Anime/BurstAngel'' has Jo acting as guard for a show featuring a ''Franchise/KamenRider'' CaptainErsatz. The villain turns into an actual monster and bursts out of his suit, and Jo fights him, while kids complain that the monster's transformation was different from that in the preview and wonder if Jo is part of a new plot.
* ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' has two of the four of the QuirkyMinibossSquad crash a 'Literature/TheLittleMermaid' play the heroines were taking part in. They managed to make it part of the show and repel them off, but the rest of the play had to be ad libbed because of this.
* In the second season of ''Anime/{{Digimon|Adventure 02}}'', when rogue Digimon attack a rock concert, the stage crew initially assume it's part of the show.
* In ''Manga/CodeBreaker'', after nearly 100 chapters trying to hide the {{Masquerade}} of people with special powers to the students at the school [[HilarityEnsues as well as they could]], there is a fight between people with powers right at the school, which is explained away as being for a movie they're shooting. The students even go "Is that CGI?" (which kinda makes you wonder if the average Japanese knows that CGI stands for "''computer''-generated imagery"). At least the masquerade is uncovered before FridgeLogic sets in in-universe.
* Happens more than once in ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}''. After all, [[RefugeInAudacity who would believe that there are actual demons running around]]?
* In the Battle of Fairy Tail arc in ''Manga/FairyTail'', Laxus and his minions hold several girls hostage to force the Fairy Tail team to chase them through the town and fight amongst themselves. The townspeople assume that it's just part of the festival that's going on.
* In the ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'' ''Arts and Sciences City'' side story, Mikoto helps defend Liberal Arts City from attacking magicians, but the people assume that a movie is being filmed. Beverly Seethrough, an actual director, quickly realizes this is real and [[BadassBystander helps out]].
** During the Ichihanaran Festival arc in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', most bystanders simply assume that the giant robotic-looking beetles and the various oddly-dressed magicians running around are part of it, [[CityOfAdventure which is generally a safe assumption]]. People catch on very rapidly whenever someone is visibly in danger.
* In ''LightNovel/AmagiBrilliantPark'' episode 7, the park employees are putting on a pirate skit when a real pirate ship appears through a portal. The pirates attack and damage the park with their cannonballs. Throughout the ordeal, the guests think this is part of the performance, and when the pirates take everyone prisoner and put them in shackles, declaring they will keep some as slaves and sell the rest, the guests happily go along with it, thinking it is AudienceParticipation. When the pirates are defeated, the guests say that was so fun and they should do it again soon.
* In ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'', it's revealed that civilians think that all the "games" are just sports with fancy special effects instead of live-action executions. [[CrapsackWorld But they don't really care even if people are dying.]]
* In the second ''Anime/LittleWitchAcademia'' film, a combination of factors releases a magical rock giant during [[AttackOfTheTownFestival the town festival]]. [[CoolTeacher Professor Ursula]] plays it off like this a show that the WizardingSchool is putting on, and has them cheer encouragement as [[AscendedFangirl Akko]], [[{{Meganekko}} Lotte]] and [[CreepyGood Sucy]] defeat it. (Funnily enough, Akko ''did'' want to put on a show like this earlier, but it fell through.)
* In ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'', the second SchoolFestival stars off fairly crazy thanks to [[SenseiChan Akari]] going demonic due to her increasing loneliness and desperation, resulting in her dominating the festival single-handedly. However, when [[TheBigGuy Sakurada]] (who [[HotForTeacher has feelings for Akari]]) starts actually matching pace with her, Akane (who ''wants'' Akari to be lonely ForTheLulz) uses her demonic powers to create a flying castle for the final event. An unseen voice starts repeatedly declaring "Do not be alarmed, this is just a demonstration", but nobody really buys it and later in the story a few characters remarked that this was the point where they really realized there was some weird stuff going on in their supposedly ordinary high school.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Subverted in an early ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' story and a 1980s ''The Question'' story where there is a hand to hand combat exhibition where villains secretly appear to attack the feature players ''for real''. As the fight gets more serious than the feature players suspect, the audience slowly begins to realize that there is no way that the exhibition could be that realistic.
* An old ComicBook/{{Superboy}} story features criminals ''using'' this trope. They bring movie cameras and pretend to film themselves robbing banks so that people passing by will simply assume it is all a movie and ignore the screaming bank employees. Luckily, Superboy notices they didn't bring any sound equipment, so guesses they are criminals. Luckily, he had apparently never heard of [[LoopingLines looping]].
* Grant Morrison used the same idea when he wrote ''Marvel Boy''. The incredibly wealthy Dr. Midas sets up lights and cameras so no one will find it strange when his army lets loose on the title character with lasers and other assorted sci-fi gear.
* There's the classic Marvel Team Up where Franchise/SpiderMan met [[Series/SaturdayNightLive The-Not-Ready-For-Primetime Players]], complete with Silver Samurai breaking into a performance of SNL?
** This was mocked by Blog/TheComicsCurmudgeon in 2006 during his (now weekly) pillorying of the [[ComicStrip/TheAmazingSpiderMan newspaper strip]]. Mary Jane, as "Marvella", stars in a hackneyed exploitation movie where she is attacked by "Panthera", played by the washed-up and homicidal Narna Lamarr.
--->''"They're putting them in a real elevator, with no microphones of any kind (otherwise Narna's bitchy off-script taunts would be picked up) and having them improvise some fisticuffs. (I hear this is exactly how Creator/RobertAltman filmed most of ''[=McCabe & Mrs. Miller.=]'')"''
* ComicStrip/DickTracy fights Putty Puss on a stage. Vitamin Flintheart tries to convince the audience it's for real, but he's such a ham he only makes things worse.
* During the ''ComicBook/BatmanHush'' storyline, Batman and Catwoman wind up fighting Harley Quinn in the middle of a crowded opera house. The opera-goers seem to think this is part of the show, even applauding after Batman manages to catch Catwoman in mid-air.
** The final fight of the first ''Franchise/{{Batman}}[=/=]ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' crossover takes place at a HeavyMetal concert, on stage. The audience is not shown having any particular reaction to Batman appearing on stage, or a cop from another dimension, or for that matter a zombie cop from a third dimension who had killed half the band (Well, since Judge Death ''was'' singing while he killed them, there was some justification for assuming that it was staged).
* In a Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} ''[[Comicbook/TheTransformers Transformers]]'' comic, the Decepticons attempt to steal energy from the sound at a [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Brick Springstern]] concert. When this erupts into a battle against the Autobots, the audience just assumes it's a massive special effects extravaganza.
** Similarly, when Scorpionok and the Dinobots travel to Tokyo during the Starscream Triumphant story, they're mistaken for monster movie props, much to Grimlock's annoyance.
* Played with in ''Astérix and the Cauldron''. ComicBook/{{Asterix}} and Obélix get hired by a Roman theater company whose avant-garde director proclaims TrueArt is "spontaneity", improvisation and offending the public. (Ironically, as is shown during the play rehearsal, basically everything is in fact minutely staged.) When the actual play is performed in public, the Roman city prefect does enjoy the controversial show, until the point where Obelix improvises the play's final line: "These Romans are crazy!" Now that pushes the prefect's BerserkButton: he is not amused and sends the troops on stage to arrest the actors. The military intervention is not part of the show, but the public does believe so:
-->'''Spectator #1:''' Very well staged, that show!
-->'''Spectator #2:''' Yes, it's getting exciting!
-->'''Spectator #3:''' Now they're pushing it. It lacks realism.
-->'''Spectator #4:''' It's a new aesthetics. I, for one, dig it.
* In the ''Franchise/AdventureTime'' spin-off comic ''ComicBook/AdventureTimeMarcelineAndTheScreamQueens'', Marceline has a nervous breakdown during the last gig of the band's tour, shapeshifts into an enormous dragon, and nearly incinerates the audience before Bubblegum manages to talk her down. Naturally, the audience think it was all part of the show.
* ''ComicBook/Batman66'': When Shame and his gang rob an old-fashioned train and its passengers, the victims assume it's part of the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/StuntDawgs'': [[spoiler:Fungus' plan to sabotage a stunt show in the comics fails because the audience thought it was part of the show.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheBatmanAdventures'': After saving Boston Brandt's life in Issue #15 of The Batman and Robin Adventures, Dick Grayson tells him to bow to the audience so they won't know of the danger.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', the Equestria Girls version of Photo Finish witnessed the big battle against Enjin at the hospital and even took pictures, but she thought some kind of action movie was being filmed. When she saw Enjin get up after falling out of a building, she thought it was because he was a stunt man.
* [[spoiler:After Kyon gets shot]] in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', [[BavarianFireDrill Haruhi pulls this off on a crowd]], convincing them a movie was being filmed.
* In ''[[FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries Pairing Off]]'', the audience at the Skulk and Lurk thought that Skulker's attack on Sam was part of her poetry reading at first.
* In ''Fanfic/SuzumiyaHaruhiNoIndex'', Touma and Haruhi get attacked by Team ITEM. Touma fights them off, but Haruhi thinks the whole thing was a performance her friends staged to cheer her up. When Touma blocked Mugino's energy blast with his Imagine Breaker, Haruhi assumed the blast was akin to a flashlight.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7845142/24/Thirty-Tales-of-a-Swordsman Thirty Tales of a Swordsman]]'' has the Straw Hat Pirates going to the theater, only to end up escaping bounty hunters. They try to escape backstage but find themselves forced to go on stage while a mock fight is on going and successfully defeat their opponents. The audience immediately cheers and praises the special effects and stunt coordination, so much that the theater's owner offers to hire the pirates as actors.

* ''Film/TheAdventureOfSherlockHolmesSmarterBrother''. When the opera is interrupted by Sigerson, Sacker and Moriarty's assistant trying to get the document, the audience doesn't appear to realize what's going on.
* ''Film/{{Airplane}}'': In a slight twist on the trope, while a couple is dancing, the guy ends up stabbed in the back. His futile efforts to point at the knife are confused for dance moves by his partner.
* In the movie inspired by Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Alegria'', when the ringmaster of the circus cannot bring himself to go onstage (his daughter, a singer in the show, has run away), the clowns address the audience to tell them the performance will not proceed. Naturally, no one believes them; in fact they laugh and finally the clowns drive them out of the theater with a giant industrial fan and a paper snowstorm.
* In ''Film/TheATeam'', Murdock and the other inmates at a psychiatric ward are watching a 3D film with a jeep driving towards the screen. You can guess what happens next.
* ''Film/BachelorParty'': Near the end of the movie, a theater is showing some typical cheesy 3-D sci-fi film. In come three of the main characters, two guys duking it out for the love of the girl. The fight, and the girl's reactions, are perfectly matched to what's happening on screen, leading one audience member to comment, "What a realistic effect!" His girlfriend replies, "I've seen better," and is immediately punched by one of the fighters, at which point she is convinced.
* In ''Film/BallsOfFury'', Randy Daytona is performing ping-pong tricks as entertainment in a casino buffet. He starts bouncing a ball repeatedly off of an old guy in the audience, even as the guy is trying to block it. The man eventually has a heart attack and keels over. A few minutes later an FBI agent (George Lopez) visits Randy in his dressing room, and Randy thinks he's in trouble because of the old guy having a heart attack. The FBI agent replies "That's not what I'm here for. Honestly I thought that was part of the show until the paramedics showed up".
* The infamous exploitation film ''Film/BloodsuckingFreaks'' has Sardu's Theater of the Macabre, wherein Sardu and his assistant Ralphus torture and dismember various women on stage in Grand Guignol style. Of course, everyone thinks it's just stagecraft.
* During the Broadway opening of the play in ''Film/BulletsOverBroadway'', [[spoiler: a pair of mobsters shoot and kill [[AuthorExistenceFailure Cheech]] backstage. The audience thinks the gunshots were all part of the show. In fact, the show gets rave reviews because of the "symbolic" gunshots in the ending.]]
* After confronting the male villain in his box seat, the heroine of ''Film/{{Catwoman}}'' escapes security guards in a theater by leaping onto the stage and scrambling up the back wall -- since the show is a Creator/CirqueDuSoleil-inspired one, the audience thinks she's just an acrobat and applaud her feat.
* A variation appeared in ''Film/DirtyWork''. The main characters ruin a performance of ''Don Giovanni'' by, among other things, releasing skunks and prostitutes into the theater. Everybody in the audience ends up fleeing, except for ''one'' man who praises the show as the greatest performance he has ever seen.
* In ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', when Giselle bites a poison apple and is only saved by TrueLovesKiss, the rest of the ballroom think it's only a show. Then Queen Narissa announces something in the lines of "You want a show? I'll give you a show!" and [[ScaledUp turns into a dragon]]. A deleted scene on the DVD has the two crying old ladies complain that the noisy spectacle wasn't needed and that it could have just ended with the kiss.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Explorers}}'', a real space ship flies alongside a DriveInTheater screen which is showing some cheap 1950s sci-fi movie. The scene cuts to a boy and girl who are watching the movie, and the boy complains he can see the strings.
* ''Film/GalaxyQuest'': An alien spaceship crashes through the side of a convention building and everyone thinks it's a publicity stunt. One guy in the audience even shoots a Nerf gun at the BigBad. To be fair, the ship ''was'' built to be exactly like the one from the show - and they ''did'' crash ''right into the stage''. (One wonders what the convention center owners did when they found out.)
** Not to mention what all those people did when they found their cars totaled and/or flipped over in the parking lot.
** Presumably not enough to damage the fandom's cries for another season, as the next things we're shown is a relaunch.
* ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'': Harry reappears in the arena after [[spoiler: facing Voldemort at the end of the labyrinth]]; the crowd immediately starts cheering but a hush spreads as they realize that [[spoiler: Harry is holding Cedric Diggory's dead body]]. Fleur Delacour takes it a step further by ''screaming'' when she realizes the truth.
* Creator/LonChaney's SadClown in ''Film/HeWhoGetsSlapped'' staggers out into the center ring of his circus, bleeding to death, during a show. The audience thinks it's part of his act.
* ''Film/HocusPocus'' goes straight to RefugeInAudacity with this--not only are the witches invading the stage assumed to be performing, when they sing their spell the audience is convinced to ''sing along'' and enchant itself.
* In ''Film/InterviewWithTheVampire'', the French Théâtre des Vampires troupe of vampires kill humans on stage, but the audience always believes the deaths to be part of the show.
* ''Film/JohnWickChapter2''. John Wick runs onto the stage of a rock concert in Rome, shoots dead a security guard on stage next to the DJ and the audience applauds, seemingly thinking that it's a part of the show. However, people to start to panic when John then runs through the middle of the crowd with a gun continuing to eliminate security.
* In ''Film/LittleNicky'', Creator/AdamSandler (a.k.a. Nicky) is having a magical duel with his demonic brother in the middle of a Harlem Globetrotters game, which a [[LargeHam very enthusiastic mother]] explains to her children as "all part of the show". Even when the basketball ''explodes''.
* ''Film/MeetTheFeebles'': Wynyard accidentally stabs himself while attempting to perform a KnifeThrowingAct while high. The audience promptly starts cheering.
* In ''Film/MidnightMovie'' the viewers of the ShowWithinaShow ''The Dark Beneath'' think that the killings are part of a prank at first.
* Satine's death in ''Film/MoulinRouge!'', during the big finale number, while the audience gives them a standing ovation.
** Inverted at the beginning of the film when Satine falls off her swing. The crowd is uncertain what to think until Harold Ziedler covers up the accident by calling for applause and complimenting Satine's incredible showmanship, thus convincing the spectators that it was all part of the show.
* ''Film/MovieCrazy'' has Creator/HaroldLloyd being knocked out by the bad guy in a fistfight and chucked in a wicker basket. The bad guy happens to be an actor, and the fistfight was on a film set. When Harold comes to, he sees the actor in the middle of filming a climactic fight, and attacks him for real. The befuddled film crew assumes that this is part of the movie and films everything.
* In ''Film/MyFavoriteYear'', Variety show star King Kaiser is beat up on live television by goons of a gangster he regularly makes fun of. The studio audience thinks it's part of the sketch, as is movie swashbuckler Alan Swann swinging to his rescue.
* The ending of ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum: Battle of the Smithsonian''. It seems that the exhibits now involve [[LivingStatue all sorts of fancy new technology]] if you visit them during the new extended night hours…
* In ''Film/{{Octopussy}}'', Film/JamesBond disguises himself as a clown to escape pursuit, but then struggles to convince circus goers that there really is a nuclear weapon about to detonate unless he can get to it.
* When the militia blow up Cornwallis' ship in ''Film/ThePatriot'', one of the ladies attending think they're just fireworks.
* Happens on two separate occasions in ''Film/PhantomOfTheParadise''. It happens first when Beef is electrocuted, to the point that the crowd's chanting for him as the curtain falls - so the stagehands can at least put out his burning corpse. The finale's even wilder: [[spoiler: the Phantom disrupts the wedding/assassination of Phoenix to Swan; Philbin is killed in the process. Since the Phantom's destroyed Swan's DealWithTheDevil contract, Phoenix is privy to Swan's resultant GlamourFailure; he tries to strangle her. The Phantom stabs him to death, but due to ''his'' contract with Swan, he dies too. When his mask comes off, Phoenix realizes the Phantom was Winslow; she cradles his body.]] During all this, virtually ''no one else'' stops dancing and partying.
* The original film version of ''Film/TheProducers'' has the ex-Nazi author of the play storming out on stage to protest the hippie lead actor's laid-back portrayal of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. The actors of the play hit the author on the head and pull him back behind the curtains, to the uproarious laughter of the audience, who thought this was all part of the act. Of course, [[SpringtimeForHitler the play itself wasn't meant to be a comedy]], but the loopy performance of the lead actor made it so.
* Happens in ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'' with [[spoiler: Blind Mag's final song, ''Chromaggia''. As her performance comes to a close, she ''gouges out her eyes on stage'' so Rotti can't repossess them. This triggers Rotti's VillainousBreakdown, and he cuts the ropes suspending her, causing her to fall onto a pointy piece of scenery and get impaled.]] The commentator announces cheerfully that it's all part of the show, as does Rotti.
--> Stay tuned, folks!
--> You don't wanna move, folks!
--> Because there's more excitement coming!
** Pretty much the entire Genetic Opera from there on out falls under this trope.
* In ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'', vampire hitmen bust onto stage to take out Lestat, sick of his [[BrokenMasquerade Masquerade breaking]] ways. One would think this act would only serve to confirm their existence to the world. Not so, as their deaths are assumed to be All Part of The Show.
* ''Film/TheRocketeer'': Said verbatim at the the first appearance of the title character, at an airshow where he saves a pilot from a fiery death. However, the airfield owner saying that has a hard time keeping up that line as the pilot's plane in question crashes into and destroys another of his fuel trucks.
* Franco Zeffirelli's film version of ''Film/RomeoAndJuliet'' put an interesting spin on Mercutio's death scene -- his friends think he's playing around, and only after he collapses do they realise he was dying.
* Played strictly for laughs in an ''Film/IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer'' parody within ''Film/ScaryMovie''. While Buffy is performing onstage for a talent show, she becomes the sole witness of her boyfriend's murder on the balcony. As he struggles, gets killed by Ghostface, and is slowly dragged away, she goes hysterical trying to tell the audience, eventually crying out, "Why won't any of you bastards help?!" The audience is captivated by her "performance" and all rise to give a roaring applause as she gives up and runs backstage, where her mood instantly flips to pure joy once she learns that she won.
* In the opening sequence of ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'', a young woman is attacked by Ghostface in a theater showing ''Stab'', the movie-within-a-movie based on the events of the first ''Scream''. Bleeding, she runs up in front of the screen, where people thinks she is a publicity stunt until she falls over dead. (''Film/ScaryMovie'', mentioned above, does not employ the trope while parodying the scene: the killer is in the audience, but the woman is killed by the other patrons for annoying them during the movie)
* At the end of ''Film/{{Spies}}'', the master spy, who has been working undercover as a clown, is surrounded by the good guys while he's onstage doing a show. He shoots himself. The audience applauds.
* In the film ''Film/StageBeauty'', the climactic performance of 'Othello' is a version of this: the audience doesn't realize that [[spoiler: Billy Crudup's character is (arguably) actually trying to kill Claire Danes on stage under cover of Desdemona's death scene. When she survives, it becomes merely All Part of the Show]].
* At the end of the 2014 SlasherMovie ''Stage Fright''[[note]]No relation to [[Film/StageFright the 1950 crime thriller]].[[/note]], the FinalGirl Camilla kills [[spoiler:Roger]] on stage during the finale of ''The Haunting of the Opera'', the play she was performing at theater camp. The audience responds with a giant round of applause at Camilla's 'performance'.
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze'', the title characters fight a mutant wolf and a mutant snapping turtle in a night club and are mistaken for costumed dancers. Justified in that Music/VanillaIce, who was performing at the time, apparently improvises the very [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic suspiciously apropos]] "Ninja Rap".
** In fact, the only person to suspect something is up is the club's manager, who is outraged at the appearence of 'these extras'. He tells his assistant to call the police, only to relent later on when he finds that the club's patrons ''enjoy'' the battle taking place.
* Played, if anything, for drama in ''Film/ToBeOrNotToBe'' (1983). An elderly Jewish woman is being led down the aisle to freedom in a room full of Nazi infantrymen, leaders and Hitler himself, all of whom believe her to be a clown acting the part of a Jewish woman. When she passes face to face with the latter, she starts screaming in pure terror, leading Mel Brooks to -- what else -- comically bop her on the head and drag her off. The Nazis roar with laughter.
* In ''[[Film/ThreeNinjas Three Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain]]'', a bored crowd is watching a {{Western}} play when the three heroes and some mooks suddenly crash onto the set. The actors get confused, but when the mooks lash out at them, they fight back and help the heroes defeat them. The crowd cheers, saying the play was much better than last year's.
* In ''Film/{{Sharktopus}}'', the beachgoers wonder aloud if one of the titular creature's attack is part of a show.
* Series/MrBean in ''Film/MrBeansHoliday'' ruins Carson Clay's ridiculously artsy film by switching his camcorder's footage with the film reel during the premier, as well as causing himself to be chased by security. The audience give a loud round-of-applause, believing it to all a performance as part of the movie experience.
* In ''[[Film/CabinByTheLake Return to Cabin by the Lake]]'', Stanley is able to get away with his crimes more easily because he commits them during the shoot of a horror movie chronicling his own life. When he tries to carry a corpse to his car one of the assistants stops to help him and notes that he's carrying a fake prop body himself. The same assistant later thinks that a live electrocution which Stanley films was an intended part of the shoot. Allison later can't convince two oblivious actors that the "Assistant Director" is actually a murderous psychopath while he stages another on-set death.
* In the Russian movie ''Deja Vu'' an assassin shoots his mark, who's at that moment playing a victim of a firing squad in a rendition of ''Film/{{Toska}}''. While the audience applauds his "brilliant acting", the assassin quietly leaves.
* The theatre audience in ''Film/{{Birdman}}'' doesn't realize that Riggan actually shot himself for real at the end of the play. Once they learn the truth, however, they like it even more, praising the "Ultra-Realism" of the production.
* An InvokedTrope in ''Film/TheArtOfWar'' (2000). When Wesley Snipes is chased through a Millennium celebration crowd by security forces, his MissionControl put live-action video of it up on a large screen, making everyone cheer along (it helps that Wes is CherryTapping his opponents, and does a PrisonerOfZendaExit by parachuting off the building).
* In ''Film/TheCircus'', the Tramp gets chased by the cops through the circus for real, to the delight of the crowd who think this is an act.
* In ''Film/Ghostbusters2016'', a demonic ghost rises through the floor during a heavy metal concert, which both the audience and the band mistake for a special effect. Once the Ghostbusters arrive and start fighting it, they start to figure out that it's real but the audience still thinks that it's awesome.
* ''Film/Turbulence3HeavyMetal'': After the hijacker impersonating the heavy metal singer Craven shoots one of the pilots, everyone initially assumes it to be part of Craven's "prince of darkness" act.
* ''Film/AfterTheFox'': In order to unload stolen gold from a ship, the anti-hero (Peter Sellers) pretends to be shooting a movie at a small town on the Italian coast. He allows the entire population to "act" in his movie by helping him unload the gold. Later a film critic finds that the film a work of art.

* ''Literature/APrayerForOwenMeany'': During the Nativity play, Owen (playing Jesus) stands up and addresses the audience, telling them they are not worthy and should be ashamed of themselves for even setting foot in a church. The audience sitting in the church assumes this is a sermon to them and part of the play; the reader knows that Owen was talking [[spoiler: to his sacrilegious parents.]]
* In Creator/AnneRice's novel ''Literature/InterviewWithTheVampire'' (and its [[Film/InterviewWithTheVampire film adaptation]]), the French Théâtre des Vampires troupe of vampires kill humans on stage, but the audience always believes the deaths to be part of the show.
* Done ''straight'' in Bernard Cornwell's ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'' (a serious version of the Myth/KingArthur story). The Saxons know that the Celts have a series of beacons ready to light as soon as Saxon invaders are sighted. So they wait for the Beltane festival, when every Celtic community has a bonfire anyway...
* Literature/{{Discworld}}:
** In ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', nobody in the audience of the Ankh-Morpork Opera House panics when they see the Phantom being chased by Greebo (in [[HumanityEnsues human form]]) across the Boxes and over the chandelier in the middle of the opera ''Il Truccatore'', because they think it's supposed to be part of the show. (In fact, not wanting to seem uncultured, they start saying they remember hearing about a production in Quirm that did this.)
** And in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', the real Death walks on stage during a play in place of the actor playing the role. He then realizes he's become the center of attention (because the WeirdnessCensor doesn't work if they think you're just some guy in a costume) and gets stage fright.
*** Inverted when Granny Weatherwax attends a play for the first time, and doesn't know it's all pretend. When the actor playing the king is "killed" and other characters start asking each other who could have done such a thing, she stands up in the audience and loudly identifies the "murderer".
** And in ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld II: The Globe'', (mostly set in our world) [[TheFairFolk Elves]] launch an attack on the Globe Theatre during the first production of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'', which is mistaken for part of the play.
** In ''Discworld/MovingPictures'' an EldritchAbomination takes the form of the lead actress in the 'clicks' and climbs out of the screen. Everyone just stands by and applauds the special effects. Although to be fair, they're pretty much mind-controlled by this point.
--->'''Chair of Indefinite Studies''': It's not some sort of special kinematographic effect, then?
--->'''Victor''': Not unless they've got ''really'' good in the last twenty-four hours.
* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' during an opera, as a distraction, the stage light fused out. Even though the actors ran, people thought it was just symbolic.
* This is pretty much the climax of ''Literature/SnowCrash'' within the Metaverse.
* In ''The Darfsteller'', a Hugo Award-winning novelette by Walter M. Miller, Jr., the protagonist is an actor. He is in a play where his character is shot and killed in the final scene. He puts a real bullet in the gun, in place of the blank, intending to commit [[SuicideByCop suicide]]. When he changes his mind, he dodges but still gets shot. He then tries to lie as still as he can, so as to not ruin the show.
** On that respect, the tragic death of Brandon Lee during the filming of the movie ''Film/TheCrow''. Since he got shot for real just in the scene where his character (Eric Draven) is shot by mobsters, the director and the crew all believed his death (and the actress playing Eric's girlfriend's pleas for help) to be part of the filming. Only when Brandon did not react after the "Cut!" mark did they realize what was going on. This, incidentally, caused his entire death to be captured on film.
* In the fourteenth book in the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series by K.A. Applegate, the Animorphs uncover a plot by the Yeerks to infiltrate a military organization (Zone 91, a clear parody of Area 51) and attempt to stop them while at an amusement park. The Animorphs are battling several Hork-Bajir, as well as Visser Three, in the middle of one of the rides. Cassie is somewhat startled to discover that the ride is still running, and several of the patrons think that the battle is All Part of the Show.
* ''Literature/ThePiloFamilyCircus'' suffers so many disruptions of its performances that "All Part Of The Show" has become a mantra on the showgrounds. One memorable example shows Mugabo the Magician getting sick and tired of pulling a rabit out of his hat, and deciding to liven up the show by simply [[LudicrousGibs blowing it to pieces with his powers.]] As two carnies tackle the rebellious magician to the ground, one of them shouts to the [[BloodSplatteredInnocents shocked and bloodstained audience]] "All part of the show, folks!"
** Similarly, [[MonsterClown Doopy the Clown's]] unscheduled [[NoHoldsBarredBeatDown assault on the apprentice]], and Goshy slapping an audience member in the face were both treated as part of the show.
* ''Literature/TheMasterAndMargarita'' has a demonic black cat beheading an annoying actor during Woland's Black Magic Show. The public is horrified at first, but then mistakes it for a trick.
* In Thomas Pynchon's novel ''V.'', an unconventional ballet concludes with a virgin sacrifice (echoing ''Theatre/TheRiteOfSpring'',) but the ballerina fails to wear key protective gear and ends up killed for real. While she dies onstage, the audience applauds what they think is her very realistic performance.
* Mocked in ''Magazine/TheOnion'' when a dance club burns down. The fire chief yells "The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!" to which the dancers respond "We don't need no water, let that motherfucker burn!"
* In ''Literature/DeepSecret'' by Creator/DianaWynneJones, the protagonists are very disappointed that the attendees of a fantasy convention mistake the villains (and various other otherworldly people) showing up as just part of the convention.
* The Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse short story "Swamp of Horrors (1957) ? Viewing Notes" by Michael Rees tells the story of how the Sixth Doctor disrupted the shooting of a B-Movie to rescue a stranded alien - from the perspective of a film critic praising the finished movie's thoughtful message, ''cinema verite'' direction, and quite amazing effects work. (It also includes a YouJustRuinedTheShot; when the Doctor first appears, he mistakes the rubber monster from the film for his alien, and the director yells at him. The critic thinks this BreakingTheFourthWall moment doesn't really work.)
* The final battle against [[Disney/SleepingBeauty Maleficent]] in the first ''Literature/KingdomKeepers'' book is dismissed as [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney World's]] best light show ever.
* In ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'', the reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle ends with the GreaserDelinquents turning a battle between the Minutemen and the Redcoats (played by members of the U.S. Army) into an all-out brawl. The audience's first reaction is to applaud how realistic the acting is.
* In one ''Literature/ZacharyNixonJohnson'' novel, Zach is attacked by kabuki assassin droids in a restaurant. The patrons think it's all part of the show, despite his repeated attempts to get them to evacuate.
* ''Literature/LightThickens'' by Creator/NgaioMarsh is centred around a production of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''. A gruesome murder takes place at the end of one of the performances, and has to be covered up this way. It is mentioned later that those of the audience who noticed just thought that [[spoiler:the head was an "awfully good dummy".]]
--> The blood drips onto Seyton's upturned face. And being well-trained professional actors, they respond, with stricken faces and shaking lips, "Hail, King of Scotland!" The curtain falls.
* In Mikhail Krylov's fantasy novella ''Eternity'' there is a gorgeous show to celebrate an appulse of planets. Midway through the performance, the Sun and planets in the sky start disappearing due to an evil sorcery, and for a long while the audience thinks it a stroke of genius on the director's part.
* In ''The Flying Stars'', a ''Literature/FatherBrown'' story by Creator/GKChesterton, an accomplice warns Flambeau that [[spoiler:he's been discovered and a policeman is coming to arrest him]]. Flambeau's reaction? He stages a harlequinade with himself as Harlequin, and tells everyone [[spoiler:the supposed policeman]] is his theatrical friend coming to take part in the show. Therefore, he beats him, knocks him unconscious and drugs him in front of a whole room of very respectable people who are said to still remember it as the most brilliant acting ever – especially on the [[spoiler:policeman]]'s part.
* An InvokedTrope in ''Martian V.F.W.''. by G.L. Vandenburg, in which an AlienInvasion takes place under cover of a New York City parade, which the aliens entering their own parade float. Everyone assumes the insectoid aliens are just performers until people start dying from their {{Death Ray}}s.

[[folder: Live- Action TV ]]
* ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'': A guy turns into a banshee onstage and goes after his young male co-star, who is transformed into a toad and saved by a leprechaun friend. Not only is the audience sitting back and watching while he's begging, "Somebody help me! This is really happening!", but the confused stage hands are flipping through the script backstage, wondering, "Did we miss this in rehearsal or something?"
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' Season 9, there's an episode where the whole gang goes out for a Karaoke night. Later, Penny commends Leonard on his spontaneous beat-boxing, to which Leonard responds that he was having an asthma attack and he just did his best to "sell it".
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The climactic scene in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode The Shakespeare Code]]" takes place at the end of a performance of Shakespeare's play ''Love's Labours Won'', the ending of which was written by the evil aliens to call the rest of their race to take over the world. After the villains are defeated, the audience stands up and applauds. Martha assumes that they think it was all special effects.
** The Eleventh Doctor uses this trope when he wants pocket change in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E6TheBellsOfSaintJohn The Bells of Saint John]]". He materializes at London's South Bank (next to an annoyed and upstaged Human Statue) and has his companion pass the hat around for his "Disappearing Police Box" act, implying that he's going to go back in time and do the first half. Or he's already done it. [[TimeyWimeyBall Whatever...]]
** Also, in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E3TheUnquietDead The Unquiet Dead]]", when Mr Redpath's mother's face turns blue and the gelth leave her body in Creator/CharlesDickens' reading of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', Dickens tries to explain it away as 'a trick of the lights'. Unlike usual, though, the audience doesn't believe him and run.
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E12DeathInHeaven Death in Heaven]]" an army of Cybermen march out onto the streets of London. Bystanders cluster round and start taking selfies, and the amused BigBad even puts the hat out for them. [[spoiler:Subverted when the bystanders turn out to be armed UNIT operatives.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Glee}}'', the kids are performing at an alcohol awareness assembly when Brittany [[{{Squick}} throws up on Rachel]] mid-performance. Principal Figgins praises them on informing the students about the dangers of alcohol using special effects. In reality, New Directions were [[{{SureLetsGoWithThat}} drunk off their asses.]]
* The ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' episode, "The Modern Prometheus" featured Creator/LordByron as an Immortal who is a rock star in the present day. He and Duncan sword fight backstage during a break at one of his concerts and, after Byron is beheaded, the quickening is seen as this as the audience cheers.
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS1E9ThePuppetShow The Puppet Show]]" where the Scoobies fight a demon on the stage of the school talent show, only to have the curtains open just after they finish. Buffy is holding a ventriloquist's dummy. Willow is holding a hatchet. Giles and Xander are standing next to a guillotine with a decapitated demon.
-->'''Principal Snyder:''' I don't get it. What is it, avant garde?
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** In the episode "Wormhole X-Treme!", an alien spaceship appears in the sky during the filming of a sci-fi TV show; the crew assumes it's part of the script and gets it on camera, with the creator (who knew in advance it would happen, and had the outdoor filming scheduled accordingly) of the show saying...
-->'''Martin:''' We're gonna win an Emmy for this! ...For special effects.
** In the episode "Bounty", an attempted assassination of Carter appears to be part of a demonstration of the technology she and Dr. Lee bring to a trade show. Probably helped by the fact that they were demonstrating hologram technology. Looks like their original plan was to have "Carter" walk on stage and then wow the audience when she turned out to be a hologram generated from backstage. The sniper fell for it too of course and fired on the hologram which promptly disappeared. Cue the real Carter coming out from backstage holding a working laser gun which she uses to stun the sniper. The audience applauds and it's not hard to see why they would believe it to be part of the demonstration.
* In ''Series/TheVicarOfDibley'', Alice Tinker [[AwayInAManger gives birth]] to her child while playing Mary during a Nativity Play, to various comments of "it's very realistic".
* ''Series/AceLightning'': Lord Fear invaded Mark's school during the showing of a play which was a somewhat uncreative remake of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' - of course the audience thinks he's just a very convincing actor. Lord fear typically relishes the attention, and Mark is the only one who freaks because he's the only one who knows what's going on.
* ''Double-subverted'' in ''Series/CSIMiami''. It's the start of a fashion show. The lights suddenly cut, somebody asks "Is this part of the show" and two women dressed in your typical robbery gear enter with machine-pistols, spraying off a clip. One says "Now do I have your attention?". Then the two remove their outer clothes, the music starts and it does turn out to be the fashion show. Then one of the models gets electrocuted- which is definitely not part of the show and no-one thinks it is.
* An episode of ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' features an actual faerie appearing on stage during Justin's production of Peter Pan to chastise Alex's dismal performance of Tinkerbell. The audience is flummoxed. Max reviews the play lauding Justin's creative direction of Tinkerbell "fighting herself," saving Justin's college recommendation.
* On ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', Diane and crazy Andy are performing ''Othello'' when Andy really begins to strangle Diane. She struggles, causing the present acting scout to exclaim, "I love it! A Desdemona who fights back!"
* In an episode of ''Series/GoodnightSweetheart'' Gary is acting in a play and falls down drunk. His friend Ron comes onstage and says "Ladies and Gentlemen, Gary Sparrow has been under a lot of stress recently" cut to an audience member saying "Its a bit too avant-garde for my tastes."
* In the ''{{Series/Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS3E12ContemporaryImpressionists Contemporary Impressionists]] the crowd thinks that Jeff's angry onstage outburst (complete with him ripping his shirt) is him doing an impression of The Hulk.
* ''Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm'': Larry David's performance in Mel Brooks' production of ''Film/TheProducers'', when he [[spoiler: forgets his lines and proceeds to perform an off-the-cuff standup routine and break the fourth wall]]
* Inverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'', where Prince George believes that everything that happens on stage is real, and attempts to have the actors arrested for murder whenever a character is stabbed on stage. Played straight when Prince George finally grasps the nature of theatrical illusion... only to believe that a bomb thrown at him by an interrupting anarchist is part of the show.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Real Ghostbusters", a LARP ghosthunt turns bad when real ghosts show up -- but the players don't realize straight away that the proceedings have gone off-script, with one of them even going so far as to [[YourCostumeNeedsWork mock the ghosts for being unrealistic]].
** In the episode "Fan Fiction", during a school play based on the books of Supernatural, a real monster shows up and is killed onstage, exploding purple goo all over the first few rows in the audience... to a round of thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
* Inverted in an episode of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'', where the girls are attending a murder mystery weekend. As Dorothy attempts to solve the case, Sophia makes numerous snide remarks. When the fed-up Dorothy promptly grabs her and puts a knife to her throat, ostensibly to demonstrate how the murder would have taken place, a frightened Sophie yelps to the other diners, "Not part of the show, people! ''Not part of the show''!"
* Maya's murder mystery party in ''Series/JustShootMe''. Her neighbour, Professor Gladstone, suddenly dies, and everyone, thinking it's part of the show, stays in character, even after the police arrive.
* ''Series/MissionImpossible'': The bad guys do this in "Gunslinger" (even uttering the exact phrase) as they hustle a spy outside to kill him; making it look like part of the Wild West show at the resort.
* Played with in the ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' short ''When Will the Bass Drop.'' The DJ [[Music/TheLonelyIsland Davicci's]] bass is so intense and awesome, audience members heads explode. He also inexplicably gains the power to fly, shoot lasers out of his eyes and render surviving fans unconcious.
* In ''Series/InYourDreams'', the characters plan a murder mystery dinner, where one of them pretends to be murdered and the guests have to figure out who did it using scripted clues. However, an unfortunate chain of coincidences results in there being an ''actual'' mystery to solve, which they have to awkwardly improvise around while pretending that everything is going as planned. At the end, one of the guests deduces exactly what really happened and compliments them on the mystery.
* At the end of Chilean SoapOpera "El circo de las Montini", [[spoiler: the very old clown Lindorfo, whose health struggles were the center of one of the sub-plots in the series, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qZoRfqCf3o collapses dead right at the end of his last circus act]]. Everyone thinks at first that he's just PlayingPossum as part of said act, and the owner even goes there to congratulate him on his acting skills, but then his son and partner [[PleaseWakeUp realizes what happened]]...]]
* In ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk'' episode "My Favorite Magician", David Banner assists an elderly magician. In one performance, he is handcuffed in a glass box full of water, placed behind a screen. The handcuff key is supposed to be in the box's false bottom, but the magician forgot to place it there. Not finding the key and unable to hold his breath for much longer, David [[HulkingOut transforms into the Hulk]], breaking out of the box and bringing the screen down. The audience is baffled for a moment, then applauds. Moments later, a middle-aged couple finds him outside the theater... and ''[[RunningGag compliment his performance]]''. When he reacts awkwardly to the camera's flash (yes, they wanted pictures of him), they simply [[OverlyLongGag regards it as "show folk" being eccentric]].

* ''ComicStrip/USAcres'': [[http://garfield.com/us-acres/1996-09-11 A worm named Marty invited friends named Waler and Orville to watch a shadow show.]] when Booker started stomping on Marty, his guests thought it was part of the show.

* On the subject of ''Pagliacci'', that itself is an example of this trope: The second scene is devoted to the actor playing Pagliaccio (a clown) confronting his wife about her lover in the middle of a performance of the show within a show, while the audience praises the play. It culminates in him murdering them both, and ends just as the audience starts to realise what happened with perhaps one of the most famous lines in opera: "La commedia è finita!" ("The comedy is over"). Leoncavallo even claimed it was based on a true story, no less.
* There are also various stories based on this sort of thing happening during an opera - one of Agatha Christie's involves ''Theatre/{{Tosca}}'', with the actor playing Scarpia getting KilledOffForReal (and it turning out the soprano was so good at Tosca because her life had parallels to it).
* In [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086112/ this version]] of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'', the battle between the pirates and the policemen spills onto the stage of a production of ''Theatre/HMSPinafore''. Some audience members perk up, others frown and check their playbills.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* One guy getting beat down by 2, 3, or 8 other guys? People using trash cans, steel chairs, and sledgehammers on each other? All part of the show. Someone's bleeding profusely ("the crimson mask")? Probably part of the show, unless it's late-2000's onward WWE, then it's an accident.
* Averted whenever a referee makes a certain signal indicating to medical personnel and other officials that an injury suffered in the match is legit and not part of the act. Often, when fans see wrestlers behaving in certain ways -- such as the opposing wrestler seeming upset when the opponent he just trash-talked in an interview a few minutes earlier is in real pain or has stopped moving for real -- they'll realize that what's going on in the ring is real. If the incident happens during a live televised event, the announcers will emphasize clearly that the incident was not part of the night's planned events; such happened when Owen Hart was fatally injured during a live pay-per-view event (after a failed stunt) and when Wrestling/JerryLawler suffered a heart attack while doing play-by-play commentary on live television.
* One possible explanation for Wrestling/BuddyRogers' health playing into his losing the WWWF World Championship to Bruno Sammartino in a May 1963 match that famously lasted 48 seconds. The story has always been that Rogers suffered a mild heart attack not long before his scheduled match with Sammartino. Sammartino, in latter-day interviews, claimed that Rogers was in excellent health and that he was simply unwilling to cooperate with promoters who had booked Sammartino to win the match. The lack of existing records from that time, plus the strict maintenance of kayfabe from that era and the fact that virtually all of the other key players including Rogers are either deceased (Rogers died in 1992; another with direct knowledge of what actually happened, Wrestling/GorillaMonsoon, died in 1999; and Sammartino died in 2018) has made unclear whether Rogers' health was all show or if he legitimately had suffered a heart attack.
* At the 2005 Wrestling/RoyalRumble, Referees from both Smackdown and Raw were on-hand to officiate that night, and the final two contestants - {{Wrestling/Batista}} and Wrestling/JohnCena, eliminated each other ''at the same time'', a feat not seen since the '94 Rumble. While it's now known as a botch[[note]]Batista isn't supposed to fall over from the top rope, let alone accidentally causing him and Cena to fall at the same time[[/note]], at the time it worked ''[[WorkedShoot perfectly]]'' because the conflicting referees [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem sided with their brand's wrestler]], and everyone in the audience believed it was AllPartOfTheShow, even when Vince [=McMahon=] came storming down the ramp to yell at everyone. The wrestlers then capitalized on the improvisation made by the referees, throwing each other out of the ring in turn while declaring himself the winner before [=McMahon=] ordered that they restart.

* Used repeatedly in the ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audiodrama "The Scapegoat": the Scapegoat being killed ([[{{Immortality}} repeatedly]]) ''is'' part of the show - the Doctor rescuing him ''isn't'', but the crowd just think the story is taking too long to get to the good bit. When the theatre gets raided by [[ItMakesSenseInContext Gestapo agents searching for a time machine disguised as a morris column]], they conclude it's actually a comedy.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* This is one of the stranger methods suggested for getting people to believe in your magic in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'': set up cameras and make it look like you're filming, and it'll all be attributed to special effects.
** In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', this is actually a special power of the [[PrestigeClass Legacy]] known as The Blank Badges. Their third Attainment allows them to literally explain away [[WeirdnessCensor Paradox]], with explanations ranging from "We're filming a movie" to "We're doing a pyrotechnics demo" to [[CassandraTruth the utterly blatant]] "We're calling down magic from the Supernal Realms."
* Dragon Blooded TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} possess Charms that allow them to force people to interpret local violence as just a form of elaborate performance.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' adventure "The Wages of Envy" it's stated that any fighting the PC's do in an opera house will be taken by the wealthy, somewhat sheltered nobles in the audience as part of the show. Even the villain firing an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribauldequin organ gun]] on stage will be seen as mere "opera grotesque."
* In the [[TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness World of Darkness]] crossover game ''Midnight Circus,'' the eponymous Carnival is surrounded by a {{Glamour}} Veil designed to hide the [[CircusOfFear true nature of the circus]] from its audience, usually by ensuring that anything unusual or disturbing is dismissed as part of the show. For example, [[MonsterClown Koba's Progressive Klown Show]] usually ends with a spy from a rival clown troupe being discovered, then chased down and eaten by Koba's enslaved werebear - all dismissed as special effects by the Glamour-baffled audience. If the player characters attempt to rescue the spy, the Glamour Veil just weaves them into the show, complete with comedy pratfalls and sad trombone music; the audience buys ''all of it,'' even when Koba's bodyguards open fire on the players with handguns and flamethrowers.

* Vaclav Havel's ''Temptation'', an adaptation of the {{Faust}} story set in Communist Czechoslovakia, subverts this trope. It ends with one of the actors catching fire following what appears to be a special effects accident, at which point firefighters run up onto the stage and put it out.
* Real life example and possible inversion: Warner Le Roy's play ''Between Two Thieves'' concerns a small traveling company of Jewish and Christian actors who "improvise" a trial debating the life, works, and existence of Christ. At several points in the play the discussion onstage becomes so heated that members of the audience stand up and join in the argument. Of course, all of these audience members are plants, actors who are part of the play (and the whole thing is completely scripted), but during productions it's not uncommon for ''actual'' audience members to stand up and begin making comments as well, requiring the actors to, in turn, actually begin improvising in order to address the real audience member's point in such a way as to get him or her to sit back down, then steer things back the the script. Ironically, the better the actors are the more ''likely'' unscripted audience participation is, because they're more like to think it's ''not'' All Part of the Show and feel free to break in as well.
* Invoked in the "ride" Stitch's Great Escape, wherein the conceit is that the audience is going to a presentation of a dangerous alien creature who "escapes" after the audience is securely strapped into their seats. Said creature then bounces around the auditorium '''in absolute darkness''', menacing the guests as the security team tries frantically to corral it, all the while assuring the trapped audience that everything is fine, it's all part of the show, please don't panic.
* In the first scene of ''Theatre/ShowBoat'', when a jealous Steve assaults Pete in full view of the town's finest, Captain Andy tells them it's just another preview of the melodrama he's presenting (having already introduced Steve as the leading man).
* Played with in a stage show by [[Radio/TheMaryWhitehouseExperience Rob Newman and David Baddiel]] which ends with the two comedians coming back on stage, sitting down and telling the audience that the show's over and they can leave. Obviously nobody knows what to do at this point.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* ''Ride/Terminator23DBattleAcrossTime'': Sarah Connor warns the audience multiple times to leave before the building is destroyed. Take a guess how many audience members actually leave.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In the intro to ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'', a giant fire monster attacks in the middle of a concert. The crowd seems to think a HeavyMetal PhysicalGod bearing the likeness of a stage prop showing up, killing the [[TakeThat Linkin Park-like band]], and threatening a roadie is all part of the act. The crowd goes absolutely wild with joy, jumping, screaming and throwing Devil Horns in approval as he roars and spews flame everywhere.
* The opera scene in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' culminates in an on-stage battle that begins when the heroes and the monster, Ultros, fall out of the rafters and onto the stage. Having previously promised ''not'' to ruin the show, Locke attempts to play the battle as part of the performance (although he turns out to be a hilariously bad actor). And for his part, the conductor plays along and leads the orchestra for a special Boss Theme. At the culmination of the fight, Setzer shows up out of nowhere and abducts Celes, and the entire main cast pursues -- leaving the opera house director, whose show has been completely derailed, with no option but to promise the audience the plot will be resolved in "Part Two".
* At the beginning of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', the Tantalus theatre troupe stages a production of "I Want to Be Your Canary", as part of a plan to kidnap Princess Garnet. Four of the game's eight player characters accidentally end up on-stage (which is actually the deck of an airship) in the middle of the performance. Although the characters play along at first, the performance eventually falls apart, with Steiner attempting to thwart the "kidnapping", Tantalus attempting to fly the ship away, and Queen Brahne ordering weapons fired at the ship. Then it's revisited [[spoiler:in the ending, to reveal that Zidane lived, and to reunite him with Garnet]].
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', the crowd present for the parade in Sorceress Edea's honor continues to cheer and celebrate while Edea delivers a scathing NewEraSpeech, murders the president right at the podium and assumes control of the country, is attacked by a team of assassins at the end of the parade and defeats them by impaling their leader with a spike of ice through the chest. It's hinted, although never actually stated, that Edea's magic is influencing the crowd's behavior.
** In a flashback in the same game, Laguna and his friends Kiros and Ward are shown taking roles in a movie because they've run out of money. Kiros and Ward are supposed to operate a Ruby Dragon costume for Laguna, playing the hero, to fight; a ''real'' dragon wanders onto the set instead, forcing Laguna to fend it off with his prop gunblade while his co-star runs for it.
* In ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'', there is a mission set at the Paris Opera House where some actors are rehearsing Tosca. You have the option of replacing the prop pistol with a real pistol so that your target, the lead singer, is killed for real during the execution scene. Naturally, it takes a while for the audience watching the rehearsal to realize it wasn't part of the show.
** A mission to Club Hell in Las Vegas features one of your targets dancing on a small balcony rigged with flame projects, hanging just above a [[SharkPool massive shark tank.]] You have the option of rigging the pyrotechnics to [[ManOnFire set her ablaze]]: after wasting precious time rolling about on the floor, she hurls herself off the balcony and into the tank, where she becomes a barbecued meal for a hungry White Pointer. All throughout this, the partygoers are applauding.
** In the [[VideoGame/Hitman2016 new episodic game]] the tutorial missions are re-enactments of past assassinations performed by ICA staff in a simulated environment. So snapping people's necks, shooting people in the head, murdering someone with an inflatable raft... no-one will bat an eye! [[SubvertedTrope ...up until a point]]. The actors will break character if Agent 47 [[spoiler: 'kills' Jasper Knight with an Ejection Seat malfunction]]. One even calls Agent 47 a 'Crazy Bastard'.
* The second mission in ''VideoGame/The3rdBirthday'' has a massive Twisted (a weird monster from beyond time and space) warping into existence above a rock concert, right from the stage. It grabs a few audience members and nobody reacts until they realize the blood spurting from the portal is real.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', the heroes and their eidolons make a dramatic entrance in the middle of a parade. It's initially viewed by the crowd as a stunt, like the re-enactment battle seen earlier in the game...until they see Snow's Pulse l'Cie brand and start panicking.
* The InMediasRes concert opening of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' has Rikku and Paine crash the performance and provoke [=LeBlanc=] -- [[{{Glamour}} using Yuna's Songstress Dressphere to take on her appearance]] -- to battle them. The audience's continued cheering and waving indicates that they think it's all a part of the act.
* In the bonus chapter of ''Mystery Trackers 7: Blackrow's Secret'' Emily Lockwood kills her fiance Jeffrey Dean with a pistol which is ''supposed'' to have been a prop. The audience applauds enthusiastically after her MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment.
* Spoofed with [[Radio/GTARadio one of Lazlow's callers]] in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', along with TheNewRockAndRoll. A staunchly anti-video game mother claims that her very young game-addicted son witnessed his dog get run over in real life, only to look around for a reset button.
* In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'', when you talk to the tourists after Castle Neo-Bowser appears, most of them are freaking out, but a few think it's some sort of resort event.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'': when the Boss attacks a Feeddog concert in order to shake down their lead guitarist for information about the Brotherhood, the audience immediately realizes that it's not part of the show but the after-action newspaper report talks about how great a farewell performance it was.
* ''VideoGame/WolfensteinIITheNewColossus'' has BJ, as the penultimate stage of the game, audition for a role [[spoiler: AsHimself to an unaware (and more than a little senile) Adolf Hitler. After one actor is killed for failing [[HeroWithBadPublicity to portray BJ's viciousness accurately]], BJ himself is told to fight the guard. BJ proceeds to wrestle the guard's shotgun [[BoomHeadshot beneath his chin to kill him]] and [[NoKillLikeOverkill fires several more slugs into the body]] before throwing the gun at the glass and shouting at the observers. Hitler is overjoyed at having found his Blazkowicz, summarily killing the last auditioning actor as he compliments BJ's ferocious performance]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'': The fight against Sally Stageplay takes place on a theatre, with the audience obviously thinking it's all part of the play. Between each phase of the fight, a curtain falls and the audience cheers before the battle resumes. The third phase even has you fighting a giant cardboard prop of Sally who uses cardboard props as "magic". And the final phase has Sally tied from a rope, taking in the applause from the public, while you're trying to dodge her ParasolOfPain and the roses the audience is throwing on the stage.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** In [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney the first game]], a young boy witnesses a murder, believing what he's seeing is a hero and a villain of a TV show fighting. This fact is reflected on the suspect and the victim being the actors who play the hero and the villain. In addition, the murder weapon was [[spoiler:at first thought to be]] the weapon the hero always uses in the show.
** In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', Klavier Gavin is holding the concert when the guitar he's using - a gift from the guest star he's performing with - suddenly bursts into flame. However, the words sung at that moment were "Burn my life away, all away", so everyone in the audience thought it was part of the show. Klavier, meanwhile, was pretty ticked off over it, especially considering the guitar had great emotional value for him.
** In ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice Spirit of Justice]]'' during Trucy's magic show, she opens the coffin she just stabbed with a sword, only for a guy to tumble out onto the floor and not move, much to Trucy's horror. At first everyone's confused, but assumes it must be part of the act. That is, large set piece suddenly falls down onto the stage, seemingly crushing Trucy underneath it, at which point the audience goes into a panic. While Trucy was unhurt, the guy that tumbled from the coffin was indeed found to have been fatally stabbed with a sword, and Trucy is arrested for involuntary manslaughter over a magic trick gone wrong. [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope Although it actually turns out the victim wasn't dead when the coffin was opened.]] He was playing dead as part of a prank on Trucy that was set up by the true culprit, before being subsequently murdered by the true culprit via a complex remote-murder plan in the midst of the resulting chaos.]]
*** In the same case, this trope is also referenced during the testimony concerning the magic show's fire trick. Betty and Bonny mention that the fire trick was especially dangerous, so they had to be prepared for it in case something went wrong. Athena mentions how if something did go wrong, by the time people realized it wasn't a part of the act it would probably be too late.
---> '''[[DeadpanSnarker Apollo]]:''' ''If by "people", you mean "Athena Cykes", then sure.''
* In ''VisualNovel/StarCrossedMyth'', the planetarium where the PlayerCharacter works puts on an event for the [[UsefulNotes/{{Tanabata}} Star Festival]] When a group of fabulously handsome, strangely-dressed men approach the protagonist and one of them makes it rain stardust, onlookers take it as a performance being staged for the event - even the protagonist's coworker Hiyori, who as an employee of the planetarium should know that no such thing was planned.

* In [[ this]] ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' strip, a [[TheMafiya Russian mobster]] shoots someone in the middle of a nightclub, then goes, "Zat shot was part of ze song you vere dancing to! Look how your violent American music has made a man your parents' age faint!" Cue resounding cheers from the club patrons.
* In [[http://missmab.com/Comics/Vol_319.php this]] ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' strip, Dan picks up an Incubus bear that Aaryanna tried to give him to make him behave himself. He asks it, rhetorically, what he should do with it--whereupon a loud, creepy-sounding voice answers, "YOU SHALL SURRENDER TO THE DARKNESS!" It turns out that the rats are playing a video game, and they have it hooked up to surround sound. (Interestingly enough, Potophie comments that Dan's screams "sound almost real!")
* The punchline of several strips worth of fighting a cage-clank (along with Zeetha being stripped down to her underwear, again) in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has Gilgamesh attempt to explain to the locals... [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20081031 who toss a bunch of coins at him]], clearly thinking that this was all just an act. Notably, Gil actually seems to be willing to play along to get the crowd to come with him.
* In ''Webcomic/TheEnd'', when an improperly [[InvisibilityCloak cloaked]] alien spaceship parks in the middle of a city, it's taken for a sideshow at the Sci Fi/Fantasy convention it just happened to have landed next to.
* In ''Webcomic/TheWotch'', during the school dance party, Ming is announcing the big surprise she planned. Meanwhile, Anne and Ms. West are arguing in the bathroom. Also meanwhile, Cassie is struggling to summon magic in the woods nearby. Simultaneously, Cassie's power peaks, Anne snaps her fingers, and Ming yells "Surprise!" Things don't go as planned.
** While Ming is yelling "Nobody panic", [[GenderBender s/he]] is clearly the only one panicking. The rest of the students love it, and one pair goes and makes out under the bleachers.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* In ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', unable to admit that they could not catch the terrorists behind the tragedy, the [[EagleLand US government]] convinces the American public that the show they watched, where teenagers murdered each other, was just that: a show, designed for shock value and drama. This works, until V2 of Survival Of The Fittest starts, and the public realize they were lied to.
* A positive version occurs in the backstory of ''Literature/{{Curveball}}''. Liberty and Curveball are having a little disagreement, and wind up falling through a skylight and into a Bar Mitzvah. Thanks to some [[IMeantToDoThat quick improvising]] on the part of both Liberty and the father of the boy, nobody else even realizes that it was an accident.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', a monster crashing into a movie theater through the screen was assumed to just be really good 3D effects.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS17E8TheItalianBob The Italian Bob]]" features Sideshow Bob trying to murder the Simpsons in the middle of an Italian opera - naturally, it was a parody of Leoncavallo's tragic opera ''Theatre/IlPagliacci''.
** Played with ([[InvertedTrope inverted]]?) in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E9MayoredToTheMob Mayored to the Mob]]" when one of Fat Tony's mobsters is trying to kill the mayor at a dinner show (coincidentally, ''Guys And Dolls''), but while hiding backstage one of the performers sees him and, assuming he's an actor, pushes him on stage. The mobster sticks his knife in his teeth and nervously starts tapdancing.
** Season 1's "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS1E12KrustyGetsBusted Krusty Gets Busted]]" – with the reaction of the kiddie audience when Krusty suffers a real heart attack while performing on live television, the kids thinking his wild contortions and screaming in extreme pain were all part of a comedy act. (Even Channel 5 newscaster Kent Brockmann chuckles as he whimsically remembers the incident.)
** Averted when Marge was called to assist in a [[StageMagician Stage Magic]] act which results in her being [[ItMakesSenseInContext attacked by a mob of monkeys]]. A voice comes in over the PA asking the crowd to help her as that is ''not'' part of the act.
** In the season 11 episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E1BeyondBlunderdome "Beyond Blunderdome"]], when the Simpsons are visiting Hollywood, they pass by Creator/RobertDowneyJr ([[UnintentionalPeriodPiece at the time better known]] for his troubles with the law than his acting roles) in a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4qNhUwBvj8 shootout with the police]]. Marge mistakes it for a film shoot, causing Bart to remark that he doesn't see any cameras.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', when Coldstone is introduced, Broadway, Brooklyn, and Lexington initially think the sounds of him and Goliath fighting are just the sound effects of the movie they're watching. Played for laughs, as "I don't remember any explosions in ''Bambi''."
** In another episode, when Lexington and Goliath are fighting the Pack, some witnesses believe they must be filming a movie or something.
* Played with in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings", where the interruption actually ''becomes'' part of the show.
-->'''[[ObstructiveBureaucrat Hermes]]:''' ''Is this really happening or just being staged?''
-->'''[[ReluctantMadScientist Professor]]:''' ''It can't be real...''
-->'''[[AsianAirhead Amy]]:''' ''Not if [[ActionGirl Leela]] [[spoiler:[[AndNowYouMustMarryMe is engaged]]]].''
** And again in "Less Than Hero." During a superhero battle, Leela's mother is feeling scared and confused, and so assumes she's wandered into an off-Broadway play. Response: "No, there are too many people here." This is actually [[ShownTheirWork technically accurate]]; the phrase "Off Broadway" (And the connected "On Broadway") does not refer to physically being located either on or off the street named Broadway, but rather refers to the size of the theatre and audience it can hold. If there enough people preset then it literally cannot be an "Off Broadway" show.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'', Gangstalicious is shot on stage. Unfortunately, it was during a performance of his new hit single, "I Got Shot". It took 45 minutes for someone to call an ambulance.
* In the comic book version of ''Comicbook/{{WITCH}}'', the guardians fight Cedric during a rock concert, on stage, and everyone in the audience is assured that everything going on is a part of the special effects. The rock star in questions wore a similar outfit to the Guardians MagicalGirl uniforms which probably helped sell the idea as them as back-up dancers.
** A similar example happens in the second season episode "W is for Witch." Since it's Halloween W.I.T.C.H. and their magical allies are [[ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself able to walk around in their transformed states]] and their battle with the BigBad is thought to be a skit put on for their school's carnival. One of their classmates praises the "special effects" that let the girls fly around and attack the other "actors" with elemental powers. The audience is still cheering at the end when [[spoiler:Phobos takes the Seal of Nerissa from her and announces his intention to conquer the universe.]] Encore!
* In an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius Jimmy Neutron]]'', Jimmy creates a weather machine for a school play. The machine [[spoiler:goes haywire during the play and create a tornado that soon grows and picks a school up. When Jimmy resolves the situation, the people watching the play thought the whole thing was all part of the act.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' introduced the rock-girl ghost Ember, who apparently planned to take over the world through the hypnotic power of her music. On the night of a world-wide, televised concert, Danny goes to stop her, resulting in a big fight filled with energy blasts. The crowd oohs and aahs, and even Jazz remarks "Mindless teenage rebellion ''and'' a killer light show? Is this the best concert ever, or what?"
** Another one occurred in "Beauty Marked" when Danny accidentally declares Sam the winner of the BeautyContest. The host places a magical tiara on her and while fireworks are going off, Sam is taken to the Ghost Zone. No one reacts horribly (except the other contenders who are less then pleased a Goth girl won).
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/RandyCunninghamNinthGradeNinja'', Randy breaks the projector in a movie theater and causes a giant version of the [[ShowWithinAShow Grave Puncher]] to appear and begin punching the patrons. Everyone thought it was part of the movie until it was explained to them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'', a school play that has a plot similar to ''West Side Story'' has the Delightful Children from Down the Lane make a HumongousMecha out of their costume. This results in an impromptu dance number/fight scene with all of the other kids and the team dancing while at the same time avoiding getting shot by the robot's lasers. One proud father remarks:
-->''"That's my daughter up there dodging deadly laser blasts!"''
* During a wrestling show in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', the manager of such uses some Egyptian artifact to turn himself into a humanoid jackal. Kim, Ron, as well as two of the league's top wrestlers, Steel Toe and Pain King, work together to fight him. All the while the audience is none the wiser. In fact two of the audience members comment on the "special effects" at first but then dismiss the whole thing as "fake".
* In the 'Bye Bye Greasy' episode of ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' Melissa is required to eat pie during one of her scenes. When she thinks the pie contains kiwis, which she is allergic to, she completely loses it and starts yelling that she is going to die, when the audience doesn't react, she yells, "This isn't part of the show!!" Of course, considering how the performance was going up to that point, the audience could be forgiven for not taking it seriously.
* The Blunder Years episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' (where we see the death of Smithers' father) includes a scene where The Simpsons are in Burns' office, watching a security tape from that day. After the history is revealed, Waylon Jr. appears in the room to confront Mr. Burns. Homer (eating popcorn, believing that this is AllPartOfTheShow) says: "Now the movie's turned into a play! Still good, though."
* During the in-universe "filming" of the Music/{{Gorillaz}} music video [[spoiler:"El Manana", in which Noodle gets attacked by helicopters and shot at, nobody noticed that she was in actual danger until the ''real'' stunt helicopters showed up, by which time Noodle was missing and her attackers were gone]].
* In the 2010 Halloween episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' Stan warns people to run away from his home where [[spoiler: the serial killers had been let loose by Roger.]] Naturally, people are ''more'' eager to enter his haunted house.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'': Mrs. Beakley was performing when some real vikings showed up and abducted her. They were gone before anyone realized it wasn't part of the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': This is what happens when the ghost of Friar Serra attacks the production in "Theater of Doom". Director Vincent Van Ghoul gets hailed as a genius.
* ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers'' has an episode where Linda decides to open a dinner theatre in the restaurant, much to Bob's chagrin. The acting is dismal, and the patrons are unimpressed, until an ''actual'' robber enters and decides to milk the situation for all it's worth, singing throughout his entire robbery, much to the audience's glee and Bob's consternation. ''Linda'' herself even begins to ''sing with him,'' lamenting later that he won't be around for the following night's performance despite the fact that he ''robbed the store.''
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MonsterBusterClub'' episode "Acting Out", Wedge (a lizarlike alien) attacks Cathy (who's playing Juliet) during a ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' school play, forcing her friends to intervene in full view of their classmates. Thankfully, they manage to make the whole thing pass for a Sci-Fi retake of the play with John's help.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'': Played with in "Sock Opera'. Mabel [[LampshadeHanging brings up this trope]] when the supernatural events of the episode spill over into her puppet show. The audience ''did'' think the fight was part of the show, [[RealityEnsues but they hated it]].
-->'''Audience Member:''' [[WhatTheHellHero We almost died!]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'' episode "The Maltese Mantis", Po attends the Festival of Figurines (a FanConvention) and ends up getting into a fight with Taotie on the main stage. Naturally, the attendees assume it's a dramatic re-enactment of ... something.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', titular character Jake has to get a legendary magical chalice that unfortunately was mistaken by the {{Muggles}} as an ordinary trophy. Cue a battle between two dragons on stage, and while there is one more GenreSavvy character who realises what's actually going on, he's dismissed by the principal on the belief that the dragons and fire are just pyrotechnics.
** [[spoiler: Although it was revealed that the principal was actually a mermaid, so it was possible she knew and (obviously) didn't want to say anything.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' had the passengers on a sea cruise captured by a pirate (who was also a [=MAD=] agent), demanding they sign over their respective financial assets. Since the cruise ship's captain[[note]]''also'' a [=MAD=] agent[[/note]] had promised "adventure" and "danger" on their voyage, they thought everything was staged (as does Gadget, because [[CluelessDetective he's Gadget]]). Fortunately (for [=MAD=], anyway), the captain was clever enough to trick them into signing away their riches under the guise of reserving places on ''next year's'' cruise.[[note]]And fortunately for the ''passengers'', Penny and Brain were able to thwart the plan before the villains got away with it.[[/note]]
* Near the end of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Madballs}}'' episode "Escape from Orb", the Madballs put on a show for the people of Earth and end up getting chased by the villainous Badballs during their musical number. The audience's joyous cheers indicate that they think the Badballs' intrusion is part of the performance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', this is played straight every single time Dethklok performs. In the first episode, one concert-goer talks about having his middle finger and ring finger ''bit off'' by one of the band members who then smoked them, and he's perfectly fine with that!
** Injuries to fans are apparently so common that the band's manager REQUIRES concert-goers to sign a pain-waiver, so that no matter what happens during the show, Dethklok cannot be held responsible.
** Every single performance by the band has catastrophic repercussions. In the first episode, the stage is dropped (as a huge spiky cube) just outside the target-zone, landing on top of the audience, after which the sides of said stage open up and kill or maim even more paying fans.
*** In a later episode, they apologize for what happened during a concert in Finland, and performs a new national anthem they wrote for the Finnish people. The result is that they awaken an ancient demon that proceeds to devour everything it sees.
*** In "Fat Kid In The Dethharmonic", they perform they only ever concert with a philharmonic orchestra, and include an impressive laser-show in the concert. Using high-energy lasers that cut through people like a hot knife through butter. At the end of the concert, only Dethklok remains.
* Used repeatedly in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'' by Strongarm and Grimlock to pass the latter off as a prop for a show, since that's pretty much the only thing they can think of for disguising a giant robot dinosaur. Also done in one season two episode for Bumblebee and Bisk after they're mistake for props at a rock concert- Bisk was there to steal equipment and Bee went to stop him. Their on-stage fight was, of course, wildly loved by the audience and Bumblebee got his picture taken with the band afterword.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Creator/IslaFisher nearly drowned due to this. During production of ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'', while filming the water tank scene, Isla got stuck and began banging on the wall of the tank to alert the crew. They didn't realize that anything was wrong because her actions were exactly what the script required her to do. Luckily, she was able to untangle the chain and free herself.
* See FatalMethodActing for real life incidents involving death on stage.
* In his spoken word shows, Creator/HenryRollins talked about an instance where he was playing a festival in Australia. They were playing some new songs in their set and he forgot the words to a song. He tried to invoke this by going over to each member of the band and "rocking out" with them while they kept playing until the song was over.
* Redd Foxx died of a heart attack while at rehearsals for his then new sitcom, ''The Royal Family''. Infamously, everyone thought Foxx was reprising his "[[HollywoodHeartAttack I'm coming, 'Lizabeth]]" comedy routine from ''Series/SanfordAndSon'' and didn't realize anything was amiss until after he had lost consciousness for some time and didn't respond to requests to get up.
* Health food enthusiast Jerome Rodale died onstage during a taping of ''Series/TheDickCavettShow'' in 1971. Rodale had been Cavett's first guest, and he remained on the guest couch when newspaper columnist Pete Hamill came on as the second guest. Rodale made a loud snoring sound and his head fell back. Hamill said "This looks bad", and the audience laughed. Legend has it that Cavett said “Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?”, but Cavett denies this. The episode was being taped, and thus never aired.
* There was a Hardcore-band at one point, who took the whole "Hardcore-mentality" a bit too far. They would consequently beat up paying customers and smash venues, as part of their concerts. Then again, what else can one expect from a band with "Riot Extravaganza" in their name?
* A particularly grim example: when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, some astronauts' family members watching on TV thought it was a second-stage rocket ignition and cheered. Probably a lot of therapy time devoted to that topic.
* In one tragic incident, an accident with pyrotechnics lit the ceiling of a Rhode Island club on fire during a performance by the band Great White. The performers didn't notice for a while, and the audience thought it was all part of the show. Eventually, the band noticed and fled, the crowd panicked, and the club collapsed, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people.
* In 1987, comedian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Shawn#Death Dick Shawn]] was playing a politician reciting cliches. One of them was "If elected, I will not lie down on the job." He then fell down and didn't get up. The audience thought it was part of his act. When he didn't get up, there were actually catcalls from people who thought [[OverlyLongGag he was dragging it out too long]]. Finally someone went on stage, examined him and said "IsThereADoctorInTheHouse"? Another audience member performed CPR on him, but it was to no avail. [[DramaticallyMissingThePoint The audience didn't know if the people coming on stage to examine him were part of the act or not]]. They weren't: he died of a massive heart attack on stage. There is sad irony in the fact that he had played Lorenzo St. [=DuBois=] (the actor playing Hitler) in the scene in ''The Producers'' described above.
* [[http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1093549/The-actor-nearly-died-stage--slashing-throat-REAL-knife-bizarre-prop-mix-up.html This story]] is about a Viennese actor who nearly died onstage after stabbing himself in the throat with a knife that he thought had been blunted. The audience, thinking the spraying blood was just really good special effects, began to applaud. It was only after he collapsed and wouldn't get up that they began to suspect something was wrong.
* A ''lot'' of Creator/AndyKaufman's work was based on making his audiences wonder if what he was doing was for real or not; when people learned he was dying of cancer, more than a few simply thought it was an act. He died in 1984, but some still think HesJustHiding.
* An actor playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar" was supposed to have fake hung himself, and everyone clapped when he actually had his windpipe crushed, and didn't realize what was going on until the actors all dropped their roles and ran to try to untie the ropes.
* At Burning Man in 2007, a man hanged himself inside a two-story tent. His friends thought that it was performance art.
* Stage magician Chung Ling Soo (actually an American in yellowface) was famous for the trick where he would appear to stop a bullet with his teeth. In his last show in 1918, the act went wrong and a real bullet got fired into his chest, and he expired with the line: "Oh my God. Something's happened. Lower the curtain", the first and last time he spoke English on stage in his Chinese persona.
* Former Music/{{ACDC}} singer Bon Scott said he saw current lead singer Brian Johnson perform with his band once. Bon Scott enjoyed the performance because at the end, Johnson started rolling around and screaming. "And to top it all - you couldn't get a better ending - they wheeled the guy off!", said Bon Scott. He thought it was all part of the show, but what really happened was that Brian had appendicitis.
* During some of Alice Cooper's early tours, he would fake-hang himself at the end of the concerts. On at least one occasion, however, this went completely wrong when the safety-line snapped and the musician was ''actually'' executed on-stage! A stage-technician did notice the mistake and hurried to have the gallows removed from the stage so they could save Alice Cooper without the audience knowing that he had actually been executed.
* In the 1980's, Motley Crue's bassist, Nikki Sixx, was so badly addicted to drugs that when playing live, he would occasionally collapse without a warning. This can even be seen in the "Wild Side" music video, near the end where Nikki is seen tumbling down the slightly angled stage. Everyone assumed it was just a part of the act. However, in a live-recording from the same show, Vince Neil says immediately after the song "We've got a small problem here... Our Bass Player is down."
* British comedian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Cooper#Death_on_a_live_television_show Tommy Cooper]] died of a heart attack during a performance on live television. The audience thought his falling down was part of the act and laughed, until they realized he was seriously ill.
* Part of the reason Per Yngve [[MeaningfulName "Dead"]] Ohlin's suicidal behavior went untreated was that most Music/{{Mayhem}} shows featured gore and self-mutilation routinely. When Dead slashed his wrists and almost bled to death in one show, the audience assumed that once again he had meant to simply draw blood from elsewhere. It also didn't help that fellow bandmate Euronymous wanted Dead's self-mutilation to go to even more ridiculous lengths to build Mayhem's reputation and infamy, and he lied frequently about the state of Dead's mental health to prevent intervention as well as frequently egging him on.
* The military uses the phrase "Real world" in order to avert this during drills. Anything that is not part of the drill will be declared "Real world".
* If there is a real emergency (like an injured soldier) during a training exercise with the Canadian Forces, they'll immediately call out "No Duff No Duff No Duff" which tells everyone that said emergency is not part of the exercise and that real assistance is needed.
* The 2012 Aurora Massacre began, according to witnesses, when the assailant set off a few smoke bombs during a midnight screening of ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''. A few moviegoers thought it was a stunt pulled off by the movie theater to promote the film until gunshots rang out. It didn't help that the shooting took place during a battle scene.
* In order to avoid this, many Renaissance Festivals give their employees/in-character actors a code word to say if something is ''really'' wrong, so the security people (many of whom are in costume themselves) know what is an act and what isn't.
* A very major reason that assassin John Wilkes Booth escaped the night he killed Abraham Lincoln. After the gunshot fired, muffled by the sound of laughter from the play, John jumped of the balcony they were on and broke his foot. The audience thought it was part of the production. Probably the ''only'' reason he managed to escape, because it was a play.
* A Moroccan filmmaker making a movie about illegal immigration hired some locals to serve as extras. The actors were supposed to be playing young Moroccans who illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in rickety boats in the hope of starting a better life in Europe. Unfortunately, [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/851936.stm filming had to be canceled after all 70 of them fled across the Strait for real only a few days before filming was supposed to start.]]
* A [[http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/art-basel-stabbing-mistaken-for-performance-art.html stabbing incident]] that occurred during the Art Basel show was mistaken by some onlookers for an art performance.
* Ian Curtis of Music/JoyDivision suffered from epilepsy and would frequently have tonic-clonic seizures on stage. These were mistaken for his stage moves by the audience, as Curtis was known for herky-jerky movements on stage. Things went FromBadToWorse when his epilepsy became public knowledge among fans, who started to attend concerts [[JustHereForGodzilla specifically for the purpose of watching Curtis have on-stage seizures.]] The already depressed Curtis consequently lost his remaining enthusiasm for live performing, convinced that nobody cared about the actual music anymore and just wanted to watch him flail about, as reflected in the song [[Music/{{Closer}} "Atrocity Exhibition"]]: ''"For entertainment they watch his body twist; behind his eyes he says 'I still exist.'"'' Yikes. It's widely accepted nowadays that this conviction was one of many major catalysts for Curtis's suicide in 1980.
* According to contemporary accounts, when Sophie Blanchard's (the first female balloonist) balloon caught fire during one of her performances (an accident which caused her death), most of the audience initially cheered and applauded Madame Blanchard for such a spectacular show.
* Occurred tragically in Brazil during location filming of the SoapOpera ''Series/VelhoChico'' when the actor Domingos Montagner got into difficulties while swimming in a river at the end of the day and drowned. Reportedly, local residents were aware of him and another actor calling for help, but thought it was a fictional scene.
* In 1969, Allen Funt, the creator and original host of ''Series/CandidCamera'', was on a flight from Newark to Miami that got [[http://dangerousminds.net/comments/youre_not_on_candid_camera_allen_funt_was_on_hijacked_flight hijacked by terrorists]], who were seeking to divert the plane to UsefulNotes/{{Cuba}} in order to gain asylum. A few passengers who recognized Funt thought that the whole thing was another prank, despite Funt's protests that it was very real. Only when the plane landed in Havana did they realize that this wasn't a ''Candid Camera'' prank.
* A [[http://nydailynews.com/news/national/utah-woman-killed-alaska-cruise-murder-mystery-dinner-article-1.3364741 Utah woman being killed on a ship where a murder mystery event was taking place]].