"And sometimes there's a third, even deeper level... And that one is the same as the top, surface one. Like with pie."A Subverted Trope happens, or seems to happen... and then that subversion is subverted within itself. These let a writer have their cake and eat it too: get the trick of a Subverted Trope, without abandoning the plot-furthering nature of that trope. It is more frequently when the subverted form of the trope is very common, almost a trope in itself, so the second subversion really does subvert an existing trope. It is possible to triple subvert a trope (and so on); see Zig-Zagging Trope. See Playing with a Trope for a comparison with many other ways that a trope can be used.
— Billy, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
- May contain unhidden spoilers. Caution advised.**
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Anime and Manga
- Another: Initially, Kouichi thinks that Misaki is just a normal girl. But after some heavy miscommunication, it appears that Misaki is actually the girl who died in his hospital ward the week he was in there with a lung ailment, and is haunting the school. Except, no. No she isn't. But she does have one thing that sets her apart; her glass eye can see the color of death.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: During a fight against Wrath, Fu attempts a Heroic Sacrifice, only to get foiled by his opponent. Just when things look hopeless, Buccaneer also sacrifices himself, and their united efforts manage to wound Wrath.
- Azumanga Daioh: Sakaki types "cats" in a search engine, and everything she gets is a big bunch of random matches (including a page titled "We Love Neko Koneko"), thus subverting It's a Small Net After All. Then she types "Iriomote cat", and it seems like one of the very first matches is a plot relevant news article about how Mayaa's mother got killed, thus playing this same trope straight.
- But even then it's vaguely justified, because the Iriomote cat is an extremely endangered species, so a story about a plot-relevant cat isn't as much of a coincidence as it would otherwise be.
- Even more justified in that recent news articles on subjects often show up high on a search list, especially for sensitive topics like endangered species (such as the Iriomote cat).
- But even then it's vaguely justified, because the Iriomote cat is an extremely endangered species, so a story about a plot-relevant cat isn't as much of a coincidence as it would otherwise be.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! contains a Double Subversion of The Unwanted Harem. It turns out most of the girls don't have any actual romantic interest in the lead, but enough of them do (Nodoka, Yue, Ako, Anya, Chachamaru...) that it ends up qualifying as a harem after all.
- Digimon Savers subverted the usual Digimon brand of Disney Death by playing it straight for the first arc, then having the protagonists find out there was a way to permanently kill Digimon. But the Double Subversion comes later: Agumon "dies" in the Disney way by reverting back to an egg that will hatch later, but Masaru is repeatedly told that Agumon won't remember anything about their life together. Agumon the Digimon is alive, but Agumon who was Masaru's 'follower' is gone forever... except he's not. He hatches, and he latches onto Masaru's face like a leech (possibly as an Homage to Digimon Adventure's Pilot Movie) and they lived Happily Ever After. To be fair, this may have been foreshadowed by Piyomon retaining his memories after one death; apparently, exposure to humans and a Digisoul changes the rules.
- In Princess Tutu, Mytho is white haired but isn't evil at all. But then the second season comes around...
- In One Piece, Tashigi fangirling over Zoro's sword skillz for a while, and then finding he was a pirate superficially looks like a subverted example of The Knights Who Say "Squee!", except it becomes a double subversion when she grudgingly realizes he's actually a pretty awesome guy anyway.
- In ×××HOLiC, it initially seems that there is a Love Triangle between Watanuki, Himawari, and Domeki, with Himawari being the object of desire. However, that trope is erased when it is revealed that Domeki and Himawari aren't romantically interested in each other. But THEN, it's shown that both Himawari and Doumeki are more interested in Watanuki, once again creating a Love Triangle, but with the object of desire being Watanuki.
- The Oracion Seis arc of Fairy Tail looked like it was subverting Authority Equals Asskicking by having the leader of the villains, Brain, be defeated easily and the actual strongest member be his son Midnight. Then Midnight went down, and it turned out to be the last key needed to wake up Zero, Brain's Superpowered Evil Side....
- Death Note: Misa Amane initially subverted the wangsty, nihilistic Loner Goth stereotype by turning out to actually be a cheerful, enthusiastic Perky Goth with a successful career as an actress/model. It's only later that we learn what a complete and total nutjob she really is.
- Except that we first find out that she's a complete and utter nutjob, and only then find out that she is also a Perky Goth.
- Alternately, we are first introduced to her as The Ditz. But then, she proves herself to Light, having even the power he doesn't and finding him out by just staying in a hidden place, which would make even Light applaud and making us think we'll have a third Chessmaster in the show. The twist? She's still The Ditz, directly going to his house and having lengthily talks about the Death Note in a non-secure environment, telling him the secrets she promised not to which would have kept her alive and less of a tool much longer, and what not.
- Which may have saved her considering that Light was going to find and kill her anyway if she stayed in the darkness. She also had Rem watching over her and the fact that she thought Light woudn't murder her if she could prove to be useful, and he doesn't.
- Bleach has Isshin training Ichigo in the precipice world, letting him learn a Dangerous Forbidden Technique. They could only do this because Aizen destroyed the cleaner that goes through the precipice world. Seems to be Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!, but Aizen said that he planned that so that Ichigo could become stronger. Ichigo went even further, ascending to another state of being, making his reiatsu undetectable by normal Shinigami and letting him shrug off attacks that would have decimated Isshin or Urahara. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! indeed.
- Tekkaman Blade double subverts Laser-Guided Amnesia: D-Boy claims to have amnesia, but it turns out he's faking it. Then, near the end of the series, he starts losing his memory for real.
- Ranma ˝ double subverts Fanservice in an early anime episode. Ranma takes Clothing Damage which would lead to some nice Under Boobs. If he was a girl. Then he jumps through a fountain, activating his Gender Bender curse (which is triggered by cold water).
Ranma: Aww, that was my favourite shirt!
- The personification of Russia in Axis Powers Hetalia double subverts the Gentle Giant. Russia is huge and intimidating, but also looks and acts cute, is very polite, acts friendly, and is almost always calmly smiling. He's really a cruel-minded, manipulative Psychopathic Manchild with Yandere tendencies...however, he desires friends more than anything, and is innocent for the most part, unaware of his cruelty. He also becomes a lot more gentle in modern day, compared to his unstable period as the Soviet Union.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this for a couple mecha tropes. The most obvious one is at Episode 3. Kamina intends to create a Combining Mecha with Simon's Lagann...only to just place it on Gurren's head...which then starts the Transformation Sequence.
- Rose of Versailles contains an epic one for The Guards Must Be Crazy. After meeting with Marie Antoinette at night, Fersen is leaving Versailles only to be stopped by a group of French Guards, a regiment infamous for sleeping on guard duty (in fact all the Household Regiments were known for that, the French Guards and the Swiss Guards were just the worst ones). Their recently posted commander Oscar then shows up, her too expecting them to lazy on the job and in fact planning to catch them in the act to discipline them and, after realizing the absurd situation, saves Fersen... And redirects him to a gate guarded by the Swiss Guards she had just checked they were, in fact, sleeping (and, not being from her regiment, it wasn't her problem).
- Pandora Hearts sets up several tropes in the beginning that go through rounds and rounds of subversion by the end.
- The most notable double-subversion: the protagonist Oz Vessalius is set up as a Chosen One and Messianic Archetype prophesied to save the world like his previous incarnation Jack Vessalius, only for it to be revealed later that he's actually the key to ending it. Then it's doubly subverted when he ends up sacrificing his life to stop The End of the World as We Know It anyways.
- Another notable one is the character Gilbert's Undying Loyalty to Oz, which initially was set up to be from his childhood friendship with him, only to be subverted when Gilbert remembers his old life, realizes he's been brainwashed into loyalty to whoever he calls 'master' and that Oz is actually technically his enemy, and then shoots Oz in the chest. Then it's doubly subverted when Gilbert calms down from his Freak Out!, reconciles this fact with himself, and decides to still be loyal to Oz anyways.
- In Manga/Naruto, Neji tells Naruto that he should give up on becoming Hokage because the past Hokage were destined to be Hokage and Naruto, being a nobody, will never be one no matter how hard he tries. After Naruto beats him, it seemed like Naruto was defying fate until its revealed that Naruto is the son of the 4th Hokage and the previous Nine Tails Jinchuriki. Taken to the extreme when we learn that he is a reincarnation of Ashura, the son of the Sage of Six Paths and his successor. In the epilogue, we see Naruto as the 7th Hokage, and its no surprise that he succeeded. Neji was right after all.
- Quantum and Woody double subverts the Scary Black Man trope with Eric Henderson (Quantum). While he is a tall, muscular, and physically intimidating black man, his full-body costume and articulate speaking pattern means he's inevitably assumed to be Caucasian. People don't really freak out until they find out he's black underneath.
- "You're black? S-word!"
- The Joker really loves this trope. An especially ingenious one is in the short story "Laughter After Midnight," in which he's walking home after being thrown out of a blimp by Batman (and surviving, of course). Feeling hungry, the Joker stops by a donut shop - frightening away the other customers - and helps himself to some jelly donuts before putting them over his eyes like a mask and saying "This is a stick-up, see?" to the man at the counter. Thinking the Joker has a gun, the man frantically pulls open the register and says the Joker can have everything in it - only to be reassured that "I'm just funning with you, keed." Then, in a very uncharacteristic move, the Joker pulls out a wad of dollar bills and pays the man for the donuts. But then the man notices that the bills are counterfeits with the Joker's face on them - and the Joker explains that he coated them with a toxic chemical that can only be activated by human sweat (which the counter guy has been releasing buckets of because he was so afraid of being shot). Long story short, the donut man is exposed to "Joker Venom" and dies after all with a whitened, perpetually smiling face.
- Chapter 14 of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless does this with The Password is Always "Swordfish". When accessing Eggman's system the heroes find out that the system requires a password. Tails suggests EGGMAN, which doesn't work. The double subversion occurs with the password turning out to be PASSWORD.
- In the Calvinverse, Socrates is Locked Out of the Loop by the other four protagonists regarding the transmitter chip in his head. After Calvin finally tells him about it in Retro Chill, he marches over to Sherman, plucks him up, and... begins laughing. After everyone else starts laughing, he abruptly stops and angrily tells him to take it out.
Films — Animated
- Megamind double subverts a huge slew of Superhero Tropes
- At one point in Monsters vs. Aliens, the heroes are wearing Paper Thin Disguises. Unfortunately, one of the enemies sees right through them... wait, scratch that. He only saw through one of them. The rest of the disguises seem to be working just fine. He even helps the heroes "arrest" the one he spotted.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: One of Jokerz mouthed off to the Joker after failing his mission. Joker pulls a gun and pulls the trigger - which produces a flag that says "BANG!" on it - then pulls it again, ejecting the flagpole at high speed and impaling the guy in the chest. This is based on a scene from the comics, in "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker!" (Batman #321).
- In Anastasia, Anya is conned into posing as the long-lost Russian princess... and it turns out she really is the long-lost Russian princess.
- One gag in The Emperor's New Groove involves Bucky the squirrel threatening to pop a llama-shaped balloon to wake up the jaguars sleeping all around Kuzco. Kuzco pleads with Bucky not to, Bucky does so anyway with a very loud POP, and...the jaguars stay asleep. Kuzco, upon realizing this, laughs and THAT'S when the jaguars decide to wake up and chase his llama ass through the forest.
- The Incredibles does this with A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Bob is hired to take out a Killer Robot called the Omnidroid which was highly intelligent and could adapt to and defeat tactics used against it. He was told that the robot had gotten "smart enough that it wondered why it had to take orders". However, it was a lie. The Omnidroid was under the control of the villain Syndrome the whole time, and the whole point of the venture was to either kill Bob or get information from Bob's defeat of the Omnidroid to improve the next version, in preparation for an ultimate version which would be part of Syndrome's plan to set himself up as a hero. The plan was that the Omnidroid would serve as a villain, and Syndrome would show up and defeat it using a remote control. However, Syndrome neglected to consider the implications of the Omnidroid's Adaptive Ability. The Omnidroid figured out that Syndrome was using a remote control to fight it, and adapted to defeat that tactic and beat Syndrome.
Films — Live-Action
- In All About Eve, Karen thinks about tricking Margo to help her understand, and justifies it to herself that Margo will like it, and there's no reason not to tell her..."in time."
- In the 2009 Star Trek film, an obvious Red Shirt has to open his parachute in time to hit a floating platform. At first it seems he won't open his parachute in time and pancake himself onto the planet below, but in fact he does open it just in time... to burn up in the platform's rocket flame trail.
- Death likes to play these in the Final Destination movies. Think that chain of events will kill our sure victim? Nope, he barely made it. But another trigger kills him anyway.
- The Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer had one with Racer X's identity. Those familiar with the original show will remember that he's Rex Racer, Speed's older brother. However, the dramatic unmasking at the end shows that Racer X looks completely different from the Rex seen earlier in the film. But it's later revealed that it really IS Rex after all, and he had cosmetic surgery to hide his identity after faking his death, in order to protect his family.
- In Buster Keaton's "One Week" (1920), a couple of newlyweds is given a portable house and a piece of land. Towards the end of the film, they discover that they have built the house on the wrong lot, and have to tow it across railroad tracks; predictably, the house jams on top of the tracks. The couple attempts to make it budge while arguing. Cut to footage of speeding train. Cut to train whistle letting off steam. Cut to couple jumping and looking past the house. Cut to larger plan of the couple making, in vain, a last-minute effort to move the house with the speeding train in the background, before stepping aside. Just as the train is expected to hit the house, the camera pans right, revealing the train passing on the tracks just next to the house. Cut to sighs of relief of the couple, who resume their arguing. Cut to another train running through the house from the other direction.
- The climax of Big Trouble in Little China double-subverts Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Jack misses his knife-throw at Lo Pan by half a mile. When the villain sends the knife flying at him with magic, though, Jack catches it and throws it right between his eyes. "It's all in the reflexes."
- Thor does this to The Big Damn Kiss when Thor and Jane lean forward to kiss, only for Thor to hesitantly pull away and kiss Jane's hand. But Jane un-subverts it when she pulls him into the kiss anyways.
- Towards the end of Gladiator, Commodus stabs Maximus before their Coliseum battle so that he can get an unfair advantage, but Maximus is so much of a badass Determinator that he still kills him, though he dies from the stabbing shortly afterwards.
- In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is hiding in a Nazi base when he beats up a Nazi for his uniform. Unfortunately, the uniform's too small for him, becoming more awkward when another officer shows up and berates him for his appearance until Indy beats him up, taking his better-fitting uniform.
- Smokey and the Bandit 2 has the Bandit attempt to leave a shipping yard, but Justice blocks his path and holds him at gunpoint. The Bandit then invokes It Works Better with Bullets by tricking him into using up the rest of his bullets. But Justice sees it coming and asks Junior for his gun, subverting the trope. Then Justice attempts to shoot the Bandit with Junior's gun, only to discover it's empty as well. It turns out that when Junior puts bullets in his gun, it gets too heavy.
- In Big Game, the plucky kid, an utterly ineffectual archer, looses an arrow at the Big Bad with a one-liner, dramatic slo-mo, multiple camera angles - and by the time the thing connects, it has such pitiful force left that it bounces off the bad guy's chest. Then the impact dislodges the shard of metal the baddie's carrying in his chest, it hits his heart, and he falls off the helicopter he was on towards the wreck of the Air Force One just as it explodes. Good times.
- The 2005 film Bewitched presents itself as an example of Recursive Canon: Hollywood has decided to make a reboot of the original 1960's TV series, and Isabel, the actress hired to play Samantha, just happens to be a witch in real life, with identical powers to Samantha. However, as the film continues, the boundaries between the original show, the rebooted show and reality begin to disappear: relatives of Isabel start popping in, identical to their show-counterparts in appearance, personality and even their names. The actress playing Endora in the Reboot turns out to also be a witch (again, with powers identical to her character's), and begins a romance with Isabel's father. The film even ends with Isabel and Jack (the actor playing Darrin) getting married and moving into a house with an actual Gladys and Abner living across the street.
- A Brother's Price:
- Jerin saves the life of a princess. One might expect him to get a Standard Hero Reward, but that's subverted; royals don't marry commoners. But then, it turns out that Jerin's grandfather was a prince, which makes him a possible option for the princesses. He does not only marry the one he saved, but also the one who saved him, and the whole rest of them (there are ten), but technically, it is still "hero marries princess after saving her".
- There is also a scene, where Jerin disguises himself as female whore. Lipstick is used. However: A normal man in this setting has long hair, usually worn in a braid, wears jewelery, and while trousers are not unheard of, men often wear robes or kilts. So, in order to resemble a female whore, he'd need to wear trousers and short hair? Wrong - the female prostitutes have exclusively female customers, who are heterosexual more often than not. Therefore, they try to resemble men as much as possible. However, no real man would walk around in public, unchaperoned and unveiled like the prostitutes do. Or even put on lipstick to advertise how good he is with his mouth. (Not that Jerin is not good using his mouth to pleasure a woman, but it is improper to talk about that.) Oh, and then there is the additional problem that they have to make his shirt look like he tries to hide breasts under there.
- The novel The Dragons of Babel subverts the the long-lost heir trope by having a con man successfully pose as the heir to the throne. And then the one completely infallible test proves that he really is the heir to the throne.
- At first glance, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash looks like your standard subversion of your typical Randian/Objectivist free market paradise, but if you really think about it, it's not that much more dysfunctional than real life and, despite its problems, everything does work out in the end.
- Stephenson loves this trope - the same thing happens in The Diamond Age.
- In an early The Dresden Files novel, Harry Dresden tells us that a Deal with the Devil is safe enough to skilled wizards. Demons will accept deals that don't give enough influence over the human to have an effect. Indeed, he pulls this off. The demon then offers Harry his heart's desire. He refuses, but is reduced to a total wreck and does so despite himself. Turns out that Our Hero is just incredibly stupid.
- Nation double-subverts the Chekhov's Gun - or, in this case, axe. Mau is taking part in a tribal Rite of Passage that involves an axe left in a tree by the last person to do it. He takes the axe, does the ritual, leaves it in the branch for the next guy - and then his island gets hit by a massive storm that kills everyone but him. In the immediate aftermath, the tree drifts by with the axe still stuck in it. He tries to free it again, but fails, and even feels vaguely cheated. Naturally, he finds it again during his showdown with the villain.
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles does this with the Everyone Can See It trope... many of the people Mendanbar and Cimorene encounter assume they are in love, for extremely silly and superficial reasons that are obviously wrong, when they are both extremely practical, goal-oriented people, not sentimental lovebirds. But having those traits in common is exactly why they are indeed perfect for each other after all.
- The Secret of Platform 13 does this with Rags to Royalty: the Prince was kidnapped by a Rich Bitch who wanted a son, and grew up to be a Spoiled Brat. Then it turns out that the brat is the Rich Bitch's actual child, and the kidnapped Prince is the family servant.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting gets a lot of play in The Sirantha Jax Series. There's an alien species who change form... by extruding an extra skin around their insectoid bodies. They can manipulate the features on the outside layer, but they occasionally have to molt it and replace it.
Live Action TV
- Shows which fulfil their Start to Corpse quote within the Cold Open — House, Casualty, anything CSI — generally start employing Bait-and-Switch quite quickly to throw viewers off, before resorting to Double Subversion, sometimes Zig Zagging the trope to the point of Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts,
- One pre-titles segment of House features a young girl diving in a competition. Standard procedure with the claiming of slight illness and shots of insides. She dives in, emerges and finds the judge on the floor, vomiting blood. After the titles, it transpires the entire audience and swimmers are being tested for meningitis. It's at this point the girl turns up again, with bizarre symptoms which aren't meningitis.
- Golden Palace, pilot: Involving a robbery incident. See The Ditz.
- Six Feet Under actually got a few of these into the opening sequences involving the deaths each episode revolved around.
- In the NewsRadio episode "Stupid Holiday Charity Talent Shot", Jimmy tells the WNYX staff that in order for Matthew to get his job back, someone from the station will have to enter and win the upcoming corporate talent show. Matthew repeatedly tries to tell the group that he has a talent he can use, but everyone ridicules or dismisses him. Finally, when all hope appears lost, Matthew finally informs the group that he has a ventriloquist act and has been competing in ventriloquist competitions for years. A Genre Savvy viewer would expect that at this point, Matthew goes on stage, knocks them dead, and wins his job back, right? But that's not what happens. Matthew sucks... really badly. But... he ends up winning the competition anyway, on a pity vote.
- Maeby Fünke of Arrested Development is a double subversion of Brainy Brunette: she's rebellious and Book Dumb, but outside school fends for herself quite easily, even landing a plum job in Hollywood.
- Happens twice during the pilot episode of Castle. Mystery writer Richard Castle is informed that, in Real Life police investigations, fingerprint matches can take up to a week to get done, and the most likely suspect usually is the person who did it. Castle than proceeds to sweet talk the mayor into giving their fingerprint search priority, getting it done in under an hour, and proves that the most likely suspect was actually framed.
- Nick Knight (pilot for later series Forever Knight) double subverts the old pane-of-glass trope: A runaway car, barreling down the hill. Guys carrying pane of glass across the road. Drive yelling and trying to wave them off. Frightened face of car's helpless driver reflected in the glass. Guys make it out of the way in time, saving the glass...except they're so busy watching the car, they walk into a nearby tree, smashing the glass anyway.
- Comedy double act Lee and Herring used this trope a lot. In the first series of This Morning With Richard Not Judy, Richard Herring would describe some disgusting act (often involving bestiality) he had partaken in. For example in one episode he described going to the sewage works and swimming in the sewage. Stewart Lee would then accuse Rich of being sick, prompting Rich to say "But who is the real sick man in this so-called society. Is it the man who regularly has harmless pleasure swimming in sewage, or is the business man in his suit and tie who goes to the toilet and thus produces the sewage in the first place?" Stu would then point out that in that example it was the first man because the business man hadn't done anything wrong. It was triply subverted in the final episode of series one, a business man who wears a suit and tie turned up to complain, Rich was suitably apologetic, but then the as the business man walked away they saw that the back of his suit was missing and he was wearing bondage gear underneath. Rich was delighted to find out that the business man was the sick one after all.
- In the first-season Farscape episode "Bone to Be Wild," an odd alien woman named M'Lee asks Moya's crew to protect her from a hideous monster. Subversion #1: the monster is a well-spoken scientist named Br'Nee who wanted to warn Moya's crew about M'Lee, who murders people and eats their bones. Subversion #2: Br'Nee is responsible for starving M'Lee's people to death (and kidnapping one of Crichton's friends), and M'Lee was only motivated by extreme hunger.
- Each installment of Toei's Super Sentai during its early years has always started with a Five-Man Band of heroes and very rarely deviated from that concept.note Choujuu Sentai Liveman, 1988 installment, starts its first episode with five friends who we are led to believe will become the titular Liveman team... But then two of the friends (Mari and Takuji) are killed off by the villains ten minutes into the episode, leaving the surviving friends (Yūsuke, Jō, and Megumi) with the duty to avenge their deaths as a trio. Halfway through the series, we are introduced to the fallen friends' heretofore unseen younger siblings (Tetsuya and Jun-ichi), who join the Liveman team, completing the five-member team.
- In 30 Rock, Jack has a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital. When the doctor comes out to speak to Liz, Jack's mother, and Jack's fiance, he's covered in blood. He was at a costume party, and he was attacked by the host's dog. So he had to stab it.
- In Community episode "Interpretive Dance" Jeff says that as soon as he and Professor Slater kiss, the blinds will open. They don't, but then it shown that blinds across the hall did open revealing his relationship to his friends.
- Robin from How I Met Your Mother invites Barney back to her place. The dialogue suggests she wants you-know-what, although it's obviously intentionally vague. Sure enough, she just wanted to show him a video. And then...
Future!Ted: So they watched it again. And again. And again. They watched it over and over that night, until finally... [shot of them making out on the couch] they stopped watching.
- In CSI: NY, Danny attempts an Honorable Marriage Proposal after Lindsay tells him she's pregnant. She declines, but a few episodes later he lures her to the Justice of the Peace and proposes again, and this time she says yes.
- In the Blackadder special Blackadder: Back & Forth, this is done with Product Placement. The time-travelling Edmund tries to present Queen Elizabeth I with a Tesco Clubcard in a case of Product Placement, which is subverted when everyone (even Edmund himself) realises what a useless gift this is in the 16th century. Cue double subversion when he then wins her favour with a Polo Mint.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I, Borg" does this to the Whoopi Epiphany Speech. When Picard (reluctantly) allows Dr. Crusher to aid the badly-injured Borg drone Third of Five (eventually nicknamed "Hugh"), Guinan, whose people had been practically eradicated by the Borg, gives a dark speech warning Picard of how the Borg are inherently untrustworthy. Geordi, who's also helping Hugh's recovery, gives one to Guinan in Hugh's defense. After finally meeting Hugh, Guinan gives another speech to Picard:
Guinan: If you are going to use this person...Guinan: If you're going to use this person to destroy his entire species, you should at least look him in the eye. Otherwise, you might find that decision much harder to live with than you realize.
- Cain and Abel is subverted brilliantly at the end of the first season of Borgia. Juan has been found dead, and no one knows who killed him—but it's really starting to look like it was his little brother Cesare. The brothers fight a lot, and are bother very hot-headed—it's very easy to image what could've happened. Cesare doesn't remember what he did that night. Juan always bullied him. Cesare is the Unfavourite, and Always Second Best. When Cesare really starts to believe it was him, he goes to their sister, Lucrezia, and tells her what he thinks he's done. She swears he didn't kill him... because she did.
- British Kent Brockman News show The Day Today featured a sketch premised on a (fake) trailer for a (fake) BBC retrospective on changing attitudes at the broadcaster, with several (fake) shows serving as case studies. One of these shows was a Northern England-set soap called Frampton Row, referred to as the "first popular weekly serial to use swear words" - footage from the show depicts a woman having a conversation with a newspaper vendor, whom she tells "I'm not made of money, especially not since Eddie Copsy and his bloomin' lids!", the gag seemingly that where the viewer was expecting to hear genuine cuss words, they instead got a Curse of the Ancients. However, as the woman hands over money to buy a newspaper, she jovially tells the vendor, "There you are, ya big hairy cock!" and then as she turns to leave, the vendor casually sees her off with "Ta-ra, ya shitter!"
- Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness has Pleinair, originally just the Dark Assembly guide for that game, as a recruitable character, no sidequest needed, as soon as the tutorial is completed, setting up a use of Disc-One Nuke. However, she's only recruitable in a New Game+, which is the subversion...until you remember that you can see one of the endings in about half an hour by losing to Mid-Boss at the end of the first chapter (and if you don't level grind at least a little, it's not all that hard to lose on that level). Hence the double subversion.
- At the start of Secret of Mana the main character pulls a sword out of a stone signaling that he is probably the Chosen One. However, soon after that, he is told by Jema that he is too young to be a hero, and he was only able to remove the sword because the power of Mana is weakening. Much later in the game, it turns out that he was definitely the Chosen One all along. Of course, a Genre Savvy player wouldn't believe Jema's explanation for one second.
- Portal 2 does this with respect to Boss Arena Idiocy. It's set up earlier that the AI in charge of the mainframe cannot remove the parts of the system that are designed to swap cores in the event of corruption. The Final Boss appears to ignore this in setting up its Evil Plan, and indeed during the fight you do cause a core transfer to be initiated. However, the boss actually did plan for this possibility by placing a Booby Trap designed to kill you when you attempt to press the Stalemate Resolution Button. What brings about its final defeat is that, all along, it's been ignoring the progressive collapse of the Enrichment Center due to an impending reactor meltdown.
- The Elder Scrolls does this with Chekhov's Volcano. The Elder Scrolls: Arena showed us a giant volcano belching smoke... which kept on belching smoke all throughout the game. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind revisisted the volcano... and ended with the volcano calming down. Then the novels that came out in the run-up to Skyrim revealed that the events of Morrowind had led to a chain of events that caused the volcano to erupt a few years after Oblivion.
- Tales of Monkey Island doubly subverts Spoiler Title in its fourth chapter: "The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood". The premise invoves Guybrush being put on trial, so judging by the title you'd expect the trial goes badly and The Hero Dies. Except Guybrush is cleared of all charges thanks to a Big Damn Heroes moment from former villain Le'Chuck. Who then proceeds to kill Guybrush for real at the end of the chapter, making the Spoiler Title Right for the Wrong Reasons.
- The Turing Test has audio logs where the rest of the crew accuses TOM, the AI of the mission, of mind controlling them via their implants. Sure enough, Ava, the protagonist, soon enters an area where "YOU ARE BEING CONTROLLED", "DRONE", and "TOM'S SLAVE" is written all over the place. As Ava progresses through this area, the player increasingly loses control over her, drawn along a certain path, their vision glitching out as Ava approaches a Faraday cage which the crew promises will free Ava of TOM's mind control. Typical mind control plot, right? Wrong! When Ava finally enters the cage, the player's vision cuts out entirely, to be replaced by an overhead camera view of Ava in the cage. TOM wasn't taking control over her - he was *losing* control over her. The player is not playing the game from the point of view of Ava, they're playing the game from the point of view of TOM, the malevolent AI, and have been mind controlling Ava for the entire game up to that point.
- TRON 2.0 pulled this on a meta level with Role Reprisal. Cindy Morgan (Lora and Yori) was brought back to the franchise to play an entirely different character (the Benevolent A.I. Ma3a), with Lora Baines-Bradley killed off in the Backstory, but at the halfway point in the game, you stumble on the Story Breadcrumbs that reveal that Ma3a really is Lora (what's left of her consciousness anyway) merged with an AI. This makes Morgan (along with David Warner and Jeff Bridges) the third actor to play three different roles in the franchise.
- Homestuck is this. So subversive is Homestuck that it it is hard to even classify what format it's in. Think about that for a minute. Homestuck isn't so much a webcomic as it is its own unique format. It subverts its double-subversions, and then keeps on subverting until it comes all the way back around.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Here's one example. More commonly, the comic itself is just a subversion, while the Alt Text comic contains the double subversion, like this (mouseover the red circle to see it). Artist Zack Weiner even outdoes himself here with a quadruple subversion.
- Shown in this, Cyanide & Happiness.
- Also in this Questionable Content.
- This [NSFW] My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fancomic.
- These two as well, which were made shortly after Hearts And Hooves Day. In the first part, OC Kidder, who has a crush on Twilight Sparkle, appears to be getting her to making the potion from that episode. Then in the second part, it turns out he was making a potion that is supposed to switch the bodies of two ponies, but the second subversion comes during the hints that Kidder lied in his dialog in the next panel, where Kidder says "That's weird. Says there are some different versions of the potion and I made the north-south one.". Applejack asks what that means, and he says "Something about opposites. Let's try it!", as he has a mischievous expression on his face. What happened after all this, though, is anyone's guess, as the storyline ended after that.
- Here is a Triple subvertion example of Throwing the Distraction from Goblins: the goblins try to distract the Brassmoon City gate guards by throwing a rock, but instead of going to investigate the noise, one of them shouts "Someone's throwing rocks at us from the woods!" However, the guards still go to investigate the place whence the rock was thrown, and start arguing there. Being distracted, they let a couple goblins enter the city (double!). But then, the distraction doesn't last long enough, and the last two goblins are spotted while trying to get in (triple!).
- Used in Amazing Super Powers.
- Two Guys and Guy: Guy says her ex is crazy and obsessed with her though it looks obsessed with her because she left him with their child. But it turns out that he's just crazy enough to kidnap a child.
- In this short, the viewer is led to believe that Arthur has been using Excalibur to cut up people. Then, it turns out he was cutting lasagna. Then it turns out that yes, he was cutting up a person. And eating them.
- In the CollegeHumor Wish I Had a Portal Gun, starting around 1:47: we're led to believe that the singer wants to use the titular device to suck his own dick, but he merely uses it to change pants without having to look down. Then:
"And then I'd suck my own DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!"''
- In Running With Scissors (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), it looks like the guy's about to stab himself in the eye with scissors upon falling down. Then, he's safe because they merely fly out of his hands. Flying into and cutting a rope, which drops a piano on his head.
- A Running Gag in Petera Dzive is how anyone who drinks booze will pass out and wake up naked. Peter, the main character, wakes up naked and grabs a bottle of booze, only to wake up again fully clothed, surprised that he didn't end up naked as usual. He celebrates with drinks and wakes up naked again.
- GiIvaSunner has done this a few times:
- Normally, the channel is dedicated to posting comedic video game remixes under the guise that they're simply uploads of the original song (or, in their parlance, "high quality video game rips"). Then April Fools' Day rolls around, and they post the entire soundtrack to a Flintstones game without any alterations. Shortly thereafter came three unrelated video game songs that sounded like the Flintstones theme, but were unaltered (a switch from the channel's tendency to change video game music to incorporate the Flintstones theme.
- Another Running Gag centered around "Grand Metropolis"; they uploaded six versions of the song ("Demo", "Alpha Mix", "Original Mix", "Alternate Mix", "Unused", and "Unused Demo") that were completely unaltered, then made a seventh that actually was.
- In episode 19 of Part Timers, Mads appears to fall off of the roof to her death... but she actually lands safely on a pile of rags. Then she gets run over and killed by a car.
- The Simpsons, especially during its golden age in the 1990s, was a master at this trope. The writers often refer to jokes built on double subversion (as well as jokes built on simple subversion) as "screw the audience" jokes.
- Futurama also enjoys this, even setting up its own jokes to subvert doubly.
- One example involved the smelloscope, a telescope that allowed you to smell distant objects. After smelling Jupiter and Saturn, Fry said that he would be happy to smell more, as long as the professor didn't point it at Uranus. The other characters expressed confusion at his joke, and Professor Farnsworth noted that they renamed Uranus in order to end that stupid joke once and for all. The new name? Urectum.
- In the episode "Mars University" the super intelligent monkey Guenter is hanging from a fraying rope and about to fall to his doom, but is considering letting himself fall because he has no place in either monkey or human society. He appears to change his mind, cheerfully saying "On the other hand-"... and that's when the rope breaks.
- House of Mouse: Donald Duck has set up his computer. A viewer would tend to expect that the computer would take all day to start up. Just 15 seconds after he turns it on, however, the screen reads "Startup Done", just long enough for the viewer to think "Huh?" before the word "Almost" is added to the screen, and it ends up taking all day after all.
- Rick and Morty double subverts a joke about Prison Rape:
Rick: You know, if somebody drops the soap, it's going to land on our heads and crush our spines, Morty. You know, it'll be real easy to rape us after that.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack double subverts the Lost Him in a Card Game trope. K'nuckles bet Flapjack in a card game, but wins and discovers that the person he was playing against also bet his kid sidekick.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender double-subverts a Heel–Face Turn. Zuko, after being set up for a turning face since the introduction of his character, fails to complete it in the final episode of the second season by helping his sister Azula capture Aang. Halfway through the third season, Zuko finally turns face by telling off his father and vowing to help the Avatar.
- Porky Pig double subverts the Precision F-Strike in this clip not meant for general audiences.
- In American Dad!, Steve tells Stan that his English teacher hates him and that's why he has a failing grade. Stan says in a sinister tone that he'll "pay the teacher a little visit." Cut to Stan having a friendly chat with the teacher and his family, implying that he had come over for dinner and had a wonderful time with them all. He then walks to the door, starts to say his goodbyes, then says, "I almost forgot..." (pulls his gun and slams the teacher against a wall) "Why are you failing my son?!?"
Roger: You're going to go to jail, and they're going to take your cherry. Jell-O. Away. In the lunch line. After you're raped.
- Later in the same episode, Roger has this:
Stan: Steve, I'm going to motivate you the same way the CIA motivates its assassins. You know, when they have trouble asking out a girl. *clamps an electronic collar around Steve's neck* There. If you don't ask Debbie out in 24 hours, the collar will sense your stress levels and blow up.
- A second episode double subverts Training from Hell when Steve admits that he's scared to ask someone out:
- SpongeBob SquarePants has one episode where Spongebob tries to throw out an old krabby paddy rather then sell it because it's gone bad. Mr Krabs tries to prove that it's still edible by taking a bite. There's an Ambulance Cut just before he takes a bite, followed by him remarking, "Oh look, an ambulance". He then takes a bite, and is shown in hospital.
- Family Guy is fond of double subversions in general, possibly because it's a sneaky way to get two jokes for the price of one, or a way to sneak a joke in an otherwise mundane transition. One example is in "A Hero Sits Next Door" with their double subversion of Eye Scream. Lois mentions that someone "lost an 'eye' (I) during Bingo". We see a Flash Back of a scene of the MC calling out an "I" number, then dropping it on the floor and losing it. Just when we think the gag is over, he bends over to look for it and slams his eye into the corner of the table.
Peter: Well, they were talking about AIDS.
- The double subversion is lampshaded in another episode. A commercial from "hearing warehouse" enthusiastically proposes AIDS with lots of inuendos leading the audience to believe they are veryakwardly promoting hearing aids before they reveal that they really meant the HIV.
- In the South Park episode "Here Comes the Neighborhood" where many extremely rich black people were moving into South Park Mr. Garrison exclaims that "their kind" is taking over the place. When one asks what he means, he states because they are "rich". However at the end, when they successfully drove all the rich people out of Town, Mr. Garrison exclaims they can sell the houses and become rich. When it is pointed out to him that doing so will make them the same as the people they just drove out, Mr. Garrison replies, "at least we got rid of those damn nig-(interrupted by credits)".
- The Amazing World of Gumball at first seems to parody The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday; the "Awesome Store" where Richard bought a pet turtle isn't there anymore because it's a van that drove away. Then that turtle turns out to be an indestructible force of evil, and the van returns in later episodes selling other mysterious items.
- In the first episode of Milo Murphy's Law, Zack starts to panic when he learns that he and Milo are in the middle of Coyote Woods. Milo quickly assures him that the woods were named after the actor, not the animal; Peter Coyote donated them to the city years ago... as a wolf preserve. Cue howling.
- Men in Black: In "The Star System Syndrome", something is doing in the alien actors of Hollywood. They believe it's the Space Demon, a washed-out actor who looks like the Alien, but he just wants to get another movie deal. It turns out to be the Astro Tots, the cute little hosts of a children's show. And then, it turns out the Astro Tots are exactly as harmless as they appear and that they only trapped the other actors for setting a bad example.
- Adventure Time does this with the Magical Land trope. On one hand, Ooo has all the problems endemic to human societies (child neglect, insanity, crime), and the daily monster attacks don't help matters. The wise monarch is of questionable sanity, the magic causes problems just as much as it solves them, and the fantastic creatures are often jerks. On the other hand, it really isn't much worse than any modern society, and, well, it is a pretty amazing place.
- Rick and Morty's treatment of Remember the New Guy falls into this territory. The season 2 episode Total Rickall Justifies it with the introduction of telepathic parasites who implant false memories of new people into the host's brains, causing scores of new characters to pop up only for the family to treat them as old friends. Eventually, Morty figures out how to tell the real memories from the fake ones, and he and his family wipe out the parasites. Unfortunately for poor Mr Poopybutthole, he turned out to be a Double Subversion by playing the trope completely straight: he wasn't a parasite, but a new character whom the rest of the cast had apparently known the whole time.
- The Brick Joke is a double subversion of the Chekhov's Gun principle.
- Voodoo Shark is possibly a double subversion of Plot Hole.
- An old joke: A child is born without ears. Every family member comments on it, until the exasperated father promises himself that he'll knock out the next person to comment on it. Cue another relative arriving and remarking "Oh dear. I hope he'll have perfect eyesight." "What? Why?" "Well, how the hell is he going to keep his glasses on?"
- The "How People Shower" meme is a double subversion of a racial stereotype joke.
- A variant of a popular joke is a double subversion:
"My grandfather died at a Nazi concentration camp.""How?""He fell out of a guard tower.""Your grandfather was a Nazi?!""He was trying to escape." (beat) "The prisoners were rioting."
- The Henley On Todd Regatta in Alice Springs, Australia, is a tongue-in-cheek subversion of conventional river regattas in which the "rowers" must carry their boats along the dried-up riverbed. Nature sometimes sabotages the event by inconsiderately filling the river with water, subverting the intended subversion.