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[[quoteright:324:[[Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mecha_maid_1980.jpg]]]]

-->-- '''Zeta Vincent''', ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}''

A character is ready to reveal their secret. Maybe they're homosexual, maybe they're a vampire, maybe they're a superhero, or [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking maybe they're the one who stole the cookies from the cookie jar.]] All that matters is that they've kept this a secret for a while, and now they're ready to come clean. However, when they finally tell the truth, the only shocked reactions they get, if any, are at the realization this was supposed to be a secret. Everyone already knew.

TransparentCloset is a common subtrope, where a character's sexuality isn't as much of a secret as they think it is. See also OpenSecret where it's painfully obvious from the get-go that no one is fooled by the secret. The metafictional version, where a writer reveals a twist that the audience already figured out, is the CaptainObviousReveal.

Expect spoilers below, as the revelation that a character knew a secret all along may or may not already be known to the audience.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/MaiHime'' when Akira decides to wear a mask and use her ninja skills to help defend the school from the rampaging Orphan Monsters; Akira's roommate Takumi realizes instantly, but tries to humor the whole "secret identity" thing.
-->'''Takumi:''' Oh, if only there was a ninja protector who could save us!\\
'''Akira:''' <rolls eyes> I'm going for a walk.\\
'''Takumi:''' <happily smiles>
* The end of ''[[Anime/PrettySammy Magical Project S]]'' has Sasami's class telling her they knew she was Pretty Sammy, they just figured they weren't supposed to talk about it.
* In ''Manga/ToLoveRu'', the general reaction to finding out Lala is an alien goes along the lines of "Oh. So that's why she has the tail." All while Rito, the only one who cares about TheMasquerade, freaks out and panics.
* In the ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' manga, Yakumo's friends clumsily prepare her a surprise birthday party and she spends the rest of the day pretending she doesn't know. She comes home to find Tenma also preparing her a party.
* Near the end of ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' Nagare dramatically reveals that [[spoiler: he is the CEO of Nergal Industries]]. Someone replies, "Yeah, I figured it was something like that." In fact, everyone except Akito and Yurika'' knew about it.
* Humorously done in ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders'' with Polnareff trying to surprise the others with the revelation that [[spoiler: Abdul [[BackFromTheDead survived a seemingly fatal attack]] [[NotQuiteDead and had been recovering the whole time he was gone]]]] only to find out that he was the ''only'' one who didn't know ([[spoiler:the others wanted to give Abdul enough time to recover from his injuries]] and didn't trust Polnareff not to blab about it).
* From ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** Setsuna tries to hide the fact that she has BodyguardCrush on Konoka. No-one is fooled, so when Rakan reveals that she had her first kiss with Konoka, no-one even blinks their eyes. [[ChasteHero Even Negi]].
** When Takane tells Yuuna that her father is a mage, she just says she figured it was something like that since she recognized the person working at the gates was a friend of her father's. And from there she figured that Mahora is a magic school. Only really applicable to Yuuna, everyone else was pretty surprised.
* In an episode of the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, there is an OldSuperhero named Gligarman who is really the owner of a toy store. He gets shocked when everyone in town starts calling him by his real name during a climactic battle.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', it seems that Ed has "I performed [[GoneHorriblyWrong a human transmutation]]" written on his shirt. Most alchemists he meets figures it out within an episode. While his [[ArtificialLimbs automail arm and leg]] aren't much of a clue (lots of people have automail, and it's implied that some people even replace fully functional limbs with it), the fact that his brother is a suit of AnimatedArmor tends to be a dead give-away.
* Subverted hilariously in the last chapter of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'': The girls eagerly declare that they already knew Haruhi's "[[SweetPollyOliver secret]]" when she wears a dress and begins dancing romantically with Tamaki. It isn't until later that they actually find out that she's a girl, and it turns out that they thought her "secret" was that [[MistakenForGay "he" and Tamaki were gay]] and that "he" liked [[RecursiveCrossdressing wearing women's clothing]].
* Nano Shinonome from the ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'' manga is a robot who goes to school and believes she's convinced everyone she's not a robot. This despite the fact that one complaint that she has on returning to school one day is everyone keeps turning the big wind-up key on her back.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': [[BaldOfAwesome Ikkaku]] is willing to throw fights to avoid revealing his [[SuperMode bankai]], despite having willingly told [[HeterosexualLifePartner Yumichika]], [[TheApprentice Renji]] and [[ActionSurvivor Keigo]]. When chastising Ikkaku for his attitude, [[BigBrotherMentor Iba]] reveals he's always known. [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Komamura]] accidentally overhears but promises to keep his mouth shut. Later on, [[MadScientist Mayuri's]] comment to Ichigo that he and Akon once patched up Ikkaku's broken bankai reminds Mayuri he wasn't supposed to reveal the secret. He concludes he doesn't care.
* All the girls in ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' are confused as to how all the men never realized that Kisara's right hand Shiratori is [[spoiler:actually a girl]]. This revelation comes after a LoveTriangle arc, showing that the object of Shiratori's affection was ''not'' who all the men thought it was.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Nami asked her older sister Nojiko to keep her efforts to buy back their village from the pirate Arlong a secret, even after Genzo had banished her from the village for joining Arlong pirates under the mistaken belief that she only wanted to get rich. It turned out that Genzo was unwilling to believe that Nami would join the pirates even with temptations like that, especially after Arlong had killed her mother. He and the other villagers eventually managed to get Nojiko to tell them, but decided to keep it a secret from Nami so she could leave them if she wasn't able to complete her goal.
** The citizens of Dressrosa knew all along that the fairies are actually dwarves, and that [[spoiler: Kyros/Thunder Soldier and Rebecca are father and daughter]]. They pretended not to know to protect their secrets, out of respect. [[spoiler: They also know that Luffy didn't really kidnap Rebecca at the end of the arc, but pretend not to so they can run after Luffy and his allies, thus preventing Fujitora from killing them.]]
* PlayedForDrama in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', where the "secret" was that [[spoiler:Asuka's father and the doctor who took care of Asuka's bed-ridden and driven-into-insanity mother Kyouko were [[YourCheatingHeart involved behind Kyoko's back]].]] Even [[spoiler:Asuka]] knew, which is implied to be the reason why [[spoiler:she refuses to live with her father [[ParentWithNewParamour and his "new" wife]] after her mother's suicide.]]
* On ''Anime/{{Himawari}}'', Himari hides that she's discovered that Azami is a spy for the boy's school, but all of the other girls already knew. Only she and their teacher, Hayato, didn't. When they discover that she's hiding it, they explain that he's a double agent, and that he's a boy.
* In ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'', after [[spoiler: his first match with Itona]], Koro-sensei decides he has no choice but to reveal a shocking truth about himself. He is actually an artificially created creature. No one in the class is surprised since Koro-sensei already said he isn't an alien and an artificial being was the only explanation left.
-->'''Entire class:''' Well, duh. And?\\
'''Koro-sensei:''' What a weak reaction! That was a pretty shocking thing to confess, wasn't it?!

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'':
** One old (prose) story suggested that most of Clark's close friends and co-workers knew he was Superman, but were secretly government agents assigned to allow him the illusion of a "normal" life.
** One issue had an emergency that doesn't leave him time to get into costume at the Daily Planet, and everyone tells him to just go do it -- they've just been humoring him about the "secret identity" thing. [[WhamEpisode Wham issue]]? Nah, it was AllJustADream.
** Various stories have also implied that his secret identity is widely known back in his hometown of Smallville, but the whole town keeps quiet about it out of loyalty and friendship.
* Franchise/SpiderMan's secret identity is like this sometimes, especially in [[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan Ultimate Marvel]]. In one issue, Daredevil (not in costume, of course) walked up to him, at school, to recruit him for a mission. In another issue, the Human Torch and Iceman showed up at school mostly because they were bored (Iceman: "Hey, aren't you--" Peter: "Don't you dare."). And finally, Kong -- a jock who deduced it on his own -- tells Peter to go help a friend, and when Peter looks ambivalent, he mocks him. "What do you want me to say? Should we have a code? Should I just throw up my hands and say 'Oh, if only Spider-man were here...'!?" This was lampshaded, parodied and subverted in one issue when he's knocked unconscious and wakes up in the [[Franchise/XMen X-Mansion]] without his mask (they wanted to make sure he was OK); upon learning this, Peter engages in a very lengthy rant about how he's trying to keep a SecretIdentity here and is getting a bit sick of everyone somehow knowing that he's Peter Parker... only for them to point out that until ''now'' they didn't know ''his name''. Oops.
* PlayedForLaughs by Creator/PeterDavid in Comicbook/{{Wolverine}}. The X-Men were currently "dead", when Logan found out that [[ComicBook/SpiderWoman Jessica Drew]] and some of his Madripoor friends recognized him in his "Patch" disguise. It turned out they'd humoured him, on the basis that he must have had his reasons. Considering that Patch is Wolverine with an eyepatch and the claws not extended, this should really not have been such a shock.
* In one issue of ''Comicbook/BatmanAndTheOutsiders,'' Alfred reveals Batman's identity to the team while Batman is unconscious after being poisoned, so they won't waste crucial time by [[BruceWayneHeldHostage trying to contact Bruce Wayne, who they know as the team's rich patron]]. When Batman later reveals his identity to the team, they pretend to be surprised.
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', Britanny Diggers did a brief stint as a superhero in her school days. While the villains remained oddly oblivious, the rest of the students had no trouble figuring out the superhero 'Cheets', was actually their classmate Brittany, the only member of the student body who also had fur and a tail and was the only werecheetah on Earth.
* [[Franchise/FantasticFour The Human Torch's]] features in ''Strange Tales'' involved him protecting his secret identity...despite the fact that he was a celebrity in his main title. Presumably, this was due to a lapse in Stan Lee's memory ([[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2005/11/03/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-23/ which actually has some precedent]]); eventually, it was [[RetCon retconned]] that all the supporting cast were simply going along with the Torch's masquerade out of concern for his privacy...
* Comicbook/GreenArrow's "secret identity" as Oliver Queen. Between his not-particularly-concealing mask and incredibly distinctive facial hair anyone who's met them both will know that it's him. In one case a policeman working with Green Arrow came to his house and, on being asked how he knew his identity, hadn't even known it was supposed to be a secret. His to-be sidekick Mia also recognized him instantly, not least because he was claiming to be a good friend of the Green Arrow. The best he could hope for is people thinking he's got a twin.
* Two examples in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'':
** The first occurs when Leetah accidentally yells out Cutter's secret soul name in front of Cutter's best friend, Skywise. It turns out Cutter and Skywise have such a strong mental link, they've known each other's soul names since they were kids.
** The second one occurs when BigBad Winnowill reveals Cutter's animal heritage to Leetah. Not only did both Leetah and Cutter already know, they're actually both ''proud'' of it.
* Both averted and played straight in ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'', when Barbara Gordon revealed to her father, then-former Commissioner Jim Gordon that she has been operating as Oracle for several years after [[ComicBook/TheKillingJoke being shot in the spine and paralyzed by the Joker]]. Jim Gordon was surprised, but ultimately assured Barbara that he was proud of her. Barbara then pulled out her old Comicbook/{{Batgirl}} uniform and added, "I'm afraid there's something else I need to tell you, Daddy." Jim replied, "Oh. Well, ''that'' I knew about."
** It's been implied numerous times that Gordon knows the identity of each and every one of the Batfamily. He simply chooses to not acknowledge it, even to himself in his thought bubbles.
** Several stories have had Batman make comments where he's assumed Gordon has long known who he really was, just as he assumes Perry White (who was a very good investigative reporter) knows full well Clark Kent is Superman.
* Right from the first issue, it's almost become in a RunningGag in ''ComicBook/DemonKnights'' that '''everyone''' knows "Sir" Ystin is really a woman. [[spoiler:Until a later issue reveals that Ystin is in fact some sort of genderqueer/intersex/non-binary gender identity, but it's not elaborated on.]]
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' has the following exchange when Skids asks Chromedome if the latter can try restoring some of his lost memories:
-->'''Chromedome''': "Anyway, I thought you ''liked'' having amnesia."
-->'''Skids''': "Who told you that?"
-->'''Chromedome''': "You told [[MotorMouth Swerve]], right? So assume everyone on board knows. [[SerialEscalation In fact, assume everyone on Cybertron knows]]. [[UpToEleven In fact, assume that distant]] ''[[UpToEleven alien races]]'', [[UpToEleven otherwise untouched by civilization]]—"
-->'''Skids''': "Okay, okay, point taken."

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/ACureForLove'': 1) [[Manga/DeathNote Light]] [[TransparentCloset is gay.]] 2) Light and L's [[SlashFic "secret" relationship.]] 3) L, [[WesternTerrorists the Astraea Organization]], Matt... pretty much everyone [[SelectiveObliviousness but the Kira Taskforce]] knows that Light is Kira.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' canon, Dr. Drakken [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas tells his mother]] [[DontTellMama that he's a radio talk show host]]. A fair number of fanfics have her knowing perfectly well that he's a MadScientist villain trying to TakeOverTheWorld.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Heir}}'', a [[Franchise/HarryPotter Dark!Harry]] fic, Harry, Tom, and Draco aren't nearly as careful with their scheming as they think they are-Ron, Blaise and perhaps half of Slytherin house knows that Harry is the Heir but have so far kept quiet.
* Like any good orphan protagonist, Scootaloo in the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic MLP:FiM]] fan fiction ''Fanfic/OurTrueColors'' tries hard to keep her status a secret. But it turns out everyone except Twilight Sparkle (and maybe Fluttershy) knew she was an orphan.
* In the Series/{{Glee}} fanfic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6384367/1/We_Have_a_Problem We have a problem]], Kurt and Puck go to great lengths to keep their [[HoYay relationship]] a secret. When they finally decide to come out, it turns out that more or less everybody already knew.
* From ''Fanfic/ATasteOfTheGoodLife'':
-->'''Sweetie Belle''': Do you think this means Scoots’ mom and dad will stop pretending they aren’t dating now?\\
'''Main''': Wait, what?\\
'''Scootaloo''': I'm not stupid, Dad.
* "Fanfic/ToAbsentFriends": Yeah, Earth to Kanril Eleya, your SecretRelationship with your operations officer? Not so secret.
-->'''[[NumberTwo Tess Phohl]]:''' Oh, for Uzaveh’s sake, Captain, just kiss him already!\\
'''[[TheMedic Warragul Wirrpanda]]:''' Yeah, we all knew you two were a thing weeks ago.
* In ''FanFic/WhyAmICrying'', Scootaloo expresses relief that Diamond Tiara, or anypony else, never knew that her mother [[ParentalAbandonment walked (flew?) out on her family]] when she was five. Later on, however, she learns from Miss Cheerilee that everyone knew about it when it happened, but nobody spoke of it out of pity.
* In ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', the disguised George and Ringo are quite startled to find out that the Six Step Combo knew they were outworlders from the moment the band met them. In fact, the band thought the two were lying or exaggerating when they said they were musicians, since the band had never met a competent outworlder musician before, and planned to humiliate them on stage. George finds that admittance quite funny.
* In Chapter 20 of ''FanFic/OriginStory'', Alex confesses to Louise that she murdered Henry Peter Gyrich, and did it in order to protect Louise from further attack. Alex then begs for Louise's forgiveness. Louise's only reaction is to gently let Alex know that she figured it out days before, and that she forgave Alex as soon as she figured it out.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/{{Zootopia}}'' fancomic by [[Webcomic/SabrinaOnline Eric Schwartz]], Clawhauser catches Nick and Judy together in a station house broom closet . When Judy begs Clawhauser to keep the secret, Clawhauser dismisses her with "Who would I tell?" Turns out, both Nick and Judy had been putting out pheromones [[SmellsSexy broadcasting their mutual interest]]. Everyone in the station with a [[TheNoseKnows sensitive enough nose]] already knew about them. Then, as if to put a bow on how much of a not-secret their relationship was, [[DaChief Chief Bogo]] makes the scene and tells Nick and Judy that if they were going to carry on their relationship, keep it out of the station.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12435618/1/ Perception]]'' Adrien and Marinette eventually start dating, and, fearing Chloe's reaction, wisely decide to keep it secret. Then one day they get too affectionated... And it turns out that not only the only ones fooled were Chloe herself and maybe Sabrina, but Alix was genuinely surprised that it was supposed to be a secret.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'', [[EvilVizier Yzma]] has a "secret lab". It's not.
-->'''Kuzco''': Yzma's got that "secret lab." (He makes AirQuotes.) I'll just snap my fingers and order her to change me back!
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda 2,'' Ping is legitimately shocked that Po already realized he was adopted. [[InterspeciesAdoption They're a goose and a panda, respectively]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/JacobsLadder'' does it almost shamelessly. For one, [[spoiler:the Bad Doctor]] actually ''spoils the entire movie'', if you take what he's saying at face value.
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' Get me out of here.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' Where do you want to go?]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' Home.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' Home? This is your home. You're dead.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' Dead? No. I just hurt my back, I'm not dead.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' What are you, then?]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' I'm '''''alive'''''.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' Then what are you doing ''here''?]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' I don't know. This isn't happening.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' What ''is'' happening?]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jacob:''' Get me out of here.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Evil Doctor:''' ''(sighing with frustration)'' There is no "out of here". You've been killed, don't you remember?]]
** Earlier in the film, he gets the same thing from the woman reading his palm.
--->'''Palmreader:''' [[spoiler:It's not funny. According to this, you're already dead! You're outta here baby!]]
** Louis himself states, "[[spoiler:If you're frightened of dying, and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the Earth.]]"
* Captain Shakespeare's crossdressing in ''Film/{{Stardust}}''. Outsiders don't know, but his crew is fiercely protective of his "secret".
-->'''Crewmember:''' We always knew you were a whoopsie. (Rest of crew pulls him back to shut him up.)
* The only people who ''don't'' know that nightclub owner Johnny Kelly is really mob boss Film/JohnnyDangerously are his mother and baby brother. This is explained to Johnny by ''the Pope''.
* ''Film/KidsInTheHallBrainCandy'': Wally is the ''only'' one who doubts he's gay, despite being CampGay.
-->'''Psychiatrist:''' Well, Wally, because you ''are'' one of them. You are gay. You are gay. You are a homosexual. The opposite of straight, you're gay. [[TransparentCloset I know it. Your family knows it. DOGS know it!]] Everyone seems to know it except ''you.''
* In ''Film/HotFuzz'', everyone besides Angel already knew that "Cousin Sissy" was an EmbarrassingNickname for [[spoiler:Simon Skinner, who practiced ballet in his youth]]. He doesn't even seem to be actually embarrassed by it.
* In ''Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjayPart2'', [[spoiler:Katniss admits that she was never under orders to kill Snow; Cressida points out that none of them had believed her, but chose to trust it was the right thing anyway]].

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', after returning to his [[ExoticExtendedMarriage brides]], Jerin confesses that he might have [[spoiler:committed adultery.]] They just laugh, as they already know exactly what happened [[spoiler:because the woman who rescued him, Cira, was actually Halley, the one bride he hadn't yet met, who was operating under a cover name, so even if more than kissing had happened, it wouldn't have been a problem.]]
* In ''Literature/GreatExpectations'', Pip confides in Herbert about his love for Estella, to which Herbert replies, "Exactly. Well?" When Pip asks him how he knew, Herbert exclaims, "Told me! You have never told me when you have got your hair cut, but I have had senses to perceive it. You have always adored her, ever since I have known you. You brought your adoration and your portmanteau here, together. Told me! Why, you have always told me all day long." Unlike most other examples on this page, Pip feels relieved instead of annoyed that his secret was known all along.
* Literature/HoratioHornblower suffers from horrible seasickness every time he puts out to sea, something which he is mocked for earlier in his career. Once he gains command of his first ship, he takes pains to not let the crew know about his seasickness, for fear of appearing weak. It is years before he finally realizes that his men have always been aware of his seasickness, and have simply chosen not to comment on it out of respect for [[TheCaptain their captain.]]
* In ''{{Literature/Superfudge}}'' by Creator/JudyBlume, Peter is asked by his parents to humor Fudge's belief in Santa, despite never having believed himself. After receiving his coveted red bicycle, Fudge confides to him that he's never believed, either, and pretends for their parents' sake.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Airborn}} Starclimber]]'', by Kenneth Oppel, Matt and Kate are in love but have to keep it secret because of class differences, and Kate is engaged to someone else to make her parents happy. They're both on the crew of a spaceship that's about to crash-land, and Kate throws her engagement ring to the floor and announces that she loves Matt. Then another character informs her that this was obvious to everyone already.
* In Jim Butcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' series, Harry is afraid to reveal the demon in his head to his KnightInShiningArmor buddy Michael, whose job is pretty much to bring down said demons. When he finally does, the reaction is of course "I know." Harry has forgotten that, at least in theory, Michael's job is to give people possessed by those demons ''a chance to repent'' and be freed.
** Harry also forgot that he got possessed because he metaphorically [[TakingTheBullet Took the Bullet]] to protect Michael's toddler son... on Michael's front lawn... while Michael was home...
* It takes several books before Tavi in the ''Literature/CodexAlera'' finds out that [[spoiler: his "aunt" Isana is [[FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo actually his mother]], and his father was Gaius Septimus: he's the heir to the throne]]. Ambassador Varg is a WolfMan who could tell this by smell as soon as he met him. Besides, Tavi could pretend to be haughty and imperious very well.
* In Creator/SimonRGreen's ''Beyond the Blue Moon'', it is revealed that Hawk and Fisher [[spoiler: are Prince Rupert and Princess Julia from the ''Forest Kingdom'' books]]. They attempt to hide this fact from the other characters, but at the big denouement at the end, everybody is relieved that they can finally drop the pretense.
* In ''Literature/ShadowOfTheHegemon'', Peter finally reveals to his parents that he's Locke and that he's been manipulating events via his articles. His parents tell him that they've known all along, they didn't want to interfere at all, and that they're proud of him (Mrs. Wiggin revealed to Bean earlier that she's known all along, so this isn't a shock to the audience by that point).
** It also shouldn't be a surprise that the parents who produced three brilliant children are themselves pretty smart.
* At the end of Megan Whalen Turner’s ''[[Literature/TheQueensThief The Thief]]'', when it is revealed that Eugenides is really [[spoiler:the Thief of Eddis and cousin to the Queen of Eddis, not some random half-Sounisan peasant,]] he is sorely disappointed to find the magus had figured it out already... as had virtually everyone but Sophos, actually, and [[TomatoSurprise the readers]].
* In ''Literature/HouseOfChains'', the fourth book in ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', the true identity of Sergeant "Strings" is blindingly obvious to both the reader and everyone around him. Halfway through the book people tell him to stop being ridiculous, and he--after a moment of indignation at having his cover blown--reluctantly agrees to go by the name Fiddler again.
* By the end of Literature/HonorHarrington book ''The Short Victorious War'', Honor learns to her discomfiture that ''everyone'' in her chain of command knows that [[spoiler:she's going steady with Paul Tankersley]] -- from the members of her crew on the ''Nike'' up to and including [[spoiler:Admiral Parks, who chooses her ship to transport Tankersley back to Manticore because of it]].
** Similarly, [[spoiler:the relationship between Honor and Hamish (White Haven)]] doesn't come as much of a surprise to anyone, though their solution to it does.
* In ''[[Literature/XWingSeries Wraith Squadron]]'', the younger members of the Wraiths are attempting to keep the [[AngstComa condition]] of Myn Donos a secret from their immediate superiors, so that they won't report to ''their'' superiors about him. It turns out to have been an unnecessary step, since said immediate superiors (Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson) already know, but are ''also'' trying to give Myn time to recover (by not reporting to their superiors). This is revealed when one of the younger Wraiths, Kell Tainer, overhears Wedge and Wes talking about Myn. Played with in that the secret was unsuccessfully kept from Wedge and Wes, but it ''was'' successfully kept from anyone higher up in the chain of command.
* In the novel ''Literature/TheMartian'', at one point the Hermes crew decide to reduce habitat space to keep from overtaxing the ship's life support. Lewis announces that Beck should bunk with Johanssen, confirming that yes, she did know that Beck and Johanssen [[RelationshipUpgrade had indeed hooked up.]]
* ''Literature/DannyTheChampionOfTheWorld'': After Danny's father is injured during a poaching excursion, Danny wonders what story he is going to tell the doctor. It turns out that the doctor, and pretty much every other authority figure in their village (including the police officer and TheVicar), knows that people are poaching Victor Hazell's pheasants and is either turning a blind eye or having a go at it themselves.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}},'' the team recruits disabled teenagers from the long-term ward of a local hospital. One girl, Collette, had always told everybody that she was hurt in a skiing accident but would be healed up shortly; when she finally admits that her condition is congenital (meaning that morphing [[HealingFactor won't heal it]]), her fellow patients say that they'd already gleaned that from her medical chart.
* In the young adult novel ''Say You Are My Sister'', the eldest Keddrington daughter, Georgie, is introduced as Mr. Keddrington's daughter from a previous marriage and the half-sister of narrator Ramona Louise and her baby sister. But partway through the story, Ramona inadvertently learns that this was a fabrication; Georgie's mother was newly widowed and already pregnant (from her late husband) when she married Mr. Keddrington, who took Georgie as his own and raised her with his second wife (Ramona's mother) after Georgie's mother died in childbirth. Even more shockingly (for the 1940s American South setting of the story), Ramona also learns that Georgie's mother was half-African American. The family friend who reveals this to Ramona tells her that she must never tell Georgie, who was raised as white, because it could devastate her. Ramona spends several chapters agonizing over her secret before she can no longer bear it and tells Georgie anyway. But instead of being shocked as Ramona expected, Georgie tells Ramona only that she knows, and has since she was a toddler.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' had J.J. trying to keep the fact she was having a relationship with a detective she'd met the year before a secret to keep her personal life personal, causing problems when the team encountered him again and she didn't want to acknowledge it. When she finally gave in and kissed him in public, the response from her co-workers who saw it was amusement that she was finally admitting it.
* From ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** In the premiere, Gwen is cleverly (she thinks) infiltrating the Hub as a pizza delivery person, only to have the group unable to keep up the charade that she's fooling them and break out laughing.
** Torchwood as an organization theoretically a secret. However, they use vans labeled "Torchwood", and most everyone nearby has at least a general idea as to where they're located.
--->'''Ianto''': Ask about Torchwood, and most people point towards the bay.
* From ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''
-->'''Dr. Cox:''' Heaven help me, I love newbie theater. Honest, I do. It's... the way you both play your parts with such wonderful commitment that almost had me believing that you aren't having whiny, neurotic, extremely pale sex with each other.\\
'''J.D.:''' What are you talking about?\\
'''Dr. Cox:''' Please stop. The whole floor knows. We do. Watch this. [''turns around''] Laverne, did you know?\\
'''Laverne:''' Was it supposed to be a secret?\\
'''Dr. Cox:''' And Carla?\\
'''Carla:''' Please. I knew before they did.\\
'''Dr. Cox:''' So, there it is. And if you go ahead and listen very carefully, you'll hear the familiar sound of no one caring.
* Eric on ''Series/That70sShow'' hid his money in a Candyland box, only to discover just about everyone already knew about it (and had been dipping into it).
* An episode of ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' had Percy preparing to lend Edmund the savings he has hidden, only to be told that not only do Blackadder and Baldrick know about it, Blackadder has already taken it.
-->'''Percy:''' You've seen it then?\\
'''Blackadder:''' Seen it, pinched it, spent it. And the same goes for the two farthings Baldrick thinks he's got hidden inside that mouldy potato.\\
'''Baldrick:''' Oh bloody hell!
* ''Series/TopGear'' frequently introduces a Top Secret Test Facility of one kind or another, and then helpfully provides detailed directions to it.
* On the ''Series/TrueLife'' episode "I'm Coming Out",they profiled three (closeted) gay teens. Towards the end of the piece, one young man worked up the courage to come out to his best friend. He sits her down, lets her know how much their friendship means to him, and that he has something to tell he that he's never told anyone else. He tells her that he's gay. Without blinking, she looks at him and replies, in a slightly confused tone "Yes. What was the secret you wanted to tell me?" In fact, the girl's first words on the ConfessionCam were "From the moment I met [him], I knew he was gay."
* From ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Towards the end of season 3, during class awards towards the end of prom on her senior year, Buffy is awarded the "Class Protector" award. Jonathan makes a speech admitting that everyone knows that Buffy had been acting as their protector. She's the reason their year had [[BlackComedy the lowest mortality rate ever at Sunnydale High.]]
** In the season 5 episode "I Was Made To Love You", Warren makes a dramatic, unbelievable revelation: his girlfriend is actually a robot! Which would have had more impact if everyone else hadn't (easily) figured that out several scenes earlier.
* On ''Series/NorthernExposure'', this is the townsfolk's reaction when Joel and Maggie announce that they are now having sex: "I assumed you'd been doing it for months."
* From ''Series/TheNanny'':
** In one episode, Niles admits that he was once secretly in love with the housekeeper, Catherine. Maxwell replies, "The whole house knew! We were taking bets on when you two would get together!"
** In the episode "Whine Cellar," Fran and C.C. are [[LockedInARoom locked inside the Sheffield wine cellar]] and to pass the time, try to have a conversation. When asked if she has a crush on anyone, C.C., [[StalkerWithACrush whom everybody knows is obsessed with Maxwell]], "confesses" that she has a crush on him, adding that "My therapist says I'm obsessed with him!", to which Fran responds, "How much did you pay to figure that out?".
* On ''Series/TheShield'', Shane tries to break Ronnie's loyalty to Vic by revealing how he and Vic killed Det. Crowley in the pilot episode. Ronnie is neither moved nor surprised.
* From ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''
** Barney reveals his season-long crush on Robin to Ted, who (like everyone else in the series) had figured this one out episodes ago.
** Ted's insistence on hiding the fact that he was "edgy" radio show host Dr. X in college. Not only does everyone know it (including Barney and Robin, who didn't even go to Wesleyan), but they all tell him time and again that they know it. Finally, in season 8's "The Stamp Tramp," Ted admits that he was Dr. X, with Lily leading everyone else into a coordinated SpitTake to show their "surprise".
* On ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'', Darien prevents a priest in a chemical-induced psychosis from bludgeoning a man while he is invisible. Later he goes to the confession box after the priest has been administered the anti-psycho serum. To his surprise, the priest knew about him and the project that made him {{invisible}}.
--> '''Father Tom''': You stopped me from killing a man.
--> '''Darien''': What're you talking about? I got there right after you dropped that poker. Surely that must've been God that saved you.
--> '''Father Tom''': I don't think God sneaks up on a man and puts him in a half-nelson. It was you. Invisible you.
* On ''Series/TheMentalist'', when Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt revealed that they were in a relationship, Cho comments that "Half the building knew. The only person who didn't know is the one glaring at you." As Lisbon glares at them.
* May only half qualify but in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' while drunk Lassiter admits that none of the higher ups at the police department actually believes he's a psychic and are only playing along due to his impressive track record. Though, it is also clear that a good number of officers do buy into the psychic act.
* ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'', first episode: New vampire Lauren corners George and does her big scary build-up reveal about the stuff of nightmares being real and herself being a vampire about to kill him. Then she is perplexed when he doesn't react scared. Too bad George is a werewolf and has been sharing a house with another vampire for some time.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'': When Megan Wheeler finally tells Ross she's pregnant, he's less than shocked. She only replies that if they'd been female, they would have figured it out weeks ago.
** It's implied earlier in the episode that Nichols ''had'' figured it out some time ago, but Ross convinced him not to bring it up with Wheeler because of the potential implications of asking a woman if she's pregnant.
* On ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Frank Burns and Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan had a secret relationship for the first few seasons. Although as Hawkeye once observed, "The only person in Korea who doesn't know about them is [=MacArthur=]'s pipe stuffer."
* ''Series/{{ER}}'s'' fourth season started with ex-lovers Dr. Doug Ross and Nurse Carol Hathaway (George Clooney and Juliana Marguiles) reconciling and having a "secret romance" (due to past experiences, she was a bit shy to commit at first). During the season's ChristmasEpisode, Carol announced at the hospital's Christmas party that she and Doug were together again. After an awkward silence, a nurse's aid(who had apparently won the office pool) held out her hand and said, "Pay up!"
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** Lanie and Esposito are trying to keep their relationship a secret from their co-workers, and several times just barely manage to cover up verbal slips or dodge questions about their weekend plans. At the end of the episode, Castle, Beckett, and Ryan talk about how cute it is that they think nobody knows.
** Castle, Beckett and Esposito are torn up about telling Ryan that his fiancee slept with a pick up artist a month after they started dating. When they're finally about to break the news, Ryan nonchalantly announces that he already knows and doesn't care because they weren't exclusive at the time.
** Castle and Beckett are finally on the receiving end, multiple times.
*** Martha reveals she knew they finally had sex even though they thought they'd fooled her by Beckett hiding in a closet and then sneaking out of the apartment.
*** After just about everyone else knows they still keep it secret from Captain Gates, assuming she'd use their relationship as an excuse to break them up. When Castle saves Beckett from a bomb, Gates tells her that this would be a good time for Beckett to kiss him as a thank you. She's offended that they didn't think she was a good enough detective to realize what was going on.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Kurt believes that his father doesn't know he's gay. In the episode "Preggers", he comes out to his father, who says that he's known since Kurt was three and he asked for a "sensible pair of heels" for his birthday.
* In one episode of ''Series/SimonAndSimon'', the B-plot revolved around the partners trying to dispose of their recently deceased father's possessions without letting his widow learn about his truly impressive [[PornStash magazine collection]]. At the end of the episode, she quite calmly and casually asks over dinner, "Have you decided what to do with your father's dirty magazines?"
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'', there are a lot of secrets. The paternity of Scully's baby is not one of them. Even though it's played up as WhosYourDaddy and Scully doesn't volunteer any information about her pregnancy at all, everybody knows who William's father is. Skinner and the Gunmen admit as much at various points that they know it's Mulder.
* On ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' 19, Ethan & Jenna wanted to keep it a secret that they had both won ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' in order to keep the other teams from targeting them. However, at the same time they were telling this to the camera, the other teams were talking about it while waiting for their flight.
* On ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Mary Margaret (a.k.a. Literature/SnowWhite) admits to her roommate Emma that she's been having an affair with David (PrinceCharming). Emma says she knows, and Mary Margaret demands to know how she found out:
-->'''Emma''': I'm the sheriff. You're a lovesick school teacher. It wasn't hard.
* The relationship between Renly and Loras in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' is the worst-kept secret; ''everyone'' seemed to know.
-->'''Jaime''': It's all true about Renly. His proclivities were the worst-kept secret at court.
** As the seasons go on, the fact that [[spoiler: Cersei's three children were fathered by Jamie, [[{{twincest}} her twin brother,]]]] may have eclipsed it, if it weren't already the worst-kept secret.
* This is part of the premise of the very first season of ''Series/TheWire''. Officially, [[BigBad Avon Barksdale]] is just an unassuming Baltimorean from the West Side projects with no criminal record whatsoever, and almost no one in the Baltimore Police Department has any reason to have ever heard his name. Except, anyone who lives anywhere near the projects knows that he's actually the biggest drug dealer in the city, and that he's had countless people murdered. The Police Department's embarrassment from having to admit that they're some of the few people who ''don't'' know this is part of what spurs the criminal investigation in the first season.
* On ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Clark missed several opportunities to reveal his secret identity to Lois. At the beginning of the season two finale, he finally masters the courage to tell her, only to cop out with a LastSecondWordSwap. And at the beginning of the next episode, immediately after the cliffhanger... it turns out that she figured it out already in the interim.
-->'''Clark''': Will you marry me?\\
'''Lois''': Who's asking -- Clark or Superman?
* Similar to the above instance, in the ninth season finale of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Lois finally realizes that Clark is the Red-Blue Blur, the mysterious savior of Metropolis. She spends the first couple of episodes in Season Ten dealing with this revelation, briefly visiting [[Comicbook/{{Hawkman}} Carter Hall's]] archeology team in Egypt before returning to Metropolis. When Clark finally admits to Lois that he's the Blur, she [[TheGlomp rushes into his arms hard enough to knock him off his feet,]] kisses him and asks, "What took you so long?"
** Earlier in the series, Clark likewise came out to Chloe as having powers several episodes after she discovered this for herself (with some help from a teleporting guest star who wanted her to know). What she ''didn't'' know was that he's not a [[MonsterOfTheWeek Meteor Freak]]--he's a freaking ''alien''.
* From ''Series/YesMinister'':
-->'''Sir Humphrey''': Ladysmith House is top secret.
-->'''Hacker''': How can a seven storey building in Walthamstow be top secret?
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. Security officer Tuvok catches fellow officers Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres [[MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces making out on an Engineering console while on duty]]. Tom asks Tuvok not to report this to Captain Janeway, but Tuvok coldly rejects the suggestion that he might lie to his captain. It turns out Tuvok didn't tell Janeway, but she knows anyway as half the ship is gossiping about their affair.

* Childish Gambino's "That Power" is about making all details of his life into this trope, so they can't be used against him.
* It was treated as a big deal when Music/InsaneClownPosse revealed themselves as being evangelical Christians in a 2010 interview. Which is odd, since their music had always been full of Christian ideas and symbolism and they had already spelled it out in the track ''Thy Unveiling'' back in 2002.
* Much to his surprise, this was pretty much the reaction of Music/BarryManilow's hardcore fandom when he came out as gay.
* There were a lot of jokes along these lines on late-night TV when Music/RickyMartin [[TransparentCloset came out as gay]].
* Meanwhile, when [[Series/AmericanIdol Clay Aiken]] came out, a group of fans reportedly sued his label for misrepresenting him as implicitly heterosexual.

* Wrestling/TripleH's marriage to Wrestling/StephanieMcMahon is an outright OpenSecret. Long story short, Hunter and Steph were married in-storyline and "divorced" in 2002, before getting married for real in 2003. All the smarks knew about it, and with Hunter all but outright murdering the FourthWall continuously over the years (especially during his second run in [[Wrestling/DGenerationX DX]] in 2006), the general audience came to know about it as well. It finally reached a point where they finally admitted it and used it to build up a ''Wrestling/WrestleMania'' match between Triple H and Wrestling/RandyOrton in 2009. Hunter even explicitly stated that their marriage is "the worst-kept secret in the business."
* Before he officially came out, ''everyone'' knew that Pat Patterson was gay. However, asides from some thinly-veiled references, everybody stays away from the topic. It's just one of those things that everybody knows but nobody talks about.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* To quote an in-character passage from ''Glantri: Kingdom of Magic'', about one of this TabletopGame/{{Mystara}}-setting nation's several wizard-princes: "He hides the fact that he's a werewolf? How droll! We've all known that for years."

* In another example of the TransparentCloset, in ''Theatre/AvenueQ'', there is a straitlaced Republican stock broker who is *gasp* in the closet. Of course, the response to his coming out is underwhelming.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Played with in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas: Dead Money,'' when Vera Keyes confesses to Sinclair that she has been scamming him all along in an attempt to get at his money. Sinclair already knew, and had been playing along and biding his time until he could deliver a truly brutal revenge... but Vera [[WhatYouAreInTheDark ultimately having a change of heart and admitting the truth]] on her own [[LoveRedeems convinces him]] to forgive her.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'', Woozie's blindness. He's convinced that he acts normally enough to be indistinguishable from someone sighted, but he feels his way around everywhere and fires an [=MP5=] like... well, someone who can't see. Everyone humours him.
-->'''Woozie:''' I have a confession to make. I... I'm blind.
--> '''CJ:''' [[SarcasmMode No shit.]]
* It was a somewhat shocking twist at the end of ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'' that the mysterious Mr. Karate was actually Takuma Sakazaki, Ryo and Yuri's father and teacher of the Kyokugen style. Unfortunately, Takuma must be senile, because he pulls the grand reveal a few more times, including ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' 96 and 97, well after everyone else already knows.
* Lee can actually invoke this in Episode 3 of ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', where he can tell anyone in the group that he was a convicted murderer. If Lee tells Kenny but not Lily, then she is shocked to find out he knows this later in the Episode.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', Estelle thinks she's managed to hide her status as an [[KingIncognito Imperial Princess]] from the rest of the party, but by the time it's officially revealed, both [[TheHero Yuri]] and [[TheSmartGuy Rita]] have figured it out. Only [[TagalongKid Karol]] is surprised.
* Similarly, though much more tragically, in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss,'' Luke thinks he's hidden his [[spoiler: impending disintegration - [[ItMakesSenseInContext yeah, literally,]]]] from everyone except Jade, who, of course, figured it out right away. Tear finds out not much later from Mieu, who had overheard Jade and Luke, and in the ending, Guy and Anise reveal that they, too, knew all along.
* From ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'':
** [[spoiler:HFS, the Hidden Fun Stuff]], [[SelfDemonstratingArticle is always hidden in spoilers]] as per a community tradition. Nowadays, though, nearly every player discovers [[spoiler:them]] through the forums or the DF wiki. The 'secrecy' is not helped by the fact that the wiki article on [[spoiler:them]] is protected only by a scrolldown wall, and [[spoiler:they]] are discussed on the forums openly in every way save the name, which, as it was told above, is always hidden in spoilers.
** [[spoiler:Adamantine]], too. Also called 'cotton candy', the name coming from an extended metaphor of ''[[spoiler:freakin' Hell itself]]'' being a 'clown car' (probably due to [[spoiler:endless numbers of HFS in there]]), and [[spoiler:adamantine]] essentially being [[spoiler:a cork that seals the entrance into there, thus being next to it]]. Heck, the words 'cotton candy' are often coloured cyan on the forums, further playing up the OpenSecret status of it. Furthermore, it's not even much of a secret in-game, since it can be found in the status screen's 'stone' tab.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Avernum}} Avernum 3]]'', the player characters are spies from Avernum (BeneathTheEarth) exploring the surface in secret. Anyone with a brain knows or suspects you're Avernite spies immediately, due to your pale skin and conspicuous behavior. No one really cares enough to report you, since the Empire has much more important things to worry about.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Magicka}}'', you discover to your shock and horror halfway through the game that your mentor Vlad, [[MostDefinitelyNotAVillain who repeatedly assures you he's not a vampire]], [[ClassicalMovieVampire wears evening-wear all the time, has a Romanian accent, slick hair, opera cape]] and is seen sucking blood fro-, I mean, 'having a conversation' with some poor villager that happens to get tossed off a cliff the moment he notices you've been observing him... Is actually a werewolf! No, wait. Not a werewolf. The other 'v' monster. 'Vampire', that's it. He's secretly a vampire. Shocking, we know. We apologize for the lack of spoiler tags.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', the existence of [[TimePolice Oroborous]] and TimeTravel in general is supposed to be a secret. (The badge that you get when you gain access to their headquarters outside of time is even called "Entrusted With The Secret".) In practice, however, its utility as a teleport nexus for getting around the city quickly means that heroes frequently open glowy/whooshy time portals in plain sight, right in the middle of Atlas Plaza, and most characters arrange to gain access as soon as possible rather than waiting to learn the "secret" by doing one of the mission arcs that are intended to award it.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' since the Cataclysm expansion, the zone of Azshara has a secret goblin R&D facility, cleverly named the ''Secret Lab''. Several goblin non-player characters talk about how it'll make a good tourist attraction, and there's a visitor's guide book about the lab to be read at the nearby rocketway terminal. Goblins being goblins, "secret" and "R&D lab" are [[MadeOfExplodium not particularly]] [[FailsafeFailure compatible concepts.]]
* A variation occurs in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' with Barla Von, the volus agent of the Shadow Broker on the Citadel. He makes a big deal of impressing Commander Shepard with some of the Shadow Broker's secret plans, since, of course, he is one of the few in regular contact with the super-secretive galactic information broker ... otherwise known as Liara T'Soni, who became the latest person to assume that identity with Shepard's help; who is running the operation out of Shepard's ship; who is currently sitting in a cafe less than 100 yards away from Barla Von's office; and -- [[RomanceSidequest if you so choose]] -- whom Shepard ''is sleeping with''. Shepard is too polite to tell him. [[{{Troll}} Or is amused by the squirt's delusions of grandeur.]]
** The best part? Barla Von doesn't know who the Shadow Broker really is, but at that point in the series he's about the ''only'' one. Liara's identity is not only know to Shepard, it's known to the Normandy crew, Cerberus, Admiral Hackett (and presumably Alliance command and their Council allies, if nothing else Aethyta and the asari governments know), the geth, the krogan, the quarians, the ''Reapers''...
* ''Videogame/TeamFortress2'': One of the Spy's taunts upon dominating an enemy Spy: [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/w/images/7/77/Spy_DominationSpy02.wav "We all knew you were a spy!"]]
** Not to mention the map Double Cross. From the map description:
--->"Secret bases concealed behind the unassuming facades of a factory and a farm built next door to each other fool absolutely no one in the area, who sometimes gather around to 'watch all them mercenaries fight over that Spy base'."
* In ''VideoGame/Persona5'', it turns out the whole party knew who TheMole was all along, and what looks like you falling into their trap was actually them falling into ''yours''.
* ''VideoGame/Bioshock2'': Stanley Poole desperately tells Delta not to let Lamb know he was the one who drowned everyone in Dionysus Park to hide the fact he was spending her money on women, booze and plasmids. When Delta confronts him, Lamb laughs over the loudspeaker and tells him she knew already, and Delta can do whatever he wants to Poole.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Near the start of ''VisualNovel/DontTakeItPersonallyBabeItJustAintYourStory'', [[TransparentCloset Akira]] realizes he's gay and works up the courage to come out. Turns out everyone, up to and including his [[HasTwoMommies mothers]], was perfectly aware of it, and they're just surprised at how long it took him.
* During the Prologue of Grisaia in ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoRakuen'' Yumiko was apparently under the impression that nobody knew she was the rich daughter of the Sakaki family. They did, but they just didn't care. If nothing else, Makina and Michiru are from decently wealthy families themselves.
* ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'': If Riki manages to beat him, the mysterious Mask The Saito will finally reveal himself to be...Kyousuke! Riki's reaction is basically 'yeah, I know', given that that'd been pretty obvious since at least the moment he opened his mouth. [[LargeHam Kyousuke]] is quite disappointed by the lackluster reaction, so Riki makes an attempt to humour him and pretend he really didn't know, but Kyousuke just advises him not to bother.

* ''Webcomic/CheckPlease'': [[spoiler:When Bitty and Jack finally come out to the team as a couple, not only did nobody was surprised, they actually had bets over when they would come out to them. Dex and Nursey don't seem surprise either, with Chowder being the only one surprised by it]].
* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has saved Punch and Judy and still thinks his father doesn't know about it. Granted, they both have huge spy rings, so he probably won't be ''terribly'' surprised when he finds out...
* ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility'': Collin realizes he's gay and tells this to Fox. Fox's reaction is less than surprised, to say the least, as [[http://friendlyhostility.com/d/20060104.html shown in this strip]] and the above exchange. It's more understandable if you know that Collin has been insisting that he's asexual, and probably views [[SingleTargetSexuality being attracted to only one man]] as less shameful than being attracted to men in general. Still, considering that Fox has been Collin's boyfriend and only romantic partner for years, come ''on'' now...
* When Nanase of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' came out of the closet, only Tedd didn't know. Most everyone found out independently one way or another, with several (including her crush) learning minutes after Nanase herself realized it. Everyone conspired to keep quiet and let Nanase come out when she was ready, something [[{{Gayngst}} Justin]] wished he could've done.
* ''Ice'' by Faith Hicks: [[spoiler:Cirr's [[http://www.faitherinhicks.com/ice/page158.html parentage]]]].
* After five years of being in a TransparentCloset, Marluxia of ''Webcomic/AnsemRetort'' comes out. As Namine put it, it was anticlimatic. Zex even asked why this was more important than ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' reruns.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlsWithSlingshots'', Jamie thinks she's obtained "proof" that Thea and Angel weren't actually [[UnusualEuphemism "playing board games"]] in the back. Hazel tries to tell her that everybody knew about them. Subverted when Jamie's "evidence" is revealed to show Angel with someone who isn't Thea.
* In ''Webcomic/DragonTails'', when Lemuel reveals his crush on Firewing, Goldy responds with this gem:
--> '''Goldy:''' You know, for a dragon that's normally unwilling to speak up when his tail's on fire, you've sure been broadcasting that you like this girl. Everyone in the forest thinks your crush on Firewing is very cute.
* In {{PvP}}, Max comes out to the office. The response: "And...?" [[note]]He thought Jade was the only one who actually knew[[/note]] Francis was the only one who hadn't figured it out already.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'', Mecha Maid - under the influence of a HatePlague - accuses Spinny of being ashamed of her, inadvertently outing them both in front of the Canadian super heroes. Green Gable's stunned response to this revelation is "That was a ''secret?''"
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', [[DatingCatwoman Terezi and Gamzee]] begin a kismesis in secret and constantly sneak around the asteroid to see each other. Within a year, however, everyone else has already found out, [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow although Dave and Karkat don't know that the other knows and try to keep it a secret from each other]].
** Karkat lives in a caste system which determines everyone's place in society by their blood colour. Karkat's is bright red, a mutant colour which would get him killed if it were public knowledge; he's spent his whole life fearing discovery. All of the other players know his blood colour by now, and nobody cares...they have much more pressing concerns and they're all pretty much friends by that point. Unfortunately, Karkat himself doesn't know this.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', it's implied after a 15 year {{timeskip}} that most of the city of Chel'el'sussoloth heavily suspects that The Empress Diva'ratrika [[spoiler:has been dead for close to 30 years]] but just haven't been able to ''prove'' it until [[spoiler:Kiel'ndia very publicly assassinates the BodyDouble they were using as a stand in]] which finally gives an allied clan an excuse to pull out of the conflict. Likewise it's implied that most of the Sarghress already know that [[spoiler:Ariel's]] biological mother is actually [[spoiler:Mel'arnach and not Quain'tana]] despite the official story to the contrary.
* Lavali of ''Webcomic/SandraOnTheRocks'' genuinely believed that she managed to keep her homosexuality a secret from [[http://www.sandraontherocks.com/strips-sotr/kept_things_so_professional her brother]] and [[http://www.sandraontherocks.com/strips-sotr/i_always_covered_them_up their parents]], up until she "came out" to said brother after he witnessed her and her girlfriend breaking up. However, it does seem like she managed to successfully keep it a secret from everyone who has never lived in the same house/apartment as her.
* Olga from ''Webcomic/SisterClaire'' believed her relationship with fellow nun, Jackson, was a well guarded secret. That delusion lasted up until she met Azi, who put it together in literal minutes of showing up. And to her further annoyance, [[EveryoneCanSeeIt every other Sister already knew as well.]]
-->'''Jackson:''' That cat has been out of the bag a '''''long''''' time.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', due to a complicated chain of events, Simmons is pretending to be a Blue. Church knows it's really Simmons the entire time but doesn't say anything, instead using it to needle him mercilessly.
** In Recreation, when the other fill Tucker in on what happened in Reconstruction, his response to the revelation that [[spoiler: Church is the Alpha AI]] is that he'd figured that out a long time ago, and was surprised no one else had noticed.
* In ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'', not even Jay is particularly surprised to find that [[spoiler:Tim is actually Masky]]. It's those sideburns, man.
** Same goes for the general fandom when the Hooded Man/totheark was revealed to be [[spoiler:Brian.]] It was literally the only option aside from [[FanNickname Bruce,]] also known as [[NoNameGiven the Groundskeeper.]] And he was ''[[KilledOffForReal dead.]]''
* Missy Kix from ''VideoGame/MoshiMonsters'' is supposed to be a secret agent, but she released a song about it.
* In ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv'' A random receptionist at the police station knows that Light is Kira [[RecursiveReality because he watched]] ''[[ShowWithinAShow Death Note]]''.
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' does this with Freeza's transformations:
-->'''Freeza:''' You have no idea what true power I possess...\\
'''Vegeta:''' It's that you can transform, right?\\
'''Freeza:''' I can transform-okay, when and how?\\
'''Vegeta:''' Guldo told me.\\
'''Guldo:''' So...did you know that Freeza can transform?\\
'''Vegeta (uninterested):''' Huh. That right?\\
'''Guldo:''' Yeah. And Burter's gay.\\
'''Vegeta (legitimately surprised):''' Really!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', [[LovableLibby Quinn]] spent four-and-a-half seasons pretending that [[TheSnarkKnight Daria]] was anything but [[TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry her sister]], especially to her friends in the Fashion Club. When she finally admits that she and Daria are sisters, [[WithFriendsLikeThese Sandi]] tries making a big deal about it, only for [[TokenGoodTeammate Stacy]] and [[AsianAirhead Tiffany]] to reveal they already knew, but simply never said anything. When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense that they would already know--[[CallBack Daria had revealed to pretty much everyone in the first episode that she and Quinn are sisters.]]
-->'''Quinn''': Why shouldn't I act sisterly towards her? After all, she's my sister.
-->'''Sandi''': Oh my God, did you hear that? Quinn just admitted that weird girl is her sister!
-->'''Stacy''': Um, of course she is, Sandi. We knew that.
-->'''Tiffany''': We were just being polite about it.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** When Patty Bouvier came out of the closet, Homer treated it as though she'd done something as simple as waxing her car that morning. Marge, on the other hand, was completely shocked by it, despite the fact that she once saw Patty making out with another woman just a few feet away from her.
-->'''Homer:''' Hey Marge, here's another bombshell: ''[[SarcasmMode I like beer!]]''
** From "A Milhouse Divided":
-->'''Homer:''' As you know, there’s been a lot of talk about divorce lately, and I think your mom might not be happy with me.
-->'''Lisa:''' You’ve done a lot of crazy stuff over the years, and she stood by you. Why would she leave you now?
-->'''Homer:''' Cause there’s lots of stuff she doesn’t know about!
-->'''Lisa:''' You mean like your poker shack out in the swamp?
-->'''Homer:''' Mmm-Hmm.
-->'''Lisa:''' ''She knows.''
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'''s continuity, {{Area 51}} is rumored to be a secret alien research base. The main characters eventually arrive at Area 51 to discover that it actually ''is'' a secret alien research base, but with a twist -- authorities [[CassandraGambit let the secret out, knowing that the public would believe it to be wild rumors]], thus keeping the "secret" safe.
** Most of the villain lairs, which are obviously intended to be secret and untraceable by the villains themselves but are easily found by a ten year old boy, Global Justice and/or pretty much anyone the plot wants to know. Particularly notable with Dementor and Drakken, who really push the "secret lair" schtick. In one memorable case, Drakken's lair was found no problem by ''his mother''. Like everything, {{Lampshaded}}--this time by Motor Ed.
--> '''Ed:''' Dude, seriously, what type of secret hideout is this? Everyone knows you live here, man!
--> '''Drakken:''' One magazine subscription and suddenly everyone's got your address...
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' deals with the housemates doing a role-playing exercise to help Xandir tell his parents he is gay. They (pretending to be his parents) initially simply exclaim "Duh!" when he tells them, but he accuses them of not taking it seriously. Thus, the rest of the episode is an extended fantasy in which the characters all take on roles and act out an elaborate story of what might happen when he really tells them, involving running away, prostitution and eventual murder. At the end of the episode he finally comes out to his ''real'' parents... who simply exclaim "Duh!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', when Peggy finds out about Nancy's years-long affair with John Redcorn, she confesses this discovery to Hank. Hank's more distressed that this is news to Peggy than over the revelation itself. Peggy, in turn, is horrified that everybody seemed to know except her. (The only people who didn't know were Peggy, Nancy's husband Dale, and their [[ChocolateBaby suspiciously dark-skinned son]], Joseph).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Timmy travels back to the time of Dimmsdale's founding to meet its founder, Dale Dimm. Alden Bitterroot, the witch hunter, is unmasked as a witch himself when Timmy points out that his feet don't touch the ground. The Mayor says that "many of [them] were quite perplexed about that."
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', Steve discovers that Stan, his dad, is bald, and they promise to share with the world their secrets and live with them, which Stan doesn't. From the half on, is a race between Steve wanting to reveal Stan's secret and Stan wanting to avoid this--in the end, the rest of the family reveals that they already knew Stan was bald and that he wore a wig, but simply never said anything.
* ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' revealed some time in the second season that Orel's father Clay is actually the mayor of Moralton...and everyone but Orel and the audience knew it already.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' episode "Doug Says Goodbye", [[http://dougfunniesjournal.tumblr.com/post/647604908/episode-13-part-2-doug-says-goodbye everyone was able to recognize Skeeter]] despite his PaperThinDisguise.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** "Green Isn't Your Color": Spike confesses his crush on Rarity to Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle. While [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Pinkie]] is surprised, Twilight isn't, and claims that nearly everyone in Ponyville can tell. The joke is pushed further by having him wear a shirt decorated with Rarity's face and heart throughout the episode. But for Spike's sake, Pinkie tells Twilight she should keep it a secret anyway. Though she ends up accidentally blurting it out to somepony, as a result of the stress for [[KeepingSecretsSucks keeping both Rarity and Fluttershy's secret]] of each other from each other.
--->'''Pinkie Pie:''' (''sighs'') You were doing so well.
*** This is later referenced in "Secret of my Excess", when Spike tries to confess his crush on Rarity at the end, only to be interrupted by Rarity's hoof on his mouth, as Rarity knew all along.
** In "Brotherhooves Social", Big Macintosh fools absolutely no-one (expect maybe the love-struck stallion judge) when he [[DisguisedInDrag disguises himself as a mare]] to compete in the Sisterhooves Social with Apple Bloom, but manages to enter anyway after talking with the judges. He later gets in big trouble after his disguise falls off, but only circumstantially; even the judges could tell he was a stallion, clarifying the term "sister" is incredibly loose in definition. He got disqualified for rough housing.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Crimes of the Hot" features a condensed variant after Bender receives an invite to an all-robot party from President Nixon.
--> '''Zoidberg''': Strange. Why would Nixon, an awkward, uncomfortable man, suddenly throw a party, one of the most social events imaginable? (''clicks claw'') It's a trap is why! They're going to deactivate all the robots! (''beat'') I don't hear any gasping.\\
'''Leela''': We all figured that out.\\
'''Zoidberg''': (''disappointed'') Awww.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' had a slight variant on this. In "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," Binky spends most of the episode trying to keep a secret from the Tough Customers that he sometimes still holds his Mom's hand. When he does get caught out, it's not that they already knew, but the reaction is completely disappointment...that Binky's secret wasn't something more interesting. The Tough Customers don't think any less of him for holding his mom's hand, but chide him that next time he has some big secret, it had better be something really juicy.
* {{Averted}} in ''WesternAnimat/HeyArnold'', but creator-[[WordOfGod Craig Bartlett]] has mentioned that he wanted to do a scene where [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Helga]] hides from everyone else and recites her love poems to [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan Arnold]] in secret, only to have everyone suddenly yell that they already know that she's in love with him.
** The only people who actually knew about Helga's crush on Arnold were Phoebe (Helga's best friend), Lila Sawyer (Helga's love rival), Dr. Bliss (Helga's psychologist) and [[WordOfGod Brainy]] (Helga's StalkerWithACrush).
* Meta-example on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': We are introduced to the mysterious KidHero [[TheCowl Mysterion]], and the audience never finds out who, exactly, he ([[SamusIsAGirl or she?]]) is. Then Mysterion reappears as part of the Coon and Friends Trilogy. The whole first episode passes, still without revealing Mysterion's identity...only for [[TheEveryman Stan]] to casually address him by name ten minutes into the second episode. [[spoiler:It's Kenny]].
* In the episode "Over the Edge" of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', Jim Gordon learns that Barbara is Batgirl after she's killed while in costume, and everything goes to complete crap: [[spoiler:In his grief, Jim swears vengeance against Batman, and even recruits Bane to help bring him in. Batman's identity is exposed, Bruce Wayne is a wanted criminal forced to flee Wayne Manor forever, and all the villains he's ever beaten up want to sue him.]] Of course, that was AllJustADream caused by Scarecrow's fear toxin. Barbara then tries to confess her identity to her father for real to prevent him from finding out the same way he did in the dream, only for Jim to cut her off and imply that he knew all along and is proud of her, but he [[PlausibleDeniability doesn't want to "officially" know]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short ''[[WartimeCartoon Plane Daffy]]'', Nazi spy [[UsefulNotes/MataHari Hata Mari]] uses an x-ray to reveal a military secret Daffy swallowed to Hitler. The message turns out to be "Hitler is a stinker", to which Goering and Goebbels say that everybody knows that. When Hitler gives them a DeathGlare over it, they shoot themselves.
-->'''Daffy:''' I lose more darn Nutzis that way.
* In "The Tale of the Dash in the Dark" on ''WesternAnimation/PeterRabbit'', Benjamin spends most of the story trying to hide the fact that he's afraid of the dark from Peter and Lily, only for him to finally say that he has something to tell them and them to say "You're afraid of the dark?"
* Throughout the first season of ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Dipper tries his hardest to keep his crush on Wendy a secret. Mabel finds out almost immediately and Soos [[SmarterThanYouLook offhandedly mentions knowing it]] during the first season finale. [[spoiler:When he finally admits it to her in season two, Wendy tells him it was obvious and she could hear him [[StageWhisper repeatedly]] [[LampshadeHanging admitting it]]. Making him feel more embarrassed.]]
* Mid-way into the first season of ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'', Pidge reveals to the whole crew that [[spoiler:[[SweetPollyOliver she is actually a girl]]]]. Lance is the ''only'' one surprised by this: The audience had already seen that Shiro and Allura found out by this point. Keith and Hunk had suspected as much. Coran assumed [[spoiler:Pidge's actual gender]] immediately and never thought otherwise.
* In the series finale to ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012,'' Blythe finally reveals to her dad that she can talk to pets only for him to admit that he knew all along.
* In "I Want to Play Hide and Seek" on ''Literature/LittlePrincess'', Princess is highly impressed at herself for finding a dusty, cobwebby storage closet and nobody thinking to look in there to find her. She's so impressed that she decides she's going to make it into her special "secret room." It later turns out that pretty much everyone in the castle already ''did'' know about the room, it's just that they didn't think to look for her there the first time because they didn't think she would want to hide in such a dismal, dusty room.