How about letting us come aboard and help you with your whip-smart plots? Ron Moore:
Help? Why would I need help writing plots? I just throw a dart at the cast list, and...boom! They're a Cylon!
Rinse, repeat, cash the f*cking check. Watch! Sh'boom! Sh'bong! Sh'bing! Cylon. Please help me! This is so hard!
This trope refers to creating a fictional subcategory that can be applied to any character and then applying it ad nauseam to most of the cast. Possibly as a method to create a Meta Origin
(it usually fails).
See also: Flock of Wolves
. Contrast They Look Like Us Now
Obviously, beware of spoilers!
Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima! is a bit guilty of this. Although most of the cast was considered normal at the start of the series (excluding Sayo the ghost and Chachamaru the robot,) since then it has been revealed that Yuuna, Misora, Konoka, Hakase, Takamichi, Chao, and the Headmaster were all involved in magic from the beginning, and Evangeline, Mana, Zazie, and Setsuna are demonic. Asuna is practically her own category.
- Lampshaded in the Great Lakes Avengers, where the team renamed themselves The Great Lakes X-Men after it was revealed that the entire team was made up of mutants.
- In Strangers in Paradise, just about every female character turns out to be a current or former Parker Girl.
- About two thirds into Identity, it's revealed that every single character at the motel is a personality of Malcolm Rivers, and the whole movie was a plot to kill off his alternate identities, curing his Multiple Personality Disorder.
- John Carpenter's The Ward uses a similar premise to Identity.
- Older Than Radio: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) by G.K. Chesterton: The hero, who is an undercover policeman is drawn into the murky world of anarchists. He discovers that one of their number is also an undercover policeman. As the story continues, his attempts to apprehend anarchists force all of them to reveal that they are policemen, too.
- The Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment is about a Sweet Polly Oliver going off to war. Gradually over the course of the story, she discovers that more and more of her comrades are also women, some in more convincing disguises than others. All of them, in fact, including the troll. Even the bluff old Sergeant Rock, who also happens to be aware that a good third of the high command are women in disguise, along with Nuggan-knows how many of the troops. The country has been at war for so long that all the men have simply been killed off.
- The second Battlestar Galactica made nearly half the cast Cylons. Although there was plenty of evidence to suggest that Tyrol was one, and even that Tigh OR Ellen was one — which necessitates the other. Not to mention precedent of sleeper agents.
- Heroes often had characters revealed to have powers.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: At the start of the show, only Buffy was anything other than a normal human, but by the end, several supernatural beings had joined their group, and almost everyone else had learned how to practice magic.
- Dollhouse: Lubov is a doll! Mellie is a doll! Saunders is a doll! Season 2 brings even more.
- True Blood: The folks with powers will soon outnumber the normal people in Bon Temps.
- V (2009): Seems like every third character is secretly a V sleeper. Two of Erica's FBI partners were Visitors—not to mention her obstetrician.
- From Kingdom Hearts II onwards, almost every single mysterious character manages to be a form of Sora, no matter how illogical or unlikely it seems. The only ones who aren't are the ones who actually turn out to be a form of Xehanort.
- In It's Walky!, several cast members are revealed to be former abductees.