They didn't show it happening — nowhere in the dialogue or narration was it explicitly stated that it happened — but the evidence that it did
happen (though indirect) is pretty clear just the same.
Maybe it happened before the story proper, in the backstory. Maybe it happened in the interim between sequels (or even scenes). Maybe it was going on in the background just out of the audience's sight.
An Implied Trope is where the author leaves a trail of clues to hint that a trope happened without actually showing it; the clues are taken from Subtext
. This can be done by showing the build up to a trope, by showing the after-effects, or both. It is something between playing a trope straight and subverting it. As with a Subverted Trope
, an Implied Trope assumes the audience is familiar enough with the trope that they'll be able to understand what's being suggested, but rather than defying those expectations, the work uses them to create the same effect as the trope while leaving the details up to the audience's imagination.
When something is implied because it's inappropriate, that's Getting Crap Past the Radar
. When multiple tropes can be inferred, but they can't all
have happened together, you have an Ambiguous Situation
- Get Smart implies that Dalip, The Brute working for KAOS, has a sister-in-law who's constantly undermining his relationship with his wife and trying to break them up, which causes him endless grief at home.
- In Grimm, Monroe is implied to be atoning for his previous Big Bad Wolf days.
- Magical Security Cam is implied in the episode 'Beeware' when Nick asks if they can "do anything" (answer: "no, the camera's stationary") with recorded footage of a flash mob murder.
- Retired Monster is implied with many of the Wesen. In the second episode, when one of the Jägerbärs is told that his family is performing the traditional manhood ritual (which involves hunting down and killing someone), the first words out of his mouth are, "What? No one does that anymore." It also explains why Blutbaden, whose hungry urges are triggered by the color red, haven't eaten everyone. For other Wesen like Spinnetods, they're rare enough that either they're retired like Charlotte or dead because of the particular demands of their biology aren't compatible with a normal life. There's even a Monsters Anonymous program that Monroe participated in.
- In the series finale of Seinfeld, Susan's parents are seen purchasing a handgun during the trial, implying that they intend to carry out a Vigilante Execution on George as retribution for Susan's death if the gang is found not guilty.
- Scrubs: In "My Princess", Dr. Cox tells about his day at the hospital to his son in the form of a bedtime story. In the story, a maiden being terrorized by a monster is saved in time and lives Happily Ever After, while in reality, it's a fatal disease and JD and Elliot are able to diagnose the patient. When Jordan asks if the story really had a happy ending, he replies "that's the way I'm telling it", implying that she didn't survive.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. implies that Coulson Came Back Wrong.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame in Game of Thrones: Jorah Mormont explains to the exiled former prince Viserys that the death sentence he fled was for selling poachers to a slaver, something that's left Jorah with a lasting sense of shame. Viserys replies that under his reign Jorah wouldn't be punished for "such nonsense." Jorah's expression implies that he'd rather face the punishment than live in the kingdom Viserys would build.
- An Archaeological Arms Race is implied in Eberron. Several countries are gearing up for war and there are a great deal of powerful magical artifacts to uncover. Whether the trope is played straight is up to the DM, of course.
- Rage Against the Reflection in Fallout: New Vegas. One of the characters you meet, Boone, is a Shell-Shocked Veteran plagued by guilt over innocents he's had to kill. The bathroom mirror in his hotel room is broken, and there's a small bloodstain underneath.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: In the same game, you get Cook-Cook, flamethrower wielding psychopathic rapist, who goes berserk when you kill his pet brahmin (mutated cow), and who really stinks.
- Driven to Suicide or Death by Despair: In one of the many motels you can visit in the game, you may stumble across a room with a briefcase full of pre-War money and clothes. When you investigate the bathroom, you'll find a skeleton in the bathtub, surrounded by untouched doses of Jet and Med-X and some empty syringes. It's hard to determine whether or not the drug overdose was deliberate, but it's almost certainly what ended his life, and given the state the world was left in after the War, it's not surprising some people would try to seek some form of refuge from reality in one way or another.
- Final Fantasy X implies that Auron is a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
- Mark Of The Ninja implies an I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight at the very end.
- The Special Forces and Vigoorian Military in the Updated Re-release of Ninja Gaiden are implied to be Punch Clock Villains.
- Oppressive States of America is implied in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. One of Pravin Lal's quotes references a painful lesson about the importance of free flow of information learned by Americans in Earth's final century.
- The first episode of Hector: Badge of Carnage implies The Password Is Always Swordfish regarding the passcode to Exotico's back room: we never actually find out what it is, but when Hector learns it, he remarks that he has the same combination on his luggage, and when he uses it he comments that he should've been able to guess it.
- The X-Universe series doesn't list the sizes of their ships specifically, but the jumpgates are known to be about a kilometer in diameter and travel speeds are given in meters per second. Thus a modder was able to prove that just about everything of frigate size and up in the series was a Mile-Long Ship.