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- Men in Black II: Most of the movie is spent looking for the Light of Zartha, which turns out to be a Human Alien (and J's Love Interest).
- Western Animation/Barbie in the Nutcracker: In this adaptation of the ballet, Barbie/Clara realizes in the end that she is the Sugarplum Princess they'd been looking for all along after her kiss turns the Nutcracker into a prince.
- Wonder Woman: The God Killer turns out not to be the sword Wonder Woman took from Themyscira, but Wonder Woman herself: she's the child of Zeus, and only a god can kill another god.
- Harry Potter spends a book and a half looking for Voldermort's six Horcruxes before finding out that he himself is the seventh.
- Oxyacytl spends all of Crystal Rain trying to get the entry codes for the Ma Wi Jung from John DeBrun, by means that range from deception to Cold-Blooded Torture. They all fail, because the entry code is John DeBrun's DNA, handprint, and heart rate.
- In Dan Brown's "The Davinci Code", Sophie is found to be a personification of the Holy Grail, as she is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ and literally carries his blood.
- Super Paper Mario: In Chapter 7 there's an NPC called Luvbi, a Nimbi (the Mario equivalent of an angel) who tags along with the party for a bit. It's revealed at the end of the chapter that she's the last Pure Heart given a living form, since her guardians thought no one would suspect her true nature.
- Similarly, in Paper Mario: Color Splash, the three chosen toads that open the gate to the Crimson Tower don't know their own power until you help them out.
- In the BIONICLE movie Mask of Light, Takua believes he must find the Toa of Light and spends the movie searching Mata Nui for them only to discover that his destiny is to become the Toa of Light himself.