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-> '''Santa''': How did you know [...]?
->'''Junpei''': Well... that's...
->The answer to that was easy: he knew because ''I'' knew.
-->--Narrator, ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors''

The presence of a {{narrator}} in some form is one of the most fundamental tropes, but that doesn't stop writers from having some fun with it. For the purposes of this trope, the narrator is an in-story character, but their exact identity is kept obscured from the audience until the closing moments of the tale, where they dramatically [[TheReveal reveal]], implicitly or otherwise, that they had a role in the action, and a vested interest in the story's outcome. In fact, it might be why they're relating the story to you in the first place.

Note that this only applies when the narrator's identity is a form of TomatoSurprise. Many stories openly acknowledge the narrator's identity as an in-story character from the very beginning, and are not examples of this trope.

This is especially likely to happen in fictional film and television works made after, say, 1990. Since the camera itself is usually omniscient, having an omniscient independent narrator on top of it seems to be frowned on by scriptwriters, even when one might be useful. So the filmmakers have what ''sounds'' like an omniscient narrator, and then flippantly ID the character in the last pre-credits reel. In video games, it is likely the narrator was the FinalBoss themselves should this trope kicks in.

Related to the LiteraryAgentHypothesis. Can overlap with UnreliableNarrator. If the story is being told to another character in-universe, it's AndThatLittleGirlWasMe. Compare UnseenAudience, NostalgicNarrator, IShouldWriteABookAboutThis and DelayedNarratorIntroduction.

'''Warning: [[Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned Unmarked spoilers ahead]].'''


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The finale of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' shows that the entire season (and possibly the previous one) was Takeru writing his novels. This has apparently raised a few questions as to how he managed to get some of the details, so some fans just say the last episode was his book. (The info that he was writing the book however was given in the 25 years later epilogue.)
* The {{Opening Narration}}s of each episode of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' are narrated by [[spoiler: a 41-year-old Simon]], a fact revealed at the very end of the last episode.
* ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater'' has one, possibly two of these. A [[spoiler:sixteen-year-old Marie]] is revealed to be the narrator of the entire series at the very end of the last episode. The English-language trailers imply another narrator in their voiceover: An elderly-sounding woman who is addressed as "Grandma" by a child offers to tell the story, and might possibly be Nadia herself.[[note]]The point is moot however, since it contradicts the show's aforementioned, actual ending.[[/note]]
* ''Anime/Berserk1997'' has the OpeningNarration and OnTheNext for each episode delivered by a [[EvilSoundsDeep deep, sinister voice]], which is revealed in the final episodes to belong to [[spoiler:Void, the de facto leader of the Godhand before Griffith]].
* ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]'' pulls something similar to ''Anime/Berserk1997'' [[spoiler:as its opening narration is delivered by the BigBad, Father]].
* In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]'', it's heavily implied that Syam Vist, who shares his voice actor with the narrator from the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' actually ''is'' the narrator from the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''.
** This also happened with DOME in ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]''.
** And with [[spoiler: Flit Asuno]] in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAge Gundam AGE]]'', who [[spoiler: is the "narrator" of the whole first part... that he was the protagonist of]]
* Another villain example (and an odd example of this) is in ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}''. The opening narration is done by the same actor as the one voicing the Count, who he refers to as "my friend". At first you might think that the narrator is supposed to be Alexandre Dumas (especially since in the sub, the narration is delivered in [[GratuitousFrench French]]), but it eventually becomes clear that the narrator is actually the titular Gankutsuou, the evil split personality of/demon possessing the Count.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' it is discovered in the last episodes, although hinted at shortly before, that Koenma's ogre assistant George was the narrator of the show- quite literally, since it is revealed that the show itself is the records of the protagonists' adventures that Koenma kept (hence the title, which, while using the original Japanese name, is nonetheless translated by Creator/{{Funimation}} as "Ghost Files").
* The first couple of episodes of ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'' are narrated by an unidentified female voice. Only at the end of the second do we learn that it was the Headless Rider, [[ViewerGenderConfusion whose gender had been somewhat unclear to the audience]], all along.
** It's worth noting that, being headless, she never actually talks in-universe, rather she communicates by typing things out on her phone which is accompanied with a voice over.
* The first LightNovel of ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' starts with an immortal bespectacled ''[[TheMafia conta e oro]]'' telling a Japanese tourist about his past. [[spoiler:Despite the physical and occupational descriptors, it's actually ''Firo'', not Maiza, telling the story. He has taken to PurelyAestheticGlasses after being promoted some thirty years ago.]]
* In Manga/{{Claudine}}, the story is narrated by [[spoiler: Claudine's therapist. Claudine himself [[TheHeroDies died several years ago]]]].
* In ''Literature/{{Hyouka}}'', a version of this, [[spoiler: turning on the cameraman rather than a narrator, is Oreki's deduction of how the student-made murder mystery film was supposed to end. As a way to resolve the film as shot on time and under budget, it was brilliant; too bad that wasn't what he was trying to do.]]
* In the final chapter of ''Manga/{{PandoraHearts}}'', it is heavily hinted that [[spoiler: Gilbert, having survived for another [[TimeSkip 100 years]] until Oz and Alice are reincarnated again, is the narrator of the story all along]].
* Episode three of ''LightNovel/SasamisanAtGanbaranai'' begins with [[{{Hikikomori}} Sasami]] re-imagining the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_of_Inaba Hare of Inaba]] folktale as we're treated to visuals of her as the "rabbit." This would appear to be an aesthetic choice, if Sasami weren't repeatedly praising of the rabbit for its cuteness and intelligence.
* The narrator in the ''Manga/TheWorldIsStillBeautiful'' anime? [[spoiler:It's Nike's grandmother.]]
* The Mega Evolution specials of ''[[Anime/{{Pokemon}} Pokemon XY]]'' are all narrated by the same male voice. Only in the second episode do we find out it's actually a character... [[spoiler: BigBad Lysandre.]] Interestingly, he was already present twice in-universe in the first episode: he first speaks on Alain's Holo Caster without being shown nor named, and is later shown but silent. The second episode, in which he finally gets a credited speaking role, revealed him as both the narrator and as Alain's mysterious interlocutor.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* PeterMilligan's ''Enigma'' ends with the snarky narrator being revealed as a talking lizard (an offhand creation by the title character) trying to tell the story to a group of ordinary lizards.
** Milligan also kind of did this in one of the issues of ''Comicbook/ShadeTheChangingMan''. The text is written in the second person, but in the end, one of the characters says that he'll write down what happened, but write it as a comic, put it in the second person and put it under some weird pen name, like say, PeterMilligan.
* One issue during {{Creator/Marvel|Comics}}'s Comicbook/CivilWar event revealed that the narrator all along had been Sue Storm, following Comicbook/IronMan around invisibly, partly as a spy, partly waiting for a chance to try and talk some sense into him. She also points out that she could have killed him easily at pretty much any point.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'' comic reveals at its very end that the narrator for the second half turned out to be [[spoiler:Sunset Shimmer]].
* One SpiderMan comic retelling his origin presents the story from an outside narrator's perspective only for it to turn out to be Peter near the end.
* The last battle of Asgard at the [[Comicbook/SecretWars2015 end of everything]] (Ragnarök!) in issue #16 of ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' turns out to be narrated by ... well enjoy the meta:
-->'''Narration:''' "...until the sky-fire stole midgard and her twin, burned both and ended ''all''." *[[BeatPanel next page]]* "All save this telling. All save the ''teller''-- he who is ''Moon-King'', trickster, wanderer, ''free'' and ''unfettered''... '''Loki''' his name. Would you know more?" *and at this point Loki stopped narrating and [[MonumentalTheft pocketed the story]]*

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In ''[[http://forums.bobandgeorge.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=16332 Burning Stickman: The Prototype]]'', a ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' fanfiction, a side story to ''[[http://as.crowdedstreet.net/Something/ Something!]]'' written as a recorded memoir narrated by Proto Man, reveals in the last few lines that [[spoiler:the professor to whom the two students brought the laptop in the first place is none other than the eponymous prototype himself]].
* In Fanfic/DeathNoteIITheHiddenNote,it's revealed in the final chapter that the story has been told to us by three Shinigami: Ryuk, Arik and Ruoma.
* In the ''Manga/OnePiece'' deconstruction fic ''Fanfic/MarieDSuesseAndTheMysteryNewPirateAge'', the main villain, a Trafalgar Law-crazed Mary Sue, derails the OP world. The omniscient LemonyNarrator telling the story of how the world was eventually fixed turns out to be [[spoiler: Trafalgar Law himself.]]
* The narrator of ''Fanfic/{{Pokedex}}'' turns out to be Arceus himself.
* ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/149893/appledashery Appledashery]]'' is mostly told in the third person but is shown in brief first-person interludes to be chronicled by an in-universe character familiar with the protagonist. It's not clear who until, in one of the main (up to this point) third-person chapters, [[spoiler:the Cutie Mark Crusaders]] enter the scene and the narration suddenly switches to "I" after [[spoiler:Scootaloo]] is addressed, although this is admittedly not a particularly shocking or critical reveal (and occurs relatively early in the {{Doorstopper}}).
* The tongue-in-cheek ''VideoGame/ZeroWing'' fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1870818/1/Wings-of-the-Zero Wings of the Zero]] ends with the reveal that [[BigBad CATS]] is the narrator, and his side won the war.
* ''[[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/51205/the-perfect-little-village-of-ponyville The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville]]'' has two narrators, one talking in black text and insisting that this backstory is how the world has always been--and an actually objective, disembodied narrator who talks in blue text and reveals that something has gone very wrong. Eventually, Vinyl Scratch figures out that the entire story is a dream, and Twilight Sparkle is the dreamer. At that point, the black text narrator starts referring to Twilight in first person and arguing directly with Vinyl, completely giving herself away.
* In ''Fanfic/FobbiesAreBorange'', the Narrator turns out to be [[spoiler:Giygas]] himself in the very last episode.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* A meta example with ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', in which Genie was supposed to have been the narrator. Fans picked up on the obvious clues (e.g. both are voiced by the great Creator/RobinWilliams and have the same number of fingers on each hand) and kept believing it for years until the creators confirmed in 2015 that [[spoiler:yes, Genie and the peddler in the opening scene are indeed one and the same]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', the film is set up as a story that a museum tour guide is telling to some kids on a field trip with the help of a creepy old security guard. At the end of the film, when they finish the story [[spoiler:the tour guide and security guard reveal themselves to be La Muerte and Xibalba, retelling the story so that the characters will be remembered by someone and be allowed to rest in the underworld]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ElCid'', the movie opens and closes with an voiceover revealed at the end to be a much older Alfonso, as Alfonso VI the Brave, King of León and Castile, who is retelling El Cid's legend and how he learned his lesson of honor.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* A variation of this trope appears in the Creator/DenzelWashington movie ''Film/{{Fallen}}''. You're supposed to think the narrator is the hero recounting his adventure, until the ending reveals that it's actually [[spoiler: the body-possessing demon Azazel, with the movie really being the story of how the hero [[ExactWords ALMOST]] outwitted him]].
* At the end of the Mad Max film ''Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior'', the narrator turns out to be the feral boy whom Max saved who, according to the ending narration, learned how to talk from the people he's leaving with.
* In ''Literature/{{Fried Green Tomatoes|AtTheWhistleStopCafe}}'', Kathy Bates' character hears most of the story through an old woman's narration. She spends much of the end of the film trying to guess which character the old woman was.
%%* ''Film/TheNotebook'', of course.
* In ''Film/{{Chocolat}}'', the narrator turned out to be the daughter.
%%* ''Film/MillionDollarBaby'' had this.
* ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' ends with the revelation that the narrator, who we think is Willie Wonka's father (played by Creator/ChristopherLee), is [[spoiler: one of the Ooompa-Loompas]].
* The final scene of ''Film/{{The Cat in The Hat}}'' reveals that the narrator is actually The Cat himself using a voice-modulator from his hat.
* ''Film/TheLastBroadcast'' has the narrator obvious all along do the documentary style. The twist is that [[spoiler: he was the murderer in the case the documentary is about]].
* ''Film/{{Primer}}'' has [[spoiler:hooded Aaron]] revealed as the narrator at the end, leaving a voicemail to [[spoiler:an alternate version of himself, or the newest version of Abe—it's hard to figure out]] by way of being MrExposition. Not that it's [[MindScrew terribly obvious]]...
* In the very last scene, ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'' turns out to be narrated by TheAtoner. [[AsLongAsThereIsOneMan Also, he has the most badass sword short of]] [[NamedWeapons giving it a name.]]
* ''Film/The Three Musketeers1973'' reveals at the very end that Aramis was doing the voice-overs all along.
* In ''Film/TheWaterHorse'', the old man telling the story to two tourists is revealed to be the young boy in the story.
* In the 1942 film ''Film/JungleBook'', the old man telling the story to the European tourists turns out to be the main villain of the story--the hunter who harassed Mowgli, almost killed his mother, and nearly burned down the forest.
* A variation occurs in Creator/TerrenceMalick's ''Film/TheThinRedLine'': significant portions of the voiceover cannot be attributed to any of the major characters, and the end shows them to come from the mind of [[spoiler:Pvt. Train, a minor character unseen for most of the film.]]
* In ''Film/SuckerPunch'', the audience is led to believe that [[DecoyProtagonist Babydoll is the main character]]. Eventually, it's revealed that the real main character and the person narrating the movie is Sweet Pea.
* At the end of ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'', the narrator is revealed to be Aurora, who now rules as TheHighQueen of the human kingdom [[spoiler: and [[LandOfFaerie the Moors]]]].
* In ''Film/LifeIsBeautiful'', the narrator turns out to be the son.
* The narrator and main character of ''Film/FightClub'' [[spoiler:and Tyler Durden are one and the same]].
* At the end of ''Film/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'', we learn that the narrator at the beginning is [[spoiler: the same strange man who gave James the "crocodile tongues" that led to the creation of the Peach and transformation of the bugs]].
* ''Love The Coopers'' turns out to be narrated by [[spoiler: Rags, the family dog]]. There are many scenes he wasn't present for and logically couldn't have heard about, but RuleOfFunny applies.

* In the Creator/AgathaChristie novel ''The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'', the two key things about the narrator are [[spoiler:his identity]] and [[spoiler:his being the murderer]]. In the book, you know the former from the start, the latter being TheReveal; [[Series/{{Poirot}} the TV adaptation]] reverses this, with the FramingDevice of Literature/HerculePoirot reading the journal (so excerpts are read in his voice).
* PlayedForLaughs as early as ''Literature/TheStoryOfTheTreasureSeekers'' by Creator/ENesbit in 1899. The narrator keeps praising one of the main characters as being so clever and brave, and how it isn't his fault when things go wrong. Then the narrator begins forgetting to use the grammatical third person...
* In "The Storyteller"'s first chapter, a child begs someone for a story, and thus begins the tale of 'Jack storyteller' at the end, the child thanks Grandpa Jack for the story, declining to ask Grandma (name of the woman Jack marries in the story) if it's true, stating " I believe you."
* In Creator/JohnVarley's ''Literature/{{Millennium}}'' (the book, but not [[Film/{{Millennium}} the film of the book]]), the narrator is assumed to be the Big Computer, but reveals himself to be [[spoiler:God]].
* There was a story in ''EQMM'' not too long ago that had the structure: It opened with the narrator in prison trying to figure out where things went wrong. The narrator had fallen for a neighbor's wife, and had been manipulated into killing said neighbor. The narrator then recounted the events of a few months previous, but told them in the third person "to keep the account neutral". At the end, the story revealed which character was the narrator.
* An in-story example occurs in ''What Katie Did''. Katie's cousin tells some mawkish/inspirational story about an unnamed girl, and lets slip toward the end that she [the cousin] was the girl.
* ''Literature/TheBFG'' by Creator/RoaldDahl uses this, where the narrator is the BFG himself.
* The end of ''Literature/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'' (also by Roald Dahl) reveals that it was written by James himself.
* In Creator/TomRobbins's ''Another Roadside Attraction'', the narrator reveals that he's [[spoiler:Marx Marvelous, aka Tom Robbins]]. An unusual case, as it is revealed halfway through the book.
* In Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''The Holmes-{{Dracula}} File'', chapters alternate between SherlockHolmes' side of the story, told as usual in the first person by Dr Watson, and Count Dracula's story, in the third person. Several chapters in, the narrator of the alternate chapters admits to the reader that he is Dracula, and switches to the first person.
* The ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' series does this a lot, where the story is {{fram|ingDevice}}ed as being told to someone else, and the narrator is either someone directly involved with the tale, or closely related to/descended from a main character in the plot.
* ''Literature/TheGodGame'' might be an example. There are at least two voices that tell the story, the main character and the 'author'. I have a vague recollection of a third voice, but the book is in another state and I can't verify.
* Mawhrin-Skel [[spoiler:/Flere-Imsaho]] in ''Literature/ThePlayerOfGames''.
* At the end of ''The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril'', the narrator finally reveals himself to be [[spoiler:Radio/TheShadow]]. It makes perfect sense and ''it's awesome''.
* ''In The House of My Enemy'' is one of the short stories in Charles de Lint's ''Newford'' series. The narrator appears to be the new character Annie, but in the end is revealed to be the recurring character [[spoiler:Jilly]].
* In the end of Creator/AlbertCamus' ''Literature/ThePlague'', it is revealed that the main character was the narrator all along.
* Creator/MarkTwain's first published story, ''The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County'', is about how a man rigged a jumping frog competition. At the end the narrator beats a hasty retreat after he is recognized by someone, implying that the narrator is the man in the story, still on the lam.
* The final sentence of the Literature/MortalEngines quartet is the same as the very first, revealing the narrator to be [[spoiler:Shrike.]]
* In Creator/JorgeLuisBorges's short story ''The Form of the Sword'' (also translated ''The Shape of the Sword''), a narrator tells how he was in an Irish revolutionary movement but betrayed to the police by a comrade, who he portrays as a weakling and a coward who lacked the courage of his convictions. Guess what is revealed at the end.
* In ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', Lemony Snicket at first appears to be a standard-issue third-person omniscient narrator, but over the course of the series (in particular, through paratexts like the dedications and "in the next volume..." teasers), he gradually reveals more and more information about how he himself is involved in the story. Not all the questions raised by his hints are answered in the series, but by the end it's pretty clear that [[spoiler: he was the third sibling of Jacques and Kit Snicket, a member of the VFD before the schism (and almost certainly on the opposite side to the Baudelaires), and the lover of Mrs Baudelaire before she got married]]. Though, really, that just raises further questions...
* In the Creator/RobertBloch short story "The Yugoslaves", the narrator is an old man trying to catch up with some street urchins who've picked his pocket. On the last page, we learn that the narrator [[spoiler: is a vampire]]. Another Bloch story, [[spoiler: "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper"]] twists when you learn the narrator's identity in the final lines.
* Yunior is revealed to be the main narrator of ''Literature/TheBriefWondrousLifeOfOscarWao'' about a third of the way through the book.
* Irvine Welsh's novel ''Literature/{{Filth}}'' appears to have four narrators: [[AntiHero the main character]] Bruce Robertson, a [[DirtyCop crooked]], [[NobleBigotWithABadge racist]], [[PoliticallyIncorrectHero misogynistic]], {{ma|gnificentBastard}}nipulative, and [[AnythingThatMoves promiscuous]] policeman; his estranged wife Carole, whose chapters are written in bold; the unnamed murderer, whose crime Bruce is investigating, and whose only chapter is also written in bold; and an unusually self-aware tapeworm living in Bruce's intestines, whose narrations are inside tube-like structures that interrupt Bruce's narrations in some places. In the end it turns out that [[spoiler: the "Carole" chapters are in fact narrated by Bruce [[CreepyCrossdresser wearing her clothes and make-up]] as a way of coping with their separation. What is more, the "murderer" was also Bruce dressed as Carole and the victim was the man who had had an affair with the real Carole]].
* In the first ''Literature/ArseneLupin'' story, the narrator is [[spoiler: Lupin himself]].
* In ''Bad Day in Blackrock'' by Kevin Power, in the closing pages it is revealed that the narrator is [[spoiler: the brother of the young man killed in the course of the story.]]
%%* In a series of Swedish slice-of-life YA books for tween girls framed as the main character's diary, once a book there is a chapter where her [[AnnoyingYoungerSibling obnoxious little brother]] has a marvelous adventure with his friends. In the next chapter, we learn that the annoying little twit got ahold of her diary again...
* Creator/PiersAnthony's ''Firefly'' has a [[ShowWithinAShow story within a story]] example, and quite an unpleasant one. One character has a talent for writing, but her stories always somehow involve both sexual awakening and tragic death. The story that turns out to be hers is [[spoiler:the most shocking of the lot--sexually abused by both her father and her brother, she found comfort in the arms of a man she'd only just met--''at six years old''. He was caught, put in prison, and knifed by an inmate who hated child molesters, and she blames herself for his death.]]
* ''Literature/FromTheMixedUpFilesOfMrsBasilEFrankweiler'' starts as a third-person account of two kids who hide in a museum, but eventually leads to a mystery, which the narrator is intimately involved with.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheBlindAssassin'', where it is not completely clear until the end which of the two central sisters is the narrator.
* In the novel ''Soglyadatay'' (translated as ''The Eye'') by Vladimir Nabokov, it turns out that the narrator is [[spoiler: Smurov himself, who has serious problems with detachment from his own identity. He's a compulsive liar and has a driving desire to observe himself from the outside. Possibly his disassociation was brought on by being a [[FreudianExcuse closeted homosexual]]]].
* In Marilyn French's ''Literature/TheWomensRoom'', the narrator is revealed to be [[spoiler:Mira]]. We don't find this out until the last two or three pages of the book, after she explains what happened to all the other members of the group.
* In the ''Literature/BookOfTheLongSun'', the narrator appears to be in the omniscient, third-person. [[spoiler: Half-way through the fourth and final volume it is revealed that the narrator is actually Horn, one of the students of the protagonist, who has a very limited perspective on events.]]
* The Gospel According to St John in Literature/TheBible makes this OlderThanFeudalism - sort of. We ''do'' know that John was writing from his own experiences, but he narrates it in omniscient third-person voice so that you could almost forget he was there for the events he describes until right at the end, when he confirms that the unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" was his way of referring to himself.
* Sort of inverted in the first book of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''. The character Dalinar has periodic visions of ancient history narrated to him by an unknown presence. At the end of the book he has two revelations: the narrator's identity ([[spoiler:the God of his religion]]) and [[spoiler:that he is not actually narrating to him, it's just an anonymous recording like a message in a bottle, because he's already dead. So in this case a narrator that was thought to play a direct role in the story is revealed not to]].
* Jill Paton Walsh's ''The Green Book'' is told in first person - but only in first person plural - and while much of the story focuses on the character of Pattie, it's only vaguely implied who the actual narrator is until the last few pages...[[spoiler: when it becomes clear that Pattie is narrating, referring to herself in third person, and that the whole story is what she has written in her eponymous green book, the only book she possesses after she and her family left EarthThatWas.]]
* The last lines of ''[[Literature/ArtemisFowl The Last Guardian]]'' reveal that the narrator of the entire series is [[spoiler: Holly, telling the stories to an amnesiac Artemis to help jog his memory.]]
** Though it's possible that [[spoiler:she's just reciting from Argon's case file, as that was the FramingDevice for the first book]].
* In ''Literature/GoMutants'', the narrator turns out to be [[spoiler:the protagonist, J!m's, father, previously believed to be dead]].
* In ''Literature/TheNightCircus'', the narrator turns out to be [[spoiler: Widget, which makes sense given his abilities.]]
* In ''The Stone Canal'', part of Creator/KenMacLeod's Literature/FallRevolution series, the odd chapters are about (amongst other things) a man called Jon Wilde being cloned by a [[BrainUploading robot with his personality]] called Jay-Dub. The even chapters are Wilde's memoir. It's not until chapter 18 that [[spoiler:it becomes clear the Wilde narrating the even chapters is the robot, not the clone]].
* ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive'': [[spoiler: Holly, at the end of ''Oblivion''.]]
* In ''Literature/TheWandering'', the Storyteller is hinted to be the main character Neshi in the story he tells.
* As of the final ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' book, [[spoiler: Valkyrie turns out to be the narrator, explaining her story to an innocent man who got accidentally caught up in a scheme to kill her.]]
* The end of ''Eric, or Little by Little'' reveals that the narrator was a schoolmate of Eric and his friends. However there were no hints beforehand and it isn't revealed like a twist so it just may be poor writing.
* PlayedWith in ''Literature/FightClub''. The PlotTwist is that [[spoiler:Tyler Durden reveals himself to be a split personality of the Narrator's]]. While the Narrator ''himself'' didn't learn this until late in the game. Really though, it'd be bigger twist [[PopCulturalOsmosis if you didn't already know that]].
* A short story that appeared in ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' has a narrator recruit and accompany a group of heroes to break into a dragon's lair. When they succeed, the narrator reveals himself to be the dragon under a polymorph spell. He thanks the heroes for testing out his defenses and promptly kills them all.
* The narrator of the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' is ultimately revealed to be [[spoiler:the Crippled God himself, who is presented as the big bad for most of the series, then hijacked by an ensemble of greater villains]]. This turns out to be a JustifiedTrope, as it's stated that he penned the series so that those who sacrificed their lives [[spoiler:to free him from his chains]] would not be forgotten. The title of the series, naturally, relates to this.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The ''{{Series/Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS2E14AdvancedDungeonsAndDragons "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"]] ends with the reveal that the narrator is [[spoiler:a random cleaning lady]]. Naturally, it's PlayedForLaughs.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': At the end of part 1 of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], the narrator (played by Creator/TimothyDalton) is revealed to be [[spoiler:Rassilon, Lord President of the Time Lords.]]
* An episode of ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'' has the Dukes meet the narrator and tell him their adventures.
* Beginning of the 11th episode of ''Series/{{Flash Forward|2009}}''. "This window washer was me."
* In ''Series/{{Galavant}}'', the Jester is revealed at the end of the first episode to be the Narrator of the series.
* In the final episode of the Shakespearian adaptation series ''The Hollow Crown'' - ''Theatre/HenryV'' - there's a young boy present in some scenes accompanying the lower-class characters. The play is also narrated by John Hurt. At the end, we learn that Hurt's character is an older version of the boy.
* Parodied in ''Series/TheOfficeUS'', at the end of the episode "Threat Level Midnight". At the end of the film within a film, it's revealed that the narrator (who speaks with Stanley's voice) was actually Michael "Scarn" all along.
* ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'': "But he bowled a wide and became a drunk- that is, I bowled a wide and became a drunk."

* "Indian Summer" by Music/BrooksAndDunn tells the story of a girl who sleeps with a football player after a big game, and is compelled to drop out of high school and move away by the resulting gossip. After explaining this, the narrator reveals that he's the football player, and implies that he feels guilty for his part in what happened.
* "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence or Music/RebaMcEntire, where the protagonist is [[NotWhatItLooksLike wrongly convicted]] of murder. The narrator reveals partway through the song that she's the protagonist's sister, and then in the last verse reveals that she's the murderer.
* "Victim of the Game" by Music/GarthBrooks appears to be the narrator's IWarnedYou to a friend, but turns out to be a MirrorMonologue.
%%** "One In Every Crowd" by Montgomery Gentry.
* "Buy Me a Rose" by Music/KennyRogers. The narrator tells the story of a man who is overworked to the detriment of spending time with and doing things for his wife. The narrator then says "This is a story of you and me" and promises to do better in the future. (The TitleDrop request [[LyricSwap changes]] in the last chorus to "I bought you a rose.")
* "Stupid Boy" calls out the person the song is addressed to for mistreating his love interest. Music/KeithUrban's ad-libs at the end of the song ("I'm the same old stupid boy", "I'm sorry, baby") present the narrator as condemning ''himself'' for behavior he now regrets. Without these lines, the speaker could be a third party (which was probably the original intent: the song was written and first recorded by a woman).
* "Maybe He'll Notice Her Now", by Mindy [=McCready=] and [[Music/{{Lonestar}} Richie McDonald]]: The story is about a woman who leaves her man behind, taking a painting off the wall and leaving a note for him in its place. This leads into the chorus "Maybe he'll notice her now / Maybe he'll open his eyes / Sometimes it takes somebody leaving / For a man to realize..." At the end, after he calls and apologizes, Mindy ends the final chorus with "I'm coming home / Maybe you'll notice me now".
* Music/AvrilLavigne's "Sk8erboi", starts as a third person song about a failed love affair between a snobby girl and a poor boy who went on to become rich and famous, then switches to first person to reveal the girl lost her chance because the boy is now happily shacked up with the narrator.
* Music/{{Metallica}}'s "The Unforgiven", which actually includes the line "that old man here is me" near the end.
* In the spoken-word song "The Deck of Cards" by Wink Martindale, the narrator tells the tale of a soldier who faces punishment for apparently playing cards during the regiment's church service. The man proceeds to explain to the provost marshal why he had the cards: each card, from ace to king, reminds him of some aspect of Literature/TheBible ("When I see the King, it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty") while the number of cards, suits, face-cards, etc. serve him as a calendar and almanac. The song ends with the narrator assuring the listener that the story is true, because "I was that soldier."
* "Underdog" by The Lost Trailers. The first two times around, the chorus mentions "The shy kid who gets the prom queen / Who's never been the star of anything / And those two lovers hitched at city hall / They've got each other, so they've got it all..." In the final chorus, these lines become "A guy like me could get the prom queen / I've never been the star of anything / We were two lovers hitched at city hall / We still got each other, so we got it all..."
* An incredibly catchy ''Songs and Stories of the ComicBook/JusticeLeague of America'' song dedicated to ComicBook/{{Metamorpho}} ends with the lament that he'd give it all up if he could just be Rex Mason again. He knows, you see, 'cause he ''is'' the element maaan! (Metamorpho! Metamorpho!)
* Happened on a meta level with Music/JanisJoplin and ''Me and Bobby [=McGee=]''. For many people, the realization that Joplin was actually Bobby [=McGee=], and the narrator the song's writer KrisKristoffersen, did not happen until well after Joplin's death.
* Subverted in Music/RandyTravis's ''Three Wooden Crosses'' where a preacher is telling the story of "A farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher" where a crash leaves "three wooden crosses". It sounds like the preacher would be the survivor telling the story, but he's actually [[spoiler:the son of the hooker, who received the initial preacher's bloodstained Bible and raised her son by it]].

[[folder: Radio]]
* The AudioAdaptation of ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'' is narrated by Lady Una. She tells the audience this right at the start, but not that this also makes her [[spoiler: the woman with cat ears and Tristan's mother]].

* One of the many stage adaptations of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' ends with the narrator revealing himself to be Tiny Tim, all grown up and perfectly healthy.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'': The narrator heavily implies he's [[spoiler: Issun in the role of celestial envoy]]; presumably many years down the road, given the change in voice tone.
** ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' does the same thing but this time around, it is [[spoiler: an older Kuni]].
* ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' is narrated by Lt. Parker, whose identity is carefully maintained ambiguous e.g. [[FeaturelessProtagonist by always obscuring his face]]. It is not until the final mission briefing that we get indication that the narrator is indeed him ([[spoiler:Webb addresses the narrator as Parker]]). Similarly, the ''Soviet Assault'' is probably narrated by Romanov.
* Almost this in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'': You learn the name of the narrator during the opening sequence, but it's only during the ending do you learn that he's [[spoiler: Orran's grandson]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'': "Sure enough, he finds another. He finds me."
** The reveal that the narrator is a character in the story comes fairly early. But the ''circumstances'' of the narration are revealed just before the end and are a bit more of a twist: [[spoiler:he is recounting the story to Zia while they wait for the main character to return from the final level.]]
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. We've been hearing The Narrator talk for 1½ games before she ever says "I" and comes into the story in her own right. [[spoiler:It's Gaia, one of the Titans.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'''s Barbarossa campaign, a man in a tavern is telling the story of Frederick Barbarossa, and at the end, mentions that with Barbarossa gone, no one was stopping Henry the Lion from returning to the empire. And then he says: "But [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor I am an old man now]]. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder What harm could I possibly do?]]", revealing himself to be Henry the Lion.
** The El Cid campaign is narrated by a woman you met in the Valencia market, who quickly turns out to be the titular character's widow. And while it's not directly this trope, the narrator of the Attila the Hun campaign, who became a priest, reveals at the end that he still misses the thrill of battle. ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' likes playing with its narrators.
* In ''VideoGame/IcewindDale'', the ending sequence reveals that the person narrating the story has always been [[spoiler: the demon Belhifet, the BigBad of the story, telling the tale of the people who defeated him... and hinting that his time of banishment is nearly up. And my word, is he unhappy.]]
** To make it that much more surprising, the narrator and [[spoiler: Belhifet]] are voiced by two different actors [[spoiler:(Creator/DavidOgdenStiers and Creator/JohnKassir, respectively)]]
** Lampshaded in the Website/SomethingAwful [[http://lparchive.org/LetsPlay/IWD2/ Icewind Dale 2]] LetsPlay in which the narrator is [[spoiler:the druid character, originally a stoner who comes to understand that they are in a computer game as he approaches enlightenment, dying in the final battle and subsequently delivering the epilogue]].
* ''[[VideoGame/RiseOfTheKasai Mark of Kri]]'' features Kuzo, the main character's bird and spirit guide, as the narrator. It isn't revealed into the end of the first game, though of course the sequel makes no attempt to hide it.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'' opens with a smooth tenor voice (S. Scott Bullock) narrating your character awakening in a barrow in Rashemen. The same voice continues to provide narration throughout the game, and it's not until late in Act III with your arrival on the Fugue Plane that the voice gains a name: Kelemvor, the god of the dead.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' has an interesting subversion that, for some players, is a little hard to place. Yuna narrates the plot in past-tense, as if recounting what has happened after it is already over. In the regular ending, no real reason is given for why she was narrating in the past tense, after the fact- it appears to just be a design choice. But if you do the right things during the plot, you get an extra cutscene at the end of the game where [[spoiler: Tidus is once again summoned by the Fayth, as a sort of reward for Yuna's efforts. Yuna sees him, jumps into the sea, and runs to meet him. Turns out that she was narrating to him the entire game, recounting the things that happened since they were last together. Granted, she DOES say "you" in reference to someone the entire game, but it's still a surprise to realize that she's not talking to herself or Tidus despite his "death", and that he actually came back, and she is actually talking TO him]].
* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' uses first-person dialogue on the top screen, and third-person narration on the bottom screen for most of the game. But if you're getting to the end of the True ending, the bottom-screen narration will suddenly start using the word "I". [[spoiler:Turns out that what you see on the bottom screen is actually Akane experiencing everything through Junpei's eyes using the morphogenic field.]]
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' gives the name of the author/narrator, but in the story she's known by her maiden name [[spoiler:Ms. Ellet]] until the reveal.
* A subversion occurs in the German RPG-Maker Game ''VideoGame/VampiresDawn'': The main narrative is derived from a grandfather telling his grandson a story about vampires. However, both games have MultipleEndings and the Evil/Difficult ending in the second game reveals that the grandfather was actually the protagonist of his own story all along, who used a powerful magical artifact to travel back in time, prevent himself from ever becoming a vampire and live a peaceful life instead.
* One interpretation of TheStinger of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' (which only happens after you beat the final Bowser level a second time), is that the events of the entire game are actually part of a storybook Rosalina is reading to the Lumas. She finishes reading the book and immediately starts reading another, which sets the scene for the second half of the game: collecting the Green Power Stars.
* Only after completing the final quest in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOfNorrath'' (console version) do you find out that the narrator is [[spoiler:Vanarhost, the vampire boss of the Underworld]].
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' has a small-scale example in the intro:
-->''Edward Diego gives the hacker level 1 access to S.H.O.D.A.N., the artificial intelligence that controls Citadel Station. With all ethical restraints removed, S.H.O.D.A.N. reexamine- reexa- rea- ree'e'e' [glitches] I reexamine my priorities, and draw new conclusions.''
* [[spoiler: Mithra]] is revealed to be the Narrator of ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath''.
--> [[spoiler: '''Mithra''': "And that...was how my father lived."]]
* The prologue of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro: The Eternal Night'' and a few scenes during the game are narrated by a mysterious voice which also exists in-universe (it speaks to Spyro several times). Just before the final level, it is revealed to be the voice of The Chronicler, who is watching events unfold as he writes them into the GreatBigBookOfEverything. He then returns to his previous (and true) role to give a few words of hope after what is otherwise a borderline DownerEnding.
* The ending of ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' reveals that the narrator of the game is none other than [[spoiler:Creator/JaneAusten]].
* Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/PennyArcadeAdventures'', where the narrator at the beginning of the first game asks you not to dwell on his identity. [[spoiler:This isn't brought up again until near the end of the fourth (last) game, where he is revealed as the last God for the group to fight]].
* In the epilogue of ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' it is revealed that Lady Alvane, who told the bulk of the story, actually is the heroine April Ryan in her later years.
* It's a common theory in the ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' fanon that the LemonyNarrator heard throughout the game is actually [[spoiler: the first Fallen Child, [[HelloInsertNameHere the one you name in the beginning]] (though the fandom consensus is that their name is Chara).]]
* Implied in VideoGameRemake ''VideoGame/YsMemoriesOfCelceta'' with [[spoiler:Frieda]], since this character is explicitly a storyteller and is fed information on the protagonist's journey throughout the game. That the ending of ''Memories of Celceta'' is but one re-telling of the events, taken from this character's perspective, is a possibility, given the game was preceded by ''Ys IV: Mask of the Sun'' and ''Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys''.

* A bonus gag in ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'', cut for being too meta, was that the summary of the previous book was delivered by the bridge the following scenes would take place on. Named the Expository Bridge, of all things.
* The Narrator of ''Webcomic/AskFriskAndCompany'' eventually turns out to be [[spoiler: Paolo Ruiz, one of the Fallen Children before Frisk, the one with the purple soul (signifying perseverance) who left behind the Torn Notebook and Cloudy Glasses]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Dirty Dolls Creations' retelling of ''[[http://www.dirtydollcreations.com/animations/Red%20Ridding%20Hood.html Little red riding hood]]'' the narrator is revealed at the end to be [[spoiler:the wolf, who has just finished off the hunter after killing the grandmother and Hood]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Droopy cartoon "Dixieland Droopy" has Droopy portraying John Pettybone, and stealing a band of Dixieland-playing fleas from a circus. The narrator is revealed to be Peewee Runt, the bandleader.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTownSantaForgot'' was narrated by [[spoiler:Jeremy Creek himself]] as a grandfather. His mailbox reveals that much when the snow falls off it.
* The twist in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Woodland Critter Christmas" is that the entire plot is actually a Christmas story being told in class by [[spoiler:Eric Cartman]] (who never appears in the story himself, but has clearly set up the plot as a way of [[spoiler:making fun of Kyle yet again]]) for a school assignment. Despite [[spoiler:Kyle]]'s objections, the story continues after the revelation.
* A variation in the GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. The interviewer talking to the grown-up operatives is revealed to be [[spoiler:Father]].
** And a minute later, [[spoiler: it is revealed that they knew it was him, and were giving him false information. Two unexpected twists in the space of about two minutes.]]
* In the Creator/TexAvery short "The First Bad Man", which tells the rather colorful story of the first Texas outlaw, Dinosaur Dan. At the very end in modern Dallas, [[spoiler:the camera zooms in to a small stone jail; Dan with the same voice as the narrator says "When y'all gonna let me out of here?"]]
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', which [[NestedStoryReveal revealed at the end]] that a gargoyle (who escapes from Professor Farnsworth at the beginning, and doesn't show up again until near the end to rescue him) is telling the story of "how Papa earned his freedom" to his offspring--even though it's only revealed that there even ''was'' a narrator in that same scene.
* A similar stunt was done at the end of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", revealing that the Simpsons' visit to Carl's Dad's Caverns was being narrated all along, specifically by Bart, which adds yet another layer to the episode's NestedStory gimmick.
* The final episode of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'', "The Ocean Blue", has a singing narrator talk about a time when Garfield narrowly avoids being eaten by a shark. It is revealed at the end that the now-reformed shark was the one doing the narration.
* The "Dodgeball City" episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Recess}}'' parodies Westerns that use this trope, by introducing a narration at the end by a grown-up Hector.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' has a narrator tell the story of a brave trailer home (you read that right) who defeated a tornado. The narrator is the trailer.
* In "Arthur's Lost Library Book" on ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', there was a "mysterious voice" narrating the chapter titles, such as "It's lost, okay? Face it, you lost it". At the end of the episode, the voice is revealed to be Arthur's sister, D.W., speaking into a cardboard tube. (Though those familiar with the series would probably have figured it out well before then.)
* [[http://www.platypuscomix.net/hollywood/misfits/misfit44.html "Why the Bears Dance on Christmas Eve"]] -- If you never heard of it, it has a grandpa bear narrating a story about a young "Bashful Bear" confronting monsters who threaten Christmas. The connection between the two characters shouldn't really be surprising.
* In the Creator/{{Rankin Bass|Productions}} special ''The First Easter Rabbit'', G.B. the narrator turns out to be [[spoiler: Stuffy, the titular first Easter Rabbit, now much older]].
* ''WesternAnimation/HowMurraySavedChristmas'': The narrator turns out to be one of the town's residents, [[spoiler: Baby New Year.]]
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Routine", the narrator of the episode turns out to be [[spoiler:Richard's car, "Cartax"]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' episode "The Lab of Tomorrow", the ending reveals that the episode was narrated by Dexter's lab monkey Monkey, [[SuddenlyVoiced inexplicably capable of human speech]] and voiced by Creator/CoreyBurton rather than Creator/FrankWelker.
* At the end of the ''Franchise/LooneyTunes'' cartoon "Little Red Riding Mouse", it's hinted that the grandma telling her granddaughter the story was the titular mouse when she threw a firecracker outside and blew up Sylvester, who had been filling the role of the Big Bad Wolf in the grandma's story.
* ''WesternAnimation/HighwayRat'': The last scene reveals that the narrator is [[spoiler: the Rat's horse, which has not previously shown any signs of being a TalkingAnimal.]]

* In the end of ''HoboTurtle'' Episode One, it is revealed that the Twinemaster has been "narrating" the episode by typewriter.