->''"For the first time in his long search, he has heard her voice again -- if only in writing."''
-->-- '''Narrator''', ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow''

The [[{{Narrator}} narration voiceover]] of what the on-screen characters are reading. This narration is usually in the voice of the person who wrote the text, although whomever is [[SoundingItOut reading the text]] may fade in/out at the start/end of the message.

While named for letters being read by a second party, this trope covers any text that gets a voiceover from the author. These could be text messages, diary entries, or [[ReadingForeignSignsOutLoud posted signs]]. Often the audience will not see the text in question, but shorter scripts may allow the whole thing to be shown briefly on the screen. Visually, we are often watching the reader for the ReactionShot, the author while they write, or a {{flashback}} that the writing [[{{Narrator}} narrates the events of]].

Compare ReadingForeignSignsOutLoud (for the methods of translating foreign language text shown onscreen) and SoundingItOut (for when the character who is reading the letter does so out loud). Often overlaps with other letter tropes, such as EpistolaryNovel (for when one or more letters form a FramingDevice for the story), and EpilogueLetter (for when the letter serves as summary/ending for a story).


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* There's a case from ''Anime/YuGiOh'' when Tea reads Pegasus's diary.
* ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService'', the letter right near the end. Her father begins reading it but it fades out into Kiki's voice.
* When Cobra gets Vivi's letter in ''Manga/OnePiece'', which reveals Crocodile to be the mastermind behind the Alabasta civil war, she begins reading the letter aloud.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Aizen's letter to Momo, which he leaves behind just before his apparent death, is read aloud in his voice.
* Used in episode 158 of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''.
* [[PosthumousCharacter Misa]]'s farewell [[DeadManWriting letter]] for Yusa in episode 12 of ''Anime/{{Charlotte}}'', where at first it's Yusa who reads the letter, but halfway through the voice changes into Misa's. [[TalkingToHerself They share]] [[Creator/MaayaUchida the same voice actress]], though.
* Episode 16 of ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'': Suzuha's letter, which is read by Okabe, [[spoiler:that explains her failure]]. At first it's Okabe who reads it, but not long after that the voice changes into Suzuha's, ''in a depressed tone''.
* In ''Anime/WhenMarnieWasThere'', when Anna reads Marnie's diary, the lines are voiced by Marnie herself.
* Kaori's letter at the end of ''Manga/YourLieInApril'' is voiced by her. [[spoiler:It also counts as DeadManWriting]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsFriendshipGames'': Each time Sunset Shimmer writes a message to Princess Twilight in her magical book, we hear the content as a voiceover.
* Done twice in ''WesternAnimation/{{Anomalisa}}''. In the beginning we hear Bella voicing her letter that Michael reads on the plane. Happens again [[{{Bookends}} at the end]]. This time it is Lisa voicing out her letter to Michael.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/ShaunTheSheep: The Movie'', Shaun finds a letter left by Slip the dog, and we hear her voiceover as he reads it. Except, Slip, like all animals (and indeed [[SpeakingSimlish humans]]) in ''Shaun the Sheep'' doesn't actually talk, so we just hear her barking.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' uses this for its frame story (although it's a diary, not a letter).
* All the time in ''Film/YouveGotMail''. In her commentary Creator/NoraEphron made it clear that she wanted to get away from the computer screens ASAP, for fear that the audience would get spooked and leave the theater.
* Played with in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''. Harry reads an article by Rita Skeeter, and we hear her voiceover of what it says. A few sentences in, it pisses him off so much he throws it into the fire, and Rita's voice first tries to cram in as much as possible, and then screams as the article burns. Given that talking envelopes exist in this series, it's quite possible that the letter was actually reading itself out loud.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Rachel's DearJohnLetter to Bruce that we see Alfred reading is voiced out by Rachel herself.
* Spoofed in ''Film/TopSecret''. Nick Rivers arrives at his banquet table and finds a note from his agent waiting. As he starts reading it, the agent's voice appears, slightly distorted, as if done in voiceover. As Nick keeps reading, the agent walks into frame towards the table, talking in stride with the letter with a small megaphone over his mouth.
* Subtly played with in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII''. At the end of [[Film/BackToTheFuturePartII Part II]], Marty receives a letter from the late, time-displaced Doc Brown which had been sent 70 years prior. Marty begins to read it aloud... and then the next morning it's read aloud for both Marty and the audience by Doc Brown's younger self.
* In ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', when Peter reads the note from his mother.
* Played with in ''Film/WarGames'', when Joshua types, somewhat justified in the fact that David has a text-to-speech device, but it's totally unnecessary in-universe, but is {{HandWave}}d by David trying to impress Jennifer with it. This is a bit taken UpToEleven later, when they are conversing with Joshua at NORAD, which apparently has the exact same consumer-grade TTS device piped into their loudspeakers -- perhaps to impress visiting Congresspeople.
* In ''Film/TheCranesAreFlying'', when Veronika starts reading the letter from her boyfriend Boris, her voice switches over to his.
* The letter from Anna to he parents-in-law in ''Film/TheSeventhContinent'' are voiced by her.
* ''Film/RoccoAndHisBrothers'': The "Rocco" section of the movie starts with Rocco getting a Voiceover Letter from his mom in which she catches him up on events while he's been away in the army.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KyBdPeKHg&NR=1 This]], from ''Film/ToughGuysDontDance'', has a voiceover when reading a letter about a woman's husband in bed with the reader's wife, mentioning that he was killed, followed by {{Narm}}ish melodrama.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Occurs whenever Lizzie reads a letter in the BBC production of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice''.
* ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' episode "Baywatch Down Under Part 2". As Jake reads a letter from his ex-wife Clare, we first hear it in his voice, then hers. Bonus points because she's [[DeadManWriting deceased at the time]].
* On ''Series/{{CSI}}'', when [[spoiler: Sara leaves, v. unexpectedly]], the letter is read in her voice, with shots of her in a taxi, as Grissom reads it. Major TearJerker.
* Spoofed in an episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' where it initially looks like an example of this trope, Dr. Cox sitting reading a letter from J.D. with J.D.'s voiceover, but then the camera zooms out to show J.D. is in fact, right there, reading the letter he wrote out loud over Dr. Cox's shoulder.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the sketch show ''Series/Exit57'', where Creator/AmySedaris's voiceover gave way to a hacking smoker's cough during the first sentence of her letter, forcing her to start over.
* Spoofed into the ground by ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'', which opens with a character reading a letter from his aunt, the voiceover narrating the contents in an old lady's voice. [[RevealShot Then panning to show]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGntH-aOlWU the old lady next to him reading out loud over his shoulder.]]
* Parodied in ''Series/MyHero'': Cassie runs away, leaving a letter for her parents. At first, the trope seems to be upheld, then Janet asks George to stop reading it out loud in Cassie's voice.
* Lampshaded in a ''Series/YouCantDoThatOnTelevision'' sketch. Adam Kalbfleisch reads a letter from his father and looks around wondering where that voice is coming from. Turns out Adam's father is standing right there.
* ''Series/ATouchOfCloth'': Parodied/subverted when Anne comes home to find a letter written by her girlfriend telling her that she's leaving because Anne is always so focused on work. Turns out she was simply standing offscreen.
* Textbook example in ''Series/{{Frequency}}'', when Frank cites from Larissa's diary, describing the appearance and disappearance of Meghan at the Hideaway Camp. Frank's voice morphs into Larissa's voice at the beginning and back to his at the end of the narration.
* In ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', Sabrina occasionally gets letters from Drell, head of the Witches' Council. Her recoils suggest that she can actually hear the voiceover herself, which makes a certain kind of sense.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Buffy tries to get her sister Dawn [[ShooTheDog out of town to safety]] before the GrandFinale. As Xander drives them away, he gives (the understandably angry) Dawn a letter from Buffy.
-->'''Voiceover:''' Dearest Dawn, don't be angry with Xander. He only did what I told him to do. This isn't the place for either of you. Please know that I love you and that everything I do is for you. I promised once to show you this beautiful world, and I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen --\\
''(Dawn knocks Xander out with a tazer, takes the wheel and turns them around)''

* At the end of ''Manhua/InfinityGame'' [[spoiler:this is subverted. It looks like Long Wei is reading out his letter to Lu Xiao, but really he's writing his diary as though it were a letter to her and she's reading a menu somewhere else]].

* Spoofed all over the place in Radio/BleakExpectations. It often happens with Mr. Benevolent's letters in particular, where Benevolent's voice reads the letter ... then the character actually reading aloud is complimented on how well they can do the voice.

* Used in TheMusical of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', with a letter starting to be read by one of the managers, but then it switches to the Phantom, before ending with the manager again. In TheMovie of the TheMusical, we see the Phantom illustrating what he's talking about in the letter with a diorama.
* Used extensively in the Music/StephenSondheim musical ''{{Theatre/Passion}}''.
* ''Theatre/{{Aida}}'' turned this into a song, aptly named "Radames' Letter."
* In ''Theatre/SheLovesMe'', most of the third "Dear Friend" letter is read in voiceover by Georg together with Amalia. Georg's voice fades out towards the end, when Amalia realizes she's late for work.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used in ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', ''VideoGame/PaperMario64'', and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' for letters read by Princess Peach.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' - the letter from Mary serves as BookEnds to the game.
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'':
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', Colette's voice is used as the voiceover when Lloyd reads a letter from her.
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Luke, after being separated from his friends for around a month late in the game, reads letters from Tear, Anise and Guy, and their voices describe what's been going on in their lives.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', one of Edward's later letters to his granddaughter Alexandra, regarding how she can defeat the Ancient that Pious is summoning, is read aloud in his voice, and this is the only letter in the game that receives this treatment, emphasizing its importance.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' has Konoko reading her father's memoirs like this. Specifically, the part that narrates how he met his wife and how [[spoiler:he [[TearJerker took her life]] via MercyKill]].
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' all important letters are read like this.
* Most games in the ''VideoGame/DarkTales'' series begin with Dupin reading a letter about the current case, and the letter writer provides the voiceover.
* The PC game ''VideoGame/SecretsOfDaVinciTheForbiddenManuscript'' begins with the protagonist, Valdo, reading a letter from his mysterious employer which explains the situation for the player, with this trope happening simultaneously.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** After the final boss of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Riku finds a letter in a bottle from [[LoveInterests Kairi]] that she sent out at the beginning of the game. After realizing it's for Sora and handing it to him, Sora reads the first few lines before it changes to Kairi reading it instead.
** At the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded'', WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse writes a letter to Sora, Riku, and Kairi. While the scene shown is him writing it and then cuts to the trio reading it, Mickey's voice over is reading what he's writing out loud.
* In the voiced version of ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'', the hero reads a letter by his beloved princess in her voice. Lampshaded by the narrator: "For the first time in his long search, he has heard her voice again -- if only in writing."
* In ''Labyrinths of the World: Shattered Soul'' a letter from the main character's sister is treated this way.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', where the author is [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0943.html standing behind the reader]] doing the voiceover. And Elan, being a GenreSavvy [[TheDitz Ditz]], ''refuses to acknowledge this'' because it would spoil the scene.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In a ''Creator/RoosterTeeth'' short, Kerry the intern is ordered by Gus to mow the lawn on the company campus with a [[WithThisHerring push mower]] (When Kerry asks why he can't use a motorized mower like normal people have since thier invention, Gus yells at him about the price of gas before walking away). As Kerry attempts to mow, he stumbles across a box labeled "Gus' Time Caspule" or something along those lines. He finds some random things inside including a letter, which he begins to read. The letter is read and narrated in Gus' voice, getting progressively creepier and stalkerlike towards Kerry until [[spoiler: at the end, where Gus is shown to be reading the letter out loud [[RightBehindMe over Kerry's shoulder with his shirt off]]]].
* Parodied in ''Podcast/{{Rifftrax}}'' when one is used in ''Film/TheWickerMan2006''.
* In ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' when Billy receives a letter from Bad Horse three cowboys lean into the frame to sing the contents of the letter.
* ''WebVideo/VideoGameHighSchool'': Ki reads a letter from the Law, with his voice narrating it. When she reaches the end, he rips the letter out of her hands, revealing he was standing there the entire time and really doing the voiceover out loud.
* One part of episode 69 of ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'' involves Keyleth receiving a letter from a guest player-turned-NPC, Kerrek (played by Creater/PatrickRothfuss), who had befriended the group and provided some much-needed advice to her in particular. As she opens the letter and begins to read it, a recording of Patrick reading the letter is played.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries''. The letter from Genie is being "read" in his voice, but then we cut to the other side of the shot and see that the letter is actually a mouth reading out loud.
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'':
** "Recap/TintinCigarsOfThePharaoh" has a voiceover for the letters from the drug trafficker leader to his minions.
** The animated version of "[[Recap/TintinTheRedSeaSharks The Red Sea Sharks]]" has Tintin start reading the Emir's letter aloud to share it with Captain Haddock, before the screen transitions to the Emir writing it with echo.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' also does the parody version, complete with LampshadeHanging from Homer:
-->'''Homer:''' So that ''wasn't'' just a sweet voice I heard in my head!
** And, of course, Lisa receives one from her penpal in a BananaRepublic, only for the voiceover to change halfway through:
--> '''Anya:''' Dear Lisa, as I write this, I am very sad. Our President has been overthrown and...
--> '''Male Voice:''' ...replaced, by the benevolent General Krull. All hail Krull, and his glorious regime! [[HelloInsertNameHere Sincerely, little girl]].
** Much earlier, in the crossover with ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'':
--> '''Marge:''' Dear Mr. Sherman, on behalf of the people of Springfield I would like to invite you to judge our film festival. You can stay with us, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the country.
--> '''Homer:''' Marge, is this a pimple or a boil?
--> '''Marge:''' Just a minute, Homer! [[LampshadeHanging Oh, look what you made me write.]]
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'' when Chowder runs away from home, Mung finds his note, after the letter ends he says [[BreakingTheFourthWall "It's a good thing there was a voiceover, because his handwriting is terrible"]], the screen then pans over to the letter which is just a bunch of scribbles.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Twilight's "Dear Princess Celestia...." letters are always done in her voice.
* Happens twice in ''[[WesternAnimation/MoralOrel Beforel Orel]]'': First, Orel writes a letter to his grandfather, revealing that he plans on [[spoiler: murdering his baby brother]]. At the end, Grandpa writes a letter to Orel telling him that he's a good child and not to let growing up in Moralton affect him.
* ''WesternAnimation/BoJackHorseman'' does this a few times in "Live Fast, Diane Nguyen", specifically whenever Todd is around notes or photos of [=BoJack=] in his absence.
-->'''[=BoJack=]''': Todd! Stop singing your dumb scrambled eggs song!\\
'''Todd''': Who said that?\\
'''[=BoJack=]''': If you're wondering who said that, it's this note that you're reading. You're hearing my voice in your head because that's how reading works.\\
'''Todd''': Oh yeah.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016'' episode "Bye Bye, Bellum", where Blossom reads a letter from Miss Bellum to The Mayor. It turns out Blossom was reading it aloud doing a spot-on Bellum impression.
-->'''Buttercup:''' Wow, Blossom, you do a really good Miss Bellum impression.\\
'''Blossom:''' Thanks, ''but apparently, it's worthless now.''
* The first episode of ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' has Bob reading [[FourthWallMailSlot a fan letter]] with a child's voice reading it aloud. This was dropped for subsequent episodes because the producers felt it was too distracting.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'': "The Parasite" opens with an entry in Anais' diary being read in her voice, but it's actually Gumball [[VoiceChangeling perfecting imitating her]] while [[SoundingItOut reading her diary aloud]] to Darwin.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': "Letters for Lars" combines this with NinjaProp. The episode starts with Steven giving Lars a letter telling him about what's been happening in Beach City while he's away. Then at the end of the episode it's revealed that the voiceover was Steven reading Lars the letter in person.
-->'''Lars:''' I appreciate the sentiment, but [[LampshadeHanging why'd you bother writing a letter if you were just going to tell me in person anyway?]]