->'''Mulder''': They're here, aren't they?\\
'''Deep Throat''': Mr. Mulder, "they" have been here for a long, long time.
-->-- ''Series/TheXFiles'', "[[Recap/TheXFilesS01E02DeepThroat Deep Throat]]"

TheHero encounters some [[TheMasquerade weird shit]]. ''[[MindScrew Really]]'' weird shit. However, just as he is about to say bye-bye to his sanity, some [[TheMenInBlack impeccably dressed gentlemen]] take him into a [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse sciencey lab]] where TheProfessor explains that what the hero saw was a perfectly scientific phenomenon they've studied for years, and really, just another kind of AppliedPhlebotinum that TheWorldIsNotReady for yet...

This trope is a form of {{Exposition}} that would have become an InfoDump, if it wasn't so long overdue, since it comes after the protagonist (and the audience) is [[InMediasRes thrust right into the middle]] of a situation he cannot even begin to understand. It doesn't have to be {{Phlebotinum}} per se: any kind of {{Masquerade}} will do, as long as the hero stumbles into a life-threatening situation before people who know what's going on show up.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the first two episodes of ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' TheHero accidentally saves a scientist working under TheMasquerade and on the run receives a hasty explanation of what's going on. Of course, the true nature of the series is shown only when it all is twisted into BlackComedy.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' begins with this very trope. Shinji, a slightly dysfunctional boy, witnesses an EldritchAbomination attacking the city then is promptly thrown into the cockpit of a HumongousMecha that's not really a mecha at all: it's [[PhysicalGod alive]] and is VERY [[TheBerserker bloodthirsty]]. It takes a few episodes until he gets the explanation about what the hell is going on but never gets [[AwfulTruth told about ''what'' he's piloting]] until three episodes from the end. It's unclear which is worse: that [[LockedOutOfTheLoop he was told so late]] or that [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow he was told at all]]. Regardless which one is true, Shinji got an all-expenses-paid visit to the DespairEventHorizon for his effort.

* ''Film/IndependenceDay'', when they visit {{Area 51}}, it turns out TheGovernment knew about the aliens all along. They just didn't get around to telling the elected part, i.e. ''the President'', until some time after the shit hit the fan.
* In the first ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' movie, when Selene tells Michael about the werewolves and the vampires.
* ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'':
-->'''Dr. Scott:''' This sonic transducer...it is, I suppose, some kind of audio-vibratory-physio-molecular transport device?\\
'''Brad:''' You mean...?!\\
'''Dr. Scott:''' Yes, Brad, it's something we ourselves have been working on for quite some time. But it seems our friend here has found a means of perfecting it. A device which is capable of breaking down solid matter and projecting it through space...and who knows, perhaps even time itself!
* Happens in the first ''Film/MenInBlack'' movie, when K gives J a rundown on the little known facts during the latter's first entry to the MIB HQ.
%%Please fix the ZeroContextExample below before uncommenting it:
%%* Occurs in ''Film/TheAdjustmentBureau''.
* Used in ''Film/{{Godzilla2014}}'', where it's revealed the government knows about Godzilla and his ilk, and are in the midst of preparing contingency measures for them.
* In ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'', the hero learns that his accidentally acquired power to reset time was a condition known to two people already who were busy doing research on it for some time already. More would have known, but attempts to inform military high command had gone... badly.
* In the first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie, it turns out that the government has been studying Transformers for decades in a secret base under the Hoover Dam, and that [[ETGaveUsWiFi most modern technology is actually the product of their reverse-engineering efforts]].

* ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime'': Meg and Charles find out that their father went missing because [[spoiler: the government had him experimenting with tesseracts, which left him stranded on another planet.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The spaceship containing the PowerSource of the chronosphere from ''Series/SevenDays''. Of course, a later episode reveals that the Americans aren't the only ones who have been doing that. Russians also had a time travel program that was shut down due to the lack of a potent power source. However, after another alien vessel was found in Siberia, it was restarted (by a RenegadeRussian general seeking to usurp the presidency).
* Happens all over the MythArc of ''Series/TheXFiles'', such as when Mulder goes to great lengths to recover the tiniest sliver of evidence that the aliens have visited Earth--only to be told by his MysteriousInformant that aliens have been on Earth for decades and some government circles have been in cahoots with them the entire time.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'': "We were all involved in the early stages of the Project during the Gulf War..." This refers to [[spoiler:Project Valhalla, the origin of the mysterious drug Valkyr that has caused Max so much trouble, to put it mildly]].
* In the later sections of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'', it is revealed that the dimensional rift at the beginning of the game was not a completely random coincidence. The piece of crystal that made the particle accelerator go crazy and open portals to another dimension was of same the type that another department at the research facility used in their development of teleportation technology for a very long time. Not only is the Lambda Core a huge device several stories tall and powered by its own nuclear power plant, the Addon ''Opposing Force'' shows quite clearly that expeditions to other dimensions have been going on for years and they have their own zoo for captured alien wildlife.

* ''Webcomic/{{Weregeek}}'' begins with Mark drooling at a look on dice and being chased by the HunterOfMonsters. He is saved by Joel and the others, who explain to him that he is a weregeek, just like themselves, which is why he was being hunted. It is much later explained that [[spoiler:Joel, in fact, is the leader of LaResistance hunting the Hunters and he knows much more about them than he tells anyone]].

* The Wiki/SCPFoundation approaches this trope from the side of the mysterious research organization, and plays with it quite a bit. The foundation has warehouses and biological containment sites full of things that simply should not be, which they constantly struggle to explain, or at least ''understand'' even after over 150 years of operation. In the world of the foundation, MagicAIsMagicA is horrifyingly deconstructed, and SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic may only make you realize that the object previously deemed harmless is actually destroying the fabric of spacetime. There are times when the reader finds themselves understanding why its entirely reasonable for someone to be KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade. The consequences of a BrokenMasquerade are potentially TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.