This is about anyone being told that they are part of a secret society. Often, they are also invited to join the society because they belong there.
This trope can be used for Muggles
who know too much
in order to keep them quiet about the society. Though often, this is used for people who already are part of The Masquerade
but don't know it, or those who know they are "special" but don't know where they actually belong, or used on those pesky Supers
running about with no one
to keep them in check
Normally a part of Fantastic Recruitment Drive
. Related to I Am Who?
, for when a character learns of his secret parentage. Subtrope of Broken Masquerade
. Compare also We Have Been Researching Phlebotinum For Years
, where the character being introduced is not necessarily a part of The Masquerade
but finds people who can tell him of it, anyway. Also compare with Killed to Uphold the Masquerade
and Join or Die
. See also Tomato in the Mirror
, for when a character sees with his own eyes s revelation about himself.
- The film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code has cryptologist Robert Langdon unearth ancient geneology research that detective Sophie Neveu is a descendant of Jesus Christ, and is under the protection of the Priory of Sion, which is the 21st century form of the Knights Templar.
- The first Hell Boy begins with Agent Myers being brought in to the BPRD, a paranormal investigation unit. Downplayed in that his FBI skills don't do him any good against the various monsters and ancient evils they meet up with. He was only brought in to keep tabs on the title character.
- Men In Black. After James has a close encounter with an alien assassin, Agent K recruits him into the Men in Black organization and gives him a tour of the facilities.
- Normal, affable beagle Lou discovers there's a whole Cold War ongoing between Cats & Dogs, including James Bond-class espionage. Butch the retriever acts as Lou's liaison into the canine underworld operating under the noses of clueless humans.
- In The Incredibles, Bob Parr, a superhero who went incognito after a scandal, was recruited by Femme Fatale Mirage to work for her boss to do Superhero work in secret. Leading to Bob's wife suspecting he's cheating on her.
- On Grimm Nick is a Grimm and when he comes into his powers, his dying aunt did not have much time to explain to him what that entails or teach him about the world he is about to become part of. It is up to Monroe, a Blutbat Wesen, to become Nick's mentor in Wesen matters. Later on Nick brings in his Muggle partner Hank and fiance Juliette into the Masquerade because they are put in danger by not knowing what is really going on.
- In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hagrid acts as as The Herald to Harry and picks him up from his Parental Substitutes and introduces him to the world of wizards in order to reintegrate him there.
- The Dark Is Rising series novel The Dark is Rising. On Will Smith's eleventh birthday all sorts of amazing things start to happen. Later on he meets a man named Merriman Lyon who explains that both he and Will are Old Ones, powerful magical beings who serve the Light and oppose the Dark.
- In The Mortal Instruments, it's brooding, experienced love interest Jace that first demonstrates Clary's Shadowhunter capabilities. Later, Hodge Starkweather expounds on them.
- At one point in Honor Harrington, President Pritchart discusses (and lampshades) this trope while talking about Mesan Deep Cover Agent families.
"Oh, by the way. We're actually secret agents of the Mesan Alignment
. Here's your secret decoder kit. Be ready to be contacted by the Galactic Evil Overlord
on Frequency X with orders to betray the society you've been raised all your life to think of as your own."
- Weregeek starts with Mark being chased by The Hunters, before stumbling into a vampire coven meeting where he receives his welcome to The Masquerade... by being turned into a vampire himself. Then it turns out, that it's all just Deep-Immersion Gaming: the hunters are just regular bullies, and the vampires are a bunch of geeks LARPing Vampire: The Masquerade. Still, The Masquerade takes place IRL, as well, as the geeks have to hide their geekdom from Normal People, and Mark (a repressed geek himself) is welcomed to the geek subcultures for real this time.
- In Skin Deep, humanity is filled with "Unturned" fantastic creatures, who were descended from an ancestor who owned a human-disguise medallion, and are covered by a semi-permanent version of the same spell that keeps them human all the time. Getting a medallion of their own breaks the old spell and reveals their true species. For some (like Jim), getting a medallion and being Turned is a normal part of growing up; for others (like Michelle), it comes as a rude shock.
- Played with in the South Park episode "Ass Burgers", in which a support group for Asperger Syndrome that Stan joins turns out to be a society of cynics who think their view of the world as shit is what the world actually is, and what everyone else sees is dubbed as an "illusionary world", which is part of a plot involving aliens or whatever (they're not sure exactly what). They send Stan out on a crazy mission to liberate everyone from the so-called illusion they live in, getting him drunk in order for him to reenter the "illusion". They also claim that Asperger's doesn't exist, because why would it have a name that could easily be made fun of?
- In Jacob Two-Two, Jacob is admitted into Library Ninjas after he starts doing mundane volunteer work there, partially because he's the only kid left who takes reading seriously.