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- squirrelking's So Bad, It's Good Metal Gear Solid fanfic, Fight of Metal Gears. Also, Halo: Halos in Space by the same author ends with Joe Chief on the losing side of a battle, and then he "saw something and went to it and picked it up and said "no we win" to himself." Read ahead at your own risk: The next installment reveals that the 'something' was "big wepon." DUN DUN DUNNN!
- Goosebumps was famous for doing this practically every other chapter.
- The Da Vinci Code had a One-Paragraph Chapter in which Robert Langdon and his date see a thing inside a box. Whatever the grail was, it wasn't that thing. (The thing turned out to be a cryptex, i.e., a tube that had a puzzle to be solved for it to open) In fact, done frequently in anything written by Dan Brown. It's pretty much the end of every chapter.
- The fourth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast For Crows, has a scene in which one character is about to be hanged, and she says an unspecified word... and that's the last we hear of her in that book. In fact, it's the last we hear of the book.
- In the next book, it's revealed she's still alive, but still doesn't specify what the word is. It does, however, imply she agreed to kill the Kingslayer.
- This was baited-and-switched in Robert Rankin's The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, proving there's just no limit to recursive subversion of a trope. Eddie hands something important to Jack, who asks what it is - "it's a Macguffin". Except we never get a better explanation than that - it's only ever referred to as a macguffin, and when it inevitably turns out to be important, what it actually does is entirely unexplained as well. It's that kind of book...
- A Series of Unfortunate Events reveled in leading the reader to believe something only for it to be contradicted soon afterwards. Especially when the reader is kept guessing what the acronym VFD stands for, only to have it revealed several different times, and most of those times to be false.
- Happened in the second season of Supernatural. For the first 8 episodes, Dean had been keeping a dark and terrible secret from Sam, told to him by their father and also withheld from the audience. The preview for the ninth episode showed Dean saying "Dad told me something... something about you," and Sam asking in consternation, "Dean, what did he tell you...?" Everyone got very excited that The Reveal was finally coming, even though most of the fandom was already fairly sure they had worked out more or less what the secret had to be. When the episode aired, those turned out to be the last lines spoken before the series went on hiatus for over a month!
- From Lost: "We ain't takin the plane freckles. We're takin' the sub."
- And of course the season three premiere, which ended by revealing Ben's name. Yeah, it was nice to know the real name of "Henry Gale," but it's really just a random name, with no significance to the story, yet it's played for Luke, I Am Your Father level drama.
- From NCIS: The last episode of season 7 gave examples of this trope.
- Several episodes of Doctor Who had this problem. Season 22 was originally shown in the UK in 45 minute chapters instead of the usual 22-25 minute episodes. When that season was shown in America, each episode was arbitrarily cut in half to fit in with the remainder of the syndication package - resulting in the story simply stopping (often in very odd places) instead of ending on a proper cliffhanger.
- One episode of "Death to the Daleks" ends with the Doctor and Bellal about to walk into a room when the Doctor tells him to stop, pointing at the white and red tiled floor for no immediately apparent reason. It was the result of poor pacing, as the episode was scripted to end on a scene of the Daleks getting closer a few minutes earlier.
- Done in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
- Done much more frustratingly here. Sluggy Freelance updates daily, so nobody suspected that the cliffhanger would go unanswered for nearly three months, but that's exactly what happened due to Oceans Unmoving, a truly ambitious sci-fi chapter that revisited a long-missing character but otherwise introduced an entirely new cast.