Either the work or [[AudienceReactions the audience]] plays up something in the work as something it's clearly not (mostly).

In the show, it's often PlayedForLaughs (see DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything), RuleOfCool, or the writers just having fun. When it's the viewers, it can be FanDumb, or it can be them legitimately assuming something if the show unintentionally makes the thing look like the trope.

* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic: a work that is not intended to be an {{Allegory}} is [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory explored for hidden meaning]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: a work that is decidedly non-family friendly (and not intended for children to begin with) is mistaken for such. Frequently overlaps with the AnimationAgeGhetto.
** WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: a work intended for kids finds itself with an unexpected adult fandom, often ''due to'' and/or ''leading to'', large amounts of [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar radar evading]] ParentalBonus[=/=][[ParentService Service]]. Alternatively a work aimed at kids uses themes you would expect to find in more adult works. Can end up been used by MoralGuardians as a result.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical a work is mistaken for having political tones, frequently due to UnfortunateImplications or AccidentalInnuendo.
* [[FauxSymbolism What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic]]: imagery that doesn't actually symbolize any theme in the story.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs a work is mistaken as the result of the creators being high. Frequently overlaps with TrueArtIsIncomprehensible.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForLittleGirls A work is mistaken for being [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin aimed at little girls]]. Overlaps with AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles in the worst scenarios.
!!Closely related:
* AccidentalInnuendo: ''What do you mean it's not sexual?''
* AllAnimationIsDisney: ''What do you mean this game's not made by Disney/Nintendo?'' (all quality examples of a medium or genre are WrongfullyAttributed to the [[PopculturalOsmosis most well known creator]])
* AllAdultAnimationIsSouthPark: ''What do you mean it's mature and thought provoking?''
* AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles: ''What do you mean it's not hentai/gorn?''
* AnimationAgeGhetto: ''What do you mean cartoons are only for kids?''
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: ''What do you mean we're supposed to root for someone in here?''
* DesignatedHero: ''What do you mean they're the good guy?''
** DesignatedVillain: ''What do you mean they're the bad guy?''
* DudeNotFunny: ''What do you mean it's not offensive?''
* FauxHorrific or NightmareRetardant: ''What do you mean it's not scary?''
** AccidentalNightmareFuel: ''What do you mean it's scary?''
* FelonyMisdemeanor: ''What do you mean it's not heinous?''
* GirlShowGhetto: ''What do you mean it's not for boys?''
* HollywoodHomely: ''What do you mean she's ugly?''
* MundaneMadeAwesome: ''What do you mean it's not awesome?''
* {{Narm}}: ''What do you mean it's not supposed to be funny?''
* RockMeAsmodeus: ''What do you mean it's not DeathMetal?''
* UnintentionallySympathetic: ''What do you mean we should '''not''' root for this character?''
** UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: ''What do you mean we should root for this character?''
* {{Wangst}}: ''What do you mean it's not saddening for him?''