Playing With: Unreliable Narrator
: The person telling the story is keeping something from himself/herself and/or others.
- Straight: You have to sift the narrator's words.
- Exaggerated: The whole previous story is contradicted by the ending.
- Downplayed: The narrator has plenty of details, although based on the story it's easy to call into question if the narrator remembered things correctly based on the events that happened beforehand.
- The narrator is the murderer, and is actually writing this down.
- Alternately, the narrator just doesn't have a good memory. Or is insane.
- The story is the narrator's diary, so naturally the narrator would be picky about what s/he writes down.
- Bob retells a story about Alice's but keep missing the point because he's not as genre savvy as the reader and unable to read her mind.
- Subverted: The narrator lies, but then a twist comes that proves that he was truthful.
- Double Subverted: Then another twist comes proving him false.
- Parodied: In a visual medium, the voiceover narration does not match what the audience sees at all.
- Zig Zagged: The narrator tells scene X straight but scene Y dishonestly.
- Averted: The narrator tells the story straight.
- Enforced: "This is kind of a lame Twist Ending and everyone will see it coming a country mile off. Unless...I change the narrator character to someone who has a reason to conceal certain facts. Yes, that should do it."
- Lampshaded: "Yes, my notes skipped over that."
- Invoked: "It's Lenny the Liar! Tell us how you got that scar, Lenny!"
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: "Sometimes, storytellers lie. Sometimes they keep things from you in an attempt to screw with your mind. I promise you, dear reader, that I will not do this."
- Discussed: "When I read Bob's account of events, I bore in mind that he is not known for being very forthcoming."
- Conversed: "So Alice was keeping that secret throughout the story, and I never even suspected. Did you?"
- Deconstructed: There are errors and omissions in the narrator's story, but nothing the narrator gets wrong is material.
- Reconstructed: The narrator makes what seems to make uncritical errors, but the slight changes to the story collectively change something about the message.
- Played For Laughs: Alice, Bob, and Charlie's recalling of the events are sometimes over the top, portraying everyone else as idiots. Charlie, the Cloudcuckoolander, describes something that looks like a Widget Series, as opposed to Alice and Bob whose narrations are at least plausible.
There may be a link back to Unreliable Narrator
, but we've heard these links are less than accurate.