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Playing With: Unreliable Narrator
Basic Trope: 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.
  • Justified:
    • 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.
  • Inverted:
  • 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.

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