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Alice and Bob are having a SecretRelationship of some sort, and as part of it, they exchange letters. The nature of these letters is romantic, erotic, or both, and they definitely contain both Alice and Bob's names (the "Dear Whoever" at the top and "Love Whoever" at the bottom). In old times, the letters were handwritten, though nowadays, emails and texts are more likely.

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Alice and Bob are having a SecretRelationship of some sort, and as part of it, they exchange letters. The nature of these letters is romantic, erotic, or both, both. They are labeled as from one party and they definitely contain to the other, containing both Alice and Bob's names (the "Dear Whoever" at the top and "Love Whoever" at the bottom).names. In old times, the letters were handwritten, though nowadays, emails and texts are more likely.



* '''Blackmail''': Charlie knows, or at least suspects, that the letters exist, and actively seeks them out to use as {{blackmail}} against Alice and Bob.
* '''Revenge''': Alice and Bob are exes, and ''Alice'' threatens to use their letters as blackmail against Bob. In this situation, Alice usually has less to lose from their exposure than Bob--perhaps Bob was cheating on someone while she was single--though not always: It can be a TakingYouWithMe scenario, where Alice is willing to take the backlash from the letters if it means hurting Bob. Alice may be a WomanScorned.
* '''Accidental''': Charlie stumbles across the letters by accident. Usually Charlie is ''not'' the person Alice and Bob ''really'' don't want to know--Charlie tends to be a third, unrelated party of some sort. Now Charlie is the SecretKeeper--or if even Alice and Bob don't know he found them, the SecretSecretKeeper. Charlie has to decide whether or not to tell someone. If Alice and Bob ''do'' know, they will beg, bribe, and threaten Charlie not to tell. Charlie will likely find that KeepingSecretsSucks.

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* '''Blackmail''': Charlie knows, or knows--or at least suspects, that suspects--that the letters exist, and actively seeks them out to use as {{blackmail}} against Alice and Bob.
* '''Revenge''': Alice and Bob are exes, and ''Alice'' threatens to use their letters as blackmail against Bob. In this situation, Alice usually has less to lose from their exposure than Bob--perhaps Bob was cheating on someone while she was single--though not always: It can single. Alternative, it may be a TakingYouWithMe scenario, where Alice is willing to take the backlash from the letters if it means hurting Bob. Alice may be a WomanScorned.
* '''Accidental''': Charlie stumbles across the letters by accident. Usually Charlie is ''not'' the person Alice and Bob ''really'' don't want to know--Charlie tends to be a third, unrelated party of some sort. Now Charlie is the SecretKeeper--or if even Alice and Bob don't know he found them, SecretKeeper, or the SecretSecretKeeper. Charlie has to decide whether or not to tell someone. If Alice and Bob ''do'' know, know Charlie knows, they will beg, bribe, and threaten Charlie not to tell. Charlie will likely find that KeepingSecretsSucks.



This trope requires a secret, illicit affair of some sort, so it usually overlaps with YourCheatingHeart--though occasionally the relationship may be secret for other reasons, such as if they are [[QueerRomance of the same gender]], or [[MalignedMixedMarriage of different races, religions,]] [[UptownGirl or classes]]. [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs Or more than one of the above.]]

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This trope requires a secret, illicit affair SecretRelationship of some sort, so it usually overlaps with YourCheatingHeart--though occasionally the relationship sort. It may be secret for other reasons, such as if they are [[QueerRomance of the same gender]], YourCheatingHeart, QueerRomance, MalignedMixedMarriage, UptownGirl, or [[MalignedMixedMarriage of different races, religions,]] [[UptownGirl or classes]]. [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs Or more than one of the above.]]
above]].



** A Blackmail version: In a backstory scene, we see how when she was young, [[FemmeFatale Rawneth]] got let into Kinzi's room, where she dug through Kinzi's stuff until she found an old love-letter from Kinzi's lover Adiraina. Rawneth tries to blackmail Kinzi with it, though Kinzi shut her down.

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** A Blackmail version: In a backstory scene, we see how when she was young, [[FemmeFatale Rawneth]] got let into Kinzi's room, room where she dug through Kinzi's stuff her possessions until she found finding an old love-letter from Kinzi's lover Adiraina. Rawneth tries to blackmail Kinzi with it, though Kinzi shut her down.



* Poets are dramatic. Elizabeth Ellet liked Creator/EdgarAllanPoe (who did '''not''' like her back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer) while he liked Frances Osgood. So jealous Ellet threatened to blackmail Osgood with her flirtatious letters with Poe. She was also sending him letters... which he just sent back. Ellet turned that into a fair bit of drama.

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* Poets are dramatic. Elizabeth Ellet liked Creator/EdgarAllanPoe (who did '''not''' like her back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer) Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, while he liked Frances Osgood. So jealous Ellet threatened to blackmail Osgood with her flirtatious letters with Poe. She was also sending him letters... which he just sent back.back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer to him. Ellet turned that into a fair bit of drama.


* A Paternity example: In the ''Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheSearch'' comic, Zuko finds letters from his mother Ursa to her former lover Ikem to that seem to indicate his father wasn't actually Fire Lord Ozai. [[spoiler:His father actually ''is'' Ozai, but Ursa wrote this specifically to see if her letters were being intercepted--which they were--and even though Ozai knew it was a lie, he decided to treat Zuko like he wasn't his son anyway just to spite Ursa. Zuko destroyed the letter after wards]]

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* A Paternity example: In the ''Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheSearch'' comic, Zuko finds letters from his mother Ursa to her former lover Ikem to that seem to indicate his father wasn't actually Fire Lord Ozai. [[spoiler:His father actually ''is'' Ozai, but Ursa wrote this specifically to see if her letters were being intercepted--which they were--and even though Ozai knew it was a lie, he decided to treat Zuko like he wasn't his son anyway just to spite Ursa. Zuko destroyed the letter after wards]]afterwards]]


* A Paternity example: In the ''Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheSearch'' comic, Zuko finds letters from his mother Ursa to her former lover Ikem to that seem to indicate his father wasn't actually Fire Lord Ozai. [[spoiler:His father actually ''is'' Ozai, but Ursa wrote this specifically to see if her letters were being intercepted--which they were--and even though Ozai knew it was a lie, he decided to treat Zuko like he wasn't his son anyway just to spite Ursa.]]

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* A Paternity example: In the ''Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheSearch'' comic, Zuko finds letters from his mother Ursa to her former lover Ikem to that seem to indicate his father wasn't actually Fire Lord Ozai. [[spoiler:His father actually ''is'' Ozai, but Ursa wrote this specifically to see if her letters were being intercepted--which they were--and even though Ozai knew it was a lie, he decided to treat Zuko like he wasn't his son anyway just to spite Ursa.]] Zuko destroyed the letter after wards]]


* In ''Anime/FamiliarOfZero'' Wales and Henrietta were in love, and she at one point sent him a letter declaring her eternal love. With Wales's family on the verge of annihilation, the letter could have been used to derail Henrietta's impending marriage to the Germanian emperor. Louise and Saito were sent to retrieve the letter before Reconquista.

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* In ''Anime/FamiliarOfZero'' ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'': Narrowly averted Blackmail version. While young, Prince Wales of Albion and Princess Henrietta were of Tristain fell in love, love and she at one point sent him a letter declaring her eternal love. With Wales's family on the verge Reconquista wanted to get hold of annihilation, the letter could have been used to derail as its contents would prevent Henrietta's impending marriage to the Germanian emperor. Louise Empire and the military alliance of the two nations. Henrietta predicted this and sent Lousie and Saito were sent to retrieve the letter before Reconquista.it first.

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* In ''Anime/FamiliarOfZero'' Wales and Henrietta were in love, and she at one point sent him a letter declaring her eternal love. With Wales's family on the verge of annihilation, the letter could have been used to derail Henrietta's impending marriage to the Germanian emperor. Louise and Saito were sent to retrieve the letter before Reconquista.


* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': A Paternity example, where Princess Millerna finds letters between her late older sister Marlene and Allen Schezar confirming that her son Prince Chid is actually Allen's and was conceived before she married the Duke of Freid. For worse, Millerna herself has feelings for Allen, making all of this even more awkward.

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* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': A Paternity example, where Princess Millerna finds letters between her late older sister Marlene and Allen Schezar confirming that her son Prince Chid is actually Allen's and was conceived before she married the Duke of Freid. For worse, Millerna herself ''Millerna herself'' has feelings for Allen, making all of this even more awkward.



* In the '''infamous''' ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', Zuko's UnwantedSpouse Mai finds out that he has been cheating on her with Katara ''and'' that she's pregnant with his kid by finding Katara's letters to him. She then [[INeverGotAnyLetters hides the letters]] to keep Zuko from finding out [[spoiler: and sends Katara [[TemperingWithFoodAndDrink a poisoned fruits basket]]; Katara consumes some fruits and ends up having a ConvenientMiscarriage.]] Oh, and in the end [[spoiler: Zuko finds the letters anyway.]]

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* In the '''infamous''' ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', Zuko's UnwantedSpouse Mai finds out that he has been cheating on her with Katara ''and'' that she's pregnant with his kid by finding Katara's letters to him. She then [[INeverGotAnyLetters hides the letters]] to keep Zuko from finding out [[spoiler: and sends Katara [[TemperingWithFoodAndDrink [[TamperingWithFoodAndDrink a basket with poisoned fruits basket]]; fruits]]; Katara consumes eats some fruits and ends up having a ConvenientMiscarriage.]] Oh, and in the end [[spoiler: Zuko finds the letters anyway.]]


* In the '''infamous'' ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', Zuko's UnwantedSpouse Mai finds out that Zuko has been cheating on her with Katara ''and'' that she's pregnant with Zuko's kid by finding Katara's letters to him. She then [[INeverGotAnyLetters hides the letters]] to keep Zuko from finding out about the kid [[spoiler: and sends Katara [[TemperingWithFoodAndDrink a poisoned fruits basket]]; Katara consumes some of the fruits and ends up having a ConvenientMiscarriage.]] Oh, and in the end [[spoiler: Zuko finds out anyway.]]

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* In the '''infamous'' '''infamous''' ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', Zuko's UnwantedSpouse Mai finds out that Zuko he has been cheating on her with Katara ''and'' that she's pregnant with Zuko's his kid by finding Katara's letters to him. She then [[INeverGotAnyLetters hides the letters]] to keep Zuko from finding out about the kid [[spoiler: and sends Katara [[TemperingWithFoodAndDrink a poisoned fruits basket]]; Katara consumes some of the fruits and ends up having a ConvenientMiscarriage.]] Oh, and in the end [[spoiler: Zuko finds out the letters anyway.]]


* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': A Paternity example, where Princess Millerna finds letters between her sister Marlene and Allen Schezar confirming that her son is actually Allen's and was conceived before she married the Duke of Freid.

to:

* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': A Paternity example, where Princess Millerna finds letters between her late older sister Marlene and Allen Schezar confirming that her son Prince Chid is actually Allen's and was conceived before she married the Duke of Freid. For worse, Millerna herself has feelings for Allen, making all of this even more awkward.



* ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'': General [=MacArthur=] figured out his wife was having an affair with his subordinate when he received the letter she'd sent her lover. He pulled a successful UriahGambit on the man during WWI, but the guilt caused him to retire early (and his wife never recovered from her lover's death).

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* ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'': General [=MacArthur=] figured out his wife Leslie was having an affair with his subordinate NumberTwo Arthur when he received the letter she'd sent her lover. He pulled a successful UriahGambit on the man Arthur during WWI, but the guilt caused him to retire early (and his wife Leslie [[DeathByDespair never recovered recovered]] from her lover's death).death). [[spoiler: This is why [[SerialKiller Judge Wargrave]] summoned him and other murderers to the island, since he wanted to kill them all as punishment for deaths that they got away with: he kills the General soon and rather swiftly, via hitting him on the head with a large rock.]]



* In ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate'' it looks like Gertrudis has a ChocolateBaby, until her sister finds letters that showed their mother had an affair with a mulatto man (a slur for half black and half white people), and that Getrudis was the result of an affair, not that she cheated on her husband.

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* In ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate'' it looks like Gertrudis has a ChocolateBaby, ChocolateBaby from cheating on her ColonelBadass lover Juan, until her sister Tita finds letters that showed their mother Elena had an affair with a mulatto man (a slur for half black and half white people), and that Getrudis was the result of such an affair, not that she cheated on her husband.affair. She shows Juan the letters and clears up Gertrudis' name.


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* In the '''infamous'' ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comic ''Webcomic/HowIBecameYours'', Zuko's UnwantedSpouse Mai finds out that Zuko has been cheating on her with Katara ''and'' that she's pregnant with Zuko's kid by finding Katara's letters to him. She then [[INeverGotAnyLetters hides the letters]] to keep Zuko from finding out about the kid [[spoiler: and sends Katara [[TemperingWithFoodAndDrink a poisoned fruits basket]]; Katara consumes some of the fruits and ends up having a ConvenientMiscarriage.]] Oh, and in the end [[spoiler: Zuko finds out anyway.]]

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Literature/LikeWaterForChocolate'' it looks like Gertrudis has a ChocolateBaby, until her sister finds letters that showed their mother had an affair with a mulatto man (a slur for half black and half white people), and that Getrudis was the result of an affair, not that she cheated on her husband.


* Poets are dramatic. Elizabeth Ellet liked Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, who did '''not''' like her back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer.) He liked Frances Osgood. So jealous Ellet threatened to blackmail Osgood with her flirtatious letters with Poe. She was also sending him letters... which he just sent back. Ellet turned that into a fair bit of drama.

to:

* Poets are dramatic. Elizabeth Ellet liked Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, who Creator/EdgarAllanPoe (who did '''not''' like her back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer.) He AbhorrentAdmirer) while he liked Frances Osgood. So jealous Ellet threatened to blackmail Osgood with her flirtatious letters with Poe. She was also sending him letters... which he just sent back. Ellet turned that into a fair bit of drama.


-->-- '''Jame''' to '''Ozymardien's "virgin" bride''', ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath''

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-->-- '''Jame''' to '''Ozymardien's "virgin" bride''', bride''' about her affair with '''Melissand''', ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath''


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*Poets are dramatic. Elizabeth Ellet liked Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, who did '''not''' like her back--she was an AbhorrentAdmirer.) He liked Frances Osgood. So jealous Ellet threatened to blackmail Osgood with her flirtatious letters with Poe. She was also sending him letters... which he just sent back. Ellet turned that into a fair bit of drama.

Added DiffLines:

* In an episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Major Houlihan is very upset after receiving a passionate letter from her husband, Donald Penobscott, that's addressed to a woman named Darline. To add insult to injury, the letter mentions her as "a hard worker" and "sturdy". In the end, she decides to get back at him by sending him back an equally passionate letter addressed to a guy named Hank. The two divorce in a later episode.


--->''''Rawneth''': If I were to tell the Highlord what those knots say…


Alice and Bob are having a SecretRelationship of some sort, and as part of it, they exchange letters. The nature of these letters is romantic, erotic, or both, and they definitely contain both Alice and Bob's names (the "Dear Whoever" at the top and "Love Whoever" at the bottom).

And thanks to the RuleOfDrama, having ''written evidence'' of their affair is going to get messy. This can go down a few different ways.

to:

Alice and Bob are having a SecretRelationship of some sort, and as part of it, they exchange letters. The nature of these letters is romantic, erotic, or both, and they definitely contain both Alice and Bob's names (the "Dear Whoever" at the top and "Love Whoever" at the bottom).

And thanks
bottom). In old times, the letters were handwritten, though nowadays, emails and texts are more likely.

Thanks
to the RuleOfDrama, having ''written evidence'' of their affair is going to get messy. This can go down a few different ways.



-->'''Duke''': You know, my mother's always telling me, never put anything in writing. And now, thanks to you, I never will again.



** A Blackmail version: FemmeFatale Rawneth gets Ganth to let her into his grandma Kinzi's room, where she digs through Kinzi's stuff until she finds an old love-letter from Kinzi's girlfriend Adiraina. Rawneth tries to blackmail Kinzi with it, though Kinzi shuts her down.

to:

** A Blackmail version: FemmeFatale Rawneth gets Ganth to In a backstory scene, we see how when she was young, [[FemmeFatale Rawneth]] got let her into his grandma Kinzi's room, where she digs dug through Kinzi's stuff until she finds found an old love-letter from Kinzi's girlfriend lover Adiraina. Rawneth tries to blackmail Kinzi with it, though Kinzi shuts shut her down.down.
--->''''Rawneth''': If I were to tell the Highlord what those knots say…


-->--'''Jame''' to '''Ozymardien's "virgin" bride''', ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath''

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-->--'''Jame''' -->-- '''Jame''' to '''Ozymardien's "virgin" bride''', ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath''

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