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* ''Fanfic/TheSevenMisfortunesOfLadyFortune'' has half a dozen people die after learning Ladybug's identity, starting with Gabriel Agreste.


* UpToEleven in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Practically all villains who learn Clark's secret are killed off, thrown into the psycho prison or have their memory wiped. Lex Luthor himself went through all three. Even all of his friends and allies who found out his identity suffered this fate unless they were legacy comics characters or named [[ActionSurvivor Chloe Sullivan]].

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* UpToEleven in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Practically all villains who learn Clark's secret are killed off, thrown into the psycho prison or have their memory wiped. Lex Luthor himself went through all three. Even all of his friends and allies who found out his identity secret suffered this fate unless they were legacy comics characters or named [[ActionSurvivor Chloe Sullivan]].


* UpToEleven in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Practically all villains who learn Clark's secret are killed off, thrown into the psycho prison or have their memory wiped. Lex Luthor himself had went through all three.

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* UpToEleven in ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. Practically all villains who learn Clark's secret are killed off, thrown into the psycho prison or have their memory wiped. Lex Luthor himself had went through all three.three. Even all of his friends and allies who found out his identity suffered this fate unless they were legacy comics characters or named [[ActionSurvivor Chloe Sullivan]].


* Subverted in ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'', where the Vulture learns of Spider-Man's identity, but ultimately chooses not to reveal it as Spidey had saved him and his daughter on separate occasions.

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* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
**
Subverted in ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'', where the Vulture learns of Spider-Man's identity, identity and is nearly killed afterwards, but Spidey saves his life and he ultimately chooses not to reveal it as out of gratitude for both this and a previous incident where he saved his daughter.
** Played with in ''Film/SpiderManFarFromHome'' when the BigBad [[spoiler:Mysterio]] learns Spider-Man's identity and then is killed in the final battle. [[spoiler:He still manages to record a video framing
Spidey had saved him for his death and his daughter on separate occasions.outing him, and then has it sent to the Daily Bugle.]]


* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': Pisco, a member of the Black Organization, figures out Ai's identity, but he's executed by Gin for screwing up on an assassination before he can say anything. (On the other hand, Vermouth also knows, but keeps mum due to her friendship with Shinichi's mother and perhaps also a desire to see whether or not Shinichi succeeds in taking the organization down.)

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* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': ''Manga/DetectiveConan'':
**
Pisco, a member of the Black Organization, figures out Ai's identity, but he's executed by Gin for screwing up on an assassination before he can say anything. (On the other hand, Vermouth also knows, but keeps mum due to her friendship with Shinichi's mother and perhaps also a desire to see whether or not Shinichi succeeds in taking the organization down.)



* Animus, the BigBad of ''Anime/FairyTailDragonCry'', pieces together that Natsu is E.N.D., the "destroyer of all", after Natsu [[NoOneShouldSurviveThat survives getting]] ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and starts beating him to a pulp. Because the events of the film happen before Natsu learns of his own identity for himself, Natsu doesn't let him say more than the first two letters before he lands the deciding blow.

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* Animus, the BigBad of In ''Anime/FairyTailDragonCry'', [[BigBad Animus]] pieces together that Natsu is E.N.D., the "destroyer of all", after Natsu [[NoOneShouldSurviveThat survives getting]] ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and starts beating him to a pulp. Because the events of the film happen before Natsu learns of his own identity for himself, Natsu doesn't let him say more than the first two letters before he lands the deciding blow.



* ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis''. We learn that during UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks and UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, villains learned superheroes' secret identities all the time. Heroes toed the line of the MoralEventHorizon by using Zatanna to make them forget.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' comics, the Ra's al-Ghul subversion is the same as in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.

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* ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis''. We learn that during UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks and UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, villains learned superheroes' secret identities all the time. Heroes toed the line of the MoralEventHorizon by using Zatanna to make them forget.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' comics, the Ra's al-Ghul subversion is the same as in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':



*** The Hush storyline in general makes it seem Batman sucks at keeping secrets, as it brings together just about everyone who knows his identity, then throws in a couple more.



*** Joker tries to invoke this trope in the Creator/JohnByrne {{Elseworlds}} ''Generations'', where all of DC's characters age in real-time. By 1975, he's an old man on his deathbed, and asks Batman (now Bruce Wayne, Jr.) to unmask as a final request. Batman cheerfully tells him to go fuck himself.

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*** ** Joker tries to invoke this trope in the Creator/JohnByrne {{Elseworlds}} ''Generations'', where all of DC's characters age in real-time. By 1975, he's an old man on his deathbed, and asks Batman (now Bruce Wayne, Jr.) to unmask as a final request. Batman cheerfully tells him to go fuck himself.



** The comic book incarnation of the Harry Osborne Green Goblin and, after coming BackFromTheDead, Norman Osborne, both knew Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and have frequently acted on this knowledge. So did Venom. This is part of the reason the Goblin and Venom used to be his most dangerous enemies.

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** The comic book incarnation of the Harry Osborne Green Goblin Osborn ComicBook/GreenGoblin and, after coming BackFromTheDead, Norman Osborne, Osborn, both knew Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and have frequently acted on this knowledge. So did Venom. This is part of the reason the Goblin and Venom used to be his most dangerous enemies.



** In the AlternateContinuity SpinOffspring series ''[[ComicBook/SpiderGirl The Amazing Spider-Girl]]'', the Mindworm is hired by the Hobgoblin to use his telepathy to track down Spider-Girl and mess with her head. The Hobgoblin eventually has no recourse but to kill Mindworm for betraying him. The Mindworm pleads for his life by claiming to have learned Spider-Girl's true identity by reading her mind, but his words fail to convince Hobgoblin to spare him.

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** In the AlternateContinuity SpinOffspring series ''[[ComicBook/SpiderGirl The ''The Amazing Spider-Girl]]'', ComicBook/SpiderGirl'', the Mindworm is hired by the Hobgoblin to use his telepathy to track down Spider-Girl and mess with her head. The Hobgoblin eventually has no recourse but to kill Mindworm for betraying him. The Mindworm pleads for his life by claiming to have learned Spider-Girl's true identity by reading her mind, but his words fail to convince Hobgoblin to spare him.



* ''World's Finest'' #173, "The Jekyll-Hyde Heroes!" Dr. Arron develops a PsychoSerum that turns the drinker into their most feared enemy and doses both Batman and Superman. He's hit with his own serum at the end, and since he fears both heroes equally, he turns into a half and half version of them. He's also learned their secret identities, but overexposure to the serum leaves him a raving lunatic.
* This happens ''every time'' someone sees the face of ComicStrip/ThePhantom - quite in line with the Old Jungle Saying that says that anyone who does so will die a horrible death. This is despite the fact that The Ghost Who Walks really doesn't have a secret identity - and neither is he the supernatural being the Old Jungle Sayings assume he is.
** To be fair, the (current) Phantom's wife, adoptive son, and presumably his real children have all seen his face without a mask too, and none of them have so far died horribly for it. Presumably the Old Jungle Saying has a caveat built in for voluntary de-maskings.



** ''World's Finest'' #173, "The Jekyll-Hyde Heroes!" Dr. Arron develops a PsychoSerum that turns the drinker into their most feared enemy and doses both Batman and Superman. He's hit with his own serum at the end, and since he fears both heroes equally, he turns into a half and half version of them. He's also learned their secret identities, but overexposure to the serum leaves him a raving lunatic.
** In ''ComicBook/ActionComics'' #303, a crook impersonating ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'s adoptive brother Jan Danvers learns her secret identity. The man intends to take advantage of her, but ultimately he ends sacrificing his life to save hers.
** In ''Superman Family'' #209, George Taylor, ex-boss of Earth-Two Clark Kent, figures out Superman's secret identity, and he even obtains proof. Although George has no intention whatsoever of exposing Clark, he is gunned down by crooks wanting to get their hands on his piece of evidence.



* The first time a (non-Loki) villain learned [[ComicBook/{{Thor}} Thor's]] secret identity[[note]]''Journey Into Mystery'' #95[[/note]] zig-zags this trope. The villain, a MadScientist with a duplication ray, unceremoniously falls to his death by the story's end - but moments before, he'd created a double of himself, who gleefully defies NoOntologicalInertia and survives even after the ray's been smashed. Thor, knowing the ray [[MirrorMoralityMachine reverses the morality]] of any human it duplicates, lets the double live on so his scientific genius can be put to good; no mention is made of whether the double ''also'' knows his secret identity.

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* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'': The first time a (non-Loki) villain learned [[ComicBook/{{Thor}} Thor's]] Thor's secret identity[[note]]''Journey Into Mystery'' #95[[/note]] zig-zags this trope. The villain, a MadScientist with a duplication ray, unceremoniously falls to his death by the story's end - but moments before, he'd created a double of himself, who gleefully defies NoOntologicalInertia and survives even after the ray's been smashed. Thor, knowing the ray [[MirrorMoralityMachine reverses the morality]] of any human it duplicates, lets the double live on so his scientific genius can be put to good; no mention is made of whether the double ''also'' knows his secret identity.


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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* This happens ''every time'' someone -who isn't his wife or children- sees the face of ComicStrip/ThePhantom - quite in line with the Old Jungle Saying that says that anyone who does so will die a horrible death. This is despite the fact that The Ghost Who Walks really doesn't have a secret identity - and neither is he the supernatural being the Old Jungle Sayings assume he is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* In ''Fanfic/UltimateSpiderWoman'', Wesley Danson finds out Spider-Woman's identity, but is murdered by the Brothers Grimm before he can share it.
[[/folder]]


** Three other villains managed to learn the secret throughout the series, but none of them were so fortunate. [[HiveQueen Madeline Spaulding]] got a lightning bolt to the face that shorted out her telepathy and wiped her memory; [[TimeMaster Speedwarp]] was trapped in a TimeAbyss; and [[{{Technopath}} Omnara]] got short-circuited by a virus.

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** Three other villains managed to learn the secret throughout the series, but none of them were so fortunate. [[HiveQueen Madeline Spaulding]] got a lightning bolt to the face that shorted out her telepathy and wiped her memory; [[TimeMaster Speedwarp]] was trapped in a TimeAbyss; between time; and [[{{Technopath}} Omnara]] got short-circuited by a virus.


* An episode of 1990 ''Series/{{The Flash|1990}}'' live-action series has a baddie discovering his SecretIdentity and blackmailing him (even with a TheyWouldCutYouUp threat). He ended up killed by [[BigDamnVillains other baddies]], with a [[ExternalCombustion Car Starter Bomb]].

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* An episode of 1990 ''Series/{{The Flash|1990}}'' live-action series has a baddie discovering his SecretIdentity and blackmailing him (even with a TheyWouldCutYouUp threat). He ended up killed by [[BigDamnVillains other baddies]], baddies, with a [[ExternalCombustion Car Starter Bomb]].


** Played with. The Scarecrow lost his mind to his fear toxin shortly after unmasking Batman as Bruce Wayne, reduced to a gibbering wreck unlikely to function anytime soon. But he had the foresight to broadcast the unmasking live on television, and unlike most examples, he successfully pulled it off without a hitch. With everyone (including the surviving members of his RoguesGallery) now knowing Batman's secret identity, Bruce and Alfred are forced to go underground after their work is done, [[FakingTheDead destroying Wayne Manor with them seemingly inside]].

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** Played with.PlayedWith. The Scarecrow lost his mind to his fear toxin shortly after unmasking Batman as Bruce Wayne, reduced to a gibbering wreck unlikely to function anytime soon. But he had the foresight to broadcast the unmasking live on television, and unlike most examples, he successfully pulled it off without a hitch. With everyone (including the surviving members of his RoguesGallery) now knowing Batman's secret identity, Bruce and Alfred are forced to go underground after their work is done, [[FakingTheDead destroying Wayne Manor with them seemingly inside]].


** ...until halfway through ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', thanks to that lying Joker. On principle, breaking her promise to wait for Bruce and agreeing to marry Harvey Dent mere moments before her untimely demise probably didn't help her odds, either. This is actually a subversion, however, since knowing Batman's identity had nothing to do with her death beyond her close association with him.

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** ...*** ...until halfway through ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', thanks to that lying Joker. On principle, breaking her promise to wait for Bruce and agreeing to marry Harvey Dent mere moments before her untimely demise probably didn't help her odds, either. This is actually a subversion, however, since knowing Batman's identity had nothing to do with her death beyond her close association with him.


* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' film series, Bruce Wayne inadvertently reveals his identity to Max Schreck during the climax of ''Film/BatmanReturns'', and Max is deep-fried soon after. In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Two-Face and the Riddler get taken out soon after they learn the truth: Two-Face suffers a DisneyVillainDeath and The Riddler [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from]] [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his Box technology getting destroyed by Batman]], and is later seen in Arkham proclaiming that ''he'' is Batman and laughing.
** Vicki Vale and Catwoman, however, manage to survive after learning Bruce Wayne's secret in ''Film/Batman1989'' and ''Film/BatmanReturns''.

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* Frequently occurs around Franchise/{{Batman}}.
**
In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' 1949 serial adventures of Film/{{Batman and Robin|Serial}}, [[http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Jimmy_Vale Jimmy Vale]] (who is working for the BigBad) discovers that an unconscious Batman is his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicki_Vale sister's]] boyfriend. He puts on the suit and leads the other bad guys away from Bruce. Unfortunately, "away" means up to the top of a building where he then ends up in a fight with the thugs as Batman and falls out a window.
** In the Tim Burton
film series, Bruce Wayne inadvertently reveals his identity to Max Schreck during the climax of ''Film/BatmanReturns'', and Max is deep-fried soon after. In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Two-Face and the Riddler get taken out soon after they learn the truth: Two-Face suffers a DisneyVillainDeath and The Riddler [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from]] [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his Box technology getting destroyed by Batman]], and is later seen in Arkham proclaiming that ''he'' is Batman and laughing.
**
laughing. Vicki Vale and Catwoman, however, manage to survive after learning Bruce Wayne's secret in ''Film/Batman1989'' and ''Film/BatmanReturns''.''Film/BatmanReturns''.
** In the Nolan series, Ducard/Ra's al-Ghul knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman in ''Film/BatmanBegins'', but is spared by this knowledge due to Bruce thinking of Ducard as an ally. When Ducard reappears in the finale as the BigBad, he's toast. Rachel Dawes, for her part, is spared...
** ...until halfway through ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', thanks to that lying Joker. On principle, breaking her promise to wait for Bruce and agreeing to marry Harvey Dent mere moments before her untimely demise probably didn't help her odds, either. This is actually a subversion, however, since knowing Batman's identity had nothing to do with her death beyond her close association with him.
*** Invoked with Mr. Reese who is targeted by the Joker to prevent him airing Batman's identity, because that would ruin the Joker's fun.



* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', Ducard/Ra's al-Ghul knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but is spared by this knowledge due to Bruce thinking of Ducard as an ally. When Ducard reappears in the finale as the BigBad, he's toast. Rachel Dawes, for her part, is spared...
** ...until halfway through ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', thanks to that lying Joker.
*** On principle, breaking her promise to wait for Bruce and agreeing to marry Harvey Dent mere moments before her untimely demise probably didn't help her odds, either.
*** Technically, it's a subversion, since knowing Batman's identity had nothing to do with her death beyond her close association with him.
** Invoked with Mr. Reese who is targeted by the Joker to prevent him airing Batman's identity, because that would ruin the Joker's fun.
* In the 1949 serial adventures of Film/{{Batman and Robin|Serial}}, [[http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Jimmy_Vale Jimmy Vale]] (who is working for the BigBad) discovers that an unconscious Batman is his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicki_Vale sister's]] boyfriend. He puts on the suit and leads the other bad guys away from Bruce. Unfortunately, "away" means up to the top of a building where he then falls off.


* Subverted in the ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderman'': of the four people who learn that Peter is Spider-Man, the only one who dies after discovering this is Police Chief George Stacy. Dr. Connors, Gwen, and the construction worker's son are all spared, despite being in dangerous situations either at the time of or soon after their respective revelations, with one of them being the film's BigBad to boot.

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* Subverted in the ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderman'': ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'': of the four people who learn that Peter is Spider-Man, the only one who dies after discovering this is Police Chief George Stacy. Dr. Connors, Gwen, and the construction worker's son are all spared, despite being in dangerous situations either at the time of or soon after their respective revelations, with one of them being the film's BigBad to boot.


* In the ''Film/{{Batman}}'' film series, Bruce Wayne inadvertently reveals his identity to Max Schreck during the climax of ''Film/BatmanReturns'', and Max is deep-fried soon after. In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Two-Face and the Riddler get taken out soon after they learn the truth: Two-Face suffers a DisneyVillainDeath and The Riddler [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from]] [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his Box technology getting destroyed by Batman]], and is later seen in Arkham proclaiming that ''he'' is Batman and laughing.
** Vicki Vale and Catwoman, however, manage to survive after learning Bruce Wayne's secret in ''Batman'' and ''Batman Returns''.

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* In the ''Film/{{Batman}}'' ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' film series, Bruce Wayne inadvertently reveals his identity to Max Schreck during the climax of ''Film/BatmanReturns'', and Max is deep-fried soon after. In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Two-Face and the Riddler get taken out soon after they learn the truth: Two-Face suffers a DisneyVillainDeath and The Riddler [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from]] [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his Box technology getting destroyed by Batman]], and is later seen in Arkham proclaiming that ''he'' is Batman and laughing.
** Vicki Vale and Catwoman, however, manage to survive after learning Bruce Wayne's secret in ''Batman'' ''Film/Batman1989'' and ''Batman Returns''.''Film/BatmanReturns''.



* One episode of ''Series/{{Batman}}'' had King Tut break into the Batcave and deduce Batman and Robin's secret identities. As luck would have it, just before he could reveal it, a rock hit him on the head and reverted him back to his mild-mannered professor half of his SplitPersonality. It also caused him to forget the whole escapade as well.

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* One episode of ''Series/{{Batman}}'' ''Series/Batman1966'' had King Tut break into the Batcave and deduce Batman and Robin's secret identities. As luck would have it, just before he could reveal it, a rock hit him on the head and reverted him back to his mild-mannered professor half of his SplitPersonality. It also caused him to forget the whole escapade as well.


** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker''. Joker dies not long after telling Bruce he learned his secret identity after torturing Tim Drake. Twice, technically. This is subverted by Harley Quinn, who learned their identities the same way and seemingly fell to her death shortly afterward. The very last scene of the movie reveals she survived and is [[SingleMindedTwins Dee and Dee's]] grandmother, apparently having quit her life of crime after Joker died.

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** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker''. Joker dies not long after telling Bruce he learned his secret identity after torturing [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake.Drake]]. Twice, technically. This is subverted by Harley Quinn, who learned their identities the same way and seemingly fell to her death shortly afterward. The very last scene of the movie reveals she survived and is [[SingleMindedTwins Dee and Dee's]] grandmother, apparently having quit her life of crime after Joker died.


* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'': Invoked when [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Brian J. Mason]] takes on the Knight Sabres in combat, and forces the visor of Sylia's helmet open, exposing her identity. It takes but a second for him to recognize her, and only a second longer for Sylia to [[BladeBelowTheShoulder silence]] [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice him.]]

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* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'': Invoked when [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Brian J. Mason]] takes on the Knight Sabres in combat, and forces the visor of Sylia's helmet open, exposing her identity. It takes but a second for him to recognize her, and only a second longer for Sylia to [[BladeBelowTheShoulder silence]] [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice him.]]

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* Animus, the BigBad of ''Anime/FairyTailDragonCry'', pieces together that Natsu is E.N.D., the "destroyer of all", after Natsu [[NoOneShouldSurviveThat survives getting]] ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice and starts beating him to a pulp. Because the events of the film happen before Natsu learns of his own identity for himself, Natsu doesn't let him say more than the first two letters before he lands the deciding blow.

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